content and activities, selecting from extant activities, or creating original activities, teachers plan to meet the particular interests, knowledge, and skills of their students and build on their questions and ideas. Such decisions rely heavily on a teacher's knowledge of students' cognitive potential, developmental level, physical attributes, affective development, and motivation—and how they learn. Teachers are aware of and understand common naive concepts in science for given grade levels, as well as the cultural and experiential background of students and the effects these have on learning. Teachers also consider their own strengths and interests and take into account available resources in the local environment. For example, in Cleveland, the study of Lake Erie, its pollution, and
Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science.
cleanup is an important part of a science curriculum, as is the study of earthquakes in the Los Angeles area. Teachers can work with local personnel, such as those at science-rich centers (museums, industries, universities, etc.), to plan for the use of exhibits and educational programs that enhance the study of a particular topic.
[See Program Standard E and System Standard E]
SELECT TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT STRATEGIES THAT SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF STUDENT UNDERSTANDING AND NURTURE A COMMUNITY OF SCIENCE LEARNERS. Over the years, educators have developed many teaching and learning models relevant to classroom science teaching. Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of these models, teachers examine the relationship between the science content and how that content is to be taught. Teachers of science integrate a sound model of teaching and learning, a practical structure for the sequence of activities, and the content to be learned.
Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science. Teachers focus inquiry predominantly on real phenomena, in classrooms, outdoors, or in laboratory settings, where students are given investigations or guided toward fashioning investigations that are demanding but within their capabilities.
As more complex topics are addressed, students cannot always return to basic phenomena for every conceptual understanding. Nevertheless, teachers can take an inquiry approach as they guide students in acquiring and interpreting information from sources such as libraries, government documents, and computer databases—or as they gather information from experts from industry, the community, and government. Other teaching strategies rely on teachers, texts, and secondary sources—such as video, film, and computer simulations. When secondary sources of scientific knowledge are used, students need to be made aware of the processes by which the knowledge presented in these sources was acquired and to understand that the sources are authoritative and accepted within the scientific community.
[See Teaching Standard E]
Another dimension of planning relates to the organization of students. Science often is a collaborative endeavor, and all science