Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Asking Questions and Pursuing Answers

Keys to learning in science,as in all academic disciplines involves asking questions and seeking answers. In science, students can explore scientific phenomena via investigation and experimentation build essential scientific skills such as observing, measuring, replicating experiments, manipulating equipment, collecting data, organizing and reporting it.

When students choose what phenomenon to study or what investigations to conduct, and what experiments to do, with guidance from the teacher, they are more likely to remember the desired content. In addition, they are using critical thinking skills to formulate the questions. In this way, too, needs of students of various levels and backgrounds can best be accommodated.

Science is not so much studying history of science, rather, it is using historical scientific knowledge to build new knowledge. If students do this from their own starting points, the most overall growth can occur. Instead of gifted waiting and waiting for others and those less talented struggling and struggling while the middle group feels content or waits or struggles, each child can be in his or her own optimum learning environment.

(c) 2008 J. S. Shipman

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