CSCOPE: Distorts Discovery Learning

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The 5Es is a perversion of the scientific method. But every lesson in every subject doesn’t fit into 5E mold. No teacher should be forced to use a specific mold to prepare lessons. I personally tried to use the 5E to write science ideas for science educators and it was too time consuming and instead of writing a good lesson I was stuffing ideas into the five sections and trying to make them fit together.

The scientific method is a guide for investigating. While there are steps, one only is mandated to use the steps in order when developing a science project to be entered into a contest called a Science Fair.

CSCOPE and Common Core have misrepresented what discovery learning is all about. These progressive teaching philosophies identify discovery learning as students teaching each other and on their own reinventing the wheel. For example, kids know that osmosis is the movement of water through cell membranes. The teacher provides potatoes, water, salt and what other material might be needed for students to design an experiment that demonstrates osmosis. From trial and error, students are suppose to figure out that when potato slices are placed in fresh water, the water moves into the potato cells making the slices crisp. In salt water, the water inside the potato cells flows through the cell membrane, making the slices limp.

The students are also suppose to discover why from their own investigation. Why invent the wheel with every lesson? It is time consuming and not as productive as the Janice VanCleave traditional method.

CSCOPE directors present traditional methods of teaching as being archaic and their progressive, constructivist method as being 21 Century. This is such a lie.

I am in my 70s and have seen a lot of crazy teaching methods come and go. This ridiculous CSCOPE and Common Core progressive teaching philosophy is just a flowery name to describe a very sneaky method of mind control.  Allowing students to basically teach themselves no matter what title you give it is a method designed to fail.

 Since I am not familiar with all the current education buzz words, which changes each time someone writes an education book, I am calling a method for teaching science, The Janice VanCleave Discovery Method.  In my opinion no teacher should be mandated to use any set pattern, like the 5E , which is older than I am and has never worked. This must be why CSCOPE directors chose the 5E method–it has never been successful and still isn’t.

It is not that the 5E method is bad, it is that every lesson doesn’t fit into this mold. Mandating a set structure for every teacher in Texas is a premeditated plan for failure.

The Janice VanCleave Discovery Method 

This is a simple overview.

1. Provide a step-by-step Research Investigation that gives a purpose, materials, procedure, what to expect, and what is happening. Using potato slices to determine the direction of water flow–into and out– of potato cells depending on the concentration of the salt solution would be a Research Investigation. A conclusion explaining osmotic pressure and salt concentration. Turgor pressure –stiffness of cells due to being filled with water, etc…


2. Now is the time for student discovery. Students can ask questions about the Research Investigation, such as: What effect does the type of cell have on the results? What effect does the salt concentration have on the turgor pressure of the cells? The point being that students have a background of knowledge and can draw on this to expand their understanding by designing a Discovery Investigation–this is an experiment in which only one variable is changed in the investigation to determine its effect on a second variable. What effect does salt concentration (changing variable) have on the turbitity (affected variable) of potato cells?


Now this is discovery science and it requires background information.


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