New Making Sense of SCIENCE Course Now Available
Course Helps Teachers Understand and Teach About Atoms, Particles, and Changes When Matter Interacts
(06/05/2012) San Francisco, California — WestEd today announced the availability of Making Sense of SCIENCE: Matter, a teacher professional development course for grades 6-8.
Our physical world is composed of matter, but what does that really mean? This new course covers atomic structure, the different states of matter, and changes when matter interacts.
Matter joins Energy and Force & Motion in the Making Sense of SCIENCE line of research-based, cost-effective professional development materials, which include Teacher Books, Facilitator Guides, and accompanying CDs.
Making Sense of SCIENCE courses are aligned to state and national standards and explore the intersection of science knowledge, teaching, and literacy so that teachers are better able to help students make sense of essential science content. Courses under development include such topics as weather, earth systems, heredity, life cycles, and organisms.
Each Making Sense of SCIENCE course has two main components:
- The core course offers 30 hours of facilitator-guided learning where teachers explore the science, examine a teaching case, analyze their own classroom practices, and reflect on reading, writing, and talking in science-specific ways.
- Looking at Student Work is an optional school year follow-up course that provides 10 hours of participant-guided, collaborative learning. This course gives teachers the opportunity to examine samples of student work from their own classrooms.
All Making Sense of SCIENCE courses support teacher learning — both for preservice and practicing teachers — by strengthening their content knowledge, pedagogical reasoning, and instructional skills.
A series of increasingly rigorous quasi-experimental and randomized control studies show that Making Sense of SCIENCE courses:
- Significantly strengthen teachers' content knowledge and this knowledge is maintained over time
- Improve teachers' confidence and transform classroom practices
- Boost student achievement and reduce the achievement gap
This research shows that the effects on students are statistically significant for all major demographic groups, with non-native English speakers gaining more than native speakers, and low-performing students making the biggest gains.
Making Sense of SCIENCE: Matter for Teachers of Grades 6-8
ISBN: 978-1-938287-02-2 / May 2012 / $249.95 / Two perfect-bound books, each with a CD / 8.5 x 11 / 656 pages
Making Sense of SCIENCE: Matter for Teachers of Grades 6-8, Teacher Book
ISBN: 978-1-938287-01-5 / May 2012 / $59.95 / Trade paper / 8.5 x 11 / 440 pages
Making Sense of SCIENCE: Matter for Teachers of Grades 6-8, Charts
ISBN: 978-1-938287-05-3 / May 2012 / $149.95 / 47 charts / 24 x 32
WestEd, a national nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency, works with education and other communities to promote excellence, achieve equity, and improve learning for children, youth, and adults. WestEd has 16 offices nationwide, from Washington and Boston to Arizona and California. Its corporate headquarters are in San Francisco. More information about WestEd is available at WestEd.org.