The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) on which they are based, describe a new vision for science education that includes having students learn science in a way that more closely aligns to how scientists and engineers work and think. Accomplishing this goal will require teacher educators to make important shifts in the ways they prepare future science teachers (NRC, 2012). Many science teaching methods courses are being reformed to better support future science teachers to meet the ambitious goals of the NGSS.
In this study, we investigated how high school credit recovery students worked in small groups and used computer-based scaffolds to conduct scientific inquiry in a problem-based learning unit centered on water quality. We examined how students searched for and evaluated information from different sources, and used evidence to support their claims. Data sources included screen recordings, interviews, scaffold trace data, and scaffold entry quality ratings. Findings indicate that many students struggled to use the scaffolding and did not fully respond to scaffold prompts.
Ensuring that all students, including English language learners (ELLs) who speak English as a second language, succeed in science is more challenging with a shift towards learning through language-intensive science practices suggested by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Interactive visualization technologies have the potential to support science learning for all students, including ELLs, by providing explicit representations of unobservable scientific systems.
The use of external representations has a potential to facilitate inquiry learning, especially in hypothesis generation and scientific reasoning, which are typical difficulties encountered by students. This study proposes and investigates the effects of a three‐dimensional thinking graph (3DTG) that allows learners to combine in a single image, problem information, subject knowledge (key concepts and their relationships), and the hypothesizing and reasoning process involved in exploring a problem, to support inquiry learning.
In A Framework for K-12 Science Education, the National Research Council frames inclusive science instruction as a collection of strategies for teachers to engage students. In this conceptual article, we reframe inclusive science instruction by examining the literature in science and multicultural education and describe five elements to support teachers in realizing inclusive science instruction as a pedagogical shift.
The Next Generation Science Standards call for changes in not only what is taught in elementary science but also how students engage in the learning experience to develop understanding of core disciplinary ideas. In this study we examined 5th-grade teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for 1 particular core idea: the small particle model (SPM) of matter. We assessed teachers’ initial PCK through a lesson plan task, the Content Representation tool, and interviews and then adapted and tested a scoring rubric to facilitate comparison of teachers’ PCK.
This proof of concept study investigated a secondary science teacher preparation intervention in six university programs across Arizona, California, and Texas. Researchers and science method instructors (SMIs) collaboratively restructured respective science method courses to hold fidelity to an interrelated set of instructional practices that attend to science learning as envisioned in a Framework for K–12 Science Education, while also creating contextualized spaces for language and literacy development targeted to English learners (ELs), but also supportive of “mainstream” students.
This column provides how-to strategies and practical advice for the science teacher. A resource for integrating argumentation into your science classroom.
González-Howard, M., Marco-Bujosa, L., McNeill, K. L., Goss, M., & Loper, S. (2018). Teacher’s Toolkit: The Argumentation Toolkit. Science Scope.
This column describes creating a classroom culture for engineering. Noting the importance of infiltration in the water cycle and in the supply of essential groundwater led the authors to develop an engineering activity in which students are challenged to build a stackable filter using the Earth process of infiltration as a model.
Kilpatrick, J., Marcum-Dietrich, N., Wallace, J., & Staudt, C. (2018). Engineering Encounters: Engineering a Model of the Earth as a Water Filter. Science and Children.
Science is increasingly characterized by participation in knowledge communities. To meaningfully engage in science inquiry, students must be able to evaluate diverse sources of information, articulate informed ideas, and share ideas with peers. This study explores how technology can support idea exchanges in ways that value individuals’ prior ideas, and allow students to use these ideas to benefit their own and their peers’ learning. We used the Idea Manager, a curriculum-integrated tool that enables students to collect and exchange ideas during science inquiry projects.