Best Practices

Developing best practices will allow Idaho educators to more rapidly improve learning opportunities for Idaho students.

i-STEM has identified the following as best practices that the i-STEM organization is focusing on at this time:

  • Inquiry based learning
  • Cross curriculum application
  • Project based learning
  • Assessment of student learning
  • Place based learning applications
  • Creating small learning communities

What is "Best Practice?"

According to the State Education Resource Center (SERC):

The term "Best Practice" has been used to describe "what works" in a particular situation or environment. When data support the success of a practice, it is referred to as a research-based practice or scientifically based practice. As good consumers of information, we must keep in mind that a particular practice that has worked for someone within a given set of variables may or may not yield the same results across educational environments.

Grover J. Whitehurst, as assistant secretary for Educational Research and Improvement at the U.S. Department of Education, defined evidence-based education as "the integration of professional wisdom with the best available empirical evidence in making decisions about how to deliver instruction." Professional wisdom allows educators and family members to adapt to specific circumstances or environments in an area in which research evidence may be absent or incomplete. But without at least some empirical evidence, education cannot resolve competing approaches, generate cumulative knowledge, and avoid fads and personal biases.

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