Academic journal article Science Scope

Making Thinking Visible

Academic journal article Science Scope

Making Thinking Visible

Article excerpt

Ready, Set, Science, published by the National Research Council, calls for science teachers to "to employ some of the same methods of communication and representation that are used by scientists in the real world." Chapter 5 focuses on using talk and argument to "make thinking visible" and presents many strategies that allow students to clarify and explain their own thinking, as well as listen and respond to classmates' ideas (Michaels, Shouse, and Schweingruber 2006).

I highly recommend that middle-level science teachers read and implement some of the talk and argumentation strategies contained in Ready, Set, Science. In "Learning to Write and Writing to Learn in Science," on page 14 in this issue, Amy Dlugokienski and coauthors outline their strategy for making thinking visible--a writing prompt that asks students to use the data they have gathered to construct an argument that refutes a common misconception about condensation.

The National Science Education Standards recommend that teachers require students to keep records of their work. Utilizing spoken and written language as well as graphic, mathematical, and technological forms of communication to guide students' discourse about scientific ideas is also advocated (NRC 1996). On page 24 of this issue, Amber Jarrard relates how she has students build Rube Goldberg-like machines and then use computers and digital cameras to present and explain the workings of the machines to the class. …

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