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Evaluating Safe Science Teaching Practice in the U.S. Documents

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Evaluating Safe Science Teaching Practice in the U.S.  

written by Cathy Ezrailson

Science safety in is a vital issue  because: 1) it is tested on many state science content tests, 2) pre-service teachers take the Praxis test which also requires knowledge of safe science practice, 3) teachers are being trained in alternative ways that may omit safe science methods, 4) science content standards in many states emphasize doing science without specific safety guidelines, especially for middle and elementary classrooms and 5) science methods curricula have not always included planning for and conducting experiments safely. National Science Education Standards (NSES) encourage active science learning with "best practices" promoting inquiry-based and hands-on instruction at all instructional levels. Teachers who teach science are using equipment that may or may not be developmentally appropriate for their students (using open flames in K-2nd grade, for example). Accidents occur and go unreported. Based on a survey of practice in South Dakota schools, a national survey of science teaching practice K-12 is proposed.

Published July 4, 2008
Last Modified June 30, 2008

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