Although Science for All Americans emphasizes what students should learn, it also recognizes that how science is taught is equally important. In planning instruction, effective teachers draw on a growing body of research knowledge about the nature of learning and on craft knowledge about teaching that has stood the test of time. Typically, they consider the special characteristics of the material to be learned, the background of their students, and the conditions under which the teaching and learning are to take place.
This chapter presents—nonsystematically and with no claim of completeness—some principles of learning and teaching that characterize the approach of such teachers. Many of those principles apply to learning and teaching in general, but clearly some are especially important in science, mathematics, and technology education. For convenience, learning and teaching are presented here in separate sections, even though they are closely interrelated.