Basing Science Learning in Evidence
A Framework for K-12 Science Education emphasizes the need for students to support the development of their ideas with evidence, in accordance with how the scientific community practices science. It states, “all sciences share certain common features at the core of their inquiry-based and problem-solving approaches. Chief among these features is a commitment to data and evidence as the foundation for developing claims. . . . In short, scientists constitute a community whose members work together to build a body of evidence and devise and test theories.” (NAP, 2011, p. 27)
Taking Science to School (NAP, 2008) suggests four areas of science proficiency. One of the four is “2. Generating and evaluating scientific evidence and explanations.” (NAP, 2011, p. 252) In line with this nature of science and science understanding, Phenomenal Science emphasizes that students develop their understanding of science concepts based on scientific evidence. This means that students need to be engaged in collecting evidence, analyzing evidence, comparing evidence, discussing evidence and using evidence to construct arguments and explanations.
There are several powerful strategies that teachers can use to engage students in making their thinking audible and visible and support students’ use of evidence. For example:.
All of the Instructional Strategies described in this section describe strategies to engage students in using evidence:
Class Question Boards engage students in asking and answering questions about the phenomena, through gathering and processing evidence.