Science: A way of knowing the natural world. ―Science is both a body of knowledge that represents current understanding of [the natural world] and the process whereby that body of knowledge has been established and is being continually extended, refined, and revised‖ Inquiry instruction: A method of teaching that parallels what scientists do when they do science No single ―scientific method‖
Why should children learn science? ◦ Discuss the benefits of having science in the elementary school. What context do children have in doing science? ◦ Discuss the message of the following picture and it’s relevance to your work as a teacher….
From Benchmarks for Science Literacy (p. 179)
1. Learning to Think and Understand2. Scientific literacy3. Science Education and National Concerns4. Language Literacy and Mathematics Competency5. Early Science and the NCLB legislation
1. Learning to Think and Understand : Learning to think scientifically and to understand the scientific view of the natural world is developed gradually over a long period of time.2. Scientific Literacy ―the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision-making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity.‖ (NSES, p. 22)
3. Science Education and National Concerns : The US need to improve science education to increase the pool of students prepared to choose science as a career.4. Language Literacy and Mathematics Competency : Science provides a rich context for children to develop their language and mathematics skills. Children’s literature connections to science: GEMS
5. Early Science and the NCLB legislation : Assisting all students to achieve proficiency in science.6. Your own rationale???
Conceptual knowledge and understandingAbility to carry ourscientific inquiry Understanding about the NOS and scientific inquiry
Material limits. Device can be reused for multiple trials. a quarter of a raw egg should be visible.
Device to aid in the absorption of shock : absorbing the egg’s kinetic energy when the device hits the ground Device to slow down the speed Helicopter type device : converting gravitational potential energy into rotational energy / dissipating the energy Parachute (kite tail, fins, balloons) type device : using air resistance
Equations for accelerated motion vf = vi + at d = vit + ½ at 2 2ad = vf2 – vi2 a: acceleration (m/s2) d: distance (m) vf: final velocity (m/s) vi: initial velocity (m/s) t: time (s)
―Students should acquire facts, build organized and meaningful conceptual structure, and use theses conceptual structures in interpreting observations and constructing theories and explanations.‖
Statement about an observation that has been repeatedly confirmed (observable and/or measurable) Relies on replication Teach only facts?
Abstract idea or mental image that associated with a corresponding representation in a langue or symbol in a given context Derived from experiences/evidence around which new information can be organized Concept can grow by the addition of new information Development of conceptual ideas Erroneous / correct but limited / incomplete concepts Conceptual understanding comes when children actively engage in making sense of their experiences.
Development of conceptual ideas Induction DOG LAMB CAT Deduction ANIMAL
Ideas about the relationships among concepts or phenomena—What happens! Statement of generalization or patterns in nature under given circumstances (i.e. the pressure and volume of a gas) Allows us to predict what will happen Inductively derived so cannot be viewed as an absolute truth
Generalized statement that acts as an explanation for large number of related facts, occurrences or other phenomena in nature Facts and laws describe natural events; theories explain them—why things work certain ways! Intellectual models for viewing nature; a basis for scientific research Good theories are substantiated by research findings. No absolute theories; inductively derived; evolve over time Theories vary in levels of confirmation. (Atomic, Super-strings, Big Bang, Evolution)
Representation of objects and interactions in a physical system Types include: ◦ Physical models: a smaller or larger physical copy of an object. ◦ Mathematical models: a formula that represents a system by using mathematical language (E=MC2) ◦ Propositional models: an expression that denotes propositions that are linked by sentential connectives such as ―and‖, ―or‖, ―if... then...‖, etc.
Students should be engaged in an inquiry approach to learning sciences ―Scientific inquiry refers to the diverse ways in which scientists study the natural world and propose explanations based on the evidence derived from their work. Inquiry also refers to the activities of students in which they develop knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, as well as an understanding of how scientists study the natural world.‖ (NSES, p. 21)
5 Essential Features of Inquiry 1. Learners are engages in scientifically oriented questions. 2. Learners give priority to evidence as they plan and conduct investigations. 3. Learners connect evidence and scientific knowledge in generating explanations. 4. Learners apply their knowledge to new scientific problems. 5. Learners communicate with others about procedures, evidence, and explanation. From Inquiry and National Science Education Standards
1. Science is something people do and create2. Science is a way of answering questions about the natural world3. Science knowledge is generated through questions, investigations, observations, and explanations4. Scientific knowledge is tentative5. Scientists present their investigations and explanations to the scientific community for critical evaluation6. Scientists display certain attitudes and habits of mind in doing science
VNOS (Views of NOS) instruments Views of Nature of Science Elementary School Version (VNOS-E)Name: _________________________________Grade Level: ____________________________Date: _________________________________Instructions• Please answer each of the following questions. You can use all the space provided and the backs of the pages to answer a question.• Some questions have more than one part. Please make sure you put answers for each part.• This is not a test and will not be graded. There are no “right” or “wrong” answers to the following questions. I am only interested in your ideas relating to the following questions.• If you need, you can draw pictures to explain your ideas.
VNOS (Views of NOS) instruments1. What is science?2. (a) What are some of the other subjects you are learning? (b) How is science different from these other subjects?3. Scientists are always trying to learn more about our world. Do you think what scientists know will change in the future?4. (a) How do scientists know that dinosaurs once lived on the earth? (b) How sure are scientists about the way dinosaurs looked? Why?5. A long time ago all the dinosaurs died. Scientists have different ideas about why and how they died. If scientists all have the same facts about dinosaurs, then why do you think they disagree about this?6. TV weather people show pictures of how they think the weather will be for the next day. They use lots of scientific facts to help them make these pictures. How sure do you think the weather people are about these pictures? Why? 7. (a) Do you think scientists use their imaginations when they do their work? Yes No (b) If No, explain why? (c) If Yes, then when do you think they use their imaginations?
VNOS (Views of NOS) instruments1. What is science? => Response should include references to a body of knowledge (often the science content students are currently studying) and processes (observing, experimenting, etc.) for the development of the knowledge. Students will most likely not refer to anything related to epistemology or characteristics of the knowledge that results from the processes. Rarely do young children refer to science as a “way of knowing”2. (a) What are some of the other subjects you are learning? (b) How is science different from these other subjects? => The desired response should refer to reliance on data from the natural world (empirical basis), systematic or organized approach to collection of data. It is also common for students to focus on the specific subject matter or objects of science’s attention (this is where an interview can help get answers to what you really want to know about here). Students are likely to incorrectly state that science follows a single method (the scientific method) and that science is a totally objective endeavor. They most likely will not include the alternative to these views, but the incorrect views are commonly included.
VNOS (Views of NOS) instruments3. Scientists are always trying to learn more about our world. Do you think what scientists know will change in the future? => This question focuses on the idea that all scientific knowledge is tentative or subject to change. So, you are looking for the student to agree that the knowledge in the text will possibly change. On a superficial level, most students will recognize that knowledge changes because we now know more due to additional experiments/investigations, new evidence or availability of new technology. A more in-depth, but hot common, answer would include the idea that knowledge changes because scientists view the same data in a different way than before.4. (a) How do scientists know that dinosaurs once lived on the earth? => The focus here is on observation and inference and empirical nature of science. A sophisticated, but uncommon answer would include that scientists have some data about dinosaurs and have inferred from this data that creatures defined as “dinosaurs” existed. (b) How sure are scientists about the way dinosaurs looked? Why? => The answer to this question will overlap with what you may get for part (a). Again, this question focuses on the roles of observation and inference in science. The desired answer would include that scientists have some data, but have inferred from this data what dinosaurs looked like.
VNOS (Views of NOS) instruments Answers to part (a) and (b) may allow you to determine whether a student understands what the development of scientific knowledge (via inferences) involves human creativity and subjectivity. Occasionally, students give a percentage for how certain they think scientists are (i.e., scientists are 80% sure of how dinosaurs look!) reflecting their views of the tentativeness of science.5. A long time ago all the dinosaurs died. Scientists have different ideas about why and how they died. If scientists all have the same facts about dinosaurs, then why do you think they disagree about this? => The question reflects students’ views about the subjective and tentative nature of science. The desired response would be that different scientists bring different backgrounds and different biases to the interpretation of data. It is important to discern whether the student understands that different interpretations do not necessarily mean that someone is right and someone is wrong. This is a difficult idea for young students.
VNOS (Views of NOS) instruments6. TV weather people show pictures of how they think the weather will be for the next day. They use lots of scientific facts to help them make these pictures. How sure do you think the weather people are about these pictures? Why? => This question is looking for ideas about observation and inference and tentativeness. Again and you would be looking for answers similar to those in question #4. Only the context of the question is different.7. (a) Do you think scientists use their imaginations when they do their work? Yes No (b) If No, explain why? (c) If Yes, then when do you think they use their imaginations? => The desired answer here is “yes” and most students will answer this way. However, part (c) will give you more information about the adequacy of students’ beliefs. Most students will only understand, or at least say, that scientist use their creativity and imagination in the planning of investigations. Few will tell you that scientists use creativity and imagination during an experiment/investigation and in the interpretation of data and reporting of results.This question relates back to students’ understanding of why science is tentative and how creativity, subjectivity, and inferences permeate all of science.
Science: to understand the natural world. Technology: to make modifications in the world to meet human needs (applied science) Instructional technology Innovations that enables people adjust to the world better Fine tasks of technological design 1. Identify a simple problem 2. Propose a solution 3. Implement a proposed solution 4. Evaluate a product or a design 5. Communicate a problem design and solution
1957 Russians successfully launched Sputnik US response – increased funding for science education programs ◦ ―Alphabet soup‖ programs: SAPA (Science - A Process Approach) : the processes involved in doing science SCIS (Science Curriculum Improvement Study) : broad concepts of organizing conceptual ideas ESS (Elementary Science Study) : investigations as the basis for learning => hands-on spirit of approaches to learning science
Reform effort which justified the need for science learning and laid the foundation for the development of national standards What all U.S. students should know and be able to do in science in the 21st century 2061: target year for reform to meet goals; return of Halley’s comet Science for All Americans (1990), Benchmark for Science Literacy (1993), Atlas of Science Literacy, Volume 1 (2001) & Volume 2 (2007)
http://www.project2061.org/ Benchmark for Science Literacy ―Project 2061 promotes literacy in science, mathematics, and technology in order to help people live interesting, responsible, and productive lives. In a culture increasingly pervaded by science, mathematics, and technology, science literacy requires understandings and habits of mind that enable citizens to grasp what those enterprises are up to, to make some sense of how the natural and designed worlds work, to think critically and independently, to recognize and weigh alternative explanations of events and design trade- offs, and to deal sensibly with problems that involve evidence, numbers, patterns, logical arguments, and uncertainties.‖ (p. XI)
‣ Published in 1996‣ NSES Includes standards for: science content assessment teaching professional development science education program science education system‣ Do not prescribe the curriculum; provides guidelines for what learners should know and do based on school curriculum‣ http://www.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=4962
‣ Serve as a companion volume to the science standards‣ http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=9596#toc
National Research Council (NRC) latest report: Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 recommends a more cohesive, in-depth study of science concepts. (reduce the K-12 science content) National Science Teachers Association (NSTA): Science Anchors project will identify essential skills and topics. (reduce the broad range of science topics and skills)
Represent what all Colorado students should know and be able to do in science as a result of their k-12 science education Based on the Benchmarks and the NSES Five science standards 3 focus on key content areas 2 focus on the process and nature of science Not state curriculum; local school districts in Colorado are responsible for determining the necessary curriculum and instructional scope and sequence Under revision