As a distinctive voice in science education writing, Douglas Larkin provides a fresh perspective for science teachers who work to make real science accessible to all K-12 students. Through compelling anecdotes and vignettes, this book draws deeply on research to present a vision of successful and inspiring science teaching that builds upon the prior knowledge, experiences, and interests of students. With empathy for the challenges faced by contemporary science teachers, Teaching Science in Diverse Classrooms encourages teachers to embrace the intellectual task of engaging their students in learning science, and offers an abundance of examples of what high-quality science teaching for all students looks like.

Divided into three sections, this book is a connected set of chapters around the central idea that the decisions made by good science teachers help light the way for their students along both familiar and unfamiliar pathways to understanding. The book addresses topics and issues that occur in the daily lives and career arcs of science teachers such as:

• Aiming for culturally relevant science teaching

• Eliciting and working with students’ ideas

• Introducing discussion and debate

• Reshaping school science with scientific practices

• Viewing science teachers as science learners

Grounded in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), this is a perfect supplementary resource for both preservice and inservice teachers and teacher educators that addresses the intellectual challenges of teaching science in contemporary classrooms and models how to enact effective, reform

chapter |6 pages


Teaching Real Science to Real Students: On Being a Thoughtful Science Teacher and Doing a Good Job

part I|2 pages

Student Ideas Are the Raw Material of Our Work

chapter 1|7 pages

Aiming for Culturally Relevant Science Teaching

An Argument for Meeting Our Students Where They Are

chapter 2|5 pages

Eliciting Students’ Ideas

Student Ideas as the Raw Material of Science Teachers’ Work

chapter 3|3 pages

Every Misconception a Shiny Pebble

Glimpsing Beautiful and Productive Extensions of Prior Knowledge

chapter 4|9 pages

Responding to Student Questions Without Giving Answers

“Maybe it Will Just Have to Remain a Mystery Forever”

part II|2 pages

Real Science, Real Students

chapter 5|5 pages

HeLa Cells, High-speed Chases, and Other Essential Questions

Because Science Class Should Not Be a Trivia Game

chapter 6|9 pages

Reconsidering Labs and Demonstrations for Model-Based Inquiry

Don’t Throw Away Those Owl Pellets Just Yet

chapter 7|6 pages

What if the Stork Carried 20-sided Dice?

On the Use of Models and Simulations as Tools for Thinking

chapter 8|6 pages

Eyes Like a Scientist

Framing Safety as Part of Scientific Practice for Students

chapter 9|7 pages

In Praise of Field Trips and Guest Speakers

Bringing the Inside-Out and the Outside-In for Science Learning

chapter 10|9 pages

“Before Today I was Afraid of Trees”

Rethinking Nature Deficit Disorder in Diverse Classrooms

part III|2 pages

Science Teacher Learning

chapter 11|9 pages

Observing Candles and Classrooms

Learning from Other Teachers by Withholding Judgment

chapter 12|8 pages

Mentoring New Science Teachers

Novices Get Better When We Support Them with Good Feedback

chapter 13|9 pages

The Black Belt Science Teacher

Differentiation and a Speculative Learning Progression for Science Teachers

chapter 14|8 pages

Teaching at the Boundaries of Our Knowledge

Being Knowledgeable Enough About What We Teach to Not Feel Like a Fraud

chapter 15|7 pages

Playing School vs. Doing Science

Providing All Students with Access to the Means of Knowledge Generation

chapter |3 pages


Good Reasons for Becoming a Science Teacher