Schools and teachers face unprecedented challenges in meeting the ambitious goals of integrating core interdisciplinary science ideas with science and engineering practices as described in new standards. The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), in collaboration with the University of Connecticut (UConn) and the Lawrence Hall of Science (the Hall), developed a middle school ecology unit and related teacher professional development that aimed to help high-need and urban middle school students, including English Language Learners, understand these ideas and related practices. The project was supported by the National Science Foundation. The goal of the research arm of the project, which we helped to co-lead with Dr. Suzanne Wilson, was designed to answer 6 questions:
- What teacher science content knowledge and science pedagogical content knowledge is necessary to help students engage in the curriculum?
- What teacher science content knowledge and science pedagogical content knowledge is unique to the curriculum we are developing?
- To what extent does the teacher institute provide teachers with the learning experiences necessary to support their implementation in their classrooms?
- To what extent does the academic year PD support teachers as they implement the curriculum?
- To what extent do the teacher instruments adequately represent the science content knowledge and science pedagogical content knowledge necessary to help students engaged in the curriculum?
- To what extent do the instruments consistently and reliably capture the range of evidence needed to make claims about teacher’s science content knowledge and science pedagogical content knowledge and students’ level of mastery of curriculum content?
Partner / Institution Affiliation
National Science Foundation