Science Geared to How Students Learn
WestEd’s Making Sense of SCIENCE project enhances the knowledge and skills of elementary and middle school teachers, with a particular focus on improving instruction for English learners and those with low literacy skills.
Research has shown that the project contributes to improving both teacher knowledge and student achievement in science.
Making Sense of SCIENCE conducted Leadership Academies across the country to prepare district and regional service staff and teacher leaders to provide professional development for 800 elementary and middle school teachers. Each set of sessions focused on a specific science topic and grade span.
To address this dual focus on content and pedagogical content knowledge, each Making Sense of SCIENCE session engages participants in a carefully designed sequence of activities.
First, educators conduct their own hands-on investigation of a science concept, such as electrical circuits.
Later, they discuss a “teaching case,” an expert educator’s journal-like description of teaching this same science concept to a class of students. The written cases include student work samples, descriptions of materials and activities, dialogue, and teacher thinking.
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