Science: Best Practices

Michelle Potter

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Science for ALL Americans

  • Students to experience science as an intriguing, exciting, active search for meaning and understanding of their world. (Project 2061).
  • Learning the disciplines (physical, life, earth, and space sciences) via a few fundamental, unifying science concepts in the context of inquiry, technology, personal and social perspectives, and the history and nature of science.
  • Adding engineering.


(Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde, 2012, p. 196-197)

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Four Strands of Proficiency

  • Knowing, using, and interpreting scientific explanations of the natural world.
  • Generating and evaluating scientific evidence and explanations.
  • Understanding the nature and development of scientific knowledge.
  • Participating productively in scientific practices and discourse.


(Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde, 2012, p. 202)

Qualities of Best Practice in Teaching Science

  1. Build on students' innate curiosity about the natural forces of the world.
  2. Do more than merely cover topics; help students immerse themselves in doing science.
  3. Enable students to know, use, and interpret scientific explanations of the natural world.
  4. Enable students to generate and evaluate scientific evidence and explanations.
  5. Enable students to understand the nature and development of scientific knowledge.
  6. Enable students to participate productively in scientific practices and discourse.
  7. Integrate engineering and science so that students have experience with the knowledge and practices of both areas.
  8. Build on students' prior knowledge, while recognizing the different types of conceptual change that may be needed.
  9. Balance individual learning and collaborative group work.
  10. Help students become increasingly self-directed in their learning.
  11. Use meaningful assessment of students' learning in science to promote inquiry.


(Zemelman, Daniels, & Hyde, 2012, p. 201-207)

Best Practice

Zemelman, S., Daniels, H., Hyde, A. (2012). Best Practice: Bringing Standards to Life in America's Classroom (4th Edition). Heinemann. ISBN 978-0-325-04354-8