Colonial’s Philosophy of Science Instruction:
The science program in Colonial School District consists of a diverse, comprehensive, K-12 curriculum that is enhanced at every grade level with inquiry-based exploration. Students engage in investigations of the natural world through science instruction from kindergarten through high school. As a member of the Delaware Science Coalition, students receive instruction in physical science, life science, earth/space science, and engineering through the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The NGSS, adopted by Delaware in September 2013, incorporates a three-dimensional approach to challenge all students at every grade level to create a deep understanding of the world, the universe, and living things. Through the NGSS, Colonial’s science educators prepare students for a post-graduation experience in which they can participate fully in a global workforce.
How Does your Child Learn Science?
Colonial’s philosophy of science instruction coincides with the NGSS expectations for science instruction.
Our program supports 3-Dimensional Learning. The three important dimensions to learning science include:
Scientific and Engineering Practices
The practices describe behaviors that scientists engage in as they investigate and build models and theories about the natural world and the key set of engineering practices that engineers use as they design and build models and systems.
Learn more at https://ngss.nsta.org/PracticesFull.aspx
Crosscutting concepts have application across all domains of science. As such, they are a way of linking the different domains of science. They include patterns; cause and effect; scale, proportion, and quantity; systems and system models; energy and matter; structure and function; and stability and change.
Learn more at https://ngss.nsta.org/CrosscuttingConceptsFull.aspx
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Disciplinary core ideas have the power to focus K–12 science curriculum, instruction, and assessments on the most important aspects of science. These ideas are grouped in four domains: the physical sciences; the life sciences; the earth and space sciences; and engineering, technology and applications of science.
Learn more at https://ngss.nsta.org/DisciplinaryCoreIdeasTop.aspx
All science instruction is interconnected with the dimensions. To prepare students for success in college and careers, instruction connects scientific principles to real world situations.
All three dimensions create a coherent learning experience: The NGSS provides students with opportunities to engage in and develop a deeper understanding of each of the three dimensions of science. Students have multiple opportunities from elementary through high school to revisit and expand their understanding of each dimension by the end of high school.
Overview of Colonial’s K-12 Science Program
For additional information, the Link to The Next Generation Science Standards by Topic: https://ngss.nsta.org/AccessStandardsByTopic.aspx
The goal of Colonial School District’s Pre-K -12 science program is for all students to develop the skills and knowledge necessary to be literate in science, technology, and engineering. This will allow them the necessary tools to think critically, solve problems, and communicate effectively which are all essential to becoming informed citizens. Students appreciate the importance of science as they learn how society addresses challenging issues and solutions to those issues.
We believe that the foundation of science learning happens in elementary school, at home, and in our communities.
Colonial School District believes that a science education is essential to provide a foundation of learning in the later grades and instill a wonder of and enthusiasm for science that lasts a lifetime. Our science program also addresses the critical needs for a well-informed citizenry so that students can make informed choices in society. As such, our elementary science program supports an academic program that develops scientific literacy in the following ways:
- Creating an environment where children have opportunities to investigate and develop curiosity about the world around them;
- Engaging in practices of science, engineering, and mathematics through real-world applications and explore topics of interest; and
- Providing students with the opportunity to become “citizen scientists” where they observe phenomena, engage in problem solving, and provide explanations of their thinking;
- Assuming the role of “citizen scientists”; children plan and carry out investigations, solve problems, create models, analyze data, and design solutions; and
- Identifying opportunities to extend learning science into our communities so that students have the opportunity to explore their surroundings and appreciate their local culture and environment.
Colonial’s middle school science continues the foundation for scientific literacy at the elementary level and further engages students in the exploration of both the concepts and practices of science and engineering. Throughout each middle school science program, students learn how topics in Earth Science, Life Science, Physical Science, and Engineering are interconnected. Instruction is three-dimensional and encourages students to use science and enginnering practices and crosscutting concepts to investigate the disciplinary core ideas
Colonial’s middle school science program supports an academic program that supports scientific literacy in the following ways:
- Creating a safe environment to engage in science and engineering practices in the classroom and in the laboratory;
- Creating a scientific mindset about the nature of science and promote engineering and technological literacy; and
- Encouraging critical thinking and communication skills to share ideas and results;
Connecting the classroom and community to enhance student understanding of their environment and local culture; and
- Providing students with real-world applications and experiences where they can explain and investigate phenomena, create models, and design solutions to complex problems.
An overview of each grade level curriculum, program objectives, and standards are listed here:
Colonial’s high school science program connects prior learning in our elementary and middle school programs and provides opportunities to explore scientific concepts and phenomena in a deeper way.
Students develop a scientific mindset where they investigate, design, explain phenomena, create models, and design solutions to complex problems. As our students prepare for college and career readiness, science instruction promotes real-world problem solving through scientific investigation and supports independent and logical thinking by students in the Colonial community.
To achieve our goal of preparing students for their role as global citizens, students learn to connect the science classroom to the community through real-life experiences and career partnerships. Colonial’s vision is to provide an intellectually stimulating environment where students develop the skills and dispositions for:
- making healthy decisions for themselves and their families;
- contributing to their community in positive ways; and
- thinking critically and acting responsibly as citizens; and
- Creating a safe environment for students to engage in science and engineering practices
Requirements for graduation have been established by the State of Delaware. Students must complete 3 credits in Science, with a course in Biology as one of the science credits. William Penn’s degree programs offer the opportunity to participate in several additional science electives as part of their overall educational experience. Please consult the William Penn 2020-2021 Course Guide for a description of program requirements
Dr. Crystal Lancour
Supervisor of K-12 Mathematics & World Language
Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction: K-12 English Language Arts