Science Strategy Interventions

Strategies and strategic processing within science education are designed to help students learn not only what scientists have come to understand about the world but also how they learn it. Although many domain-general strategies can be implemented in science classrooms, some strategies are either specific to science or are encouraged within science. Historically, concept development and conceptual change approaches and empirical investigations dominated science’s strategies and strategic processing. More recently, argumentation, science as modeling, and the incorporation of socio-scientific topics dominate the strategies and strategic processing within science teaching and learning. Challenges to more widespread use of these approaches include lack of teacher experience and pedagogical knowledge around the strategies, as well as time and curricular limitations. Teacher education and professional development programs should seek to explicitly implement contemporary science strategy interventions to improve upon their use in K-12 classrooms and other learning environments. Doing so effectively will require well-researched and validated instructional scaffolds to facilitate the teaching and use of contemporary science learning strategies. This paper was prepared for the 2020 AERA Annual Meeting.