From Zemelman, Daniels, and Hyde. Best Practice: New Standards for Teaching and
Learning in America’s Schools. Heinemann Press. 1993.
1. Students need opportunities to explore the significance of science in their lives.
2. Science study should involve doing science, i.e., questioning and discovering, not just covering material.
- Higher-order thinking/questioning
- Constructivist approach
- Activating prior knowledge
- Encouraging children’s questions
- Helping children gather information hands-on
- Helping children build their own concept
3. Effective hands-on inquiry involves a series of steps that builds students’ investigative skills.
- The following are required for in-depth learning:
- Organizing Data
- Taking Action
- Students need to learn “process skills” – classifying data, communicating, controlling variables, defining operationally, designing experiments, formulating models, hypothesizing, inferring, interpreting, measuring, observing, predicting, questioning, using numbers, using space/time relationships.
4. Meaningful science study will aim to develop thinking, problem solving, and attitudes of curiosity, healthy skepticism, and openness to modifying explanations.
5. Science education can build a knowledge base focused on essential concepts, rather than disconnected topics or bits of information.
- Teachers need to organize themes around one or more of these analytical approaches: organization, cause and effect, systems, change, structure and function, discontinuous and continuous properties, models, diversity, and scale.
- Students should explore fewer concepts in-depth, not skim many superficially.
- Students grow out of misconceptions and naïve theories only by actively engaging in investigation.
- Learning science means integrating reading, writing, speaking, and math.
- Students need to consider issues of application of science and technology.
- Good science teaching involves facilitation, collaborative group work, and a limited, judicious use of information-giving.
- Meaningful assessment of students’ learning in science must promote the objectives of a good science curriculum, and not undermine them.