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Week Examines Current Approaches to Teaching Science
10 edition of Education Week takes an in-depth look at current
approaches used to teach science and the potential implications
of No Child Left Behind (NCLB). In two separate articles, writer
Sean Cavanagh explores the complexities of defining various science
teaching methods, examines new and ongoing research to support effective
science teaching, and looks at what science teaching methods are
predominantly used in the nation's classrooms.
to the dialogue is a recent study conducted by David Klahr from
Carnegie Mellon University, who found increased student performance
from "direct instruction" methods, as opposed to "discovery
learning," an approach that generally asks students to acquire
knowledge through laboratory work, experiments, and periodic guidance
from teachers. He notes, however, that his study should not be linked
to the very highly scripted, "extremely controlling" models
of direct instruction. "
direct instruction necessitates
some combination of direct explanation of material and classroom
discovery learning say "direct instruction can easily regress
into lecture-style teaching, heavy on rote recitation of scientific
facts and memorization." NSTA is quoted in the article as encouraging
a blend of teaching methods. Science teacher Sara Ford is quoted
at the end of the article, "
If you're teaching, you have
to have a bag of tricks and a variety of strategies."
to read "NCLB Could Alter Science Teaching," and http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2004/11/10/11nrc.h24.html
to read "Research-Council Studies to Exploring Teaching and
Testing of Science."
to American Education Week
the American Dream is the theme for this year's American Education
Week, which first began in 1921 to recognize educators and school
support staff nationwide. For activity ideas, event promotions,
and media tips on how your school can take advantage of this national
event, visit the NEA site at http://www.nea.org/aew.
Content Plus Children's Books' Appeal: Picture-Perfect Science
Lessons Available from NSTA Press
Download a Sample Chapter-Free!
new teaching resource integrates Standards-based science with the
appeal of children's picture books, to bring you 15 ready-to-teach
lessons for grades 3 to 6 that are as engaging as they are effective.
Just published by NSTA Press (and creating lots of buzz at our recent
Indianapolis convention), Picture-Perfect Science Lessons: Using
Children's Books to Guide Inquiry, was written by Karen Rohrich
Ansberry and Emily Morgan, classroom veterans who know first-hand
that elementary teachers are usually crunched for science instructional
time and could often use refresher explanations of scientific concepts.
Drawing on diverse books such as Dr. Xargle's Book of Earthlets,
Oil Spill, Sheep in a Jeep, and more, they illustrate
how to combine science and reading in a natural way and provide
easy-to-grasp background in selected content areas.
As a special
introductory offer to readers of NSTA Express, you are invited
to download a complete chapter--"Earthlets"--at no charge
when you complete a brief questionnaire at http://www.nsta.org/survey_earthlets.
And as always, NSTA members receive a 20% discount on all NSTA Press
titles; to buy this title, visit http://store.nsta.org/showItem.asp?product=PB186X&session.
But hurry! This offer for the free chapter will be available for
a limited time only.
Teachers Enhancement Network Spring Registration Opens; Weather
and Climate for Teachers Leads 11-Course Online Offerings
Among the 11
courses for K-12 science teachers being offered for spring 2005
by NTEN is Weather and Climate for Teachers. Course participants
will study our dynamic atmosphere, ranging from weather-forecasting
meteorology that considers the day-to-day changes in Earth's atmosphere,
to large-scale climatology that characterizes long-term changes
in Earth's atmosphere. Specially designed for practicing science
teachers at the middle school level, this course serves as a survey
of topics in atmospheric science that are closely aligned with the
concepts emphasized in the National Research Council's National
Science Education Standards.
about all of the spring NTEN courses and to register, go to http://www.scienceteacher.org/courses.htm
or call 800-282-6062. Courses begin from early to late January,
run seven to 17 weeks, and carry one to three graduate level credits
from Montana State University. Course sizes are limited, so early
registration is encouraged.
1st NSTA Fall Convention a Rousing Hoosier State
convention in Indianapolis was a highly successful and gratifying
event according to attendees: "I received good ideas, which
sparked more good ideas..." And
they praised: "
the link to literacy and integrated science
in other subjects;
the opportunity to meet colleagues and
make new contacts for supplies and ideas;
and field trips: science facilities;
listening to the experiences
of professionals who have 'been there' and have good, constructive
methods of improving science teaching;
swapping killer labs with other teachers;
the Science Store"
And as one attendee summarized: "Making science teachers feel
that they are great at what they do
And thanks to
all who joined NSTA in Indianapolis. If you haven't registered yet
to attend the conventions in Seattle,
Nov. 18-20, or Richmond,
Dec. 2-4, you can always register when you arrive. We look forward
to seeing you!
Still Time to Take Our Survey on Virtual Communities
To help our
members make contacts among the science- teaching community, we
are developing online virtual communities, which we define as groups
of people communicating and collaborating over the internet. We
have developed a comprehensive list of features that will appeal
to a wide range of interests. Take a minute and tell us what you
like, or don't like, about this innovative new tool that can connect
you with your teacher colleagues. Visit http://www.nsta.org/survey_virtual_communities.
And Don't Forget
Please take a moment and use this form to submit suggestions for
NSTA Express to the NSTA Express team:
Not a member
and want to join? Visit https://ecommerce.nsta.org/membership/apply.asp!
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the latest collected education and science news from across the
country, see the NSTA Web News Digest at http://www.nsta.org/mainnews