THE NINTH EDITION of Teaching Science as Inquiry introduces prospective and experienced teachers to the science content, teaching strategies, and inquiry activities necessary to teach science in contemporary ways. In addition, the infusion of the National Science Education Standards in this edition will provide all readers a useful framework for making instructional decisions.
Although several approaches to teaching and learning science are described in this text, the main focus is on inquiry. Inquiry is both a way to teach and a way for students to investigate the world. Doing inquiry means asking simple but thoughtful questions about the world and engaging students to answer them. Inquiry incorporates the use of hands-on and process-oriented activities for the benefit of knowledge construction. Inquiry encourages students to connect their prior knowledge to observations and to use their observations as evidence to increase personal scientific knowledge. In this instructional environment, teachers act as facilitators of learning rather than "bankers" who have stored knowledge that they transfer into students' heads. New to the Ninth Edition
Those of you familiar with the text will notice that it has a new title. Each preceding edition was entitled Teaching Science Through Discovery and walked readers through the process of guiding students toward the discovery of science knowledge. Guided discovery is a more programmed way of teacher-directed questioning. However, reform in science teaching reflects the movements of generalized educational reform. The rapid advance of cognitive learning theories in the past few years has led educators to realize the need for students to be more actively engaged in their own construction of knowledge, but teachers must be prepared to "invent" concepts and principles for students to use. Inquiry learning and inquiry teaching go together, and are now echoed in the methodologies touted for instruction in all content-area learning. Thus, the revision of this text provides the knowledge and skills necessary to teach from an inquiry-oriented perspective.
Teaching Science as Inquiry mirrors national reform in another way as well. Educational reform has led to the development of common instructional goals for every content area of education throughout the nation. Prodigious efforts of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the National Research Council, and other groups in the 1990s have provided a coherent vision and research-based framework for a new era of science education. As a result, the National Science Education Standards (NSES) were created to coordinate the goals and objectives for science instruction. The National Science Education Standards provide directives not only for the setting up of district-wide science programs but also for the science concepts that are to be covered at each grade level. These standards are not rigid but rather provide you, and the school system in which you teach, concrete guidelines for exposing students to science experiences throughout their schooling. Different from the hit-or-miss approach of the past, the science goals and objectives for elementary and middle schools are clear. Throughout this text, you will have an opportunity to become familiar with the National Science Education Standards as the text is woven around them. Look for citations to the National Research Council and the symbol NSES in passages within the text and in margin notes to find your responsibilities for using them in all aspects of science teaching and learning.
Other significant changes within this edition include:
A new chapter, Processes of Science and Scientific Inquiry, describes how to use the processes of science within the context of scientific inquiry. More science activities and science lessons integrated into chapters act as exemplary models describing how to plan for instruction within the context of inquiry. Practical suggestions for building learning communities are included throughout the text and describe cooperative grouping strategies and ideas for encouraging the exchange of ideas among students during inquiry experiences. Connections between science, math, social studies, and language arts are explained extensively with new and exciting concrete ideas and strategies in Chapter 8. Threaded throughout the text are references to the use o f the Companion Website and URLs that identify how to utilize technology and the Internet in science teaching. Chapter 10 groups together strategies for the use of advanced technology. Instructional models for continuing professional development are illustrated in Video Case Studies. Nine elementary and middle school teachers reflect on their growth as science teachers as they teach their own classes, work with science mentors, and explore how they could teach science better. A different Video Case Study is featured in each chapter of the text. A thorough review of the Activities portion of the text ensures its intent aligns with the National Science Education Standards and the inquiry approach. The Video Case Studies
Because the Video Case Studies in this text are a unique feature, it is important to explain not only the predictable format for the use of these videos but also how to get the most out of using those case studies to advance your own learning.
The Value of Video Case Studies. In their practical guide Designing Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics, Susan Loucks-Horsley, Peter Hewson, Nancy Love, and Katherine Stiles (1998) identified the case study method as one of the most important strategies for professional development. The process of observing and reflecting on teachers' actions, and on students' learning and thinking, can lead to changes in the knowledge, beliefs, attitudes, and ultimately the practice of pre-service and in-service teachers. You and your colleagues can use classroom discussions about the Video Case Studies to:
extend and apply knowledge presented in the chapters, formulate questions and ideas, learn from one another, become aware of alternative perspectives and strategies, reflect on real problems faced by practicing teachers, and increase your science knowledge, as more than 30 science topics are taught in the case studies.
Videos by Annenberg. The Video Case Studies that accompany this text are free to professors who use this text and are part of the professional library developed by Annenberg. Chosen for their value in illustrating professional development, ten video cases depict nine different teachers in three videos from Annenberg's Case Studies in Science Education series. Each video case has three modules: An Introduction to the Case, Trying New Ideas, and Reflecting and Building on Change. The three parts of each video case enable you to look in on a teacher and his or her students at intervals throughout the school year. From one segment to the next, in each case you will see how the teacher undergoes professional changes in approaching science teaching. The changes reflect the real-life experiences of teachers who see a need to improve the way they teach, meet with a teaching mentor to gather ideas, and implement ways to improve their science teaching practice. As a result of this work, you will witness not only a teacher's growing confidence and capability in science teaching but also a growing involvement of students in their own science learning.
Chapter Video Guides. A video guide is found in each chapter. Within each two-page or four-page guide are Questions for Reflection to help you and others increase your involvement with the Video Case Study and look for changes in the knowledge, beliefs, and instructional plans and approaches of the featured teacher. Included in most of the chapter video guides are examples of strategies you may want to implement in your own science teaching practice.
For optimum benefit while watching the video segments, participants must have a "shared commitment to improving their teaching practice, a willingness to share and critically discuss aspects of practice and curiosity about important assumptions that underlie teaching and learning" (Loucks-Horsley et al., 1998, pp. 108-109). A knowledgeable and experienced facilitator can enhance the case discussions. The role of the facilitator is to help participants
understand the situation and issues in the case, focus on the thinking of students in the video classrooms, examine the approach taken by the teacher, reflect on the theoretical foundation for the teacher's actions, and consider alternative actions and their consequences (Loucks-Horsley et al., 1998).
Although these Video Case Studies are not intended to replace actual classroom visits, they can provide a more focused picture of specific aspects of teaching and learning than might be obtained from real-time observations of classes. The Companion Website
A Companion Website designed for student and professor use accompanies this text. The Syllabus Manager allows professors the opportunity to place the class syllabu
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