The four chapters of Section I are rooted within reform recommendations that marked the last decade in North America emphasizing scientific practices in science teaching and learning. Even though the chapters are situated in the context of North America, they also have implications for science education in contexts outside of North America. The authors draw upon recommendations of the Framework for K-12 Science Education which provided the blueprint for developing the Next Generation Science Standards (National Research Council, 2012). Unlike previously published reform documents, the framework uses the term “scientific practices” instead of “science process” or “inquiry skills” in order to emphasize not only skills but also knowledge that is specific to each practice. These practices have been used by different researchers in various contexts in different places of the world, to design and implement teacher preparation programs, curriculum materials, and classroom interventions that emphasize the engagement of students in planning and carrying out investigations and constructing evidence-based explanations. As Zembal-Saul et al. (2013) argued,
not only should students understand and be able to apply scientific ideas to explain natural phenomena but they should also be able to generate and evaluate scientific evidence, construct and debate evidence-based explanations, and participate productively in a community of science learners.(p. 17) Indeed, the current science education standards movement has renewed expectations for children on what to do, how to think, and how to engage 79in scientific practices. However, this amalgam of expectations brings challenges to contextualizing science instruction because the recommendations continue to require fundamental shifts in best practices for teaching and learning science. As a matter of fact, the recommendations create ambitious expectations for beginning elementary school teachers, especially when not all elementary school teachers have the ideal training, support or resources to enact science education reform. Hence, a question emerges: How can teachers translate these reform recommendations and the urgency for attention to the epistemic aspects of science into practice?