How to Teach Elementary School Science

How to Teach Elementary School Science

by Joseph M. Peters, Peter C. Gega

Paperback(Older Edition)


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780130165824
Publisher: Prentice Hall Professional Technical Reference
Publication date: 06/01/1901
Edition description: Older Edition
Pages: 256

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Chapters 1 through 8 conclude with Summary, Reflection, References, and Suggested Readings.)


1. Science Inquiry and the Nature of Science.
The Nature of Science. Scientific Concepts and Generalizations. Science Process and the Process Skills. Teaching Children. Teacher as Researcher.

2. Constructing Science Experiences.
Paradigms. Constructivism.

3. Planning for Inquiry.
National Standards and Planning. Planning for Inquiry. Closed- and Open-Ended Activities. Learning with an Integrated Approach. Planning Units. A Sample Unit.

4. Developing Inquiry Skills.
Using the Learning Cycle. Observing. Classifying. Measuring. Communicating. Inferring. Predicting. Experimenting. Scientific Attitudes.

5. Assessment.
Assessment Today. Authentic Assessment. Types of Authentic Assessment. Assessing Attitudes.

6. Science Experiences for All Students.
Mandy's Science Fair. Historical Perspective. Science Learning Centers. Science Projects. Science Fairs. Teaching Students with Special Needs.

7. Constructing Technological Understandings.
Educational Technology and Elementary Science. Science Technology Society. Technology Education and Elementary Science.

8. Science Learning Opportunities.
Mrs. Blackwelder's Class Trip. Science Learning Resources. Individual Partners in Education.

Appendix A: Professional Bibliography.
Appendix B: Science Curriculum Projects.
Appendix C: Commercial Science Suppliers.
Appendix D: Environments and Nutrition for Classroom Animals.
Appendix E: Summary of Children's Thinking.
Appendix F: State EducationAgencies.


Elementary school teaching is a challenging and exciting career. Your future as a professional educator includes the responsibility to meet the future demands and challenges of society, and the elementary classroom is where it all begins. The lifelong science-related attitudes of your elementary students will be shaped, for the most part, before they finish fifth grade. Along with these attitudes comes the desire to seek out new information about the world around them and to apply this knowledge in the form of technology. It is your job to build the skills, content knowledge, and desire for inquiry that will allow your Students to function in a society that will be highly scientific and technologically developed. Your future as a teacher will include lifelong learning and research in your own classrooms. This text serves as a guide to start your journey as a professional educator.

New to This Edition

As you initiate your learning of elementary science education through the use of the fourth; edition of this text, you will become acquainted with several features that will support you; in your science education experiences. To help you think about the applications of what you are learning, you will find

  • Vignettes opening each chapter that help introduce the concepts contain in the chapters and focus your thoughts
  • Teaching tips for you to consider in your future instruction
  • Companion Website references, which provide extensions to the chap content
  • CD-ROM connections, which help illustrate concepts in an actual classroom setting
  • An entire chapter devoted to technology and science education
Organization of theText

You will find that this book contains practical methods covering how to teach science to elementary through middle level learners. A companion paperback text, Concepts Inquiries in Elementary School Science, Fourth Edition, as well as one hardcover text containing the complete content, Science in Elementary Education, Ninth Edition, also published by Prentice Hall, are also available.

How to Teach Elementary School Science focuses on the methods of teaching elementary school science. It centers on why science education is basic to children's schooling and explains the foundations that give it form and substance. Each of its eight chapters develops a broad concept or a cluster of related teaching skills through descriptions and the use of many real-life examples. The examples reflect our personal teaching experiences or ongoing, firsthand observations with elementary school children. The chapters and several of the included follow-up exercises should enable you to

  • Decide what areas of science are basic, useful, and learnable for children Recognize and assess differences in children's thinking
  • Use open-ended and closed-ended teaching activities in planning and implementing lessons and units
  • Improve children's scientific skills
  • Develop technological applications
  • Locate and use a variety of resources to teach science
  • Arrange and manage learning centers, microcomputer centers, and projects Assess science teaching

Each chapter focuses on an overall concept such as learning, assessment, or technology. To help summarize and extend the content, each chapter includes a summary, reflection, and additional readings. In addition, samples of the National Research Council's National Science Education Standards are cited throughout the text when applicable.

  • CD-ROM
    Containing classroom footage, this free supplement allows users to view, examine, and manipulate clips of elementary science classroom teaching. The CD is ideal for reflection and developing a deep, lasting understanding of text content.
  • Companion Website
    A truly text-integrated supplement at will provide users with access to research, meaningful activities, self-assessments, useful web links, chat areas, and a threaded message board. For the professor, the Syllabus Manager allows online creation and management of course syllabi.
  • Instructor's Manual
    This useful tool provides additional support for instructors, test questions, and online integration.
  • NSE Standards Sampler
    This document works in tandem with the text to help prospective teachers learn, fully understand, and apply the National Science Education Standards.
  • Acknowledgments

    I wish to thank the many people who helped with this edition of How to Teach Elementary School Science. I especially wish to thank editors Linda Montgomery and Hope Madden of Merrill/Prentice Hall for their insight, encouragement, continued assistance, and constructive comments. I also want to thank those who reviewed the draft manuscripts and provided suggestions for the fourth edition. These include Kristin Devlin, Maro Foster, Tina Howard, Angela Kriner, Robin Loukota, Holly Nelson, and Misty Rawls, students at the University of West Florida, who reviewed draft manuscripts and provided suggestions for clarifying concepts and improving the text for their colleagues, as well as my students at Mercyhurst College (see photo) who assisted with finalizing the content.

    This edition of How to Teach Elementary School Science includes many vignettes.; I extend my sincere thanks to Norman Lederman, Oregon State University; Ken Tobin, University of Pennsylvania; Jerry Mayernik, Northway Elementary School, North Hills School District, Pennsylvania; George O'Brien, Florida International University and Angela Alexander, Pine Villa Montessori School, Dade County (Florida) School District; Christine Peters, Harborcreek School District, Pennsylvania; Kata McCarville, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology; Pam Northrup and Charlotte Boling, the University of West Florida; and Sue Dale Tunnicliffe, International Council of Associations for Science Education Primary Projects and Homerton College, for sharing their experiences with us and reviewing chapters.

    I would also like to acknowledge the external reviewers of this text: Andrea M. Guillaume, California State University-Fullerton; Eileen S. Kelble, The University of Tulsa; William C. Kyle, Jr., University of Missouri-St. Louis; Scott P Lewis, Florida International University; Michael Meloth, The University of Colorado-Boulder; Brian Murfin, New York University; Michael Odell, University of Idaho; and John -a Shimkanin, California University of Pennsylvania.

    Most important, I would like to show my heartfelt appreciation to my wife, Darlene, and to my children, Joe and Brenda, for their patience and guidance during the revision.

    Joseph M. Peters

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