Because our definition emphasizes skills students will need at some future points in their lives, our pedagogy emphasizes hands-on, realistic problem-solving situations. We also emphasize repeated practice, which provides the opportunity for improvement and transfer.
We cannot prepare students for every situation, but we can give them repeated opportunities to:
Respond to real-world problems,
Explore solutions to problems about which there is conflicting scientific evidence,
Practice transferring their skills and knowledge from one context to another.
In cases where students take just one science course, such as to fulfill a college distribution requirement, that course should include all three of these components.
A fundamental premise of our approach is that formal science education constitutes only a small fraction of most people’s lives, so that most of what they learn in school will need to be transferred to new situations. For this reason, we cannot overstate the importance of giving students time and opportunities to practice the active transfer of what they are learning in the classroom. We assume that students who have experience practicing the transfer of skills and knowledge from one context to another will be better able to repeat this challenge outside the boundaries of the classroom.