Science Education

Best Practices in Science

There are several good books on best practices, but one of the most "researched based" is Best Practice: New Standards for Teaching and Learning in America's Schools, by Steven Zemelman, Harvey Daniels, and Arthur Hyde (1998). Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann. They list the following Best Practices in Science:

  1. Students need opportunities to explore the significance of science in their lives.
  2. Science study should involve doing science, that is, questioning and discovering, not just covering material.
  3. Effective hands-on inquiry involves a series of steps that builds students' investigative skills.  Questioning, Observation, Organizing Data, Explanation, Reflection, Taking Action
  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.
  6. Students should explore fewer topics in depth, not skim many superficially.
  7. Students grow out of misconceptions an naive theories only by actively engaging investigation.
  8. Learning science means integrating reading, writing, speaking, and math.
  9. Students need to consider issues of application of science and technology.
  10. Good science teaching involves facilitation, collaborative group work, and a limited, judicious use of information giving.
  11. Meaningful assessment of students' learning in science must promote the objectives of a good science curriculum, not undermine them.