Colleagues, here are new guides that will help you start in on ambitious teaching (try the Discourse Primer for example). They'll also help you think about how to work with the Next Generation Science Standards (see the new Modeling Primer for example).
Core Practices for Ambitious Science Teaching
Great teaching can be learned. This web site provides tools and resources that support ambitious science instruction at the middle school and high school levels. Ambitious teaching deliberately aims to get students of all racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds to understand science ideas, participate in the discourses of the discipline, and solve authentic problems. We describe 4 core instructional strategies that support this kind of teaching. These “high-leverage” practices make up the Science Learning Framework (below), and have been selected based on extensive research of how young people learn science, on authentic forms of science activity, and how teachers learn to appropriate new practices.
The primary assumptions built into the resources on this web site are that:
- it is the responsibility of teachers to help children from all backgrounds meet high expectations for learning
- teachers are professionals, and part of professionalism is critiquing and refining your practice on the basis of evidence of student learning
- learning to teach to your potential can only be realized through regular, purposeful collaboration with other professionals over time.
This site will provide you with a number of tools to advance your teaching; four are named in the Science Learning Framework above, but there are more tools and resources in the system. For example, there is an entire suite of tools to help groups of teachers engage in collaborative analyses of their students' thinking in order to advance their instructional practice. Click on "Tools" in the left hand menu to see how these work together.