Science Instruction



The Governing Board believes that science education should focus on giving students an understanding of key scientific concepts and a capacity for scientific ways of thinking. Students should become familiar with the natural world and the interrelation of science, mathematics and technology. As part of their science instruction, students should learn how to apply scientific knowledge and ways of thinking for individual and social purposes.

As a matter of principle, science teachers are professionally bound to limit their teaching to content that meets the criteria of scientific fact, hypothesis and theory as these terms are used in natural sciences. A scientific fact is an understanding based on confirmable observations and is subject to test and rejection. A scientific hypothesis is an attempt to frame a question as a testable proposition. A scientific theory organizes and explains a range of natural phenomena on the basis of facts and hypotheses. Scientific theories are constantly subject to testing, modification and refutation as new evidence and new ideas emerge.

Philosophical and religious theories are based, at least in part, on faith, and are not subject to scientific test and refutation. Such beliefs shall not be discussed in science classes, but may be addressed in the social science and language arts curricula.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that certificated staff have opportunities to participate in professional development activities designed to increase their knowledge and skills in effective science teaching practices.

Legal Reference:
Education Code
51210 Areas of study, grades 1 through 6
51220 Areas of study, grades 7 through 12

First Reading: 10/13/04

Governing Board Adoption: 11/10/04

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