It is science project time. A parent and a 5th grader were surveying a group of morning kindergarten students regarding the identification of candy and medicine (glued to index cards). I must admit, it is a high thinking 5th grader who thinks of a science project like this.
Approximately 30 pieces of candies and medicines were glued to index cards. Examples: tic tac, ExLax, lozenge, MandM, etc. The parent was recording the research results and taking pictures as the 5th grader asked the kindergarten student.
Being the cautious teacher that I am, I talked to the 5th grader's parent if permission slips have been used in this survey of 5 year olds. When I found permission slips in my mailbox in the faculty room I thoguht I'd talked the principal before I send out this project involving 5 year olds. Lo and behold, my prinicpal knew nothing of the project. A class has already been surveyed!
Being a doctoral student who is also involved in research at this moment, I am very aware of the sensitivity of using live subjects in research, esp. children or minors... ok, even it it is a science project! The permission slip indicated that the survey will involve 30 minutes per student. That is 30 minutes of instructional time each student will miss out! The 5th grader will also miss out on (30 minutes X 20 students per class) instructional time. Am I wrong to think this through?
I may have started something. The teacher who let the 5th grader used her class as research subjects is now mad at me. She told the parent of the 5th grader that there were 3 people in a tizzy (me, the other PM kinder teacher, and the principal). The parent is now also upset with the three of us! Oh my elementary school DRAMA! And I thought I was just following research procedures!
Sometimes being cautious and knowing about something can get one into trouble with others... Well after thinking about the situation, I really did not care that much about the morning Kindergarten teacher and the parent getting upset with me. I feel that I am advocating for the 5 year olds, in general...
Ok.. those are my thoughts for today.