Journal of Science Teacher Education

, Volume 24, Issue 2, pp 297–322 | Cite as

Best Practice in Middle-School Science

  • Alandeom W. Oliveira
  • Kristen C. Wilcox
  • Janet Angelis
  • Arthur N. Applebee
  • Vincent Amodeo
  • Michele A. Snyder
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Best practice Science Middle school Student performance Inquiry teaching Socio-ecological theory 

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Copyright information

© The Association for Science Teacher Education, USA 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alandeom W. Oliveira
    • 1
  • Kristen C. Wilcox
    • 1
  • Janet Angelis
    • 1
  • Arthur N. Applebee
    • 1
  • Vincent Amodeo
    • 1
  • Michele A. Snyder
    • 1
  1. 1.Educational Theory and Practice DepartmentState University of New YorkAlbanyUSA

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