This book offers science teachers a new way of thinking about their work by drawing on cutting-edge research that explores new methods and strategies to make science accessible to K-12 students. Through engaging anecdotes and vignettes, this book empathizes with the challenges faced by contemporary science teachers, and presents a clear pathway to successful and inspiring science teaching that builds upon students’ interests and prior knowledge. Larkin provides a wealth of examples of what high quality science teaching looks like and of culturally relevant science teaching that will engage diverse groups of students.
Divided into three sections, this book demonstrates how to use students’ prior knowledge as a resource and addresses day-to-day issues that occur in science teaching such as:
Grounded in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), this is a perfect supplementary resource for both preservice and inservice teachers and teacher educators that addresses the intellectual challenges of teaching science in contemporary classrooms and models how to enact effective, reform-based science teaching practices for all students while working within real-world constraints.
"This book speaks to all types of science teachers and their different contexts—Doug Larkin is writing to a diverse science teacher audience. The way he integrates and weaves together stories from his teaching and his work as a teacher educator with those of other teachers makes the whole book feel connected, an authentic learning experience. The book is written the same way he envisions science teaching—it is meant to be intriguing and real not just a series of facts forced onto the reader."
Anna Monteiro, Ph.D., Program Officer, Knowles Teacher Initiative
"I love the tempo and approach to this book. It is accessible and clearly connects the 'bigger issues' of science education to the actual practices of teaching."
Dr. David Meshoulam, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Speak for the Trees
and High-School and College Science Instructor.
"As a (former) science teacher I felt both validated and challenged by the book. It is a wonderfully realistic portrayal of teaching science in real classrooms and recognition of all that science teaching entails. I like that Larkin encourages teachers to forge stronger connections to science practices and deeper learning, and he communicates these important messages as a nudge towards more collaborative sense-making. It’s positive and encouraging and offers teachers ways to reorient what they already do towards more robust science teaching. "
Jennifer Wilfrid, Senior Outreach Specialist, WIDA at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research
Introduction: Teaching real science to real students
Section I: Student ideas are the raw material of our work
An argument for meeting our students where they are
Student ideas as the raw material of science teachers’ work
Glimpsing beautiful and productive extensions of prior knowledge
"Maybe it will just have to remain a mystery forever"
Section II: Real Science, Real Students
Because science class should not be a trivia game
Do not throw away those owl pellets just yet
What if the stork carried 20-sided dice?
Framing safety as part of scientific practice for students
Bringing the inside-out and the outside-in for science learning
Rethinking nature deficit disorder in diverse classrooms
Section III: Science teacher learning
Learning from other teachers by withholding judgment
Novices get better when we support them with good feedback
Differentiation and a speculative learning progression for science teachers
The power of pursing the scientific knowledge we think we need to know
Providing all students with access to the means of knowledge generation
Afterword: Good reasons for becoming a science teacher References