A Little Perspective Goes a Long Way

PerspectivesElementary teachers can experience a sense of isolation when their schedules don’t allow a lot of interaction with their colleagues. I remember those days well. That’s why I was excited to see the new book, Perspectives: Research & Tips to Support Science Education, K–6. A compendium of the popular column from Science & ChildrenPerspectives offers teachers research and tips in a format that are easy to tackle in brief reading sessions.

The book is organized into six sections:

  • General Teaching Goals
  • Strategies to Facilitate Learning in Science
  • Teaching Science and Other Disciplines Together
  • Student Thinking and Misconceptions
  • Society and Science Learning
  • Developing as a Teacher

Within each section, several chapters are organized to save you time as you delve deeper into the topic. Each chapter presents a particular challenge, such as learning to observe and infer; using analogies in elementary science; cultural diversity in the classroom; the myth of catering to learning styles; and mentoring new teachers. The research findings are presented as a series of questions, and then each chapter concludes with specific advice you can use right away.

The editors of Perspectives suggest that the book can be useful in two ways: for professional development or for preservice teacher education. The original editor of the Perspectives column and the inspiration for this collection, Sandi Abell, approached the column with “the mindset of empowering teachers with approaches and methods that would not only support the teaching of science as inquiry but also the development of scientific literacy for all learners.”

Other NSTA Press resources that can assist you in your own professional development as an elementary school science teacher include Designing Effective Science Instruction: What Works in Science Classrooms and Picture-Perfect Science Lessons, Expanded 2nd Edition, Using Children’s Books to Guide Inquiry, 3–6.

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