• Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools

    PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE EDUCATION

    Adopted by District Science Committee May 13, 2013

     

    VISION:

     

    Our students will demonstrate critical thinking, creativity, and interpersonal skills as they develop a greater understanding of and appreciation for the natural world.  As problem solvers, students will apply the scientific process, reasoning and knowledge to make sound decisions as participants in an evolving global community. 

     

    MISSION STATEMENT:

     

    The mission of science education in Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools (HWPS) is to stimulate natural curiosity through essential questions that will lead students to scientific discovery about the world around them.  Literacy and technology are integrated with science instruction at each grade level.  A hands-on, inquiry based approach to the scientific method (observation, experimentation, application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation) is the basis for developing and understanding scientific concepts. 

     

    CORE BELIEFS ABOUT SCIENCE CURRICULUM, INSTRUCTION,AND ASSESSMENT:

     

    HWPS firmly supports opportunity and equity for all learners.  Thus, science curriculum, instruction, assessment, and professional development should be meaningful and engaging to assure that all students, as active learners, meet high standards of success.

     

     Meaningful and engaging curriculum, instruction, and assessment in science consist of:

     

    • Activities that support and encourage multiple intelligences to help students develop into imaginative and independent thinkers
    • Experiences that promote learning as an integrated, interdisciplinary process rather than as a series of isolated subjects
    • Opportunities for students to delve more deeply into the various scientific disciplines
    • Opportunities for students to analyze how scientific concepts fit into their own ideas and the ideas of societies around the world
    • Instruction that fosters a connection between students and nature that has real-life implications and helps them develop an appreciation and respect for the local environment
    • Curriculum that fosters an awareness that human decisions impact the environment, taking into account environmental and societal implications
    • The integration of literacy, information and communication technology (ICT), and mathematical concepts to enhance and extend learning
    • Formative and summative assessments including performance-based assessments with associated rubrics
    • The use of assessment data from multiple sources to guide instructional decisions
    • Instruction that inspires and prepares students for careers within the sciences

     

    Students are active learners when they:
     
    • Are  inquisitive and naturally involved in hands-on experimentation
    • Discover and learn using the scientific method as an extension of their own curiosity and wonder
    • Examine the present scientific world and use it to aid new developments in the future
    • Are involved in inquiry-based, student-centered, relevant activities
    • Work independently, with partners, and cooperatively in small groups
    • Think critically, creatively, and collaboratively:  ask questions, make predictions, engage in experiments, evaluate and analyze and synthesize evidence, and apply knowledge to new situations
    • Are provided with experiences that integrate literacy with science instruction
    • Actively reflect on their own thinking
    • Take ownership and reflect on their own thinking and learning
    Students can achieve high standards of success when they:
     
    • Show evidence of an enduring understanding of science
    • Have access to the most current resources
    • Are evaluative thinkers, dynamic problem solvers, effective communicators, and lifelong learners
    • Are prepared to be scientifically literate citizens
    • Have teachers who participate in meaningful and ongoing professional development