- "What students learn is greatly influenced by how
they are taught. The decisions about content and activities
that teachers make, their interactions with students,
the selection of assessments, the habits of mind that
teacher[s] demonstrate and nurture among their students,
and the attitudes conveyed wittingly and unwittingly
all affect the knowledge, understanding, abilities, and
attitudes that students develop."
- "Student understanding is actively constructed through
individual and social processes. In the same way that
scientists develop their knowledge and understanding
as they seek answers to questions about the natural world,
students develop an understanding of the natural world
when they are actively engaged in scientific inquiry--alone
and with others."
Teaching Standard A states that science teachers, in
planning an inquiry-based educational program for students,
must "select science content and adapt and design curricula
to meet the interest, knowledge, understanding, abilities,
and experience of students." To select in an informed
manner, teachers must have a repertoire of teaching and
learning models, and must understand the strengths and
weaknesses of each model. The planning process starts
by examining the relationship between the content to
be learned and the teaching models considered for selection.
Good teachers "integrate a sound model of teaching and
learning, a practical structure for the sequence of activities,
and the content to be learned."
The central instructional model recommended by the Science
Teaching Standards is inquiry into authentic student-generated
questions. Students may be given teacher-planned investigations,
or may be guided to design their own investigations,
within age-appropriate limits. The science teacher will
focus the inquiry, as much as possible, on real phenomena.
However, with more complex subjects, investigation of
real phenomena may not be possible, and students must
use other primary or secondary sources of information.
With primary information, students need to be aware of
how the information was collected. With secondary information
sources, students need to judge the acceptability of
the source of the information.
Science is collaborative in that it depends on the sharing
and debating of ideas about the natural world. Such collaborative
work should be modeled by students in the science classroom.
In group settings, science teachers encourage interdependency
by assisting students in the social skills needed for
collaborative work. The teacher's role in large and small
group classroom activities is "to listen, encourage broad
participation, and judge how to guide discussion."
Teaching Standard B states that, in guiding and facilitating
student learning, science teachers will "orchestrate
discourse among students about scientific ideas." This
discourse may be oral or written. Its purpose is to focus
students' attention on "how they know what they know
and how their knowledge connects to larger ideas, other
domains, and the world beyond the classroom." Teachers
support this reflective communication by requiring students
to record their work, and by promoting the use of a wide
variety of communication forms.
These national standards provide guidance for the production
of EPO materials for the Genesis mission. They provide
direction in selecting content for students and for the
general public, as well as in creating the instructional
design of education modules and of individual activities.
Stated as a design principle in the OSS strategy document,
the national standards in mathematics, science, and technology
education form the base of the Genesis EPO plan.