various types of laboratory experiences (within the context of science education) may contribute to specific science learning outcomes. Research partnerships may be the best mechanism to carry out this agenda, building the knowledge base for improvements in laboratory teaching and learning. Specifically, we suggest that teachers, researchers, scientists, and curriculum developers work together to answer the following questions. Addressing these questions will help to guide schools, education policy makers, and researchers in developing appropriate responses to the findings and conclusions in this report:

  1. Assessment of student learning in laboratory experiences—What are the specific learning outcomes of laboratory experiences and what are the best methods for measuring these outcomes, both in the classroom and in large-scale assessments?

  2. Effective teaching and learning in laboratory experiences—What forms of laboratory experiences are most effective for advancing the desired learning outcomes of laboratory experiences? What kinds of curriculum can support teachers in students in progress toward these learning outcomes?

  3. Diverse populations of learners—What are the teaching and learning processes by which laboratory experiences contribute to particular learning outcomes for diverse learners and different populations of students?

  4. School organization for effective laboratory teaching—What organizational arrangements (state and district policy, funding priorities and resource allocation, professional development, textbooks, emerging technologies, and school and district leadership) support high-quality laboratory experiences most efficiently and effectively? What are the most effective ways to bring those organizational arrangements to scale?

  5. Continuing learning about laboratory experiences—How can teachers and administrators learn to design and implement effective instructional sequences that integrate laboratory experiences for diverse students? What types of professional development are most effective to help administrators and teachers achieve this goal? How should laboratory professional development be sequenced within a teacher’s career (from pre-service to expert teacher)?

The available research literature suggests that laboratory experiences will be more likely to help students attain science learning goals if they are designed with clear learning outcomes in mind, thoughtfully sequenced into the flow of classroom science instruction, and follow the other instructional

The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement