to science learning. In doing this, teachers

  • Display and demand respect for the diverse ideas, skills, and experiences of all students.

  • Enable students to have a significant voice in decisions about the content and context of their work and require students to take responsibility for the learning of all members of the community.

  • Nurture collaboration among students.

  • Structure and facilitate ongoing formal and informal discussion based on a shared understanding of rules of scientific discourse.

  • Model and emphasize the skills, attitudes, and values of scientific inquiry.

[See Teaching Standard B and Program Standard F]

The focus of this standard is the social and intellectual environment that must be in place in the classroom if all students are to succeed in learning science and have the opportunity to develop the skills and dispositions for life-long learning. Elements of other standards are brought together by this standard to highlight the importance of the community of learners and what effective teachers do to foster its development. A community approach enhances learning: It helps to advance understanding, expand students' capabilities for investigation, enrich the questions that guide inquiry, and aid students in giving meaning to experiences.

An assumption of the Standards is that all students should learn science through full participation and that all are capable of making meaningful contributions in science classes. The nature of the community in which students learn science is critical to making this assumption a reality.

DISPLAY AND DEMAND RESPECT FOR THE DIVERSE IDEAS, SKILLS, AND EXPERIENCES OF ALL STUDENTS. Respect for the ideas, activities, and thinking of all students is demonstrated by what teachers say and do, as well as by the flexibility with which they respond to student interests, ideas, strengths, and needs. Whether adjusting an activity to reflect the cultural background of particular students, providing resources for a small group to pursue an interest, or suggesting that an idea is valuable but cannot be pursued at the moment, teachers model what it means to respect and value the views of others. Teachers teach respect explicitly by focusing on their own and students' positive interactions, as well as confronting disrespect, stereotyping, and prejudice whenever it occurs in the school environment.

[See Content Standards A & G (all grade levels)]

Science is a discipline in which creative and sometimes risky thought is important. New ideas and theories often are the result of creative leaps. For students to understand this aspect of science and be willing to express creative ideas, all of the members of the learning community must support and respect a diversity of experience, ideas, thought, and expression. Teachers work with students to develop an environment in which students feel safe in expressing ideas.

ENABLE STUDENTS TO HAVE A SIGNIFICANT VOICE IN DECISIONS ABOUT THE CONTENT AND CONTEXT OF THEIR WORK AND GIVE STUDENTS SIGNIFICANT RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LEARNING OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMUNITY. A community of science learners is one in which students develop a sense of purpose and the ability to assume



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