Every day there are news articles that seek to provide a scientific explanation for how or why a given natural phenomenon occurred. The topic may be climate change, nuclear energy, genetically modified food or something else that impacts the everyday lives of individuals.
Scientifically literate readers need to be able to evaluate the evidence and reasoning presented in the article or report. In addition, science students need to be able to explain the results of the investigations they conduct in science class.
All students should learn the critical skills that help them to develop and critique a scientific explanation. Two of the practices identified as essential for all students in Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) are:
Professors Katherine McNeill and Joseph Krajcik developed a framework for teaching students how to develop and critique scientific explanations. They recommend that teachers begin by focusing on the first three components of the explanation. When students have developed enough experience with the concept of claim, evidence, and reasoning, then teachers can introduce the rebuttal, which is the most complex component of the scientific explanation.
They also recommend five instructional strategies that teachers can use to support students in developing scientific explanations.
Science Techbook for NGSS is a breakthrough K-12 digital science textbook that changes the way students and teachers experience real-world science phenomena, boosting achievement and igniting interest in the exploration of science concepts.