Best Practices in Science
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
- Students need opportunities to explore the
significance of science in their lives.
- Science study should involve doing science,
that is, questioning and discovering, not just covering material.
- Effective hands-on inquiry involves a series
of steps that builds students' investigative skills. Questioning, Observation, Organizing Data,
Explanation, Reflection, Taking Action
- Meaningful science study will aim to develop
thinking, problem solving, and attitudes of curiosity, healthy skepticism,
and openness to modifying explanations.
- Science education can build a knowledge base
focused on essential concepts, rather than disconnected topics or bits of
- Students should explore fewer topics in depth,
not skim many superficially.
- Students grow out of misconceptions an naive
theories only by actively engaging 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, not undermine