C-Fern is an excellent tool for use in independent student research. Projects can be completely independent of the normal classroom activities or may be integrated with group exercises. Principal goals of independent research are to stimulate students' interest in the subject by encouraging them to formulate questions and subsequently to design appropriate experiments that can provide answers to those questions. This directly involves students in the process of science. Perhaps the most important task of the teacher in this situation is that of giving helpful but minimal advice and guidance in order to avoid a level of frustration that can dampen students' initial enthusiasm or willingness to undertake a project.
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How can you incorporate biological research into your classroom? How can you introduce students to the realistic application of the scientific method and provide for extensive authentic opportunities for extensive, repeated, long-term, open-ended research for students at all levels of sophistication?
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