Best Practice in Middle-School Science
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- Oliveira, A.W., Wilcox, K.C., Angelis, J. et al. J Sci Teacher Educ (2013) 24: 297. doi:10.1007/s10972-012-9293-0
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Using socio-ecological theory, this study explores best practice (educational practices correlated with higher student performance) in middle-school science. Seven schools with consistently higher student performance were compared with three demographically similar, average-performing schools. Best practice included instructional approaches (relevance and engagement, inquiry, differentiated instruction, collaborative work, moderate amounts of homework, and integration of language literacy and science) and administrative practices (nurturing a climate of opportunity to succeed in science, offering professional development based on data and dialogue, engaging teachers in standards-based curriculum revision and alignment, and recruiting the right fit of teacher). It is argued that best practice entails multiple levels of teaching and administrative praxis that together form a school-wide socio-ecological system conducive to higher performance.