Teaching the Human Dimension of Scienceby: Donna Farland-Smith and William McComas

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Teachers have the important responsibility of providing students with accurate and engaging science content while also helping them establish authentic views of scientists. Though there are numerous curriculum materials to assist in the teaching of science content, the authors have found that methods and materials to teach science as a human endeavor are practically nonexistent. With that lack in mind, here they offer some suggestions and strategies, which begin with first assessing students’ range of impressions of science as a human endeavor and follow with the use of several teaching strategies that can help you enhance and broaden students’ understandings of scientists.

Grades
  • Elementary
Publication Date
7/1/2009

Community ActivitySaved in 163 Libraries

Reviews (4)
  • on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:08 PM

This article is helpful when beginning a science unit. It is important to think about students and how they are going to process their thoughts about science and connect it in ways like being a scientist. The activity the article suggested for drawing scientists is great because it allows students to connect the career to themselves, saying if they are observing something and looking for answers they are being that type of scientist which will keep them engaged. It is a great article to refer to when thinking about starting a science unit and introducing the connections of science into your students lives.

Laura Graham
Laura Graham

  • on Tue Nov 08, 2016 1:08 PM

This article is helpful when beginning a science unit. It is important to think about students and how they are going to process their thoughts about science and connect it in ways like being a scientist. The activity the article suggested for drawing scientists is great because it allows students to connect the career to themselves, saying if they are observing something and looking for answers they are being that type of scientist which will keep them engaged. It is a great article to refer to when thinking about starting a science unit and introducing the connections of science into your students lives.

Laura Graham
Laura Graham

  • on Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:26 PM

In an effort to have students understand the true meanings of science and scientists instead of having children draw one image of scientists (DAST), students are asked to draw multiple images of scientists. This practice is called E-DAST. E-DAST instructions are provided to try this with your students. The article also includes a rubric for scoring the student product. Upon completion of this activity and evaluating the results of what has been drawn the teacher can then introduce scientists in a variety of ways to broaden the students understandings of what scientists look like, where they work, and what they do.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

  • on Tue Jun 14, 2011 11:26 AM

This article addresses the need for finding ways to teach science as a human endeavor in order to broaden students’ understandings of scientists. One study that gained prominence in the 1990s was the DAST (Draw a Scientist Test) study. The authors propose an updated version called the eDAST (enhanced Draw a Scientist Test). The original activity did not reflect a range of views that students might possess, nor did it provide an interpretive rubric in order to provide a consistent examination of student drawings. The authors modified DAST to include these two shortcomings. Detailed instructions for implementing eDAST are provided in the article, as is the authors’ rubric. For teachers wanting to examine their students’ perceptions about what scientists looks like, this modified activity will be very useful. The article also provides strategies to help change/improve how students view scientists and their work.

Carolyn Mohr  (Buffalo Grove, IL)
Carolyn Mohr (Buffalo Grove, IL)


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