Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Editor's Corner

Academic journal article The Science Teacher

Editor's Corner

Article excerpt

Practice, Practice, Practice!


Like most educators, I've worn many hats over my long teaching career. I've learned much from working on curriculum review committees; as department chair, student advisor, and new teacher mentor; and in many other roles. I also have had the privilege of coaching our varsity basketball team for 25 years.

I was reflecting on my coaching career recently, wondering how and why my love of teaching and coaching seem to overlap so nicely. Of course, good teaching is a lot like coaching, as we guide and inspire students in both areas. Any good coach knows that we can't just lecture students about a sport, and no amount of reading or watching videos will turn a novice player into an expert. Gains are made only by practicing, using the tools of the sport.

Practice also plays a prominent role in science teaching. A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States 2013) emphasize the practices of science and engineering and the idea that students "cannot fully understand scientific and engineering ideas without engaging in the practices of inquiry and the discourses by which such ideas are developed and refined" (NRC 2012, p. 218).

This issue of The Science Teacher focuses on the NGSS Practice 3: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations:

"Students should have opportunities to plan and carry out several
different kinds of investigations during their K-12 years. … 
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