Academic journal article Science Educator

Commentary: How to Get More Science Teachers Who Can "Do" Science: And Use Their Teaching as an Example

Academic journal article Science Educator

Commentary: How to Get More Science Teachers Who Can "Do" Science: And Use Their Teaching as an Example

Article excerpt

Why is there not more attention to all students (and teachers) actually "doing" science in every K- 16 science classroom? The faulty assumption is that there is information thought to be accurate that all must "know" before "doing" science. Doing science means personal exploration of nature and attempting to explain objects and events encountered. It also means exploring what others have done (and reported) as ways of evaluating their initial ideas. Science cannot be done in a vacuum! It takes doing, trying, thinking creatively, and gathering evidence! Textbooks, lab manuals, and quick fixes are all the opposite of actually "doing" science.

Many professional development efforts invite persons with current understandings of science to tell, share, and encourage others to remember and repeat relevant research results. This view of doing science is what characterizes procedures for conferences and for professional development efforts that are designed to influence the science that is taught. There should be major efforts to produce students who recognize and formulate questions and then investigate the validity of the evidence collected for possible answers. Such actions would Ulustrate "doing" science. Could not professional development efforts (including reports at conferences) start with problems/questions followed by varied attempts to answer them? Could such efforts not lead to the collection of multiple responses and a sharing of evidence in science classrooms? …

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