HCPS Science lately
Scientific Literacy and Inquiry
excerpts from an overview of the National Science Education Standards
In a world filled with the products of scientific inquiry, scientific literacy has become a necessity for everyone. Everyone needs to use scientific information to make choices that arise every day. Everyone needs to be able to engage intelligently in public discourse and debate about important issues that involve science and technology. And everyone deserves to share in the excitement and personal fulfillment that can come from understanding and learning about the natural world.
The intent of the Standards can be expressed in a single phrase: Science standards for all students. The phrase embodies both excellence and equity. The Standards apply to all students, regardless of age, gender, cultural or ethnic background, disabilities, aspirations, or interest and motivation in science. Different students will achieve understanding in different ways, and different students will achieve different degrees of depth and breadth of understanding depending on interest, ability, and context. But all students can develop the knowledge and skills described in the Standards, even as some students go well beyond these levels.
The Standards rest on the premise that science is an active process. Learning science is something that students do, not something that is done to them. "Hands-on" activities, while essential, are not enough. Students must have "minds-on" experiences as well.
The Standards call for more than "science as process," in which students learn such skills as observing, inferring, and experimenting. Inquiry is central to science learning. When engaging in inquiry, students describe objects and events, ask questions, construct explanations, test those explanations against current scientific knowledge, and communicate their ideas to others. They identify their assumptions, use critical and logical thinking, and consider alternative explanations. In this way, students actively develop their understanding of science by combining scientific knowledge with reasoning and thinking skills.
Contacts and Policies
The Science Coordinator for Harrisonburg City Public Schools is:
Harrisonburg City Schools is not responsible for the content of external sites linked from HCPS websites