This project is designed to enhance and study the development of elementary science teachers’ skills in managing productive classroom talk in inquiry-based physical science studies of matter. The project hypothesizes that aligning professional learning with conceptually-driven curricula and emphasizing the development of scientific discourse changes classroom culture and increases student learning. The project is developing new Web-based resources, Talk Science PD, to help elementary teachers facilitate scientific discourse.
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Professor of Education
About Me (Bio):
Sarah Michaels is Professor of Education and Senior Research Scholar at the Jacob Hiatt Center for Urban Education at Clark University. A sociolinguist by training, she has been actively involved in teaching and research in the area of language, culture, “multiliteracies,” the discourses of math and science. She works to bring together teacher education, practitioner research, university-based research on classroom discourse, and state and district-based efforts at educational reform. She is currently involved in a variety of research projects which focus on academically productive talk in math, science, and English Language Arts, from Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. She recently co-authored (with Andy Shouse and Heidi Schweingruber) a book sponsored by the National Research Council, called Ready, Set, Science!: Putting Research to Work in the K-8 Science Classroom. As co-PI of an NSF-funded grant on “Talk Science,” she is developing web-based tools to support teachers’ professional learning about science as well as the orchestration of academically productive classroom discussions. Michaels has published widely in the area of classroom discourse analysis, has received numerous awards for both teaching and scholarship, and serves on a wide range of review boards for journals, book series, and educational foundations. She has been the PI or Director of grants and programs (from foundations, state and federal agencies, and private donors) totaling over $12 million. She has a B.A. from Barnard College and a Ph.D. in Education (Language and Literacy) from U.C., Berkeley.