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Smithsonian Institution

Science: A Work in Progress

Smithsonian Institution via edX


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 Only in some of the most recent editions, has the scientific method been replaced by references to flexible application of the science practices as ways to investigate and explore solutions to new problems and questions.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)

Taught by

Smithsonian Science Education Center


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