Discussions in Science

Promoting Conceptual Understanding in the Middle School Years

By Tim Sprod

Written for middle school teachers, Discussions in Science encourages students to go beyond learning scientific facts and skills to seek an in-depth knowledge of scientific concepts, the nature of science, the ethical implications of science, and the links between science and their everyday lives. Divided in two parts, the first section explains the theoretical basis for the approach used, citing research into teaching for understanding, cognitive acceleration in science education, constructivist pedagogies, and the power of classroom discussion. The second section presents a wide range of purpose-written stories to read and discuss in the classroom. In each story, the young protagonists discuss their experiences in science, trying to make sense of their world. They raise scientific conceptual puzzles, methodological concerns, and issues that relate to science beyond the classroom. Teachers' notes, activities, discussion guides, and suggestions for follow-up experiments show how to deepen the teaching of science, and how to lead students into a more thorough exploration of scientific concepts, methods, and implications.


190 pages

Publication Date: 10/1/2011
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781742860343