This paper describes how modeling works in concert with all the other science practices in the classroom to promote students’ reasoning and understanding of core science ideas. Modeling usually works in tandem with another practice explanation. These two practices are at the heart of disciplinary work.
This resource is an article in the April 2013 issue of Science. It is available through subscription (personal or library).
The author offers an overview of the call for improving science education in the United States, and the role that the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) play in accomplishing this endeavor, through the critical lens and agenda of research on science teacher professional development (PD).
It offers several key messages regarding the large-scale PD needed to help current teachers acquire the knowledge and skills called for in the NGSS, considering the shifts that these require beyond the traditional content knowledge, pedagogy, or curriculum materials PD offered in the past and the varied cultures of reform in schools.
A section on pressing challenges addresses equity issues, offering use of technologies and social media for more scalable PD and access for all teachers.
As part of a Science magazine special issue on grand challenges in science education, the author provides an overview of the promise for the future of science learning with the release of the NGSS, and of the challenges associated with achieving the full vision of the NGSS. The paper focuses on the implications of assessment on instruction, noting that what states and schools choose to assess often dictates what will be included in instruction. Overviews of the National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Science Education, the NGSS, and different approaches to measuring proficiency in science are included. Challenges in designing assessments to measure proficiency in science, and examples of existing projects attempting to assess science through the integration of conceptual knowledge with aspects of science practices, are explored.
Article abstract: “Recent years have seen the convergence of two major policy streams in U.S. K-12 education: standards/accountability and teacher quality reforms. Work in these areas has led to the creation of multiple measures of teacher quality, including measures of their instructional alignment to standards/assessments, observational and student survey measures of pedagogical quality, and measures of teachers’ contributions to student test scores. This article is the first to explore the extent to which teachers’ instructional alignment is associated with their contributions to student learning and their effectiveness on new composite evaluation measures using data from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Measures of Effective Teaching study. Finding surprisingly weak associations, we discuss potential research and policy implications for both streams of policy.”
This policy report by ACT discusses the importance of early learning, the components of a strong preschool and elementary school education, and barriers to strengthening early learning. Additionally, the report draws from the ACT Core Practice Framework to describe how school and district leaders can provide support for improving classroom practices. The report concludes with recommendations for school leaders and policymakers to promote public awareness of the advantages of early learning.