Humans, especially children, are naturally curious. Yet, people often balk at the thought of learning science--the "eyes glazed over" syndrome. Teachers may find teaching science a major challenge in an era when science ranges from the hardly imaginable quark to the distant, blazing quasar.
Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards is the book that educators have been waiting for--a practical guide to teaching inquiry and teaching through inquiry, as recommended by the National Science Education Standards. This will be an important resource for educators who must help school boards, parents, and teachers understand "why we can't teach the way we used to."
"Inquiry" refers to the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and in which students grasp science knowledge and the methods by which that knowledge is produced. This book explains and illustrates how inquiry helps students learn science content, master how to do science, and understand the nature of science.
This book explores the dimensions of teaching and learning science as inquiry for K-12 students across a range of science topics. Detailed examples help clarify when teachers should use the inquiry-based approach and how much structure, guidance, and coaching they should provide.
The book dispels myths that may have discouraged educators from the inquiry-based approach and illuminates the subtle interplay between concepts, processes, and science as it is experienced in the classroom. Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards shows how to bring the standards to life, with features such as classroom vignettes exploring different kinds of inquiries for elementary, middle, and high school and Frequently Asked Questions for teachers, responding to common concerns such as obtaining teaching supplies.
Turning to assessment, the committee discusses why assessment is important, looks at existing schemes and formats, and addresses how to involve students in assessing their own learning achievements. In addition, this book discusses administrative assistance, communication with parents, appropriate teacher evaluation, and other avenues to promoting and supporting this new teaching paradigm.
"This book is a valuable and practical guide, useful to anyone interested in effective science education. Teachers will be pleased with the many vignettes demonstrating how to put inquiry into practice."
Sharon Fisher, NSTA Recommends Website
"This is a high-quality resource that effectively addresses the concepts, strategies, advantages and pitfalls of inquiry or investigative teaching of science. ...the use of tables in this material is particularly effective. ... The material makes a strong effort to elucidate inquiry concepts clearly, to lessen any sense of apprehension in readers less familiar with this approach. The prose is well-crafted and very readable. The uncluttered and elegant graphic design mirrors that of the NSES, and makes this material inviting and visually engaging. ...Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards is the best introduction and overview to inquiry-based science teaching and learning available."
--Horizon Research, Inc., TE-MAT (Teacher Education Materials) Project, December 2000
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