Appendixes



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Appendixes

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Appendix A Excerpts from the National Science Education Standards APPENDIX A-1 FUNDAMENTAL ABILITIES OF INQUIRY: GRADES K-4 Ability Elaboration • Ask a question about objects, This aspect of the standard emphasizes organisms, and events in the students asking questions that they environment. can answer with scientific knowledge, combined with their own observations. Students should answer their questions by seeking information from reliable sources of scientific information and from their own observations and investigations. • Plan and conduct a simple In the earliest years, investigations are investigation. largely based on systematic observations. As students develop, they may design and conduct simple experiments to answer questions. The idea of a fair test is possible for many students to consider by fourth grade. 161 APPENDIX A

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Ability Elaboration • Employ simple equipment and In early years, students develop simple tools to gather data and extend skills, such as how to observe, measure, to the senses. cut, connect, switch, turn on and off, pour, hold, tie, and hook. Beginning with simple instruments, students can use rulers to measure the length, height, and depth of objects and materials; thermom- eters to measure temperature; watches to measure time; beam balances and spring scales to measure weight and force; magnifiers to observe objects and organ- isms; and microscopes to observe the finer details of plants, animals, rocks, and other materials. Children also develop skills in the use of computers and calculators for conducting investigations. • Use data to construct a This aspect of the standard emphasizes reasonable explanation. the students’ thinking as they use data to formulate explanations. Even at the earliest grade levels, students should learn what constitutes evidence and judge the merits or strength of the data and information that will be used to make explanations. After students propose an explanation, they will appeal to the knowledge and evidence they obtained to support their explana- tions. Students should check their expla- nations against scientific knowledge, experiences, and observations of others. • Communicate investigations Students should begin developing the and explanations. abilities to communicate, critique, and analyze their work and the work of other students. This communication might be spoken or drawn as well as written. 162 I N Q U I R Y A N D T H E N AT I O N A L S C I E N C E E D U C AT I O N S TA N D A R D S

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FUNDAMENTAL ABILITIES OF INQUIRY: GRADES 5-8 Ability Elaboration • Identify questions that can be Students should develop the ability to answered through scientific refine and refocus broad and ill-defined investigations. questions. An important aspect of this ability consists of students’ ability to clarify questions and inquiries and direct them toward objects and phenomena that can be described, explained, or predicted by scientific investigations. Students should develop the ability to identify their questions with scientific ideas, concepts, and quantitative relationships that guide investigation. • Design and conduct a scientific Students should develop general abilities, investigation. such as systematic observation, making accurate measurements, and identifying and controlling variables. They should also develop the ability to clarify their ideas that are influencing and guiding the inquiry, and to understand how those ideas compare with current scientific knowledge. Students can learn to formu- late questions, design investigations, execute investigations, interpret data, use evidence to generate explanations, propose alternative explanations, and critique explanations and procedures. 163 APPENDIX A

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Ability Elaboration • Use appropriate tools and The use of tools and techniques, includ- techniques to gather, analyze, ing mathematics, will be guided by the and interpret data. question asked and the investigations students design. The use of computers for the collection, summary, and display of evidence is part of this standard. Students should be able to access, gather, store, retrieve, and organize data, using hard- ware and software designed for these purposes. • Develop descriptions, Students should base their explanation on explanations, predictions, and what they observed, and as they develop models using evidence. cognitive skills, they should be able to differentiate explanation from description — providing causes for effects and establishing relationships based on evidence and logical argument. This standard requires a subject matter knowledge base so the students can effectively conduct investigations, because developing explanations estab- lishes connections between the content of science and the contexts within which students develop new knowledge. • Think critically and logically to Thinking critically about evidence make the relationships between includes deciding what evidence should evidence and explanations. be used and accounting for anomalous data. Specifically, students should be able to review data from a simple experiment, summarize the data, and form a logical argument about the cause-and-effect relationships in the experiment. Students should begin to state some explanations in terms of the relationship between two or more variables. 164 I N Q U I R Y A N D T H E N AT I O N A L S C I E N C E E D U C AT I O N S TA N D A R D S

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Ability Elaboration · Recognize and analyze alternative Students should develop the ability to explanations and predictions. listen to and respect the explanations proposed by other students. They should remain open to and acknowledge differ- ent ideas and explanations, be able to accept the skepticism of others, and consider alternative explanations. • Communicate scientific With practice, students should become procedures and explanations. competent at communicating experimen- tal methods, following instructions, describing observations, summarizing the results of other groups, and telling other students about investigations and explanations. • Use mathematics in all aspects Mathematics is essential to asking and of scientific inquiry. answering questions about the natural world. Mathematics can be used to ask questions; to gather, organize, and present data; and to structure convincing explanations. FUNDAMENTAL ABILITIES OF INQUIRY: GRADES 9-12 Ability Elaboration • Identify questions and concepts Students should formulate a testable that guide scientific investigations. hypothesis and demonstrate the logical connections between the scientific concepts guiding a hypothesis and the design of an experiment. They should demonstrate appropriate procedures, a knowledge base, and conceptual under- standing of scientific investigations. 165 APPENDIX A

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Ability Elaboration • Design and conduct Designing and conducting a scientific scientific investigations. investigation requires introduction to the major concepts in the area being investi- gated, proper equipment, safety precau- tions, assistance with methodological problems, recommendations for use of technologies, clarification of ideas that guide the inquiry, and scientific knowl- edge obtained from sources other than the actual investigation. The investigation may also require student clarification of the question, method, controls, and variables; student organization and display of data; student revision of methods and explanations; and a public presentation of the results with a critical response from peers. Regardless of the scientific investigation performed, students must use evidence, apply logic, and construct an argument for their proposed explanations. • Use technology and mathematics A variety of technologies, such as hand to improve investigations and tools, measuring instruments, and calcu- communications. lators, should be an integral component of scientific investigations. The use of computers for the collection, analysis, and display of data is also a part of this standard. Mathematics plays an essential role in all aspects of an inquiry. For example, measurement is used for posing questions, formulas are used for developing explanations, and charts and graphs are used for communicating results. 166 I N Q U I R Y A N D T H E N AT I O N A L S C I E N C E E D U C AT I O N S TA N D A R D S

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Ability Elaboration • Formulate and revise scientific Student inquiries should culminate in explanations and models using formulating an explanation or model. logic and evidence. Models should be physical, conceptual, and mathematical. In the process of answering the questions, the students should engage in discussions and arguments that result in the revision of their explanations. These discussions should be based on scientific knowledge, the use of logic, and evidence from their investigation. • Recognize and analyze This aspect of the standard emphasizes alternative explanations and the critical abilities of analyzing an models. argument by reviewing current scientific understanding, weighing the evidence, and examining the logic so as to decide which explanations and models are best. In other words, although there may be several plausible explanations, they do not all have equal weight. Students should be able to use scientific criteria to find the preferred explanations. • Communicate and defend a Students in school science programs scientific argument. should develop the abilities associated with accurate and effective communica- tion. These include writing and following procedures, expressing concepts, reviewing information, summarizing data, using language appropriately, developing diagrams and charts, explaining statistical analysis, speaking clearly and logically, constructing a reasoned argument, and responding appropriately to critical comments. 167 APPENDIX A

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APPENDIX A-2 FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF INQUIRY GRADES K-4 Understanding Elaboration • Scientific investigations involve asking and answering a question and comparing the answer with what scientists already know about the world. • Scientists use different kinds of Types of investigations include describing investigations depending on the objects, events, and organisms; classify- questions they are trying to ing them; and doing a fair test answer. (experimenting). • Simple instruments, such as magnifiers, thermometers, and rulers, provide more information than scientists obtain using only their senses. • Scientists develop explanations Good explanations are based on evidence using observations (evidence) from investigations. and what they already know about the world (scientific knowledge). • Scientists make the results of their investigations public; they describe the investigations in ways that enable others to repeat the investigations. • Scientists review and ask questions about the results of other scientists’ work. 168 I N Q U I R Y A N D T H E N AT I O N A L S C I E N C E E D U C AT I O N S TA N D A R D S

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FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF INQUIRY: GRADES 5-8 Understanding Elaboration • Different kinds of questions Some investigations involve observing suggest different kinds of and describing objects, organisms, or scientific investigations. events; some involve collecting speci- mens; some involve experiments; some involve seeking more information; some involve discovery of new objects and phenomena; and some involve making models. • Current scientific knowledge and Different scientific domains employ understanding guide scientific different methods, core theories, and investigations. standards to advance scientific knowledge and understanding. • Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry. • Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations. • Scientific explanations emphasize The scientific community accepts and evidence, have logically consistent uses such explanations until displaced by arguments, and use scientific better scientific ones. When such principles, models, and theories. displacement occurs, science advances. 169 APPENDIX A

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Understanding Elaboration • Science advances through Asking questions and querying other legitimate skepticism. scientists’ explanations is part of scientific inquiry. Scientists evaluate the explana- tions proposed by other scientists by examining evidence, comparing evidence, identifying faulty reasoning, pointing out statements that go beyond the evidence, and suggesting alternative explanations for the same observations. • Scientific investigations some- All of these results can lead to new times result in new ideas and investigations. phenomena for study, generate new methods or procedures for an investigation, or develop new technologies to improve the collection of data. FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDINGS OF INQUIRY: GRADES 9-12 Understanding Elaboration • Scientists usually inquire about Conceptual principles and knowledge how physical, living, or designed guide scientific inquiries. Historical and systems function. current scientific knowledge influence the design and interpretation of investigations and the evaluation of proposed explana- tions made by other scientists. • Scientists conduct investigations For example, they may wish to discover for a wide variety of reasons. new aspects of the natural world, explain recently observed phenomena, or test the conclusions of prior investigations or the predictions of current theories. 170 I N Q U I R Y A N D T H E N AT I O N A L S C I E N C E E D U C AT I O N S TA N D A R D S

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Understanding Elaboration • Scientists rely on technology to New techniques and tools provide new enhance the gathering and evidence to guide inquiry and new manipulation of data. methods to gather data, thereby contrib- uting to the advance of science. The accuracy and precision of the data, and therefore the quality of the exploration, depends on the technology used. • Mathematics is essential in Mathematical tools and models guide and scientific inquiry. improve the posing of questions, gather- ing data, constructing explanations, and communicating results. • Scientific explanations must adhere to criteria such as: a proposed explanation must be logically consistent; it must abide by the rules of evidence; it must be open to questions and possible modification; and it must be based on historical and current scientific knowledge. • Results of scientific inquiry — In communicating and defending the new knowledge and methods — results of scientific inquiry, arguments emerge from different types of must be logical and demonstrate connec- investigations and public tions between natural phenomena, communication among scientists. investigations, and the historical body of scientific knowledge. In addition, the methods and procedures that scientists used to obtain evidence must be clearly reported to enhance opportunities for further investigation. 171 APPENDIX A

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