Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Framework for K-12 Science Education

                A Framework for K-12 Science Education first seeks to describe a new idea for designing education regarding science, technology and engineering. Chapter two describes children as seeking the answers to questions that begin with ‘why?’ The framework encourages teaching students to understand the whys to questions early in their educational careers, rather than later. Also, the framework condenses scientific concepts so that students may have a broad educational base in science and engineering. Next, the framework discusses the practices involved in science and engineering education. The importance that science and engineering education is left open to a variety of procedures and practices is first emphasized. Then the involvement of inquiry, use of models, investigating, analyzing data, mathematics, explanation, argumentation and refinement are briefly described in their relationship to science and engineering education.

                Across the assigned chapters for A Framework for K-12 Science Education, the importance of answering why was frequently addressed. Teachers are encouraged to teach the reasoning behind scientific and engineering phenomena to students rather than how something happened, specifically in their earlier years of study. Inquiry, conceptual models and investigating phenomena are extremely useful tools that students should use to develop a better understanding of scientific concepts. Teachers can use the natural inclination of children to better understand the world they live in to teach the multiple practices used in scientific education. This learned inquiry approach to science will better suit students to develop successful practices in acquiring knowledge, learn and relate cross-cutting concepts in science and build a strong foundation of the mentioned disciplinary core ideas across all fields of science and engineering.


  1. I think it is interesting that children often come to certain "conclusions" about the world they live in either through what their parents have told them or by what they happened to have observed. In that thought, I think teachers have to be prepared to encounter some resistance when introducing a topic that their students might already have solid ideas about. So teachers need to give their learners ample time to adjust to a possibly radically new model for them. One always wants to challenge or build on assumptions, so whether that has to do with explaining why rather than how is complicated. I would say that if your student thinks that he/she knows why something works, and that happens to be inaccurate in some way, it will be a lot more difficult to get them thinking on the right track than if they just misunderstood how something works. Cognitive dissonance is weird.

  2. This is what we would call their prior knowledge that students come in with and its something that we need to consider and use clinical interviews to discover the breadth of that knowledge. I think it also depends on how the prior knowledge is constructed. If the prior knowledge is constructed with a logical flow, but the students use an incorrect assumption to fit a good model, then a simple correction of the assumption could make the concept easy to grasp. For instance, in math a student can do a problem correctly and do all the right calculations, but come up with the wrong answer because you mixed up the constants or did math incorrectly. In other words, one mistake along a line of logic can lead to a very different answer, the question we have to ask is do we want our students to get the right answer or follow the right logic.


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