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Teaching Science (Educational Practices 17)

What is science? Science is a way of knowing, a method of learning about nature. Rooted in common sense, its formal, systematic method is called scientific inquiry. In doing scientific inquiry, scientists use a variety of empirical approaches, techniques, and procedures to collect data from nature, examine and analyze that data, and construct knowledge based on it. This knowledge relates to living organisms, non-living matter, energy, and events that occur naturally. To analyze data scientists often, but not always, use mathematics, and they always apply logical arguments that obey strict empirical standards and healthy skepticism.

A sound education in science emphasizes that science is both a way of knowing and a body of knowledge; it also emphasizes integrating scientific inquiry with scientific knowledge. Much is known about teaching science effectively to learners of all ages. This knowledge comes from research and scholarship conducted in both developed and developing countries. The principles listed in this booklet are built on this extensive and growing body of research and focuses at subjects like: complexity of learning, construction of scientific knowledge, expectations for learning, students' anxieties and conflicts.

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