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Educational Implications of Choosing "Practice" to Describe Science in the Next Generation Science Standards


"The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States, 2013) highlight an educational aim for students to engage in scientific practices. Following its predecessors 'scientific method' and 'inquiry,' 'practice' is the most recent vocabulary choice for expressing an educational aim that students learn how to reason and act scientifically. One motivation for this shift is that, although it may be out of reach to think and act scientifically exactly as scientists do, students can be taught, in some basic form, scientifically powerful ways of reasoning and acting that capture what is particular about science--ways of reasoning and acting that develop reliable knowledge claims and are underpinnings of sciences epistemic privilege."


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