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Primary Science

Taking the Plunge

By Wynne Harlen

This practical resource looks at the teacher’s role in the science classroom and provides detailed advice on what kinds of questions teachers should ask, how they can respond to students’ challenging questions, and how to support understanding through inquiry.

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    This is an incredibly useful and practical resource for teachers in elementary and middle schools. . . . The revised text is written not only for generalist teachers, but offers many useful insights for science specialists/curriculum leaders.
    —Momentum
When Primary Science was first published, it provided such valuable insight into the teacher’s role in the science classroom that it quickly became the standard against which all other methods texts were measured. Now, sixteen years later, Wynne Harlen has revised her classic text, updating it with the most recent and pertinent research, while preserving the parts that have endured and need no change.

Primary Science is written for preservice and inservice classroom teachers in primary, elementary, and middle schools. It is particularly aimed at generalist teachers, who may not see themselves as "science teachers," yet have to teach science. But is also for science specialists and curriculum directors or leaders who are attempting to ensure that students’ science activities offer genuine learning experiences. To that end, the book provides direct and detailed advice on what kinds of questions teachers should ask, how teachers can respond to children’s "difficult" questions, how to develop and assess children’s process skills, and how to support children’s understandings through inquiry.

No other text is quite so accessible. The ideas Harlen presents are firmly grounded in classroom practice and illustrated by numerous classroom examples. Each chapter ends with a summary of main points that will enable readers to locate advice quickly and refer back to detailed discussions.

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