Friday, September 21, 2012

California Science Framework Summary (Science Methods 545)

After reading “California Science Framework and Standards” (Frameworks), I was impressed with how comprehensive this document is. Allowing easy access to such guidelines is invaluable for science teachers. The Frameworks document tries to align the goals and teaching strategies of all science teachers in California by discussing the definition of science, the state’s philosophical view of science, how science should be taught, and how teachers should assess student learning.

The Frameworks document started with the philosophical view of how science should be taught. I was pleasantly surprised at how closely this aligned with my own personal philosophy of teaching. For instance, the goal should be to inspire student interest in science. Science teachers should make real-life connections, connect the fundamentals of reading, writing, and math, and teach that there is a lot of unknowns in the world of science. The teacher should balance teaching content with investigative experimentation. I also was happy to see that the Frameworks document made a distinction between science and topics outside the realm of science, such as art and religion.

Other topics covered in the Frameworks document include guidelines for how teachers should teach science (differentiation, long-term planning, teaching using inquiry-based labs, and clearly communicating objectives), lab safety, how to use assessments and modify instruction based on assessment, universal access, and professional development. I was thoroughness of the Frameworks document should help California science teacher unite and teach to the same high standards. I appreciated the philosophy stated in the standards, particularly how it advocated creating interest and motivation without bias or influence over students' cultural or religious backgrounds.

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