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Science in the Classroom
Science is not just a set of facts that have already been discovered by others; it is a process – a way of thinking and understanding the world. It is observing, predicting what might happen, testing those predictions, and making sense of observations. They must create an explanation of observed phenomena or the outcomes of the experiments internally—an explanation that holds personal meaning” (Trawick-Smith, p. 203). As children are exploring the scientific process, teachers can pose open-ended questions that may spark more questions or a new direction to explore. “Good quality education encourages the exploration of alternative thinking, multiple answers, and creative insights” (Jensen, p. 16).
Allowing and encouraging young children to explore the scientific process—rather than only using direct instruction that emphasizes science facts and prescriptive experiments—will promote the development of thinking skills such as organizing and classifying, problem solving, reasoning, and logic.