Listen: NGSNavigators Interviews Dr. Eve Manz on How Teachers Help Students Engage with Scientific Uncertainty

Dr. Eve Manz, assistant professor in BU Wheelock’s Science Education program, joined host Margaret O’Sullivan on the NGSNavigators podcast to discuss supporting our students to engage with scientific uncertainty. Dr. Manz shared ways we can structure our learning environment and questioning techniques to guide our younger students through dealing with scientific uncertainty.

NGSNavigators shared the full episode, as well as a preview audio clip, via their social media:

O’Sullivan describes the mission of NGSNavigators is to provide K-8 educators with Next Generation Science Standards professional development that is effective and efficient. Their website includes content and resources “strategically released based on your schedule that keep you informed, but not overwhelmed. Plus immediate actionable steps to enable effective processing and implementation.” Members also have access to a support forum of peer educators.

NGSNavigators published the following highlights and quotes alongside the full episode audio:

Show Highlights (with time stamps)

02:45 – 09:30 What is scientific uncertainty and how can you engage it in your teaching?
11:45 – 15:15 How to support student discourse through uncertainty and disagreement
20:00 – 24:30 Being comfortable with uncertainty and seeing it from your students’ perspectives
26:10 – 33:10 Lessons learned from developing new science curriculum
35:45 – 36:50 Assessment practices in science

Show Quotes

“First and foremost, what I value is learning environments where elementary students are respected and valued, where their ideas, concerns and ways of speaking are the stuff of science practices—rather than us thinking that we need to make them into little scientists us recognizing that the ways they’re thinking and acting are scientific.” [2:00-2:15] Dr. Eve Manz

“It’s generally most effective not to say everything’s up for grabs and everything’s uncertain, but to think ahead about what needs to be in common, what supports do we want to provide around certain choices that will allow everyone to be on the same page, and then what are these places in the investigation where uncertainty is likely to be most productive for students.” [19:05-19:30] Dr. Eve Manz

“I think that you have to as a teacher force yourself to be more comfortable with uncertainty.” [20:53-20:59] Dr. Eve Manz

“Make sure there’s something puzzling and unexpected. Make sure there’s something for people to disagree about. And make sure they have a reason to compare. And then you’ll get those practices going. And then you can tell kids, ‘oh hey, this is what scientists do.’” [25:20-25:35] Dr. Eve Manz