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Using Scientific Process with Child Development

As a ninth grade health teacher, I have realized that some students are very weak in their ability to organize information, set up a method to approach a problem or question and then record   their results or summarize their ideas in a way that is clear and concise. This has been more apparent with the low achieving and special education students. They often are not able to think about what will happen next or why something happened. Another reason may lie in the fact that for these students, they are not highly invested in learning and not motivated to think in an organized manner. To increase motivation, this unit focuses on a topic of considerable interest for many of the students – early childhood development. 

The elementary science curriculum introduces the scientific method, a systematic method of approach to inquiry, and this topic is revisited in the ninth grade biology and science classes. (1)The skills of setting up a method to approach a problem or situation, to gather information, organize the information or data and to draw a conclusion from the data or evidence are components of the scientific process. This unit will focus on three skills that are related to scientific practices. They are 1) Asking Questions.  Students will develop the skills to ask probing questions that will help identify the premises of the topic.  2) Planning and Carrying Out Investigations:  Students will decide what data or information that they need to gather and how they will go about doing it.  They will develop a scope of information that they think is important to child development.  In addition, they will expand their scope to include research on subcategories for each developmental stage. 3) Analyze and Interpret Data. Students will look for patterns and overlapping characteristics in each stage of development, focusing on the changing needs of a child from birth to age 4.

Suzanne George

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