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The ideas that children have about science concepts have for the past decade been the subject of a wealth of international research. But while the area has been strong in terms of data, it has suffered from a lack of theory. Children's Informal Ideas in Science addresses the question of whether children's ideas about science can be explained in a single theoretical framework. Twelve different approaches combine to tackle this central issue, each taking a deliberately critical standpoint. The contributors address such themes as values in research, the social construction of knowledge and the work of Piaget in a rich contribution to the debate without claiming finally to resolve it. The authors conclude with a discussion of how a theory can be built up, along with suggestions for ways ahead in the research.
Informal science is a burgeoning field that operates across a broad range of venues and envisages learning outcomes for individuals, schools, families, and society. The evidence base that describes informal science, its promise, and effects is informed by a range of disciplines and perspectives, including field-based research, visitor studies, and psychological and anthropological studies of learning. Learning Science in Informal Environments draws together disparate literatures, synthesizes the state of knowledge, and articulates a common framework for the next generation of research on learning science in informal environments across a life span. Contributors include recognized experts in a range of disciplines--research and evaluation, exhibit designers, program developers, and educators. They also have experience in a range of settings--museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, aquariums, zoos, state parks, and botanical gardens. Learning Science in Informal Environments is an invaluable guide for program and exhibit designers, evaluators, staff of science-rich informal learning institutions and community-based organizations, scientists interested in educational outreach, federal science agency education staff, and K-12 science educators.
The author describes the development of children's enquiry skills, offering a rationale and theoretical basis for teaching and learning using this approach. Practical suggestions are given to stimulate effective classroom practice by teachers.
Your Science Classroom: Becoming an Elementary / Middle School Science Teacher, by authors M. Jenice "Dee" Goldston and Laura Downey, is a core teaching methods textbook for use in elementary and middle school science methods courses. Designed around a practical, "practice-what-you-teach" approach to methods instruction, the text is based on current constructivist philosophy, organized around 5E inquiry, and guided by the National Science Education Teaching Standards.
This book reflects its authors' many years of experience in elementary school teaching, pre-service and in-service education in science, and substantial work in science curriculum development. It is derived from, informed by, and directly linked to both the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards. No other methods book integrates standards to this degree. Written with the idea that students "learn science by doing", this well respected author team focus on the constructivist approach and the integrating of science with other elementary academic subjects.
This book documents and explores the ideas of school students (aged 10-16) about a range of natural phenomena such as light, heat, force and motion, the structure of matter and electricity, they are to study even when they have received no prior systematic instruction. It also examines how students' conceptions change and develop with teaching.
Practitioners in informal science settings--museums, after-school programs, science and technology centers, media enterprises, libraries, aquariums, zoos, and botanical gardens--are interested in finding out what learning looks like, how to measure it, and what they can do to ensure that people of all ages, from different backgrounds and cultures, have a positive learning experience. Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments, is designed to make that task easier. Based on the National Research Council study, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, this book is a tool that provides case studies, illustrative examples, and probing questions for practitioners. In short, this book makes valuable research accessible to those working in informal science: educators, museum professionals, university faculty, youth leaders, media specialists, publishers, broadcast journalists, and many others.

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