Meeting the Standards

 

Peer Review: Meeting the Standards
The National Science Education Standards (NSES) call for science to be taught as a continuing process of investigation and discovery rather than a static collection of facts. According to the Standards, "Inquiry into authentic questions generated from student experiences is the central strategy for teaching science." The Standards state that high school students should actively particpate in scientific investigations, including the process of peer review:

Public discussions of the explanations proposed by students is a form of peer review of investigations, and peer review is an important aspect of science. Talking with peers about science experiences helps students develop meaning and understanding. Their conversations clarify the concepts and processes of science, helping students make sense of the content of science. Teachers of science should engage students in conversations that focus on questions, such as "How do we know?" "How certain are you of those results?" "Is there a better way to do the investigation?" "If you had to explain this to someone who knew nothing about the project, how would you do it?" "Is there an alternative scientific explanation for the one we proposed?" "Should we do the investigation over?" "Do we need more evidence?" "What are our sources of experimental error?" "How do you account for an explanation that is different from ours?"

-- National Science Education Standards, p. 174

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