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Inquiry: Learning Science by Doing Science

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD

National Science Education Standards

Published in 1996, the National Science Education Standards present a vision of a scientifically literate population by outlining what students need to know, understand and be able to do. The standards are guided by the following principles.

Science is for all students. All students, regardless of age, sex or race/ethnicity, disabilities or interest should have opportunities to attain high levels of scientific literacy.

Learning science is an active process. Students need to do science to learn science. Therefore, they must have opportunities to ask questions, conduct investigations, make observations, construct and text explanations and communicate their ideas to others.
School science reflects traditions of contemporary science. To develop science knowledge, students must be familiar with and have conducted scientific investigations.

Improving science is part of system wide educational reform.  Local, state and national education reform efforts should complement one another across disciplines and grade levels.