to the design of learning activities that build from student experience, culture, and prior understanding.

[See Improving Classroom Practice in Chapter 5]

GUIDE STUDENTS IN SELF-ASSESSMENT. Skilled teachers guide students to understand the purposes for their own learning and to formulate self-assessment strategies. Teachers provide students with opportunities to develop their abilities to assess and reflect on their own scientific accomplishments. This process provides teachers with additional perspectives on student learning, and it deepens each student's

Skilled teachers guide students to understand the purposes for their own learning and to formulate self-assessment strategies.

understanding of the content and its applications. The interactions of teachers and students concerning evaluation criteria helps students understand the expectations for their work, as well as giving them experience in applying standards of scientific practice to their own and others' scientific efforts. The internalization of such standards is critical to student achievement in science.

Involving students in the assessment process does not diminish the responsibilities of the teacher—it increases them. It requires teachers to help students develop skills in self-reflection by building a learning environment where students review each other's work, offer suggestions, and challenge mistakes in investigative processes, faulty reasoning, or poorly supported conclusions.

USE STUDENT DATA, OBSERVATIONS OF TEACHING, AND INTERACTIONS WITH COLLEAGUES TO REFLECT ON AND IMPROVE TEACHING PRACTICE. In the science education envisioned by the Standards, teachers of science approach their teaching in a spirit of inquiry—assessing, reflecting on, and learning from their own practice. They seek to understand which plans, decisions, and actions are effective in helping students and which are not. They ask and answer such questions as: "Why is this content important for this group of students at this stage of their development? Why did I select these particular learning activities? Did I choose good examples? How do the activities tie in with student needs and interests? How do they build on what students already know? Do they evoke the level of reasoning that I wanted? What evidence of effect on students do I expect?"

[See Program Standard F]

As teachers engage in study and research about their teaching, they gather data from classroom and external assessments of student achievement, from peer observations and supervisory evaluations, and from self-questioning. They use self-reflection and discussion with peers to understand more fully what is happening in the classroom and to explore strategies for improvement. To engage in reflection on teaching, teachers must have a structure that guides and encourages it—a structure that provides opportunities to have formal and informal dialogues about student learning and their science teaching practices in forums with peers and others; opportunities to read and discuss the research literature about science

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