Beyond the Science Kit: Inquiry in Action

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Does your science kit invite hard thinking? Or does it push you and your students through prescribed directions, robbing children of the opportunity to do what is most essential in science: to learn from mistakes, control an experiment more rigorously, observe and record more carefully.

The goal of Wendy Saul and Jeanne Reardon's new book is not to dispense with kits, but rather to encourage teachers and their students to see kits as a beginning to real scientific inquiry. The ...

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Overview

Does your science kit invite hard thinking? Or does it push you and your students through prescribed directions, robbing children of the opportunity to do what is most essential in science: to learn from mistakes, control an experiment more rigorously, observe and record more carefully.

The goal of Wendy Saul and Jeanne Reardon's new book is not to dispense with kits, but rather to encourage teachers and their students to see kits as a beginning to real scientific inquiry. The essays in this volume reveal how elementary teachers have turned around their teaching to make themselves and their students producers as well as consumers of science knowledge. They demonstrate that when teachers inquire into their own teaching, they are better equipped to help children with the practice of inquiry- and it is an appreciation and enjoyment of inquiry that will lead these children back to science again and again.

Beyond the Science Kit is divided into three sections. The first provides a lens through which kit programs may be scrutinized. Are they "rigorous, relevant, and real?" Jeanne Reardon asks. In Part Two, "What's Important?," five educators share their "starting places" in reconfiguring their science programs. The essays describe the values that teachers return to in evaluating their own progress as well as the programs that reflect those values. In the final section, "Making It Work," teachers describe the "nitty-gritty" of designing a classroom that celebrates scientific inquiry across the curriculum.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This book is so filled with sound educational principles and layered with clear valid scientific concepts I had trouble putting it down.”–NSTA Teaching Strategies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780435071028
  • Publisher: Heinemann
  • Publication date: 5/20/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 190
  • Age range: 5 - 10 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

Jeanne Reardon is a classroom teacher who works with ESIP at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. A long-time classroom teacher, Jeanne is a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching.

Wendy Saul, Professor of Education at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, is Director of the National Science Foundation-supported Elementary Science Integration Projects (ESIP). She is the originator of Search It! Science, an online resource available from Heinemann. She also serves as editor of "Thinking Classroom: An International Journal of Reading, Writing and Critical Reflection."

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Table of Contents

Section I: Inquiry into Inquiry

1. Teacher Bones: An Introduction

Wendy Saul

It Takes More than a Kit

Jeanne Reardon

Section II: What's Important?

3. The Building Blocks of Science

Carole Roberts

"There's a Squid in Mrs. Bunn's Classroom!"

Debra Bunn

The Reason for Reasoning

Linda Davis

Connections

Barbara Caplan

Working in Community

Stephanie Terry

Section III: Making It Work

8. How I Really Plan

Donna Dieckman

A Year in the Life of a First-Grade Class

Carol Flicker

Consumer Testing: Children Working on Authentic Science Problems

Jeanne Reardon

Looking for Hope in All the Wrong Places

Mary Beth Johnson

Writing Eco-Mysteries

Twig C. George

The Kids' Inquiry Conference: Not Just Another Science Fair

Barbara Bourne

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