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Science and Technology/Engineering
Curriculum Framework - Spring 2001

Guiding Principle V

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Investigation, experimentation, and problem solving are central to science and technology/engineering education.

Investigations introduce students to the nature of original research, increase students' understanding of scientific and technological concepts, promote skill development, and provide entry points for all learners. Teachers should establish the learning goals and context for an experiment, guide student activities, and help students focus on important ideas and concepts.

Puzzlement and uncertainty are common features in experimentation. Students need time to examine their ideas as they learn how to apply them to explaining a natural phenomenon or solving a design problem. Opportunities for students to reflect on their own ideas, collect evidence, make inferences and predictions, and discuss their findings are all crucial to growth in understanding.

When possible, students should also replicate in the classroom important experiments that have led to well-confirmed knowledge about the natural world, e.g., Archimedes' principle and the electric light bulb. By carefully following the thinking of experts, students can learn to improve their own problem-solving efforts.

Last Updated: May 1, 2001
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