Category Archives: The Leading Edge

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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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Do You Know What You Do Not Know?






The recent report by the Pew Research Center was titled “A Look at What the Public Knows and Does Not Know About Science” and according to their website found “….. that most Americans can answer basic questions about several scientific terms and concepts, such as the layers of the Earth and the elements needed to […]

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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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Are Your Students Pretenders in a Digital World?






The Pretender was a television show many years ago just before the 21st century arrived where the main character Jarod took on new roles each and every week that required him to master any task required for that job. He was a pretender – stepping into a situation and having to learn how to problem […]

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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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Building Team Science






Team building is something that any sports team undertakes; business teams participate in; as well as other professional areas focus on.  The purpose of team building is to bring individuals together to develop interactions that enhance or increase the effectiveness of the team. So yes – it is important to develop and build skills in […]

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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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