Science Guiding Principles

  • Science Vision

    Barrington 220 students will cultivate scientific habits of mind and engage in meaningful scientific inquiry that requires them to develop solutions to complex problems and reason in a scientific contexts.

    Guiding Principles:

    1. Adept student scientists are able to effectively critique the claims of others using evidence and reasoning and can think critically and logically to create their own explanations based on evidence. Scientific inquiry is a powerful way of understanding science content. Inquiry is central to the learning of science and reflects how science is done.
    2. Effective science instruction balances experimental investigation with other scientific and engineering practices like posing questions, developing models, analyzing and interpreting data, designing solutions, and communicating findings.
    3. Effective science instruction should implement a research-based model for developing students’ conceptual knowledge over the course of a unit, like the 5E Model:

    Engage: Create a teachable moment

    Explore: Recognize students’ current understandings and abilities

    Explain: Develop new understandings and abilities

    Elaborate: Transfer concepts and abilities to new situations

    Evaluate: Assess students understandings and abilities

    1. Explicit modeling of effective scientific, engineering, and communication skills for students on a continual basis and providing students with regular formative feedback on their progress are non-negotiable instructional practices.
    2. Guiding students toward independence in their scientific skills, tasks, and inquiries through a standards-aligned approach is a priority.
    3. Student scientists engage in meaningful opportunities for discussion, debate, and written reflection. They also share their learning and findings with a larger, authentic audience.
    4. Effective student scientists employ meta-cognitive skills that make them aware of their own thinking, preconceptions, and misconceptions and that allow them to reconstruct their understanding of the natural world as new learning occurs.
    5. Effective science instruction engages students in meaningful field studies that connect them with scientific experts who guide them to solve real-world, local problems.

    Middle School Curriculum

    High School Curriculum