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Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning
the next section. Fostering “communities of learners” within schools will create a norm of experimentation and evaluation that will apply to many other innovations. (See Teaching Standard F on page 51 and Program Standard E on page 222 of the National Science Education Standards.)
Administrative assistance andsupport. As teachers pass through the stages of concern described in Table 8-1, administrators need to provide them with professional development experiences appropriate to their progress in constructing a new view of teaching and creating the new behaviors required to practice it. For example, at an early stage of concern, teachers who are beginning to practice new inquiry behaviors will want information about inquiry and its place in the curriculum. Administrators can provide them with reference materials and with access to other teachers, university professors, or scientists who can answer their questions.
When the need for information is coupled with personal concerns (at stage of concern number 4, for example), teachers often express worries about whether the new teaching strategies will be acceptable to the principal, other teachers, and parents. These worries need to be listened to and addressed, understanding that they are a natural part of the change process. One way to address this concern is to encourage small groups