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REVERE Award Finalist, PreK-12 Learning Group, Association of American Publishers!“Functional scientific literacy requires an understanding of the nature of science and the skills necessary to think both scientifically and ethically about everyday issues.” —from the introduction to It’s Debatable!
This book encourages scientific literacy by showing you how to teach the understanding and thinking skills your students need to explore real-world questions like these:
• Should schools charge a "tax” to discourage kids from eating unhealthy foods?
• Should local governments lower speed limits to reduce traffic fatalities?
• Should pharmaceutical companies be allowed to advertise prescription drugs directly to consumers?
At the core of the exploration is the Socioscientific Issues Framework. The framework gives students practice in the research, analysis, and argumentation necessary to grapple with difficult questions and build scientific literacy. After introducing the concept of the framework and explaining how it aligns with the Next Generation Science Standards, the book shows you how to implement it through seven units targeted to the elementary, middle, and high school levels. You even find out how to develop your own socioscientific issues curriculum.
Both practical and content-rich, It’s Debatable! doesn’t shy away from controversy. Instead, the authors encourage you and your students to confront just how messy the questions raised by science (and pseudoscience) can be. After all, as the authors note, “The only way for our students to be prepared for participation in societal discourse is to have practice in their school years, and what better place than the science classroom?”
A Need for Speed? Should Speed Limits Be Lowered to Reduce Traffic Fatalities?
About the Authors
A Prelude: “Monday Morning”
PART 1: Introduction and Background on Socioscientific Issues
Why Socioscientific Issues?
Distinction From Science, Technology, and Society
SSI and Scientific Literacy
Integrating Science Content
SSI and Character
SSI and the< i> Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
The SSI Teacher and Classroom
SSI and Pedagogy
SSI and Classroom Discourse
Voices From the Field: What Practicing Teachers Can Tell Us About SSI Classrooms
PART 2: Implementing SSI in the K–12 Classroom
Developing Your Own SSI Curriculum
Key Classroom Strategies for SSI Implementation
Evaluating Sources of Information
Guide to Sample Units
List of Sample Units
Unit 1: Food Fight
Should schools charge a “fat tax” for unhealthy foods?
Initial Debate: Should Schools Charge More Money for “Unhealthy” Foods?
Introduction to the Food Groups: My Healthy Plate
How Fresh Is Your Food? The Effects of Preservatives
The Six Nutrients Mystery Matching Game and Reading Labels Carousel
Lesson 5The Path to Good Nutrition
Find the Fat … and Cheeseburgers on Trial!
Kids as Consumers: Evaluating and Creating Food Commercials
Final Debate and Letter Writing: Should Schools Charge More Money for “Unhealthy” Foods?
Field Trip to Supermarket and “Eat This, Not That” Slide Show
Unit 2: Animals at Work
Should animals perform in circuses?
All Sorts of Working Animals
Putting the Horse Before the Cart
Follow Your Nose
Dolphins With a “Porpoise”
Meet Some Animal Helpers
How Do YOU Feel About Working Animals?
Under the Big Top
Where Do You Stand?
Culminating Whole Class Project
Unit 3: A Need for Speed?
Should speed limits be lowered to reduce traffic fatalities?
Slippery When Wet
Town Hall Meeting: Should We Reduce Speed Limits?
Unit 4: Space Case
Do humans have the right to colonize and use resources on extraterrestrials planets?
Who Owns Outer Space?
United Nations Vote
Unit 5: A Fair Shot?
Should the Gardasil vaccines be mandatory for all 11–17-year-olds?
Should the Gardasil Vaccination Be Required for All 11–17-Year-Olds? An Immune System Research Project
The Biology of Cancer
It Can’t Happen to Me! Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases
The Art of Argument: Research and Debate
Rethinking Positions and Relating the Gardasil Debate to the Nature of Science (NOS)
Unit 6: “Mined” Over Matter
Should rare Earth elements be mined in the United States?
Introduction to Rare Earth Elements
Rock and Roll: Plate Tectonics and the Rock Cycle
Elements, Rocks, and Minerals
Cake Mining: Identification and Reclamation of Mineral Resources
The Decision-Making Process
Debate: Should the United States Mine Rare Earth Elements
Unit 7: “Pharma’s” Market
Should prescription drugs be advertised directly to consumers?
We Are Family: Prevalence of Prescription Drug Use
in the United States
What’s in the Bottle? Research on Pharmaceutical Composition
How Do Drugs Work? Molecular Models and Drug-Target Interactions
How Are Pharmaceuticals Made? Creating a Synthetic Drug
Vioxx: A Case Study
Congressional Subcommittee Hearing: Should Prescription Drugs Be Banned From TV?
A Final Word (for Now)
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