What does it
Science: What Does It Look Like?" Connect Magazine (published
by Synergy Learning),
March-April 1995, p. 13.
To help in answering
this question, teachers and administrators participating in the
Vermont Elementary Science Project observed and discussed the actions
of students engaged in hands-on, minds-on science exploration.
Then they created this, "On the Run Reference Guide to the Nature
of Elementary Science for the student " (1991, with revisions 1992)
They wrote, "The
intent is not to use this guide as a checklist, but as a statement
of what we value in the areas of science processes, science dispositions,
and science concept development We urge you to capture evidence
of your own students engaging in these indicators "
are doing inquiry based science, an observer will see that:
Themselves as Scientists in the Process of Learning.
1. They look forward to doing science.
2. They demonstrate a desire to 1earn more.
3. They seek to collaborate and work cooperatively with their peers.
4. They are confident in doing science; they demonstrate a willingness
to modify ideas, take risks, and display healthy skepticism.
an "Invitation to Learn" and Readily Engage in The Exploration
1. Children exhibit curiosity and ponder observations.
2. They move around selecting and using the materials they need.
3. They take the opportunity and the time to "try out" their own
and Carry Out Investigations.
1. Children design a way to try out their ideas, not expecting to
be told what to do.
2. They plan ways to verify, extend or discard ideas.
3. They carry out investigations by: handling materials, observing,
measuring, and recording data.
Using a Variety of Methods.
1. Children express ideas in a variety of ways: journals, reporting
out, drawing, graphing,charting, etc.
2. They listen, speak and write about science with parents, teachers
3. They use the language of the processes of sci-ence.
4. They communicate their level of understand-ing of concepts that
they have developed to date.
Explanations and Solutions and Build a Store of Concepts.
1. Children offer explanations from a "store" of previous knowledge.
(Alternative Frameworks, Gut Dynamics).
2. They use investigations to satisfy their own questions.
3. They sort out information and decide what is important.
4. They are willing to revise explanations as they gain new knowledge.
1. Children ask questions (verbally or through actions).
2. They use questions to lead them to investigations that generate
further questions or ideas.
3. Children value and enjoy asking questions as an important part
1. Children observe, as opposed to just looking.
2. They see details, they detect sequences and events; they notice
change, similarities and differences, etc.
3. They make connections to previously held ideas.
Their Science Practices.
1. They use indicators to assess their own work
2. They report their strengths and weaknesses.
3. They reflect with their peers.
THE VERMONT ELEMENTARY
SCIENCE PROJECT is located at Trinity College, McAuley Hall, Burlington,
VT05401 (802) 65&-3664. VESP is a grant awarded to The NETWORK,
Inc, Andover, MA by the National Science Foundation.
for Inquiry Home