The rationale for using discovery learning methods in teaching science.
Provided by North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
Students cannot just read and/or be told about science — they must do science. All students should experience the excitement of science as they try to understand the natural world. The North Carolina Standard Course of Study takes students beyond science as merely a body of knowledge to science as inquiry. It requires students to combine science and scientific knowledge with scientific reasoning and critical thinking.
Engaging students in scientific inquiry helps them develop:
- An understanding of scientific concepts.
- An appreciation of how we know what we know in science.
- An understanding of the nature of science, along with the skills to become independent discoverers of the natural world.
- The disposition to use the skills and attitudes associated with science.
Students in all grades and in every scientific discipline should have the opportunity ask questions, plan and conduct investigations, use appropriate tools and techniques to gather data, think critically and logically about relationships between evidence and explanations, and communicate arguments.
Students who learn to question, debate, or explore acquire a deeper understanding of the world. By discovering principles, rather than just memorizing them, students learn not just what we know, but how we know it, and why it is important.