herence, and testing them empirically. To this end, discussions of scientific methodology need be introduced in the context of pursuing specific questions and issues rather than as templates or invariant recipes. Similarly, the methodology students encounter in the classroom needs to reflect the range of investigatory forms in science. This requires expanding beyond a focus on experiments to incorporate examples from disciplines of science that employ observational methods or historical reconstruction.

Instruction: How to Teach

Recommendation 4: Science instruction should provide opportunities for students to engage in all four strands. This requires policy makers, education leaders, and school administrators to ensure that adequate time and resources are provided for science instruction at all grade levels for all students. They must also ensure that teachers have adequate knowledge of science content and are provided with adequate professional development.


Recommendation 5: State and local leaders in science education should provide teachers with models of classroom instruction that incorporate the four strands. These models should incorporate examples of instruction that provide opportunities for interaction in the classroom, where students carry out investigations and talk and write about their observations of phenomena, their emerging understanding of scientific ideas, and ways to test them.

Professional Development: Supporting Effective Science Instruction

We call for a dramatic departure from typical professional development practice both in scope and kind. Teachers need opportunities to deepen their knowledge of the science content of the K-8 curriculum. They also need opportunities to learn how students learn science and how to teach it. Teachers need to know how children’s understanding of core ideas in science builds across K-8, not just at a given grade or grade band. They need to learn about students’ entering conceptual ideas and ideas about science itself. They need to learn how to assess children’s developing ideas over time and how to interpret and respond (instructionally) to the results of assessment. Teachers need opportunities to teach science as an integrated body of knowledge and practice (the strands of scientific proficiency).

Teacher preparation and professional development that sensitize teachers to the capabilities of all learners and which develop teachers’ capacity to



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