ERIC Number: ED315303
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Dec
Conceptual Understanding and Higher Level Thinking in the Elementary Science Curriculum: Three Perspectives. Elementary Subjects Center Series No. 12.
Roth, Kathleen J.
The document reviews the literature concerning the goals of elementary school science teaching. The review indicated a consensus among scientists and science education experts that elementary school science instruction should promote meaningful understanding of science concepts, processes, and attitudes. Students should not just be memorizing scientific facts; they should be developing higher order thinking skills. However, the experts differ in their descriptions of the kinds of higher level thinking that elementary children should develop. As a result, teachers are faced with long lists of goals that do not support them in providing coherent, meaningful science instruction. The paper argues that a coherent model that focuses on a limited set of goals may be more productive in helping elementary teachers provide meaningful learning opportunities for their students. It reviews three perspectives on science teaching that hold promise for providing such a framework; an inquiry perspective, a science-technology-society perspective, and a conceptual change perspective. The similarities and differences of the three perspectives are discussed and the paper concludes with personal reflections from the author's own teaching. (Author/CW)
Descriptors: Educational Objectives, Elementary Education, Elementary School Science, Literature Reviews, Process Education, Science and Society, Science Education, Science Instruction, Science Teachers, Scientific Attitudes, Teaching Methods, Technology
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State Univ., 252 Erickson Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824 ($12.00).
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Center for the Learning and Teaching of Elementary Subjects, East Lansing, MI.