The proposed test was designed to measure the following process skills in schools (hereafter known as the K-6 Science Competency Continuum): (1) observing, (2) classifying, (3) inferring, (4) predicting, (5) measuring, (6) communicating, (7) using space-time relations, (8) calculating. The authors developed this list by reviewing research on learning and testing processes, observations of successful teachers in action, and interviews with experts in education theory and practice.
This list has been used extensively in assessment programs aimed at promoting student understanding (e.g., Bloom's Taxonomy, 1991; Engelhart et al., 2007). More recently, it has been applied to assessments of teacher knowledge and skill (e.g., the NSSE: National Science Foundation's Science Education Standards).
In addition to these eight skills, the 1983 study identified "space-time relationships" as an important component of scientific reasoning. These relationships involve the integration of information from different sources (i.e., multiple evidence forms), as well as the use of historical data to make predictions about future events.
Finally, the study noted that scientific thinking is also associated with problem solving skills such as analyzing situations, considering alternatives, and making decisions based on relevant facts and values.
Since its publication, this work has had a significant impact on the field of educational psychology.
The Six Scientific Process Competencies
The scientific process skills SOL falls within the Scientific Investigation, Reasoning, and Logic strand for grades K–6, where the SOL for each grade level incorporates content from all fields of science, arranged into strands throughout various grade levels. These strands include Biology (grades K–3), Chemistry (grades 4–6), and Physics (grades 7–9). The concept of evidence-based reasoning is introduced in grade 5.
In grade 7, the topic area focus changes to health and disease. The biology strand includes topics such as structure of living things, human body systems, energy production by plants and animals, genetic mechanisms involved in growth and development, cells, organisms, populations, and communities. The chemistry strand covers chemical reactions, elements, compounds, and their interactions with other substances. The physics strand focuses on physical laws, forces, energy, matter, and change. Health concerns include how bacteria cause diseases, how drugs work on the body, what are the risks of drinking alcohol, tobacco use, eating food contaminated with pesticides, and taking other medications or supplements.
By grade 9, students should be able to apply the knowledge and skills learned in school to solve problems in the real world. They should also be able to write clear explanations describing what they know about subjects related to science, using correct grammar and punctuation. These skills are essential for college and career readiness.
Process Skills in Science
|What science process skill involves guessing what might happen in the future?||PREDICTING|
|Which science process skill is an explanation of observations?||INFERRING|
An integrated science process skill target was characterized as an educational goal that required pupils to develop and conduct studies as well as process data. Variables may be manipulated and controlled, experiments can be conducted, hypotheses can be stated, and operational definitions can be provided. This type of skill is necessary for scientific investigations.
Integrated science skills include the following topics: Asking questions Making observations Collecting data Analyzing information Drawing conclusions/inferences Recommending solutions
For example, an integrated science skill might be described as "using evidence from research papers to make a conclusion about how humans evolved." This would require knowing what questions to ask, making observations about human evolution, collecting data about these issues, analyzing it all together, and drawing a conclusion based on the evidence gathered.
Integrated science skills are important because scientists need to collect information about phenomena, determine what aspects of this information are relevant, analyze it all together in order to draw conclusions, and then formulate recommendations for future research.
In other words, scientists need to think like scientists!
Knowing how to ask good questions, make accurate observations, collect reliable data, analyze it all properly, and come up with reasonable conclusions and suggestions for future research are all essential skills for anyone interested in science.
They're omnipresent, and if left uncontrolled, they impede learning. These abilities are completely transferable to various disciplines and situations in life. Observing is the most fundamental of all scientific abilities. This is due to the fact that most students are born with five senses, which influence how they see the world. Thus, developing these senses through observation has clear benefits for anyone who wants to learn something new.
In addition to observing, scientists must listen carefully and ask relevant questions. They must also take notes and compile information into a structured format. Last, but not least, they must communicate what they have learned or observed by writing papers or presenting their findings at conferences.
All of these activities are important tools for understanding different topics within our environment and beyond. Through them, we can learn about physics, biology, chemistry, and many other fields of study.
Scientists use their knowledge of these fields to develop new products, improve existing ones, and help prevent disasters. For example, engineers design cars, computers, and other vehicles using principles derived from physics; biologists grow more effective vaccines by studying viruses under the microscope; and chemists create drugs to treat illness and injury caused by chemicals in the environment.
The main goal of teaching science is to provide an understanding of how things work and why they happen as they do. This requires paying close attention to detail and building upon what was learned before.