Science education for students with special needs

Mary Grace Villanueva, Jonte Taylor, William Therrien, Brian Hand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Students with special needs tend to show significantly lower achievement in science than their peers. Reasons for this include severe difficulties with academic skills (i.e. reading, math and writing), behaviour problems and limited prior understanding of core concepts background knowledge. Despite this bleak picture, much is known on how to significantly improve science achievement for students with special needs. A recent comprehensive meta-analysis indicates that inquiry instruction which infuses appropriate scaffolds and supports, can significantly improve science achievement for students with special needs. This article will delineate the types of supports and scaffolds that students with special needs require to be successful in inquiry instruction. It will also provide concrete examples of how these supports have been successfully applied in an inclusive third through fifth grade science approach (i.e. the science writing heuristic).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)187-215
Number of pages29
JournalStudies in Science Education
Volume48
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education

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