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Eric Brunsell

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When he is teaching Elementary and Secondary Science Methods to future teachers, Eric Brunsell knows he does not have to try to instill in them a love for helping kids. They all have that. “They are in it to make a positive difference in the lives of kids,” Brunsell said.
Eric Brunsell

photo of Eric Brunsell

by Morgan Counts

Student Multimedia Reporter

a passion for science


When he is teaching Elementary and Secondary Science Methods to future teachers, Eric Brunsell knows he does not have to try to instill in them a love for helping kids. They all have that. “They are in it to make a positive difference in the lives of kids,” said Brunsell, an associate professor in the College of Education and Human Services Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.

What is less apparent is the students’ passion for science. His students may enjoy many aspects of the various subjects they will have to teach, but, for them, science can be as hit and miss as subjects like math.

Dr. Eric Brunsell helping second-graders explore properties of air.
 Dr. Eric Brunsell helping second-graders explore properties of air at the Walworth Balbour American International School in Even Yehurda, Israel. (January 2013)
“One of the things I try to do with my students is help them find a way to like [science] and realize there are a lot of different aspects to it they can have fun with,” he said. Even if they don’t have a passion for science, Brunsell said the methods used to teach the subject can help build relationships with their future students. Science’s hands-on nature and exploration of ideas can be an effective tool in his own classroom. “I think most of the time, when my students see science presented that way, they start to understand why it can be such a powerful thing for elementary kids to learn.”

Just like not every future teacher in his class loves science, Brunsell stresses that not every one their future students will become a scientist. His students’ job is not to turn them into scientists, but rather focus on their primary goal as a teacher: to have a positive impact. “What you want to do is to keep the doors open for students to find their own path in life.”

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