we believe scientific knowledge, not just what we know.
In science classrooms that include a strong component of metacognition, activities are introduced to make students aware of their initial ideas and to demonstrate that a conceptual problem may need to be solved. A variety of techniques may be useful in this regard. Students may be asked to make predictions about an event and give reasons for those predictions. Class discussion of the range of student predictions can emphasize alternative ways of thinking about a phenomenon, which can highlight the conceptual element of the analysis. In addition, gathering data that expose students to unexpected discrepancies or posing challenging problems that students may not immediately solve are ways of prompting students to stop and think, stepping outside their normal conceptual framework in order to understand what is happening.
Regular time for reflection, note taking, or public chart making to track ideas as they change over time is another critical component of metacognition. Researchers have documented that children often repeat experiments or interpret current results without connecting those results to prior hypotheses. Students need regular opportunities to reflect on science. Reflection helps students monitor their own understanding and track the progress of their investigations. It also helps them identify problems with their current plans, rethink plans, and keep track of pending goals.
Strategies for Teaching How to Construct Scientific Knowledge
Teaching for conceptual change
making students aware of their initial ideas
encouraging students to engage in metacognitive discourse about ideas
employing bridging analogies and anchors to help them consider and manipulate ideas
encouraging them to apply new understandings in different contexts
providing time for students to discuss the nature of learning and the nature of science
Promoting metacognitive understanding
Engaging students with deep domain-specific core concepts
Helping students understand, test, and revise ideas
Establishing a classroom community that negotiates meaning and builds knowledge
Increasing students’ responsibility for directing important aspects of their own inquiry
Taking responsibility for representing ideas
Working to develop ideas
Monitoring the status of ideas
Considering the reasoning underlying specific beliefs
Deciding on ways to test specific beliefs
Assessing the consistency among ideas
Examining how well these ideas extend to new situations