Purpose: To articulate your emerging science teaching philosophy as evidence-based
claims related to the nature of science, science teaching, and science learning. (Mo-Step
Indicators 220.127.116.11; 18.104.22.168)
Often, teachers rely on tacit beliefs about teaching and learning to guide their
instructional decision-making. Articulating these ideas can help teachers develop an
informed and coherent rationale for their teaching. A science teaching philosophy will be
a great asset to your teaching portfolio and to your teaching resume, and can assist you in
communicating your practice to both parents and colleagues. A high quality assignment
is one that shows the interrelationship between content, learner, and teacher. Therefore,
your paper should identify your beliefs about science, your beliefs about how students
learn science, and your beliefs about how science should be taught. These belief
statements need to be supported by evidence from your experiences in the course and
from course readings. Your careful thinking during this assignment will serve as the basis
for your future teaching.
1. Reflect on how your beliefs have changed/developed in the last two weeks based on
your experiences in the course. For example, re-read your NOS card sort.
2. For your Science Teaching Philosophy, we will use a “science as argumentation”
format, consisting of claims and evidence. For each of the prompts below, you will need
to make a minimum of 2 claims, with each claim supported by a minimum of 2 pieces of
• I believe science is…
• I believe students best learn science by…
• I believe teachers can best help students learn science by…
Complete the prompt to state your claim about science, science learning, or teaching. For
• I believe students best learn science by actively engaging in learning experiences that
connect them to real world situations.
2. Next, provide evidence in support of your beliefs. This evidence can be drawn from
experiences in the course:
• For example, in the inquiry investigation from the NIH helped me consider how
scientists work to solve problems that directly affect me—including public health
problems and transmission of diseases. This was a problem I could relate to, since all the
kids on my street developed chicken pox at the same time.
However, as a teacher, you will be expected to provide a professional opinion on matters;
this involves going beyond your personal experience. You need to also provide evidence
in the form of citations of course readings written by experts:
• As Harlen states, one of the purposes of science should be to “help children understand
events and their experiences with the world” (2001, p.5).
*For each claim, you need to provide 2 pieces of evidence, with, at least, one of the
pieces of evidence from course readings.
3. Once you have formulated your belief statement and provided a minimum of 2 pieces
of evidence to support it, you should follow each piece of evidence with a
rationale/justification that explains how that piece of evidence supports your belief. For
example for Evidence #2:
• This quote from Harlen emphasizes that science should help students understand their
everyday experiences. The best way to teach science is to actively engage students in
real-world experiences. Students will be motivated to learn science because they see a
purpose for their learning. Additionally, it helps them understand the relevance of
science to their daily lives.
Use the template on the next page for your Science Teaching Philosophy
Science Teaching Philosophy
I. Beliefs about the Nature of Science
Claim #1: I believe science is . . .
Claim #2: I believe science is . . .
II. Beliefs about the Nature of Science Learning
Claim #1: I believe students best learn science by/when . . .
Claim #2: I believe students best learn science by/when . . .
II. Beliefs about the Nature of Science Teaching
Claim #1: I believe teachers can best help students learn science
by . . .
Claim #2: I believe teachers can best help students learn science
by . . .
C&I 8717 Rubric for Philosophy of Science Teaching and Learning – 90 pts
Criteria A B C
Claims • Claims represent relevant “big ideas” in • Majority of claims represent “big ideas” • Claims tend to represent
science education. The ideas are powerful, in science education. more trivial ideas.
rather than numerous.
• Most of the claims are clearly written, • Claims are confusing and
• Claims are clearly written. but some are confusing. vague.
25 pts • Within a section (e.g., Nature of Science), • Several claims overlap and appear to be • Claims tend to be repeated in
claims are distinct ideas, with minimal overlap repeats of claims in other sections. sections
• Two claims per section • One claim is missing.
• Two claims per section
Evidence • Two or more pieces of evidence are used to • Two pieces of evidence are used to • One piece of evidence is
support each claim. The evidence chosen support each claim. Some of evidence given
clearly supports the claim being made. does not directly support the claim being
made. • Evidence comes from only
• Evidence comes from a variety of sources, one or two course readings.
including text readings, reform documents, •Evidence comes from multiple sources,
and learning experiences in the course but there is more reliance on personal
teaching/learning experiences. Inclusion of learning experience as evidence.
both “authoritative” and personal sources.
• Multiple sources are used from course
readings. • Sometimes difficult to understand the
evidence being cited.
• Each piece of evidence is described in
• Lack of adequate description
enough detail to be understood by the reader.
of the evidence.
Justification • The connection between the evidence and • Some of the connections between Little or no connection made
the claim is clearly stated. The reader does evidence and claims are missing. Reader between the claim and
not have to make inferences as to how the has to make several inferences. evidence. Reader must make
evidence supports the claim. connections.
25 pts • Justification is embedded into the
Writing • There is a well-written introduction and • .Introduction or conclusion is not • Introduction and conclusion
conclusion. developed. are sketchy or missing.
• Sections, claims, evidence and justification • Somewhat difficult to find sections and • Sections and claims are not
are clearly labeled. claims. labeled.
15 pts. • Few, if any, grammatical or spelling errors. • One-two errors in grammar or • Three or more errors per
punctuation per page. page.
• Paper is polished and reads smoothly.
• Parts of each section are rough, needs • Paper is in draft form.
• References are cited correctly, and a polishing.
reference list/bibliography is provided at the • Few if any references are
end. APA is the preferred format, but you may • Some references are citing incorrectly, cited.
use the style used in your discipline. bibliography is incomplete.