Topics: Why Do We Need to Teach Science in Elementary School? What Is The Issue? JULIE CAFARELLA, AMBER MCCULLOCH PHILIP BELL -бJANUARY 2017
Scientific literacy starts in early childhood and continues through elementary school. Scientific knowledge is necessary to fully participate in human culture and democracyБespecially as it becomes more technological. The future of our nation depends on a scientifically literate public. Scientific literacy is a developmental process that takes years of concerted effort to cultivate. Science learning takes significant timeБbut that time is not being provided. shows that science instructional time is decreasing in elementary school. Only 20% of K-3 students and 35% of students in grades 4-6 have access to daily science instruction. (See this on teachersБ practices around science instruction). Students are ready to reason about science in early childhood. Children enter elementary school with reasoning skills and perceptions of the natural world that provide a. calls for greater attention to monitoring instructional time in elementary science. Multidisciplinary, long-term science projects are often easier to do with students in elementary school years. Elementary science. Efforts should be made to.
Start science instruction early. To make science accessible to БallБ start with 3D science investigations in preschool and continue with them through elementary school and beyond. Build on the interests, experiences, and desired futures of learners and their communities. This heightens the relevance of science. Many elementary school children have engineering design-related hobbies that can be leveraged as they learn science. Engineering design is a great entry-point for many students. Engage in cross-subject integration. Importantly, the practices within NGSS and CCSS overlap heavily, allowing for an unprecedented degree of cross-subject teacher learning and sharing. Reading, writing, and mathematical analysis should be substantial portions of science investigations. Leverage and cultivate studentБs wonder about the natural world. Leverage that interest to cultivate a about how things work as students engage in science investigations. Students identify with science when they see how it can be used to improve conditions in the world. Go on fieldtrips to view Бscience in action. Б Explore video documentaries. Bring in STEM experts. This can support the development of studentБs scientific literacy and progress towards STEM-related careers. content copyright 2014-16 UW. All rights reserved.
This site is primarily funded by the through the. Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency. I am working as a Class Advisor in the Dean of Studies office. I talk with many of the students who seek general advice about academic matters. Many students, often who have taken AP courses in science in high school, say to me, Science is not for me. I m not a sciency-type. I m not interested in science. image from: http://gopscience. org/2011/11/the-anti-science-pledge/ Why not? These same students, to get into this liberal arts college, took science and math throughout high school, often advanced or honors classes and did well academically. Where do they get the idea that science is something to avoid? 1. Science is bigger than human-centered subjects like history, literature, language, music, art. Perhaps it s overwhelming to think deeply about the implications of concepts like evolution, the big bang, subatomic particles. We can get out of our comfort zone pretty fast. 2. Science is a moving target, forever advancing and getting more complicated. It s hard to keep up and really hard to catch up. What you learn in high school is often so different by the time you have kids of your own that you can t easily help them with their science homework. 3. but is not taught that way.
The vocab is pretty rough. Words like biogeochemical or neurotransmission don t work well in our texting, tweeting world. Why is it that the only writing that kids learn with regard to science is IMRAD? 4. Science is an extreme sport for the brain, and needs to be practiced like that. If we take some time off from science, which most people do, it s hard work to get back in shape. Meanwhile, the vocabulary has changed. image from: http://swissnexsanfrancisco. org/Ourwork/events/citizenscience 5. A lot of the time, what we re learning about and discovering in science is not good news. It s a bummer to learn about climate change. It s a bummer to think about cancer. Ongoing human-caused mass extinctions are kind of depressing to think about, let alone acknowledge. This leads many of us to feel helpless, like. 6. Many students come to us from families, school districts, neighborhoods where science is definitely not in the forefront, of our communities. Why is Science so important? 1. A basic human motivator is to try to understand WHY. Why did something happen? How does something work? Curiosity about the world around us, about what makes it and us TICK is at the foundation of invention, of creativity.
Teaching science well can nurture that curiosity, can satisfy some of that yearning to understand WHY. why a year is what it is for us on planet Earth. Understanding how organisms are all connected by the long thin thread of evolutionary change gives depth to our sense of stewardship of the Earth. 2. Having a methodology to turn our native curiosity into knowledge gives us the and possibility of invention, of finding solutions to problems. 3. A knowledge and love of science is the ultimate, the pathway to human rights and a better quality of life. Countries with strongly supported science programs are better off economically, have greater numbers of people creating new technologies. 4. Our of how and why things are the way they are in the natural world is our, second only to water. The way we acquire that knowledge and understanding, called the scientific method, is not difficult, nor does not require memorizing a list of words: observations, hypothesis, experimentation, interpretation. These are simply ways we go about learning. image from: http://venspired. com/? p=3596 So, let s try to figure out ways to make studying science as attractive as learning how to use that new smartphone!