Active Learning Approaches to Integrating Technology into a Middle School Science Curriculum Based on 21st Century Skills

  • Rhonda Christensen
  • Gerald Knezek
Part of the Educational Communications and Technology: Issues and Innovations book series (ECTII)


In order to prepare our next generation of scientists, continual improvements in the curriculum are required to capture students’ interest in the sciences early in their developmental years. Improving students’ conceptual understanding, perceived value and enjoyment of science is critical in creating the scientific literacy that is necessary for the 21st century. This chapter describes active learning strategies that are not currently widely adopted but have been shown to be effective in enhancing middle school deep learning of content, as well as fostering positive dispositions toward science and related fields. The authors propose that mechanisms such as these can be institutionalized in the middle school science curriculum. Reasons for why these more innovative strategies are not currently employed by a wider community and steps conducive to wide scale adoption are discussed. Examples of successful programs that use the strategies of active, engaged learning are described as well as ways in which these innovative approaches can be implemented into the classroom.


Active learning Twenty-first century skills Deep learning Middle school 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of North TexasDentonUSA

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