This project addresses a gap between vision and implementation of state science standards by designing a coordinated suite of instructional, assessment and teacher professional learning materials that attempt to enact the vision behind the Next Generation Science Standards. The study focuses on using state-of-the-art technology to create an 8-week long, immersive, life science field experience organized around three investigations.
New state science standards are ambitious and require important changes to instructional practices, accompanied by a coordinated system of curriculum, assessment, and professional development materials. This project addresses a gap between vision and implementation of such standards by designing a coordinated suite of instructional, assessment and teacher professional learning materials that attempt to enact the vision behind the Next Generation Science Standards. The study focuses on the design of such materials using state-of-the-art technology to create an 8-week long, immersive, life science field experience organized around three investigations. Classes of urban students in two states will collect data on local insect species with the goal of understanding, sharing, and critiquing environmental management solutions. An integrated learning technology system, the Learning Navigator, draws on big data to organize student-gathered data, dialogue, lessons, an assessment information. The Learning Navigator will also amplify the teacher's role in guiding and fostering next generation science learning. This project advances the field through an in-depth exploration of the goals for the standards documents. The study begins to address questions about what works when, where, and for whom in the context of the Next Generation Science Standards.
The project uses a series of case studies to create, test, evaluate and refine the system of instructional, assessment and professional development materials as they are enacted in two distinct urban school settings. It is designed with 330 students and 22 teachers in culturally, racially and linguistically diverse, under-resourced schools in Pennsylvania and California. These schools are located in neighborhoods that are economically challenged and have students who demonstrate patterns of underperformance on state standardized tests. It will document the process of team co-construction of Next Generation Science-fostering instructional materials; develop assessment tasks for an instructional unit that are valid and reliable; and, track the patterns of use of the instructional and assessment materials by teachers. The study will also record if new misconceptions are revealed as students develop Next Generation Science knowledge, comparing findings across two diverse school locations in two states. Data collection will include: (a) multiple types of data to establish validity and reliability of educational assessments, (b) the design, evaluation and use of a classroom observation protocol to gather information on both frequency and categorical degree of classroom practices that support the vision, and (c) consecutive years of ten individual classroom enactments through case studies analyzed through cross-case analyses. This should lead to stronger and better developed understandings about what constitutes strong Next Generation Science learning and the classroom conditions, instructional materials, assessments and teacher development that foster it.
This project was previously funded under award #1907944.
- Songer, N.B., Kali, Y. (in press) Science education and the learning sciences: A coevolutionary connection. Cambridge Handbook of the Learning Sciences.3rd edition.
- Songer, N.B., and Ibarrola Recalde, G., (2021) Eco-Solutioning: The design and evaluation of a curricular unit to foster students’ creation of solutions to address local socio-scientific issues. Frontiers Educ. 6:642320. doi: 10.3389/feduc.2021.642320/
- Songer, N.B., Newstadt, M., Luchessi, K., & Ram, P. (2020) Navigated Learning: An Approach for Differentiated Classroom Instruction Built on Learning Science and Data Science Foundations. Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies. (2) 1. 95-103 https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hbe2.169
- Life Right Here and Everywhere. Presentation in symposium, Opportunities and Challenges of Facilitating Educators’ Understanding and Use of the Next Generation Science Standards. NARST annual meeting April 9, 2021.