Reviewed by Adah Stock
Master Teacher and a Science Education Consultant
For many busy teachers, looking at research about science teaching is something that gets pushed to the bottom of the list of things to do. Yet, educators often wonder if what they are doing in the classroom is the best way to help young students to succeed. This volume supports great science teaching and provides the research–based advice needed to improve teaching in an easily accessible way so that any educator can be the very best at what they do in the science classroom.
This volume contains twenty–seven columns originally published in Science and Children's Perspectives, a journal supports teaching for elementary grades. The columns are grouped into six sections that cover topics that relate to all elementary teachers. The section titles include the following: General Teaching Goals; Strategies to Facilitate Science Learning; Teaching Science and other Disciplines Together; Student Thinking and Misconceptions; Society and Science Learning; and Developing as a Teacher.
Each of the columns starts with a real–life scenario expressed by a teacher. For example, in the section on student thinking and misconceptions, a very important topic, the first column is “Assessing and Addressing Student Science Ideas.” In the scenario in this particular column a colleague is concerned that after teaching a science unit several students still had ‘wacky ideas’ about the concepts. Reading further, one learns what research says about these ‘wacky ideas’ sometimes called alternative conceptions, naive conceptions, or misconceptions. Further reading explains how to identify those ideas, what misconceptions to expect, and concludes with strategies that are useful in addressing these misconceptions. Following this short, four–page column are twelve solid research resources for further reading at the discretion of the reader.
Each chapter is formulated identically so a reader has quick and concise information available to them. Professors of future science educators, teachers both new and experienced, supervisors of groups of teachers, and educators in general will find that this volume supports proof that science in elementary school is necessary. This book also provides the most effective, current, research–based approaches for science in the elementary classroom. I highly recommend this book to all educators.
Review posted on 5/14/2013