Keys to Teaching the Nature of Scienceby: William F. McComas

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Despite continuous and well-reasoned recommendations that students need to have an understanding of science as a human endeavor and the nature and history of science across all grade levels, some students and teachers alike still fail to understand even the most basic elements of this important domain. These nine key ideas represent both a concise set of ideas about science and a list of objectives to shape instruction in any science discipline.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:42 PM

I loved how this article addressed how science is very creative.The subject of science requires students to use critical thinking and problem solving. It is more to science than just facts and conclusions. The advanced thinking leads to gaining new knowledge. For students to grasp science, they must have an open mind and to not give up on a rejected hypothesis. Students also should accept that science does not answer every question. In other words, there are limits to what we as a people know in areas of science. For instance, there are scientific theories such as the Theory of Evolution. That theory cannot become a scientific law because no human can prove it. No one living today was around years ago with the caveman. Archeologists can look at fossils from the caveman times but those artifacts do not answer that “how” and “why” questions. I think that the key ideas this article mentioned is crucial for me to address to my future students for them to truly understand the science content.

Kia Shields
Kia Shields

  • on Fri Feb 08, 2013 10:33 AM

This author presents nine core ideas about the nature of science, which represent a list of curriculum objectives to shape instruction in any science discipline from grades K to 12. As an experienced science educator these core ideas make sense. Some core ideas are as follows: science relies on empirical data, there are not set rules for the scientific method, science is creative endeavor by nature, and science is affected by social and economic times. Reading the article reinforces what we as long time educators already know about the teaching of science.

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

  • on Wed Jan 09, 2013 5:25 PM

This is one of my favorite articles on the Nature of Science (NOS). It lists the main misconceptions that students and the public holds about how science works and then clearly describes why it is incorrect and suggests things we might present to our students to help them to understand. While not a domain of any one area of science, these are conceptions that affect them all and are things that we need to address throughout the school year, repeatedly.

Tina Harris
Tina Harris

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