Hands-On Science Partnership Hands-On Science Partnership Hands-On Science Partnership Hands-On Science Partnership Hands-On Science Partnership

Effectiveness of
Hands-On Science

 

Daphne Minner (updated 2007). Publications and Other Resources Resulting from a Synthesis of Research on the Impact of Inquiry Science Instruction.

The Center for Science Education (CSE) at Education Development Center, Inc., (EDC) has just completed a four-year study funded by the National Science Foundation that addressed the question: what is the impact of inquiry science instruction on student outcomes compared with the impact of other instructional strategies and approaches. A series of technical reports based on research can be found on the Education Development Center’s Center for Science Education website at the link above.  

Daphne Minner (2008-2011). Refining, Operationalizing, and Describing Scientific Inquiry Instructional Practice Using the Inquiry Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP): A National Field-Test.

The Center for Science Education (CSE) is developing the Inquiry Science Instruction Observation Protocol (ISIOP), an instrument designed to assist evaluators and researchers in determining the nature and extent of scientific inquiry instruction and best practices that are present in middle grades science classroom teaching. The ISIOP Field Test project is a three-year extension of that work and has three main activities: (1) to develop training materials and a user’s manual for the ISIOP, (2) to conduct a national field test of the implementation of the ISIOP by practicing evaluators, and (3) to produce and disseminate a set of products that will support the use of the observational protocol for project evaluation activities by providing specific guidance on how the protocol can be situated in a comprehensive evaluation plan. Ongoing Research for the Education Development Center’s Center for Science Education. For more information or updates contact: dminner@edc.org

National Academies Press (2007). Ready Set Science!: Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms.

What types of instructional experiences help K-8 students learn science with understanding? What do science educators teachers, teacher leaders, science specialists, professional development staff, curriculum designers, school administrators need to know to create and support such experiences?  Ready, Set, Science! guides the way with an account of the groundbreaking and comprehensive synthesis of research into teaching and learning science in kindergarten through eighth grade. Based on the recently released National Research Council report Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8, this book summarizes a rich body of findings from the learning sciences and builds detailed cases of science educators at work to make the implications of research clear, accessible, and stimulating for a broad range of science educators.  

National Academies Press (2005). How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom.

How Students Learn: Science in the Classroom builds on the discoveries detailed in the best-selling How People Learn. Now these findings are presented in a way that teachers can use immediately, to revitalize their work in the classroom for even greater effectiveness. Organized for utility, the book explores how the principles of learning can be applied in science at three levels: elementary, middle, and high school. Leading educators explain in detail how they developed successful curricula and teaching approaches, presenting strategies that serve as models for curriculum development and classroom instruction. Their recounting of personal teaching experiences lends strength and warmth to this volume. This book discusses how to build straightforward science experiments into true understanding of scientific principles. It also features illustrated suggestions for classroom activities.

National Academies Press (2005). America’s Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science.

Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high science curricula have been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they contribute to science learning? What is the current status of labs in our nation s high schools as a context for learning science? This book looks at a range of questions about how laboratory experiences fit into U.S. high schools. With increased attention to the U.S. education system and student outcomes, no part of the high school curriculum should escape scrutiny. This timely book investigates factors that influence a high school laboratory experience, looking closely at what currently takes place and what the goals of those experiences are and should be. Science educators, school administrators, policy makers, and parents will all benefit from a better understanding of the need for laboratory experiences to be an integral part of the science curriculum and how that can be accomplished.

National Science Teachers Association Press (2006). Linking Science and Literacy in the  K-8 Classroom.

In this book, prominent National Science Foundation-funded researchers and professional development experts write in lay language about the connections between science and literacy. They offer a broad range of perspectives from the classroom, district administrators, and the research community. Features the chapter: "Talk in the Science Classroom: Looking at What Students and Teachers Need to Know and Be Able to Do" by Jeffrey Winokur and Karen Worth of EDC's Center for Science Education.

Ruby Allen (2001). Hands-On Science and Student Achievement.

From the late 1950s through today, hands-on science has been promoted as a method of science instruction. To improve upon the literature, this work addresses three major limitations of past research--the lack of data on performance assessments of student achievement, the need to control for factors affecting both hands-on science and test scores, and the potential for a differential relationship by student ability. This work focuses on three research questions: 1) whether hands-on science is positively related to student achievement as measured by standardized test scores using both multiple choice and performance tests, 2) whether this relationship is stronger when using performance tests, and 3) whether this relationship differs by student ability.

NSTA (2002). Position Statement: Elementary School Science.

The National Science Teachers Association supports the notion that inquiry science must be a basic in the daily curriculum of every elementary school student at every grade level. In the last decade, numerous reports have been published calling for reform in education. Each report has highlighted the importance of early experiences in science so that students develop problem-solving skills that empower them to participate in an increasingly scientific and technological world… To read the whole position statement see link above.

Michael Klentschy, Leslie Garrison, Olga Maia Amari (2002). Valle Imperial Project in Science (VIPS): Four-Year Comparison of Achievement Data, 1995-1999.

As the push for accountability races across the public schools of the United States, educators are increasingly asked to demonstrate the effectiveness of instructional programs in terms of student achievement. The research findings related to the use of these first generation programs indicated that there was great value in the use of these programs, especially for females, economically disadvantaged and minority students. In the 1990’s, as a response to the standards based movement, a second generation of kit-based materials was introduced for elementary science instruction.

National Research Council (2005) America's Lab Report: Investigations in High School Science.

Laboratory experiences as a part of most U.S. high school science curricula have been taken for granted for decades, but they have rarely been carefully examined. What do they contribute to science learning? What can they contribute to science learning? What is the current status of labs in our nation s high schools as a context for learning science?

 

 

Children are born true scientists. They spontaneously experiment and experience and reexperience again. They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences - "which is the mostest? which is the leastest?" They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness: the heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart.

R. Buckminster Fuller

 

 

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