WWW Site for John Lawrence Bencze, Associate Professor (Emeritus), Science Education, OISE/University of Toronto

Procedural Education
Skills Education
Skills Apprenticeship Resources
Ideas and resources for helping students to develop expertise for conducting student-directed, open-ended science inquiry and technology design projects and related communications
Welcome! This page is a supplement to my Skills Education webe page. It provides access to ideas and instructional resources for helping students to develop expertise they could use for directing science inquiry &/or technology design projects and related communications. If you have comments, questions, suggestions, resources ideas, etc. about anything here, please write to me about them.


Skills Apprenticeship Pedagogy
The resources linked to this page are organized in relation to an admittedly highly stylized, yet somewhat helpful, model of science and technology skills that are often used in science and technology (@ Sci-Tech Strategies). Some typical inquiry, design and communication skills, for which resources are provided below, are given in the table at right.
Science Inquiry
Technology Design
Empirically Testing
Organizing/Displaying Data
Reporting & Discussing
Using for WISE Activism
Empirically Testing
Organizing/Displaying Data
Reporting & Discussing
Using for WISE Activism
To help students develop expertise relating to such skills, I suggest teachers use the 'skills apprenticeship' model at left (elaborated here). For example, students might first express their understanding of experimentation by explaining why they think a 'lab' activity is set up a certain way. The teacher might then demonstrate some skills for experiments, like variable control - after which students would be guided through activities for helping them become better at controlling variables. Then, students would be encouraged to design and conduct an experiment to evaluate an idea of their interest. The links below provide general resources for skills apprenticeships.
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Skills Apprenticeship Resources
The resources linked below are organized, as described above, according to a highly stylized model of science inquiry and technology design (and related communications) @ Sci-Tech Strategies. This model has been further sub-divided into particular phases of science inquiry and technology design, such as: Noting Problems, Developing Ideas, etc.
Noting Concerns
Developing ideas in science and technology often begins with concerns about nature (although it also is common to begin with more positive goals and interests). Often, these are cause-result questions or problems developed from observing phenomena.
 These resources below supplement suggestions at: Skills Ed. for Expressing Ideas.
  • Common Observations.
  • Observation: Need to Measure.
  • Metric System of Measuring.
  • Measuring in S&T Info.
  • Measuring in S&T Exercises.
  • Invent Measuring Ex 1.
  • Invent Measuring Ex 2.
  • Making Up Questions.
  • Mixing Cause & Result Variables.
  • Concept Mapping Over Time.
  • Developing Ideas
    In general, ideas are developed from previous ideas. Often, that involves sharing ideas and learning from others (including that written in books, etc.). These may include predictions and possible explanations (hypotheses) about likely events if ideas are worthy.
  • Prediction/Hypothesis Template.
  • Prediction/Hypothesis Activities 1, 2. 3.
  • Develop Problems & Solutions.
  • Project Overviews (Sci, Tech).
  • Projects Compared (A, B).
  • Project Ideas.
  • Project Planning (A, B).
  • Testing Ideas
    Usually, although not always, scientists and technologists try to get evidence from experiences (empirical phenomena) to support their ideas. These often take the form of systematic tests, such as experiments, studies and experiment-like tests. NOTE: The resources linked at right supplement suggestions at: 
  • Developing Experiments.
  • Developing Studies.
  • Inventing.
  • Organizing & Displaying Data
    Often, to assist in understanding, scientists and engineers organize data into tables, charts and graphs. As the old expression goes, 'A picture tells a thousands words.' 
  • Data Table Design Activity.
  • Templates (Data Table, Graph Paper).
  • Graphing Types & Rules.
  • Graphing (Bar, Line, Circle).
  • Analyzing Data and Drawing Conclusions
    Although it can occur at any time during project work, once data organized and displayed, scientists and engineers often examine data and methods critically and, afterwards, draw conclusions about merits of ideas. 
  • Analyze Graphs Visual.
  • Assess Projects A, B.
  • Judging Tests Exercises.
  • Debating Ideas
    Once investigators have tested ideas against nature; that is, conducted empirical tests such as studies and experiments, conclusions do not gain wide acceptance until they are debated, at conferences and through journals, for example.
    I have not developed many resources for this aspect of science and technology decision-making, other than the suggestions at: Debating Tested Ideas.
    Sharing Ideas
    In preparation for and after debating ideas, investigators often share their work with a wider audience. Laws, theories, inventions then get published in books and encyclopedias, etc.
  • Project Report (Jr).
  • Project Report Summary.
  • Projects Reporting Checklist.
  • 'WISE' Use of Ideas
    As part of 'sharing ideas,' investigators and others (e.g., activists) can use ideas, strategies, etc. from science and technology for attempting to improve the wellbeing of individuals, societies and environments (WISE Activism).
  • TBA.
  • TBA.
  • All Rights Reserved, J. L. Bencze, 2008
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