Author Archives: Robert Yager

Exemplary science teaching leads to better assessment of student learning






Too often science teachers focus on the information included in textbooks and a specific curriculum. But these resources do not include Exemplary Science Teaching. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) continue to focus on conventional ideas and reforms, as well as the Big Ideas. Too little has been focused on strengthening pedagogy and how it […]

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“Knowledge” — how to use the term to illustrate the “doing” of science 






“Knowledge” has several meanings for its use with student learning! A definition of “Knowledge” is traditionally considered information to help reform science education.  It refers to information that can be used to indicate what others have learned.    A search of five dictionaries has yielded several examples of the meaning for the term “Knowledge.” Some […]

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Constructivist theory and its use in the Next Generation Science Standards






The people involved with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have indicated that they did not plan to “mess” with teaching goals, professional development of teachers, and the ways teachers teach which were used as headings in the 1996 National Science Education  Standards (NSES).  But the National Governors Association has called for improving “training” of […]

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Building STEM careers






As we work our way through the year 2015 (which is nearly three-fourths over!), STEM efforts are a focus in almost all classrooms across the U.S. and around the world.  STEM included Science and Mathematics as major parts of the curriculum, and it also includes Technology and Engineering.  The classrooms of today, as well as […]

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Misconceptions about the “doing” of science






Many teachers feel they are “doing” science when they teach what is in textbooks, laboratory manuals, and their lectures.  Such a focus on science teaching has existed for decades.  Teachers, school administrators, students, as well as parents, have generally accepted it as “doing” science.  But, expecting students to remember and recite what they have read […]

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Differences between “Inquiry” and “Practices”






“Inquiry” and “practices” are recognized actions in science teaching that are used in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).  “Inquiry” was a term which was central to many science education reform efforts–certainly those indicated in the “old” 1996 National Science Education Standards (NSES).  In 1991 the NSTA President asked the National Research Council (NRC) to […]

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Three major features of “doing” science






NSTA has identified three major features of students who actually “Do” science.  The first of these is Human explorations of the natural world. The second includes Explanations of the objects and events encountered.  And the third requires Evidence to support the explanations proposed. These features should be incorporated in science teaching for all students to […]

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Bruce Alberts’ Grand Challenges Offer Reforms Sought by Science Educators

Bruce Alberts grew up living near Chicago where his love of science started at an early age.  He received a bachelor’s degree in biochemical science and a doctorate in biophysics.  Alberts is best known for having served as President of the National Academy of Science (NAS) for 12 years. He is an advocate of improving science […]

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The place of inquiry in the reform of science education






The National Science Education Standards use the word “inquiry” in two ways. It was to be a form of content while also being a way science must be taught. Some argue that the term inquiry needs to have “scientific” in front of it (that is, scientific inquiry) before it has real meaning and use in […]

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How professional development programs can model science






No one is against Professional Development (PD) for science teachers. But, how it is typically structured remains a major problem. Not many Professional Development efforts outline how the PD can be structured as an example of science itself. Professional Development efforts, even those funded by NSF and offered by organizations like the National Science Teachers […]

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