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The Smithsonian Institution: Science: A Work in Progress

Science: A Work in Progress - shows how science isn’t produced through one linear method, but through an interconnected set of practices, and examines ways that teachers can make learning science in the classroom more authentic.

Science: A Work in Progress
1 weeks
4–5 hours per week
Progress at your own speed

About this course

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This online workshop: Science: A Work in Progress, * is based on ideas presented in _Good Thinking! an original animated series developed by the Smithsonian Science Education Center _*

(SSEC) and FableVision Studios as a professional development resource for K-12 science educators.

In this workshop, we will be observing Ms. Reyes’s classroom as she works with her students to change their understanding of how science works, from the step-by -step scientific method they have memorized, into an understanding of science as a way of learning about and understanding the world.

The idea of a “scientific method” that all scientists use to plan and conduct investigations or pursue improved designs to solve problems is a persistent idea in the teaching of science. Although the understanding that science is a process that can take many pathways has been part of the science standards for the recent past, the steps of the scientific method have persisted in our teaching and our textbooks. Only in some of the most recent editions, has the scientific method been replaced by references to flexible application of the science practices as ways to investigate and explore solutions to new problems and questions.

In this workshop, we will follow Ms. Reyes as she looks for additional information and new ways to present the process of scientific investigation and the nature of science to her students.

The format and organization of the workshop are designed to allow individuals to successfully complete the online learning activities independently as a self-paced class, without the need for outside input or feedback. At the same time, this format was designed to flexibly fit into PLC meetings, PD workshops, or any time that you and your colleagues can meet to absorb some new ideas and discuss your experiences as educators. While the content of the series is relevant to all levels of instruction, teachers working at the oldest and youngest ends of the K-12 range may need to include additional discussion during the post-viewing conversation that addresses the implications of the videos for their specific grade level.

Common Abbreviations in the text

§ Science and Engineering Practices (SEP)

§ Crosscutting Concepts (CCC)

§ Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

§ Framework for K-12 Science Education (Framework)

§ Nature of Science (NOS)

§ Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC)

At a glance

  • Institution: SmithsonianX
  • Subject: Education & Teacher Training
  • Level: Introductory
  • Prerequisites:

    None - This online workshop, “Science, A Work in Progress”, is the third in a series of four online workshops supporting important ideas on the science of teaching science. Each workshop stands alone as a complete activity and the workshops can be taken in any order. At the end of each workshop, participants can produce a certificate of completion. In addition, individuals that complete all four of the online workshops in the series will be eligible to receive a certificate of completion, for the Science of Teaching Science I, provided by the Smithsonian Science Education Center (SSEC) and edX.

What you'll learn

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Workshop Objectives:

§ Examine the roles of the Nature of Science and Science Practices in the teaching of classroom science

§ Discover new references and concepts to describe the process of scientific discovery

§ Find new opportunities to incorporate scientific practices into classroom science and pick up tips for sharing the Nature of Science with groups of students

§ Increase understanding of instructional strategies presented in the video

§ Apply the strategies to planning new instruction

This course is part of The Smithsonian Science Education Center’s The Science of Teaching Science Professional Certificate Program

Learn more 
Expert instruction
4 skill-building courses
Progress at your own speed
1 month
4 - 5 hours per week

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