Are you ready to integrate science practices into your teaching?

Kyle Belmont's picture

How can you create opportunities for student-directed investigations in your learning setting? Have you ever considered partnering with a scientist to add depth to your lessons?

These are some of the central questions of the new book "Dive In! Immersion in Science Practices for High School Students" by Karen J. Graham, Lara M. Gengarelly, Barbara A. Hopkins and Melissa A. Lombard.

“Dive In!” explains the important ways in which science instruction is evolving. “As instruction shifts to what we term science practice integration (SPI), teachers must abandon a rigid, step-by-step, inauthentic approach to science (e.g., formerly the scientific method) and are expected to implement an authentic approach to science, actively engaging their students in the science practices,” the editors state.

For some teachers, making this shift requires a new way of thinking and planning. “Dive In!” offers strategies to get started. The book is the outcome of a collaborative study, funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by the Lietzel Center, that brought together high school teachers and graduate-level scientists from the University of New Hampshire to participate in inquiry-based projects. The study helped participating teachers gain experience with doing authentic scientific research and developing ideas that would enhance their classroom instruction.

One chapter of “Dive In!” discusses how to scaffold science practices in the secondary classroom and offers strategies that teachers have used such as a biology teacher who taught her students to take responsibility for designing their own procedures (written by Extension Specialist, Alyson Eberhardt), and a chemistry teacher who supported students’ development of statistical analysis early in the school year so that they could make sense of the data they would encounter throughout the year.

"Dive In! Immersion in Science Practices for High School Students" is available in print or as an e-book.