West Virginia’s Vision
for the 21st Century Science Classroom
West Virginia’s 21st Century learning initiative is committed to the graduation of all students proficient in (1) rigorous core subjects and 21st Century content; (2) the ability to think critically and problem solve; (3) the application of knowledge at high levels in relevant settings; (4) exhibiting personal and work place productivity skills; and in (5) the use of technology tools to assemble, communicate and analyze information. We acknowledge and focus on the teaching and learning of science content and methodologies within this plan.
While experiencing a spiraling, inquiry-based science program, students are actively doing science. They are investigating real-world issues and developing strategies to solve complex science problems. Interacting with the teacher and collaborating with one another, students learn to question the world around them and design investigations to answer those questions. They use a variety of methods, tools and technology to analyze situations, gather relevant information and data through research and experiments, generate and evaluate creative ideas, pose tangible solutions and communicate their analyses, results and suggestions concisely. Students determine the importance of ethical research, develop decision-making skills, and gain metacognitive skills by explaining their thinking both in oral and written forms. In the science classroom, scientifically literate students make connections in the formal education setting and apply their knowledge and skills to practical personal, social and global issues such as health and well-being, the use and conservation of resources and the environment.
Students are engaged in rich science hands-on, minds-on tasks using appropriate technology to acquire levels of science understanding that might otherwise be beyond their reach. The 21st Century student is proficient as described in the Goals for School Science of the National Science Education Standards.
experience the richness and excitement of knowing about and understanding the natural world;
use appropriate scientific processes and principles in making personal decisions;
engage intelligently in public discourse and debate about matters of scientific and technological concern; and
increase their economic productivity through the use of the knowledge, understanding, and skills of the scientifically literate person in their careers.
The inquiry-based science classroom allows us to serve and educate our students for success in the 21st Century.