In the National Science Education Standards, the term "active process" implies physical and mental activity. Hands-on activities are not enough -- students also must have "minds-on" experiences. Science teaching must involve students in inquiry-oriented investigations in which they interact with their teachers and peers. Students establish connections between their current knowledge of science and the scientific knowledge found in many sources; they apply science content to new questions; they engage in problem solving, planning, decision making, and group discussions; and they experience assessments that are consistent with an active approach to learning.
(From the National Research Council. National Science Education Standards [Washington, DC, 1995], p. 20)
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