STEM Teaching Tools, Full Set

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STEM Teaching Tools

Free Teacher Learning Resources for Supporting NGSS Implementation The NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the resulting Next Gen Science Standards (NGSS) calls for asking students to learn and apply science concepts by engaging them in the science and engineering practices while connecting to broader cross-cutting concepts. With this new vision of K-12 Science Education, there are many problems of practice that come up. STEM Teaching Tools are co-authored by teachers and researchers to give our best advice about how to realize specifc aspects of that vision. They are short, targeted, link to useful resources, and freely shareable.

www.STEMTeachingTools.org STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014-21 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. This site is primarily funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) through through Award #1920249 (previously through Awards #1238253 and #1854059). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#1

Is it important to distinguish between the explanation and argumentation practices in the classroom? What Is The Issue? The vision laid out in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education asks learners to engage in the science practice of ‘constructing explanations’ and also in ‘argument from evidence’ (along with six other practices). But, some curricula and PD resources don’t make this distinction. They integrate argumentation into explanation and say that it isn’t important for students to understand the diference. Does it matter in the classroom?

BY PHILIP BELL AND ANDREW SHOUSE | SEPTEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should help students understand how scientifc knowledge is produced through explanation and argumentation. District staf and PD providers should emphasize the distinction between explanation and argumentation in PD and provide instructional supports and models of each to teachers. School leaders should learn to recognize what it looks like for student to learn science through argumentation and explanation.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/1


Things To Consider • Explanations are constructed from models and representations of reality—not out of data and warrants. With arguments, scientists attempt to logically reason from the data to a conclusion using appropriate warrants. Argumentation often involves comparing diferent explanations for natural phenomena in an evidence-based way. The two practices are deeply linked to each other, but they do diferent intellectual work for scientists. Review the Model of Scientifc Practices from the NRC Framework to learn more. • It can be simpler to not distinguish explanation from argumentation—to introduce students to one practice rather than two. This comes with some downsides. • Argumentation involves a level of uncertainty—one argues to clarify for herself or to persuade others who have a diferent idea. A measure of uncertainty is powerful for constructing open-ended, authentic investigations for a class. Focusing on explanation and ignoring argumentation may inhibit such investigations. If this intellectual work is only framed for students as explanation then the classroom process of exploring and testing diferent student ideas through evidence-based argument may not happen. Explanation can easily only focus on fnding the “right answer”—rather than developing an understanding of the conceptual ideas. • Science curricula and assessments will likely diferentiate between the two practices since the NRC Framework (and resulting standards) did, so learners need to see them as separate aspects of doing science.

Attending To Equity • All students should be fully engaged in argumentation- and explanation-focused instruction. Science communication is cultural and that needs to be taken into account. Students with limited profciency in English often beneft from more custom supports to support the use of language in meaningful ways.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn more about the explanation and argumentation practices from the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education. • Distinguish between explanation and argumentation in lessons and show how they connect. Use diferent rubrics to analyze student work and thinking for each practice. • Read a summary of the article by Osborne & Patterson on the diferences between explanation and argument in science.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Where does the explanation or argumentation practice already show up in your teaching— perhaps persuasive writing or debate? Do they? What might be confusing to students as you help them understand the difference between argumentation and explanation? How does the difference between argumentation and explanation show up in other subjects (e.g., history, language arts)?

“Where the goal of scientifc explanation is to provide a causal account of events in the material world, argument seeks to use data and warrants to justify belief.” — Stephen Toulmin, philosopher

THE REAL WORLD

THEORIES AND MODELS

Observing Experimenting Measuring Testing

Creative thinking Reasoning Calculating Planning

COLLECT DATA, TEST SOLUTIONS

FORMULATE HYPOTHESES, PROPOSE SOLUTIONS

Investigating

Evaluating

Developing explanations and solutions

Model for Scientifc Practices (from NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 Multiple Instructional Models #17 Beyond Written C-E-R #25 Equitable Argumentation Argumentation Playlist STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [4] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency. Updated May 2017

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/1


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#2

Why should students investigate contemporary science topics—and not just “settled” science? What Is The Issue? Students are frequently asked to investigate “settled” science topics and to simply confrm what is already known, but they can learn “basic science” through contemporary topics. The integration of contemporary scientifc problems into K-12 instruction can give learners exciting ways to learn and apply disciplinary core ideas of science, engage purposefully in the science and engineering practices, and even make meaningful contributions to science, engineering and/ or their communities through their investigations.

BY KATIE VAN HORNE AND PHILIP BELL | NOVEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should at least at times engage students in investigations of contemporary science and engineering topics. District staf and PD providers should communicate with teachers about instructional materials, community resources, and projects focused on contemporary STEM topics. School Leaders should support the teaching of contemporary investigations by forming relevant partnerships and locating resources.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/2


Things To Consider • Contemporary science relies on the core science and engineering practices of the NRC Framework—and others—to investigate the world. Students who participate in such scientifc eforts iteratively and collaboratively engage in STEM practices that help them understand, communicate, and contribute to scientifc research— and to see it as a cumulative, social, and creative enterprise. • Scientifc felds are quickly expanding, but the topics of science instruction are typically fxed. Bringing contemporary science topics into the classroom can help students recognize the broad utility of scientifc practices, how disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts relate to current research, the many roles for science in society, and the active and dynamic aspects of scientifc work. • Practice-focused instruction on contemporary topics (e.g., projectbased instruction) helps students appreciate and contribute to the edge of scientifc understanding. It helps them make a personal connection, identify with science, and appreciate that practices are fuid and complex—and don’t follow rigid, prescribed steps. • Contemporary science is increasingly interdisciplinary; scientists from disparate felds collaborate to work on complex problems. In contrast, diferent school subjects are often presented in isolation. Engaging students in contemporary problems rooted in real scientifc questions allows them to experience the extensive connections between felds—in keeping with the spirit of NGSS.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What current topics in science interest you? How do they relate to learning goals in NGSS? To what degree are students conducting authentic science investigations in your classroom? What can be done to help students see scientifc knowledge developed and applied to real world problems? Contemporary science is in the news, interesting, and often applicable to students’ lives. How can you incorporate timely, interesting, and relevant topics in your teaching? How can you highlight connections, assign readings, or teach through contemporary investigations?

Attending To Equity • All students are entitled to learn about contemporary science and engage in authentic investigations. By involving all learners in making contributions to contemporary scientifc felds, their knowledge about and infuence on science is expanded. • Students can use contemporary science issues to address their own interests or needs in their communities, making science more engaging and meaningful than “confirmatory lab” instruction.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Online videos and science news feeds are a great resource for kicking off contemporary science in the classroom (e.g., social network analysis of disease transmission). Start small and expand over time. • Get ideas about contemporary topics for your classroom by talking with a local scientist or engineer, exploring science news articles and web sites, and asking students about issues in their communities.

—8-Year-Olds Publish Scientifc Bee Study

(Here’s the original published study.)

• Consider involving students in a citizen science project.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #3 #4 #6

Cascade of Practices Multiple Instructional Models Productive Science Talk

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/2


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#3

Practices should not stand alone: How to sequence practices in a cascade to support student investigations What Is The Issue? Science and engineering practices should strongly shape instruction—and be integrated with disciplinary core ideas and cross-cutting concepts. Some people might treat the practices as “stand alone” activities to engage students, but research shows that it is more efective to think about designing instruction as a cascade of practices. Practices should be sequenced and intertwined in diferent ways to support students in unfolding investigations.

BY PHILIP BELL AND KATIE VAN HORNE | SEPTEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should intertwine and sequence multiple scientifc practices in their teaching in ways that integrate the conceptual ideas of science. District staf and PD providers should highlight to teachers that students’ productive engagement in scientifc practices can overlap and seem messy School leaders should understand that a “cascade of practices” approach looks diferent from the “scientifc method” instruction that administrators may be more familiar with.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/3


Things To Consider

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

• It is important to realize that scientists engage in complicated cascades of practices that are “messy” rather than follow some strict scientifc method. This video highlights how science works.

How satisfed are you with your current way of teaching science and engineering? How well does it engage students in extended experiences where they learn and apply concepts while engaging in the science and engineering practices?

• The performance expectations (PEs) in many new science education standards integrate practices with core ideas and cross cutting concepts. The PEs don’t frequently identify multiple practices, but that is not meant to imply that instruction should only engage students in one practice. The PEs are not curriculum. Rather, they highlight the kinds of student performances that are the learning targets of instruction. • In a cascade of practices instructional approach, multiple practices may be combined and sequenced with one or more core ideas and crosscutting concepts to make up extended investigations. A cascade approach allows for a great variety of science and engineering investigations and supports students in making sense of the natural and built world. Depending on learning goals for a unit, it may be useful to highlight some practices more than others.

It is productive to take up a small manageable investigation “cascade style” that can be integrated, repeated and refned throughout your teaching. What practices and core ideas would you want to start with?

• There is no set sequence for how science and engineering practices make up investigations. Investigations might start with posing testable questions, analyzing information, or interrogating a scientifc model. They might culminate with creating explanations, models, arguments, or new testable questions for investigation. • Engaging in students in investigations of this kind takes more instructional time than typical science instruction, but students can develop a deeper understanding of scientifc concepts and more readily appreciate the creative endeavor of scientifc work.

Attending To Equity • The cascade of practices approach implies shifting agency for learning to students who should be supported in designing, carrying out, and building knowledge about the natural and built world. This makes the learning process more active and inclusive of all students. Inclusive instructional models should be used to provide multiple entry points to support more students in engaging in practices.

Resist turning investigative sequences of science practices into new, fxed procedures that students are marched through—similar to how the scientifc method has often been used instructionally.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Study the diagram at the right showing a project-based instructional sequence involving multiple practices. Notice how the selected cascade helps students accomplish an authentic investigation. • Learn about and implement instructional models that focus on engaging students in cascades of practices. Think about how specifc models can help inform instruction in your classroom.

Cascade of Practices PBL Sequence (from Bell et al., 2011)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #32

Multiple Instructional Models Inquiry & the Sci Method

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [4] Updated May 2017 Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/3


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#4

Are there multiple instructional models that ft with the science and engineering practices in NGSS? (Short answer: Yes.) What Is The Issue? The Next Gen Science Standards (NGSS) expect learners to engage in eight science and engineering practices in order to learn and apply conceptual ideas. People often assume that a particular instructional model is best for engaging students in the NGSS practices. In fact, there are multiple models that can be used efectively.

BY PHILIP BELL | SEPTEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should select instructional models for teaching the practices based on their commitments, preferences, and their local context. District staf and PD providers should highlight for teachers that multiple instructional models can be used to implement the practices although PD may focus on a specifc one. School leaders should know what instructional models are used by their teachers and learn to recognize qualities of them within classroom.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/4


Things To Consider • NGSS and the underlying NRC Framework do not say anywhere that there is only one instructional approach for engaging students in the practices. But specifc curricula, instructional resources, and PD can reinforce this view by focusing on only one model at a time. There are actually multiple instructional models that can be productively used to implement the learning goals of NGSS. • Explore the practice-focused instructional models listed in the table and select one(s) that ft your situation and personal preferences. • Selecting an instructional model that fts a particular classroom should be based on local circumstances. This can involve supporting instruction that fts a teacher’s personal history, goals, or commitments. Or it can be based on what instructional model is in use in the local curriculum. The district’s or school’s instructional strategy or a professional learning community may also shape teachers’ orientation to an instructional model. • Implementing an instructional model may require adaptation of available curriculum to engage students in the practices. • Multiple instructional models can be integrated, but it is important for the learning experience to be coherent so that a rigorous and engaging classroom culture can be cultivated.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How satisfed are you with your current way of teaching science and engineering? How well does it engage students in the science and engineering practices? What instructional models do you currently use? Which additional ones might be suitable for your context? It is productive to take up small specifc teaching practices that can be repeated and refned throughout your teaching. What teaching strategy might you want to focus on?

Attending To Equity • Instructional strategies vary in terms of how they relate the science being learned to the lives and interests of the learners and the communities they are part of. Some instructional models—for example, culturally relevant instruction—actively connect to and build upon the life experiences and practices of learners. • In order to make science teaching and learning as inclusive as possible, educators should select instructional models that engage students with the practices in diferent, locally relevant ways.

Leading Instructional Models That Fit With NGSS Science and Engineering Practices

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn which instructional models for science instruction are used in your district, school, or PD. Determine if it focuses on practices. • Connect to others who use a desired instructional model in order to share materials and learn about the fner points of using a specifc instructional model.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #9

Practice-focused PD Strategy

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [3] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/4


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#5

Using curriculum adaptation as a strategy to help teachers learn about NGSS and developing aligned instructional materials Photo by Institute for Systems Biology

What Is The Issue? Using curriculum materials aligned to NGSS is a crucial part of implementation, but there is very little aligned curricula to choose from, districts may not have resources to purchase it, and teachers typically don’t have time to develop new curriculum from scratch. However, teachers can efectively adapt existing curriculum materials and instruction to better align with NGSS. This can help them learn about important parts of the NGSS vision for learning—and result in instructional materials for use across classrooms.

BY TAMMY COOK-ENDRES, ALISHA TAYLOR & BILL PENUEL | SEPTEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should analyze and adapt tasks in existing curriculum to support student engagement in the science and engineering practices. District staf and PD providers should learn about how to support networks of teachers as they engage in curriculum adaptation and share the resulting instructional materials. School leaders should support eforts to engage teachers in adapting, testing, and refning enhancements of currently-adopted curriculum

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/5


Things To Consider • Curriculum adaptation is an important form of professional development that promotes buy-in, builds understanding of key features of learning and teaching, and improves student learning. • Select an instructional model. Many instructional models ft NGSS. What matters is that there is a coherent model of teaching that guides the adaptation of materials and that also guides teaching. • Focus the work. It’s not possible to attend to all curriculum units at once, and to do so would be overwhelming and lead to shallow changes. Target lessons for deep enhancement where students can make sense of phenomena, data, or ideas. Identify specifc science and engineering practices to integrate into these lessons. • Follow a backward design approach to adaptation for NGSS with teams of teachers working in small collaborative groups. The curriculum enhancements can be co-designed with educational researchers with curriculum development experience. • Attend to emotions, identity, and expertise. The emotional attachment teachers may feel towards particular activities can make them challenging to give up or change. Directly address these issues, develop trust, and create a safe place where they can take risks and try new ways of engaging students in practices. Leverage teacher expertise in ways that can focus and drive the design work. • Improve the enhancements over time. Have the teams use, study, and refne the enhancements iteratively across their classrooms.

Attending To Equity • Design teams should be composed of teachers who serve students from widely varying backgrounds and communities/neighborhoods. When exploring ways to redesign units, consider how best to identify and leverage students’ diversity of interests, experiences, and knowledge in defning learner “entry points” into units.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn about an NGSS curriculum adaptation PD project in Seattle and Renton School Districts as a model of this kind of PD. • Learn about Brian Reiser’s coherent story-line approach to Adapting Curriculum Materials for NGSS. • Review research on the value of PD for curriculum adaptation: Penuel, W. R., Gallagher, L.P., & Moorthy, S. (2011). • Review research on curriculum analysis as PD: Roth, K. J., Garnier, H. E., Chen, C., Lemmens, M., Schwille, K., & Wickler, N. I. Z. (2011).

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How will you identify teachers or schools to involve in this kind of PD effort? What grade-level / grade-band will you focus on? What curriculum materials are strong candidates for adapatation? Which NGSS practices and DCIs will you focus on? Why? How can you structure the PD to let teachers leverage their expertise and also learn about new approaches and ideas? How will you network teachers to allow them to test, iterate and refne their enhancements? When will you share the enhancements with others?

“Curriculum adaptation is immediately relevant to the work of teaching while it also prepares teachers for future learning.” — Dan Gallagher, Seattle Public Schools

“What is particularly important is that teachers develop the capacity to design sequences of instruction by learning a set of pedagogical principles that can guide their selection or adaptation of materials.” —Penuel, Gallagher & Moorthy (2011)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4

Multiple Instructional Models

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [3] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/5


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#6

How Can I Get My Students to Learn Science by Productively Talking with Each Other? What Is The Issue? Talking is integral to human learning. The practice dimension of the NGSS and CCSS highlight that scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and writers routinely communicate—not merely to share their fnal form products—but to make sense of their work and to gather feedback and refne their ideas as the work unfolds. Learners beneft from such accountable talk as well, but it can be tricky to scafold and manage productive discourse in the classroom.

BY RICH BACOLOR, TAMMY COOK-ENDRES, TIFFANY LEE & ANNIE ALLEN | NOVEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should routinely support students in “sense-making” talk to help them work through their understanding while engaging in the science and engineering practices. District staf and PD providers should provide models of productive talk in PD and as an integral part of enacting curriculum materials. School leaders should observe productive science talk in classrooms and provide support to teachers as they develop talk facilitation skills.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/6


Things To Consider • The science and engineering practices in the NRC Framework and NGSS are deeply social and require that students communicate. They involve reasoning with others and seeking a shared understanding of science phenomena. The goals of productive talk include: (1) sharing and clarifying one’s own thinking, (2) listening to one another, (3) deepening one’s own reasoning, and (4) thinking together. • Talk makes student thinking explicit and public—so that it can be engaged with, interpreted, built upon, and refned. Student ideas can then become resources for learning. • I-R-E (initiation, response, evaluation) is the dominant discourse pattern of classroom interactions, and it needs to change. In order to engage students in science and engineering practices, they need access to and experience with discourse-rich, sense-making conversations. Breaking the I-R-E pattern and integrating productive talk may, at frst, require practice, preteaching, and even scripting student roles and language. • Students should be supported to make sense of complex natural phenomena. Rich discourse among students should be encouraged through thoughtful lesson sequences and skilled facilitation that positions them as collaborative constructors of knowledge.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What do you think productive classroom talk looks like? What is your role in supporting that talk at different phases of student investigations? What explicit and implicit social norms are at play in your classroom, and how can you effectively shift these to support productive talk? What cultural styles of talk and sense-making are present in your community of students that you should make room for in science learning conversations?

Attending To Equity • Broadening participation—beyond the youth who raise their hands in classroom discussions—is an important equity issue. At the same time, diferent students have diferent levels of comfort participating, and there need to be many ways to participate in reasoning together. Sometimes silence and listening are fne. It is also crucial to support the involvement of English learners. • Scientifc talk is deeply cultural. Children’s home experience with discourse is quite varied. Classroom norms should support talk, help students use their home discourse practices in the classroom, and provide a safe place for sharing and refning ideas.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Routinely focus instruction on student talk related to making sense of phenomena and their ideas. Read about Making Thinking Visible through Talk and Argument, including how to establish classroom norms and use talk moves to cultivate learning conversations. Review the Talk Science Primer and use the Talk Move Checklist. • These classroom videos and supporting discourse primer highlights the use of diferent talk moves. Learn more about diferent approaches to managing classroom talk.

“In order to process, make sense of, and learn from their ideas, observations, and experiences, students must talk about them... Talk forces students to think about and articulate their ideas. Talk can also provide an impetus for students to refect on what they do—and do not—understand.” — Ready, Set, SCIENCE!

“We suggest that trying to present science [communication] in a culturally neutral way is like trying to paint a picture without taking a perspective.” — Doug Medin, psychologist

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11

Indigenous STEM Learning

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [2] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/6


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#7

Learning STEM Through Design: Students Beneft from Expanding What Counts as “Engineering” What Is The Issue? Engineering design activities can be a powerful entry point into science learning. Engineering is typically defned very narrowly in K-12 education, which keeps students from engaging in rich classroom activities that connect professional practices to the many ways engineering and design can play out in their personal lives and communities. For this reason, it is useful to promote a broad view of “engineering” in the classroom.

BY MEG ESCUDÉ, MOLLY SHEA, AND PHILIP BELL | OCTOBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should embed engineering cycles in their science instruction and heighten relevance by focusing on local and community-centered design. District staf and PD providers should help teachers include engineering design in their teaching and provide them with relevant tools and skills to facilitate the design work of students. School Leaders should support building capacity in engineering and design instruction in science across K-12 grades as an equity priority.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/7


Things To Consider • Classroom design opportunities give learners a chance to tangibly wrestle with and apply their understanding of scientifc concepts. It can allow them to do this work in contexts that are more familiar to them (e.g., building a self-propelled vehicle, designing a functioning garden ecosystem, tinkering / building projects, designing a process). • Design work involves critical thinking and planning. Within the design process, teachers should highlight scientifc concepts, help identify the audience needs for the work, entice creative problem identifcation and solutions, draw on community and expert knowledge, and reinforce the practices of iteration, prototyping, failure analysis, and working within design criteria and constraints. • Design and engineering practices can contribute to solving community-based problems and engage the interests of students who may not see the relevance of engineering in their lives. Design projects conducted by youth and communities can lead to engaged STEM learning, broadened defnitions of engineering, and leverage a wider range of design-related professional and everyday practices.

Attending To Equity • There is great value in recognizing and identifying the sophistication of thought inherent in occupations like cooking or construction— and makes connections to academic or professional defnitions of those same practices. Framing seemingly disparate careers as related helps students see family experiences as learning resources.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Where in your curriculum can you have students identify a problem in their community or home that leverages scientifc knowledge in NGSS and then design a solution to address it? What practices do youth engage in that you can leverage as part of their communities or personal hobbies that involve iterative design or engineering processes? Engineering is interdisciplinary. What are some everyday endeavors where engineering design can be brought to bear? When does the design work of students not involve an engineering approach?

• It is crucial to expand what counts as engineering in order to see how it permeates many endeavors in everyday life. Cultures have historically engaged in engineering to develop solutions to problems. Leverage community resources about design and engineering in instruction. This positions students and community members as experts and elicits their knowledge related to design. • Many youth have extensive experience observing or engaging in design projects that develop solutions to everyday problems or interests that matter to them. The design knowledge and identities of youth can be leveraged in instruction to help other students.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn about engineering design in the NRC Framework & the NGSS, and how the science and engineering practices difer. • Adapt your curriculum to make new entry points into STEM learning by embedding engineering / design projects or lessons for students. • Learn how to leverage learners’ prior knowledge, interest & identity.

Engineering Design Triangle (for grades 9-12) (from Next Generation Science Standards)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4

Multiple Instructional Models

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [3] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/7


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#8

What is meant by engaging youth in scientifc modeling? What Is The Issue? A model is a representation of an idea or phenomenon that otherwise may be difcult to understand, depict, or directly observe. Models are integral to the practice of science and are used across many disciplines in a variety of ways. Scientists develop, test, refne, and use models in their research and to communicate their fndings. Helping students develop and test models supports their learning and helps them understand important aspects of how science and engineering work.

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should regularly engage students in building, revising and evaluating multiple models. Students should learn to appreciate how models and modeling are central to science. District staf and PD providers should help teachers approach the revision of models of natural phenomena over time in their classrooms. Modeling is an iterative process of representation. School leaders should promote use of instructional materials that represent scientifc models as having applications, limitations, and faws.

BY KERRI WINGERT, MARIAN WAGNER, ANDREW SHOUSE, STEVE SPODARYK & JEANNE CHOWNING | JANUARY 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/8


Things To Consider

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

• Scientifc models are representations motivated by an interest in developing deeper knowledge and communicating about systems in the natural world. Scientifc models can take many forms, including physical models, diagrams, computer-based models, mathematical models, and conceptual models. These diferent forms sometimes overlap and can be present within a single model.

How do you already employ modeling? What different kinds of models are used? What crossdiscipline connections do (or can) you make with modeling?

• Models serve vital functions in scientifc practice. Models can be used to explain complex data, build theories, and generate new hypotheses. Scientists also devise ways to test competing models and engage in arguments about them. New fndings may support or contradict existing models. Models are created, revised, and sometimes rejected. Models are both explanatory and predictive. They are developed using existing data and also help drive future research. For example, models are used to predict outbreaks of diseases, climate change, and interactions within an ecosystem. Because models are approximations of real objects, phenomena, and systems, they are continually being refned as scientists gain new knowledge and data. • Creating, refning & manipulating models can support student learning of scientifc concepts. Students need experience creating their own conceptual models, practice revising and improving those models, and opportunities to refect on the limitations of models that they develop. For example, students can develop their own model to explain the phases of the moon based on their ideas, make predictions based on those models, and test their models against observations. Students should refne their understanding and their models as new evidence becomes available in an investigation. They should also consider the strengths and limitations of models—to help avoid confusing models with the larger ideas they represent.

Attending To Equity • Helping children see how their various cultural experiences are similar to what scientists do can help them connect with science. In their play, even very young children use models. Dolls, toy cars, and stufed animals facilitate the pretend exploration of adult life. Bushes in a park become “forts” connected to a playground “town.” • All children learn to use analogy in play and language. Everyday language is often rich in analogy and metaphor, which are efectively verbal models for explaining phenomena. These imaginative concepts allow children to explore worlds that are beyond their “real” experience—just as scientifc models make aspects of a phenomenon visible that are otherwise difcult to examine.

Discuss the quote: “Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.” — George E. P. Box Do your students construct, critique, and revise models? How can they share, compare, and refne their models? What can you learn from student-built models?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Read about the modeling practice in the NRC Framework and this article with some classroom examples. • Read this research brief on the shift from models as a way to display concepts to model-based reasoning. • Watch an overview video on models & a deep dive on conceptual models. • Investigate how modeling resembles aspects of the everyday life of your students and local communities. • Modeling shifts the focus from memorizing facts to investigating phenomena. Consider how your students can engage in various facets of modeling in your current instruction. This overview might help you come up with ideas.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #3 #30 #37

Contemporary Science Cascade of Practices Task Formats Facets of Student Thinking

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Updated May 2017 Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/8


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#9

How should districts and schools focus professional development when starting to implement NGSS? What Is The Issue? The changes called for in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS require signifcant learning for teachers of K-12 science. Teacher learning will take time. It needs to be sequenced so that topics addressed can be put to immediate use and also fuel professional learning into the future. Longterm professional development (PD) plans should be informed by emerging developments in NGSS-aligned resources, tools, and instructional materials as they are shared across states and networks.

BY DAN GALLAGHER | DECEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should prioritize learning based on what is actionable now, within their current curriculum, as members of their school science departments or grade-level teams. District staf and PD providers should coordinate their plans with existing material resources and adoption timelines, local expertise, and other district initiatives. School leaders should support the coordination of school and district initiatives and consider the purview of school vs. district leadership.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/9


Things To Consider • Be selective about the scope of the PD in order to avoid overwhelming participants. Without intensive support, teachers can’t efectively learn and put into practice new content, pedagogical content, and curriculum. Focus PD on specifc, highleverage teaching moves—don’t try to “cover” all of the standards. • Integrate Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) with Practices and connect to Cross-Cutting Concepts (CCCs). Focusing early PD eforts on DCIs and/or CCCs in absence of the Practices will likely result in educators teaching new content in old ways—and fail to achieve the integrated vision of the NGSS and Framework. Emphasize learning DCIs through Practices. CCCs require systemic, repeated, and coherent attention throughout a curriculum across multiple grade levels, so they’re difcult to put into practice in the short term. • From this 3D perspective on learning, focus early PD eforts on a subset of the Science and Engineering Practices. This can support changes in instruction in the short term while laying important groundwork for future PD. Less is more. • Consider the state of current instruction in your local context when prioritizing practices. Constructing Explanations, Designing Solutions, and Engaging in Argument from Evidence may be productive starting points because aspects of these practices may be recognizable in current instruction, but are not so familiar as to elicit the response, “This is nothing new.” A focus on these practices naturally leads to consideration of the other practices. • Coordinate with other policy initiatives. Many initiatives compete for attention and place demands on teachers (e.g., Common Core, Teacher Evaluation, Standards-Based Grading). NGSS PD will be more successful if it is integrated with other policy initiatives and resources and responds to challenges teachers already feel.

Attending To Equity • Focusing instruction on Science and Engineering Practices is particularly demanding for English Learners, and teachers must intentionally build a classroom culture that values and builds on contributions from students of all backgrounds. PD for teachers should support inclusive classroom cultures for all learners. • Integrating Science and Engineering Practices into instruction creates classroom experiences that parallel scientifc ones. All students should have opportunities to engage in scientifc practices and engineering design in order to deepen their understanding of STEM disciplines and to develop STEM-related identities.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What resources (time, money, materials, and expertise) do you have to invest in PD? What challenges faced by teachers, including those not related to NGSS, will your PD address? How will learning in early stages of your PD serve as a resource for learning in later stages? How will you plan to assess early effectiveness of your PD and modify in response?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Analyze the policy landscape in which your PD will occur and coordinate with local and district administration. • A limited number of NGSS-aligned curricula are currently available. However, few districts are likely to pursue curriculm adoptions immediately. Consider curriculum adaptation with a focus on Practices for early PD eforts. Review current instructional materials and determine which ones can be adapted to emphasize the Practices. • Form a strong team of practitioners and PD providers (and, if possible, scientists and educational researchers) to make adaptations, test them, and refne them.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #5 #14

Multiple Instructional Models Curriculum Adaptation Why NGSS?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [3] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/9


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#10

Teaching STEM In Ways that Respect and Build Upon Indigenous Peoples’ Rights What Is The Issue? Indigenous ways of knowing are sometimes thought to be in opposition to and detrimental to the learning of Western Science or STEM. Consequently, indigenous ways of knowing are rarely engaged to support learning. If STEM learning is to be meaningful and transformative for Indigenous youth, respecting Indigenous peoples rights and related critical issues, including Indigenous STEM, settler-colonialism, and decolonization, must be understood and explicitly addressed in Indigenous youths’ informal and formal

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should understand and leverage Indigenous students’ ways of knowing and values. District staf and PD providers should build relationships with Indigenous communities they serve and ofer professional development on Indigenous STEM. School leaders should learn to recognize what it looks like for Indigenous students to learn Western and Indigenous STEM and how to ensure a dual approach is adopted at system- and classroom-levels.

STEM learning experiences. BY MARISSA SPANG & MEGAN BANG | MARCH 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/10


Things To Consider • Indigenous Sovereignty/Nationhood and Federal Trust Responsibility: In addition to their unique cultures, languages and territories, Indigenous peoples possess and exercise political sovereignty and nationhood. Consequently, Indigenous students possess dual- (or more) citizenship to their Indigenous Nation(s) and the U.S. Further, the U.S. has a legal trust responsibility with tribes to protect and uphold Native nations rights and resources, physical and cultural. Education is a signifcant part of trust responsibility. • The U.S. is a settler-colonial nation that has forcibly removed Indigenous people from their lands (e.g., to “reservations” and compulsory schooling), and exploited Indigenous peoples, plants, and animals for economic proft. Scientists have participated in this in various ways often not in the best interest of Native nations. • The UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights, passed in 2007, declares in Article 31 the right of Indigenous people to develop their cultural heritage, traditional knowledge…as well as the manifestations of their sciences, technologies, and cultures. The U.S. voted against this right in 2007 and was heavily criticized for failing to uphold trust responsibility. The U.S. became a declaration signatory in 2012. • Decolonization & Resurgence: Many Indigenous peoples seek to “decolonize.” It can take many forms (e.g., eating only local foods, revitalizing Indigenous language). It is a call for the revitalization of Indigenous life ways and the return of Indigenous lands to Indigenous peoples. A notable approach is “everyday resurgence,” where Indigenous people engage in the routine practices, values, and traditions of their communities since time immemorial and evolve new practices based in Indigenous values and ways of knowing. • Indigenous Ways of Knowing are multiple, diverse, and intersect with a host of Western disciplines. Indigenous Science is a broad term that refects an inter-disciplinary sensibility refecting Indigenous peoples knowledge and practices past and present…“[it is] a metaphor for a wide range of tribal processes of perceiving, thinking, acting and ‘coming to know’ that have evolved through human experience with the natural world. Native science is born of a lived and storied participation with the natural landscape” (Cajete).

Attending To Equity • STEM learning for Indigenous students involves the explicit recognition and teaching about settler-colonialism, decolonization, and resurgence as well as centering Indigenous ways of knowing and values. Attending to these aspects of Indigenous students’ lives, identities, and learning will create meaningful and transformative STEM learning and experiences for them and their communities.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Do you teach Indigenous youth? How can you fnd out? Some students and communities are wary of schools because they are places that historically and presently refect racism. What are the implications for you? Do you take up issues of settlercolonialism and decolonization in your instruction? Do you center and reinforce Indigenous youth’s ways of knowing? If not, how do you think you can?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Review: Implementing Meaningful STEM Ed with Indigenous Students & Families • Invite Indigenous elders, guest speakers and storytellers into your classroom and authentically partner with them to teach ongoing (not sporadic) Indigenous STEM and ways of knowing. Provide “everyday resurgence” opportunities for students. • Build meaningful relationships with your Indigenous students, their families, and their communities. Learn their ways of knowing directly from them, e.g., by attending community events. • Openly and regularly acknowledge on whose original Indigenous territory the learning is taking place, e.g., where the school is located. Engage all students in practicing the naming of places, plants, and processes according to students’ Indigenous knowledge systems.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11 #14 #15

Indigenous Science Education Why NGSS? Equity Overview

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/10


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#11

Implementing Meaningful STEM Education with Indigenous Students & Families What Is The Issue? Indigenous ways of knowing are often perceived to be contrary to STEM learning, but they are in fact powerful resources for learning. STEM instruction should be made inclusive for Indigenous students by building connections between Indigenous and Western STEM. There are a set of strategies teachers can use to intentionally incorporate indigenous ways of knowing into STEM learning environments—both in and out of school and in relation to family and community.

BY MARISSA SPANG & MEGAN BANG | NOVEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should focus on Indigenous ways of knowing & encourage Indigenous students to navigate between Indigenous & Western STEM. District staf and PD providers should build relationships with Indigenous communities they serve and focus PD on Indigenous STEM, including relations to land. School leaders need to recognize what it looks like for Indigenous students to learn western & Indigenous STEM and ensure approaches are adopted.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/11


Things To Consider • Center Indigenous Ways of Knowing: Make Indigenous ways of knowing central in instruction. One strategy is to draw upon the practice of observation of the natural world that is valued in many Indigenous communities, such as observing animals, plants, and weather patterns over time. These observations are often communicated through oral stories that have been accumulated and built over time and generations. Drawing explicitly upon the culturally valued practices of observation and storytelling—and their analogous NGSS practices of data collection and explanation— provide powerful pedagogical leverage points for STEM learning. • Localize Knowledge & Learning: STEM learning framed in local knowledge—in relation to local practices, and in land- and place-based ways—can enhance the relevance and meaning of STEM for Indigenous students and their communities. Many Indigenous students have responsibilities to their communities and territories (including human and non-human ancestors and future generations), so their learning and lives are often embedded in these responsibilities. Therefore, connecting STEM learning to Indigenous students’ everyday lives, their territories, and sets of relations they have, can lead to more meaningful and engaging STEM experiences. • Facilitate Navigation Within & Across Multiple Epistemologies: When engaging Indigenous students in STEM learning, it is critical to explicitly recognize and encourage their border-crossing and navigation of Indigenous and Western ways of knowing as opposed to erasing one or the other or assimilating Indigenous students into Western ways of knowing. This approach frst centers on and reinforces Indigenous students’ ways of knowing, and secondly teaches them Western STEM. Bridging Indigenous and Western STEM—grounded in Indigenous students’ everyday lives, communities, and territories—can lead to more productive STEM learning, expertise, and career trajectories for Indigenous students.

Attending To Equity • STEM learning for Indigenous students should involve ofering them learning and knowing that is land- and place-based, centers (not erases or undermines) their ways of knowing, and builds connections between Indigenous and Western STEM. It also involves creating STEM learning that is relevant to their everyday lives and their interdependent roles and responsibilities that they have to their families and communities, now and in the future. Such learning experiences are more meaningful, relevant and culturallyappropriate.

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [3] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How can you change your instruction to “center” it on Indigenous ways of knowing? Who are partners (parents, teachers, systems leaders, students, organizations) that can help you center Indigenous ways of knowing? How can they help your students navigate multiple ways of knowing? Where are some places you can take students to strengthen their connections to their territories and localize knowledge and learning?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Take your class outside as much as possible and center learning on local fora, fauna, and phenomena—and to reinforce relationships to land. Read about this example and this study. • Regularly invite guest speakers to share Indigenous STEM and ways of knowing through storytelling. • Read about orienting to cultural ways of knowing in order to promote inclusive instruction—from the NRC Framework and from SACNAS. • Identify and partner with an out-of-school community-based organization to connect STEM learning in school and out of school.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/11


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#12

Scientifc literacy involves understanding global climate change & what people can do about it What Is The Issue? The complexities of climate change and its interdisciplinary nature can make it feel like a daunting teaching task. However, this complexity refects the systemic nature of many of today’s environmental challenges—making it an ideal platform for implementing practice-based instruction focused on contemporary science in the classroom. The science and engineering practices of modeling, analyzing data, argumentation, and designing solutions should be a central focus of any climate change curriculum.

BY VERONICA MCGOWAN | MAY 2015

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should engage students in the analysis of multiple strands of authentic climate change data, including historic, current, and predictive datasets and models. District staf & PD providers should provide sustained PD opportunities that engage teachers in learning to teach about climate change from an interdisciplinary science perspective. School leaders and state-level policymakers should provide resources that help teachers focus instruction on contemporary climate change.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/12


Things To Consider • All young people are entitled to develop a scientifc understanding of climate change and to know how engineering solutions can allow us to mitigate impacts, adapt practices, and build resilient systems. • Climate change is an interdisciplinary science topic. Aspects of the topic can be taught in diferent science classes without losing the big picture ideas of systems thinking, managing uncertainty, and building arguments based on multiple lines of data. Here are examples of climate subsystem topics across diferent subjects: Biology: Students can study how shifts in climate can disrupt ecosystems (LS2.C) and have and will continue to afect biological life cycles, called phenology. Phenological shifts and phenological mismatches are already being observed among plants and wildlife. Chemistry: Students can study how ocean acidifcation results from the absorption of excess CO2 from the atmosphere in seawater and can have large-scale impacts on marine life. They can also study how climate changes impacts agriculture by reducing arable land. Physics: Changes in atmospheric gas composition are already impacting the fow of energy and matter around Earth. Students can investigate how these shifts impact absorption and release of solar radiation and impacts of warming temperatures on ocean currents. Earth Sciences: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and computer models are major tools for modeling the impacts of climate change globally. Students can analyze existing models and create their own (e.g., in Google Maps). It is important for students to understand the carbon cycling process (see ESS2.E for details). • When arguing about climate change in the classroom, remind students that scientifc arguments are supported by multiple lines of observed and modeled data, and not political opinions or untested assumptions. Allow students to engage with the social controversy by having them evaluate media and political arguments in light of the evidence given. Students can explore if speakers are using scientifc evidence to support their claims.

Attending To Equity • Global climate change has been impacting many communities in less to more severe ways for many years. It is a social imperative to respond to climate change within local communities and in general while recognizing that energy production is a major driver. • Youth are likely to bring a range of perspectives to the study of climate change. Remember that shifting views around socially controversial issues can require deep identity shifts in students and should not be a required part of climate change learning.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What particular aspects of climate change could be relevant to practice-based instruction in your classroom? Consider the claim from the NRC Framework: “It is clear not only that human activities play a major role in climate change but also that impacts of climate change...have begun to infuence human activities.” How can this site help you engage students and community members with understanding this idea?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Review the Global Climate Change Core Idea (ESS3.D) from the NRC Framework, this summary of the scientifc literature, and this FAQ on climate change. • Engage students in citizen science projects like the National Phenology Network. Also, engage students in the work associated with designing solutions to specifc climate change problems. • Have student develop arguments around multiple lines of evidence, including data from predictive climate models. This booklet and this site are useful resources. • Use a systems-based approach to teach the large-scale cause and effect dynamics of climate change science. Causal-Loop Diagrams are a simple, paper-based way to incorporate systems thinking into any lesson for students of all ages.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #8 #45

Contemporary Science Scientifc Modeling Engineering Design & Science

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/12


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#13

Professional Development that Supports Teacher Learning about the New Vision for Science Education What Is The Issue? The new vision for K-12 science education expects learners to engage deeply with science and engineering practices to develop and apply conceptual ideas. This strong connection between practices, cross-cutting concepts, and core ideas in science and engineering is diferent from previous science standards. This requires teachers to shift classroom instruction. Carefully designing professional development (PD) opportunities plays a large role in supporting educators’ learning about this new vision and how it

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should collaborate to analyze student work samples and video of their own teaching in ways that connect PD experiences with their classroom teaching. District staf & PD providers should provide sustained and responsive PD opportunities that focus on teachers’ collaborative analysis of classroom instruction. School leaders should support schedules that allow for teachers to meet and discuss instructional practice in science.

can look in their unique classrooms. BY CHRISTIE BARCHENGER & TANA PETERMAN | APRIL 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/13


Things To Consider • PD in education has often taken the form of one-time sessions that focus on ‘telling’ teachers about new curricula or instructional strategies. Supporting teachers’ engagement with the new vision for K-12 science education will require a departure from this format. • PD should be structured around teachers analyzing ‘rich images’ of classroom enactment. These rich images may include classroom videos of teachers who are not part of the PD group but should ideally include classroom video and student work from teachers engaged in the PD. Teachers are working collaboratively in cycles to apply specifc aspects of the new vision to their classrooms, analyze classroom episodes and resulting student work, and use that analysis to continue shifting instruction. The ‘Plan-Do-Study-Act’ tool helps ground teachers’ work in specifc problems of practice. • Because PD should be focused on supporting teachers to make sense of the new vision for their own school contexts, PD has to be responsive to emergent problems of practice as teachers work toward implementation. For example, a Claims-Evidence-Reasoning (C-E-R) framework may be useful in helping teachers initially scafold students’ participation in the practice of argumentation, but over time teachers will need a suite of strategies to support students in the diferent aspects of argumentation. • With time and pragmatic constraints related to teachers’ schedules, professional development should “capitalize on cyber-enabled environments” to support teacher collaboration. • The new vision for science teaching and learning may be in tension with current classroom practice. Learning opportunities can be situated both in and out of the classroom to leverage various learning goals (Putnam & Borko, 2000). Collaborations with STEM professionals can provide opportunities to engage authentically with the science and engineering practices in order to develop an understanding of how the practices exist outside of the classroom, as well as opportunities to identify and learn about relevant phenomena and contemporary science issues in their content area.

Attending To Equity • Focus some PD time on learning more about the ways in which students’ communities think about engaging with the natural and built world(s) and how this can be a basis for instruction. Students should learn science by building on their existing ideas about the natural world, as opposed to discounting them. • Include Special Education and EL teachers as co-designers in PD in order to support inclusive instruction and learning.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What is at the ‘center’ of PD that you facilitate? How might PD for the new vision for science ed look similar or different? How have you elicited feedback from teachers about previous PD? If new PD needs to be responsive to emergent problems of practice, how can you allow for that? How does your PD support sustained teacher collaboration?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Align PD with a comprehensive implementation plan. • Initiate conversations with colleagues, anchored in student work and classroom video, about the new vision and instructional practice. • Several PD models ft research-based criteria for efective PD—focused on core science content, sustained over time, centered on student work. PD facilitators can also consult the NSTA’s Introducing Teachers and Administrators to the NGSS. Consider what might work for or be adapted in your local context. The following resources might be useful: Curriculum Adaptation PD Model PD Strategies for Ed Leaders • Connect with an emerging community of educators implementing the new vision.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #5 #9 #14

Curriculum Adaptation Districts Implementing NGSS Why NGSS?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/13


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#14

Next Generation Science Standards: What’s different, and do they matter?

What Is The Issue? Many districts, schools, and educational organizations are working to implement the new vision in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education. Educators may wonder: “What’s new about these standards? Do the diferences really matter for my classroom?” The new vision includes several big shifts for how science should be taught and learned. Tens of thousands of experts reviewed it—including teachers, scientists, educational researchers, and science ed specialists.

BY PHILIP BELL, ANDREW SHOUSE AND TANA PETERMAN | OCTOBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should refect on and refne how their teaching aligns with the NGSS vision of student learning. They should locate and share professional learning resources with others. District staf and PD providers need to be clear about why NGSS is an important change and how it can impact classroom practice. School Leaders should support teachers’ professional growth and locate resources that support the new vision of science education.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/14


Things To Consider • Science Content is Best Learned by Engaging in Practices. “Inquiry science” has become a vague notion and has often led to a false separation of “content” and “process.” The NGSS performance expectations ofer a tight integration of 8 science and engineering practices as they relate to learning and applying disciplinary core ideas while making connections to cross-cutting concepts—a 3D model of learning. This is in strong contrast to teaching “the scientifc method” at the beginning of the year and then diving into a series of “content” lessons and lock-step labs. There are multiple models of instruction that can ft this 3D approach. • Build on Prior Knowledge, Experience & Identity in Instruction. Previously, science teachers were encouraged to identify children’s misconceptions and design instruction to unsettle and replace these. This approach was often reinforced with fact-based memorization lessons. We now understand that children’s sciencerelated identities and ideas, whether scientifcally accurate or not, are deeply grounded in their personal experience of the world—and that it is productive to leverage them as they learn science. NGSS calls for educators to build on these assets whenever possible. • All Children Can Learn Ambitious Science. The feld has often undersold the abilities of young children to do science and underemphasized the importance of ambitious learning goals for all. Research shows that all students can engage in ambitious science learning and problem-solving. Virtually all children come to school ready to learn science. They should be supported in building upon their experiences of the world as they develop conceptual understanding. This is true for children of all cultural backgrounds. • Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science are Central to Science Education. The NGSS includes learning goals related to engineering, technology, and applications of science across the K-12 span. It includes a focus on engaging students in the engineering practices involved in iterative design. These goals highlight engineering as a powerful force that serves human interests and can have unanticipated consequences. Across K-12, students should learn about engineering, technology, and applications of science.

Attending To Equity • The NGSS and NRC Framework outline science literacy goals for all students and call for equity to be at the forefront of any efort to improve science education. Students from all backgrounds should have a fair opportunity to participate in scientifc learning experiences that are authentic, relevant, and engaging.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS In what ways is your teaching practice in line with this vision? What new knowledge, practices, and tools will you and your colleagues need to develop to achieve the vision of the NGSS? In what ways do you draw on students’ everyday experiences, prior knowledge, cultural practices, and identities in your teaching? Is there more to do? What experiences or hobbies do your students have that are relevant to engaging them in engineering / iterative design?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Read portions of the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education online for free. It is the detailed vision behind NGSS. • Watch this video on the NGSS, another one on why NGSS?, and this extended webinar about the new vision. • Explore the NGSS and its Appendices. • Learn about equity and NGSS from the NRC Framework, NGSS Appendix D and associated case studies. • Join the #NGSSchat twitter community. • Learn more from this science teacher. • Explore NGSS@NSTA resources designed to support teachers with NGSS, including a series of webinars.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4

Multiple Instructional Models

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [2] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/14


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#14

Next Generation Science Standards: ¿Cuál es la diferencia, y por qué importan? ¿Cuál es el Asunto? Múltiples distritos, escuelas, y organizaciones educacionales están trabajando para implementar la nueva visión de Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; Estándares de Ciencia de Nueva Generación) y el National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Education (Marco para la Educación K-12 del Consejo Nacional de Investigación). Educadores se preguntarán: “¿Qué hay de nuevo en estos estándares? ¿Será que esas diferencias en verdad importan para mi aula de clase?” La nueva visión incluye varios cambios significativos sobre cómo enseñar y aprender ciencia. Decenas de miles de expertos han evaluado la nueva visión – incluyendo maestrxs, científicxs, investigadores educacionales, y especialistas en educación de ciencia. POR PHILIP BELL, ANDREW SHOUSE AND TANA PETERMAN | OCTUBRE 2014 TRADUCIDO POR ENRIQUE SUÁREZ | FEBRERO 2018

¿POR QUÉ ES IMPORTANTE PARA USTED? Maestrxs deberían reflexionar y refinar cómo su pedagogía se alinea con la visión de NGSS sobre el aprendizaje de lxs estudiantes. También deberían identificar y compartir recursos de aprendizaje profesional con colegas. Personal del distrito y proveedores de Desarrollo Profesional necesitan clarificar por qué NGSS es un cambio importante y cómo puede impactar práticas de enseñanza y aprendizaje. Líderes de las escuelas deberían apoyar el crecimiento profesional de sus maestrxs e identificar los recursos que respaldan la nueva visión para la educación de ciencia.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/14


Cosas para Considerar • El contenido de ciencia se aprende mejor cuando lxs estudiantes participan en prácticas de la disciplina. “Investigación Científica (Inquiry Science)” se ha convertido en un concepto muy vago y generalmente lleva a la separación indebida de “contenido” y “proceso.” Las expectativas de desempeño (Performance Expectations) de NGSS ofrecen una integración profunda de cómo las 8 prácticas de ciencia e ingeniería se relacionan con el aprendizaje y la aplicación de conceptos disciplinarios (DCIs), mientras que hacen conexiones con los conceptos extensivos (Cross-Cutting Concepts) — un modelo 3D de aprendizaje. Esta estrategia contrasta con la enseñanza de “el método científico” al comienzo del año escolar, para luego implementar una serie de lecciones de “contenido” y laboratorios a modo de recetarios. Hay múltiples modelos de instrucción y enseñanza que se alinean con esta estrategia 3D. • Instrucción que construye sobre Conocimiento Previo (prior knowledge), Experiencia e Identidad. Anteriormente, la recomendación era que lxs maestrxs de ciencias identificaran las Ideas Equivocadas (Misconceptions) de lxs estudiantes y de ahí diseñar una estrategia pedagógica para desequilibrar y remplazar estas ideas erróneas. Usualmente esta estrategia era reforzada con lecciones donde lxs estudiantes memorizaban información y datos. Ahora entendemos que las ideas e identidades de lxs niñxs que están relacionadas con ciencias, sin importar que estén correctas o no, están profundamente arraigadas en sus experiencias personales con el mundo – y es efectivo utilizar estas experiencias cuando lxs estudiantes están aprendiendo ciencias. NGSS le pide a lxs maestrxs que frecuentemente construyan sobre estos recursos. • Todxs lxs niñxs pueden aprender ciencia que es ambiciosa. Nuestra profesión con frecuencia ha subestimado la capacidad de niñxs pequeñxs para investigar y experimentar en ciencias, y no ha enfatizado la importancia de tener metas de aprendizaje ambiciosas para todxs lxs estudiantes. La investigación en educación ha demostrado que todxs lxs estudiantes pueden participar en aprendizaje ambicioso de ciencias y resolver problemas complejos. La gran mayoría de lxs estudiantes vienen a la escuela listxs para aprender ciencias. Lxs estudiantes deberían ser apoyadxs para que sigan construyendo sobre sus experiencias del mundo, mientras desarrollan su entendimiento conceptual. Esto es cierto para niñxs de todos los contextos culturales. • Ingeniería, Tecnología, y Aplicaciones de Ciencia son Centrales para la Educación de Ciencia. NGSS incluye metas de aprendizaje relacionadas con ingeniería, tecnología, y aplicaciones de ciencia a lo largo de los grados K-12. También enfatiza que lxs estudiantes participen en prácticas de ingeniería que forman parte del diseño iterativo. Estas metas resaltan que la ingeniería es una herramienta poderosa para servir a los intereses humanos, como también puede traer consecuencias inesperadas. A lo largo de los grados K-12, lxs estudiantes deben aprender sobre ingeniería, tecnología, y aplicaciones de ciencia.

Atendiendo a la Equidad • NGSS y el marco del NRC describen las metas para el conocimiento de ciencia (Science Literacy) para todxs lxs estudiantes, y piden que la equidad esté al frente de cualquier esfuerzo para mejor la educación de ciencia. Estudiantes de todos los contextos deben tener oportunidades justas para participar en experiencias de aprendizaje en ciencia que sean auténticas, relevantes, e interesantes.

PREGUNTAS DE REFLEXIÓN ¿De qué maneras está su práctica pedagógica alineada con esta visión? ¿Cuáles son los nuevos conocimientos, prácticas, y herramientas que usted y sus colegas necesitarán desarrollar para alcanzar la visión de NGSS? ¿De qué manera usted recurre a las experiencias cotidianas, conocimiento previo, prácticas culturales, e identidades de sus estudiantes cuando está enseñando? ¿Queda más por hacer? ¿Cuáles son las experiencias o pasatiempos de sus estudiantes que son relevantes para interesarlos en ingeniería y diseño iterativo?

Acciones Recomendadas que Puedes Tomar • Lea partes del National Research Council’s Framework for K-12 Education (Marco para la Educación K-12 del Consejo Nacional de Investigación) en línea, gratis. Es la visión detallada detrás de NGSS. • Vea este video sobre NGSS, este otro del por qué NGSS, y este seminario en línea (Webinar) sobre la nueva visión. • Explore NGSS y sus apéndices. • Aprenda sobre equidad y NGSS a través del marco del NRC, NGSS Apéndice D, y los estudios de casos relacionados. • Únase a la comunidad #NGSSchat en Twitter. • Aprenda más de es este maestro de ciencia. • Explore los recursos NGSS @ NSTA diseñados para apoyar a lxs maestrxs con NGSS, incluyendo una serie de seminarios en línea.

REVISE ESTOS OTROS STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4

Multiple Instructional Models

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [2] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/14


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#15

Overview: How can we promote equity in science education?

What Is The Issue? Equity should be prioritized as a central component in all educational improvement eforts. All students can and should learn complex science. However, achieving equity and social justice in science education is an ongoing challenge. Students from non-dominant communities often face “opportunity gaps” in their educational experience. Inclusive approaches to science instruction can reposition youth as meaningful participants in science learning and recognize their science-related assets and those of their communities.

BY PHILIP BELL AND MEGAN BANG | JANUARY 2015

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should work with colleagues to implement instructional strategies to make science learning experiences more inclusive for all students. District staf and PD providers should integrate a focus on equity and social justice into every teacher learning experience in relevant ways—and not treat diversity as a segregated topic. School leaders should promote a sustained focus on inclusive science instruction. Eforts should be made to resource and monitor equitable opportunities to learn science.

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Things To Consider • All individuals can learn complex science. The NRC Framework and NGSS vision is that all students will have access to high quality science learning opportunities and will be able to succeed in science. • An “achievement gap” between students from low and high income backgrounds and from dominant and non-dominant communities persists in science—as in other subjects. Research indicates this largely results from inequalities in the opportunities youth have to learn science and failures to recognize and leverage the existing science-related competencies of youth and communities. • The NRC Framework highlights how “all science learning can be understood as a cultural accomplishment.” Research shows that a cultural perspective can transform learning experiences to make them more engaging and meaningful for learners. Informal learning environments can be particularly good at engaging youth from nondominant communities in science learning and identifcation. • Research is showing that having a diversity of perspectives leads to more rigorous solutions. This diversity of perspectives can also be engaged to increase the sophistication of learning in the classroom.

Attending To Equity

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What are your short- and longterm goals in promoting equity and social justice in science? What are possible next steps? Think about the scientifc phenomena you teach and the concepts you want students to understand. How do they relate to the interests and practices of your students’ communities? How can you overlap instruction with the lives of students? Relate the teaching principles listed under “Attending to Equity” to your own practice.

(from a forthcoming NSTA book on practices)

• Attune your eyes, ears, minds, and hearts to students’ diverse sensemaking repertoires as intellectually generative in science. • Actively support your students to use their sense-making repertoires, funds of knowledge, and experiences of 21st century life as critical tools in engaging with science and engineering practices. • Engage your students in understanding how scientifc practices and knowledge are always developing as a part of human cultural activity, and how their own community histories, values, and practices have and continue to contribute to science.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Review these case studies of instructional approaches and read about how to support equity in the NRC Framework and NGSS. • Design learning experiences to grow out of the lives of learners. Broaden “what counts” as science and engineering in your teaching. The “scientifc method” view of science is mistaken. Youth often engage in sense-making in out-of-school time in ways that relate to science. Communities routinely develop systematic knowledge about the natural world in relation to their interests and values. • Collaborate with educators and community members who share an interest in implementing specifc equity strategies in science.

Do you involve those you serve (youth, families, communities) in your teaching decisions?

“Equity in science education requires that all students are provided with equitable opportunities to learn science and become engaged in science and engineering practices; with access to quality space, equipment, and teachers to support and motivate that learning and engagement; and adequate time spent on science. In addition, the issue of connecting to students’ interests and experiences is particularly important for broadening participation in science.” — NRC Framework, p. 28

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11 #14 #27

Indigenous Science Education Why NGSS? Engaging English Learners

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#16

Research Brief: The Informal Formative Assessment Cycle as a Model for Teacher Practice Summary Informal formative assessment in the classroom takes place when a teacher elicits student thinking and makes immediate use of this knowledge in instruction. In this study, researchers studied three teachers with varying informal assessment practices to explore the nature of informal formative assessment and its

RESEARCH ARTICLE Ruiz-primo, M. A., & Furtak, E. M. (2007). Exploring teachers’ informal formative assessment practices and students’ understanding in the context of scientifc inquiry. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 44(1), 57–84. doi:10.1002/tea.20163 Original Publication Online Article

connection to student learning.

BY VANESSA DE LEÓN & ANNIE ALLEN | MAY 2015

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Theoretical Background Formative assessment (FA) refers to assessment for learning rather than assessment of learning, allowing teachers to use knowledge of student understandings to inform their ongoing instruction (Black, 1993). RuizPrimo and Furtak claim that formative assessments can be seen as falling on a continuum from formal to informal. They defne informal formative assessments as ongoing strategies that help teachers acquire information from students that can immediately be used in instruction. In the table below (adapted from p. 60 in their paper), the authors usefully distinguish informal and formal formative assessment strategies.

The authors ofer a model of “assessment conversation” (Duschl & Gitomer, 1997) in which teachers elicit, recognize, and use student thinking and engagement during instruction. They identify four parts of this informal formative assessment cycle, which they call an “ESRU Cycle”. • Teacher Elicits Response • Student Responds • Teacher Recognizes Student Response • Teacher Uses Student Response

Diferences Between Formal and Informal Formative Assessment Practices Formal: Designed to provide evidence about students’ learning Gathering Teacher collects or brings together information from students at a planned time Example: giving quizzes or embedded assignments

Interpreting Acting Teacher takes time to analyze Teacher plans an action to help information collected from students students achieve learning goals Example: reading student work and providing written comments to all students

Example: writing or changing lesson plans to address the state of student learning

Informal: Evidence of learning generated during daily activities Eliciting Teacher brings out or develops information in the form of a verbal response from students Example: asking students to formulate explanations or to provide evidence

Recognizing Teacher reacts on the fy by recognizing students’ responses and comparing them to accepted scientifc ideas Example: repeating or revoicing students’ responses

Using Teacher immediately makes use of information from the students during the course of the ongoing classroom narrative Example: asking students to elaborate on their responses, explaining learning goals, promoting argumentation

Research Design Using the “assessment conversation” model, the authors set out to address two research questions: (1) Can this model help to distinguish the quality of informal assessment practices across teachers? (2) Can the quality of teachers’ informal formative assessment practices be linked to student performance? The authors studied the classroom assessment conversations of three 6th/7th grade science teachers. Teachers video recorded lessons they taught in a physical sciences unit using an inquiry-based curriculum, Foundational Approaches to Science Teaching (FAST).

The authors analyzed informal classroom assessment conversations to see how they ft with the ESRU cycle (Elicit, Student Response, Recognize, Use). Additionally, the researchers measured student learning with a multiple choice pre-test and a 38item multiple-choice test after the investigation was completed. Researchers concluded that teachers who had whole-class conversations that were more consistent with the ESRU cycle had higher learning gains for students. Notably, it was the fnal step of the cycle (Use) that was vital for gains to be made. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/16


Classroom Example of an Informal Assessment Conversation This transcript is from a class taught by Danielle as shown in Table 7 in Ruiz-Primo & Furtak, 2007, p. 73: 1. Danielle: So the frst three things you want to do, very important things, you want to label your vertical axis, you want to label your horizontal axis, and then you want to give the whole graph a title. And we’ve done that. 2.

So, taking a look at this, am I ready to go? Can I start plotting my points?

3. Student: No. 4. Danielle: Why not? 5. Student: You didn’t… 6. Danielle: What do we need to do? Eric? 7. Student:

Put the scale.

8. Danielle: The scales. What do you mean by scales?

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Read and refect on this transcript from Danielle’s classroom from Ruiz-Primo & Furtak’s article. Where do you see the steps of the ESRU cycle in action? What is each step accomplishing for the teacher and for the students? What examples of this kind of formative assessment can you think of from your own or others’ classroom practice? Which aspects of the ESRU cycle are easier and which are more challenging to accomplish? What strategies do you use to give voice to all students in these kinds of informal assessment conversations? What supports do teachers need to enact robust informal formative assessment in their classrooms?

9. Student: The numbers. 10. Danielle: “The numbers.” Good. Excellent. I liked that you used the word “scales,” it’s a very scientifc word. So, yes, we need to fgure out what the scales are, what we should number the diferent axes.

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Implications for Practice • For teachers: We suggest that less attention be paid to rote procedures in the science classroom, and more attention be paid to knowledge generation in order for students to fully experience scientifc inquiry. Further, we suggest that instructional responsiveness—i.e., teachers’ ability to take students’ ideas and use them to inform instruction and guide learning based on their existing understandings—is essential. • For teacher education and professional development: We suggest that content knowledge alone is not enough to conduct informal formative assessment. Rather, attention to the stages of the ESRU cycle is vital. Additionally, being explicit with pre- and in-service teachers about the diferences in a ESRU model versus a traditional IRE/F model (Teacher Initiation, Student Response, Teacher Evaluation/Feedback) of classroom discussion is important for eliciting information to improve student learning. As a result, it is imperative that teachers are provided with the tools necessary to integrate assessment into the course of daily instruction to enact inquiry-based reforms.

RELATED BRIEFS Bevan, B. (2011). Classroom talk, participation, and learning: Is all talk good talk?: An ISE research brief discussing Atwood et al.’s, “The construction of knowledge in classroom talk.” Stromholt, S. (2011). Questioning strategies to deepen scientifc thinking: An ISE brief discussing Oliveira’s, “Improving teacher questioning in science inquiry discussions through professional development.”

RELATED RESEARCH Black, P. (1993). Formative and summative assessment by teachers. Studies in Science Education, 21, 49–97. Duschl, R.A., & Gitomer, D.H. (1997). Strategies and challenges to changing the focus of assessment and instruction in science classrooms. Educational Assessment, 4, 37–73.

Attending to Equity • Formative assessment practices gives students chances to get meaningful feedback in a low-stakes environment, which supports their learning and helps them develop confdence in their ability to express their understanding. • Give voice to all students in order to fully engage students in inquiry-based lessons and efectively implement informal formative assessment practices with them. • Welcome and integrate students’ own experiences as part of the learning environment and development of knowledge. ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #14 #34

Productive Science Talk Why NGSS? Build an Assessment System

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#17

Beyond the Written C-E-R: Supporting Classroom Argumentative Talk about Investigations What Is The Issue? Argumentation, a central scientifc practice, relies on the coordination of claims, evidence, and reasoning (C-E-R). C-E-R scafolds can help students compose a written argument for an investigation. However, there are additional important dimensions to argumentation beyond individually written claims. Classroom discussions that require students to make evidence-based claims and collectively build understanding also refect argumentation. Several types of discussions can be used and can help build a

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should explore a variety of argumentation practices and foster discussions where students coordinate claims and evidence, refecting how scientists talk about investigations and results. District staf & PD providers should provide PD for educators about diferent argumentation discussion strategies and share related resources. School leaders should help teachers observe strategies in diferent classrooms for facilitating evidencebased discussions across content areas.

supportive classroom culture. BY JEANNE CHOWNING & TANA PETERMAN | MARCH 2015

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Things To Consider Argumentation is central to productive science learning. The following discussion formats can be used to engage students in argumentation around research design, data, and scientifc models that explain phenomena. Written C-E-R scafolds can be used in any of them. 1. Collaborative small group discussions can be rich contexts for students to share and work through science ideas. However, it is often difcult for teachers to monitor students’ developing understanding. Small group protocols (e.g., discussion diamonds, listening triads) support students in sharing their thinking while giving the teacher an artifact that documents the discussion. 2.Collaborative research design is when scientists engage in creating experimental procedures or engineers address design problems. They often consult with one another to debate the merits of various solutions and approaches. Classroom discussions can center on how to optimize an experimental procedure or design solution. For example, after introducing a question, students or teams of students can devise experimental procedures to try to answer the question. Many step-by-step lab activities can be modifed to allow students to create their own procedures and discuss them before deciding on a shared class procedure. Students can create diferent approaches, test them, and collaboratively discuss pros and cons of each prior to deciding the most efective procedure to use as a class. 3. Analysis of data and conceptual model-building is a type of discussion commonly used by scientists in “lab meetings.” In the classroom, students can gather and evaluate evidence for their claims related to the implications of various results (e.g., for explaining their observations of phases of the moon). Students can either interpret published experimental data or data from their own experiments in small groups or as a class. Such discussion connects the argumentation practice to the practices of developing and using models of analyzing and interpreting data. This is a great way for them to work out their difering conceptual ideas, refne criteria for scientifc evidence, and work towards a consensus explanation.

Attending To Equity Students may experience both similarities and diferences between discussion styles practiced amongst their families and broader cultural communities and those found in schools. Teachers can open with a preliminary conversation that raises questions about argumentation practices across diferent settings that students experience, and consciously structure the classroom to honor students’ diferent forms of argument. Even just starting a discussion about the many meanings of the term “argumentation” can be productive.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How can your classroom and lab activities be modifed to provide opportunities for argumentation in these discussion formats? How much time are students provided to discuss their science ideas with each other? What are your strategies for focusing whole class discussions away from personal critique and towards the critical analysis of explanatory ideas?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Have students discuss “open-ended questions that focus on the strength of the evidence used to generate claims”— and not just answer questions with one right answer. • Observe how scientists actually use argumentation practices in their work and incorporate those into your classroom. Review this lab meeting and think about parallels for students. • Learn about creating evidence-based discussion environments and how to scafold classroom discourse: C-E-R Video Classroom Discussion Tips Scafolding Writing & Talking Research Article on Argumentation Argumentation PD Site

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #1 #6 #27

Argumentaton & Explanation Productive Classroom Talk Practices & English Learners

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#18

How teachers can develop formative assessments that ft a three-dimensional view of science learning What Is The Issue? The new vision for K-12 science education and corresponding Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) promotes a three-dimensional view of learning in which students learn and apply disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) and cross-cutting concepts (CCCs) as they engage in science and engineering practices (SEPs). But what do 3D formative assessments look like? What are the diferent types of 3D formative assessment that could be used in classrooms? Educators should work with their peers to develop and refne formative assessments that ft with the 3D model of learning.

BY ERIN FURTAK, MARIAN PASQUALE & RACHEL AAZZERAH | JANUARY 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should be using formative assessments as they implement instruction for 3D learning. There is a pressing need to develop 3D formative assessments. District Staf & PD Providers need models of what 3D formative assessments look like and design criteria to modify or adapt existing formative assessments. School Leaders should support teachers in collaborative spaces to experiment with 3D formative assessments.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/18


Things To Consider • Efective implementation of the NGSS can’t be done with summative assessment alone. It requires diferent forms of ongoing classroom formative assessment. • 3D assessments will require multiple components that work together to provide a coherent picture of student understanding of DCIs, CCCs, and SEPs. Responses to these components will provide multiple sources of evidence to guide a teacher in making inferences about what students know and are able to do, and also point toward next steps in instruction. • 3D formative assessments can be informal and embedded in teachers’ daily practice, or formal written assessments that are specifcally developed to surface student engagement in 3D learning. A formative assessment can be as simple as posing a question to a student or listening to a group working on an investigation. • Formative assessments should engage students in the full range of science and engineering practices. This focuses assessment on making sense of phenomena and not factual recall. Assessments should focus on making sense of compelling phenomena. Some items should focus on multiple practices (from science, ELA, math). • Space should be provided for teachers to engage in collaborative design, enactment, and refnement of formative assessments. This can lead to improved student learning, coordinated classroom practice, and higher-quality formative assessments. Using preexisting lists of criteria and scafolds for teacher assessment design can help make these learning community spaces more productive.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn about Next Generation Assessment Systems • Explore how the NGSS evidence statements intertwine scientifc practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas, and use them to guide your design of formative assessments: Executive Summary, Front Matter, & Evidence Statements by Grade. • Explore examples of 3D science formative assessments: (a) written arguments with explanations (b) assessment conversation model (c) embedded computer simulation task (d) middle and high school task examples (e) middle school physical science assessments (f) performance science tasks (g) formative assessment probes and strategies

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Where in your instruction might it be helpful to gauge students’ progress toward intermediate learning targets? Anticipate student responses to formative assessments before using them. What feedback can you develop to move students forward in their learning? How can different formative assessments—whole-class conversations, written activities, and student work—give you a coherent picture of what students know and can do?

“It is critical that assessments help students internalize standards, become better able to refect on and evaluate their own work & be motivated and capable of revising and improving it, as well as seeking out additional resources… to answer emerging questions.”

— Next Generation Assessment

Attending To Equity • Formative assessment can narrow achievement gaps by generating info that can guide instruction for all students. • Formative assessments can be designed to be accessible to culturally and linguistically diverse students in ways summative assessments cannot—to allow students to respond in a variety of ways (e.g., in their native language or with the support of other students). • Efective formative assessments can be situated in compelling, everyday-relevant contexts that are more accessible.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #16 #24 #34

Informal Assessment Teacher Communities 3D Science Assessment

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/18


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#19

Why should students learn to plan and carry out investigations in science and engineering? What Is The Issue? The NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education specifes eight science and engineering practices to be incorporated into science education from kindergarten through twelfth grade. One of these is planning and carrying out investigations. Although many existing instructional models and curricula involve engaging students in planned investigations, this tool will help you think about ways you can promote student agency by having them plan and conduct science investigations.

BY KERRI WINGERT & PHILIP BELL | APRIL 2015

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should help students make sense of the natural world by designing and carrying out authentic, studentdriven investigations. District staf & PD providers should focus on curricular models and classroom arrangements that foster student inquiry, from a controlled experiment to other forms of research. School leaders should think across the various curricula they support in order to ofer multiple opportunities for students to investigate topics based on questions they have.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/19


Things To Consider

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

• Students should have opportunities to plan and conduct investigations where scientifc fndings are used to solve real (or realistic) everyday problems. For example, they can design stream table experiments to understand where the best place is to construct a building in a foodplain. These self-designed investigations for real purposes help students learn how to engage in the science and engineering practices and help them understand and identify with science as a way of improving the world.

How often do your students feel that the investigations they are doing are “their” investigations? Feeling ownership in the work deepens engagement.

• Planning and carrying out an investigation should not be limited to controlled experiments, since scientists use myriad methods to answer their questions. Scientists and engineers use observational methods, case control studies, failure analysis, and other methods to explain how the world works. Students should as well.

Think about your curriculum. Where can you support students to devise and investigate their own interests and questions?

• Planning and carrying out an investigation does not mean “stepping through” the scientifc method. In fact, scientists themselves rarely follow “steps” of inquiry as they pursue answers to questions. Students should be encouraged to argue for specifc sequences of scientifc practices that allow them to engage in their research.

What are some ways you can manage having student groups doing different investigations?

• Engineering also involves planning and carrying out investigations to specify design criteria and to test designs. For example, a civil engineer might investigate how many people use a road before deciding if an overpass is needed. In the classroom, engineering design investigations might include conducting “fair tests” to determine the durability of building materials—or surveys of potential users or consumers of a specifc design. • Ultimately, students should be learning when to be engaging in the science and engineering practices. This is best done while they’re pursuing a question that matters to them or when they are working through uncertainties that come up during investigations.

Attending To Equity • Young people’s experiential knowledge is deep, and this can help them design compelling investigations that are of interest to them. Students make great gains when science class time incorporates the resources they bring to class from across their lives and communities. Be sure to draw on these resources actively by making students’ knowledge public to their peers and the community. • As students learn about new methods of investigation, they should also be asked to leverage their understanding of how to make sense of the world. Not all cultural groups investigate the world in the same way, and this variety of methods can be a tremendous asset to both the classroom and the world (see this important case).

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Read more about the practice of planning and carrying out investigations, review the grade-band criteria for it, and watch this webinar on it (perhaps with a colleague). Read about an instructional model for this practice. • Have students use the eight science and engineering practices as “building blocks” to develop their own investigations to conduct—and don’t use “the scientifc method” as a way structuring inquiry. • As students explore topics for which you do not know the outcome, adopt the stance of a scientifcally literate learner and model how you think and make sense of students’ issues and results. • Encourage students to track their science-related questions as they go about their lives, and support them to investigate some of these questions. Some student choice is better than none.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #3 #16 #32

Contemporary Science Cascades of Practices Formative Assessment Cycle Why Practices?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Updated May 2017 Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#20

Getting their hands dirty: Engaging learners in authentic science practices outside the classroom What Is The Issue? All learners beneft from outdoor science investigations. For young learners, research shows how outdoor play is crucial to their socio-emotional learning, cognitive development, physical health, and well-being. Despite strong evidence of the benefts of child-directed exploratory play and teacherscafolded learning outdoors, increasing emphasis on “kindergarten readiness” and achievement have dramatically reduced the amount of outdoor time available to youth. But, many outdoor teaching

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should provide opportunities for students to explore and understand the natural world outside of the classroom through scafolded and emergent investigations. That science learning outdoors should be connected to learning in the classroom if possible. District Staf & PD Providers should encourage and model the learning opportunities of outdoor experiences. School Leaders should make resources and supports available for teachers to provide young children with outdoor science learning experiences.

practices promote meaningful science learning. BY CHARLENE NOLAN | NOVEMBER 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/20


Things To Consider • The NRC Framework highlights how learners should conduct feld investigations of the natural world by engaging in science practices. • Listen closely to the questions students pose and their wonderment while outside. These can be opportunities to develop research questions that are interesting and rich with potential for science learning. Investigations can be as simple as observing a worm on the sidewalk and exploring questions related to food webs, animal behavior, habitat, and human impacts. • Relate the concepts of science to everyday activities. A school yard or garden ofers a wide variety of science learning opportunities, including healthy eating and responsibility to the natural world. • Consider how large-motor activities get young children moving and active. For example, students can emulate animal movements and consider how animals move in particular ways (e.g., a hummingbird faps its wings quickly while a turkey vulture soars on air currents). Or they can talk about physics as they consider the diferent amounts of energy involved in running up versus down a hill.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • When designing lessons, try to ensure that the activity is not separate from the context in which the initial interest was developed. If students express interest in worms in the ground, consider ways to create questions that allow them to investigate those worms—rather than telling them about science content knowledge that does relate to their initial wonderment. • Phenomena in the world can highlight important systemic and qualitative features. Identify local phenomena that relate to specifc performance expectations being targeted. Get ideas for outdoor science learning from relevant projects like The Herp Project. • Invite experts to talk to your class. These can be scholars, local experts, or parents with relevant science experience.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS When and where do you see science? If there is a how or why question in your class, consider exploring possible answers with your students. Modeling how to do research and showing excitement about learning is a great way to introduce science. Do all children have equal opportunity to pose questions, engage in science practices, and offer possible theories and explanations? How might you incorporate the resources and insights that students bring from their own experiences?

“Earth and sky, woods and felds, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.” —John Lubbok

Attending To Equity • Eforts should be made to provide all students with extensive outdoor play and science learning experiences. • Young boys, particularly young boys of color, are expelled from preschools at radically disproportionate rates than their peers. Teachers often cite behavioral challenges, such as high activity rates and aggressive play, as reasons for expulsion. Creating environments where large-motor skills and high-energy activities are encouraged in the service of learning may ofer teachers a way to see their students’ need for movement as an asset to build upon.

Native STEAM Summer Camp (A multi-generational group investigated local ecosystem)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #3 #11 #15

Cascading Practices Native STEM Instruction Promoting Equity

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#21

What school building administrators should know about the new vision for K-12 science education What Is The Issue? The new vision for K-12 science education described in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is ambitious and exciting. It holds signifcant promise to support greater educational equity and learning in STEM. But given its new areas of emphasis for teaching and learning, it will be challenging to implement. Implementation should be done systematically and incrementally across several years. School building leaders play unique roles in resourcing and supporting

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should work with their peers and their administration to help develop a shared understanding of the new vision for science education. District Staf & PD Providers should help principals provide leadership in support of the new vision and see how to coordinate with other initiatives. School Leaders should learn how to recognize and support science and engineering learning as described in the new vision. They should advocate, encourage, and monitor progress towards realizing the vision.

teachers as they work to realize this new vision. BY PHILIP BELL | NOVEMBER 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/21


Things To Consider • What is new? There are a number of signifcant shifts called for with instruction (see this summary and this table for details). These shifts should guide where resources, supports, and monitoring are focused. Implementing the new vision for science education will be challenging. It should be done slowly and systematically. • Three-Dimensional (3D) Science Learning: Students should routinely be engaged in interest-driven, sustained investigations of phenomena in which they engage in the practices of science and engineering to learn and apply disciplinary core ideas and connect to cross-cutting concepts. The practices are a major refnement of “inquiry” and diferent than the scientifc method. Engineering design is also now integrated into science education across K-12. • Tapping Into Synergies: There are signifcant overlaps to leverage between the new vision for K-12 science education and the approach taken with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Math and ELA. Importantly, NGSS and CCSS practices overlap heavily, as shown in the sidebar below. This allows for an unprecedented degree of cross-subject teacher learning and sharing.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Messaging: Work with your faculty to develop a set of messages about the new vision to consistently share across networks at your school. For example: (a) Science learning will look diferent as students fgure out how phenomena work, (b) Assessments will document diferent dimensions of student learning, (c) Students will regularly engage in engineering design that is related to science. • Building-level Coherence: As a gatekeeper to building-level work, focus your choices to promote coherent and long-term capacity building in your staf. Focus PD on promoting the new vision. • Resourcing: 3D science instruction is a resource-intensive venture because students are directly investigating phenomena. This typically involves disproportionate fnancial support for science.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How diverse are all of the science classes at my school? Are students from different backgrounds equitably represented? Why or why not? Have you engaged your faculty and district staff in conversations about where to start implementation? Do you develop “horizontal” teacher communities within your building? How can you support meaningful PD? How can you fnancially resource this new vision of instruction?

“Equity in science education requires that all students are provided with equitable opportunities to learn science and become engaged in science and engineering practices…” —NRC Framework, 2012, p. 28

• Walk-Throughs: Tune your eyes to recognize quality 3D science instruction. Engaging in the science and engineering practices is active and discourse-intensive. Silence is not engagement.

Attending To Equity • The NGSS and NRC Framework outline science literacy goals for all students and call for equity to be at the forefront of any efort to improve science education. Students from all backgrounds should have a fair opportunity to participate in scientifc learning experiences that are authentic, relevant, and engaging.

Overlaps in NGSS & Common Core Practices Important synergies exist between the standards.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #14 #15 #32

Productive Science Talk Why NGSS? Promoting Equity Why focus on practices?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/21


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#22

Research Brief: How Teacher Social Networks Support and Constrain Sustainable Reform Summary

RESEARCH ARTICLE

difcult and less often studied. The authors of a

Coburn, C. E., Russell, J. L., Kaufman, J. H., & Stein, M. K. (2012). Supporting Sustainability: Teachers’ Advice Networks and Ambitious Instructional Reform. American Journal of Education, 119(1), 137–182. doi:10.1086/667699

recent article wanted to understand how teachers’

Original Publication

social interactions afected whether they sustained

Online Article

Implementing school-wide instructional improvements is a challenge. Sustaining these changes after the initial supports are gone is equally

instructional changes in their classrooms. The authors identifed several conditions of professional peer relationships that either supported or reduced the sustainability of reform-based practices.

BY VANESSA DE LEÓN & ANNIE ALLEN | FEBRUARY 2016

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/22


Research Focus

Research Design

There has been a great deal of research on successful and unsuccessful implementations of reform-based practices, but far fewer studies have investigated how these practices are sustained after supports for implementation have run their course. When funding for new programs, professional development (PD), or coaching positions ends, or when district or school priorities shift, what experiences and supports help teachers sustain reform-based practices in the classroom?

Four schools were studied, with contrasting organizational conditions: The frst had a strong professional community and strong teacher expertise, the second had a strong professional community and a weak teacher expertise, the third had a weak professional community and strong teacher expertise, and the last had a weak professional community and weak teacher expertise. Across the schools, a total of twelve teachers were studied over three years of data. In years 1 and 2, the reform math practices were implemented and supported through PD and coaching. In year 3, with the end of the program and a shift in the schools’ priorities to the achievement of English learners, supports for the reform-based teaching were withdrawn.

Several studies (Cooper et al. 1998; Gersten et al. 2000; Klingner et al. 1999; McLaughlin and Mitra 2001) have pointed to teachers’ professional relationships with one another as key to sustaining instructional reform. Interactions with colleagues provide teachers with feedback, access to knowledge, and a social support system to maintain or shift their practice. Yet little research has been done about which dimensions of these relationships matter most. The researchers in this study sought to understand how elementary school teachers interacted around mathematics reform ideas after the initial efort’s funding had ended. Over three years, the researchers used social network analysis and qualitative comparative analysis to investigate the relationship between teachers’ social networks and the degree to which teachers used reform-based practices in highquality ways once supports had been removed. Teachers’ networks are complex and can form within and across schools. Social network theory, as used in this research, is an approach to understanding the nature and extent of individuals’ professional ties to colleagues and how these afect their teaching practice. The researchers looked at three diferent aspects of teacher relationships: •

The strength of teachers’ social ties (the frequency of interactions between teachers)

Depth of interaction (focus on surface issues versus core content or pedagogical issues)

Access to expertise

The authors defned reform-based instructional approaches in terms of three characteristics: • The ability to set up and maintain high-cognitivedemand instructional tasks • The ability to attend to, elicit, and build upon student thinking • The ability for reasoning to take on the intellectual authority for mathematical correctness rather than on the text or the teacher Data were collected through interviews, observations, and document analysis and was analyzed across the diferent social dimensions as well as through an “egocentric approach” to social network analysis. In an egocentric approach, the analyst maps networks focused on the individual teacher and the networks they report, including information on social interaction type, depth, and frequency. Researchers assumed multiple factors and pathways led teachers to sustain reform-based math practices. Qualitative comparative analysis helped the authors identify which confgurations of strength of ties with peers, depth of interactions, and access to expertise best supported teachers in sustaining reform-based practices.

Researchers mapped patterns of relationships by looking these three factors, and were able to draw conclusions about which patterns of support led to sustainable improvements (see Research Findings). STEMteachingtools.org/brief/22


Research Findings

Implications for Practice

Teachers with a solid grasp of instructional strategies related to the reform were able to make adjustments over time, or rely on their social networks to support them through these changes.

For teachers, it is important to foster or support existing social networks that exhibit strong ties, expertise, and depth, especially after other supports for a new initiative have been reduced. While these networks do not necessarily need to be maintained for an extended amount of time, they are is important to help teachers grapple with substantive issues with one another when they are trying out relatively new instructional practices.

The authors identifed several conditions of peer relations that either supported or reduced teachers’ use of reform-based practices. Teachers who participated in networks characterized by strong ties, expertise, and high-depth interactions were able to sustain practices despite challenging circumstances or school-wide change. Teachers who were missing critical supports were not able to achieve a high level of sustainability. The authors named these patterns as follows, arranged from most to least supportive of sustaining reform. (See Research Focus section for explanation of strength, depth, and expertise.): • Synergy: High depth, high expertise, and strong ties in the same year • Adding Depth Over Time: High expertise and strong ties in Year 1 followed by high depth in Year 2 • Missing Pieces: Absence of strong ties in Year 1 and absence of expertise in Year 2 • Scratching the Surface: Absence of depth in Years 1 and 2 No one aspect of interaction led to sustainability. Rather, what matters is the combination of strong interactions (frequency and social relationship strength), expertise among those involved in the interactions, and high depth interactions. This study further shows that teachers may not need strong networks for extended periods of time, but do seem to need it the frst year or two following the reduction of PD or other supports.

Attending To Equity It is important to foster strong social networks for teachers, within and across schools, to help them make and sustain instructional changes. If teachers are provided with the necessary social supports, then higher quality reform-based practices are more likely to be sustained. This, in turn, helps teachers provide all students with continuous, high-quality learning experiences.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION For teachers and school leaders: In what ways have you worked with colleagues to integrate new pedagogical strategies or curriculum materials into your classroom practice? What are more and less successful ways of collaborating to support professional growth and community? The authors of the paper emphasize the importance of regular collaboration between teachers, with a focus on the core content and issues of teaching. How can these professional ties be purposefully supported? What access to expertise (for example, a teacher who’s experienced and skilled in new strategies or tasks being implemented) do teachers and school staff have? How can schools fnd ways to make good use of the teacher expertise already present in the school, and seek outside expertise when needed?

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/22


RELATED BRIEFS Bevan, B. (2011). Reconceptualizing “PD” as continuous professional learning: A research brief discussing WebsterWright’s, “Reframing professional development through understanding authentic professional learning.” King, H. (2013). Current trends in science teacher professional development. An ISE research brief discussing van Driel et al., “Current trends and missing links in studies on teacher professional development in science education.”

RELATED RESEARCH Coburn, C. E., Mata, W. & Choi, L. (2013). The embeddedness of teachers’ social networks: Evidence from mathematics reform. Sociology of Education, 86(4), 311-342.

References • Cooper, Robert, Robert E. Slavin, and Nancy A. Madden. 1998. “Success for All: Improving the Quality of Implementation of Whole-School Change through the Use of a National Reform Network.” Education and Urban Society, 30(3), 385–408. • Gersten, Russell, David Chard, and Scott Baker. 2000. “Factors Enhancing Sustained Use of Research-Based Instructional Practices.” Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(5), 445–56. • Klingner, Janette K., Sharon Vaughn, Marie Tejero Hughes, and Maria Elena Arguelles. 1999. “Sustaining Research-Based Practices in Reading: A 3-Year Follow-Up.” Remedial and Special Education, 20(5), 263–74, 287. • McLaughlin, Milbrey W., and Dana Mitra. 2001. “Theory-Based Change and Change- Based Theory: Going Deeper and Going Broader.” Journal of Educational Change, 2(4), 301–23.

Coburn, C. E. & Russell, J. L. (2008). District policy and teachers’ social networks. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 30(3), 203-235. Hopkins, M., Spillane, J. P., Jakopovic, P., & Heaton, R. M. (2013). Infrastructure redesign and instructional reform in mathematics: Formal structure and teacher leadership. The Elementary School Journal, 114(2), 200-224. Spillane, J. P., & Hopkins, M. (2013). Organizing for instruction in education systems and organizations: How the school subject matters. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(6), 721-747.

ALSO SEE RELATED BRIEFS: #9 Initial NGSS Implementation #13 Professional Development #24 Teacher Collaboration

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/22


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#23

Evaluating Curriculum Materials for Alignment with the New Vision for K-12 Science Education What Is The Issue? Many teachers, schools, and districts are now challenged to identify curriculum materials that support the vision of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Whether adapting existing materials or adopting new ones, it is important to evaluate all curriculum materials for deep alignment to multiple dimensions of the new vision. This tool highlights how the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) Rubric and support videos can be

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should collaborate to analyze and select curriculum materials that are aligned to the NGSS. District Staf & PD Providers should understand how to appropriately use the EQuIP Rubric in a collaborative process to evaluate curriculum materials for their NGSS alignment. School Leaders should provide the time, space, and resources for collaborative teams to evaluate curriculum materials for potential adaptation or adoption.

used to guide that process.

BY KRISTEN CLAPPER BERGSMAN | JANUARY 2016

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/23


Things To Consider • Until new curriculum materials are available, evaluating and adapting materials is a crucial part of implementing the new vision.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

• The evaluation of curriculum materials should be a collaborative process undertaken by a team of reviewers. The team needs deep knowledge of three-dimensional learning and to become comfortable using the EQuIP Rubric. It is a time-intensive process.

Are the science units you are currently teaching aligned to the NGSS? Are they equitable? How do you know?

• Alternatively, if you need to more quickly review a short learning sequence (without scoring), use the NGSS Lesson Screener tool.

What does deep alignment of instructional materials to the NGSS vision look like? How might this differ from a more superfcial alignment?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Form a review team. The EQuIP Rubric is designed to be used by a group of people who collaboratively evaluate curriculum materials and share their responses and feedback. The group should work through the categories of the rubric in sequence. • Become comfortable with the EQuIP Rubric and process. Watch these videos in the NGSS EQuIP Rubric Series for an overview. Then, read through the EQuIP Rubric (Fillable PDF & Word) to get a sense of the recommended process for evaluating curriculum materials. Helpful resources include the “NGSS EQuIP Professional Learning Facilitator’s Guide,” “Guide to Implementing the NGSS,” and “Examples of Quality NGSS Design.” • Review the chosen unit or lesson plan. Read the material thoroughly, making notes about connections to NGSS-aligned practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas, as well as how it supports at least one performance expectation. • Apply the EQuIP Rubric, beginning with Category I. This category focuses on how the unit or lesson supports the three dimensions of science learning and coherence from lesson to lesson. Next to each criterion, write why it is met and/or suggestions for improvement. • If the criteria of Category I are met, then the unit or lesson can be considered to be NGSS aligned and it is appropriate to proceed to Category II. This category is focused on how the material “supports instruction and learning for all students” with a specifc focus on equity. Category II provides guidance for achieving coherence at the unit level and “provides and adjusts supports for students in order to make students increasingly responsible for their own learning.” • Category III is focused on how diferent assessments (pre, formative, summative, self-) can be embedded, designed in alignment with three-dimensional learning, and made equitable for all students.

What do you need to learn in order to select lessons that align with the new vision or to adapt them to be better ft?

“What is particularly important is that teachers develop the capacity to design sequences of instruction by learning a set of pedagogical principles that can guide their selection or adaptation of materials.” — Penuel, Gallagher & Moorthy (2011)

Attending To Equity • Category II of the EQuIP Rubric evaluates issues of equity within curriculum materials, identifying diferentiation, culturally responsive teaching, relevance, supports for English Language Learners or special education students, and extensions for skilled or high-interest students. • Category III attends to equity issues by calling for assessments that use “methods, vocabulary, representations, and examples that are accessible and unbiased for all students.”

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #15 #18

Multiple Instructional Models Equity in Science Education 3D Formative Assessments

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/23


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#24

Research Brief: Supporting teacher professional communities to implement school-wide initiatives Summary This study of the teacher professional communities in two elementary schools shows that school improvement initiatives are more successful when teachers’ formal and informal interactions regularly support the sharing of expertise and resources. The authors show that the strength of teacher professional communities requires more than time dedicated to collaboration or access to resources, but lies in the formal and informal relationships of sharing expertise, as well as aspects of school leadership and how accountability is structured. BY JULIE CAFARELLA AND BILL PENUEL | OCTOBER 2015

RESEARCH ARTICLE Penuel, W., Riel, M., Krause, A., & Frank, K. (2009). Analyzing teachers’ professional interactions in a school as social capital. The Teachers College Record, 111(1), 124-163. Social network analysis and qualitative case study methods documented formal and informal teacher interaction with peers. Social network theory allowed for a focus on how teachers’ relationships and interactions within a school can help them gain access to expertise and resources, and create professional learning contexts that are more or less supportive of schoolwide improvement.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/24


Research Findings

Implications for Practice

Through explanatory case studies of two elementary schools, this paper examines teacher professional communities and social networks in schools aiming for improved literacy instruction. In each case, the principal of the school believed that increased teacher interaction could improve literacy instruction. In these communities, accountability shifts from an individual teacher to an entire community of teachers, administrators, and support staf who share a responsibility to student success. The study found that initiatives to improve literacy instruction were successful in one school but not the other, even though the schools shared similar student demographics, allotment of formal planning time, and access to instructional materials. Trust within the teacher community, a cohesive teaching staf, and particular supports from the principal were all crucial elements of the success of the initiative. In the school that successfully implemented the literacy initiative, teachers openly shared resources and sought out outside expertise. Groups of teachers working together, rather than individual teachers, were responsible for helping students identifed as struggling with literacy. This collective efort included grade-level teacher teams who had the support of literacy coaches, the school’s principal, and specialists. The shift of accountability from individual teachers to a whole school community helped teachers develop a sense of camaraderie as well as a collective commitment to student success. By contrast, the school that was less successful in its literacy initiative experienced a more hierarchical chain of communication, less cohesive and productive relationships between novice and experienced teachers, which inhibited teachers from sharing expertise and valuable resources with one another. In this school, the principal viewed resources and expertise (for example, professional development, specialist support) as needing to be brought in from outside the school, while teachers perceived professional development as “disconnected,” “abstract” and not drawing on their own teaching experience. In summary, the authors of the article suggest that school communities that encourage lateral, rather than hierarchical, dissemination and sharing of knowledge and resources, are more fruitful spaces for school improvement initiatives.

This study reminds us that open, non-hierarchical communication helps foster teacher professional communities that can efectively implement school improvement initiatives. “Extensive and fuid” interaction can help support collegial ties and trust among teachers, principals, and coaches. School principals aiming to promote a school-wide change should consider that teachers need time to meet with one another to share resources and develop community-wide goals for using new materials, and improving instructional practices and student learning. It is also important that when professional development incorporates strategies and materials from outside experts, the PD acknowledge and engage teachers’ experience and teaching practices. Additionally, districts and schools should consider how specialists, such as literacy coaches, can support teachers in learning from one another, in order to meet collective, school-wide goals.

Attending to Equity This study provides a framework for better understanding how to understand the distribution of expertise and resources among an entire school community. Hierarchical chains of command can lead to unequal distribution of school resources and expertise and fractured teacher communities, which in turn, can mean that some students lack access to high quality instruction and learning environments. A commitment to equity means that entire school community must openly communicate goals and hold one another accountable for the success of all students, and that support for productive teacher networks is key to this goal.

Related Briefs Perin, S. M. (2011). Constraints and social resources for prioritizing science instruction in school Bevan, B. (2011). Developing communities of practice for middle school math teachers King, H. (2011). Professional development through school-based communities of practice

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/24


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#25

How can formative assessment support culturally responsive argumentation in a classroom community? What Is The Issue? Argumentation has long been seen as an important practice in science and thus in science education. Formative assessment can be used to help students value the contributions and perspectives of others as they engage in argumentation to make sense of natural phenomena. Educators can use these strategies to help foster argumentation that is culturally responsive, meaning it draws from and respects students’ cultural resources, backgrounds, and personal experiences. Culturally responsive formative assessment happens within a community of learners where the teacher has cultivated explicit norms for increasing studentcentered discourse, making decisions for their own purposes through democratic processes, and using clear guidelines for maintaining mutual respect.

BY DEB MORRISON AND ANGELA HAYDEL DEBARGER | MARCH 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers need to understand and build on the cultural resources (knowledge, interests, experiences) students bring to the practice of scientifc argumentation to increase engagement and inclusion, especially students from non-dominant communities. District Staf & PD Providers should support teachers in integrating formative assessment with argumentation to promote inclusive science and engineering learning. School Leaders should promote and resource the use of diferent forms of classroom-based formative assessment in the learning of scientifc practices.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/25


Things To Consider In order to leverage the personal and cultural resources all students bring to scientifc argumentation, three components of formative assessment can help students engage in this practice: • Eliciting Argumentation. As you select phenomena as the focus of lessons, try to choose ones that ofer multiple entry points for students to share their initial ideas and draw from interest-driven student investigations. In constructing preliminary arguments, prior experiences may be a strong infuence on students’ perspectives. Explore these experiences—as well as family, community, and broader cultural connections—as resources and sources of authority. • Interpreting the Quality of Argumentation. After students develop initial evidence-based arguments, students and teachers should actively identify the strengths and weaknesses of claims, evidence, and reasoning in arguments. Developing students’ practice of argumentation also requires attending to how students are engaged in making sense of each other’s ideas: Are students productively critiquing each others’ arguments and using evidence to do so? • Responding to and Improving Argumentation Instruction. Argumentation should include classroom conversations about what diferent communities value as strong evidence (including, but not limited to, diferent groups within the scientifc community). These are opportunities to discuss why students fnd diferent sources of evidence more or less compelling. It can be useful to have explicit conversations about controversies and social issues that infuence debates about scientifc ideas. Students can be encouraged to revise their arguments to strengthen the scientifc relevance of them.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Try moving arguments from private to public spaces in the classroom, asking students to use argumentation in small groups or whole class discussion rather than just individual work. Give students time to develop their individual ideas and then share them publicly so they can see how arguments evolve with new evidence and peer input. • Learn about accountable talk, ambitious science tools & discourse. • Read about the argumentation practice and how students are intended to engage in the practice across grade bands. Explore how the argumentation practice can help students refne alternative conceptions and partial understandings. • Collaborate with educators and community members to develop and adapt formative assessments focused on argumentation for diferent science and engineering disciplinary topics.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How do you engage students in constructing arguments from evidence? What cultural resources do you draw upon? What kinds of evidence are considered valuable from a scientifc perspective and from your students’ perspectives? What experiences do your students need to become more effective at discussing and critiquing each other’s arguments? What kind of classroom norms and discourse strategies would help?

Attending To Equity • Building on the ideas, interests, and experiences of students during argumentation helps to ensure that they develop strong identities as science learners and will be able to evaluate scientifc information as active citizens. • The way in which teachers organize classroom talk to improve the participation of all students is important for supporting science identity formation. Arranging for multiple modes of expression can increase ways that students communicate their arguments. • Students should be apprenticed into science discourse. This process can be challenging for some. ELL students are bridging language diferences to learn science discourse. Teachers can support both science and language for ELLs to ensure all students have a strong conceptual understanding.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #1 #16 #18

Explanation & Argumentation Informal Assessment 3D Formative Assessment

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/25


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#26

How can assessments be designed to engage students in the range of science and engineering practices? What Is The Issue? The new vision for K-12 science education calls for engaging students in three-dimensional science learning. This approach requires us to fgure out new ways to assess student learning across these multiple dimensions—including the eight science and engineering practices. But there aren’t many assessments tasks that require students to apply their understanding of core ideas using practices. In this tool, we describe how to use “task formats” to guide the development of such items. The formats can also spark ideas for designing classroom instruction.

BY PHILIP BELL, KATIE VAN HORNE, BILL PENUEL & SHELLEY STROMHOLT | MARCH 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should frequently engage students in formative assessments related to classroom learning goals. These task formats can provide concrete ideas about how to do that. District Staf & PD Providers should support teachers in designing, testing, and refning assessments that refect three-dimensional science learning goals. School Leaders should encourage and provide time for teachers to develop, use, and refne assessments related to the three-dimensional view of learning

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/26


Things To Consider • An assessment system. Students will need multiple—and varied— assessment opportunities to demonstrate their competence on the performance expectations for a given grade level. A system of assessments will be required: classroom assessments, monitoring (large-scale) assessments, and indicators of opportunity to learn. • Multi-component assessment tasks. To adequately cover the three dimensions, assessment items need to contain multiple components (e.g., a set of interrelated questions). Specifc components should focus on a practice along with disciplinary core ideas (DCIs) and/ or crosscutting concepts. Components need to support inferences about students’ 3D learning for specifc performance expectation(s). • Assessment items should highlight a range of practices. Traditional science assessments have frequently focused on the recall of information and sometimes also on explanation. Given the NGSS vision, students should be engaged in the full range of science and engineering practices during assessment experiences. The task formats highlight the ways this can be done for each practice.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Do task formats raise questions about what it means to grasp a particular practice? Consider reviewing the NRC Framework. Do your scenarios allow students to engage meaningfully in a broad range of practices? How do the task formats help you design different components? How can you best integrate an assessment task with instruction that includes learning activities and formative assessment components?

Recommended Actions You Can Take To use “task formats” to develop a multi-component 3D assessment: 1) Identify specifc learning goals for the desired assessment, including NGSS performance expectations and perhaps CCSS standards. 2) Brainstorm assessment scenarios that involve phenomena that clearly foreground the identifed learning goals. Prioritize and select one scenario that best fts the criteria listed above. 3) Prioritize and select a scenario that best fts the following criteria: (a) it should allow students from non-dominant communities (e.g., ELLs, students from poverty-impacted communities) to fully engage with the task, (b) it should involve a compelling phenomena related to one or more of the DCIs being assessed—and not feel like a test-like task, (c) it should be quickly understandable by students, and (d) it should lend itself to a broad range of the science and engineering practices. 4) The task formats provide detailed guidance on how to design assessment components that engage students in the science and engineering practices. Identify the practices that relate to the scenario and use the task formats to craft assessment components. 5) Write hypothetical student responses for each prompt: some that refect limited, partial, and full levels of understanding. 6) Share tasks with colleagues and ask for feedback about the alignment of goals, scenarios, and hypothetical student responses.

Attending To Equity • To help ensure validity, peer reviews of a multi-component assessment task should focus on surfacing the desired student evidence of understanding—and not surface-level efects (e.g., topics not related to the learning goals in question). • Make sure that assessment items work well for students from non-dominant communities. This can involve including scafolds for ELL students so they can engage with the substance of the task and not get hung up on unfamiliar words. • Designing items using the full range of science and engineering practices provides multiple entry points for students and promotes equity (e.g., drawing conceptual models, designing solutions, writing causal explanations). • Focus pilot testing and refnement of the assessment item with students from non-dominant communities frst.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #16 #18 #34

Informal Assessment 3D Formative Assessment 3D NGSS Assessment

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/26


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#27

Involucrando a los Estudiantes de Inglés en las Prácticas de Ciencia e Ingeniería

¿Cuál es el asunto? Involucrar rutinariamente a todos los estudiantes en las prácticas de la ciencia y la ingeniería es un elemento crucial de la nueva visión para la educación de la ciencia en los grados K-12. Las prácticas pueden ser vistas como una barrera para la participación de los Aprendices del Inglés (ALs), o pueden ser vistas como una oportunidad para proveer una rica instrucción que construye competencias e identidades relacionadas con la ciencia. Ciertos elementos de las prácticas y los métodos de instrucción relacionados pueden ser benefciosos para los estudiantes que aprenden ciencias al mismo tiempo que aprenden el idioma de

POR QUÉ ES IMPORTANTE PARA USTED Los maestros deben saber que las prácticas del NGSS son muy dependientes del lenguaje-- y enseñar en consecuencia a hacer experiencias inclusivas para los estudiantes multilingües. El personal del distrito y los proveedores de PD deben aprender sobre los enfoques locales para apoyar el uso del lenguaje disciplinario con los Aprendices del Inglés y ayudar a los maestros de ciencias a aplicarlos. Los líderes escolares deben desarrollar la experiencia colectiva de los maestros para asegurar que los enfoques para desarrollar el lenguaje sean coherentes con la instrucción de la asignatura.

instrucción. POR KERRI WINGERT AND TIM PODKUL, TRADUCIDO POR ANDREA KOLB Y AMANDA LARA | EL DICIEMBRE DE 2014, TRADUCIDO EL JULIO DE 2017

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/27


Cosas para Considerar • La ciencia escolar tiene un lenguaje propio. Su vocabulario y estructura de oraciones son complejos, y los aspectos de la argumentación y el razonamiento en la ciencia son diferentes que en otras disciplinas. Esto puede ser problemático para los estudiantes de idiomas si los maestros no hacen estas diferencias aparentes y explícitas (por ejemplo, comprar y contrastar la argumentación en la ciencia y en otras partes de la vida de los estudiantes). • Los estudiantes a menudo continúan pensando en sus primeros idiomas por años después de que comiencen a aprender un segundo idioma. Ayude a los estudiantes a desarrollar sus habilidades del primer idioma para obtener una comprensión más profunda de la ciencia. Por ejemplo, los estudiantes pueden buscar contenido en línea usando su idioma nativo, o mantener un diario de vocabulario bilingüe de palabras nuevas. • La instrucción relacionada con la práctica es un poderoso motivador para atraer a los estudiantes. Los estudiantes deben ser animados a investigar los fenómenos de interés siempre que sea posible. Después de una investigación, el proceso puede ser reconstruido en lenguaje escrito o verbal - en formas apropiadas para el desarrollo y usando lenguaje científco. • Las cuatro prácticas NGSS intensivas en lenguaje—(Argumentación, Comunicación, Explicación y Cuestionamiento)—pueden ser enseñadas usando prácticas de lenguaje que sean receptivas (escuchando y leyendo) y productivas (hablando y escribiendo). (Mire a la lista de la derecha.)

Atender a la Equidad • La instrucción del NGSS depende en gran medida del idioma, y puede excluir inadvertidamente a los Estudiantes de Inglés de la participación total si no se toman medidas. Los estudiantes multilingües tienen ideas importantes para contribuir al aprendizaje, y las comunidades científcas se benefcian enormemente de la diversidad de pensamiento y experiencia que estos estudiantes traen. • Los estudiantes de segunda lengua a menudo tienen prácticas e historias ricas de la familia y la comunidad que pueden ser aprovechadas para involucrar más profundamente a estos estudiantes en el aprendizaje de STEM. Mantenga “grandes ideas” en la ciencia basadas en ejemplos cotidianos que son accesibles a todos los estudiantes.

Acciones Recomendadas que Puede Tomar • Aprovechar las fuertes conexiones entres NGSS y Common Core State Standards en Inglés/ Artes del Lenguaje si se ajusta a su contexto. • El apoyo a la charla de ciencia en el aula es un método crucial de aprendizaje y puede ser especialmente importante para los Aprendices del Inglés. • Lea y aproveche este estudio de caso del NGSS, el trabajo de este proyecto, y también esta investigación sobre el aprendizaje de la ciencia con los Aprendices del Inglés.

PREGUNTAS DE REFLEXIÓN Considere cómo el aprendizaje de la ciencia apoya el desarrollo del lenguaje. ¿El desarrollo del lenguaje también apoya el aprendizaje de la ciencia? ¿Cómo puede usted eliminar las barreras del idioma para acceder a la ciencia en su entorno? ¿Cómo puede apoyar la comprensión conectando nuevos contenidos con el conocimiento previo de los estudiantes? ¿Cómo puede usted construir una comunidad de estudiantes que incluye estudiantes con habilidades de lenguaje variadas?

Prácticas de Lenguaje en STEM Prácticas Receptivas Escuchando: Utilice un cartel, una diapositiva o una imagen para apoyar a los estudiantes a escuchar en ciencia (por ejemplo, el gráfco de entrada visual GLAD). Leyendo: Previsualice los textos científcos con los estudiantes, discutiendo las características destacadas del texto tales como tablas, gráfcos y fotografías antes de leerlas. Proporcione resúmenes e incluir textos del idioma nativo.

Prácticas Productivas Hablando: Proporcionare tallos de oración para que todos los estudiantes usen, especialmente para apoyar prácticas verbales complejas como argumentación, explicación y comunicación. Escribiendo: Involucrar a los ALs en la exploración del vocabulario auténtico mientras intentan hacer que sus pensamientos sean signifcativos para los demás a través de la escritura. Proporcione diccionarios o Google Translate. Mire más allá de la gramática y la ortografía para entender las ideas de los estudiantes.

• Tome un curso en línea gratuito de apoyando a los Aprendices del Inglés. ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #14

Productive Science Talk Why NGSS?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/27


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#27

Engaging English Learners in the Science and Engineering Practices

What Is The Issue? Routinely engaging all students in the practices of science and engineering is a crucial fxture of the new vision for K-12 science education. The practices can be seen as a barrier to participation for English Learners (ELs), or they can be viewed as an opportunity to provide rich instruction that builds science-related competencies and identities. Certain elements of the practices and related instructional approaches can be benefcial for students learning science while also learning the language of instruction.

BY KERRI WINGERT AND TIM PODKUL | DECEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should know NGSS practices are heavily language-dependent—and teach accordingly to make experiences inclusive for multilingual students. District staf and PD providers should learn about local approaches for supporting disciplinary language use with English Learners and help science teachers apply these. School leaders should develop teachers’ collective expertise to ensure approaches to developing language are coherent across subject matter instruction.

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Things To Consider • School science has a language all its own. Its vocabulary and sentence structure is complex—and aspects of argumentation and reasoning in science are diferent than in other disciplines. This can be troublesome for language learners if teachers do not make these diferences apparent and explicit (e.g., compare and contrast argumentation in science and in other parts of students’ lives). • Students often continue to think in their frst languages for years after they begin to learn a second language. Help students build on their frst language skills to gain deeper science understanding. For example, students can look up content online using their native language, or keep a bilingual vocabulary journal of new words. • Practice-linked instruction is a powerful motivator for engaging students. Students should be encouraged to investigate phenomena of interest whenever possible. After a large-group inquiry, the process can be reconstructed in written or verbal language—in developmentally appropriate ways and using scientifc language. • The four language-intensive NGSS practices—Argumentation, Communication, Explanation, and Questioning—can be taught using language practices that are both receptive (listening and reading) and productive (speaking and writing). (See the list on the right.)

Attending To Equity • NGSS instruction is largely dependent on language, and it may inadvertently exclude English Learners from full participation if steps aren’t taken. Multilingual students have important insights to contribute to learning, and scientifc communities greatly beneft from the diversity of thought and experience these students bring. • Second language learners often have rich family and community practices and histories that can be leveraged to more deeply engage these students in STEM learning. Keep “big ideas” in science grounded in everyday examples that are accessible to all learners.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Leverage the strong connections between NGSS and Common Core State Standards in English / Language Arts if it fts your context. • Supporting classroom science talk is a crucial method of learning and may be especially important for English Learners. • Read and leverage this NGSS case study, the work of this project, as well as this research on science learning with English Learners. • Take a free online course on supporting English Learners.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Consider how science learning supports language development. Does language development also support science learning? How can you remove the language barriers to accessing science in your setting? How can you support comprehension by connecting new content to the prior knowledge of students? How can you build a community of learners that includes students with varied language skills?

Language Practices in STEM Receptive Practices Listening: Use a poster, slide, or picture to support student listening in science (e.g., the GLAD Pictorial Input Chart). Reading: Preview science texts with students, discussing salient text features such as tables, graphs, and photographs before they read it. Provide summaries and include native language texts.

Productive Practices Speaking: Provide sentence stems for all students to use, especially to support complex verbal practices like argumentation, explanation, and communication. Writing: Engage ELs in authentic vocabulary exploration as they try to make their thoughts meaningful to others through writing. Provide dictionaries or Google Translate. Look beyond grammar and spelling to understand student ideas.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #14

Productive Science Talk Why NGSS?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#28

Qualities of a good anchor phenomenon for a coherent sequence of science lessons Instructional sequences are more coherent when students investigate compelling natural phenomena (in science) or work on meaningful design problems (in engineering) by engaging in the science and engineering practices. We refer to these phenomena and design problems here as ‘anchors.’ What makes for a good phenomenon to anchor an investigation? A good anchor builds upon everyday or family experiences: who students are, what they do, where they came from. It is important that it is compelling to students from non-dominant communities (e.g., English language learners, students from cultural groups underrepresented in STEM, etc.). A good anchor will require students to develop understanding of and apply multiple performance expectations while also engaging in related acts of mathematics, reading, writing, and communication. A good anchor is too complex for students to explain or design a solution for after a single lesson. The explanation is just beyond the reach of what students can figure out without instruction. Searching online will not yield a quick answer for students to copy. A good anchor is observable to students. “Observable” can be with the aid of scientific procedures (e.g., in the lab) or technological devices to see things at very large and very small scales (telescopes, microscopes), video presentations, demonstrations, or surface patterns in data. A good anchor can be a case (pine beetle infestation, building a solution to a problem), something that is puzzling (why isn’t rainwater salty?), or a wonderment (how did the solar system form?). A good anchor has relevant data, images, and text to engage students in the range of ideas students need to understand. It should allow them to use a broad sequence of science and engineering practices to learn science through first-hand or second-hand investigations. A good anchor has an audience or stakeholder community that cares about the findings or products. STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. | Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency. Updated May 2017.

BY WILLIAM R. PENUEL AND PHILIP BELL | MARCH 2016

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#29

Steps to Designing Three-Dimensional Assessments that Connect to Students’ Interests, Experiences, and Identities This nine-step process is designed to help teams develop three-dimensional assessment tasks in science that connect to students’ interests, experiences, and identities. The process, if followed as outlined here, can be expected to take between 4 and 6 hours for a small team to develop a single extended task to be used as part of a unit test. Ideally, teams should begin the process with a basic understanding of the vision of A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012). However, the process can also be used to help orient educators to the Framework vision. Three-dimensional assessment tasks allow you to make inferences about how students use their understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts together to explain phenomena and solve problems. This process includes steps to ensure that your tasks are accessible and engaging to learners from non-dominant communities and to learners with identified learning differences. Assessing three-dimensional standards means assessing more than just the “process” of science; it means assessing students’ proficiency through integrated use of all three dimensions to explain phenomena and solve design challenges. The guidance included here is based on the conclusions and recommendations included in the National Research Council (2014) report, Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, the process incorporates use of the Task Screener developed by Achieve, Inc., to analyze existing assessments. This document was updated in 2020 and replaces the prior version of this resource.

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

BY WILLIAM R. PENUEL, KATIE VAN HORNE, AND PHILIP BELL REVISED MARCH 2020 (FROM MARCH 2016 VERSION)

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Overview of the Steps Outlined in this Document

STEP 0: Before you begin, make sure you are familiar with qualities of threedimensional assessment tasks (pg. 3)

Step 1. Define what you will assess by analyzing relevant sections of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and crafting learning claims (pg. 4)

STEP 2: Analyze the facets of the claim to be assessed (pg. 5)

STEP 3: Choose a phenomenon or a design challenge for the task—framed through a compelling scenario (pg. 6)

STEP 4: Write a complete student explanation of the phenomenon or solution to the design challenge (pg. 7)

STEP 5: Use the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts Tools to develop individual prompts (pg. 8)

STEP 6: Integrate questions to assess student interest and identification with science and engineering presented in the scenario (pg. 9)

STEP 7: Develop ideal student answers and a scoring guide or assessment rubric (pg. 10)

STEP 8: Review your task with peers for intelligibility, alignment, and accessibility (pg. 11)

STEP 9: Pilot and revise your assessment (pg. 12) 2


Throughout this document, we make use of three key terms: Task: A single, multi-component activity designed to elicit understanding of a performance expectation (or part of one). Scenarios: The contextual framing of a task in which a phenomenon to be explained or a problem to be solved is presented to students. The phenomenon or problem presented is the focus of the entire assessment. Prompts: Individual components or questions, all of which are linked to the scenario.

Assessment design is best conducted in teams, where colleagues can work together to clarify learning goals to be assessed, brainstorm phenomena and design challenges that will require application of the disciplinary core ideas of a performance expectation, and review one another’s prompts. This tool is intended to be used in conjunction with other STEM Teaching Tools: ACESSE Resource D: How to Craft 3D Classroom Science Assessments ACESSE Resource E: Selecting an Anchoring Phenomenon for Equitable 3D Teaching STEM Teaching Tool 30: Integrating Science Practices into Assessment Tasks STEM Teaching Tool 41: Prompts for Integrating Crosscutting Concepts into Assessment and Instruction If you have never developed a three-dimensional assessment task as a team, begin with STEP 0, “Becoming Familiar with Three-Dimensional Tasks” or engage with ACESSE Resource A and ACESSE Resource B. If you have developed three-dimensional assessment tasks as a team and are familiar with using the Achieve, Inc., task screener, skip to STEP 1.

STEP 0: Become familiar with qualities of three-dimensional assessment tasks For people just beginning to develop three-dimensional assessment tasks, it is useful to begin with an analysis of existing tasks. One task designed using the process described here is the Swallows Task. It assesses students’ understanding of a high school life science performance expectation. As a team, take a minute to read the annotated assessment. Then discuss what you notice about it, especially how it is different from assessments you may have used in the past. Next, look at the summary of strengths and opportunities, which shows what others who have experience developing three-dimensional assessments have written about it. How are their ideas similar or different from your own? What ideas do you now have about what makes for a good three-dimensional assessment? You can record your ideas about what makes for a good three-dimensional assessment task and keep them nearby as you go through the rest of the steps in the process. Achieve, Inc’s Science Task PreScreen: Basic Criteria for Three-Dimensional Assessment Tasks • • • • • • • •

Is there a phenomenon or problem driving the task? Can the majority of the task be answered without using information provided by the task scenario? (answer should be “no”) Can significant portions of the task be answered successfully by using rote knowledge (e.g., definitions, prescriptive or memorized procedure)? (answer should be “no”) Does the majority of the task require students to use reasoning to successfully complete the task? Does the task require students to use some understanding of disciplinary core ideas to successfully complete the task? Do students have to use at least one science and engineering practice to successfully complete the task? Are the dimensions assessed separately in the majority of the task? Is the task coherent and comprehensible from the student perspective?

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STEP 1. Define what you will assess by analyzing relevant sections of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and crafting learning claims Assessment begins with defining what you want to be able to say about what your students know and can do. The Framework provides a starting place for defining the understandings that should be assessed at each grade band. The practices chapter (Chapter 3) and crosscutting concepts chapter (Chapter 4) highlight grade 12 endpoints and what is known about progressions across K-12. The disciplinary core ideas chapters (Chapters 5-8) include descriptions for what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. Use the Framework text to define a set of “learning claims” that you want to be able to make about what students know and can do. A claim is more than just a phrase that references a concept (e.g., “ecosystem stability”). For example, “A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions,” is a statement derived from the 12th grade expectation for LS2C. This particular claim is not sufficient to develop a learning claim for an assessment, as it does not account for performance related to the other two dimensions (Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts), as shown in the example below. The performance expectations can be the basis for developing claims. However, many assessment tasks will only assess part of a performance expectation. We may choose parts that fit together, for example, because they are necessary to explain a particular phenomenon, or because conceptually they are related. Below, we present a performance expectation in the form of a claim, and show the relevant Framework text that makes up the claim. The text in this table is the same text that is in the “connections” boxes of the NGSS.

Claim

Relevant Framework Text

Students can evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.

A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience)

Associated PE: HS-LS2-6

Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence) Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. (CCC: Stability and Change).

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STEP 2: Analyze the facets of the claim to be assessed Developing a deeper understanding of the components of the performance expectation is needed, both to select a phenomenon or design challenge for the assessment and to develop a sense of what is important to score in an assessment. An analysis of the facets of the performance expectation is the second step in assessment design. A facet is a small observable piece of knowledge or a strategy that a student uses to make sense of a problem (Minstrell, 1992). Facets can be about any dimension of science learning, and can be written as claims, such as “Students can define the boundaries of ecosystems on the basis of direct and indirect interactions among organisms,” or “Argument from evidence involves evaluation of given claims.” The NGSS Evidence Statements are one representation of the facets of a performance expectation. However, actively analyzing facets—including the underlying conceptual model elements that are desired—can be a valuable way for a team to develop a shared understanding of the learning targets for an assessment task. Making “sticky notes” with the facets on them can help teams keep track of whether the assessment prompts you have designed elicit each facet.

Sample Facets (DCI Only)

Relevant Framework Text

Ecosystems interactions can create stability, in terms of the numbers and types of organisms.

A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience)

The numbers are “relatively” constant, meaning they do bounce up and down within a range and, in some cases, seasonally. The constancy can be over a long period, provided that the conditions of an ecosystem are stable. • One “condition” might be the absence of major disturbances to the ecosystem. We can conclude an ecosystem is resilient if something disturbs it, and it returns to its original status. • Ecosystems, when perturbed, will find a new equilibrium that may resemble a previous state. Ecosystems have characteristics/factors that can be examined as indicators of change. • We can observe and measure the effect of “modest” disturbances. • “Original status” implies use of an agreed-upon range of factors that count as typical for a given ecosystem. “More or less” implies ecosystems will be affected by disturbances to varying degrees. Here, “status” likely relates to the richness and abundance of different species in the ecosystem and the dynamics of the ecosystem.

A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions. If a modest biological or physical disturbance to an ecosystem occurs, it may return to its more or less original status (i.e., the ecosystem is resilient), as opposed to becoming a very different ecosystem. Extreme fluctuations in conditions or the size of any population, however, can challenge the functioning of ecosystems in terms of resources and habitat availability. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience) Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning behind currently accepted explanations or solutions to determine the merits of arguments. (SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence) Much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. (CCC: Stability and Change)

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STEP 3: Choose a phenomenon or a design challenge for the task—framed through a compelling scenario Every three-dimensional assessment requires a scenario, in which students are presented with a phenomenon or a design challenge. Phenomena require the use of science practices to explain, and design challenges require the use of engineering practices to solve. Both should require students to apply their understanding of targeted disciplinary core ideas. This particular requirement means that developing a task will involve time looking for a good phenomenon or design challenge. The task’s scenario should be engaging, relevant, and accessible to a wide range of students (Achieve, 2018). (See also ACESSE Resource D and STEM Teaching Tool #28 and #42.) ACESSE Resource E provides a process for selecting a phenomenon that can anchor either a three-dimensional assessment or sequence of lessons. That process entails: • Analyzing the focal performance expectation(s) (STEP 2 above) • Brainstorming candidate phenomena — and consider different kinds of phenomena for specific equity purposes • Drafting a student explanation of 6-7 candidate phenomena to choose from • Administering a student survey to assess students’ interest in the phenomenon • Choosing a phenomenon and developing an explanation of the phenomenon you expect students to be able to give at the end of a sequence of instruction (STEP 4 below) A parallel process could be used to select an engineering design challenge. If phenomena and design challenges are a new idea to you and your team, ACESSE Resource E includes a game you can play together, “The Phenomenon Game.” Choosing a phenomenon that is of interest to students and that is personally relevant to them, to help ensure that students will engage with and persevere through completion of a task. Choosing a phenomenon where scientists or engineers from students’ own communities are involved can help students from non-dominant backgrounds identify with science and engineering. Therefore, gathering and analyzing evidence of student interest is a strategy for promoting equity through the choice of assessments. The example below is based on a phenomenon chosen through the process described above. Other examples of scenarios can be found here. This particular phenomenon, though not local to students, was of particular interest to girls and to African American and Latinx students. In addition, it requires the use of facets of DCIs to explain. The complete assessment can be found here.

Phenomenon and Associated Facets

Scenario

Phenomenon: In the Serengeti Plain, the wildebeest plays a special role in the ecosystem. Its numbers determine the numbers of many other organisms in the ecosystem. Changes to its numbers over time have greatly affected the abundance and diversity of the plain.

Phenomenon-Driven Scenario A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays an important and unique role in how an ecosystem functions. Without the keystone species, the ecosystem would be very different.

Conservation efforts focus on protecting the wildebeest, because of its special role in the ecosystem. At the same time, the wildebeest threaten livestock that local people need to feed their families. Explaining this phenomenon and solving its associated design challenge requires students to apply their understanding about how interactions create stability over varying periods of time, as well as how changes actually have a dramatic effect on organisms, including through indirect interactions. The phenomenon also affords students the opportunity to examine factors that are indicators of change.

One way scientists identify keystone species is to look at how changes to their abundance (number) affect other organisms. Often , when the number of a keystone species changes, there are many indirect effects and of changes to the ecosystems. Answer the questions below to evaluate the claim that the wildebeest in the Serengeti is a keystone species. Draw on evidence you have gathered about the Serengeti to support your evaluation of the claim. Design Challenge-Driven Scenario Some conservationists argue that the wildebeests should be protected on the Serengeti, even though the size of the wildebeest population is large, in order to protect the ecosystem in the future. Some local governments have sought to get rid of wildebeests in their countries, because the animals threaten livestock (e.g., cows) that people depend on to eat.

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STEP 4: Write a complete student explanation of the phenomenon or solution to the design challenge Before developing specific prompts for the task, it is useful to write a complete student explanation of the phenomenon or solution to the design challenge. The explanation or solution should be what you expect students to write. They are the “answers” to the questions or prompts that you will develop in your assessment. Write them as an emerging bilingual or multilingual student who had mastered the performance expectation might write an explanation.

Scenario

Complete Student Explanation

A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays an important and unique role in how an ecosystem functions. Without the keystone species, the ecosystem would be very different.

The big growth of wildebeest population after the elimination of Rinderpest led to big direct and indirect changes on the ecosystem. More wildebeest meant there was more food for their predators, such as lions and hyenas. The larger numbers of wildebeest meant there was less grass. They reduced the average height of grass in the plains by several inches. The lower grass levels meant less fuel for fires that periodically burned the plains.

One way scientists identify keystone species is to look at how changes to their abundance (number) affects other organisms. Often when the number of a keystone species changes, there are many indirect effects and changes to the ecosystems. Answer the questions below to evaluate the claim that the wildebeest in the Serengeti is a keystone species. Draw on evidence you have gathered about the Serengeti to support your evaluation of the claim.

With fewer fires, the seeds of trees were allowed to grow, and eventually the plain became more covered with trees. This in turn led to a larger giraffe population. So, these direct and indirect effects led to big changes in the ecosystem, all because of the numbers of wildebeest. Some evidence points to the fact that elephants are also keystone species in the Serengeti.

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STEP 5: Use the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts Tools to develop individual prompts A key challenge for many teams is to develop tasks that elicit students’ grasp of the science and engineering practices and their understanding of crosscutting concepts. Two tools exist to help develop prompts (individual questions) that do so: STEM Teaching Tool 30: Integrating Science Practices into Assessment Tasks STEM Teaching Tool 41: Prompts for Integrating Crosscutting Concepts into Assessment and Instruction You can use the first tool to organize a sequence of prompts that make sense for students, and then adapt prompts from the second tool in appropriate places so that students can show their understanding of crosscutting concepts. There are multiple task formats for the science and engineering practices. Having multiple task formats to choose from allows for variety in assessment prompts. The formats vary in how challenging they are likely to be for students, too. Some require students to construct knowledge with very little support from the prompt. Others could be used to build questions where students select from available responses (multiple choice). Most assessments will rely on more than one practice, because multiple practices are almost always needed to make sense of phenomena and solve problems (see STEM Teaching Tool #3). As you develop prompts, check to make sure that all of the elements of the complete explanations are elicited. In the example below, the evidence presented comes from lessons taught over the course of 10 days, as part of a longerterm investigation of the Serengeti ecosystem. In most stand-alone assessments, the data would be provided to students as part of the scenario, as in the Swallows Task.

Scenario (Phenomenon)

Prompts

A keystone species is a plant or animal that plays an important and unique role in how an ecosystem functions. Without the keystone species, the ecosystem would be very different.

Engaging in Argument From Evidence (Task Formats 6a and 6b from STEM Teaching Tool #30): What evidence collected throughout the unit supports the claim that the wildebeest is a keystone species?

One way scientists identify keystone species is to look at how changes to their abundance (number) affect other organisms. Often , when the number of a keystone species changes, there are many indirect effects and changes to the ecosystems. Use the space below to evaluate the claim that the wildebeest in the Serengeti is a keystone species. Draw on evidence you have gathered about the Serengeti to support your evaluation of the claim.

What evidence collected throughout the unit does not support this claim? Stability and Change: Would protecting the wildebeest help to protect the stability of the Serengeti ecosystem? Why or why not?

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STEP 6: Integrate questions to assess student interest and identification with science and engineering presented in the scenario Interest and identification with science can be gauged in the context of an assessment. Gathering evidence of students’ perceptions of the personal or community relevance of a scenario can help you monitor equity goals. Assessments can help build relationships with students and help them see themselves in the science, even though they are not typically used for this purpose.

Construct

Example Question (Ideal answers are underlined)

Relevance to Community

What we did in class today matters to people in my community because: (select the option that best describes your feelings) A. This material is important and people should know about it B. This material could improve the lives of people in my community C. What we did today doesn’t matter to people in my community D. Other: (Please write in an answer)

Identification with science

While completing this assessment, I felt (circle all that apply): A. Excited B. Bored C. Frustrated D. Like a scientist E. Afraid F. Angry G. Happy People like me do science: (select the option that best describes your feelings) A. Strongly Agree B. Agree C. Unsure D. Disagree E. Strongly Disagree I want to learn more science in the future: (select the option that best describes your feelings) A. Strongly Agree B. Agree C. Unsure D. Disagree E. Strongly Disagree

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STEP 7: Develop ideal student answers and a scoring guide or assessment rubric Next, develop an answer key. Assign points to facets included in student answers that are linked to the facets identified when analyzing the performance expectation. When developing a scoring guide, make sure that students get the most points for answers that reflect the facets you analyze. A total score for the assessment can be given as the sum of the individual points. The higher the number of points, the stronger the evidence of mastery of the performance expectation. Feedback to students can focus on the facets that students still need to develop to construct a satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon or solution to the problem.

Prompt

Student Answers and Scoring Guide

What evidence collected throughout the unit supports the claim that the wildebeest is a keystone species?

Answers: The big growth of wildebeest population after the elimination of Rinderpest led to big direct and indirect changes on the ecosystem. More wildebeest meant there was more food for their predators, such as lions and hyenas. The larger numbers of wildebeest meant there was less grass. They reduced the average height of grass in the plains by several inches. The lower grass levels meant less fuel for fires that periodically burned the plains. With fewer fires, the seeds of trees were allowed to grow, and eventually the plain became more covered with trees. This in turn led to a larger giraffe population. So, these direct and indirect effects led to big changes in the ecosystem, all because of the numbers. This makes them a keystone species, because this is the kind of role that keystone species play in an ecosystem. +1 point for each direct change to abundance of another organism listed associated with the wildebeest’s increase +1 point for each indirect change to abundance of organisms associated with the increase of wildebeest +1 point for conclusion that connects evidence to definition of keystone species Note: In this prompt, the majority of points focus on the DCI, but across a task, it is important to award points for performance of each of the dimensions.

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STEP 8: Review your task with peers for intelligibility, alignment, and accessibility Sharing your initial tasks with a colleague and asking them for constructive feedback on how to improve them is a good way to begin. There are many roles your colleagues could play in helping improve your task. They can improve the intelligibility of prompts, so that more students will understand what you are asking. They can help ensure alignment to the targeted performance expectation. And, they can help ensure the accessibility of the task.

Tool or Practice

How It Can Improve Your Task

Have a colleague complete your assessment

Can help ensure you are asking what you think you are asking and getting responses you hope to get from students

Assess whether the scoring guide is aligned with the Evidence Statements for the targeted performance expectations

Can help ensure you are awarding points for what really matters, in terms of what students know and should be able to do

Review the assessment using the Achieve’s Task Screener for equity

Can help ensure that the task is accessible and engaging to a wide variety of users

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STEP 9: Pilot and revise your assessment Assessment design requires many cycles of developing, testing, and revising tasks to ensure that you are getting an accurate picture of what students know and can do. It is helpful to pilot test assessments with a small number of students to feed that actual student response data into the revision process. Carefully review alignment of the different elements presented here (claims, scenarios, application of task formats, and hypothetical/actual student answers) and pilot tasks with students as part of classroom instruction to reveal ways to improve tasks. One key is to be ready to revise your initial tasks, even when you’ve put a lot of work into them. Often, the challenge is not with our students, but with the questions that we ask. It is difficult to develop tasks that allow all students to show what they know and can do. Yet it is imperative to do so in order to create fair, valid assessments of students’ three-dimensional science proficiency. Also, once you test tasks with students, your hypothetical student responses can be replaced with actual student responses, along with ideas for how to address problematic aspects of student responses.

References

Achieve, Inc. (2018). Assessment task prescreen. Washington, DC: Author. Achieve, Inc. (2018). Science task screener. Washington, DC: Author. Minstrell, J. (1992). Facets of students’ knowledge and relevant instruction. In F. Duit, F. Goldberg, & H. Niedderer (Eds.), Research in physics learning: Theoretical issues and empirical studies (pp. 110-128). Kiel, Germany: IPN. National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. National Research Council. (2014). Developing assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

This work was created and refined as part of the Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE) and the Research + Practice Collaboratory projects. ACESSE brings together partners from educational research and practice to improve equity by building coherence in science education. The Research + Practice Collaboratory brings educators and researchers together to develop more equitable innovations for STEM teaching and learning. Learn more at cosss.org/ACESSE and researchandpractice.org. This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number EHR-1238253 and by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders.

This work is provided for educational use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#30

Integrating Science Practices Into Assessment Tasks The Next Generation Science Standards call for the development of “three-dimensional science proficiency,” that is, students’ integrated understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. Assess three-dimensional science proficiency requires multicomponent tasks (National Research Council, 2014). These are a set of prompts linked by a common scenario, phenomenon, or engineering design challenge.

on the language of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS Evidence Statements, focusing on all eight science practices and two engineering practices. These task formats represent different ways that assessment tasks can be written to engage students in science practice. They do not specify precisely which disciplinary core ideas are to be integrated into tasks, which would be determined by the team designing the assessments.

Developing three-dimensional science assessments is challenging. Most current assessments focus on testing students’ knowledge of science facts. Few focus on having students apply their understanding of disciplinary core ideas in the context of engaging in a science or engineering practice. Fewer still make connections to crosscutting concepts.

The different formats get at different aspects of a given science and engineering practice. Some formats are likely to be more demanding cognitively for students than others. The idea of presenting multiple formats is to give task developers a sense of the range of tasks that can be written. A good “test” of a student's grasp of a particular practice, in the context of a disciplinary core idea and crosscutting concept, would be comprised of multiple tasks and draw on multiple formats.

The “task format” templates included in this document are tools to help teachers and district leaders design three-dimensional assessment tasks. They are based

Scenario presented to students

Format

1

How to Read a Template Task

Task Requirements for Students Present students with a textual description of an investigation of an observable phenomenon, then Ask students to formulate a scientific question relevant to Investigating that phenomenon. Task(s) for students to complete

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016-18 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. | Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

BY KATIE VAN HORNE, WILLIAM R. PENUEL, AND PHILIP BELL | VERSION 2.0 MARCH 2016, UPDATED FEBRUARY 2018

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/30


Potential Task Formats: Asking Questions (Science) Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, then Ask students to select from a list of questions to identify which ones can be investigated.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, then Ask students to ask questions about the phenomenon based on their observations of the information in the scenario to gather more information, and/or Ask students to formulate scientific questions to investigate that phenomenon.

3

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, then Ask students to generate a scientific question relevant to investigating that phenomenon, and Ask students to describe what evidence is needed to answer the question they generated.

4

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, and a scientific question, then Ask students to evaluate whether or not the question is relevant to explaining the phenomenon, and If the question is relevant, ask students to describe what evidence is needed to answer that question.

5

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, and a research question, then Ask students what questions we need to answer along the way to answer the research question, Ask students to describe what evidence is needed to answer those questions might and how they help build toward an explanation of the phenomenon, or Ask students to ask questions about unexpected results.

6

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation of an observable phenomenon, a research question, and a set of data and findings, then Ask students to formulate a follow-up question to extend the investigation.

7

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation of an observable phenomenon, a research question, then Ask students to revise the question to make it investigable with available resources in the classroom.

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8

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation of an observable phenomenon and with a question or a set of questions, then Ask students to evaluate and explain whether or not the question(s) is empirically testable.

9

Present students with a scenario of a scientific argument in the context of an investigation, then Ask students to generate questions they would ask to clarify the argument or to ask for elaboration of the ideas presented in the argument.

10

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text and/or and a model of the phenomenon, then Ask students what questions they need to answer to clarify or determine the components and interactions/relationships in the model, and Ask students to explain how those questions will add information necessary for the model to adequately explain the phenomenon.

3


Potential Task Formats: Defining Problems (Engineering) Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Present students with a scenario in which people are using designed object or tool and express frustration that the object or tool cannot perform a specific function, then Ask students to define the problem in their own words that the people are facing.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem using text, images, video, and/or data, then Ask students to describe what human needs, local issues, or global issues are reflected in the description of the problem.

3

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem using text, images, video, and/or data that includes information about different needs and issues at stake, then Ask students to define the problem in their own words that is to be solved, and Identify criteria for success for a solution that best meets the needs identified and addresses the issues at stake.

4

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem that includes quantitative and qualitative data in the description, then Ask students to describe what human needs, local issues, or global issues are reflected in the description of the problem, and Ask students to interpret quantitative and qualitative data to describe the major consequences of the problem if it remains unsolved.

5

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem that includes excerpts from related scientific research, then Ask students to describe how each piece of scientific research is relevant background research for defining the problem.

6

Present students with a textual description of a scenario of a need or desire of society and/or the natural world, then Ask students to describe the problem, and Ask students to define the criteria and constraints for acceptable solutions to the problem perhaps including scientific knowledge that may limit possible solutions..

7

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem using text, images, video, and/or data that includes information about different needs and issues at stake, or Present students with a textual description of a scenario of a need or desire of society and/or the natural world and a defined problem, then Ask students to define the components and relationships between the components of the system in which the problem is embedded, and Ask students to define the boundaries of that system and what is and is not part of the system.

4


8

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem using text, images, video, and/or data, or Present students with a textual description of a scenario of a need or desire of society and/or the natural world along with design criteria and constraints, then Ask students to plan an investigation that would allow them to better understand the needs and issues at stake, and Ast students to describe what kinds of design solutions would fit within the defined criteria and constraints to design space for the problem.

9

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem using text, images, video, and/or data then Ask students to describe what human needs, local issues, or global issues are reflected in the description of the problem, Ask students to define the criteria and constraints for acceptable solutions to the problem, and Ask students what evidence is needed to know whether or not a solution fits within the defined criteria and constraints.

5


Potential Task Formats: Developing and Using Models (Science) Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, then Ask student to develop a model that represents amounts, relationships, scales, or patterns in the natural world, or Ask students to a simple model based on evidence from the scenario to represent an object or tool.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, and with two different models for that phenomenon, then Ask students to compare the two models to identify common features and differences and Ask students to revise one of the models and justify their revisions with disciplinary core ideas.

3

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data and a question or problem related to the phenomenon, then Ask students to develop a model with components, interactions, and mechanisms that answers the question or demonstrates a solution to the problem, and/or Asks students to develop a version of their model that shows what will happen if a variable or component changes, and/or Ask students to write an explanation for the phenomenon or the problem, using the model as supporting evidence.

4

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, and includes an illustration or drawing of a scientific process, then Ask students to label the components, interactions, and mechanisms in the model, and Write a description of what is shown in the drawing.

5

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data and a question or problem related to the phenomenon, then Ask students to develop a model that generates data, and Ask students to write an explanation or explain a solution using data generated from the model.

6

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data and a question or problem related to the phenomenon, then Ask students to develop at least two types of models, and Ask students to write an explanation or explain a solution using evidence generated from more than one type of model.

7

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data and a model to describe or predict something related to the phenomenon then Ask students to develop a test to understand the reliability of the model, and Revise the model to improve its reliability.

6


Potential Task Formats: Planning and Carrying Out Investigations (Science) Relevant definitions • An investigation plan encompasses a description of data sources and measures to be used, procedures for observing and recording data, and, where relevant, a plan for how observations will be sampled. • A data source refers to a type of data only (“We would need data on the size of the whitecolored moth population” or “We would need data comparing the color of tail feathers in birds in the mountains and in the city”). Format

Task Requirements for Students

1a

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data to be explained, then Ask students to generate a research question to investigate the phenomenon with resources available in the classroom (or with a given list of resources), Ask students to evaluate different ways of observing or measuring a phenomenon to determine which will best answer the question asked, Ask students to identify the variables needed in the investigation to explain the phenomenon, Ask students to characterize each variable as dependent or independent and to explain any variables to be controlled and why, and Ask student to make observations/measurements to produce data.

1b

Present students with a scientific model to be tested, then Ask students to generate a research question to investigate the phenomenon with resources available in the classroom (or with a given list of resources), Ask students to evaluate different ways of observing or measuring a phenomenon to determine which will best answer the question asked, Ask students to identify the variables needed in the investigation to explain the phenomenon, Ask students to characterize each variable as dependent or independent and to explain any variables to be controlled and why, and Ask student to make observations/measurements to produce data.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, a scientific question, and an investigation plan, then Ask students to describe how the data will be collected precisely, and Ask students to how much data is needed to be reliable.

3a

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data to be explained and a scientific question, then Ask students to create an investigation plan to study the scientific phenomenon that includes independent and dependent variables and controls (when applicable), what tools will be used to gather data, and how observations/measurements will be recorded, Ask students to describe how the investigation will generate relevant evidence for answering the scientific question, and/or Ask students to conduct the investigation and collect data to serve as evidence to answer the scientific question.

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3b

Present students with a scientific model, then Ask students to create an investigation plan to test the model that includes independent and dependent variables and controls, when applicable, what tools will be used to gather data, and how observations/measurements will be recorded, Ask students to describe how the investigation will generate relevant evidence for testing the model, Ask students to describe the pattern of evidence that would support the model, and/or Ask students to conduct the investigation and collect data to serve as evidence to evaluate the model.

4

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data and an engineering problem to be solved and a possible design solution, then Ask students to design an investigation to test the design solution that considers environmental, social, and personal impacts of the investigation.

5

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data to be explained a scientific question, and an investigation plan, then Ask students to consider possible confounding variables or effects and evaluate the investigation’s design to ensure it will produce the necessary data, Ask student to revise the investigation to ensure it will produce the necessary data and in the revision include the types of data to be collected, how much data will be collected, and the accuracy of data needed to produce reliable measurements, and/or Ask students to conduct the investigation and write an explanation to answer the scientific question using data from the investigation as evidence.

6

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data to be explained a scientific question, and investigation plan, and data collected from the investigation, then Ask students analyze how well the data collected generated relevant evidence to answer the research question, and Ask students to revise the investigation plan to be more relevant and to generate more accurate and precise data.

8


Potential Task Formats: Analyzing and Interpreting Data Relevant definitions • A pattern of evidence from data is what the data say (“The population of white-colored moths disappeared in cities,” or “The birds’ tail feathers are whiter in the mountains than in the city”) Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Describe an engineering design problem, a solution to the problem and a set of data from a test of the solution, then Ask students to evaluate which design solution best addresses the problem and constraints.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and one or more recorded observations from the investigation directly relevant to explaining the phenomenon, then Ask students to make a prediction and compare it to the observations given, Ask students to organize the data and describe how this organization helps them analyze, Ask students to use tables or graphical displays to identify and describe the patterns they see in the organized data, and Ask students to student to describe how the patterns of evidence in the data help to explain the phenomenon.

3

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and multiple recorded observations from the investigation, only some of which are relevant to explaining the phenomenon and Ask students to describe which data are relevant to explaining the phenomenon under investigation, Ask students to analyze the relevant data using mathematics or logical reasoning, and Ask students to interpret the analysis as evidence for explaining the phenomenon.

4

Describe an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and one or more recorded observations from the investigation, then Ask students to organize, represent, and analyze the data in at least two different ways, and Ask students to compare how the representations and analyses help them to identify patterns in the data.

5

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and one or more recorded observations from the investigation, then Ask students to construct graphical displays of data and identify relationships in data sets, Ask students to use grade-level appropriate mathematics and/or statistics to analyze the data including mean, median, mode, and variability, and Ask students to draw conclusions supported by their mathematical analysis, Ask students to describe the limitations in data analysis and in relation to the methods for data collection.

6

Present students with a scenario that describes a hypothesis and a phenomenon under investigation, then Ask students to create a data set that would support the hypothesis, and Ask students say how the pattern of evidence from the data would support the hypothesis.

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7

Present students with a scenario that describes tests of engineering design solutions and gives students the relevant data from those tests, then Ask students to analyze the data to evaluate and propose refinements to the design solutions, and Ask students to compare the analyzed data to criteria for success and then define an optimal operational range for the design solution (an object, tool, process, or system).

8

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and one or more recorded observations from the investigation, then Ask students to organize, represent, and analyze the data in at least two different ways, Ask students to use tools (digital tools, if appropriate), technologies, or models and apply concepts of statistics and probability (e.g., functions that fit the data, slope, intercept, and correlation coefficient) to analyze the data, Ask students to compare how the representations and analyses help them to identify patterns in the data, Ask students to make a valid and reliable scientific claim using their analyses as evidence, and Ask students to consider the limitations of their data analysis.

9

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, multiple recorded observations from the investigation, and the results of analyses then Ask students to use the results to explain the phenomenon.

10

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and multiple datasets including a large data set, an archival data set, data generated from a model or self generated, or data presented in graphical format, then Ask students to identify relationships in the data including temporal and spatial relationships, Ask students to compare the datasets for consistency of measurements and observations, Ask students to analyze the datasets using mathematics, as appropriate, and Ask students to use the results from multiple datasets to explain the phenomenon.

11

Present students with a scenario that describes an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, one or more recorded observations from the investigation, the results of analyses, and an interpretation of the data then Ask students to assess whether the interpretation is consistent with the data and the analysis, or Ask students to evaluate how the interpretation is affected by variation or uncertainty in the data.

12

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/ or data, and a working explanation or a model of the system, and new data not included in the explanation or model, then Ask students to evaluate the impact of new data in relation to the explanation or the model, and Ask students to revise the explanation or model based on the new data, if appropriate.

10


Potential Task Formats: Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking (Science) Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, and/or video and data in the form of measured quantities, then Ask students to describe patterns in the data using counting and numbers, Ask students to construct a display of the data using simple graphs, and Ask students to identify and describe the patterns and relationships from the representation and written description.

2

Present students with a scenario that includes a dataset from an investigation, the question the investigation is intended to answer, then Ask students to identify mathematical properties of the dataset (e.g., range, average) that should be analyzed to answer the question.

3

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, and/or video and data in the form of measured quantities, then Ask students to develop an equation or algorithm that corresponds to the description, and Explain how the equation or algorithm represents the textual description.

4

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon using text, images, and /or video and data, measured quantities of data, and a mathematical equation, then Ask students to make a prediction about the state of the phenomenon in the future given the data, and Ask students to write an explanation for the prediction, using the mathematical model as supporting evidence.

5

Present students with a computational model of a phenomenon, then Ask students to describe the patterns and relationships from the computational model by applying concepts and process (e.g., ratio, rate, percent, unit conversions), and Write an explanation of the phenomenon using the results of the computational model as supportive evidence.

6

Present students with a simulation of a scientific process, then Ask students to describe the patterns and relationships from the simulation, and Write an explanation of the rules of the simulation using scientific theory as supporting evidence.

7

Present students with a simulation of a phenomenon, then Ask students to compare the simulation results with real-world data analyzed using mathematics, and Write an argument for whether or not the simulation makes sense using the comparison as supporting evidence.

8

Present students with a two simulations of the same phenomenon, then Ask students to decide which of the two simulations is the most plausible, Compare to real-world data with outputs of each simulation, and Write an argument for which simulation is most plausible using the comparison as supporting evidence.

11


Potential Task Formats: Constructing Explanations (Science) Relevant definitions • “Scientific explanations are accounts that link scientific theory with specific observations or phenomena… Very often the theory is first represented by a specific model for the situation in question, and then a model-based explanation is developed.” (NRC Framework, 2012). Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Present students with a question about how a phenomenon works and related observations (firsthand or from a variety of media sources), then Ask students to interpret the observations in order to answer the question, and Answer the question by producing an explanation (using words and/or drawings), and Give reasons for how the observations support their answer to the question.

2

Describe a phenomenon to students along with some related qualitative or quantitative data/ observations, then Ask students produce an explanation about the causal mechanism for the phenomena—at their level of scientific knowledge, and Show how their interpretation of the data is evidence for their explanation.

3

Describe a phenomenon to students along with a related set of evidence and an explanation that includes multiple scientific principles, then Ask students to say which pieces of evidences support or contradict particular components of the explanation.

4

Present students with a model or representation of an observable scientific process or system, then Ask students to write a model-based explanation for a relevant phenomenon.

5

Describe a phenomenon and present students with a causal explanation of it, then Ask students to identify gaps or weaknesses in how it scientifically explains the phenomenon based on their level of scientific understanding.

6

Present students with data from independent and dependent variables in an investigation, then Ask them to construct a quantitative and/or qualitative claim about how the independent variables relate to the dependent variables.

7

Describe a phenomenon and present students with a range of evidence obtained from a variety of sources (empirical investigations, models, theories, simulations, peer review), then Ask students to construct a causal explanation for the phenomena, and Describe how the evidence relates to the mechanisms or principles they have included.

8

Present students with an initial explanation for a phenomenon and new data or a model that would require a revision of the initial explanation, then Ask students to revise the explanation for the phenomenon, and Describe how their revised explanation accounts for the new data or model.

12


Potential Task Formats: Designing Solutions (Engineering) Format

Task Design for Students

1

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem, need, or human desire using text, images, video, and/or data that includes descriptions of the needs or concerns to be addressed, design criteria, and design constraints, then Ask students to sketch or describe a design approach that develops a possible solution to the problem, and Explain how the relevant scientific ideas are taken into account within their design.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes a problem, need, or human desire using text, images, video, and/or data that includes descriptions of the needs or concerns to be addressed, design criteria, and design constraints, then Ask students to sketch, prototype or describe a design that is a possible solution to the problem using relevant materials, and Construct a prototype of their design.

3

Present students with a description of a designed system and data from a failure scenario (one that did not completely meet criteria for solutions) associated with the design, then Ask students to analyze the data, Identify the scientific causes of the failure, and Ask them them to sketch or describe a design iteration that might be an improvement to the design.

4

Present students with a description of a design in active development and a scenario where the design team has encountered a design tension between two or more criteria perhaps also related to the project constraints, then Ask students how they would proceed with the design work to develop a working system that requires consideration of trade-offs and prioritizing one design criterion over another in order to accomplish a working design.

5

Present students with a description of two competing solutions to a well-defined problems given a set of described needs, criteria and constraints, along with evidence related to the performance of each solution, then Ask students to evaluate which design better addresses the needs, Evaluate which design meets the criteria and constraints, and Justify their conclusion using evidence presented.

6

Present students with a scenario that describes a complex real-world problem. Ask students to design a solution that is based on scientific knowledge, prioritized criteria, and student-generated sources of evidence (e.g., from classroom investigations), and Ask them discuss tradeoff considerations for their design approach.

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Potential Task Formats: Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Relevant definitions • A data source refers to a type of data only (“We would need data on the size of the white-colored moth population” or “We would need data comparing the color of tail feathers in birds in the mountains and in the city”) • A pattern of evidence from data is what the data say (“The population of white-colored moths disappeared in cities,” or “The birds’ tail feathers are whiter in the mountains than in the city”) Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Describe a phenomenon and give two or more competing arguments with varying degrees of evidence or that account for variable amounts of gathered evidence, then Ask students to identify which arguments are more scientific and why.

2

Present students with a claim about a phenomenon, then Ask students to identify evidence that supports the claim, and Articulate the reasons for how scientific principle(s) connect each piece of evidence to the claim.

3

Describe a phenomenon to students, then Ask students to articulate (construct) a claim about that phenomenon, and Identify evidence that supports or contradicts the claim, and Articulate the reasons for how scientific principle(s) that connect each piece of evidence to the claim.

4a, 4b

Describe a scenario in which two or more explanations are offered for a phenomenon and associated evidence using text, images, video, and/or data, then Ask students to identify the different reasoning used in the explanations (easier), or Ask students to identify the differences in reasoning and the evidence that supports or contradicts each (harder).

5

Describe an engineering design problem, a proposed solution, a set of criteria, and a set of data collected during testing of the solution, then Ask students to interpret the data to identify quality scientific evidence, and Support a claim about how well the solution addresses the problem using the evidence.

6a, 6b

Present students with a claim, a list of data sources that are relevant to the claim (but not what the data say), then Ask students to identify (select from a list) a pattern of evidence from the data that would support the claim, or Ask students to identify (select from a list) what pattern of evidence from the data would refute the claim.

7a, 7b, 7c, 7d

Present students with a claim and a pattern of evidence with reasoning relevant to the claim, then Ask students to assess whether the evidence is logically consistent with the reasoning, or Ask students to assess whether the evidence is consistent with a scientific theory or model they have studied, or Ask students to generate ideas about additional evidence needed to support the claim, or Ask students to critique and refine the reasoning used to support the claim.

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8

Describe a scenario in which two or more scientific arguments are offered for a phenomenon that is described using text, images, video, and/or data, then Ask students to evaluate the merits and coherence of each argument by analyzing its fit with currently accepted explanations and the claim, evidence, reasoning relationships, and Use their evaluation to draw a conclusion about which argument is better supported.

9

Describe a scenario in which two or more contradictory claims are offered for a phenomenon and partial data for evaluating the claim, then Ask students to identify additional information needed to draw a conclusion about which claim is accurate, and Justify the choice of additional information using reasoning based on a model or scientific principles.

Potential Task Formats: Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information Relevant definitions • A “scientific text” is any form of scientific communication including but not limited to prose, graphs, videos, posters, symbols, and mathematics. Format

Task Requirements for Students

1

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon and includes a set of resources including grade-appropriate texts, data displays, tables, diagrams, equations, graphs, and models, then Ask students to synthesize the information from across the resources and texts, and/or Ask students to compare and contrast information across the resources and texts to determine which are most relevant to explaining the phenomenon, and Ask students to communicate information from the resources with others in oral or written forms using models, drawings, writing, or numbers.

2

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon and includes a set of at least three multimodal resources with qualitative and quantitative information in written text within visual or media displays, then Ask students to integrate information across the resources in order to explain, clarify, or ask questions about claims and findings made in the resources, or Ask students to evaluate and integrate information across the resources to address a scientific question or solve a problem.

15


3

Present students with a set of scientific literature (or grade-appropriate adaptations) and/or media reports related to a scientific phenomenon, then Ask students to analyze and write about the validity and reliability of the information in the text (e.g., data, hypotheses, conclusions) Ask students to evaluate the information presented and synthesize across and to address a scientific question or solve a problem and/or ask questions about the phenomenon based on information from relevant texts.

4

Present students with a scenario that describes a phenomenon or an investigation of a phenomenon using text, images, video, and/or data, then Ask students use multiple forms of scientific texts (e.g., abstracts, articles, posters, science journalism) and multiple ways to present information (e.g., graphically, mathematically) to communicate about the phenomenon to a given audience or an audience of their choosing.

This work was created as part of the Research + Practice Collaboratory project. The Research + Practice Collaboratory brings educators and researchers together to develop more equitable innovations for STEM teaching and learning. Learn more at researchandpractice.org.

We are constantly updating and evolving our tools in response to user feedback.

This work is provided for educational use under Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike 4.0 International license by the Research + Practice Collaboratory 2016-18.

16


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#31

How to launch STEM investigations that build on student and community interests and expertise What Is The Issue? Students are frequently asked to engage in prescribed science investigations that have already been fully designed in the curriculum. It can sometimes be very challenging for students to fnd those investigations personally meaningful. Ideally, the phenomena they study should be personally compelling. A formative assessment strategy called self-documentation can focus students’ science and engineering investigations on their personal and community interests in ways that make them more personally relevant.

BY PHILIP BELL, DEB MORRISON & ANGELA DEBARGER | NOVEMBER 2015

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers can help their students care about what they are learning, understand why it is relevant to their lives, and how to apply it to improve their lives and the lives of others. District Staf & PD Providers should provide teachers with examples of interest-driven and locally-relevant science and engineering investigations. School Leaders should support teachers in adapting curriculum to build on student and community interests and expertise and in bringing community experts into the classroom.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/31


Things To Consider • Eliciting and attending to student’s prior knowledge is a crucial formative assessment approach to guide instruction which roots teacher decisions in resources students bring into the classroom. • Building on prior interest and identity in instruction supports deeper engagement and learning. Instruction designed to leverage the personal interests and expertise of learners increases engagement and learning for youth who otherwise might not engage as deeply. Curriculum units can often be redesigned to incorporate student and community interests and expertise. • Cultural approaches to formative assessment assume that students bring important knowledge, interests, and experiences from their daily lives to the classroom that teachers should elicit and use to inform instruction. An instructional technique called selfdocumentation is one way to do this.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Read about this classroom description of self-documentation (on page 84). Self-doc is a formative assessment strategy to surface aspects of the cultural lives of learners to guide instruction. Selfdocumentation can identify the dynamic, everyday practices, and concerns in the students’ communities that can be meaningfully related to classroom science and engineering investigations. • Self-documentation involves the following instructional steps: (1) ask students to “photo document” aspects of their everyday lives (e.g., about a phenomena or topic), (2) cluster their photos into similar activities, (3) identify which activities are possible areas of investigation for the unit, (4) support students in engaging in investigations related to their focus, and (5) arrange for students to present their results to members of the community / STEM experts.

Attending To Equity

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Which curriculum units do you teach that could be connected to students’ lives outside of school? How will you create a safe classroom culture where students are able to openly share aspects of their lives? How can you help them share only what they and their families are comfortable sharing? You should model how STEM relates to your own cultural life. Do any self-doc task yourself before asking students to do it. What would you focus on?

“There are literally millions of potentially interesting things in the world to see, to do, to learn about. But they don’t become actually interesting until we devote attention to them.” —Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Flow

• Focusing instruction on youth and community interest is a powerful pedagogical strategy for making learning experiences inclusive and meaningful. It also allows teachers to make the most of sources of knowledge from students’ own cultures and communities. Local experts can be tapped to bring this knowledge into the classroom, ofering an opportunity for students to see people from their own community valued in the classroom. • Promote inclusive and democratic approaches to make decisions about investigations to pursue. Students with more social capital, rather than the best idea, can sometimes sway the decision.

Self-Doc Example on Microbiology & Health (Picture shows self-doc pics being clustered for a class)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #15 #32

Multiple Instructional Models Equity in Science Education Why Practices?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/31


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#31

Cómo iniciar las investigaciones de STEM que se basan en los intereses y la experencia de los estudiantes y la comunidad ¿Cuál es el asunto? A los estudiantes se les pide frecuentemente que participen en investigaciones científcas prescritas que ya han sido completamente diseñadas en el plan de estudios. A veces puede ser muy difícil para los estudiantes encontrar esas investigaciones personalmente signifcativas. Idealmente, los fenómenos que estudian deben ser personalmente convincentes. Una estrategia de evaluación formativa llamada auto-documentación puede enfocar las investigaciones científcas e ingenierías de los estudiantes sobre sus intereses personales y comunitarios de manera que sean más relevantes para el individuo. POR PHILIP BELL, DEB MORRISON & ANGELA DEBARGER, TRADUCIDO POR ANDREA KOLB Y AMANDA LARA | EL NOVIEMBRE DE 2015, TRADUCIDO EL JULIO DE 2017

POR QUÉ ES IMPORTANTE PARA USTED Los maestros pueden ayudar a sus estudiantes a preocuparse por lo que están aprendiendo, entender porque es relevante para sus vidas y cómo aplicarla para mejorar sus vidas y la de otros. El personal del distrito y los proveedores de PD deben proporcionar a los maestros ejemplos de investigaciones científcas e ingenierías orientadas por los intereses y pertinentes a nivel local. Los líderes escolares deben apoyar a

los maestros en la adaptación del currículo para aprovechar los intereses y la experiencia de los estudiantes y la comunidad y para traer a los expertos de la comunidad al aula.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/31


Cosas para Considerar • Obtener y atender al conocimiento previo del estudiante es un enfoque crucial de evaluación formativa para guiar la Instrucción, lo cual enraíza las decisiones de los maestros en los recursos que los estudiantes traen al salón de clases. • Basarse en el interés previo y la identidad en la instrucción apoya la participación y el aprendizaje más profundos. La instrucción diseñada para aprovechar los intereses personales y la experiencia de los estudiantes aumenta el compromiso y el aprendizaje para los jóvenes que de otro modo podrían no participar tan profundamente. Las unidades curriculares a menudo pueden ser rediseñadas para incorporar los intereses y la experiencia de los estudiantes y la comunidad. • Los enfoques culturales para la evaluación formativa suponen que los estudiantes aportan conocimientos, intereses y experiencias importantes de su vida cotidiana al aula que los maestros deben obtener y usar para informar la instrucción. Una técnica de instrucción llamada autodocumentación es una forma de hacerlo.

Acciones Recomendadas que Puede Tomar • Lea acerca de esta descripción de la auto-documentación en la clase (en la página 84). La auto-documentación es una estrategia formativa de evaluación de los aspectos superfciales de la vida cultural de los alumnos para guiar la enseñanza. La auto-documentación puede identifcar las prácticas dinámicas y cotidianas y las preocupaciones en las comunidades de los estudiantes que pueden estar relacionadas de manera signifcativa con las investigaciones de ciencias e ingeniería en el aula. • La auto-documentación implica los siguientes pasos de instrucción: (1) pide a los estudiantes a “documentar con foto” aspectos de sus vidas cotidianas (por ejemplo, sobre un fenómeno o tema), (2) agrupe sus fotos en actividades similares, (3) Identifque qué actividades son posibles áreas de investigación para la unidad, (4) apoye a los estudiantes en la participación en las investigaciones relacionadas con su enfoque, y (5) organice que los estudiantes presenten sus resultados a los miembros de la comunidad/ expertos en STEM.

Atender a la Equidad

PREGUNTAS DE REFLEXIÓN ¿Qué unidades curriculares enseña que podrían estar conectadas con la vida de los estudiantes fuera de la escuela? ¿Cómo va a crear una cultura de salón segura donde los estudiantes son capaces de compartir abiertamente aspectos de sus vidas? ¿Como puede ayudarles a compartir solo lo que ellos y sus familias se sienten comodos compartiendo? Debe modelar cómo STEM se relaciona con su propia vida cultural. Haga cualquier tarea de auto-documentación usted mismo antes de pedir a los estudiantes que lo hagan. ¿En qué te enfocarías?

“Hay literalmente millones de cosas potencialmente interesantes en el mundo para ver, para hacer, para aprender. Pero no se vuelven realmente interesantes hasta que les dedicamos atención.” —Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, autor de Flow

• Centrar la instrucción en el interés de la juventud y la comunidad es una poderosa estrategia pedagógica para hacer las experiencias de aprendizaje inclusivas y signifcativas. También permite a los profesores sacar el máximo provecho de las fuentes de conocimiento de las propias culturas y comunidades de los estudiantes. Los expertos locales pueden ser aprovechados para traer este conocimiento en el aula, ofreciendo una oportunidad para que los estudiantes vean a gente de su propia comunidad valorada en el aula. • Promover enfoques inclusivos y democráticos para tomar decisiones sobre las investigaciones a perseguir. Los estudiantes con más capital social, en lugar de la mejor idea, a veces pueden Infuir la decisión.

Self-Doc Example on Microbiology & Health (Picture shows self-doc pics being clustered for a class)

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #15 #32

Multiple Instructional Models Equity in Science Education Why Practices?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/31


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#32

Why focus on science and engineering practices—and not “inquiry?” Why is “the scientifc method” mistaken? What Is The Issue? For decades science education has engaged students in a version of science inquiry that reduces the investigation of the natural world to a fxed, linear set of steps—sometimes devoid of a deep focus on learning and applying science concepts. Rigid representations of a single “scientifc method” do not accurately refect the complex thinking or work of scientists. The new vision calls for engaging students in multifaceted science and engineering practices in more complex, relevant, and authentic ways as they

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should review their curricula to look for ways the practices could be incorporated or emphasized to expand opportunities for students to learn and apply science concepts. District staf & PD providers should help teachers learn about the practices in ways that are relevant to instruction and relate to other local initiatives. School leaders should learn about the science and engineering practices, what practice-focused instruction looks like, and how practices are integrated into the three-dimensional view of learning.

conduct investigations. BY RICH BACOLOR, TANA PETERMAN, JEANNE CHOWNING & PHILIP BELL | JANUARY 2015

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Things To Consider • Science and engineering practices are the focus, not “inquiry” or the “scientifc method.” The NRC Framework reframes doing science “inquiry” to engaging in sequences of the eight core practices of science and engineering. While some of these practices overlap with aspects of “inquiry” or the “scientifc method,” overall they represent a more complete, holistic, and accurate view of scientifc activity. “Inquiry” came to refer to too many diferent approaches—and content and process were often taught separately. • Practices are multifaceted and progress over time. The everyday meaning of “practice”—i.e., repetitively doing a specifc skill—is not what is intended. The “use of the term ‘practices’ instead of ‘skills’ emphasizes that engaging in scientifc investigation requires not only skill but also knowledge that is specifc to each practice.” For each practice, diferent facets of it are detailed. Each practice also grows in complexity and sophistication across the grades. Students across K-12 should engage in all eight practices. • Practices are a dynamic set of “building blocks” for student investigations. The practices are not diferent activities to do in isolation. They are not a linear set of instructional steps to follow repeatedly. The goal is for students to develop expertise in using appropriate practices to conduct their investigations, support their learning, and demonstrate their understanding. Engaging with a range of practices in diferent confgurations helps students understand that there is not just one way to conduct science and that scientists draw upon varied practices in their research.

Attending To Equity • The “scientifc method” makes science into a series of rigid steps— and can lead students to disengage. In contrast, practices highlight how science is a highly social, creative, and iterative problem solving process involving a variety of diferent kinds of intellectual work. • Engaging students in the practices can support important cognitive, social, and cultural learning processes. The practices also provide opportunities to draw upon the many ways that young people and communities make sense of the natural world.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn about each of the science and engineering practices—one at a time. Read the NRC Framework and NSTA articles. Watch the Bozeman overviews and NSTA webinars. Learn about how each practice relates to science and engineering, the diferent facets of each for your grade band, and Common Core connections.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Where are the science and engineering practices already in your instruction? Also, think about how the practices can relate to each other in different ways to support science investigations. How might you build on or adapt your instruction accordingly? Which practices do your students have experience with outside the classroom? How might you leverage that? Watch, read about, and discuss how science works.

“The notion that there is a single scientifc method of observation, hypothesis, deduction, and conclusion—a myth perpetuated to this day by many textbooks—is fundamentally wrong. Scientists do use deductive reasoning, but they also search for patterns, classify different objects, make generalizations from repeated observations, and engage in a process of making inferences as to what might be the best explanation. Thus the picture of scientifc reasoning is richer, more complex, and more diverse than the image of a linear and unitary scientifc method would suggest.” —NRC Framework, p. 78

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #3 #14 #15

Cascade of Practices Why NGSS? Equity in Science Education

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/32


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#34

Research Brief: Designing an Assessment System that Measures Three-Dimensional Science Learning Summary Many districts and states need an assessment system that aligns with the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS to determine whether students are developing profciency in science and whether students have adequate opportunities for “threedimensional” science learning that blends (a) science and engineering practices, (b) crosscutting concepts, and (c) disciplinary core ideas. Assessments serve diferent purposes, so a system must comprise many diferent kinds of assessments—but all of them should include tasks that integrate the three dimensions. BY JULIE CAFARELLA | JANUARY 2015

BACKGROUND “Knowing” science entails more than students demonstrating knowledge of science facts. Students should be able to discuss and make arguments about science, develop and use models, generate and analyze data, and make connections to crosscutting concepts. Current assessments use large-scale standardized tests that focus heavily on measuring student knowledge of discipline-specifc ideas and concepts. These summative assessments do not consider multiple dimensions of student learning or classroom practices that facilitate student engagement.

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Things to Consider • States face a challenge in determining student profciency in science. The NRC Framework and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for three-dimensional science learning that integrates science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. States currently rely on one type of large-scale summative assessment to both measure student-level profciency and school-level performance. Because these monitoring assessments focus on measuring students’ knowledge of discipline-specifc ideas and concepts, they fail to attend to multiple dimensions of student learning or classroom practices that facilitate student engagement in science. • Policymakers must ensure that assessment systems are designed to account for the integration of these three dimensions. A broader assessment system of multiple and varied assessments is needed to measure various aspects of learning that collectively, and more accurately, demonstrate science profciency. A comprehensive assessment system would value internal classroom assessments and student work samples that complement external statewide monitoring of school and district performance. • For students to demonstrate profciency in science, they must be able to meet “performance expectations” at their respective grade levels. These expectations ensure that students are able to engage in science practices that apply crosscutting concepts to disciplinary content knowledge. Standardized assessments should include performance tasks, which students could demonstrate through a collection of work in a portfolio. Thus, designing multiple and varied forms of assessment is key to appropriately determining student profciency in science and using assessments to improve instruction. • Traditional statewide assessments do not typically consider classroom practices, school resources, or teacher professional development opportunities that can impact student profciency in science. An assessment system must audit and attend to equity in opportunities to learn, highlighting systematic diferences in resources that inhibit equal access to three-dimensional science learning.

NRC Consensus Research Report on Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards

Designing a New Assessment System • At all levels, attends to equity and fairness by making the most of students’ diverse linguistic and cultural resources and ensuring adequate opportunities for all students to learn science. • Starts with developing internal classroom assessments, so that formative assessment is used to inform instructional practices. • Includes various types of formative and summative assessments embedded into instructional practices. • Monitors efectiveness of science curricula, classroom practices, and opportunities to learn through student and teacher surveys, collected work of students, and observations. • Considers the critical role of technology in both student learning and assessment. • Refrains from attempts to assess every standard in every grade, for every child. • Requires a gradual, phased-in implementation that evolves alongside changes to curriculum, instruction, and professional development. • Implements state monitoring assessments at least once, but no more than twice per grade span (K-5, 6-8, 9-12). • Includes performance tasks within external monitoring tasks. • Analyzes costs, benefts, and tradeofs of designing and implementing a new system. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/34


Implications for Practice To measure the three dimensions of science learning: • Assessments must go beyond the traditional types of high-stakes summative assessments that often defne standardized tests. • Student profciency should be measured more accurately through multiple, varied forms of assessment that occur at the classroom and state levels. • States must adopt a set of standards that align with science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. • New assessments require co-design among stakeholders with varied forms of expertise. • Co-design teams must consider how to measure both student learning in multiple dimensions and the efectiveness of curricula. • Policymakers need a way to address the incorporation of classroom-embedded assessments into systems of monitoring and accountability.

To promote equity and fairness: • Value the diverse experiences, viewpoints, and cultural and linguistic resources of all students. • Connect students’ cultural and linguistic resources to disciplinary knowledge and practices. • Provide adequate school resources to support student learning.

SAMPLE ASSESSMENTS Classroom Formative Assessment of Three-Dimensional Learning During An Investigation: “What Is Going on Inside Me?,” Middle School Evidence-Centered Design of a Task Assessment Using Design Patterns: “Pinball Car Task,” Middle School Learning Progression on Data Modeling with a Classroom Embedded Task: “Measuring Silkworms,” 3rd grade Formative Assessment Analysis of Classroom Discourse: “Behavior of Air,” Middle School Formative Assessment of Student Understanding Using Clicker Technology: “Movement of Water,” Middle School Using Multiple Interrelated Tasks to Assess a Core Idea Across Multiple Practices: “Biodiversity in the Schoolyard,” Middle School Online Task Used for Formative and Summative Assessment: “Climate Change,” High School Using Embedded Computer Simulationbased Modules in Curriculum for Formative and Summative Assessment: “Ecosystems,” Middle School

• At the state level, monitor individual schools to ensure that all students have access to adequate resources and opportunities for science learning.

Mixed Item Format Items in Monitoring Test: “Photosynthesis and Plant Evolution,” High School, AP Biology Exam Example

• Use formative assessment to elicit students’ diverse interests and experiences in relation to their science learning (see “Micros and Me” example).

Swiss Example of Three-Dimensional Learning Performance Assessment Item Used for Monitoring: “Floating and Sinking,” 2nd grade Performance Task Used in the Classroom for Curricular Evaluation: “Plate Tectonics,” Middle School

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REFLECTION QUESTIONS What are science assessments currently like in your state? What is missing from your state’s science assessment system? How does your state currently determine student profciency in science? What are the science “performance expectations” within your state and how do those expectations align with NGSS? Who should be involved in designing and implementing a three-dimensional assessment system for science learning? How would you design an assessment system that accounts for science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas? In this system, how would multiple and varied forms of assessment be designed both to evaluate student profciency in science and to use assessments to improve instruction? How would this assessment system link internal classroom assessments and external monitoring systems? See Chapter 4 and 5 in Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. How can a new assessment system attend to equity in science education? See NGSS, Appendix D, “All Standards, All Students” and NRC Framework, Chapter 11.

References • National Research Council. (2014). Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. • National Research Council. (2012). A framework for K-12 science education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Research Council. • National Research Council. (2007). Taking science to school: Learning and teaching science in grades K-8. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. • NGSS Lead States. (2013). Next generation science standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. • Pellegrino, J. W. (2013). Profciency in science: Assessment challenges and opportunities. Science, 340, 320-323.

What teacher professional development models would you propose to build and refne formative classroom assessments? What are the challenges and opportunities your state faces in adopting an assessment system for three-dimensional science learning? See Pellegrino, 2013.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #14 #15

Multiple Instructional Models Why NGSS? Equity in Science Education

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/34


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#35

How can I foster curiosity and learning in my classroom? Through talk!

What Is The Issue? Learning happens through talking. And yet, student talk typically makes up less than 20% of the time spent in science class, and of that small amount of time, very little is focused on student sensemaking. However, specifc instructional approaches—or ‘talk activities’—can be used to support students’ threedimensional science learning. Our Talk Activities Flowchart, this tool highlights those talk formats and explains when, how, and why to use each talk format in support of student investigations.

BY KERRI WINGERT | AUGUST 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should think carefully about discourse in their classrooms. Do students frequently talk about their thinking, or do they simply share “answers” to teacher questions? District Staf & PD Providers should support teachers in developing more strategies to support student sensemaking talk. School Leaders should consider their walkthrough protocols and measures of teacher growth. To what extent does instruction prioritize student sensemaking through talk?

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/35


Things To Consider • In many classrooms, teacher talk takes up the majority of class time, and student talk is primarily used for correctly answering teacher questions. In this “guess what the teacher is thinking” approach, teachers know the answers to most of their own questions, and student talk is only used to verify they know the “right answer.” • This classroom pedagogy style of teacher questioning/students answering has some merits, but it can marginalize students from non-dominant backgrounds who have less experience with this kind of adult-moderated instruction with a known answer. • Alternatively, many studies have shown that student talk is a very productive class activity and that it results in deep sensemaking for many kinds of students. One key to building more studentfocused pedagogy is developing an authentic curiosity about student thinking. Studies have shown that students learn and respond in very lively, scientifc ways when asked open-ended questions, given agency for their learning, and use scientifc criteria for knowledge claims.

Recommended Actions You Can Take

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How often do students in your class or school get to talk deeply through their ideas? Are students truly listening to and responding to each other in conversation? Or are they simply trying to guess the right answer? Think about your students from non-dominant backgrounds. How do they engage in sensemaking? What activities might better support them?

There are easy ways to support student thinking through talk:

Attending to Equity

• Student-to-student talk has distinct advantages over whole-class discussion, especially for English language learners. When students talk to each other to share their thinking, they are more likely to: (1) connect to their personal and cultural sources of knowledge, (2) take risks with new language, and (3) use community-based linguistic practices to support their science learning.

• All students should routinely engage in sensemaking talk to support their learning. The lower stress of peer-to-peer conversation supports linguistic risktaking and this makes it especially fruitful for students who are language learners.

Our Student Talk Flowchart can help you plan activities so that students’ talk is more equitable, scientifc, and focused on sensemaking. Each ‘talk activity’ links of to additional info on how to use it for specifc purposes: (1) to get students to explain their thinking, (2) to get students to critique and get feedback on their models, (3) to get students to revise their thinking, and (4) to reach consensus. • Teacher-student talk: Use the ideas in the Talk Science Primer and the Science Discourse Primer to guide your whole-class discussion. They support a classroom culture focused on curiosity and learning. ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #17 #25

Productive Science Talk Beyond the Written C-E-R Cultural Argumentation

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/35


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#35

STT#35 ¿Cómo puedo fomentar la curiosidad y el aprendizaje en clase? ¡A través de la conversación! ¿Cuál es el asunto? El aprendizaje ocurre a través de la conversación. Y sin embargo, el tiempo que los estudiantes pasan conversando típicamente representa menos del 20% del tiempo en clases de ciencias, y de esa pequeña cantidad de tiempo, muy poco se centra en el razonamiento del estudiante. Sin embargo, se pueden usar estrategias pedagógicas específcas - o “actividades de conversación” - para apoyar a los estudiantes aprender ciencias de manera tridimensional. Nuestra herramienta, el Diagrama de Flujo de Actividades de Conversación, resalta los formatos de conversación y explica cuándo, cómo, y por qué utilizar cada formato de conversación para apoyar las investigaciones de los estudiantes.

POR KERRI WINGERT, TRADUCIDO POR ANDREA KOLB Y AMANDA LARA | AUGOSTO 2016, TRADUCIDO EN NOVIEMBRE DE 2017

POR QUÉ ES IMPORTANTE PARA USTED Los maestros deben pensar cuidadosamente sobre el discurso en sus aulas. ¿Hablan los estudiantes frecuentemente acerca de sus ideas, o simplemente comparten “respuestas” a las preguntas del maestro? El personal del distrito y los proveedores de desarrollo profesional (PD) deben apoyar a los maestros para que desarrollen más estrategias que promuevan el aprendizaje y razonamiento de los estudiantes a través de la conversación. Los líderes de las escuelas deben reconsiderar sus protocolos de observación y medidas de crecimiento del docente. ¿De qué manera la instrucción prioriza el razonamiento de los estudiantes a través de la conversación? STEMteachingtools.org/brief/35


Cosas para Considerar • En muchas aulas, los maestros hablan la mayor parte del tiempo de clase, y los estudiantes hablan principalmente para contestar acertadamente las preguntas del maestro. En esta estrategia de “adivina qué está pensando el maestro,” los maestros saben las respuestas a la mayoría de sus propias preguntas, y la conversación sólo se usa para verifcar que los estudiantes saben la “respuesta correcta.” • Este estilo de pedagogía, en el cual los maestros preguntan y los estudiantes contestan, tiene algunos méritos; pero puede marginar a aquellos estudiantes de comunidades no-dominantes que tienen menos experiencia con este tipo de instrucción: moderada por adulto y con una respuesta anticipada. • Alternativamente, muchos estudios han demostrado que es productivo que los estudiantes conversen, lo cual resulta en un conocimiento profundo para muchos tipos de estudiantes. Una de las claves para construir una pedagogía más centrada en el estudiante es desarrollar una curiosidad auténtica sobre el pensamiento de los estudiantes. Varios estudios han demostrado que los estudiantes aprenden y responden de una manera muy animada y científca cuando se les hacen preguntas abiertas, se les da agencia para determinar su aprendizaje, y pueden usar criterios científcos para evaluar conocimientos.

Acciones Recomendadas que Puede Tomar Hay maneras fáciles de apoyar a que los estudiantes piensen a través de la conversación: • La conversación entre estudiantes tiene ventajas únicas sobre discusiones con toda la clase, especialmente para los estudiantes que están aprendiendo inglés. Cuando los estudiantes hablan entre sí para compartir sus ideas, son más propensos a: (1) conectarse con sus fuentes de conocimiento personales y culturales, (2) tomar riesgos con nuevos idiomas, y (3) usar prácticas lingüísticas de sus comunidades que apoyen su aprendizaje de la ciencia.

PREGUNTAS DE REFLEXIÓN ¿Con qué frecuencia los estudiantes en su clase o escuela pueden hablar a profundidad sobre sus ideas? ¿Están los estudiantes realmente escuchando y respondiendo a los demás durante una conversación?¿O simplemente están tratando de adivinar la respuesta correcta? Piense en sus estudiantes de comunidades no-dominantes. ¿Cómo es su proceso de razonamiento y entendimiento? ¿Qué actividades podrían apoyarlos mejor?

Atender a la Equidad • Todos los estudiantes deben participar constantemente en conversaciones que apoyen su aprendizaje. El bajo estrés de conversaciones entre compañeros apoya la toma de riesgos lingüísticos, lo que hace las conversaciones especialmente productivas para estudiantes que están aprendiendo idiomas (e.g., inglés).

• Nuestro diagrama de fujo de actividades de conversación puede ayudarle a planear actividades para que los estudiantes conversen de manera más equitativa, científca, y enfocada en razonamiento. • Cada ‘actividad de conversación’ se conecta a información adicional sobre cómo usarla para propósitos específcos: (1) para que los estudiantes expliquen su forma de pensar, (2) para que los estudiantes critiquen y obtengan comentarios sobre sus modelos, (3) para hacer que los estudiantes modifquen sus ideas, y (4) para llegar a un consenso. • Conversación entre maestros y estudiantes: Utilice las ideas en el Talk Science Primer y el Science Discourse Primer para guiar su discusión con toda la clase. Estos recursos promueven una cultura de aula enfocada en la curiosidad y el aprendizaje.

TAMBIEN VEA HERRAMIENTAS DE ENSEÑANZA #6 #17 #25

Charla de Ciencia Productiva Más allá de la C-E-R Escrita Argumentación Cultural

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2018-19 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/35


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#36

Failing Forward: Managing Student Frustration During Engineering Design Projects What Is The Issue? The new vision for science education calls for students to engage in engineering design across K-12. These are iterative processes that require learning through repeated attempts and failures—something many students are not accustomed to. Such failures can lead to signifcant student frustration and discouragement. Given this, it is critical that educators be able to manage and redirect students’ frustration, so that students can “fail forward” and learn how to learn from iterative cycles of engineering design.

BY ANDREW SHOUSE AND HEENA LAKHANI | DECEMBER 2014

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should communicate to students that engineering design requires sustained efort and repeated trials in order to learn through failure. District staf and PD providers should help teachers develop strategies for managing student frustration and reframing “failure” as productive. School leaders should communicate with stakeholders about the value of creating classroom cultures where students engage in engineering design and learn through failure.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/36


Things To Consider • Reframe “failure” in engineering design as positive. Given the iterative nature of engineering design, it is inevitable that students will need to work through multiple iterations to develop a quality design. The NRC Framework suggests that having students pay attention to failure points and concentrate on generating novel solutions can enhance their capabilities to design solutions. This can also demonstrate to them that engineering is highly iterative— rather than a lock-step process. Help students understand that “failure” is a fundamental aspect of iterative design and redirect their frustration to focus on exploring new approaches and developing solutions to ‘chronic snags.’ This will allow students to deepen how they engage in the engineering design practices. • Promoting a community of collaboration. Engineering is not only an iterative process, but also a highly social one. Collaboration provides students with more opportunities to share and build on their thinking—and leverage the knowledge and techniques of others. Through collaboration, students improve their ability to reason, engage in argumentation with peers, and learn how to leverage others’ design ideas. Setting the norms for collaboration— similar to doing so for classroom discussion—can help lay the foundation for productivity and equity within a group.

Attending To Equity • All students can learn to engage in sophisticated engineering design. It provides them an opportunity to experiment with their unique ideas and strategies. Educators should foster an environment that supports student engagement in building and design—while encouraging them to reach for new levels of expertise. • Design provides a range of ‘entry points’ for students to engage in the practices. Many students have hobbies or interests outside of school that involve repeated trials and refnement through sustained efort—such as gaming, sports, music, art, or programming. Drawing on these non-school experiences can help students relate to and identify with science and engineering.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How do you currently manage frustration and failure in your classroom? What new strategies ft your situation? Can you tap students with design expertise to help other students? Do you provide enough time for students to collaborate and iterate on their designs? Do your students believe that learning is accomplished through effort or that some are “just naturals?” Read why praise might be counterproductive. Experts are made, not born.

Characteristics of Scientifc Inquiry & Engineering Design Scientifc Inquiry: • Demands evidence • Is a blend of logic and imagination • Explains and predicts • Tries to identify and avoid bias • Is not authoritarian Engineering / Technological Design: • Is purposeful

Recommended Actions You Can Take

• Is based on certain requirements

• Read this article on the importance of productive failure. Talk with colleagues to see how they manage student frustration and failure.

• Is systematic

• Identify strategies that you can use to help reframe failure and deal with frustration. Here are suggested teacher talk moves for engineering design you can use in your classroom.

• Is creative

• Is iterative • Allows many possible solutions From NRC Engineering in K-12 Education

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #7 #14

Productive Science Talk Keeping Engineering Broad Why NGSS?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2014 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/36


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#37

Beyond “misconceptions”: How to recognize and build on Facets of student thinking What Is The Issue? Students bring a range of diferent ideas for understanding science phenomena, concepts, and representations based on their unique life experiences. Rather than simply viewing students’ intuitive or partially scientifc ideas as misconceptions, the diversity of student’s ideas can be considered stepping stones to deeper understanding and teachers should actively engage with them. It is important for teachers to be able to recognize, build on, and respond to the range of ideas—or Facets of students’ thinking—during instruction.

BY PHILIP BELL AND JIM MINSTRELL | JUNE 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should learn to see patterns in the range of students’ thinking about specifc science topics and to plan instructional approaches that help students refne their understanding. District Staf & PD Providers should engage teachers in the shared analysis of the facets of reasoning present in student work and performances. School Leaders should visit the classroom near the beginning and the end of a unit to see how students are expressing and refning their understanding over time.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/37


Things To Consider • Based on everyday experiences and attempts to explain phenomena, people naturally develop intuitive knowledge that strongly shapes their science learning. Learning research shows that it is important to attend to this prior knowledge of learners to help them develop a deeper understanding. • Science education has a history of privileging quick scientifc correctness at the expense of supporting deep conceptual learning. Learning science concepts is not easy for most people. It takes sustained cognitive and social efort. Approaching student’s incorrect or partial ideas about science as “misconceptions” often ignores the complexity of this sustained learning process. • Facets of Thinking: There are patterns to the range of ideas that people develop about natural phenomena, science ideas, and representations. Cognitive research has documented ways in which individuals intuitively understand phenomena and refne that understanding. Facets are individual pieces or constructions of a few pieces of knowledge and/or strategies of reasoning. Facet Clusters are groupings of facets, roughly ranked from more to less productive.

Recommended Actions You Can Take

REFLECTION QUESTIONS When a student says an incorrect idea, can you avoid evaluating their response as simply right or wrong? Ask them to reason about how the idea relates to evidence from their experience or to science experiences or ideas. What patterns of thinking do you see students express? What is their underlying model for the phenomena? How can you instructionally respond? How does the Facet Cluster below highlight gaps in student knowledge and reasoning?

Explore the Diagnoser system to see how to use facets in instruction. Use a Protocol to Identify & Attend to Facets of Student Thinking: • Collect Responses for a Facet Cluster: Identify a piece of student work focused on explaining an event (e.g., falling objects) or understanding the meaning or use of a key idea (e.g., average speed). • Organize Responses: Closely read the student responses and categorize the diferent types of responses into 3 to 5 diferent groups. Try to get to the essence of diferent kinds of responses. • Identify Facets: Characterize the meaning behind each group of responses. Adopt a stance of: Why might an intelligent person in this class give this response? What do they seem to be thinking? • Instructionally Respond: Intentionally choose activities that will address less productive facets. Do students need to closely observe the phenomena, separate two related ideas from each other (e.g., acceleration from speed), or integrate two seemingly diferent ideas?

Attending to Equity • Students bring relevant knowledge for making sense of science phenomena. It is their right and responsibility to express, leverage, and refne this knowledge. Students not supported in expressing and refning their ideas are not being engaged in powerful learning.

Falling Bodies Facet Cluster *340 Fall time depends upon gravitational feld strength and inversely upon fuid medium resistance *341 With no resistance by fuid medium, vertical fall near the earth’s surface is at nearly constant acceleration of 10 m/s2 342 Gravitational pull and mass compensate with no accounting for air resistance. 343 Greater drag efects compensate for greater gravitational pull explaining equal accelerations 344 Medium efects will exist even when there is no motion relative to fuid medium 345 All things fall equally fast regardless of medium efects 346 Vertical fall is at a constant velocity of 10 m/sec 348 Heavier will hold back more (fall slower) 348-1 Larger falls substantially slower 349 Heavier falls faster 349-1 Larger falls faster Facets organized from more to less productive.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: Formative Assessment Short Course #16 Informal Assessment #18 3D Formative Assessments STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#38

What is the role of informal science education in supporting the vision for K-12 science education? What Is The Issue? There can be a mistaken impression that the new vision for K-12 science education is only relevant to classroom science instruction. But youth frequently engage in powerful science and engineering activities that take place after or outside-of-school. They learn STEM content, engage in STEM practices, and develop an understanding of how STEM is used in the world. To capitalize on those assets, educators and other stakeholders should learn about, leverage, and broker connections for youth across the STEM learning

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should make educational plans that intentionally make use of out-of-school learning experiences in support of STEM learning goals. District staf & PD providers should help teachers learn about specifc outof-school learning experiences (e.g., hobbies, programs) that support STEM learning goals—and build their capacity to take advantage of those experiences. School leaders should be supportive of and allocate resources so students can engage in powerful STEM learning experiences beyond the school walls.

experiences available in and out of school. BY PHILIP BELL & BRONWYN BEVAN | JANUARY 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/38


Things To Consider • Important science learning regularly happens in non-school settings. Youth often learn about science and engineering as part of their personal pursuits (e.g., during hobbies, family practices, community events). They can also learn science when they visit informal science ed institutions (e.g., museums, aquaria, zoos, etc.), go online, and attend afterschool and summer science programs. • Many science learning goals are shared across formal and informal science education. It is mistaken to think that informal science learning does not relate to formal science learning. Some settings support specifc aspects of learning more than others. Informal experiences are often more interest-driven and connect to community activities. Classroom experiences are often carefully designed, extended investigations. The range of learning settings or landscapes can be thought of as an “ecosystem” for STEM learning. • Learning can be connected for youth across the settings of school, home, and community organizations. Most ambitious learning is accomplished across settings. Schools and community partners should identify shared goals, tools, and complementary educational opportunities that support connected learning for youth.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How can teachers partner with community organizations in order to support life-wide learning of youth (see below)? How do you encourage instruction that intentionally leverages students’ STEM learning experiences outside of school? Is afterschool and summer STEM programming part of your plan? Do you build teacher’s capacity to make deep use of the outof-school STEM learning?

Attending To Equity • Out-of-school programs can uniquely support the learning of youth from non-dominant communities and broaden “what counts” as STEM. Home and school science can be at odds for youth of color and those from high-poverty communities. These youth beneft from out-of-school programs where they engage in disciplinary practices. It can help them identify with science. • Youth from non-dominant communities beneft from eforts to connect their learning across settings. When connections are made, youth can deepen their growing interest and expertise, and develop important relationships that support their learning.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Engage schools and community organizations in mutuallybenefcial partnerships. Community partners can be organizations that provide afterschool or summer STEM programming. Higher education and STEM industries can be productive partners. Use the language of the NRC Framework and NGSS to identify and coordinate complementary educational experiences for youth. • Work Toward a STEM Learning Ecosystem. After learning about the case studies and principles, build partnerships based on the online and local learning experiences that are related to your STEM goals.

“Life-wide learning refers to the learning that takes place as people routinely circulate across a range of social settings and activities—classrooms, afterschool programs, informal educational institutions, online venues, homes, and other community locales. Learning derives, in both opportunistic and patterned ways, from this breadth of human experience and the related supports and occasions for learning that are available to an individual or group.” —NRC Informal Science Report, p. 28

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #14 #15

Why NGSS? Equity in Science Education

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#39

How can students’ everyday experiences support science learning through engineering design? What Is The Issue? Engineering can be a meaningful way to engage students’ wide range of prior experiences in STEM, helping open the feld to be more culturally relevant and meaningful to young learners. It can give students opportunities to deepen their science knowledge by engaging in problem-solving around locally-relevant issues. However, engineering kits and curricula rarely incorporate students’ everyday knowledge, expertise, and practices. Small adaptations to curricula can help students use their everyday experiences to learn about science topics through engineering design.

BY VERONICA MCGOWAN, PHILIP BELL & MARCIA VENTURA | NOVEMBER 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should adapt existing curricula to build on students’ everyday knowledge and experiences and set up grading structures that support iterative cycles of design, including learning from productive failure. District Staf & PD Providers should support teachers to adapt existing curricula and learn instructional techniques to support culturally relevant instruction. School Leaders should learn how to recognize collaborative, creative, and iterative design work in the classroom.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/39


Things To Consider • Many curricula frame engineering as an applied science. In this approach, lessons place direct instruction of science content before its application in an engineering design task. However, science learning can also emerge from the engineering design process without direct instruction. • In this latter model of instruction, students draw on prior experiences and observations, such as building with LEGOS or viewing real-world designs in their communities, to solve novel engineering problems in the science classroom. • In this model, students are encouraged to further investigate their observations and experiences. For example, many students already know that triangles add support to structures, but getting triangles to successfully work in their designs might require further research on trusses, force, and angles.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How does this “everyday expertise” approach to engineering instruction ft with your current approach? How do differing views on the enterprise of engineering impact instructional designs for learners? What types of knowledge get privileged in these learning spaces?

Recommended Actions You Can Take As highlighted in the diagram below, the following is a model for adapting engineering lessons to engage students in science learning inspired by their everyday objects and experiences: • Introduce the design challenge. Teacher introduces the engineering design project and outlines expectations, criteria, and constraints. The design challenge could be tied to an issue of local relevance, such as proposing where to build a new housing development, thereby making the challenge more meaningful to students. • Conduct research into everyday solutions. Students refect on ways that everyday objects and experiences have addressed this design challenge. Classroom and at-home discussions, individual refection, self-documentation, and Internet searches can support this step. • Iterate on designs that draw upon everyday objects/solutions—or everyday designs. Students design, test, and optimize prototypes of their everyday design solutions. • Connect to science principles and apply science in redesigns. Students further investigate and incorporate science-based solutions and incorporate them to optimize their designs. The teacher facilitates class discussions to help students bridge the everyday design solutions to related science principles. Systems thinking activities can help students synthesize diverse types of knowledge. • Share and communicate fnal design choices with the class. This might take the form of a fnal design test, gallery walk, or presentation.

Attending to Equity • All students have experience using knowledge to solve real-world engineering problems through everyday practices such as gaming, play, and working with family. Consider engaging students in refection, selfdocumentation, and interactions with local experts. • The everyday expertise approach is ideal for young learners who are just starting to develop their science content knowledge. It opens up the “research” aspects of engineering design to a broader, more personally relevant, and accessible range of related information.

Everyday Expertise Instructional Model for Engineering Design

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #7 #31 #45

Broadening Engineering Building on Prior Interest Engineering in Science Class

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/39


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#40

How can Making promote equity and excitement in STEM? What Is The Issue? STEM Making can provide youth who may not be identifed as “good at STEM” with opportunities to dive deeply into engineering practices such as designing, constructing, testing, and analyzing. Making can be joyful, but also richly educative and inclusive when it is implemented using deliberate strategies to support students to take creative and intellectual risks and to experience design failures as moments of learning. As they build out their ideas, Makers grapple with scientifc phenomena (e.g., those involving force and energy) and cross cutting concepts (e.g., structure and function, systems and systems models). BY BRONWYN BEVAN & JEAN J. RYOO | OCTOBER 2016

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers can use Making to create more equitable classroom cultures where students feel safe taking risks and using investigation, sensemaking, and critique. District Staf & PD Providers should provide teachers with frsthand opportunities to learn through Making. Educators need support in understanding how to create inclusive and educational Maker cultures. School Leaders should support Making activities as a core part of STEM education initiatives to make this feld more accessible to all students. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/40


Things To Consider • In science and engineering, “failure” is the generative moment when current ideas and understanding run up against physical realities. This is where learning and new insights happen. • In Making, youth are operating at the edge of their understanding and, therefore, there are plenty of moments of failure. Students need time to iteratively work through these moments to achieve new understanding and accomplishment. • Making can make students’ thinking and understanding visible. Asking students to explain their projects, including what they are fnding challenging, can help them to consolidate their developing understanding.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Research has identifed the following classroom practices that can support equitable and productive STEM-rich Making: Physical and Social Environments: (1) Have multiple examples of each Making project—both functioning and incomplete, built by you or students—available to invite diferent approaches, seed ideas, and make technical solutions transparent. (2) Place materials and tools in central locations, so students will walk by and see peers’ projects when getting materials. (3) Arrange work spaces to allow for broad visibility, to support cross-pollination and encourage emergent collaborations. Facilitation Strategies: (1) Introduce projects through conversations that elicit what students already know about the tools, materials, or phenomena from their everyday experiences. (2) During Making, provide time for students to iteratively develop and refne their designs, allowing students to complexify their understanding and designs over time. (3) When students are stuck, ask them to explain their problem and what they have tried. Ask them “what if you…” questions rather than providing answers right away. (4) When students have mastered a tool or skill, position them as experts who can help others. Activity Design: (1) Select activities with multiple starting points to enable all students to dive in, no matter their prior knowledge or experience. (2) Select activities that use appealing materials and tools, including familiar materials used in unfamiliar ways (e.g., a strawberry basket as a foating object) and/or unfamiliar materials that excite curiosity (e.g., mylar or microcontrollers). (3) Interweave more openended activities with step-by-step activities that can familiarize students with particular materials or tools. (4) Encourage students to journal their ideas, designs, and projects. Stepping back from a problem to record can often spark new solutions.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How can you recognize students’ different strengths and skills in Making (e.g, design, illustration, technical) and use these to position students as local experts for their peers? What changes in the classroom environment can help support collaboration, peer-to-peer learning, and cross-pollination of ideas among participants?

Attending to Equity • Watch this video and read this report to learn more about how Making can support equitable STEM learning. • Many students, especially those who don’t identify individually or due to their social group as being “good at STEM,” have learned to fear failure. It is key to create physical and social environments that feel safe for youth to take the intellectual and creative risks and to learn from moments of design failures through productive struggle and persistence. In Making, because students care about their own ideas, persistence can come easily when supported. For more, read this blog entry on reframing failure. • Making taps into students’ ideas, creativity, and personal passions. It can be a powerful context for inclusive and equitable learning when it is implemented in ways that help students dive in, develop and test their own ideas, and learn as they troubleshoot, redesign, and ultimately complete their projects.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #7 #36 #45

Broadening Engineering Managing Design Frustration Engineering in Science Class

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2016 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/40


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#41

Prompts for Integrating Crosscutting Concepts Into Assessment and Instruction The new vision for science education features a three dimensional view of learning that involves: science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Many educators already incorporate crosscutting concepts into their teaching, but may still be looking for ways to amplify these concepts or to make them more explicit for their students, including in their classroom assessments. This set of prompts is intended to help teachers elicit student understanding of crosscutting concepts in the context of investigating phenomena or solving problems. These prompts should be used as part of a multi-component extended task. They should not be used in isolation, and the blanks provided are intended to be filled using the content of the scenario presented at the beginning of the multi-component task. The prompts can be open-ended, as shown below. They can also be turned into multiple-choice questions. These prompts were developed using the Framework for K-12 Science Education and Appendix G of the Next Generation Science Standards, along with relevant learning sciences research. These prompts are currently being tested or evaluated in the field. We request you send feedback and information about how you have used the prompt to william dot penuel at colorado dot edu. Please note that some prompts may not be suitable for students in early grades, while others may be low-level for high school students. Designers should consult the learning progressions in Appendix G of the NGSS to choose a prompt that is appropriate for different grade level bands. Our team has also created a similar tool to help educators create tasks that incorporate the science and engineering practices into their teaching, found at stemteachingtools.org/brief/30. You can learn how to develop 3D formative assessments here: http://tinyurl.com/3Dassessmentdevelopment

BY WILLIAM R. PENUEL AND KATIE VAN HORNE | VERSION 2.0 NOV 2016, UPDATED FEB. 2018

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/41


Crosscutting Concept: Patterns A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of patterns: Observed patterns of forms and events guide organization and classification, and they prompt questions about relationships and the factors that influence them. Ask after presenting students with data from an experimental study focused on isolating causal variables as part of the scenario: •

What patterns do you observe in the data presented above in the [table, chart, graph, model output]?

Are there ways you can use mathematics to summarize the data that might help you see patterns in the data more clearly, to determine whether causes ?

What does the pattern of data you see allow you to conclude from the experiment?

Does the pattern in the data support the conclusion that why not?

is caused by

Are there any other data that are needed to test whether

causes

How does the pattern of data at the scale]?

? Why or ?

scale help you explain [phenomenon at different

Ask after presenting students with observational data as part of the scenario: •

What patterns do you observe in the data presented above in the [table, chart, graph, model output]?

What does the pattern of data you see allow you to conclude about

Does the pattern in the data support the conclusion that why not?

What mathematical representations of the data could help you identify patterns in the data?

What observations could you ask next, to help explain the pattern in the data?

What kind of mathematical function best fits the pattern of data you see?

For bivariate data: How strong is the correlation between x and y? (Calculate correlation coefficient)

?

is related to

? Why or

Ask when time is a variable: •

How is

changing over time?

What do you predict will happen to [variable] in the future? Use the pattern you see in the data to justify your answer.

How is the rate of change changing over time? How could you represent that rate of change mathematically?

Ask when asking students to classify (e.g., physical objects, organisms) presented as part of the scenario: •

What are some similarities and differences among the

above?

What is one way you could classify or group these , to create groups of similar to each other? Describe the attributes (characteristics) you are using to classify the .

that are

2


Follow up question: To which of your groups would a characteristics belong: , , and

.

with the following

How similar or different are [objects or organisms that are similar at macroscopic scale] at the microscopic scale?

How similar or different are [objects or organisms that are similar at microscopic scale] at the macroscopic scale?

After presenting students with data on performance of a designed object or system: •

What patterns do you observe in the data presented above in the [table, chart, graph, model output]?

Are there mathematical summaries of the data that could help you describe more clearly the success or failure of the designed system?

What does the pattern of data you see allow you to conclude from the test of the system?

If the pattern of data is indicative of failure: On the basis of the patterns you see, what appears to be the cause of failure in the system?

3


Crosscutting Concept: Cause and Effect A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of cause and effect: Events have causes, sometimes simple, sometimes multifaceted. A major activity of science is investigating and explaining causal relationships and the mechanisms by which they are mediated. Such mechanisms can then be tested across given contexts and used to predict and explain events in new contexts. When drawing conclusions from a simple investigation, ask students: •

How do the patterns in the data allow you to decide whether

What caused the patterns you observed? •

caused

?

?

Does the fact that that the data showed that always happened [after/whenever] occurred mean that causes ? Why or why not? •

Follow up question: How do you know that

caused

Follow up question: How can you test whether

caused

to happen?

What do you predict would happen if [extrapolate to new, related situation]?

When seeking to elicit whether students understand the underlying mechanism involving something that is not part of the surface situation presented in the scenario, ask students: •

What [properties, entities, or rules] that aren’t described explains what you see happening [in the scenario]?

What would you predict in [present new situation involving same mechanism] would happen? How is the situation similar to or different from [the presented scenario]?

When a system or situation presented in the scenario involves complex or relational causality (e.g., as in ecosystems and co-evolution), ask students: •

Draw a diagram that shows how changes to one component of the system affects components that are not directly connected to that component.

What do you predict would happen if [change to one component of complex system] to [component that has an indirect, rather than direct, connection to the first component]?

How do

and

affect

How do

and

affect each other over time?

What feedback loops are causing this system to be in [balance/equilibrium]?

How can a small change to

?

have a big effect on

?

When the system or situation involves probabilistic but not deterministic causality, ask students: •

What is the probability that

If

Does knowing [the level or value of cause] allow you to predict [the level or value of effect] with certainty? Why or why not?

causes

caused

? How do you know?

, why can’t we know for sure what will happen when

?

When seeking to elicit students’ skill in evaluating causal claims, ask students: •

Is [claim that states a causal relationship or a claim that states a correlational relationship] a causal

4


claim? If so, what makes it a causal claim? If not, why not? •

What evidence presented in the scenario supports the claim that

causes

?

Can the study design provide evidence as to whether why not.

causes

? Explain why or

Is the evidence presented sufficient to conclude that additional evidence is needed?

caused

? If not, what

When analyzing causes of failure in a designed system, ask students: •

Draw a diagram of the system, showing what is causing the pattern of failure observed in the test of the system.

Design a test to figure out what is causing the failure of the system, given the data presented.

5


Crosscutting Concept: Scale, Proportion, and Quantity A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of scale, proport on, and quant ty: In considering phenomena, it is critical to recognize what is relevant at different measures of size, time, and energy and to recognize how changes in scale, proportion, or quantity affect a system’s structure or performance. When eliciting understanding of quantity and proportion presented as data in the scenario, ask students: •

How long is

?

How much does

What is the temperature of

What is the volume of

How could you compare how much of [property or characteristic] these two different _______ presented in the scenario have?

What would make a good measure of [property, characteristic, or process] to investigate the phenomenon presented in the scenario? Why is that a good measure?

What is the ratio of

How do the ratios of compare?

What is the proportion of

that are

?

How do the proportion of compare?

that are

at [Time 1/Sample 1] and [Time 2/Sample 2]

Is the relationship between and linear or exponential, or something altogether different? How does the pattern in the data support your conclusion?

What equation could be written to express the relationship between quantities of quantities of ? Explain your answer.

On the basis of the data you have, what do you predict would be the effect of a change in on ?

weigh? ? ?

and

in the data presented?

and

at [Time 1/Sample 1] and [Time 2/Sample 2]

and

When eliciting students’ understanding of scale, ask students: •

Is the model presented at a [smaller/larger/the same] scale than the phenomenon as you might observe it directly?

Does the model describe processes that are [faster/slower/the same speed] than the phenomenon as you might observe it directly? •

What scale should be used to investigate the mechanisms at work in this system? Why is that the right scale for this system?

What scale of a model would allow you to gain insight into

What scale of a model would allow you to test the design of

? in the classroom?

When eliciting students’ ability to change scales to investigate phenomena that are too large or small to see, or too long or short to observe directly, ask students: •

Why could [people in the scenario] see when they observed it [under a microscope/with a telescope], but not when they looked just with their eyes?

How could we test whether

Which of the patterns presented in the scenario do you think could be observed at a [faster/slower, smaller/larger] scale? Why?

is changing, even though it looks like it is not?

6


Crosscutting Concept: Systems and System Models A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of systems and system models: Defining the system under study—specifying its boundaries and making explicit a model of that system—provides tools for understanding and testing ideas that are applicable throughout science and engineering. When eliciting information about the components and interactions of systems and system models, ask students: •

What are the key parts of the [a natural object, designed object, or organism described in the scenario]?

Draw the parts of the system described in the scenario.

How do the parts of [a natural object, designed object, or organism described in the scenario] work together?

Draw a picture that shows how the parts of the system described in the scenario work together.

What can the parts of [a natural object, designed object, or organism described in the scenario] do together, that the individual parts cannot do alone?

How do the different components of the system interact?

What would happen in this system if you increased [component of the system]?

What would happen in this system if you decreased [component of the system]?

How do you think [component] would respond to [change in another component of the system]?

When eliciting information about the boundaries of systems and system models, ask students: •

What is the boundary of the system described in [the scenario]?

What are the consequences of drawing the boundary of the system around to in a model?

Draw a boundary to indicate what is inside and outside of the system.

Can the system be physically isolated, in order to study it?

Are their sub-systems in this system that can be isolated for analysis? If so, what are they?

How does [subsystem A] relate to [subsystem B]?

as opposed

When there are feedback loops presented in the scenario, ask students: •

For homeostatic systems: What feedback loops make this system stable?

What feedback loops make this system unstable?

How do positive feedback loops in this system affect how it functions?

How do negative feedback loops in this system affect how it functions?

For chaotic systems: How do feedback loops in this system make the system’s behavior unpredictable?

When eliciting information about the flow and cycling of energy, matter, and information, ask students: •

What energy flows into the system?

What energy flows out of the system?

7


What matter cycles into the system?

What matter cycles out of the system?

How does energy flow within the system?

How does matter cycle within the system?

How does information flow within the system?

What information is flowing into the system?

What information is flowing out of the system?

Draw a picture that shows how energy is flowing into, within, and out of the system.

Draw a picture that shows how matter is cycling into, within, and out of the system.

Draw a picture that shows how information is flowing into, within, and out of the system.

When the model is of a complex system, ask students: •

What properties emerge from interaction of components in the system that can’t be seen just by looking at the interactions?

How does [emergent property] of the system affect interactions in the system, once [that emergent property] emerges?

When the model is of a designed system, ask students: •

Create a set of instructions for building [system] that another child can follow.

If you could control X in the system would it stop Y? Why or why not?

How could you test whether this system satisfies the design constraints described in the scenario?

When eliciting understanding of the limitations, assumptions, and approximations of system models, ask students: •

What part of the system does the model show? Why are these parts shown?

What parts of the system are not shown in the model? Why are these parts not shown?

What are the key assumptions of the model?

How do the assumptions affect the reliability of the model?

What is estimated, rather than observed directly, in the model?

How do estimates affect the precision of the model?

Could you use the model to reliably predict

Could you use the model to precisely estimate what would happen if

? ?

8


Crosscutting Concept: Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles and Conservation A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of energy and matter: Tracking fluxes of energy and matter into, out of, and within systems helps one understand the systems’ possibilities and limitations. When making observations of simple systems where materials are broken apart or reassembled: • What happens to when you put it together with ? •

Is there more, less, or the same of

when you combine it with

What kinds of material is [assembled object] made of?

?

When eliciting understanding of how energy transfers drive the cycling of matter within and between systems: • How does the flow of energy between and drive the cycling of matter in the ___ system? •

How does the flow of energy between and ?

and

drive the cycling of matter between

When eliciting understanding of the cycling of matter, ask students: (Scale: The movement question can be answered at the atomic-molecular, cellular, or macroscopic scale.) • Where is matter coming from that enters [this system]? •

What happens to matter as it moves within [this system]?

Where does matter go that leaves [this system]?

Draw a picture showing the the stocks and flows of matter in [this system].

Where are the molecules moving in [this system]?

What evidence is there that matter is conserved in this cycle?

When eliciting understanding of changes to matter, ask students: (Scale: The chemical change question is always answered at the atomic-molecular scale.) • How are atoms in molecules being rearranged into different molecules? •

What molecules are carbon atoms in before and after the chemical change?

What substance are the carbon atoms part of before and after the chemical change?

What other molecules are involved?

What evidence is there that matter is conserved in these changes?

When eliciting understanding of energy change, ask students: (Scale: These energy questions can be answered at the atomic-molecular, cellular, or macroscopic scales.) • How is energy coming into this system? •

How is energy going out of this system?

What forms of energy are involved in this system?

What energy transformations take place during the chemical change?

How much energy is needed to [make something happen]?

What energy is entering, staying, and leaving [the system]?

Draw a picture showing the stocks and flows of matter in [this system].

Where does the

What evidence is there that energy is being conserved in this system?

get its energy?

9


Crosscutting Concept: Structure and Function A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of structure and function: The way in which an object or living thing is shaped and its substructure determine many of its properties and functions. After presenting students with observational data as part of the scenario: •

What structures are present in ? What function does each structure have in (scenario)? How do you think each structure behave?

What is the relationship between the structure and its function?

Why does the shape of matter for its function? What other properties of the structure might allow it to have certain behaviors?

Ask after presenting students with a model as part of the scenario: •

What are the substructures shown in the model? For each substructure, how does it behave in the model? What properties does it have? What is its function in the model?

Describe the organization of substructures and how the spatial relationship matters for behavior and function.

For the model, describe the behaviors by which the structures accomplish their functions.

After presenting students with a novel system students have not explored before to investigate: •

What function do you think [structure] serves in this system? How could we find out?

This system performs [describe functions]. How do you think the structures support or enable those functions?

When observing living organisms in an unfamiliar system: This organism engages in [behavior] to [describe function.] How might [structure] help explain how they are able to perform [behavior]?

After presenting students with a description of a microscopic system: •

Together, what the parts of the

(system) do? What do you think the structures look like?

Based on the overall function of the system, how do each of the individual structures behave? What properties do they have?

After asking students to design a solution (e.g., a mechanical system): •

Describe the structures in your solution. Describe the function in your solution. What is important about the relationship between structure and function in your solution that make it a successful design?

Describe the sub-structures in your solution. Describe the function in your solution. What is important about the relationship between sub-structures and function in your solution that make it a successful design?

When asking students about structure and function in ecosystems: •

Identify the properties of the environment that constrain behavior of organisms. What about the structures of an organism allow them to survive within the environment? What is the behavior of the organism and the function of the structures it has?

You find a new animal in an environment it has [structure] it uses to [perform function]. Given whatyou know about the ecosystem, explain the how [structure] supports its survival in this ecosystem.

10


Crosscutting Concept: Stability and Change A Framework for K-12 Science Education description of stability and change: For natural and built systems alike, conditions of stability and determinants of rates of change or evolution of a system are critical elements of study. When the scenario presents a system that periodically experiences equilibrium: •

Is the system described in the scenario stable or unstable? Present evidence to support your claim.

How was this system affected by [sudden event described in the scenario]?

How might this system be affected by [sudden event not described in the scenario]?

What are the factors causing this system to be stable at [time point identified in scenario where the system is at equilibrium]?

What are the factors causing this system to be unstable at [time point named in scenario where the system is changing or not at equilibrium] ?

What is happening at the [specify scale, such as atomic] scale to make this system stable at [time point identified in scenario where the system is at equilibrium]?

What is happening at the [specify scale, such as atomic] scale to make this system unstable [time point named in scenario where the system is changing or not at equilibrium]?

When the scenario presents a system or phenomenon where there are repeating patterns of change: •

What things change in [the system presented in the scenario]?

What is the rate of change in [the system presented in the scenario]?

What patterns do you observe in the way that [the system presented in the scenario] changes over time?

What explains why [repeating pattern] is happening in this system over time?

When the scenario presents a designed system: •

In what ways is [the system presented in the scenario] stable?

What might cause [the system presented in the scenario] to become unstable or imbalanced?

How can you design [the system presented in the scenario] to be more stable?

When the scenario presents a system or phenomenon with feedback loops: •

How does [process or mechanism A] affect [process or mechanism B]?

What explains why when [process or mechanism] happens, [process or mechanism]?

changes and then affects

When the scenario presents a system that looks stable at one scale and unstable at a different scale: •

How was this system affected in the long term by [gradual changes described in the scenario]?

When the scenario presents a system or phenomenon where competing effects are balanced?

How might this system be affected in the long term by [gradual changes not described in the scenario]?

How does is the effect of [process or mechanism A] offset by the effect of [process or mechanism B] in this system?

11



STEM

TEACHING TOOL

#42

Using Phenomena in NGSS-Designed Lessons and Units WHAT ARE PHENOMENA IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING? o Natural phenomena are observable events that occur in the universe and that we can use our science knowledge to explain or predict. The goal of building knowledge in science is to develop general ideas, based on evidence, that can explain and predict phenomena. o Engineering involves designing solutions to problems that arise from phenomena, and using explanations of phenomena to design solutions. o In this way, phenomena are the context for the work of both the scientist and the engineer.

WHY ARE PHENOMENA SUCH A BIG DEAL? o Despite their centrality in science and engineering, phenomena have traditionally been a missing piece in science education, which too often has focused on teaching general knowledge that students can have difficulty applying to real world contexts.

o Anchoring learning in explaining phenomena supports student agency for wanting to build science and engineering knowledge. Students are able to identify an answer to "why do I need to learn this?" before they even know what the “this” is. In contrast, students might not understand the importance of learning science ideas that teachers and curriculum designers know are important but that are unconnected from phenomena.

o By centering science education on phenomena that students are motivated to explain, the focus of learning shifts from learning about a topic to figuring out why or how something happens. For example, instead of simply learning about the topics of photosynthesis and mitosis, students are engaged in building evidence-based explanatory ideas that help them figure out how a tree grows.

o Explaining phenomena and designing solutions to problems allow students to build general science ideas in the context of their application to understanding phenomena in the real world, leading to deeper and more transferable knowledge.

o Students who come to see how science ideas can help explain and model phenomena related to compelling real world situations learn to appreciate the social relevance of science. They get interested in and identify with science as a way of understanding and improving real world contexts. Focusing investigations on compelling phenomena can help sustain students’ science learning.

HOW ARE PHENOMENA RELATED TO THE NGSS AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL LEARNING? o The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) focus on helping students use science to make sense of phenomena in the natural and designed world, and use engineering to solve problems.

o Learning to explain phenomena and solve problems is the central reason students engage in the three dimensions of the NGSS. Students explain phenomena by developing and applying the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs) and Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs) through use of the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs).

o Phenomena-centered classrooms also give students and teachers a context in which to monitor ongoing progress toward understanding all three dimensions. As students are working toward being Published September 2016 View Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. Educators may use or adapt. If modified, please attribute and re-title.


able to explain phenomena, three-dimensional formative assessment becomes more easily embedded and coherent throughout instruction.

HOW DO WE USE PHENOMENA TO DRIVE TEACHING AND LEARNING? o The point of using phenomena to drive instruction is to help students engage in practices to develop the knowledge necessary to explain or predict the phenomena. Therefore, the focus is not just on the phenomenon itself. It is the phenomenon plus the student-generated questions about the phenomenon that guides the learning and teaching. The practice of asking questions or identifying problems becomes a critical part of trying to figure something out.

o There could potentially be many different lines of inquiry about the same phenomenon. Using the phenomenon of tree growth, a middle school teacher might want middle school students to develop and apply DCIs about photosynthesis and mitosis; alternately, a 3rd grade teacher might want students to learn and apply DCIs about life cycles. In each case, teachers should help students identify different aspects of the same phenomenon as the focus of their questions.

o Students also might ask questions about a phenomenon that motivate a line of investigation that isn’t grade appropriate, or might not be effective at using or building important disciplinary ideas. Teacher guidance may be needed to help students reformulate questions so they can lead to gradeappropriate investigations of important science ideas.

o It is important that all students—including English language learners and students from cultural groups underrepresented in STEM—are supported in working with phenomena that are engaging and meaningful to them. Not all students will have the same background or relate to a particular phenomenon in the same way. Educators should consider student perspectives when choosing phenomena, and also should prepare to support student engagement in different ways. While starting with one phenomenon in the classroom, it is always a good idea to help students identify related phenomena from their lives and their communities to expand the phenomena under consideration. For example, when teaching toward Kindergarten DCI PS3.B about how sunlight warms the surface of the Earth, a teacher could notice that students don’t have experience with hot sand and instead engage the group in observations of hot concrete. When necessary, teachers can engage the class in a shared experience with a relevant phenomenon (e.g., by watching a video).

o Not all phenomena need to be used for the same amount of instructional time. Teachers could use an anchoring phenomenon or two as the overall focus for a unit, along with other investigative phenomena along the way as the focus of an instructional sequence or lesson. They may also highlight everyday phenomena that relate investigative or anchoring phenomena to personallyexperienced situations. A single phenomenon doesn’t have to cover an entire unit, and different phenomena will take different amounts of time to figure out.

WHAT MAKES PHENOMENA EFFECTIVE FOR USE IN INSTRUCTION? o The most powerful phenomena from an educational perspective are culturally or personally relevant

o

or consequential to students. Such phenomena highlight how science ideas help us explain aspects of real world contexts or design solutions to science-related problems that matter to students, their communities, and society. An appropriate phenomenon for instruction should help engage all students in working toward the learning goals of instruction. The phenomenon needs to be useful for teachers to help students build the target pieces of the DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs. For example, engaging in discussions about redshifts of light from galaxies is unlikely to be helpful in moving 5th grade students to a grade-appropriate

Published September 2016 View Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. Educators may use or adapt. If modified, please attribute and re-title.


understanding of DCI ESS1.A, which, at the 5th grade level, focuses on the relationship between star brightness and distance from Earth. o The process of developing an explanation for a phenomenon should advance students’ understandings. If students already need to know the target knowledge before they can inquire about the phenomenon, then the phenomenon is not appropriate for initial instruction (although it might be useful for assessment). o Students should be able to make sense of anchoring or investigative phenomenon, but not immediately, and not without investigating it using sequences of the science and engineering practices. With instruction and guidance, students should be able to figure out, step by step, how and why the phenomenon works. o An effective phenomenon does not always have to be flashy or unexpected. Students might not be intrigued by an everyday phenomenon right away because they believe they already know how or why it happens. It takes careful teacher facilitation to help students become dissatisfied with what they can explain, helping them discover that they really can’t explain it beyond a simple statement such as “smells travel through the air” or a vocabulary word, such as “water appears on cold cans of soda because it condenses.”

PRIOR THINKING ABOUT PHENOMENA

THINKING ABOUT PHENOMENA THROUGH THE NGSS

If it’s something fun, flashy, or involves hands-on activities, it must be engaging.

Authentic engagement does not have to be fun or flashy; instead, engagement is determined more by how the students generate compelling lines of inquiry that create real opportunities for learning.

Anything students are interested in would make a good “engaging phenomenon”

Students need to be able to engage deeply with the material in order to generate an explanation of the phenomenon using target DCIs, CCCs, and SEPs.

Explanations (e.g., “electromagnetic radiation can damage cells”) are examples of phenomena

Phenomena (e.g., a sunburn, vision loss) are specific examples of something in the world that is happening—an event or a specific example of a general process. Phenomena are NOT the explanations or scientific terminology behind what is happening. They are what can be experienced or documented.

Phenomena are just for the initial hook

Phenomena can drive the lesson, learning, and reflection/monitoring throughout. Using phenomena in these ways leads to deeper learning.

Phenomena are good to bring in after students develop the science ideas so they can apply what they learned

Teaching science ideas in general (e.g., teaching about the process of photosynthesis) may work for some students, but often leads to decontextualized knowledge that students are unable to apply when relevant. Anchoring the development of general science ideas in investigations of phenomena helps students build more usable and generative knowledge.

Engaging phenomena need to be questions

Phenomena are observable occurrences. Students need to use the occurrence to help generate the science questions or design problems that drive learning.

Student engagement is a nice optional feature of instruction, but is not required

Engagement is a crucial access and equity issue. Students who do not have access to the material in a way that makes sense and is relevant to them are disadvantaged. Selecting phenomena that students find interesting, relevant, and consequential helps support their engagement. A good phenomenon builds on everyday or family experiences: who students are, what they do, where they came from.

Published September 2016 View Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/. Educators may use or adapt. If modified, please attribute and re-title.



STEM TEACHING TOOL

#43

Why Do We Need to Teach Science in Elementary School?

What Is The Issue? Our future depends on a public that can use science for personal decision-making and to participate in civic, political, and cultural discussions related to science. Though we have national goals for science education, science is often pushed to the side—particularly at the elementary school level. There are multiple reasons for science to be a core part of elementary school learning. It can support: (a) development of a knowledgeable citizenry, (b) meaningful learning of language and mathematics, (c) wonderment about how the natural world works, and

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should support extended 3D investigations in elementary education for all students (e.g., by not allowing students to be pulled out during science). Keep images of science broad. District Staf & PD Providers should support elementary teachers in teaching science and school-building administrators in supporting science instruction. School Leaders should resource and support teams of elementary teachers by giving them ample time and materials to teach science.

(d) preparation for STEM-related careers. BY JULIE CAFARELLA, AMBER MCCULLOCH & PHILIP BELL | JANUARY 2017

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/43


Things To Consider • Scientifc literacy starts in early childhood and continues through elementary school. Scientifc knowledge is necessary to fully participate in human culture and democracy—especially as it becomes more technological. The future of our nation depends on a scientifcally literate public. The new vision for science education emphasizes the need for consistent science instruction throughout a student’s academic career. Scientifc literacy is a developmental process that takes years of concerted efort to cultivate. • Science learning takes signifcant time—but that time is not being provided. A recent study shows that science instructional time is decreasing in elementary school. Only 20% of K-3 students and 35% of students in grades 4-6 have access to daily science instruction. (See this report on teachers’ practices around science instruction). • Students are ready to reason about science in early childhood. Children enter elementary school with reasoning skills and perceptions of the natural world that provide a sound basis for science learning. A recent report calls for greater attention to monitoring instructional time in elementary science. Multidisciplinary, long-term science projects are often easier to do with students in elementary school years. Elementary science can promote narrow views of how science works. Eforts should be made to broaden what counts as science and engineering.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Engage in cross-subject integration. There are signifcant overlaps between the new vision for K-12 science education and the approach taken with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in Math and ELA. Importantly, the practices within NGSS and CCSS overlap heavily, allowing for an unprecedented degree of cross-subject teacher learning and sharing. Reading, writing, and mathematical analysis should be substantial portions of science investigations. • Leverage and cultivate student’s wonder about the natural world. Students in elementary school are deeply interested in science, and rate it higher than any other subject. Leverage that interest to cultivate a sense of curiosity and wonderment about how things work as students engage in science investigations. • Help students see how contemporary science relates to careers and endeavors in the world. Students identify with science when they see how it can be used to improve conditions in the world. Go on feldtrips to view ‘science in action.’ Explore video documentaries. Bring in STEM experts. This can support the development of student’s scientifc literacy and progress towards STEM-related careers.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Do you view ELA and math instructional time to be at odds with the teaching of science? Have you considered integrating ELA and math into science investigations? On average, how many science instructional minutes do your students receive each week? 300? 150? 30? Fewer? What factors shape that quantity? What concrete steps need to happen in order for you to improve your science teaching?

Attending to Equity • Start science instruction early. Participation in quality science instruction from a young age helps students develop favorable attitudes towards science. To make science accessible to “all” start with 3D science investigations in preschool and continue with them through elementary school and beyond. • Focus instruction on personal and cultural relevance. Build on the interests, experiences, and desired futures of learners and their communities. This heightens the relevance of science. • Leverage students’ existing design knowledge. Many elementary school children have engineering design-related hobbies that can be leveraged as they learn science. Engineering design is a great entry-point for many students.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #20 #21 #32

Multiple Instructional Models Outdoor Play & Investigations What principals should know? Why focus on practices?

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/43


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#44

Addressing controversial science topics in the K-12 classroom

What Is The Issue? Controversy is a core part of the scientifc enterprise. As citizens, we must constantly navigate diferent perspectives and make sense of conficting arguments on issues that impact our everyday lives. However, in our schools we have often been reluctant to engage students in the examination of controversial topics in science. Being able to reason about and act on controversial science topics is fundamental to being scientifcally literate. Learning how to teach such topics will help ensure that students are equipped to participate fully in our democracy.

BY DEB MORRISON, PHILIP BELL, JEANNE CHOWNING & ELAINE KLEIN | FEBRUARY 2017

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers can help students understand how science learning is relevant to topics of social importance, including topics that are controversial inside and outside the scientifc community. District Staf & PD Providers should provide opportunities for teachers to discuss and develop strategies that facilitate considered integration of controversy into science teaching. School Leaders should support teachers in engaging students in examining controversial topics and learn about tensions likely to come up.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/44


Things To Consider • Science necessarily involves diferent kinds of controversy. Scientifc controversies are disputes that unfold within the scientifc community (e.g., as competing hypotheses are explored). Scientifc understanding progresses through reasoned skepticism, argumentation, debate, and working towards consensus knowledge. Scientists also develop knowledge about topics that can be socially controversial. Social-scientifc controversies may occur as individuals disagree about which scientifc topics are important to pursue, what methods should be used, and how scientifc knowledge should be applied. These topics require both scientifc understanding and an acknowledgment of the diferent values and ethical perspectives stakeholders bring to the decision-making process. • Some social controversies involve science but are not broadly contested in the scientifc community (e.g., how species evolve, global climate change). These controversies can result from a limited understandings of how science is conducted. For example, when scientists exhibit healthy skepticism by acknowledging the tentativeness of conclusions or the importance of being open-minded in the face of new evidence, members of the public may interpret this as scientists not having “proven” something unequivocally. This could also include everyday perceptions of scientifc knowledge as fxed rather than dynamic over time.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Separate the scientifc and social dimensions of a controversy. Students should know that topics such as climate change are not contested in the scientifc community, but it is important to engage socially controversial aspects of the topic. Explore resources from the National Center for Science Education, the National Park Service, the National Institutes of Health, and Flinders University. • Ensure that students understand the science behind a given controversy. For example, discussion about the use of a particular technology or scientifc application (nuclear energy, GMOs, or stem cells) should build on an understanding of the underlying science. • Highlight the central role evidence-based argumentation plays in helping scientists resolve controversies within their community. Clarify how science is diferent from other ways of knowing (e.g., distinguish between scientifc reasoning and opinions/beliefs). • Establish norms for discussing a controversy and use structured discourse strategies (like Structured Academic Controversy). Consider providing decision-making frameworks, argumentation scafolds, and language for students to express their stances.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What science topics are controversial in your community? Are they scientifc or socialscientifc controversies? How can you surface students’ initial ideas of controversial issues, particularly those related to their personal values? Have you created a classroom culture where it is safe to share ideas that may be contentious? Can you learn from colleagues who teach controversies in ELA or social studies? How do they diffuse tensions that arise?

Attending to Equity • Choosing not to teach about controversial topics can create educational inequities because some topics are socially controversial but remain central to scientifc literacy. • Case studies that reveal the human face of controversy can promote the salience and relevance of learning, and can help students understand the varied perspectives and positions diferent stakeholders bring to those topics. • Students from non-dominant communities can be deeply engaged in science learning through personally relevant topics—many of which are also controversial. A pedagogical approach focused on fnding real-world solutions to controversies can help students feel empowered rather than disillusioned by their increased scientifc understanding.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #6 #10 #12

Contemporary Science Learning Through Talk Indigenous Rights Teaching Climate Change

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#45

How to focus students’ engineering design projects on science learning

What Is The Issue? Science and engineering share many of the same practices, however, they are fundamentally diferent felds with diferent pursuits and processes. Scientists typically seek multiple strands of evidence to support or refute claims about the natural world, while engineers use an iterative problem solving process to meet specifc, often human-related, needs. Tensions between these two felds can make it difcult to integrate engineering into the science classroom, but simple strategies can help teachers use engineering

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should include engineering design learning tasks as a way for students to learn science concepts and how to engage in problem solving. District staf & PD providers should support teachers in developing engineering design projects in science and develop budgets for purchasing engineering design materials. School leaders should encourage teachers to create and adapt engineering design projects in science and provide a supportive environment for teachers to test and refne designs.

design as an inclusive way to teach science concepts. BY VERONICA CASSONE MCGOWAN | FEBRUARY 2015

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/45


Things To Consider • While many of the NGSS practices are the same for science and engineering, there are aspects that are also distinct. For example, scientists generally ask questions about the natural world, while engineers defne problems to be solved. Scientists construct explanations based on observations and data, while engineers design solutions. Highlighting these diferences with students can help them appreciate how science and engineering are connected. • There are many types of engineering design that can be employed in the classroom—and not all have to include building something. The essential features of engineering require that student engage in an iterative problem solving process around complex problems. • Give students time to share failures and successes with classmates. Engineering design is a highly collaborative process, and both students and professionals can learn from each other’s experiences.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Implement engineering design projects that ft with your comfort level, pedagogical practice, and school culture. If you choose materials-rich projects too early on, you may spend most of the time managing materials rather than supporting students in design. • Encourage students to test early and iterate often, and to conduct research only as questions arise in the design process. Research shows that novice designers often get stuck on defning problems and spend too much time conducting background research before testing out ideas. Expert designers test early and fail often to surface problems in their proposed solutions and to refne their designs. • Frame project criteria and constraints as being related to the science concepts you want students to build into their designs. They often get framed around materials use, time, and project procedures— which are more about classroom management than engineering. Authentic criteria and constraints should relate to the science concepts used during the design process. They should refect natural laws and material properties that limit all engineering solutions. • Outline student learning goals in ways that relate science concepts to specifc parts of the design (e.g., “students will consider Newton’s Third Law of Motion as they design a rubber band powered go-cart that should move forward and stop, without bouncing back”). • Use classroom design time for formative assessment. Ask student teams questions to guide their design processes, and to surface their understanding of how focal science concepts relate to their designs. For example, “What inspired this design?” and “Can you tell me how you incorporated science concepts into this design?”

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Each year, engineering should be taught in science class according to the NRC Framework & NGSS. Discuss: “any [science] education that focuses predominantly on the detailed products of scientifc labor—the facts of science— without developing an understanding of how those facts were established or that ignores the many important applications of science in the world misrepresents science and marginalizes the importance of engineering.” How do scientists and engineers engage in practices differently & how can you integrate practices into classroom instruction? Which science concepts in your curriculum lend themselves to engineering design projects?

Attending To Equity • Create engineering projects that enable students to engage in problem-solving related to personally-relevant, realworld problems that impact their lives and their communities. Read about a powerful example of this. • Leverage students’ outside interests and expertise in the design process. Are some students skilled at using tools, or sketching design plans? Draw on that expertise by giving those students leadership roles or responsibilities in the classroom.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #7 #14 #15 #36

Expanding Engineering Why NGSS? Equity in Science Education Managing Design Frustration

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2015 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. [1] Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#46

How to defne meaningful daily learning objectives for science investigations Photo by @CarrieDePetris

What Is The Issue?

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU

Many schools require teachers to post the day’s learning target, objective, or standard on the board. However, displaying the target concept to be learned—the disciplinary core idea that is the focus of instruction—“gives away” what students should actually be fguring out as they make sense of phenomena by engaging in the science and engineering practices. Many teachers face a dilemma when they try to meet their administrator’s requirements. It is important for teachers and administrators to come to consensus around developing and using objectives

Teachers should have the authority to design instruction by involving students in developing daily objectives. District Staf & PD Providers should help teachers learn how to defne and sequence 3D learning performances across the units they teach that culminate in students understanding performance expectation bundles. School Leaders should learn how to see and support science instruction that engages students in making sense of phenomena and should consider how daily learning objectives might be diferent in a 3D instruction classroom.

that are consistent with 3D learning. BY WILLIAM R. PENUEL, MICHAEL NOVAK, TARA MCGILL, KATIE VAN HORNE & BRIAN J. REISER | MARCH 2017

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/46


Things To Consider • Conceptual understanding takes time and efort. It takes multiple lessons for students to understand an educational standard—i.e., a 3D performance expectation (PE) from the NRC Framework. Students should not be expected to master a PE in a single lesson. A lesson-level 3D learning performance is a more appropriate focus. • Don’t short-circuit deep learning. PEs describe the science concepts students are learning, so posting it “gives away” the thing to be explained, possibly reducing student motivation to learn and their ability to explain with any depth what and how they know. Students should be able to say what they are trying to fgure out in their own words—and come to use formal science terminology once they have gotten a feeling for it after multiple investigations. • Investigations should help students construct understanding. The NRC Framework vision is about students seeing that science and engineering practices are ways that can help them make sense of and change the world. Students should be deciding together what they need to investigate each day, based on what they’ve already fgured out and what they need to learn to explain or design. They shouldn’t know the outcome of an investigation ahead of time. • All three dimensions of any PE are in service of answering questions (in science) or designing solutions (in engineering) related to natural phenomena, so students’ should generate questions to investigate or defne problems to solve as part of any learning objective.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Invite your administrator to visit at a time when students are developing a consensus model of a phenomenon through classroom discussion. They’ll see students engaging in evidence-based argumentation and sophisticated understandings being articulated. • Co-construct the daily objective with students at the beginning of class to post on the board, as an answer to the question: What do we need to fgure out today to help us answer our driving question/solve our design challenge? It should ideally be a question (e.g., “Today we are trying to fgure out: Why don’t antibiotics work like they used to?”), but it could also be a piece of a model needed to explain a phenomenon or a step needed to develop a engineering solution. • Prepare a one-pager to hand to a visiting administrator or colleague. It could be: (a) a short explanation/model from your unit storyline showing how an explanation of the phenomenon will help students master the PEs, (b) the culminating product that students will produce in the unit, (c) research supporting an equitable 3D instruction approach, or (d) a 3D learning performance for the lesson.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Teachers: What shifts might be needed in your teaching for you to develop learning objectives focused on student questions? Building Administrators: How can you support student-driven learning goals and investigation while learning about classroom learning objectives? District Leaders: How do your district’s frameworks for observing teachers support or interfere with 3D science teaching and learning?

Attending to Equity • Schools that have been historically underresourced or that serve populations facing the most barriers to equitable education may face more pressure and direct supervision/evaluation of teaching practices. It is crucial to provide all students with meaningful instruction and maintain high educational goals. • All students should be able to understand why they are doing what they are doing in class. Students should help defne learning objectives—where the class is headed as part of an unfolding investigation. You can build an objective for the next day by eliciting student responses about what they fgured out and what they need to fgure out next at the end of class. Aim to include many student voices in this process, rather than letting the most vocal students consistently set the agenda.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #4 #6 #17 #34

Multiple Instructional Models Learning Science Through Talk Argumentative Talk Talk Activity Flowchart

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#47

How can I promote equitable sensemaking by setting expectations for multiple perspectives? What Is The Issue? In a phenomena-focused, 3D approach to science learning, students use science practices to consider each other’s ideas based on available interpretations and evidence. To promote deep and equitable learning, plan purposefully to ensure that the various perspectives that students bring to making sense of phenomena are solicited, clarifed, and considered. It is important to support students as they develop a shared understanding of the diferent perspectives in the group.

BY EMILY MILLER, MARIA SIMANI & ANGELA DEBARGER | MARCH 2017

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should be intentional about how they build classroom practices of collaboration. Small group work can perpetuate inequities if not structured well and monitored systematically. District Staf & PD Providers should share strategies and resources so teachers can develop collaborative talk as a classroom practice over time. School Leaders should be conscious of the critical role of contrasting ideas for science learning and the importance of providing equal voice to students from non-dominant communities.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/47


Things To Consider • Help students identify and articulate areas of uncertainty or disagreement during sensemaking. The most exciting product of scientifc argumentation in STEM professional communities is the discovery and acknowledgement of areas of uncertainty, which lead to insights and new questions to investigate. Students should know that part of the work of scientists is questioning consensus. • Leverage expertise from all students. Respectfully considering more than one idea—especially unfamiliar or unexpected ones—is an important life skill. When all students are positioned as developing experts, sensemaking becomes more engaging, creative & efective. • Setting an expectation for a variety of ideas builds STEM identities. Asking student groups to explain and explore diferent ideas and perspectives opens up spaces for alternative and contrasting ideas and distributes expertise. Discourse strategies can help student stamina in deciphering unfamiliar ideas.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Routinely solicit lingering questions or areas where groups did not reach consensus. Let students know that if they did not reach consensus on everything, they were likely being responsive to their group members and taking ideas seriously. Model ways to compare ideas after they are shared, such as asking, “How are those ideas diferent?” and “What do those ideas have in common?” • Ofer students the opportunity to change their mind with phrases like, “How does that idea make sense?” Support students in taking the stance that all ideas ofered in the group are reasonable and should be understood, considered, and evaluated by evidence. • Use small group strategies to surface the various perspectives. Introduce strategies that ensure that everyone has a chance to speak before another person speaks again, such as passing around a ‘talking object.’ Be aware that some students may not share, and some students may be socialized to resist voicing dissent in a group. • Ask groups to highlight interesting disagreements that took place around ideas, processes, or interpretations. Each student could place a sticky note on their group’s argument, explanation, or model to highlight something they are not sure about or do not agree with. You can highlight these diferences in full-class conversation. • Set the expectation for all students to have areas with which they are not in total agreement or have further questions. Validate students who persist in questioning the group’s thinking, and bring up stories of scientists who famously questioned prevailing thought.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What strategies can help ensure all student ideas/questions/ perspectives are shared, heard, and considered? When might you ask students to see their collaborative work as an opportunity to build areas of agreement and disagreement? How is the scientifc norm of interrogating consensus incorporated in your instruction?

Attending to Equity • When students see their task as one of seeking consensus, they may “go along” with the ideas of peers they consider “most expert” or those who speak with confdence. Students may refrain from authentic science activities like voicing uncertainty, disagreeing, asking more questions, or arguing with disconfrming evidence. This can perpetuate inequities, as students who are already positioned as scientifc—often students with strong English skills or intellectual resources from home that match school expectations—tend to be validated, while those who do not identify with schoolbased science are positioned as outsiders. • It is not always easy for students to make sense of the ideas of peers, especially when they are learning English, process language diferently, lack confdence, or are uncertain. Foster a culture where exploring all student ideas is valued, especially those of students whose voices are not often heard.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #18 #25 #31 #35

3D Formative Assessments Culture and Argumentation Building on Prior Interest Talk Move Protocols

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/47


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#48

How can teachers guide classroom conversations to support students’ science learning?

What Is The Issue? Teachers need ways to encourage opportunities for all learners to engage routinely in sensemaking talk. Teachers can also use student talk to learn about student ideas and thinking. However, it is often challenging to facilitate productive conversations, especially with students who are not accustomed to talking in their science classes. Teachers can use tools to scafold student science talk. They can then refect on what they have learned from students to inform next steps in their instruction.

BY DEB MORRISON & ABBY RHINEHART | MARCH 2017

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should learn strategies for asking questions, responding to student thinking, and scafolding student conversations in an efort to broaden equitable opportunities for students to engage in classroom talk. District Staf & PD Providers should work with teachers to support and refect on classroom conversations. School Leaders should learn the ways talk can be organized to foster science learning opportunities for students and support teachers in orchestrating such conversations.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/48


Things To Consider • Chapter 11 from the NRC Framework outlines a vision for quality science education for every student. Classroom talk fosters shifts in participation, and, as a result, opens opportunities for learning in the science classroom. Student talk also helps educators consider how to connect young people’s everyday languages with language common in the scientifc community. • Strategies for fostering classroom talk are important for facilitating sensemaking in the classroom. Engaging students in science classroom talk makes student thinking public and available for discussion, clarifes ideas, deepens reasoning, and helps students relate their thinking to others’ ideas (see related research). Students should engage in talk as they participate in each of the science and engineering practices of the NRC Framework vision. • Teachers can engage in informal formative assessment by engaging students in classroom talk which involves eliciting, recognizing, and attending to student ideas during classroom talk.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Center your instruction around the idea that the person doing the talking is the person doing the learning. Use whole class discussion sparingly. Focus more on scafolding small group discussion. • Use our Talk Resource Tools to foster shifts in science classroom talk practices: The Talk Resource Cards and Partner Conversational Supports expand productive classroom talk during conversations, while the Pre- and Post-Talk Writing Supports can be used to bookend classroom conversations to improve students’ sensemaking and science communication practices. Idea Coaching to Clarify and Explain Our Ideas

Classroom Talk Prewrite, Notes, and Post-Write Name:

Talk Resource Card

Create: Prompt Starters

I think

because...

Evidence that supports my argument is...

Prompt Starters • • • • • •

I’m explaining my ideas. I can use these phrases:

What is your idea? How can we combine these ideas? What do we need to do? What are other points of view? What do you think about...? Why...? How...? I wonder...?

I think this is supporting evidence because... I think this relates to the scientifc idea of... Give an analogy or metaphor that relates to your idea.

I’m idea coaching. I can use these phrases to help the other person clarify and explain their ideas.

Teacher:

Class Period:

Question:

Before talking about this question/prompt with my classmates, I think the answer is:

Say more about that. Can you give me an example of why you think that? Could you explain more about

?

What do you mean when you say ? I heard you say that based on?

Use this space to write down any ideas or that came up when you were talking about this question/prompt with your classmates.

After talking about this question/prompt with my classmates, my new answer is:

Flip over to switch roles STEM Teaching Tools Table Tents draw ideas from Kelly Jones (Renton School District), the TERC Talk Science Primer, Common Core Standards in diverse classrooms, and STEM Teaching Tool #35.

Talk Resource Cards

How can you focus the questions you ask to support students’ 3D science learning? Are students engaging in and refecting on science and engineering practices? Are you gauging their understanding of core ideas and crosscutting concepts? How can you collaborate with colleagues to support each other in improving classroom talk? What types of questions are you asking? What are some alternative questions that might expand conversational participation? What types of prompts help facilitate conversation in pairs? In small groups? Whole class?

Attending to Equity • All students should have opportunities for processing their thinking through talk. By promoting opportunities for student voice, teachers signal that the ideas students have are valued and importance.

. What evidence is

After the conversation: Tell your partner one idea they explained well. Tell your partner one idea they said that you had not thought of.

From Common Core Standards in diverse classrooms by Zweirs, O’Hara, and Pritchard, 2014

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Partner Conversational Supports

Pre- and Post-Talk Writing Supports

• Use classroom talk to collect formative assessment information, and consider how that knowledge can be used to serve students individual needs to equitably engage them in science learning. • Try strategies laid out in the Talk Science Primer and the Accountable Talk Sourcebook by yourself, with teacher colleagues, or with others in your network.

• All students should have access to productive discussions that allow them to sharpen their critical reasoning and analytical abilities while developing their science communication practices. • Teachers need to ensure that the discourse environments they create promote science learning for students who bring many diferent perspectives and histories to the classroom.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #16 #35

Productive Science Talk Informal Assessment Science Talk Activities

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/48


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#49

How can mentor teachers and university educators support preservice science teachers? What Is The Issue? Preservice education establishes the foundation for a successful science teaching career. However, preservice teachers often experience tension between their university and school-based experiences related to the diferent expectations for teaching and learning across these settings. To decrease confusion and increase preparedness, mentor teachers and university educators can establish a community of practice to support the professional learning of all involved, especially related to the implementation of equitable 3D instruction and mentoring of preservice teachers.

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Preservice Teachers are better prepared for their future careers if they receive coherent experiences across university and school settings. Mentor Teachers & University Educators should establish supports for preservice teachers and create coherence between science teaching methods classes and K-12 experiences. Preservice Teachers, Mentor Teachers, and University Educators can collaborate on the process of implementation in order to support learning for everyone involved.

BY TJ MCKENNA, TODD CAMPBELL, VICTORIA SCHILLING & UCONN TEACHER MENTORING COLLABORATIVE | APRIL 2017

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/49


Things To Consider • Beginning preservice teachers commonly struggle to adopt strategies to build on students’ interests and backgrounds, which more meaningfully support students in sustained learning. • When preservice teachers plan with, critique, and adapt science curriculum materials in the context of classroom instructional experiences, they can develop their “ability to use personal and curricular resources in designing instruction for students”, or pedagogical design capacity (Beyer & Davis, 2012, p. 386). • Preservice programs developed by university educators and science teacher leaders—including school-based seminar sequences, master’s programs, and leadership-based preservice programs—should occur in the context of learning communities with other preservice or inservice teachers. This helps illustrate the value of collaboration and communities of practice for preservice teachers early in their careers. • Teachers often do not have opportunities for cumulative professional learning experiences. The professional development they do have access to is seldom linked to theories of teacher learning over time or a systemic vision of professional learning. • Working with preservice teachers in a well-articulated and systematic way can encourage professional learning for mentor teachers, preservice teachers, and university educators, especially when this work focuses on addressing pressing problems of practice (e.g., designing 3D assessments).

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Mentor teachers can: (a) help preservice teachers establish a role in the classroom early on, (b) support preservice teachers in getting to know and connecting with students, (c) support preservice teachers’ learning by identifying relevant disciplinary core ideas for students to learn, (d) frequently engage in discussion with university educators and the preservice teacher to identify a helpful balance of support and freedom for the preservice teacher as they are refecting on and continually improving their practices, and (e) encourage preservice teachers to refect on and improve their teaching practices. • Preservice teachers, mentor teachers, and university educators should open up lines of communication to ensure that all involved are meeting each other’s expectations. Using tools such as a checklist can help start productive preservice teacher experiences in schools. • University instructors and mentor teachers can give specifc and direct feedback to preservice teachers using the Framework For Preservice Teacher Feedback or other similar tools.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What are your current ideas and expectations about supporting preservice teachers? What are your university and school standards for preservice teachers? What strategies can support preservice teachers in meeting these expectations? What hesitations or concerns might mentor teachers have about hosting preservice science teachers?

Attending to Equity • Develop ongoing lines of collaborative inquiry between preservice and mentor teachers around culturally responsive pedagogical tools. This could include the Growing Awareness Inventory (GAIn) (Brown & Crippen, 2016) focused on student language use, student participation in response to teacher questions, and leveraging interests in instruction—or cultural dimensions of their sensemaking talk. • Preservice teachers may not have considered how to acknowledge and use the cultural assets students bring to the classroom, especially in the service of science learning. Given this, mentor teachers and university educators can help support preservice teachers to recognize and make connections between their cultural and community knowledge and science knowledge they are being introduced to in STEM classrooms.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #13 #22 #24

PD for Science Teachers Teacher Networks Teacher Communities

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/49


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#50

How Can Preservice Teachers Orient to Students’ Ideas and Sensemaking practices? What Is The Issue? When preservice teachers receive feedback as part of their experiences in teacher education programs (for example, from clinical supervisors or mentoring teachers) the focus of this feedback is often on their actions as new teachers or their enactments of instructional practices, such as their early attempts to lead whole class discussions. However, focusing on students’ ideas and sense-making practices is at the core of three-dimensional learning approach in the NRC Framework vision. This tool suggests strategies for orienting preservice teachers to students’ ideas as well as the ways in which students work ‘on’ and ‘with’

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Preservice Teachers often initially focus on how they are taking up their new roles as teachers and on their own actions (e.g., their decisions, how they facilitate whole class discussion, classroom management). Preservice Teachers need to study how and why their students learn. Mentoring Teachers should help orient Preservice Teachers to student ideas. This is essential if K-12 classrooms are to be focused on leveraging, building on, and refning students’ everyday ways of thinking about phenomena and solving problems.

those ideas. BY VICTORIA SCHILLING, TJ MCKENNA, TODD CAMPBELL & UCONN TEACHER MENTORING COLLABORATIVE | JULY 2017

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/50


Things To Consider • Early teacher education frequently focuses on teacher actions and how instructional enactments shape student learning experiences. Although important, that can detract from helping preservice teachers orient to students’ ideas and sensemaking practices. • “Students have particular ideas . . . [and should] have the opportunities to pursue and assess and refne those ideas” (Hammer & Sikorski, 2015, p. 428). There is a need to refocus the work of preservice teachers away from considering students’ isolated knowledge acquisition and instead toward students’ sensemaking and coherence-seeking as they coordinate pieces of knowledge with practices and evidences to develop explanatory accounts of important events that happen in the world. • Even when mentoring teachers press preservice teachers to work on problems of student learning, preservice teachers try to shift the focus to their enactment of instructional practices (Thompson, et al., 2015). ). However, by using specifc practices and planning tools, preservice teachers can begin to orient to how students learn—in addition to whether they learned a particular topic.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Students need opportunities to work through their thinking. Actively listening for what students are saying, and making sure to clarify or restate their ideas, will provide the classroom community more access to all students’ ideas. There are tools that can help make classroom talk more productive and students’ ideas more accessible. • The objective of science teaching is to support students’ thinking about, and use of, core science ideas in explaining events that happen in the world. Modeling, argumentation, and explanation— sensemaking practices of the NRC Framework—allow teachers to focus on students’ ideas and how these ideas become increasingly complex across a coherent learning sequence. • Science is more than facts. It is crucial to have students engage in understanding how scientifc practices and knowledge are always developing and that their cultural and historical diferences continue to contribute to scientifc understanding and problem solving (Bang, et al., 2017). • “All science learning can be understood as a cultural accomplishment . . . [w]hat counts as learning and what types of knowledge are seen as important are closely tied to a community’s values and what is useful in that community context” (NRC, 2012, p. 284). Consider how locally occurring phenomena and community problems can serve as an anchoring focus of instruction connected to students’ daily lives.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS When beginning a unit or lesson, what ideas (e.g., partial understandings, nonstandard ideas, everyday experiences, and ways of talking) or challenges have come up with students? How can these be shared with your preservice teacher? What strategies have you used and found to be effective for eliciting your students’ ideas? How can you support the preservice teacher in trying out these strategies?

Attending to Equity • Socially diverse groups (e.g., those with a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender and sexual orientation) are more innovative, diligent, and open-minded than homogeneous groups (Phillips, 2014). Consider strategies you can use to ensure that all students’ ideas are heard and considered. • Culturally responsive teaching refects socially and historically organized ways of living and making sense of life (i.e., sense-making repertoires). It is how students engage and make sense of the world as they participate in the everyday activities of our communities. Explore ways of becoming more familiar with your students’ lives and communities outside of school and how learning in the classroom can build on and connect to everyday activities in the community (see PD resource by Bell, et al., 2017).

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #37 #48 PD

Facets of Thinking Student Discourse Tools Cultural Assessment

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/50


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#51

Supporting Successful District Implementation of New Science Standards What Is The Issue? Implementing new science standards is a complex process that intersects with many other elements in the educational system. What’s more, successfully implementing science standards based on the NRC Framework requires major changes to the way science instruction is conceived of, structured, supported, and resourced. To help with these challenges, and with extensive feedback from successful district-level science education leaders, Achieve has developed a set of three new resources to support district leaders to strategically implement science standards. BY VANESSA WOLBRINK, MICHAEL LACH, ANEESHA BADRINARAYAN, TERESA ELIOPOULOS, MATT KREHBIEL, MOLLY EWING, AND IRAM SHAIKH | JULY 2017

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should be deeply and meaningfully engaged in district planning work. This will result in district-level initiatives that best support school and students’ needs. District Staf & PD Providers should consider how to use implementation of new standards to make deep, systematic, and sustainable changes to the way students learn science. School Leaders should understand strategies and structures afecting district-level initiatives and how to enact them. Communication is key with both teachers and community.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/51


Things To Consider • Districts need a plan for science education. Three-dimensional standar ds based on the NRC Framework represent a new vision for how science should be taught, and implementing these new standards across a district is hard. The process is rarely linear, requires the support of many stakeholders, and is shaped by many variables. Every district needs a plan for this process, in which district leaders articulate their goals and strategies to reach them. • Local context matters. District leaders should keep their local context in mind and use the tools linked below to support the work that is relevant to them. These resources are meant as a guide to help district leaders systematically think about common challenges. They are not a recipe to be followed, but a springboard—a series of recommendations to help leaders think about their own contexts. • Build in feedback loops. District leaders should have a system for checking in and monitoring progress in different areas of an implementation plan, and that can be accomplished by setting goals, milestones, and timelines for concrete measures of success, then using those to monitor progress and adjusting the plan as necessary. District leaders should build in opportunities to get feedback from teachers, school leaders, and other educators on the ground. Communication and policy planning should not be a one-way street.

Recommended Actions You Can Take These resources from Achieve are designed to help district-level professionals guide implementation of new science standards: • The District Implementation Indicators take a broad view of science standards implementation, identifying 13 categories that illustrate what successful implementation looks like and providing concrete end goals that districts can work toward. Each category also includes example actions that districts might take up to further that indicator and use to create milestones to use when monitoring progress. • The District Implementation Workbook is designed to help district leaders think more comprehensively and concretely about their own contexts. A combination of self-assessments and exercises, this workbook describes the common issues and challenges associated with standards implementation and presents key questions, timelines, decisions, and considerations for implementation leaders. • The Lessons Learned from the California NGSS Early Implementer Districts tell stories from the initial experiences of nine districts in California working to implement the new standards, focusing on the critical areas of professional learning and instructional materials.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What is your district’s plan to improve student outcomes in science? What strategies are you using? Which are you rejecting? How can you make equity central to your science standards implementation effort? How will you defne success, monitor progress, and adjust accordingly along the way? How can you involve educators in the planning process and elicit feedback from stakeholders?

Attending to Equity • Students and teachers from underresourced schools often are asked to adopt additional initiatives, which are added and dropped frequently. Implementing new science standards systematically at the district level, with proper supports for teachers, can alleviate the burden on this population, helping to ensure that these students have the same opportunities to learn science in meaningful ways. • District leaders should make equity central as they develop and monitor metrics used to determine the success of implementation. For example, the frst indicator of successful implementation is “All K–12 students have adequate opportunities to learn science.” This has strong implications for all parts of implementing new standards, including instructional materials, instructional time, course oferings, teacher professional learning, and other areas.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #5 #9 #13 #23

Curriculum Adaptation District Implementation Professional Development Evaluating Curriculum

STEM Teaching Tools content copyright 2017 UW Institute for Science + Math Education. All rights reserved. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/51


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#52

Supporting Preservice Teachers with Task-Based Instruction

What Is The Issue? Experiences in mentor teachers’ classrooms often provide preservice teachers with their frst opportunities to spend extended periods of time in classrooms as teachers or to engage with the new vision for science education. Taking on too much too early (e,g., planning a full unit of instruction) can be stressful for both preservice and mentor teachers, who need to ensure their students are supported with coherent learning experiences. Task-based instruction—planned and implemented collaboratively with university educators and mentor teachers in local P-12 classrooms—can address these challenges. BY DANIELLE ROSS, TODD CAMPBELL, TJ MCKENNA, VICTORIA SCHILLING, LAURA RODRIGUEZ & UCONN TEACHER MENTORING COLLABORATIVE | FEBRUARY 2018

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Preservice Teachers, specifcally those beginning their early clinical experiences, need tools that can support both their planning and implementation of science instruction focused on student sensemaking. Task-based instruction can support Preservice Teachers to plan and implement 3D learning, while also ofering them opportunities to begin gaining experiences implementing at a scale (e.g., 1-2 day lessons) that is more feasible for beginning teachers and more easily negotiated in the contexts of Mentoring Teachers’ classrooms.

STEMterachingtools.org/brief/52


Things To Consider • Understanding phenomena entails “fnding and describing patterns… looking for and testing relationships, and making connections between cause and efect” (Cartier et al., 2013, p. 85). Put succinctly, students have to engage in thinking to understand phenomenon. • Task-based instruction involves the following types of tasks, among others: (1) Experimentation, (2) Explanation, and (3) Data Representation, Analysis, and Interpretation Tasks. • Teachers can help support students by actively surfacing their thinking with focused talk, which engages students in dialogue that pushes their thinking toward ideas necessary to move their learning forward. Task-based instruction includes activities that support focused talk, including careful selection of goals and tasks, anticipating and monitoring student thinking, and selecting, sequencing, and connecting student ideas with important science ideas and experiences (Cartier et al., 2013). • “What teachers choose to attend to during instruction…will ultimately determine whether or not students become active thinkers, constructors and evaluators of knowledge in science.” Teachers can scafold this through three kinds of focused talk: “(1) mak[ing] students’ thinking visible; (2) guid[ing] students’ thinking in productive directions; (3) direct[ing] students’ attention toward features of the problem space that matters” (Cartier et al., 2013).

Attending to Equity • Preservice teachers, early in their work in schools, commonly fnd it difcult to move the focus away from their own teaching practices and to student reasoning. This can impact their students’ experiences, as preservice teachers are not yet considering the diferent experiences (e.g., racial, linguistic, cultural, gendered) that their students bring to the classroom (Tate et al., 2008). • The 5 instructional practices highlighted as central to task-based instruction support teachers to draw on students’ localized and community resources and ways of knowing as valuable tools to build understanding. In fact, the focus on sensemaking in these tasks and in the new vision for science education positions students to draw on the ‘immediate feedback’ (Resnick & Rosenbaum, 2013) ofered as the ‘world speaks’ as an arbiter in measuring their momentto-moment attempts to explain phenomenon or reason about experiments, data representations, analyses, or interpretations. This can lead to what DiGiacomo & Gutiérrez (2016) refer to as symmetrical relational equity among students and between teachers and students.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS In an upcoming unit, how can you support a preservice teacher to develop a new task-based instructional activity or modify an existing activity? How might you support preservice teachers to plan for and facilitate discussions in task-based learning activities? What hesitations or concerns do you and the preservice teacher have about task-based activities? How can mentor teachers, preservice teachers and university educators collaborate to address these concerns?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Read 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Task-Based Discussions in Science to learn more about task-based instruction. It also includes example tasks and case studies of teachers implementing it in classrooms. • Explore the following templates created to support preservice teachers in designing and implementing task-based instruction: Selecting Goals and Selecting Tasks; Anticipating and Monitoring; Selecting, Sequencing, and Connecting; Lesson Planning Implementation Guide. • Examine and consider implementing some example tasks developed by preservice teachers (e.g., Natural Selection; Frog Deformities).

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #6 #37 #49 #50

Productive Classroom Talk Student Facets of Thinking Preservice Teacher Supports Orienting to Sensemaking

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/52


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#53

How to avoid known pitfalls associated with culturally responsive instruction

What Is The Issue? All science learning is a cultural process. For the purposes of equity, it is crucial for science teaching to make meaningful connections to the cultural knowledge, experiences, and ways of knowing of students and their communities. However, it is complex work and involves avoiding possible complications and prevalent myths. Culturally responsive and sustaining instruction should attend to the historical and dynamic nature of culture, inherent variation within cultural communities, and issues of power and sovereignty that come with responsibly connecting to culture. BY PHILIP BELL, ALBERTO J. RODRIGUEZ, CARRIE TZOU & DEB MORRISON | FEBRUARY 2018

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should learn how to engage in culturally responsive and sustaining instruction—but avoid known pitfalls that come with this important work. District Staf & PD Providers should focus professional learning experiences on building the cultural competencies and knowledge of teachers. They should involve community members and support relationship building. School Leaders should institutionalize support for teachers to learn about and attend to the cultural lives of youth and communities being served.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/53


Things To Consider • Avoid Essentializing Cultural Groups. Do not assume entire cultural groups engage in certain behaviors—or share values and worldviews. Within every cultural group, there may be some cultural regularities (practices, values, and worldviews), but there will also be variation. Cultural groups also change over time. • We are All Cultural Beings. Do not send the message that the dominant culture has no culture (e.g., that it is “normal” and that only people of color “have culture”). Each of us belongs to multiple communities that share practices, purposes, ways of interacting, and approaches to conceptualizing and engaging with the world.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Build on Prior Interest & Identity. Learn how to use selfdocumentation techniques to identify and leverage local, dynamic views of cultural life in culturally responsive science instruction. • Move Beyond Token Cultural References. Do not make token references to the history of cultural groups. Do not include unrealistic scenarios about non-dominant communities in instruction. Instead, interweave the history, present, and future of cultural groups deeply throughout instruction. • Work Against the Savior Fetish. Narratives often position members of a dominant culture as saviors, rescuers, and fxers of nondominant communities. Instead focus on: How are nondominant communities already efecting change? How can nondominant perspectives and knowledge contribute to the betterment of society? • Do Not Position Students as Cultural Representatives, but Welcome their Voices. Do not ask students to shoulder the burden of representing what “their culture” is like. No individual speaks for their culture, race, or gender. Do support students to share aspects of their lived cultural experiences in ways they are comfortable. • Invite Genuine Cultural Contributions from Students. Building on the cultural funds of knowledge of youth and communities is a best practice. But if you do so, be prepared to truly engage and respect their varied contributions. • Minimize Epistemic Injury. Fully embrace relevant sensemaking routines students bring to instruction. Do not adversely position their contributions against a Western science way of knowing. • Support Students in Taking Meaningful Action. Scientifc knowledge can be used to guide and promote social progress, community interests, and civic action. Support student agency in eforts to critically and meaningfully engage in real-world issues.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Read below about culture. Identify communities you belong to related to the natural world. What do you know about the youth and communities you serve? How can you learn about their cultural history and goals? How can you work to “overlap” your curriculum with the lives of youth in respectful ways?

Defning “Culture” “By ‘culture,’ we mean the constellations of practices communities have historically developed and dynamically shaped in order to accomplish the purposes they value, including the tools they use, social networks with which they are connected, ways they organize joint activity, and their ways of conceptualizing and engaging with the world.” — Nasir, Rosebery, Warren & Lee, 2014

Attending to Equity • Review this video presentation by Alberto J. Rodriguez (Rodriquez, 2017). • Culturally Responsive vs. Sustaining Pedagogy: Instruction can be culturally responsive by connecting to the cultural lives of youth and their communities—their languages, literacies, and practices. It can also be a context for sustaining cultural communities—by valuing and working to maintain the languages, literacies, and practices of cultural communities. Culturally sustaining pedagogy promotes cultural pluralism within our democracy.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11 #15 PD

Indigenous Knowing & STEM Equity in Science Education Cultural Assessment

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/53


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#54

How to build an equitable learning community in your science classroom

What Is The Issue? Equitable classroom communities foster trusting and caring relationships. They make cultural norms explicit in order to reduce the risk of social injuries associated with learning together. Teachers are responsible for disrupting problematic practices and developing science classroom communities that welcome all students into safe, extended science learning opportunities. However, this is tricky work. This tool describes a range of classroom activities designed to cultivate communities that open up opportunities for all students to learn. BY DEB MORRISON & PHILIP BELL | MAY 2018

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers can use these activities to improve equitable opportunities for students. District Staf & PD Providers can use these activities and resources, with their embedded refection questions, in professional learning contexts and with their Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) to model equitable classroom practices. School Leaders can encourage the use of these strategies by educators as well as look for this type of activity during classroom walkthroughs.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/54


Things to Consider • Science learning is a cultural practice—based on community norms, beliefs, and values. All students and teachers come into science learning settings with cultural diferences from their prior experiences. Individuals who have existing cultural practices closest to those refected in the learning space are more likely to feel confdent and ready to learn than individuals whose practices are more diferent from classroom norms. • Community building prepares all students for the deep sensemaking discourse experiences required by the vision of new science standards. In this approach, classrooms collectively explore and make sense of phenomena—which requires that all students feel comfortable contributing and that diferences in how they contribute are respected.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Community Formation Activities: • Get to know your students’ diverse experiences with schooling and science through intentional classroom activities. Start with The Story of a Name, The Shoe Game - Equity versus Equality, and Pictures of Our Lives. They help bridge school, community, and family cultural histories. • Bridge learning between school and students’ everyday lives through Science Journal Take Home Quests, Self-Documentation, or by having students interview community members about science topics. • Explore perceptions students have about science, scientists, and their own capability to develop science identities. The activity Scientists & Science Identities extends a common science classroom activity with pattern analysis, critical refection, and an examination of alternative perceptions of science involvement. Sustaining Equitable Communities: • Disrupt adverse stereotypes, storylines, and practices. These may be about disciplining behavior based on suspicion, resistance, or criminalization. They may be about STEM- and/or intelligence-related views tied to race, ethnicity, gender, class, ability, immigration history, gender identity, sexual identity, or some other dimension of diference. • Engage in efective classroom talk to support student communication, build explicit norms for participation, and provide resources for science talk practices. Improving science talk creates opportunities for all students to engage in science learning (see talk formats, talk scafolds). • Engage in ongoing instructional feedback to expand your understanding of your learners through exit tickets, surveys, or focus groups that elicit information about students’ learning experiences.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What strategies can you use to determine if your classroom community is equitable? What equity project are you planning to engage in? Develop a plan to increase your professional learning in this area.

Attending to Equity • Science teachers may hesitate to spend time on community building—as they see it to be outside their role or taking up valuable instruction time. But the learning gains that come from establishing an equitable community more than compensate for the time spent doing so. • Engage in critical refection for teacher learning on issues of equity individually, with colleagues, and in your PLC. • Getting to know your students through community building helps you understand how to best support their learning. Some students may have resistance to schooling, to teachers as authority fgures, or to other students. These social interactions are a real part of the classroom, have social and historical roots, and impact students’ abilities to learn. Intentional community building can help identify these tensions in ways that provide teachers with information to inform equitable instruction for all. • Community building activities can teach how the enterprise of science works (e.g., by highlighting scientifc uncertainty).

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #15 #47 STT

Equity in Science Education Equitable Sensemaking Learner Discourse Playlist

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/54


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#55

Why it is crucial to make cultural diversity visible in STEM education What Is The Issue? To increase student engagement in STEM, we know that students need to see in themselves the potential to pursue STEM interests and careers. One typical approach is to expose students to relevant images of STEM professionals who represent the cultural diversity of our global community throughout instruction. However, to enhance student engagement and make cultural diversity truly visible in STEM, educators must go deeper. For STEM education to support all students in becoming STEM literate, instruction needs to broadly recognize who has done science, for what range of purposes, and how diversity enriches science. BY ALBERTO J. RODRIGUEZ & PHILIP BELL | OCTOBER 2018

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should carefully weave subject matter with activities and images within relevant contexts that validate contributions of individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds. District Staf & PD Providers should model making human diversity visible throughout science instruction and connect teachers with relevant resources and communities. School Leaders should support science educators in acquiring, adapting, and developing culturally diverse instructional materials and support culturally-based instruction.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/55


Things To Consider • Scientifc ways of knowing have been pervasive across diverse cultures throughout human history. Individuals, teams, and communities from all nations and cultures have contributed to science and to advances in engineering. All cultural communities have—and do—engage in science and technology endeavors that relate to their interests, goals, and values. Instruction should represent this diversity of STEM eforts and purposes. • The WEIRD problem of science education. Science education in the U.S. has often centered on Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic (WEIRD) societies—and predominantly on the work of white men recognized as scientists in society. This narrow view of science has made broad claims about science, and it often dominates the pages of leading journals. It incorrectly and adversely narrows the image of who does science, why they do it, and how it is done. • Scientists’ backgrounds, values, theoretical commitments, and felds of endeavor infuence the nature of their fndings. This can be seen as making the scientifc enterprise more objective (see strong objectivity). Thus, it is imperative to guide students in recognizing that science is a human enterprise by default—inexorably linked to individuals who have the power to defne what counts as science and what knowledge is worth pursuing. This critical understanding of the enterprise of science can help students recognize the importance of being scientifcally literate and active citizens.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Instruction should acknowledge the specifc contributions of members from diverse cultures to scientifc and technological enterprises related to the topic, practices, and knowledge involved. It is important for these accounts to be substantial, accurate, and respectful to the originating work and community (see examples). • Diverse images of STEM endeavors should be described in historical, contemporary, and future-focused terms. Do not inaccurately portray the diversity of STEM endeavors of cultural communities as strictly historical ones—as this may inadvertently render diverse communities’ contributions to STEM as something of the past. Highlight how past and present contributions of peoples from diverse communities infuence STEM knowledge production today. • STEM has a broad range of purposes. Highlight a range of purposes for understanding science and engineering, including: community endeavors and justice projects, forms of civic engagement, personal pursuits of learners or families, and 21st century global challenges and decision-making—and not just STEM career possibilities.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Whose interests are being served by the images of STEM endeavors found in instruction? How can instruction be crafted to make it more inclusive to diversities of learners and to help students from the dominant culture understand the historical and contemporary diversity of STEM efforts?

Attending to Equity • One way that White Supremacy, patriarchy, and late stage capitalism is reinforced in education is by focusing STEM storylines and instructional examples on socially dominant and resource consumption-obsessed eforts. • The narrative of instructional materials must match and augment the images used to make cultural diversity visible in STEM. That is, it is important to move away from superfcial representations of diversity to more culturally and socially relevant activities that promote students’ engagement, agency, and social responsibility. • Students need to be able to “see themselves” in the scientifc endeavor in order for them to feel comfortable engaging in it meaningfully. It is also crucial to make the plurality of sciencerelated sense-making visible to all students—as diversity of perspective and approach strengthens the work of teams and scientifc knowledge. • Learn about potential pitfalls of cultural approaches to science instruction.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #53 #7 #10

Pitfalls of Cultural Instruction Expanding Engineering Indigenous Rights & STEM Ed

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/55


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#56

Engaging Students in Computational Thinking During Science Investigations

What Is The Issue? Inquiry in science has become increasingly computational over the past several decades. The broad availability of computational devices, sensor networks, visualizations, networking infrastructure, and programming have revolutionized the way science and engineering investigations are carried out. Computational thinking practices enable unique modes of scientifc inquiry that allow scientists to create models and simulations to generate data, and to understand and predict complex phenomena. K-12 science classrooms are natural contexts in which students can engage in computational thinking practices during their investigations. BY VERONICA CASSONE MCGOWAN, ELAINE KLEIN & DEB MORRISON | FEBRUARY 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should build on students’ existing computational practices using games, simulations, and everyday technologies in instruction. District Staf & PD Providers should include scientists and engineers in PD eforts who can connect teachers with contemporary computational practices, usable data sets for students to analyze, and computational tools for the classroom. School Leaders should invest in infrastructure, professional learning, and equipment to support classroom computational inquiry.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/56


Things To Consider • Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking: This practice in the Framework actually encompasses a diverse set of practices, which vary depending on topic and discipline. As a science and engineering practice, computational thinking is “a way of thinking, of working, and of approaching problems using computers as problem solving tools” (SRI, 2015). In this sense, computational thinking can be used in the classroom to expand students’ experiences and learning by broadening the scope and type of investigations that students can undertake, with the support of computational tools.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How does your curriculum lend itself to the addition of computational practices such as use of interactive simulations and data visualization models?

• The practices interconnect in meaningful ways. Although computational thinking is listed as a discrete practice, incorporating a computational approach to students’ science learning engages them in a suite of related science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts. These practices include developing and using models, analyzing and interpreting data, and designing solutions, which through investigations can surface behavior and patterns of both natural and human-made systems and systems models.

What types of computational expertise and experiences do your students bring to the classroom? How can you deepen their computational practices to move beyond information seeking and research to data generation, analysis, modeling and visualization?

• Computational applications in science. Computational approaches to science inquiry enable students to investigate large-scale complex phenomena such as climate change, public health, and evolution. Using computational tools—including simulations, agent-based models, and large data sets coupled with appropriate data analysis strategies—can help students visualize the emergent properties of systems. In addition, games and simulations can engage students in contemporary issues around scientifc phenomena (see example).

What resources, such as school technology support teams, online tutorials, and local scientifc experts, can you leverage for computational practices support in your classroom?

• Computational thinking encompasses a broad set of practices that students can engage with in computational and non-computational ways. In particular, abstraction and decomposition are central computational thinking practices as well as everyday habits of mind that can be practiced across settings as students build, test, and revise models and simulations. Coding is a practice scientists often use to create models and automate processes in their investigations.

Attending to Equity Students often bring expertise from everyday computational experiences, such as video gaming, coding, building and using apps, working with spreadsheets, or using computers for creating illustrations, videos, stories, and models. These everyday experiences can be leveraged in the classroom by positioning students as experts on computational tools and practices they are familiar with. Additionally, when students undertake computational thinking practices in school, it helps to bridge the opportunity gap for students who do not have easy access to technology outside of school.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Explore these instructional modules and PD resources to integrate simulation and modeling into middle school science. • Explore these materials to understand computational thinking across grades. • Engage students in activities to foster their understanding of computational thinking without a computer. • Connect your approach to concepts and practices in computer science. • Explore these open source resources for promoting equity in computer science.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #3 #12

Contemporary Science Cascade of Practices Teaching Climate Science

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/56


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#57

How place-based science education strategies can support equity for students, teachers, and communities What Is The Issue? Meaningful interactions with elders, scientists, and community partners focused on studying locally relevant phenomena and identifying authentic design problems can engage students in learning in a way that teaching abstract concepts or broader global issues may not. It can also foster local agency, responsibility, accountability, and relationships through the development of a shared sense of place. Place-based science education is fundamentally transdisciplinary and cross-cultural, fostering scientifc communication practices needed to address existing and emerging problems while truly involving stakeholders from diverse backgrounds. BY SARAH COLEMAN, PAULINE CHINN, DEB MORRISON & LAUREN KAUPP | MARCH 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should connect science learning experiences in and out of the classroom to students’ sense of place, cultural perspectives, and community assets and issues. District Staf & PD Providers should empower teachers with resources, examples, strategies and opportunities to foster a sense of place and build a community of educators and students. School Leaders should support pathways to connect schools to communities, including specifc strategies for science learning to take place outside of the classroom.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/57


Things To Consider • Center multiple relations to place. Phenomena and problems should be selected to connect to local places and to the multiple ways in which people relate to that place. These connections are infuenced by the diversity of communities interacting with each other over time to develop a sense of place and to share ways of knowing about the nature of the place as it changes (e.g., urban). • Relate places to cultural lifeworlds. Place-based education can be part of a comprehensive culturally responsive pedagogy to reach all students. This requires rethinking the way schools use resources, going beyond textbook teaching, and fostering connections and relationships with students and community in relation to place. • Engage in participatory curriculum development. When developing phenomenon-centered curriculum, community participants need to be authentically involved to bring local knowledge and practices into science learning. Teachers need to work in collaboration with each other and community partners in participatory ways to integrate local learning contexts and resources into classroom-based learning. Invite stakeholders into collaborative curriculum development in ways that reshape power dynamics related to gender, language, culture, and place to open space for marginalized communities and center a focus on justice. Making community connections take time and supportive structures as they involve trust-based relationships and new ways of sharing power during design. • Get learners networked to relevant eforts. Youth conferences and Science and Engineering forums, and community-based service learning can serve to connect students with each other and community partners to develop their sense of place, to share their learnings, to identify community needs, and to develop community science literacy (Also see STT#39 and STT#45). • Relate Indigenous and Western science knowledges. Cultural practitioners and honored community leaders, such as Kūpuna (elders) in Hawai‘i, can help to connect local and Indigenous knowledge to standards-based science teaching and learning. Culturally sustaining relationships between communities and scientists can provide contexts for place-based learning for students.

Attending to Equity • Acknowledge that science has historically been taught through a Western lens and honor cultural ways of knowing & communicating. • Attend to connections of language, place, and history in learning and cultural bridging. Indigenous languages often record environmental knowledge in organism and place names, sayings, and stories.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Where do you see opportunities to strengthen connections to local land & community? What ways of knowing are culturally and/ or scientifcally relevant? How will you recognize success in your place-based efforts? What are local examples of language refecting historical power dynamics / inequities?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Before starting with students, build your knowledge or place-based STEM learning: conduct community asset mapping to identify community resources, scientists involved in the place, and speak to elders. • Recognize that long-term community engagement develops through participatory research around shared, use-oriented STEM research projects (see Kūlana Noi‘i the research standards). • Engage students in collaborative outdoor learning, including stewardship and citizen science, by working with local scientists and cultural practitioners. • Honor the written and orally recorded knowledge of the local place by involving students in culturally appropriate interviews, collaborative design thinking, self-documentation, and the study of historical records. • Use locally meaningful student-generated questions and phenomena and engage students in engineering design projects with community partners.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11 #20 C

Indigenous STEM Ed Outdoor Science Ed Culture-based Pedagogy

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/57


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#58

How can science instruction leverage and develop student interests? Short answer: In so many different ways! What Is The Issue? All students have the right to learn about science and engineering in ways that are consequential and compelling to them. Science instruction should help students understand “why does this matter to me?” This is because science learning is centrally shaped by the interests and concerns of learners and their communities— therefore relating science concepts and practices to the realities of students’ lives, generationally and culturally, is crucial. There are many diferent ways that learner interests can be meaningfully taken into account during instruction— by creating experiences, by adapting curriculum, or by resourcing and positioning students. BY PHILIP BELL, ANASTASIA SANCHEZ & MARCIA R. VENTURA | MARCH 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should integrate a focus on developing and leveraging student interests routinely in their instruction. It helps teachers build intellectual relationships with their students. District Staf & PD Providers should support teachers in enacting interestdriven science instruction, including making time in curriculum pacing guides and providing resources to local community and online afnity groups. School Leaders should support interest-driven science instruction by resourcing professional learning and collaboration around such eforts.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/58


Things To Consider • Building on prior interest & identity is as important as building on prior knowledge. People powerfully learn what we relate to or are curious about and also based on who we are or who want to become. • Learner interests are multifaceted. Interests can relate to curiosities and wonderments, cares and concerns, passions and expertise, responsibilities and desires. Interests can develop into identities.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Investigations can center the interests, curiosities, concerns, and goals of learners and communities in a range of specifc ways: • Establishing New Interests. Are you trying to help students develop a new interest in a science-related topic, phenomena, idea, or practice? If so, highlight relevant aspects of science and engage them in related details. Give students an easy way to keep learning what they became interested in by using an end-of-unit survey. • Supporting Culturally Responsive Instruction. Are you trying to connect instruction to student’s interests, hobbies, experiences, or expertise? Or to the practices and goals of their community? If so, use self-documentation or community mapping to draw out learning assets that can be related to instruction. You can identify phenomena students want to investigate through a survey—or you can identify students who have relevant expertise to serve as “co-teachers.” • Connecting to Global / Local Topics and Projects. Are you trying to help students understand how scientifc knowledge relates to global issues and related local phenomena? Anchor units with a Social Focus Phenomena where they use science to develop ideas, solutions, and opinions on real world events—connecting science and society. • Relating Science to a Community Project or Source of Knowledge. Are you trying to help students see how scientifc knowledge can inform a community endeavor or justice project? How it can leverage community knowledge? If so, use self-documentation to identify authentic community connections and focus an “action project” on researching and engaging with the community about the topic.

5D Storylining Strategy: Center Interests & Identities using “Why It Matters”

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How much do you know about the backgrounds and interests of your students? What about those of their communities? How can you use formative assessments to surface the interests and life experiences of your students? Think incrementally about shifting your teaching towards interest-driven science instruction. Which units are a strong starting place?

Attending to Equity • Justice-focused Science Phenomena. Selecting a phenomena or social focus question related to social or multi-species justice is one way to help students fnd a unit to be compelling and relevant. • Leverage Community Funds of Knowledge in STEM. Have students survey and explore local expertise. Be sure to enact a broadened view of what counts as & who holds relevant expertise. • Interests Can be Social Responsibilities. Some youth uphold responsibilities to their community. Interest-driven instruction can open a space for them to act on those responsibilities. • Resource Ongoing, Supportive Interest Pathways for Youth from Nondominant Communities. Students may be interested in a topic or feld where they encounter marginalization or hostility. Provide ongoing support and network them with others who can support them.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #31 #39 C

Self-doc of Interests Everyday Engineering Culture-based Pedagogy

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/58


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#59

Creating science learning experiences that support learners receiving special education services What Is The Issue? The Framework presents three-dimensional science learning as a vision of equitable science education for all learners. In order to achieve this justice-oriented goal, instruction must be designed in ways that enable multiple opportunities and avenues for engaging in deep and meaningful sense-making about the natural and designed worlds, rather than creating cognitive, physical, behavioral, neurological, developmental, and emotional barriers. Equitable science learning environments must include activities that foreground multiple ways of knowing, doing, and expressing understanding.

BY GINA TESORIERO, ENRIQUE (HENRY) SUÁREZ, AND MICHAEL HEINZ | MARCH 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Educators should design science learning tasks and instruction that value learners’ sense-making repertoires, especially those of learners who receive special education services. District Staf should create spaces for special ed and science teachers to leverage each other’s expertise and collaboratively design equitable science learning environments. School Leaders & PD Providers should create learning opportunities for science & special ed teachers to explore ways to support diverse learners that go beyond behavior management.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/59


Things To Consider • Adopt a Social Model for Disability. In this view, disabilities do not inherently reside in the individual. Rather, obstacles learners face are created by the tasks, pedagogies & cultural views within the learning environment—often in systematically haphazard & deleterious ways. • Engage in Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL was created by CAST to support educators in creating learning environments that are accessible to all learners. UDL is less about diferentiation, or retroftting supports to make existing curriculum accessible, and more about designing learning environments and instructional strategies in ways that do not create barriers. While designing in this way will make the learning environment more accessible to all learners, it is important to center this work on students that have been identifed to beneft from special education services. • Leverage the strengths of learners. While there are some common barriers that are inherent to K-12 science education, knowledge of the individual characteristics of learners you serve should enable you to design environments that leverage their individual strengths. If you are a K-12 educator, you should start by consulting learners’ Individualized Education Programs (IEP) or Section 504 plan. These legal documents identify can help support this work.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Build on prior interest and identities. When planning for science learning activities it is essential incorporate student interest and identity into 3D science learning to encourage engagement. • Use multiple representations. Before the start of a new science learning activity or unit, brainstorm diferent ways that you can represent information to make science learning goals comprehensible to learners with a wide range of learning needs. • Engage in Expansive Assessment. As you design opportunities for formative and summative assessment, consider the diferent ways students can express their understanding to support ways that learners approach and navigate learning environments. Create 3D assessment opportunities that are attentive and responsive of the diverse ways that students make sense of the world. • Design science learning activities that refect accurate narratives and representations of the diversity of STEM professionals, including those that may identify with having a disability or a learning need. • Consult the publications Working Together and The Winning Equation to understand how lab equipment can present accessibility challenges for students to participate fully in an investigation.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How does thinking about disability from a social model rather than a medical model shift how you design learning activities and assessments? How can you design learning environments to leverage individual strengths? Who are resources within your communities and networks, such as students and the signifcant adults in their lives (e.g., parents, guardians), to better serve the needs of all learners?

Attending to Equity • 3D science learning activities must be intentionally designed in ways that eliminate barriers to learning and that support all students, as opposed to creating add-ons that make materials accessible. • Educators should identify and leverage cultural and communicative sensemaking repertoires students of all abilities bring to learning environments. • Although students learn through a variety of means, stable “learning styles” have not been supported by research. • Educators and curriculum designers may be unaware of how language and expressions may accidentally refect prejudiced positions against people with unique learning needs. For more information please visit: Terms to Avoid When Writing About Disability and Disability Language Style Guide.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: Playlist Learner-centered Discourse #39 Everyday Engineering #54 Equitable Learning Culture Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/59


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#60

Designing ‘productive uncertainty’ into investigations to support meaningful engagement in science practices What Is The Issue? We want students to engage from the earliest ages in science and engineering practices with sincere curiosity and purpose. Science investigations can be viewed as “working through uncertainty.” However, 3D instructional materials often try to support engagement in science practices by making them very explicit and scafolding the process to make it easy to accomplish—arguably, too easy. An alternative approach that emphasizes productive uncertainty focuses on how uncertainty might be strategically built into learning environments so that students establish a need for the practices and experience them as meaningful ways of developing understandings. BY EVE MANZ, SARAH ARNOLD, COLLEEN BAZINET, BETSY BECKERT, DIANA GARITY, GRISELDA GEORGE, PAT O’BRIEN, LAUREN REILLY | MAY 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should routinely incorporate productive uncertainties in instruction so students can experience the surprise, puzzlement, and disagreement that drives science investigations. District Staf & PD Providers should engage teachers in complex scientifc activity with productive uncertainties and support adapting instructional materials to include those elements. School Leaders should expect to see students trying to work through uncertainties in how to carry out investigations, rather than strictly following procedures or rules.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/60


Things To Consider • Scientists routinely work through waves of uncertainty to develop knowledge throughout an investigation. Studies of how scientists conduct investigations show that they grapple with uncertainty: not only about how to develop an explanation but also how to represent the world in the form of an investigation. Scientists question what to pay attention to, how to measure what they care about, and how to make sense of an investigation that is not performing as it “should.” Uncertainty in scientifc activity motivates scientists’ engagement in practices. Scientists argue because their peers disagree. They explain because results are confusing or surprising. They engage in collaborative problem solving in order to pull of investigations. • Instruction is often designed as a sequence of steps for students to follow in an investigation, which has problematic consequences. Practices are often implemented as a sequence of scafolded activities: controlling variables, applying measurement tools, graphing data, then supporting a claim with evidence. The purpose is to move students toward seeing what they are supposed to see to support a desired content understanding, e.g., that plants need light to grow. Natural student diferences in sense-making and activity— diferent ways of measuring or interpreting results—are then viewed as mistakes to be corrected, rather than as productive resources. • Practices become meaningful when they are used to address and manage uncertainties. When uncertainties in how to design an experiment, what to use as evidence, and how to interpret results are seen as productive, they can be used to support and deepen meaningful engagement in practices. As students realize they have come to diferent conclusions, they want to engage in argumentation and explanation. Students can develop shared standards for what counts as a good investigation, argument, measure, or question through this process. Children can be supported to engage with scientifc uncertainty from the earliest years of schooling.

Attending to Equity • All students have the right to learn how the practices of science and engineering can serve their purposes and the interests of their community. We should disrupt 3D instruction that directly teaches or marches students through the practices without attention to how those practices can be seen by students as purposeful. • All students beneft from seeing that working through uncertainty in investigations is normal. Students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds often experience highly specifed investigations and remedial instruction. Engaging them with productive uncertainty allows them to develop identities as active and valued sense-makers.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Do students know why they are engaging in a specifc practice? Does your curriculum engage them in the practice without motivating why it is useful? Where do students get puzzled, disagree, or not see what they are “supposed to?” How can those investigation moments motivate engagement in science and engineering practices?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Familiarize yourself with the complexity of scientists’ eforts to represent phenomena in investigations. Explore the ideas in this discussion. As you see accounts of scientists’ investigations (e.g., this story), attend to the intellectual and physical efort that goes into fguring out how to collect evidence to test models and theories. • Find uncertainties in investigations that can set a purpose for the practices. As you prepare investigations, attend to places where students might feel puzzled, make diferent choices or come to diferent conclusions, and where making uncertainty visible would motivate the need to engage in sense-making. Read this vignette to see a detailed example. • Move beyond an “all or nothing” approach to uncertainty. Look for ways to strategically make specifc aspects of an investigation uncertain (e.g., ask students to discuss two choices for data analysis). See these examples for ideas.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #19 #32 #37 #47

Conducting Investigations Why Focus on the Practices Facets of Thinking Multiple Perspectives

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/60


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#61

Using science investigations to develop caring practices for social-ecological systems What Is The Issue? How can we be more present for other species at a time of ecological devastation? Developing deep commitments to the human and more-than-human inhabitants of ecosystems is crucial for cultivating students’ caring knowledge and practices within the escalating challenges of the climate crisis. More-thanhumans are typically represented in STEM curricula as objects of observation or utility rather than dynamic beings with rights to act and be recognized. All learners should build interdependent, caring relationships with more-than-humans focused on shared thriving to promote ecological identities, deep STEM learning about local places, and responsibilities. BY RACHEL HAN AND PHILIP BELL | JUNE 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Educators should create opportunities for learners to build relationships with various more-than-humans in local ecosystems and support inquiry processes that derive from learners’ concern and care for their relations. District Staf & PD Providers should help educators learn about local fora and fauna and engage through placebased education to support learners’ building of multispecies relationships. School Leaders should ensure that educators have sufcient time, space, and resources to engage learners in STEM feld investigations.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/61


Things To Consider • Scientifc and popular texts often talk about nature and culture as distinct, separate things (e.g., images of nature with people looking down on pristine natural settings). In contrast, scientifc studies have repeatedly shown that human and natural actors are tangled up with each other and are often in interaction, or in nature-culture relations. • Children must have sustained, positive experiences with nature starting from the earliest years. This builds their understanding of themselves as connected, embedded beings who are part of nature rather than apart from it. Meaningful early experiences with the natural world are a key catalyst for the development of ecological commitments, ethics, identities, and practices. • Young learners are naturally inclined toward curiosity, perspective-taking, and empathy for more-than-humans. This supports them in building multi-species relationships through scientifc inquiry, storywork, role play, dramatization, sensorimotor play, music, visual arts, dance, gestural modeling, caregiving, and taking action to protect, recuperate, or sustain a local ecosystem.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Create rich opportunities for scientifc inquiry for all students through outdoor investigations. Building multi-species relationships enables learners to identify more-than-human qualities, actions, and interactions that can serve as anchor phenomena for investigations. • Promote multispecies relationships through practices of observation, attentiveness, receptivity, inquiry, and generating caring responses to relational partners. For example, while exploring the efects of pollution on an ecosystem students can learn about ecosystem dynamics, explore multiple species’ perspectives, brainstorm responses, and take action. Students can learn how to engage in science practices in caring, ethical, and responsive ways. • Encourage learners to attend to the interconnectedness and mutual dependency of earth systems and human activities (see Core Idea ESS3). Support learners in understanding how their actions are embedded in webs of consequentiality, including how human actions signifcantly impact global systems and processes and how humans depend on care and sustenance from more-than-humans. • Design sustained, transdisciplinary inquiry-based learning opportunities around ecological caring relationships that are signifcant for learners and their communities. Build partnerships with local organizations and community members to incorporate the ways of knowing and multi-species relationships valued in learners’ families and communities. Examples: here, here, here, here, & here.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Refect on your relationships with human and more-thanhuman inhabitants of local ecosystems. How can you model for students how to build similar multispecies relationships? How are your students currently building sustained relationships with the more-than-human inhabitants of local ecosystems? How can you provide learning opportunities to students so that they learn about the interconnectedness and dynamics of ecosystems and how to engineer thriving multispecies communities?

Attending to Equity • Center multispecies justice—along with social justice—in science investigations. Ecosystem models often privilege human perspectives and interests. Disrupt human exceptionalism by attending to the concerns of a range of diferent species. • Attend to learners’ diverse sensemaking and relationship-building practices in more-than-human worlds and support navigation of diferent ways of knowing. • Provide multiple approaches to building multispecies relationships, including culturally diverse exemplars of multispecies relationships, diferent sensory and embodied experiences, and various discourse patterns and activity structures. These human-nature engagements support wholeness, wellness, and community goals for youths’ learning.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11 #12 #20 #57

Indigenous STEM Ed Teaching Climate Science Field STEM Investigations Place-based Science Ed

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/61


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#62

What does subject matter integration look like in elementary instruction? Including science is key! What Is The Issue? We do not live in disciplinary silos so why do we ask children to learn in that manner? All science learning is a cultural accomplishment and can provide the relevance or phenomena that connects to student interests and identities. This often intersects with multiple content areas. Young children are naturally curious and come to school ready to learn science. Leading with science leverages students’ natural curiosity and builds strong knowledge-bases in other content areas. Science has taken a backseat to ELA and mathematics for more than twenty years. Integration among the content areas assures that science is given priority in the elementary educational experience.

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Educators at all levels should be aware of educational standards across subjects and be able to make meaningful connections across the content disciplines in their teaching. District Staf & PD Providers should consider how to provide professional development that allows teachers to experience exemplars and facilitate the design of integrated lessons. School Leaders should support teachers in integrated teaching by authorizing relevant professional learning experiences and setting expectations for integrated lessons.

BY LYDIA HILL, ANTHONY BAKER, MEGAN SCHRAUBEN, ANNE PETERSEN, AMBER MCCULLOCH, KATHY RENFREW, MARSHA WINEGARNER, CARLA ZEMBAL-SAUL, MEGAN CANNON | OCTOBER 2019

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/62


Things To Consider • Integration of science concepts with other disciplines must be meaningful to students and connect in an explicit way to other content areas. There is a strong argument to be made that science and social studies need to be included in the curriculum in order for literacy skills to develop and improve. • The world is interdisciplinary while school is often disciplinary. Learning takes place both inside and outside of school. Outside-ofschool investigations and projects are driven by people’s curiosity and play and often cut across disciplinary subjects. However, learning in school in often fragmented into diferent subject matter silos. • Keep subjects other than ELA and math in mind when considering integration. Social studies and the arts provide rich opportunities for the integration of science with other content areas. • Crosscutting concepts support students in making sense of phenomena across science disciplines and can be used to prompt student thinking. Crosscutting concepts can serve as a vehicle for teachers to see connections to the rest of their curriculum, particularly with English / Language Arts (ELA) and math.

REFLECTION QUESTION Refect on an authentic project you know well. What were the range of disciplinary knowledges and practices involved with accomplishing it? What examples of integrated disciplinary learning experiences are already present in your context that can be leveraged? How can you arrange professional learning to support teachers in planning for and using integrated lessons?

Recommended Actions You Can Take

Attending to Equity

• Engage students in scientifc practices (such as developing models) as opposed to using science topics and themes to organize subject matter integration. Avoid science-focused literacy instruction as it tends to be reading, writing, speaking, and listening about science rather than engaging in science sense-making through the practices.

• According to the 2018 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (NSSME+), a typical elementary school class spends about 20 minutes a day on science instruction, compared to 60 minutes on mathematics and almost 90 minutes on language arts. Integration can ensure that all students have opportunities to learn science, as they are likely to experience regular learning in math or language arts.

• Support braided strands of disciplinary sensemaking. Students should have an opportunity to see how multiple content areas can be interwoven. Make explicit connections between each discipline addressed in lessons and activities to highlight how content can be integrated—for example, how to think mathematically in science or how to use literacy skills and strategies when learning in science. • Build a work culture in which educators are able to collaborate in productive ways. Leverage the disciplinary expertise of others. • Use multi-subject integrated assessments—both formative and summative—that allow students to show coordinated understanding of science and other disciplinary content. • Don’t let pacing guides be an obstacle to content integration. Instead, use them as a starting point for integrating concepts across disciplines. Strict adherence to pacing guides can be at odds with the concept of integration across content areas, as they often defne content to be taught, for how long, and when.

• Integration ofers many entry points into the learning experience and honors the cultural background/knowledge of all students and the communities they are growing up in. • Cultural ways of knowing should be included in the learning experience. Culturally responsive instruction can help students engage in integrated learning that meaningfully connects to their interests and those of their community.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #29 #43

Contemporary Science Designing 3D Assessments Elementary Science

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#63

How to integrate the argumentation from evidence practice into engineering design projects What Is The Issue? As teachers focus instruction on the science and engineering practices (SEPs), students need support to use argumentation in the context of engineering design investigations. Argumentation is sometimes exclusively considered a scientific practice, rather than also being fundamental to the engineering design process. Engineers use argumentation to weigh the merits of possible designs and to evaluate their success. Students should learn how to support engineering claims with specific evidence throughout the design process. BY KIMBERLY WEAVER & GINA TESORIERO | DECEMBER 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should support students as they learn to make engineering claims that include evidence and reasoning throughout the design process. District Staff & PD Providers should support teachers as they develop engineering design challenges that allow for a variety of rich evidence and reasoning related to science content. School Leaders should support teacher collaborations to intentionally incorporate robust, argument -driven engineering design projects into instruction.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/63


Things To Consider • Argumentation is key to engineering design. The NRC Framework makes clear that all 8 SEPs are the work of both scientists and engineers. During engineering problem-solving, reasoning and argumentation are critical practices for developing the best possible solution. As engineers engage in design, they collaborate with their peers to understand the problem and to design the most promising solution through thoughtful analysis of multiple iterations.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How might arguing from evidence elevate trial-and-error or tinkering into more genuine engineering design?

• Science and engineering are interconnected, not separate domains of work. Through engagement in scientific testing and explanation of phenomena, students make claims and gather evidence. This process is complementary to, and synergistic with, engineering design.

How can you plan science exploration and engineering design challenges so they inform each other?

• As with science, specific data gathered through observation and experimentation can be used to support claims throughout the engineering process. However, there are many kinds of engineeringspecific evidence that can support claims. For example:

Are students critically evaluating the ideas of others to compare alternatives in the design process, or are they selecting ideas based on peer status?

+ The problem context can support claims about the appropriateness of solutions, the desirability of solutions or features, and the creation of criteria and constraints. + Science phenomena and explanations support claims about design features, material selection, and appropriateness of criteria and testing conditions. Science ideas can also be used as evidence to explain testing results or propose improvements. + Criteria and constraints are some of the most important evidence students can use to support claims. All prototypes and testing results can be compared to criteria and constraints to support claims about appropriateness of the solution. + Engineering documentation (sketches, measurements, materials inventory, budget, photo- or video-documentation, etc.) and feedback students receive can be used to support claims about fidelity to the original design plan, evolution and improvement over time, compliance with constraints, and more.

Attending to Equity Consider providing the following accommodations: • Model argumentation at different stages of the process, while providing sentence stems and suggestions for the types of evidence available to support all learners as they formulate and refine their claims. • Ensure there are protocols in place that offer all students an opportunity to voice their thoughts during group work.

• Choose engineering challenges that require students’ scientific understanding to support criteria, design choices, and arguments.

• Allow students to express their understanding in a variety of ways (e.g., taking photographs of prototypes or tests to support claims or allowing students to verbally express their claims in the language or register that is most expressive for them).

• As you plan, consider what scientific ideas, observations, and testing results students can gather in earlier lessons or units to use as evidence to support claims in later engineering design challenges.

• Create heterogeneous groups, which can highlight the benefits of having diverse perspectives on a team.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Use the Argumentation in Engineering chart to plan instruction throughout the design process. It includes sentence starters, highlights types of evidence, and provides example arguments.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #39 Everyday Engineering #64 Engineering Problem Defn Playlist Promoting Science Talk Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/64


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#64

Students should generate criteria and constraints for engineering design problems—not just be provided with them What Is The Issue? A Framework for K-12 Science Education suggests that students at all grade levels should be identifying engineering design problems and developing criteria and constraints. However, in practice, students often receive pre-written criteria and constraints, or begin design challenges without specified criteria or constraints. This tool provides guidance for teachers as they support students to move from a broadly stated design challenge to identifying robust criteria and constraints and developing a detailed understanding of the design problem they are solving.

BY KIMBERLY WEAVER, GINA TESORIERO & PHILIP BELL | DECEMBER 2019

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should open up the process of defining engineering problems, criteria, and constraints to students. This is a crucial aspect of design thinking. District Staff & PD Providers should seek out and/or create engineering design challenges that allow students to explore and identify the criteria and constraints themselves. School Leaders should provide time for teachers to plan interdisciplinary projects that ask students to authentically engage in engineering design challenges.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/64


Things To Consider When students define criteria and constraints, they must be engaged in clearly understanding problems, stakeholders, and desired outcomes. Robust criteria and constraints ensure students can: (a) evaluate solutions based on what worked, including what was socially, ethically, and technically acceptable, (b) identify which solutions still need improvements, and (c) reveal specific ways to improve those solutions.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Before starting a design challenge, anticipate student questions and responses about the problem, stakeholders, criteria, and constraints. The steps below provide guidance to support students as they actively define engineering problems and identify criteria and constraints. Although the process presented below is teacher-led, eventually students could lead the process in small groups or on their own. 1. Provide students with a broadly stated design challenge. When selecting design challenges, strongly consider topics that students have some background knowledge or experience with. Here are a couple of examples: (a) engineering hats and (b) designing habitats. 2. Guide students as they think deeply about the design challenge using prompts like: (a) Why is this a situation people want to change or a problem people want to solve? (b) Who wants to change this situation or solve this problem? What do we know about them and their needs and desires? (c) Who will be impacted by how the situation or problem is resolved? How will they be impacted? (d) Is there more than one problem that comes out of this situation? If so, are some problems more important than others? (e) Whose interests are being served in the design work and how the challenge is framed? 3. Guide students as they consider the criteria for success, using prompts like: (a) How will we know if we have solved the problem? (b) Should we try to solve all parts of the problem? Is there a minimum standard to claim success? (c) What will we be able to test or measure? How will we test and measure it? (d) Do different people/groups/clients have different criteria for success? Are some voices more central than others? (e) Are some criteria needs while others are just wants? (f) What trade-offs might be necessary to meet competing criteria and stay within the constraints? 4. Guide students as they consider the limitations or constraints. Teachers will initally need to supply details about constraints, but students should be supported to identify them, and eventually, determine reasonable constraints, such as: (a) time frame, (b) material (type, quantity), (c) budget, (d) sustainability, (e) safety / risk mitigation, and (f) ethical commitments and moral priorities.

REFLECTION QUESTION What broadly-stated engineering design challenges relate to the science concepts & phenomena I am teaching? What is the least amount of guidance and info I can give students where they still achieve success in the design challenge? How can I anticipate students’ questions and ideas about problems, criteria, and constraints while remaining open to unexpected ideas?

• When using an engineering challenge, like those available at teachengineering.org, consider removing the provided criteria and constraints. • As you present the design challenge, consider displaying available materials and tools for both building and testing the designs, as these may help spur student ideas and questions.

Attending to Equity • Engineering design is never agnostic to context and the scales of justice. Support students to analyze moral dimensions of their design work and identify knowledge beyond science that is needed. • Students bring unique perspectives on problems and solutions based on their lived experiences and cultures. Allow students a central role in identifying problems, criteria, and constraints to help ensure that their perspectives are included in the engineering task.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #2 #39 #63

Contemporary Science Everyday Engineering Engineering Argumentation

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#65

Using 3D interim assessments to support coherence, equity, and a shared understanding of learning What Is The Issue? A Framework for K–12 Science Education, NGSS writers, and assessment experts have put forth a vision focused on developing a “bottom up” system of assessments starting at the classroom level— when integrated into instructional units. This helps teachers make ongoing instructional adjustments, and it would promote vertically coherent assessments at school-, district-, and state-levels. Interim assessments—that fall between formative and summative—can be a valuable part of a more balanced and comprehensive 3D assessment system.

BY TODD CAMPBELL, JONATHAN HALL, PETER MCLAREN, JEFF GREIG, SEAN ELKINS, JOHN DUFFY, HOLLY HOLLANDER | JANUARY 2020

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers, collaborating with colleagues, should use interim assessments to analyze the extent to which their instruction is supporting student learning. PD Providers should provide learning experiences for teachers focused on using a system of assessment that includes the use of interim assessments. School & District Leaders, in collaboration with teachers, should use interim assessments to improve instructional or curriculum choices based on data analyzed across classes, classrooms, and schools.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/65


Things To Consider • Interim assessments are shared classroom assessments administered by groups of teachers in departments, schools, districts, or states. They can be used to collect evidence of students’ facility with science and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas when explaining phenomena or solving problems. Like formative assessments, they provide information to individual teachers. However, unlike formative assessments, they can be meaningfully aggregated to provide information at broader levels. • For teachers... interim assessments can: (1) generate meaningful student work that provides insight into whole- and small-group performance, as well as variability among individual students’ performance, (2) provide a measure to evaluate transfer from the learned context to a novel one, and (3) be presented in novel ways to provide a more contextual measure of the performance of students. • For teachers and education leaders... interim assessments can: (1) inform decisions about equity and access as similarities and differences in learning are identified across classrooms, schools, and districts, (2) provide an anchor for professional learning focused on student work/ artifacts, (3) help students orient to 3D assessments as a bridge to help them connect their daily learning with summative assessments, and (4) serve as an additional ‘link’ between formative and summative assessments to help promote vertical coherence. • Interim assessments can be shared across districts to stretch scarce resources. Interim assessment results can be integrated with those from state assessments to provide richer profiles of student learning.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Know what you want to measure before you begin. Teams of teachers and local leaders should select assessment tasks based on the usefulness of the information they provide—not the topic or phenomenon featured. • Decide on the scale at which you’d like to aggregate the results from interim assessments (e.g., across classes, schools, districts). • Start by implementing existing interim assessment tasks from highquality sources, as opposed to creating new ones. Here are good starting points that can be adapted into interim assessments: (a) Kentucky Through Course Tasks, (b) Next Generation Science Assessment, (c) SNAP Assessments, (d) Wisconsin Performance Tasks. • Deliberate on the outcomes that emerge from interim assessments and decide what they tell the team about student learning. Discuss and take action to improve learning based on these outcomes/artifacts.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What shared model of learning guides curriculum, instruction, and interim assessments? Who will be involved in interim assessment teams? What is the purpose of your team’s work with interim assessments (e.g., supporting classroom instruction, providing insight into curriculum and learning across systems)?

Attending to Equity • Embedded assessment is instrumental to learning. Orchestrated assessments (e.g., tests, interim assessments) can detract from meaningful learning and should not be over-done. • Assessments should value multiple modes of engagement and expression by giving students opportunities to engage in open-ended and extended tasks. This authentic approach is better aligned with how scientists work and can lower the anxiety associated with high-stakes assessments. Also, using fewer languageembedded items may assist emergent multilingual learners. • Assessments should focus on relevant phenomena or problems to elicit explanations or solutions that are relatable to the intended audience and draw on student and community interests and expertise.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: PD C Compelling Science PD D 3D Assessments PD G Intellectual Resources Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#66

Why you should stop pre-teaching science vocabulary and focus on students developing conceptual meaning frst What Is The Issue? Many science educators focus on pre-teaching technical science vocabulary at the start of the unit to help their students become comfortable with science discourse. This approach is especially common with students from historically marginalized communities, in particular emerging multilingual students. However, research shows it is much more productive to support learners to develop language (terms, phrases) to interpret and explain phenomena, rather than acquire it. Additionally, it is key for equity purposes that educators identify, value, and leverage students’ home languages. BY ENRIQUE SUÁREZ, PHILIP BELL, AMBER MCCULLOCH & MARY STARR | MARCH 2020

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should elicit, value, and leverage students’ ways of communicating when observing and making sense of phenomena, rather than front-loading scientific vocabulary. District Staff & PD Providers should help teachers see language as a cognitive tool that students develop over time as they engage in meaningful sensemaking. School Leaders should support the creation of truly multilingual learning environments, where students’ home and heritage languages are valued and used for learning.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/66


Things To Consider • Science is a broad endeavor that relies on complex strategies for communicating and describing how and why phenomena happen. This requires that scientists and engineers develop their own ways of communicating precisely within their communities, often relying on technical registers (i.e., a variety of language with specific vocabulary). • However, science learning environments that emphasize academic language and school-based, English-only ways of speaking can disenfranchise emergent multilingual students and/or students from non-dominant communities by not incorporating their ways of talking and sensemaking. Such an approach can lead a student to dis-identify from the scientific enterprise in an unnecessary way. • All learners come to classrooms with resources for communicating that are productive for learning and participating. Most learners can draw upon multiple ways of communicating (e.g., different languages, registers, gestures) as they navigate different learning situations. • Educators should build on these resources. Learning environments that invite a wider range of ways of talking create more opportunities for students to reason and communicate. They are more inclusive, rich, and productive. Limiting which communication resources are allowed in the classroom (e.g., languages, registers) can limit students’ participation and learning, especially those from non-dominant communities. • School accountability systems and policies often expect students to learn and use academic language. In these settings, educators should provide students with meaningful access to academic language and support them as they develop this fluency, and support their Critical Language Awareness. • Sometimes, learners can hide their lack of conceptual understanding behind technical vocabulary. Educators should help their students be explicit about what they understand (and what they do not) by describing their understanding in their own words without making students worry about repercussions.

Attending to Equity • Multilingual students’ learning and participation increase when they have access to a broader repertoire of ways to make sense of and talk about the natural phenomena they investigate and observe. It is their right to express themselves using all of their language resources. • Multilingual students are not just developing scientific fluency. They are also able to develop their fluency in the multiple languages they speak when they leverage them for meaningful activities, like learning science. This can help them identify with science and broaden participation.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What strategies could you use to encourage all students, including emerging multilingual students, to express themselves in multiple ways? Instructional materials are not always designed to support students to use multiple languages or forms of communicating. What additions or modifications could you make to your materials to make them more linguistically equitable (e.g., to rubrics)?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Rather than starting with a list of scientific vocabulary to be learned, create a “word catcher” with your students, with all the terms they have used when thinking and talking about the phenomena over the course of an investigation. Embed these words into several forms of communication. • Engage students in making sense of phenomena using home and heritage languages as well as English. Group students that share similar linguistic resources, or at least allow for home language communication to happen. • Address “language ideologies” that explicitly or implicitly signal that some languages are more valuable than others, especially when engaging in science and engineering.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #27 #33 #48

Supporting ELL Students ELL Students & Assessment Supporting Science Talk

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/66


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#67

A

Focusing Science and Engineering Learning on Justice-Centered Phenomena across PK-12 What Is The Issue? In the Framework vision for science education, students engage in active investigations to make sense of natural phenomena and analyze and build solutions to problems. Basing these investigations on justice-centered phenomena can be a powerful and rightful way to support science and engineering learning. Justice-centered investigations can open up important opportunities for students to engage in projects that support equity for communities and to see how the application of science and engineering are fundamentally entwined with political and ethical questions, dimensions, and decisions. BY DEB MORRISON, PHILIP BELL & ABBY RHINEHART | MAY 2020

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should help students engage in projects that address intersecting systems of oppression (e.g., racism, heteropatriarchy, poverty, settler colonialism, ableism, Islamophobia, etc.) District Staff & PD Providers should help educators develop phenomenabased justice units and learn to facilitate complex interdisciplinary conversations. School Leaders can help teachers connect with justice-centered organizations (e.g., to organize class visits, fie dwork, student presentations)—in addition to supporting justice within the school walls.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/67


Things To Consider • Science instruction should help learners explicitly explore moral and ethical decision-making and reasoning that has consequences for the thriving of people and the world. Part of being scientifical y literate is to be able to relate science-related knowledge, actions, and decisions to ethical and moral commitments with a firm, critical g ounding in history. • Justice-centered science pedagogy addresses inequities as components of larger oppressive systems. Meaningful science education should teach young people not only to use the tools of science, but to critically reflect on h w they and others use these tools. This can help them see how scientifical y informed decision-making is not straightforward—but occurs in complicated sociopolitical contexts. Listen to the NGSNavigators interview with Dr. Daniel Morales-Doyle for a rich discussion of this work. • Student critical reflection and analysis should be accompanied by opportunities to take action and work toward more just, sustainable, and culturally thriving communities. This can help young people see science not as a “way out” of under-resourced communities, but as a way to work toward justice locally. This does not mean that investigations should promote oversimplified, echnocratic ideas, such as that societies can simply “science” their way out of complicated interdisciplinary problems—but to see science as a knowledge base that can be used with others to promote justice.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Framing learning around justice-centered phenomena can help young people develop scientific knowledges and practices that they can apply to social and environmental justice projects. Such phenomena might be related to inequitable land or resource use, adverse health impacts, food security, or involve disproportionate impacts from shifting lands and waters (e.g., severe storms, floods, d ought). In biology, knowledge of inheritance and DNA technologies can be used to exonerate wrongly convicted persons. • Community and citizen science and engineering projects can meaningfully support local science learning and the social goals of communities—and can take multiple interests, perspectives, and knowledges into account in investigations promoting social progress. • Science education can also be a context for promoting justice for specific communities through place-based learning. One important context for this work is to design science learning environments in which Indigenous students and communities thrive—as part of promoting Indigenous cultural resurgence and multi-species justice.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Does your curriculum highlight how science has helped create many social inequities over time and how various scientific knowledges and practices can promote justice? How can it? Why might you shy away from using justice-centered science phenomena in your instruction? Whose interests are being served by not relating science instruction to specific forms of justice?

Attending to Equity • What science-related justice projects are meaningful to the communities you serve? What justice projects interest your students—especially those who may feel disenfranchised from science? How can you find ou ? • It is important to know how to develop and apply a variety of knowledges and practices of science and engineering (along with other knowledge) in ways that support broad social justice movements. • Decisions made using scientific knowledge are tied to values and ideologies (e.g., capitalism, collectivism), some of which are more powerful and present in our social decision-making. How do students learn about this context and then work towards justice? • What organizations in your community relate to the justice projects you want to focus on? How might their expertise or resources support your efforts?

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #10 #15 #55

Indigenous Rights & STEM Equity in Science Education Diversity in STEM Ed

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#68

A

Keeping Climate Science Learning and Instruction Focused on Creating Solutions and Building Community Resilience What Is The Issue? Climate change is affecting us all. Young people and low-income communities of color are some of the most heavily impacted populations. As anticipated impacts worsen, people under 30 suffer from increasing levels of sleep disorders, despair, depression and substance abuse. Research has shown that teaching climate science alone contributes to anxieties and phobias. By also introducing students to climate solutions—along with opportunities to take scientific and civic action—climate learning can have a positive effect on students’ well-being and life and employment prospects. BY ABBY RUSKEY, DEB MORRISON & PHILIP BELL | FEBRUARY 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should engage students of all backgrounds in locally contextualized climate solutions curricula. This work can even be taken up across school subjects. Less than 50% of preservice teachers have completed coursework related to climate science. District Staff & PD Providers should help teachers learn to partner with scientists, tribal educators, businesses, and other community members. School Leaders can promote student achievement and community-based service-learning by supporting solutionsfocused climate science education.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/68


Things To Consider • Students’ climate anxiety and despair can be mitigated by learning about collective and individual climate solutions. By making climate change feel personal, urgent, and close-to-home, students’ values and identities change—and they take informed actions. This happens when teachers spend more instructional time on climate solutions than on decontextualized science. Spend 3/4 of instruction on exploring solutions. • Providing students with climate-solutions pedagogy and resources not only responds to their social-emotional needs, but also can enhance their academic achievement and life and job preparation. Climate science learning involves engaging in interdisciplinary, field- and project-based, experiential, collaborative learning. This approach results in higher student engagement in core subject area content and higherorder cognitive skill development, such as critical thinking and problemsolving. Solutions-centered action—like in the Multisolving Framework— engages youth in socially just caretaking of their local community. • Effective practices in climate science education focus on solutions. Instruction should: (1) be personally relevant and engaging, (2) build students’ problem-solving skills and engineering design in the classroom and community, (3) help learners construct their own ideas, and (4) engage students with scientists to collect, analyze & apply data.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Use climate-solutions-oriented curriculum, assessment tools, and other learning resources. Climate solutions storylines, digital games, carbon footprint calculators and virtual reality simulators are increasing in number, often come with teacher guides, and can be a powerful in-road for student engagement in climate science learning and solutions. Consider: the Cool School Challenge, the Climate Game Changer, Learning in Places, and this team-oriented carbon footprint reduction EcoChallenge tool (from NW Earth Institute). • Provide students with field learning experiences with climate solutions professionals in your community, including Indigenous elders and scientists, local green technology businesspeople, farmers, foresters, water and soil scientists, food sovereignty experts, etc. Project Drawdown’s 100 climate solutions website and initiatives can help you and students think about those you might partner with locally. • Embed a stewardship, service, or community science project in your curriculum sequence so students engage in hands-on, evidence-based solutions—such as caring for a local garden or ecosystem, engaging in evidence-based political action, conducting an energy audit of business or government sites, participating in tree planting efforts, etc.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What community-based organizations, agencies, tribes or businesses might you approach and partner with for field-based, locally-relevant climate solutions learning? How can you address the social and emotional dimensions of learning about climate science? How can you provide students with experiences for meaningmaking and grief processing as it connects to taking action?

Attending to Equity • Communities of color are the most vulnerable to extreme weather events such as fires, flooding, and hurricanes. Toxic plants and facilities often reside in these communities, which are increasingly likely to be breached by fire and/or flood. • Students of color are underrepresented in environmental careers, such as green building or wind and solar research, manufacturing and maintenance. • Explore global climate change from the perspective of settler-colonialism. Disrupt climate change narratives—including those focused on solutions—that center on white saviorism and romantic narratives of hope. • In instructional efforts, focus on how nondominant communities have developed solutions and built resilience in the face of climate change impacts. Focus on the perspectives, values, and goals held by the most impacted communities.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #12 #57 #67

Climate Science Ed Place-Based Science Ed Justice-Centered Phenomena

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#69

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Using Local Phenomena to Communicate Climate Solutions Founder of ISeeChange, Julia Kumari Drapkin, shows children a map of historic New Orleans. Drapkin highlights the parts of the city that used to be swamp. Credit: Impact Media Lab / AAAS

What Is The Issue? Communicating the reasons why we should respond to climate change is no longer enough. Climate science communication must be grounded in the real actions of local communities. Focusing on the local phenomena (e.g., sea level rise and flooding in New Orleans) that are challenging communities, and local responses will allow others to envision solutions and approaches appropriate for their own community— fostering collective agency and collaborative decisionmaking amongst local governments, nonprofits, businesses, and the public.

BY CHRISTINA GUEVARA, ELANA KIMBRELL, EMILY CLOYD, TIFFANY LOHWATER & ABBY RHINEHART | FEBRUARY 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Science communicators should be familiar with their audiences (e.g., how they talk and care about climate-related phenomena), and they should be involved with what local communities are doing to respond to climate change . Organizational leadership should consistently share resources for climate science communicator professional development that support collaboration with local community members, businesses, government, tribal nations, educators, etc.—and prioritize that work.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/69


Things To Consider • When scientists communicate about climate change, solutions often seem distant and abstract to community members—even when the community involved is one of those most heavily impacted by climate change (e.g., young people and low-income communities of color). • Moving towards solutions-centered climate communication (and away from reiterating decontextualized scientific facts) can alleviate climate anxiety and despair and promote agency. Focusing on local community responses allows individuals to make personal connections to climate change in positive and constructive ways, rather than dwelling on it as a looming disaster. When climate change feels personal, urgent, and close-to-home, then peoples’ beliefs, values, and identities change to make informed decisions. • Because the impacts of climate change vary, it is necessary to communicate with the specific needs, values, and resources of each community or person in mind. Additionally , within each community, many decisions are not made based on science findings alone, but on interpretations of that science within social and cultural contexts. As communities make decisions about complex transdisciplinary issues like climate change, contributions from experts outside your established network are necessary to maintain locally relevant adaptation and mitigation responses. Collaborate with local leaders, tribal nations, and others who live and work in the community to craft communications. Their place-based knowledge is essential.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Explore the examples of local climate change response efforts in the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) resource “How We Respond,” including videos and narratives from around the United States. These examples demonstrate how communities can adapt to and mitigate climate change when they use scientific knowledge and expertise from diverse backgrounds and life ways. These stories also show the power of story-based communication. • Continue to listen to and understand how communities are talking about climate change. Many Indigenous communities have been communicating and responding to climate change in innovative ways that Euro-Western knowledge systems do not account for. Growing a network of collaborators with diverse cultural, community, geographic, and educational backgrounds can help keep your climate communication grounded in local needs and ways of relating to it. • Stay involved with local climate change response efforts like the Sunrise Movement and 350.org to increase your familiarity with local phenomena and build relationships through which to create action.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How are local community histories, needs, values, resources being considered in how you’re communicating your climate change knowledge? How are the knowledges of youth and diverse communities being seen and included as local assets in climate change response? How are the climate change responses you’re presenting adaptable and scalable across contexts? Which communities are or are not represented in how you’re communicating about climate change solutions?

Attending to Equity • Low-income communities of color are disproportionately affected by climate change, yet are often excluded in decision making for climate resilience. Intersecting systems of oppression (e.g. antiblackness, settler colonialism, racism, heteropatriarchy, poverty, ableism, etc.) limit access to necessary resources and protections for climate change adaptation and planning. • It is important to know how to meaningfully integrate a variety of knowledges, expertise, and practices in climate change decision making in ways that support local communities’ interests, needs, and wellbeing.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #57 #67 #68

Place-Based Science Ed Justice & Phenomena Climate Solutions

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#70

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How can environmental educators practice intersectional environmentalism? Photo courtesy of IslandWood

What Is The Issue? Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities have histories of environmentalism and relationships with land that are often made invisible in environmental education. At the same time, BIPOC communities face disproportionate social and environmental injustices. Environmental educators must foreground the diverse ways that BIPOC’s lived experiences, community practices, adaptive resilience, and social justice movements can undergird environmentalism. This can help desettle white-dominant narratives and build relationships between humans and with the natural world. BY LAURA BROWN, CHRISTINA GUEVARA, RAE JING HAN, ABBY RHINEHART & DÉANA SCIPIO | FEBRUARY 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Environmental educators should take up an intersectional approach, disrupt human exceptionalism through activities that address intersecting systems of oppression, and help people build caring relationships with places & other species. Organizational leadership should expand their mission to include the intersecting empowerment of people and place. Board Members and Donors should consider funding models for reparations to the Indigenous people whose land environmental organizations profit from, and prioritize partnering with organizations led by BIPOC.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/70


Things To Consider

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

• White western environmentalism is a pervasive approach that tends to reinforce systems of oppression (e.g., racism, heteropatriarchy, settler colonialism, ableism, etc.). For example, mainstream conservation movements frequently perpetuate exclusionary policies, make the existing relationships marginalized communities have with lands and waters invisible, and fail to address the realities of environmental racism.

Whose histories, values, beliefs, and imagined futures are embedded within your programs? What counts as “nature”? Whose ways of relating with nature are modeled in your program?

• This traditional view of environmentalism is often built on the misconception that humans are separate from nature, leading to the belief that people can preserve naturescapes “untouched” by humans. This perspective ignores complex histories of human-nature relationships and the complex needs of many creatures.

Who holds decision-making responsibilities within your organization for environmental experiences? To what extent are BIPOC educators recruited, supported, and empowered?

• Intersectional environmentalism is a movement that advocates for the protection of both people and the planet, building from the interconnectedness of injustices imposed upon marginalized communities and the earth. It builds from the intersectionality framework that generally describes how race, class, gender, ability, and other social classifications often overlap to create interdependent systems of oppression and privilege.

How might you center learners’ and communities’ knowledges and experiences in environmental efforts?

• There are many generative approaches to environmentalism across BIPOC communities. It is practiced in various ways within and across intersecting identities to fulfill specific aims. Moving beyond narrow definitions of environmentalism and engaging respectfully with diverse practices within environmental education can contribute to more just futures for human and more-than-human communities.

• Co-creating culturally sustaining curriculum with BIPOC students, educators, and community members can help revitalize BIPOC knowledge systems. To get started, you can engage families in a socio-ecological histories of places walk from Learning in Places.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Learn how BIPOC communities, often led by womxn, continue to sustain and evolve their ancestral practices. Centering these accounts in environmental education helps disrupt misconceptions that BIPOC communities’ environmental practices exist solely in the past and that BIPOC have not been part of environmental movements. For example, you can: (a) explore Black Feminist Ecological Thought, (b) learn about Black-owned farms and food gardens in your area, (c) familiarize yourself with conservation cultura, and (d) engage with BIPOC who continue to practice sustainable fishing.

Attending to Equity

• Since all environmental programs take place on the lands of Indigenous peoples and nations, it is important to foster a critical pedagogy of place and avoid problematic practices like cultural appropriation, tokenism, and extracted BIPOC labor. See Indigenous STEAM, Queer Nature, and Learning in Places for frameworks to building authentic community relations. (continued next column)

• Highlighting different modes of activity (e.g. recreation, work, intergenerational learning, ceremony) shows how BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities engage in the outdoors in various ways.

• Your visitors should have opportunities to learn about how the concepts in this brief play out both at your site and in the world by directly experiencing them.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #10 #53 #61

Indigenous STEM Ed Culturally Responsive Ed Multispecies Caring

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#71

This brief outlines ways science teachers can engage in seven intersecting equity projects (Bell, 2019).

How can you advance equity and justice through science teaching?

What Is The Issue? Inequities are built into the systems of science education such that “students of color, students who speak first languages other than English, and students from low-income communities… have had limited access to high-quality, meaningful opportunities to learn science.” Intersecting equity projects can guide the teaching and learning of science towards social justice. Science educators who engage in these projects help advance Indigenous self-determination (details) and racial justice by confronting the consequences of legacies of injustice

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers, District Staff, PD Providers, and Educational Leaders should work from their positionality to engage in self-reflection and critical consciousness raising as they organize with others through affinity group-based conversations leading to taking action toward intersectional justice. Education Leaders should also collaborate with a broad range of marginalized community members to guide improvement and help coordinate and resource equity efforts district-wide.

and promoting liberatory approaches to education. BY PHILIP BELL, DEB L. MORRISON, KATHLEEN ARADA, MAYA M. GARCIA & MEMBERS AND PARTNERS OF THE COUNCIL OF STATE SCIENCE SUPERVISORS (CSSS) | APRIL 2021

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/71


Attending to Equity Promoting equity and justice should be approached as a never-ending, detailed pursuit of collective liberation by everyone involved in education.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Key intersectional equity projects you can take up in science education: • Centering Racial Justice: By focusing on the brilliance of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, Polynesian, Pacific Islander & other racialized groups and how science has and continues to produce racialized harms— in classrooms, communities, scientific fields—you can help disrupt anti-Indigeneity, antiblackness, and other forms of racism. Disrupt racist assumptions, practices, policies & systems that uphold whiteness. • Meaningful Phenomena: Engage students in making sense of a range of phenomena across the school year, including contemporary scientific, everyday, culturally meaningful, globally significant, and justice-centered phenomena. Position students as developing experts learning to take meaningful action in their world now (not as preparing for a future life). • Multi-Generational Learning: Powerful learning experiences typically bring multiple histories, life experiences, and values into coordination. Multi-generational groupings are a key strategy to accomplish this (e.g., community groups, family life, cross-grade collaborations, visiting experts). Work to transcend the age-segregated approach to schooling. • Cultural Pedagogies: All deep learning happens in ways that are culturally significant to learners and their communities. Diversify learning by rooting instruction in the cultural knowledge, worldviews, and ways of knowing of students’ communities. Form partnerships with community to revitalize and sustain their cultural practices and assets. • Supporting Diverse Sense-Making: As students develop and express their understanding, they should use the full range of their creative, intellectual resources. Elicit and leverage multiple ways students make sense of science phenomena (e.g., multiple languages [details], everyday talk, perspective-taking, gesture, ethical reasoning, drawing, poetry). • Disrupting Ableism: Leverage students’ intellectual strengths and contributions regardless of their school-recognized disability status. Work towards ability justice by disrupting narrow views of ability and prejudices against those perceived to have disabilities. Intentionally use strategies to meaningfully include students receiving disability services. • Place-Based Learning & Ecological Caring: Show how knowledge resides in places. Focus instruction on environmental and climate justice, especially for the most impacted communities. Help students engage in intersectional environmentalism, like caring for all living things, in ways that disrupt human exceptionalism and extractive uses of nature.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS We use “equity projects” to signal key initiatives where intentional action is needed. What projects do your students and communities furthest from educational justice need? Are there groups in your context who you can engage in selfreflection, planning, and action with—and learn to navigate resistance to enacting change?

Things to Consider • Center making progress on equity in all conversations about implementing science standards. Depending on your context, these 7 equity projects provide different entry points into meaningful work to transform systems in support of students’ science learning. Find others to learn from and work with and think about the broader system as you make changes. • These equity projects deeply intersect with each other in amplifying ways. You might start in a specific place, but it is important to see how the issues and approaches are entangled (e.g., supporting diverse sense-making of meaningful phenomena is bound up with working towards racial and ability justice). • Each equity and justice project has an established history and important role in future work. It is very productive to think of them as part of unfolding social movements you choose to join in multifaceted and ongoing ways—and not isolated actions you take.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #15 #54

Equity in Science Ed Build an Equitable Classroom Equity-centered Resources

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/71


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#72

How can arguing from evidence support sensemaking in elementary science? What Is The Issue? Arguing from evidence is a key scientific practice to support sensemaking in a learning community. As children collect and grapple with patterns in data to understand phenomena, differing perspectives naturally arise. Scientific communities—including

PK-12 learning communities—negotiate agreement based on evidence to construct the strongest

explanations about how the world works, building

new knowledge together. Young children are capable

of engaging in this challenging scientific practice, yet argumentation is rare in elementary school science. That needs to change in order to take educational

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Educators need to distinguish between arguing from evidence in science and argumentation in a colloquial sense. District Staff should support elementary teachers to shift from disconnected activities and toward coherent investigations of phenomena that produce evidence children can use to engage in argumentation. School Leaders & PD Providers should support teachers and students as they coordinate questions, claims, evidence, and reasoning to explain phenomena during evidence-based argumentation.

equity seriously.

BY MEGAN SCHRAUBEN, AMBER MCCULLOCH, KATHY RENFREW, CARLA ZEMBAL-SAUL, OTHER CSSS SUPPORTING ELEMENTARY SCIENCE COMMITTEE MEMBERS & PHILIP BELL | APRIL 2021

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/72


Things To Consider • Invite argumentation. Phenomena should evoke childrens’ interest and desire to make sense of their world. They should elicit diverse and competing initial explanations that require extended investigation, multiple sources of data, and opportunities to argue from evidence to construct more scientific explanations. • Promote science talk. Especially in elementary grades, talk moves can facilitate a community in which children make their thinking public when they propose evidence-based claims, evaluate and critique claims, and negotiate their understanding. This can be a means of formative assessment and support responsive instruction. • Argumentation and curriculum integration. At first glance, it might appear argumentation can serve as a vehicle to integrate science with subject areas that receive more emphasis in elementary grades, like ELA and mathematics. However, there are “rules to the game” for arguing from evidence in science that are unique to the discipline and support meaningful science learning. Scientific argumentation reflects: how scientists explore empirical research questions, what counts as evidence, and the role the community plays in building knowledge. Explore the disciplinary similarities and differences in types of argumentation with your class. For example: In science, argumentation is focused on developing causal explanations of phenomena—but argumentation in history is about the contextual, evidence-based interpretation of events from particular perspectives. • Support sensemaking through argumentation. Claims–Evidence– Reasoning activities should be embedded in scientific practices and paired with talk moves like agree/disagree and asking for evidence.

Attending to Equity • Arguing from evidence can be a challenging intellectual activity that is linguistically demanding. It can also be a new practice for many students. Provide children with multiple ways to express their ideas and thinking with culturally responsive custom supports. • Establish norms and scaffold productive talk with your students’ intellectual resources in mind. Children should not be disagreeing with each other based on opinion or popularity, but rather should be collaboratively making sense of data and coordinating claims and evidence. Learning to respectfully disagree, ask for clarification, introduce counterclaims or counter-evidence, and refine existing claims requires shared norms that need to be modeled and practiced. Over time, children develop agency to engage in the practices, making decisions about what data to collect and how, anticipating rebuttals to claims, and building deeper conceptual understanding.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What is unique to argumentation in science compared to other disciplines? Do you have any concerns about asking your students to engage in argumentation? How can you address those issues and build on their intellectual resources?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Move away from discrete hands-on activities or reading/telling about science and toward figuring out phenomena. Children need time to collect and analyze data in order to propose, critique, and refine evidencebased claims that explain phenomena. Arguing from evidence systematically and collaboratively is fundamental to this process. Nurture the curiosity children bring into elementary school by supporting them as inquirers of phenomena from the natural world. • Review resources that show what it can look like when children engage in arguing from evidence (e.g., videos, written cases). Attend to the variety of ways in which all children make their thinking public and contribute to—and benefit from—the sensemaking process. • Record and analyze a science lesson where your students are arguing from evidence. Consider your role and how to ensure that children are co-constructing explanations for phenomena, rather than the teacher or text doing the explaining.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #17 #25

Beyond the Written CER Cultural Argumentation Argumentation Playlist

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STEM TEACHING TOOL

#73

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Connecting science instruction to neighborhood life through collaborative design with community What Is The Issue? Educators can find important ways to support students’ science learning in home and neighborhood contexts. This is an opportunity to expand ideas of where and how science is done and what knowledge relates to science. When educators design science learning in collaboration with community members, families, and students, they can give young people more expansive perspectives on who does science, how and where they do it, and how science relates to their lives and the flourishing of their communities. In these ways, education can be more accountable to

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers are well-positioned to engage families, students, and community experts in the collaborative design of meaningful science learning. District staff and PD providers should support collaborative design opportunities that center experiences and expertise of diverse community members. They should approach community as educational designers and leaders. School Leaders should support efforts to bridge school and community by providing time and space for such collaborations.

community histories, interests, and expertise. BY SUSAN MEABH KELLY & PHILIP BELL | MAY 2021

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/73


Things To Consider • Soliciting and leveraging expertise from beyond the school campus helps us transform deeply entrenched ideas about where learning takes place and whose knowledge matters. In many schools, science has been historically presented as mono-cultural and disconnected from students’ lives. Science learning is a social process tied to place in which groups of people with complementary expertise work together. • Teachers hold expertise in pedagogical strategies and are familiar with students’ past and future school-based science learning. Families engage in science-related pursuits and have deep knowledge of their children and how to support their engagement and achievement in science. Elder community members, regional resource managers, informal and cultural institutions, local nonprofits, and businesses are likely aware of past and anticipated community changes, which shape locally relevant science phenomena. Students have shared experiences that can help surface one another’s expertise and personal interests and identify connections for their future science learning.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Science education should bring together teachers, families, communities, and students to collaboratively design and implement activities for science learning: Activities hinging on the ways home, community, and science connect can facilitate engagement, learning outcomes, and development of science identities. Review this example. Focus on Community Assets Prior to Collaborative Design: • Increase your familiarity with the history and context of your school community. Look for ways local development and environmental characteristics impact families, such as land use change or air quality. • Gather a list of different occupations represented in your school community and consider ways these occupations practice science. Solicit students’ and family members’ insights to make these connections. Professional materials (e.g., license manuals, websites, handbooks) can help illuminate and communicate these connections. • Consider ways science is commonly practiced at home, particularly those applications that relate to cultural thriving and innovation. Engage in Co-Design Practices: (a) Develop shared understanding of learning goals, (b) Share family perspectives, knowledge, and capacities that relate to those goals, (c) Brainstorm possible instructional approaches—first in a small group, then with all involved & refine, (d) Co-design and co-plan instruction—tapping relevant local expertise and settings, and (e) Reflect, analyze, and adjust throughout the process.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Where in your curriculum can you see points of intersection between school, home, and neighborhood learning? How can existing school and community networks be leveraged in these efforts? (E.g., language instructional assistants often hold deep relationships with families.)

Attending to Equity • Single instructional solutions will not fit all contexts. Develop approaches tailored to your classroom and local community. • Community demographics or established social networks may not be equitably represented in your current school-family initiatives. Solicit involvement of diverse community and family members to help avoid privileging advantaged groups. • Families’ past experiences and relationships with science vary. By equitably soliciting, recognizing, and leveraging family funds of knowledge, teachers can help families see school science as more accessible and relevant. • Learning should be guided by the value systems in different settings. Bridge, rather than impose, school values and associated practices as you collaborate with culturally and professionally diverse community members. A symmetrical exchange helps develop mutual trust and surfaces new insights, perspectives, and opportunities for learning.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #11 #31 #55

Collab w/Native Families Build on Learner Interests Cultural Diversity in STEM

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/73


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#74

Designing and participating in community and citizen science efforts to support equity and justice What Is The Issue? Community and citizen science can mobilize diverse groups of stakeholders in collaboratively understanding and improving situations in the natural and built world. It is often framed as an opportunity for “nonscientists” to participate in the advancement of science, especially when organizers seek to engage communities underrepresented in STEM, such as People of Color, people of lower socioeconomic status, rural communities, and womxn. Projects promoting equity and justice in STEM must engage these communities not only in data collection, but as full collaborative partners. BY CHRISTINA GUEVARA & PHILIP BELL | MAY 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Project teams and facilitators should practice in ongoing reflection about their positionalities in the community as they center cultural diversities of STEM knowledge and practices in their efforts. Educators should work to center the worldviews, knowledge, and interests of the communities they serve in community and citizen science efforts. Organizational Leadership should support the design and redesign of citizen science projects to authentically give voice to the communities their efforts impact the most.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/74


Things to Consider • Community science has great potential to increase the diversity of public participation in science and to support local flourishing. For that to happen, projects must reflect the diversity of communities and their concerns without reinforcing existing inequities in science and society. • To bring these perspectives and concerns into citizen science work, community members must be involved throughout the process. Within the Gardenroots Project, for example, project leads work alongside the community at every step of the design and implementation process, valuing and incorporating multiple forms of knowledge so the learning is relevant and meaningful to the lives of community members. • Citizen science can have several goals, like supporting participants’ learning, engaging the public in science, or contributing to community scientific literacy. Collaboratively identifying and communicating goals builds a collective understanding that all stakeholders (e.g., researchers, community members, students, etc.) bring valuable and diverse expertise to the project, including to the design process.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • CAISE outlines three categories of public participation in science research including: contributory projects (designed by scientists with data collection contributions from the public), collaborative projects (designed by scientists with public contributions like data collection, project design refinement, data analysis, and sharing of findings), and co-created projects (designed by scientists and members of the public working together throughout the process). Explore this CAISE resource collection to learn more about different citizen science projects. • The NASEM Report on Citizen Science details these Guiding Considerations: (1) Know the Audience, (2) Adopt an Asset-Based Perspective, (3) Intentionally Design for Diversity, (4) Engage Stakeholders in Design, (5) Capitalize on Unique Learning Opportunities Associated with Citizen Science, (6) Support Multiple Kinds of Participant Engagement, (7) Encourage Social Interaction, (8) Build Learning Supports into the Project, and (9) Evaluate and Refine the effort. • Consider using a Community-Based Participatory Research or Participatory Action Research framework when designing your citizen science project. The Black Brilliance Research Project illustrates how to engage with community to support existing and ongoing justice projects. • Engage in collaborative problem-solving with community members, so projects grow out of the community’s wants and needs. Initiatives like the West Oakland Environmental Indicators Project use a collaborative model of power sharing to ensure equitable decision making and create accountability and common ground among stakeholders.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Are community members active participants in the design of science projects, rather than “targets” of efforts? This can improve the efforts, support multiple ways of knowing within a project, broaden participation, and support deeper learning. For projects already underway, how can you expand it to include additional modes of participation and collaboration?

Attending to Equity • Using language such as, “nonscientists” is a deficit view that positions essential project collaborators as non-experts within the project and assumes who is capable of participating. Challenge assumptions about who is a scientist by welcoming and respecting the multiple ways of knowing that historically marginalized communities bring to STEM engagement. Community collaborators are a source of creative perspectives necessary for STEM innovation. • When engaging in collaborative design, be explicit about the process. Considering Western science’s history of exploiting communities of color who are often underrepresented in STEM, it is crucial to develop a shared and clear understanding of roles, decision making, data collection and sharing, and ownership of intellectual property. Organizers should consistently address power imbalances and create space for stakeholders to challenge assumptions and learn together.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #68 #70 #71

Climate Change & Resilience Intersectional Environ. Ed. Equity Projects in Science

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/74


Plan-Do-Study-Act Work Template Use this template to refect on your own teaching, in conjunction with STEM Teaching Tool #75. This template is based on the work of Ambitious Science Teaching and was created by Jeanne Norris, Lead Instructional Specialist, Institute for School Partnership, Washington University in St. Louis, Dr. Rachel Ruggirello, Associate Director, Institute for School Partnership, and Sarah Schondelmeyer, Elementary Teacher, MaplewoodRichmond Heights School District.

PROJECT TITLE: START DATE: PROJECT GOAL: PLAN Describe the Plan for Improvement (responding to a problem or opportunity of practice) What do you plan to change to cause an improvement? Be specifc (Who, What, Where, When…).

Make a Prediction What do you think will happen as a result of the change you make? Why? Leading predictions: What will happen in the short term to let you know your change is working?

BY JEANNE NORRIS, RACHEL RUGGIRELLO & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021 TO BE USED WITH THIS STEM TEACHING TOOL, #75


Lagging predictions: What will happen in the long term (e.g., by the end of the semester or year) to let you know your change is working on that timescale?

Plan How you Will Collect Data What data will be collected to show if there is an improvement? Consider both qualitative and quantitative data. Consider student data from moments of learning and from assessments.

When will you collect the data? (Note: Look for short data collection cycles of less than one semester so that you know if the change is having an impact as soon as possible.)

Who will collect the data?

BY JEANNE NORRIS, RACHEL RUGGIRELLO & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021 TO BE USED WITH THIS STEM TEACHING TOOL, #75


DO Record Classroom Activities and Your Observations and Interpretations

STUDY Analyze What Happened Look at the data you collected—and notice important qualities or patterns. What does it tell you? Are you having the impact you predicted? If so, why? If not, why not? You can study both integrity (did we do what we said we would do) and impact (is what we are doing making any desired change). Note: We suggest that you use the Crosscutting Concept prompts at the end of this document to analyze your data. Rotate across concepts or choose one that relates to your analysis.

BY JEANNE NORRIS, RACHEL RUGGIRELLO & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021 TO BE USED WITH THIS STEM TEACHING TOOL, #75


ACT Do Something Based on What You Figured Out What tweaks, adjustments, or transformations will you make because of what you fgured out? Intentionally focus on educational equity as you envision these changes.

What will you keep doing because it’s working?

What new questions or issues occur to you that warrant further study?

BY JEANNE NORRIS, RACHEL RUGGIRELLO & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021 TO BE USED WITH THIS STEM TEACHING TOOL, #75


Using the Crosscutting Concepts as Classroom Lenses for Problem Solving and Improvement Questions to Ask Use the following questions to refect on your own teaching. This is meant to be used in conjunction with this STEM Teaching Tool.

Patterns: Actively Interpret the Data & Refect on Your Operating Assumptions •

Is there a pattern to the behaviors I’m observing? How could understanding the pattern allow me to prevent or encourage this behavior? How does it relate to understanding culture, learning, and identity?

Is there a pattern in the assessment data (formative or summative) that can help me understand the effects of my instruction?

What does the pattern in this data allow me to conclude about the effectiveness of the strategy I implemented?

Refect on your assumptions and whether you are reinforcing or disrupting the status quo.

What type of mathematical analysis or data representation will best help me understand the data I collected?

What do I predict will happen next time in the classroom, and why?

Are there similarities and differences between (the situations, the behaviors, the outcomes, etc.) that could help me explain what is happening?

Cause and Effect: Specify and Shift What You Take to Be Infuences on Learning •

How do you know that (cause) infuenced what was observed? Could there be another reason (or multiple reasons) this is happening?

Can you test whether

How does

How could a change in

Is there any cognitive, cultural, or institutional reason you can think that can explain what is causing this particular behavior, situation, or outcome? How could you explore those infuences further?

Is what I am observing correlational or causal? Do I have enough evidence to know, and if not, how could I gather that evidence?

Once you know a specifc causal infuence, what else is it connected to in the context, culture, or system? How is it rooted into educational practices? Based on that, how might you change it, if desired?

(cause) affect

is an ongoing infuence of what was observed? ?

affect

?

Scale, Proportion, and Quantity: Dimensionalize Your Analysis •

What is my ratio of

to

What is the proportion of students who are

Why did this strategy work at one scale but not at another (individual student, groups, whole class; early but not late in the unit; with one class but not all)? What is different across those scales?

If the pace of the classroom was slowed down or sped up, how would that affect the desired outcome?

BY JEANNE NORRIS, RACHEL RUGGIRELLO & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021 TO BE USED WITH THIS STEM TEACHING TOOL, #75

(e.g., providing individual feedback vs. group feedback)? ?


Systems and System Models: Broaden Your Frame on the Patterns You See •

What are the components of this classroom learning system? What are the inputs and outputs of work and learning? From a critical stance, what histories and power relations are present?

How do parts of the classroom system (for example students, teacher, furniture, technology, etc.) interact? How are things interconnected? How should they be?

What would happen if the students worked together vs. working alone?

What would happen if a part of the classroom system was changed (added, increased, decreased, removed)? Can a part of the system be brought into coordination with another (e.g., can norms for disciplinary behavior be aligned with belonging and rightful presence)?

What outside factors at play here given that my classroom is a subsystem of a whole school (e.g., what expectations do student bring into my class)? How can I leverage this knowledge?

What systems could I create (or refne) in my classroom to solve, avoid, or dampen problems—or to help me plan more effectively with limited time and resources?

Structure and Function: Attend to Designed Things That Infuence Learning •

What physical structures are in my classroom, and how do they affect teaching and learning? How can I shift them to improve learning processes and a sense of belonging (e.g., arranging talk circles)?

What procedures are in place for purpose? Which of them need to change?

How will I structure this activity to best support student learning and interaction?

What parts of the neighborhood structure outside of the classroom could I make intentional use of (e.g., by directly accessing place-based phenomena or community expertise)?

, and what purpose do they serve? Are they fulflling their

Stability and Change: Refne the Dynamics of the Learning Context •

What is changing in the (classroom, student, group, etc.) to cause a particular outcome to occur?

Is there a pattern to a change that is occurring in my classroom?

How does the shifting dynamic of classroom life inform me about how we are doing when it comes to being an equitable learning community? How do we learn to recognize social injuries and rebuild community afterwards?

What can I think of that might disrupt my classroom or student learning? Can this be prevented?

(Please note that the Energy and Matter: Flows, Cycles, and Conservation crosscuting concept is not addressed in this approach since it does not easily relate.)

Equity Considerations: •

Carefully consider accurate root causes and effects. For example, achievement gaps between high and low income students are really opportunity gaps, because higher income students often have more opportunities to engage in science learning.

When considering your classroom structures and systems, use culturally responsive teaching methods to reach all students. Think of ways to amplify the voices of all students.

BY JEANNE NORRIS, RACHEL RUGGIRELLO & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021 TO BE USED WITH THIS STEM TEACHING TOOL, #75


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#75

Using the crosscutting concepts to refect on and refne your teaching What Is The Issue? A Framework for K-12 Science Education poses the idea that students are best positioned to figure out phenomena and solve problems by engaging in science and engineering practices and using the crosscutting concepts as thinking lenses. The crosscutting concepts are a broad set of useful themes that can be applied to any field, including education. By using the crosscutting concepts to approach their own problems and opportunities of practice, teachers can engage in deeper reflection and metacognition—and strengthen their ability to help students use the crosscutting concepts to explain phenomena and design solutions. BY JEANNE NORRIS & SARAH SCHONDELMEYER | JUNE 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should engage as scientists in their classrooms by conducting action research and reflecting using crosscutting concepts. District Staff & PD Providers should give teachers time and space to identify their own opportunities and problems of practice to focus on during professional learning (for example, PLCs and workshops). School Leaders should provide time in teachers’ schedules to engage in authentic reflection and action research in service of improved practice. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/75


Things To Consider • Ambitious Science Teaching outlines cycles of Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) for teachers to improve their practice. PDSA are short cycles of action-research that allow for quick adjustment based on data analysis and reflection. The steps of PDSA encourage teachers to be “scientists” and engineers of their own classrooms. They ask questions and make observations, suggest a change to implement based on interpreting the situation, implement the change, collect and analyze data, reflect, then act on what was learned. • The crosscutting concepts are a set of common lenses that students use across science content to make sense of the world. Similarly, the crosscutting concepts can serve as a form of structured reflection lenses to help teachers better understand classroom phenomena.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Watch PDSA videos from Ambitious Science Teaching to observe examples of teachers focusing on a problem of practice. In these videos, teachers are implicitly using crosscutting concepts such as Patterns, Cause and Effect, and Systems Thinking to reflect and act on their classrooms. Keep in mind that there can also be opportunities of practice to identify and leverage. • The crosscutting concept prompts at the end of this Plan, Do, Study, Act template from the Institute for School Partnership at Washington University in St. Louis can be used to help identify problems and opportunities of practice before action steps are planned and enacted. They can also be used during the Study portion of the PDSA cycle to provide support for teachers as they analyze data from their tests of change. This tool could be used in a wide variety of settings, including on a district, school, or classroom level. • Review the crosscutting concept prompts from the Institute for School Partnership. Consider customizing them based on the work of your school or district—to strengthen how they fit your context. • Use the PDSA template during PLC meetings to focus conversation and provide clear supports. The prompts can be used to analyze student work samples, lesson videos, or assessment scores, for example. This tool could also be used in a wide variety of settings, including on a district, school, or classroom level. • As an extension, do a book study on Ambitious Science Teaching. You can connect the chapter called “Organizing with Colleagues to Improve Teaching,” which outlines driver diagrams as a tool to implement instructional goals, to the effort outlined here.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS In your teaching, when was the last time when you weren’t sure where to go next, or when something wasn’t going as planned? What successes can you analyze to see how they might be replicated? Use the recommended process to formally explore your practice. How might your students, school, or district use the crosscutting concepts in ways beyond scientific thinking?

Attending to Equity • Teachers should be supported and empowered to figure out their own solutions, rather than only accepting topdown mandates for educational change. • Consider how systems and structures in your classroom, school, or district promote or discourage equity of student participation in authentic science and engineering learning. • Equity-focused transformations come from deeper changes to systems. Consider true root causes and effects, as well as locus of control, when using these prompts. Dig deep and avoid deficitbased reasons we assign for student behavior and academic performance. • These prompts can help keep PLC and professional learning conversations focused and solution-oriented, steering conversations away from deficit thinking around student capabilities.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #41 #22 #24

CCC Prompts Teacher Social Networks Teacher Communities

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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Don’t do this Work Alone! Connect and Collaborate with Others to Promote Gender Inclusion Refinement of practice—and all social transformation more generally—is best accomplished by collaborating with others engaged in the same pursuit. The following resources and guidance highlight how to collaboratively take up this work. • Staff and faculty training and professional development organizations: Gender Diversity, Trans Youth Equality Federation, Gender Spectrum • Join a science content-specific equity group to find a thought partner for planning gender-inclusive lessons, like SEEDS and STEM Equity. • Read about how other teachers have navigated discussions about gender in biology including Ariel Heyman and brief authors Sam Long, Lewis Steller, and River Suh. Read about how LGBTQ scientists navigate their identities within their professions at 500 Queer Scientists. • Seek professional judgment and guidance before offering age-appropriate, trauma-informed examples of how to redress the history of science in erasing complexities of gender and sex in humans and in broader biology. • To respond to curricular limitations, develop allies in your school and community. Look beyond other teachers to nurses, counselors, food services staff, etc. Administrators can also support educators to respond to any community concerns regarding teaching about gender, sex, and sexuality. • Partner with teachers unions and legislation-focused groups like Transgender Law Center and National Center for Transgender Equality. Several examples of model policies, best practices, and support forms are available online. • Share what you learn and do to support gender inclusivity with colleagues, friends, neighbors, and through your professional teaching organizations. • Highlight the National Science Teaching Association, National Association of Biology Teachers, and Next Generation Science Standards statements on gender-inclusive instruction. • Know your rights if you are an out LGBTQ+ staff member. • Prepare yourself to respond to common concerns.

BY SAM LONG, LEWIS STELLER, & RIVER X. SUH (GENDERINCLUSIVEBIOLOGY.COM) AND KATY BUTLER & KIERAN SLATTERY (GENDER INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS) TO BE USED WITH STEM TEACHING TOOL #76: HOW DO WE PRESENT GENDER, SEX, AND SEXUALITY AS PART OF INCLUSIVE AND ACCURATE SCIENCE TEACHING?


Gender-Inclusive Biology Instruction for Elementary School Educators The following resources are specifc to supporting elementary school educators to be more inclusive and accurate in their teaching of gender, sex, and sexuality. •

Read Early Childhood Gender 101 and Gender for an overview of how to talk about gender with even very young children.

Read the Principles of Gender-Inclusive Puberty and Health Education for guidelines on how to address and teach these topics.

Read the School Action Toolkit with your peers for ideas from Australia about how your school might implement a plan to better teach gender, sex and sexuality.

By the age of 1, children begin to categorize individuals by gender and by one and a half years old they begin to understand their own gender identity, which they establish more frmly at around age 2-3. By 2 years old they begin to use culturally defned gender labels and recognize gender stereotypes.

Help kids see the way that gender and sexual diversity is natural and refected in the world around them. Learn more about naturally-occurring diversity in gender and relationships (adaptations like spotted red hyenas, bull frogs, clown fsh), inheritance and multi-adult families (diverse families toolkit, which requires a signup to download, and lesson plans to embrace all families), and how bodies develop.

Other lesson recommendations:

Welcoming Schools Chimera Butterfies: Nonbinary Animals

Welcoming Schools And Tango Makes Three: Looking at Family and Story Structure

Elementary lesson plans about gender, sex, and sexuality (not just for science)

Book recommendations: •

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardon

It’s A Wild World by S. Bear Bergman

Gender Now Activity Book: School Edition by Maya Christina Gonzalez

Reach out to Gender Inclusive Classrooms for K-5 specifc guidance

Visit this document for recommendations for middle and high school educators and stemteachingtools.org/brief/76 for the associated STEM Teaching Tool practice brief.

BY SAM LONG, LEWIS STELLER, & RIVER X. SUH (GENDERINCLUSIVEBIOLOGY.COM) AND KATY BUTLER & KIERAN SLATTERY (GENDER INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS) TO BE USED WITH STEM TEACHING TOOL #76: HOW DO WE PRESENT GENDER, SEX, AND SEXUALITY AS PART OF INCLUSIVE AND ACCURATE SCIENCE TEACHING?


Inclusive Talk and Framing For Gender-Inclusive Biology Instruction The language we use in the classroom sets the tone for how students will talk and think about gender, sex, and sexuality. Consider the connotations of specific words used for diverse bodies. Shifting from words like “disease” or “abnormality” to neutral language such as “variation” or “difference” can have real impact. •

These short and longer language guides can inform your search for inclusive and specific language. For example, instead of overgeneralizing that “men produce sperm,” using a specific phrase like “testes produce sperm” makes science discourse more precise.

Make room in your curriculum to regularly collect student feedback about curiosity, interests, prior knowledge, and experiences, then respond through instructional changes.

Learn the history of how the fixed male / female gender binary—in conjunction with cultural models of heteropatriarchy—was imposed on Indigenous peoples during colonization as part of the process of cultural genocide and colonial control. Many now take these narrow views of gender categories and roles for granted as “how things are” in the face of extensive natural and social science evidence to the contrary.

Teach accurate information about sex and gender whenever they arise rather than teaching rules with exceptions.

Proactively learn students’ names, pronouns, and any identities that they feel comfortable sharing. Offer a form students can complete at any time to update names and pronouns.

This webinar offers an overview of how to teach gender-inclusive biology, tools from the Gender-Inclusive Biology website, and how focusing on your and your students’ language can be a good way to start in this work.

Visit this document for recommendations for elementary school educators and stemteachingtools.org/brief/76 for the associated STEM Teaching Tool practice brief.

BY SAM LONG, LEWIS STELLER, & RIVER X. SUH (GENDERINCLUSIVEBIOLOGY.COM) AND KATY BUTLER & KIERAN SLATTERY (GENDER INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS) TO BE USED WITH STEM TEACHING TOOL #76: HOW DO WE PRESENT GENDER, SEX, AND SEXUALITY AS PART OF INCLUSIVE AND ACCURATE SCIENCE TEACHING?


Gender-Inclusive Biology Instruction for Middle and High School Educators These resources are specific to supporting middle and high school educators to be more inclusive and accurate in their teaching of gender, sex, and sexuality. •

Be aware of the way students’ identities are developing and shifting around gender, sex, and sexuality, including feelings that may arise related to puberty, bodies, and relationships.

Teach with the assumption that someone in the room could be intersex or transgender, even if you are not aware.

In a Genetics/Inheritance unit, attend to intersex identities and encourage curiosity about chromosomal variations but do not jeopardize your students’ privacy by doing a Barr body staining exercise. For Mendelian genetics, consider a model that foregoes human gender role stereotypes like the Pigeonetics game. In an Evolution unit, provide a more complete picture of sexual and natural selection. Avoid anthropomorphizing or projecting human values or human gender stereotypes onto animal behavior. Expose students to species exhibiting same-sex sexual behavior, sex-changing, and transgender-like expression. Evolution’s Rainbow by Joan Roughgarden provides hundreds of unique examples of gender and sexual diversity, easily referenced in a spreadsheet database by River Suh.

In a Human Body Systems unit, be sensitive to the highly personal subject matter. Emphasize that any diagram is oversimplified and does not represent any individual’s exact body configuration. Expose students to chromosomal, genetic, and hormonal aspects of biological sex which impact the reproductive system as well as all other organ systems. Teach about the spectrum of variations observed for any physiological trait, rather than a singular “normal” or “healthy” body. For example, students can develop and evaluate models for predicting standing height from human skeletons. The HHMI Sex Verification Testing of Athletes interactive explores variations in urogenital development without pathologization. Current research on lymph node asymmetry can also highlight this variation.

For advanced biology classes including AP and IB, Project Biodiversify provides detailed guidance for teaching about sexual reproduction, sex determination and dimorphism, and sexual selection in college-level content.

Use resources created by Ace Schwarz (Teaching Outside the Binary) to help young people research scientists with diverse identities.

Visit this document for recommendations for elementary school educators and stemteachingtools.org/brief/76 for the associated STEM Teaching Tool practice brief.

BY SAM LONG, LEWIS STELLER, & RIVER X. SUH (GENDERINCLUSIVEBIOLOGY.COM) AND KATY BUTLER & KIERAN SLATTERY (GENDER INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS) TO BE USED WITH STEM TEACHING TOOL #76: HOW DO WE PRESENT GENDER, SEX, AND SEXUALITY AS PART OF INCLUSIVE AND ACCURATE SCIENCE TEACHING?


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#76

How do we present gender, sex, and sexuality as part of inclusive and accurate science teaching? What Is The Issue? Social ideas of gender identity and sexuality overlap

with many commonly taught biology topics, including genetics, reproduction, sexual selection, and anatomy and physiology. Most teachers will need to learn

more about these topics to address them accurately and inclusively. Educators can help students build

more complete views of both science and society by addressing the diversity and fluidity of sex, gender,

and sexuality in both human and non-human species. These approaches help support a more full sense

of belonging for gender-diverse students in science

education and are an important learning focus for all members of society.

BY SAM LONG, LEWIS STELLER, & RIVER X. SUH (GENDERINCLUSIVEBIOLOGY.COM) AND KATY BUTLER & KIERAN SLATTERY (GENDER INCLUSIVE CLASSROOMS) | JUNE 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Science educators should leverage students’ curiosity about human experience to create an inclusive community that supports all kinds of learning and development. District staff & PD providers should explicitly communicate and provide training to help educators, students, and families understand these topics. Administrators should seek out more diverse representations of gender and sexuality across content areas in ways that reflect student and community interest.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/76


Things To Consider

• All students have questions about gender and sex, regardless of their own age or identities. Humans naturally learn about gender starting in early childhood. By the teenage years, 9.5% of young people identify as LGBT, and many more know somebody who is 2SLGBTQQI+.1 • Exposure to inclusive curriculum is correlated with positive outcomes for LGBTQ+ students including increased attendance (Fig. 2.9), more positive relationships with teachers, and increased peer acceptance (Fig. 2.12). LGBTQ+ students exposed to inclusive STEM curricula were more likely to choose a STEM major in college (p. 71).

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Educate yourself with foundational knowledge about the meaning of gender and sex in biology, the many factors involved in human sex determination, and the diverse patterns in animal species. Scientific discovery continues, so a science teacher must continue to learn about these topics in order to serve students well over time. • Reflect on your own gender and sexual identities with the Gender Galaxy (Action Canada), the Gender Wheel (Maya Gonzalez) and Flower of Power (LGBTQ2s). How do your identities impact the way you learn science, see yourself reflected in science, and teach science? • Integrate inclusive language and framing year-round into units that you already teach, not just during discrete lessons about gender. This signals to students that these topics matter and are important in biology. See detailed guidance on language use and framing. • Design and adapt lessons using the Framework for Gender-Inclusive Biology Curriculum. Use our more detailed list of resources and advice for Elementary School and for Middle & High School. • Learn what policies govern teaching about gender, sex, and sexuality in your region. Some states have “No Promo Homo” laws, sex education laws, and gender and sexuality in curriculum laws, which may limit how you teach science. A handful of states have adopted inclusive curricular standards, though they often focus on social studies content. Don’t do this work alone! Consider some model guidelines and reach out to potential partner groups. Explore these additional ideas and resources! • Supplement visual classroom culture with inclusive posters like There’s More Than One Way To Make A Family, LGBTQIA Science/ STEM Etymology Series, STEM Role Models, and Rodillian Academy’s Science and Math Posters.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How did you come to understand gender and sex as a young person? How can you expand your thinking to provide an inclusive education for students? How comfortable or familiar are you with LGBTQ+ terminology? How can you establish foundational language in your classroom while also acknowledging continual changes in language that your students may use in their everyday lives?

Attending to Equity • Teaching the complex truth about gender prepares all students to be responsible and informed community members. People who learn about both biological and environmental influences on gender show less prejudice against transgender people. • Work with your students to identify what inclusive language works developmentally and culturally for your group. Make space for linguistic diversity and Indigenous and non-Eurocentric perspectives on gender, biology, and identity. • Consider sharing background resources with families in other languages like Spanish (Family Toolkit and infographic), Burmese, Cantonese, Korean, Mandarin, and Vietnamese.

1. 2SLGBTQQI+ stands for two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex, and other gender or sexual minorities. The rest of this tool uses the more common LGBTQ+, with the understanding that the “+” in this acronym represents a huge variety of identities. ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #15 #54 #71

Equity in Science Education Equitable Community Science Ed Equity Projects

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/76


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#77

Building Family-Centered Models for Science Education through Learning in Places Image source: the Learning in Places project, learninginplaces.org

What Is The Issue? Families and communities are always engaged in

complex sensemaking about scientific phenomena— navigating social and ecological systems through everyday observations, questions, and decisions.

Place-emergent science investigations are powerful opportunities for families to consciously engage in

collaborative scientific sensemaking and culturally regenerative interactions. Family and home-based

activities represent opportunities for educators to rethink and re-shape science learning in ways that put

partnerships with families at the center. Frameworks and lessons from the Learning in Places project can support families and educators in this endeavor. BY JORDAN SHERRY-WAGNER, PRIYA PUGH, ABBY RHINEHART, CHRISTINA GUEVARA, MEGAN BANG, CARRIE TZOU, & PHILIP BELL | AUGUST 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Family members can take on a wide variety of roles to support science learning. You do not need to think of yourself as a science expert to help children learn science! Use these questions to support investigations. Educators and community partners should consider how their institutional resources can support field-based investigations at home—rather than trying to replicate school at home. School leaders and PD providers should examine the values and relational qualities that drive partnership with families. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/77


Things To Consider

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

• Science investigations should directly build upon students’ cultural funds of knowledge, which can include their family’s shared experiences, stories, and relationships with places. The Learning in Places project’s neighborhood walk activities for classrooms and families focus learning on these family understandings of a place, its histories, and its significance to families, communities, and science.

How are the learners you work with already engaging in activities with their families around science phenomena? How could you find out?

• Family-centered investigations—like those developed for “family making” in the TechTales robotics program—create a space where families build and share their relationships and identities. • Recent events offer an opportunity to rethink education and center culturally resurgent learning. To that end, educators can support more home-based learning activities, more communication between educators and families, and a focus on ethics in science learning. The resources from Learning in Places offer starting points in that work, as they position families and communities as equal decision makers and co-designers of curricula and learning experiences.

Recommended Actions You Can Take Implement the Learning in Places classroom storyline to engage in meaningful science learning that strengthens the relationships between families and educational institutions. The following activities are a few examples of how family and community knowledges and practices are centered in the classroom storyline: • To share stories in relation to a place: Family Learning Across Places • To share cultural knowledge and practices in relation to time and seasons: Why is this season important to our family? • To consider family relationships to neighborhoods and communities: Sharing Places: Neighborhood Walk; Species, Kinds, and Behaviors; Places, Lands, and Waters; and Human Decision Making. • To consider questions of ethics and health as they relate to families: Preparing for the Outdoors; Exploring your Family’s Daily Decisions; and Modeling a Neighborhood “Should We” Question. Deepen your own thinking and practice around family engagement through resources like the Learning in Places educator frameworks, which include research-based information, vignettes, and selfassessments you can take about your practice: • To explore the importance of family engagement and collaboration: Family and Community Engagement and Leadership Framework • To reflect on issues of learning, equity, and scientific knowledge: Culture, Learning, and Identity Framework • To make sense of key dimensions of identity and relations in learning: Power and Historicity Framework

How can your school/institution support family and community engagement in designing curricula and learning? Reflect further with the Self-Assessment for Family Engagement.

Attending to Equity • Co-design learning activities with families and communities at the table. Explore justice-based models of Family Leadership and Design, and refer to the Learning in Places Family and Community Framework for Engagement and Collaboration to explore different models of partnership with families. • Neighborhood walks do not require a particular distance to be covered. Many of the activities can be done by just looking out a window. If visual observation is a challenge, other senses can perceive phenomena—like smelling fresh tree sap, feeling a leaf’s texture, or close listening. • Relations to place are mediated by powered historical dynamics. Often these privilege Eurocentric/settler-colonial ways of knowing and relating to places that exclude the Indigenous peoples who still reside on, or were forcefully removed from, their homelands. Engage in ongoing education about whose lands your family or school live on and take actions that support Indigenous self-determination.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #61 #68 #70

Ecological Caring Resilience in Climate Edu. Intersectional Environ.

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/77


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#78

A

Navigating the Political Dimensions of Climate Change Teaching and Learning

What Is The Issue? As educators consider teaching about global climate change, many express concern about the “political” nature of the subject. This concern is often rooted in a belief that STEM subjects—within which much of climate change learning is situated—are somehow apolitical or value-free in nature. To unpack these concerns, educators should explore: (1) How is STEM inherently political?, (2) What do we mean by “political” in the context of climate change learning?, and (3) How do we support youth in developing STEM knowledge and critical thinking practices—rather than imposing belief systems on young people? BY DEB L. MORRISON, BRIAN MACNEVIN & PHILIP BELL | AUGUST 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should use socio-historical approaches in science teaching to help students develop a nuanced, complex understanding of global climate change. District Staff & PD Providers should support students and educators to develop critical thinking by using scientific knowledge and practices in authentic local contexts impacted by climate change. School Leaders should communicate with teachers, students, and families about the socio-historical nature of STEM, particularly about global climate change and the role of education in disrupting it.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/78


Things To Consider What do we mean by “political” when discussing climate change? • Climate change is not controversial within the scientific community, though it can be in broader society. The word “political” in the context of climate change education often refers to the societal controversy. People are trying both to remove climate change from the curriculum and trying to keep it or add it into learning goals. The broad consensus is that climate literacy is a key aspect of scientific literacy and should be taught. • As described in the Framework, science is fundamentally a human endeavor. Scientific work is socially situated and there is no way of detaching it from the values held by the scientists involved. It is political. How do we develop shared STEM knowledge and critical thinking practices around climate change? • Learning shared knowledge and critical thinking practices should be clearly differentiated from indoctrinating students with particular belief systems. Education is best approached as a way to cultivate community members who have the critical thinking skills and knowledge to engage in collaborative, public problem solving and decision making. • Societal and community decisions are not only made using science-based information, but rely on social and cultural contexts to resolve issues. Teaching climate change helps young people develop an understanding of how decisions on science are made in real socio-scientific contexts.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Be prepared to discuss why young people are learning about climate change to foster professional learning with peers—and get your building administration on board, if they would be supportive, before you begin. • With someone denying climate change, it can help to relate a value they hold to the need to respond to climate change. Focusing on local ways of talking about climate phenomena also tend to be helpful. Communities may use local terminology and frameworks to interpret and discuss changes they are witnessing. It helps to teach climate science in the context of socio-historical issues in local contexts. Learn from these project examples engaging teachers in learning how to do this. • Support students to use science and engineering to advocate for their communities on socio-scientific issues, like climate change. Consider engaging in place-based science education focused on local action. • Unpack specific language with your students to ensure they understand the multiple meanings of particular terms (e.g., political, civic, equity, social justice, environmental justice, climate justice, activism, science).

REFLECTION QUESTIONS In what ways is the term “political” used to advance or hinder students from taking action in response to their learning about climate change? How should students’ own questions and learning about climate change lead them to engage with community beyond the school building?

Attending to Equity • While all communities are impacted by climate change, some communities are being hit first and worst. Frontline communities are predominantly communities of color and/or those living in poverty. They often have less political power to impact the systemic changes needed to mitigate and adapt to the changing environment. • Explore climate change efforts by communities of color and Indigenous communities. Consider how you and your students can engage with and support these impacted communities—rather than studying them from afar. • With lower participation of historically marginalized peoples in the geosciences, the identification of pressing climate change impacts and the definition of solutions is likely not currently in the hands of those most directly affected. Helping young people feel they have a rightful presence in the science and engineering classroom can help change those trends.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #12 #44 #67

Climate Science Ed Place-Based Science Ed Justice-Centered Phenomena

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM

TEACHING TOOL

#79

How can we confront and dismantle systemic racism through science learning? What Is The Issue? Science is often seen as objective and neutral; however, science is a subjective human endeavor shaped by issues of power and oppression. Science teaching and learning often leaves untouched a status quo that threatens the physical, emotional, psychological, and intellectual well-being of historically minoritized learners, especially students from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Science educators must consider questions of racial injustice and anti-Blackness in the history of science, dominant assumptions about what counts as science, representations of who engages in scientific practices, and how we teach these topics. BY MELISSA BRAATEN, DANELLE FOSTER, JASON FOSTER, RAE JING HAN, DÉANA SCIPIO & ENRIQUE SUÁREZ; EDITED BY: DEB L. MORRISON & PHILIP BELL | OCTOBER 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers have power and responsibility to change racist legacies of STEM and schooling by engaging in self-work, learning more about racial justice and science education, and centering racial justice in their curriculum and pedagogy. District Staff & PD Providers should work collaboratively with educators to engage in cycles of critical reflection and learning designed to incorporate racial justice topics into science teaching and learning. Educational Leaders should support educators in connecting with peers and colleagues to collaborate, identify resources, and become accountable in their racial justice efforts. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/79


Things To Consider •Systemic and institutional racism is a pervasive reality in the systems that we live and work in. We are differently implicated in and impacted by these systems based on our racialized identities. We can challenge and disrupt racism in educational institutions, which starts with examining our own prejudices. We can then analyze and act to disrupt elements that perpetuate racism in STEM education, and in society more generally. •Race is a system of categorization invented by humans in positions of power for reasons of sociopolitical oppression, not biological explanation. Race is a social construct that has no biological basis (e.g., there are no genetic variants found only in some race groups and not in others). However, race and racism have damaging, real consequences. • Silence is never neutral; neither is science. Science teaching that foregrounds whiteness as the norm is harmful to people of all racial identities and ages. Science instruction should amplify and center the voices of BIPOC communities, their resistance against scientific and societal racism, and their valuable contributions to collective understandings of the natural and designed worlds. • We must abandon a pervasive mythos of the individual as the sole proprietor of scientific accomplishment. Many Black, Latinx, Indigenous, and Asian and Pacific Islander communities think of knowledge as a community-based endeavor that combines the past and present to bring forth a holistic future. Follow #amplifyBlackSTEM, #BlackAFinSTEM, #BlackandSTEM, and #NativesInSTEM to learn more.

Recommended Actions You Can Take

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How do issues of race and racism show up in your classroom and science learning activities? How do they show up in your curriculum, instructional & assessment practices? How do / might you create space for these conversations as shared learning opportunities? How might race, racialization, and racism shape your classroom culture and your approaches to classroom management?

Attending to Equity • Systems of racial injustice, white supremacy, and anti-Blackness are always connected with intersecting oppressive systems, including settlercolonialism and anti-Indigeneity, ableism, heteropatriarchy, linguicism, Eurocentrism, and many others.

• An anti-racist STEM pedagogy reframes teachers’ pedagogical ideology to be vigilant about racial self-awareness, recognize and disrupt white supremacy, • Talk about race, racism, anti-Blackness, and other intersectional issues of rethink science history, and see oppression with everyone you can, in all contexts. Investigate, recognize, discussions of race in science as beneficial and disrupt the legacies of racist oppression and violence that STEM to the growth of learning communities. fields created and continue to perpetuate. Dismantle racist structures • Intentional use of language is central in your work as a STEM educator. Consider how you can take action on in equity and justice work. Language multiple scales—including on individual and interpersonal, institutional is also dynamic and often shifts to and organizational, and ideological levels. better reflect our justice commitments. • Identify thought partners who can support your ongoing critical selfreflection and learning about racial justice and intersecting justice dimensions. Check out this resource to get started with your colleagues.

• Science learning activities reflect specific value systems, potential identities, and possible futures. Examine the science curricula you currently use and your reasons for selecting these resources. What assumptions and ideologies are present in these materials and activities? How can science and engineering activities contribute to intersectional racial justice? See examples related to COVID-19 and health inequities (K-2, 3-5, MS, HS), DNA exonerations, and race, racism, and genetics.

Exploring terms and concepts about race, racism, and racial justice and having explicit conversations about language can help us describe and dismantle oppressive systems and create more just possibilities.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #15 #67 #71

Equity in Science Education Justice-Centered Phenomena Science Ed Equity Projects

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/79


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#80

How to productively reframe eco-anxiety as a science communicator or educator

What Is The Issue? Most eco-anxiety stems from the fear of change— change of social structures, loss of preferred futures, or systems and lifestyles that maintain a hierarchical and capitalistic society. Attending to eco-anxiety means collectively reimagining new ways to live in harmony with Earth and one another, which requires the expertise of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander communities, as many have creatively adapted to

historically disproportionate socio-ecological change and climate change impacts. Centering the communities that are the most impacted by climate change is key to helping all children and youth imagine and build healthy futures. BY ANASTASIA SANCHEZ, KALEB GERMINARO & CHRISTINA GUEVARA, EDITED BY PHILIP BELL | OCTOBER 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Science communicators and educators have an obligation to prioritize the well-being of children and youth, which includes supporting learning that addresses the consequential climate concerns that threaten their current lives and futures. They need to learn to manage political complexities of that work. Organizational leadership and staff should invest in professional learning and updated science learning materials that are informed by Indigenous scientists and other environmental and climate justice leaders.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/80


Things To Consider • People broadly, and young people specifically, benefit from a strong connection to nature. Connections to nature support the holistic health of people. The Nature and Health network provides opportunities for continuing education on these topics. • An essential starting place to attend to eco-anxiety is to shift science narratives from Westernized ways of separating humans from ecosystems to humans as part of and in relation with ecosystems. Focus learning on solutions based on stewardship and multispecies well-being. This shift emphasizes how human communities can flourish in just relationships with land and non-human relatives. • The unfolding climate crisis can feel ominous, but remaining mired in fear limits the agency of both learners and educators— preventing them from engaging in innovative thinking and action toward ecological caring and justice. Science is uniquely positioned to cultivate critical hope through solution-based instruction that considers causes of, impacts of, and responses to climate change. • Many community organizations, scholars, and young people are already working to address mental health and well-being. Some are exploring transformative agency through farming, in both rural and urban settings, while others are working towards advocating for disaster relief and policy change. The movie Kiss The Ground illustrates the possibilities of regenerative practices that heal the soil, revive ecosystems, increase farmer well-being, and help balance the climate. The Gather documentary shows how food sovereignty is being used to support the rebuilding of Indigenous communities.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Support young people to recognize their connection to nature as healthy and necessary for collective well-being. Cultivate personal, cultural, and intersectional connections to nature to prioritize building towards just and thriving futures rather than despairing over climate projections. Land-based pedagogies and curriculum have been shown to have a positive impact on mental health and promote thriving socio-ecological relationships. • Do not focus on naively romantic notions of hope or consumer-based approaches to climate change response, which are not inclusive of all economic backgrounds and reinforce consumption behaviors. Instead, consider ways to transform fear into action through environmental stewardship of local and global ecosystems, BIPOC-led grassroots endeavors, and green innovations from youth around the world as frameworks for activism that mitigates environmental impacts while nurturing radical hope and ecological caring.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Work through your own anxieties about climate science. What are you fearful of? How can your fears help identify possible opportunities for healing self, others, and nature? How can you disrupt conversations that are anxietyinducing with learning about multispecies interdependence and collective thriving? How can science communication and instruction prioritize generational competence, caring, and the consequential concerns and thriving futures of the communities most impacted by climate change?

Attending to Equity • Part of the colonization of peoples and science curriculum involves the erasure of BIPOC cultural knowledge of living in harmony with nature. Attending to cultural resurgence means providing a counter-narrative to normative science, one informed by Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) that provides a social critique of the Westernized extractive practices that have damaged, and continue to damage, ecosystems and communities. • Anyone can experience eco-anxiety, but for many BIPOC communities, feelings and expressions of anxiety, fear, grief, and anger related to climate change are rooted in centuries of painful history and current socio-ecological violence. Practice critical consciousness about how communities experience eco-anxiety.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #61 #68 #70

Ecological Caring Resilience in Climate Edu. Intersectional Environ.

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/80


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#81

Organizing for educational transformation using Actor-Network Theory What Is The Issue? Promoting educational transformation in an underresourced, decentralized, and complex system is difficult—and yet remains the long-term need. To make systemic progress on problems and opportunities of equitable practice, it is useful to support dynamic associations across systems by coordinating flows of discourses, materials, and activities. Groups engaged in changemaking projects can use Actor-Network analysis to shape how people, groups, policies, and resources can be organized into more productive, aligned networks— so expertise and resources are creatively mobilized to promote equity. BY PHILIP BELL, ROBBIN RIEDY, BILL PENUEL & TIFFANY NEILL | NOVEMBER 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Groups engaged in changemaking projects can analyze the actornetwork over time and craft and enact implementation strategies in response that support the emergence of equity-centered, aligned dynamics and relations. Teachers, District Staff, and Educational Leaders should creatively engage in changemaking efforts in ongoing ways to promote alignment between actors. Given their status in the institution, they should be aware that their role might involve supporting insurgent efforts to disrupt inequitable systems and practices.

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Things To Consider • Actor-Network Theory (ANT) was developed to understand how various actors in a system form assemblages to help produce a set of effects (e.g., conducting a successful science investigation). In ANT, both humans and non-humans have interests that can be managed or used. That is, “things have agency” (Latour, 2005) and can compel people to react to their explicit or latent properties. ANT focuses us on understanding “the interests of a variety of actors, and translating (both in place and in form) those interests so that actors work together or in agreement.”

REFLECTION QUESTIONS Most organizational change theories focus on people changing behaviors. ANT focuses on how human and non-human assemblies associate and shape network dynamics and outcomes. What non-human actors express agency or interests in a system you are familiar with (e.g., standardized tests demand comparisons)?

• The ANT perspective is useful for understanding: (a) how disparate networks of actors related to an initiative produce specific effects, and (b) how the actors can be realigned to produce more desirable effects. Actors may be individuals or groups, or they may be non-human entities like policies, planning documents, frameworks, established routines, digital resources, and physical materials. All of these elements work as an assembly to shape activities in ways that produce documented effects. Attending to Equity People assemble networks to promote or disrupt specific associations. System coherence is key for promoting educational equity. It can focus on horizonRecommended Actions You Can Take tal coherence (of curriculum, instruction, See this detailed protocol for step-by-step guidance and examples. assessment and professional learning), To promote educational transformation: vertical coherence (across levels of the educational system), or developmental 1. Identify an initiative that promotes equity and justice in the coherence (across grades). education system where you have potential influence through the crafting of an implementation network (e.g., developing partnerships between educators adapting district curriculum and justice-centered organizations, building network capacity to enact cultural pedagogies.

2. Map the current landscape of actors involved in activities and dynamics related to the initiative. In terms of producing desired effects in the changemaking project, who are the Key Allies, Potential Allies, or Unaligned Actors (e.g., dissenters) in this work? List people and things. 3. Based on that analysis, specify a concrete aim or two for the initiative that can be seen as desired transformations of the current situation. 4. Detail the problem / opportunity space tied to working towards those aims. What are associated challenges, possibilities, and complexities? 5. Name new resources (human & non-human actors) and new relationships ( between actors) you can bring into the network to engage the problems, opportunities, and complexities. 6. Develop detailed action plans for having actors craft coherence by interpreting, negotiating, & selectively appropriating approaches. They may need to: close structural holes in the network, shift resources, change how decisions are made, develop potential allies into key allies, disrupt networks causing inequities, or attend to unaligned actors.

Power dynamics play out within transformation efforts that need to be systematically attended to in ongoing ways.

• Whose interests are being served by the selected initiative and aims? Who gets to define the desired equity effects of the initiative? How can decision-making process around an initiative happen in a group in an equitable manner? • Are any actors contributing invisible labor to the effort in an inequitable way? Does the improvement work put any actors at professional risk without their consent? Who is most at risk if the improvement effort fails or goes awry? Who is in the room who might be at risk for sharing honestly about unaligned actors? This work requires developing politicized trust.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #22 #52 #71

Teacher Social Networks District Implementation Science Ed Equity Projects

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/81


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#82

Supporting observations, wonderings, systems thinking & “Should We” deliberations through Learning in Places Image source: The Learning in Places project, learninginplaces.org

What Is The Issue? Science investigations often address complex,

socio-ecological systems and issues. This involves considering the role of humans within larger

environmental systems and deliberating on ethical

questions about what actions we should take, how we impact (and are impacted by) our environment, and

what responsibilities we have within the natural world. New resources from the Learning in Places project

support classrooms, families, and educators to think about these questions through walking, observing, questioning, and wondering in places, using their

identities and cultural ways of knowing to ask and

deliberate on questions from multiple perspectives. BY JORDAN SHERRY-WAGNER, PRIYA PUGH, CHRISTINA GUEVARA, ABBY RHINEHART, MEGAN BANG & CARRIE TZOU; EDITED BY: PHILIP BELL | DECEMBER 2021

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Understanding and making decisions about socioecological systems have direct and indirect impacts on families, communities, and institutions. In turn, family knowledges and practices impact how we come to understand socio-ecological phenomena. Families and educators have key roles to play in helping develop socioecological “Should We” questions. Educational leaders are in a uniquely powered position to focus learning goals on complex nature-culture relations in ways that position humans as a part of the natural world. STEMteachingtools.org/brief/82


Things To Consider • Scientific literacy involves systems thinking, including understanding the roles of humans within complex systems. Systems thinking may involve complex concepts, but it can be done by learners of all ages. • Starting with observation, wondering, and questioning in places is a powerful way to connect learning to places and student interest. Science inquiry that emerges from students’ and families’ observations and wonderings can lead to equitable science learning that impacts not only students, but community well-being. • Sensemaking through ”Should We” questions requires learners to speculate from multiple perspectives, explore relationships between humans and the rest of the natural world, and consider the impact of power and historicity to deliberate and make more ethical and accountable decisions within natural and social worlds. • Walking and wondering from a systems level is an opportunity to consider relationships and responsibilities within environmental systems, including our responsibilities to more-than-human species and the impact of our environments on our health and families. • Within the Learning in Places Seasonal Storylines (classroom, family, and garden), learner wonderings and group “Should We” questions produce investigation questions. Investigations questions require systematic observation and other field-based science methods to model relationships and collect/analyze data to inform ethical “Should We” deliberations.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Read and design with these Learning in Places Frameworks: • To learn more about how human communities have always made socio-ecological decisions shaped by values: Ethical Deliberation and Decision Making • To consider the importance of starting with learner observation and wonderings: Wonderings, “Should We”, & Investigation Questions • To think about relationships within a system: Relationships; What “Should We” Do? • To think across scales of time and/or space: Thinking Across Scales; Socio-Ecological Histories of Place Walk • To explore human impacts and responsibilities within your local socio-ecological system and think more about possible futures for your area: Places, Lands, and Waters; Human Decision Making • Explore the ideas and practices in the other STEM Teaching Tool on Learning in Places resources, “Building Family-Centered Models for Science Learning through Learning in Places.”

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How does thinking about and exploring socioecological sensemaking through fieldbased science practices build upon learning that happens at your school/institution? How can you work toward more ethical teaching and dignified learning in your own educational context via learners’ and families’ observations, questions, and wonderings?

Attending to Equity • Relationships between people and the rest of the natural world vary by culture and context. Science activities can be an opportunity to rethink schooling to center non-dominant students’ family and community expertise and on building relationships with families for science learning. • Walks should prioritize socio-emotional and physical needs while learning with places. A short walk, or even a series of “window wonderings” offer important opportunities to observe, speculate, and deliberate on socioecological relationships. • Starting inquiry with students’ observation and wonderings signals their role as authentic co-designers of group activity. This is an important step toward fostering educational dignity grounded in active listening, and intergenerational collaboration.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #10 #20 #31

Indigenous STEM Learning Outdoors Community Expertise

#57 #61 #71

Place-Based Learning Socio-Ecological Caring Equity Projects

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/82


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#83

Steps to Designing Justice-Focused Assessments in Science This nine-step process is designed to help teams develop Framework-aligned assessment tasks in science focused on justice-centered phenomena and scenarios. Justice-focused assessments are assessments where students use science knowledge and engineering design practices to solve problems involving matters related to the unequal distribution of consequences (e.g., benefits, harms) to communities that result from human-nature interactions and/or unequal voice of communities in matters affecting their thriving and sustainability. Justice-centered assessments are pertinent when assessing performance expectations that require students to engage in engineering practices, because such practices involve developing and testing solutions that address human needs. In addition, justice-centered assessments engage students with the idea of science as a human endeavor, as called for in the Nature of Science connections of the NGSS. Assessment design using this process is best conducted in teams, where colleagues can work together to clarify learning goals to be assessed, brainstorm design challenges for scenarios that will require application of the disciplinary core ideas of a performance expectation, and review one another’s tasks. The process of task design, if followed as outlined here, can be expected to take between four and six hours for a small team to develop a single extended task to be used as part of a unit test. Ideally, teams should begin the process with a basic understanding of the vision of A Framework for K-12 Science Education (NASEM, 2012). However, the process can also be used to help orient educators to the vision of the Framework. In addition, teachers should be familiar with strategies for introducing and teaching socioscientific issues in science classrooms described below. Teachers should also be familiar with school and district rules regarding engaging students with issues pertaining to social and political systems that become the focus of assessment tasks.

JANUARY 2022 VERSION BY WILLIAM R. PENUEL, CAROLINE ESTRADA CARLSON, SHANNON WACHOWSKI, DEBRA FREITAS, ADRIAN ALVAREZ, ROBERT HAMILTON, AMANDA SCHILD, AND ALI RAZA. EDITED BY ABBY RHINEHART AND PHILIP BELL THANK YOU TO ANEESHA BADRINARAYAN, KATIE VAN HORNE, SARA COOPER, AND MEMBERS OF SCIENCE STATE COLLABORATIVE ON ASSESSMENT AND STUDENT STANDARDS (SCASS) ORIGINAL VERSION OF THIS RESOURCE BY WILLIAM R. PENUEL, KATIE VAN HORNE, AND PHILIP BELL

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/83


Justice-focused assessment tasks in science, like other tasks in science, allow you to make inferences about how students use their understanding of disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts together to explain phenomena and solve problems. Unlike some other tasks where there is a single right answer to questions posed, students may propose different solutions to problems that reflect their perspectives on problems, using evidence presented in the task. Justice-focused assessments are likely to engage students with ideas and practices that include but go beyond those articulated in the Framework. That is, students will need to grapple with concepts and practices encountered in the social sciences, in ethical deliberation, and with ways of being, doing, and living in students’ communities. The guidance for task design included here is based on the conclusions and recommendations included in the National Research Council (2014) report, Developing Assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, the process incorporates use of the Task Screener developed by Achieve, Inc., for analyzing existing assessments. Throughout this document, we make use of three key terms: • • •

Task: Word used to describe a single, multi-component task designed to elicit understanding of a performance expectation (or part of one). Scenarios: Introductory part of a task in which a phenomenon to be explained or a problem to be solved is presented to students. The phenomenon or problem presented is the focus of the entire assessment. Prompts: Individual components or questions, all of which are linked to the scenario.

This tool is intended to be used in conjunction with other STEM Teaching Tools: • • • • •

ACESSE Resource E: Selecting an Anchoring Phenomenon for Equitable 3D Teaching STEM Teaching Tool 30: Integrating Science Practices into Assessment Tasks STEM Teaching Tool 41: Prompts for Integrating Crosscutting Concepts into Assessment and Instruction STEM Teaching Tool 67: Focusing Science and Engineering Learning on Justice-Centered Phenomena across PK12 STEM Teaching Tool 71: How can you advance equity and justice through science teaching?

If you have never developed a three-dimensional assessment task as a team, begin with STEP 0, Preparation or engaging with ACESSE Resource A and ACESSE Resource B. If you have developed Framework-aligned assessment tasks as a team, and are familiar with using the task screener, skip to STEP 1.

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Overview of the Steps Outlined in this Document STEP 0: Preparation

STEP 1: Choose a performance expectation that addresses science in its societal and political contexts and analyze the relevant sections of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and craft learning claims

STEP 2: Analyze the facets of the claim to be assessed related to the focal disciplinary core ideas of science

STEP 3: Choose a social or environmental justice issue in which students can use their knowledge of science ideas and engineering practices to address

STEP 4: Write a complete student explanation of the solution to the design challenge

STEP 5: Use the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts Tools to develop individual prompts

STEP 6: Integrate questions to assess student interest and identification with science and engineering presented in the scenario

STEP 7: Develop a range of ideal student answers and a scoring guide

STEP 8: Review your task with peers for intelligibility, worldview, alignment, and accessibility

STEP 9: Pilot and revise your assessment

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STEP 0: Preparation Preparation Part 1: Preparing to Engage students with socioscientific issues as part of your teaching There is strong evidence that teaching socioscientific issues supports learning in science (Sadler et. al., 2017). However, it requires preparation and skill to identify issues and engage students productively with those issues. If you are designing a justice-focused assessment task for the first time, it is important to consider how well your teaching has prepared students to engage with tasks where they are required to engage with a problem for which there are no clear solutions. Prior to engaging students in such a task, students should have had the opportunity to engage with problems in science class where they not only use evidence to support proposed solutions but also take into account economic, political, and ethical concerns linked to those solutions. There are a number of resources available to teachers for supporting students in engaging with socioscientific issues, such as those at the Rigorous Investigation of Relevant Issues, Learning for Justice, STEM Teaching Tools, and Learning in Places web sites. Your team may also need to develop knowledge of the relevant social, economic, and political systems (Ewing & Sadler, 2020) or the ethical deliberation and decision making that are involved. Examples of potentially relevant knowledge are values and histories that have shaped how communities view science, economic costs and benefits of engineering solutions to social problems, policies, and treaties regulating how people and institutions can interact with the environment. Developing knowledge of these systems may benefit from including as members of assessment teams educators from social science disciplines. Teams can also benefit from including community experts with knowledge of relevant concerns of stakeholders in designing assessments. Such experts can help teams identify issues that are priorities for groups working for promoting justice in your community. In addition, community experts can help teams avoid perpetuating narratives about communities by building tasks that portray communities as “damaged” or from a deficit perspective. Justice is always salient in the presentation and discussion of socioscientific issues. This is so, because engaging with social, economic, and political systems will inevitably bring to light issues of the unequal distribution of power and resources in society. Teachers need to be prepared to “explicitly acknowledge the uneven distribution of power in our society and support students in recognizing the role of power in these issues” (Ewing and Sadler, 2020, p. 20). You might consider using this framework from Learning in Places to attend to these issues of power and historicity. In engaging students with matters of justice, students should be encouraged to consider issues from different perspectives and the consequences of proposed solutions to different stakeholders, including non-human entities in the ecosystem. After completing the assessment task, students can also be encouraged to reflect on the ways that the task reveals science to be a human endeavor. Finally, prior to using a justice-focused assessment, it is important to learn about relevant school and district policies regarding how educators may engage students in socioscientific issues. Some district policies restrict educators from discussing issues considered to be “political.” Knowing the policies affecting you can help you make informed decisions about whether and how to use a justice-focused assessment. Preparation Part 2: Becoming familiar with qualities of Framework-aligned assessment tasks. For people just beginning to develop Framework-aligned assessment tasks, it is useful to begin with an analysis of existing tasks. One task designed using the process described here is the Swallows Task. It assesses students’ understanding of a high school life science performance expectation. As a team, discuss what you notice about the assessment, especially how it is different from assessments you may have used in the past. Next, look at an annotated version of the task, which shows what others who have experience developing Frameworkaligned assessments have written about it. How are their ideas similar or different from your own? What ideas do you now have about what makes for a good Framework-aligned assessment? You can record your ideas about what makes for a good Framework-aligned assessment task and keep it nearby as you go through the rest of the steps in the process.

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Achieve, Inc’s Science Task PreScreen: Basic Criteria for Framework-Aligned Assessment Tasks • • • • • • • •

Is there a phenomenon or problem driving the task? Can the majority of the task be answered without using information provided by the task scenario? (answer should be “no”) Can significant portions of the task be answered successfully by using rote knowledge (e.g., definitions, prescriptive or memorized procedure)? (answer should be “no”) Does the majority of the task require students to use reasoning to successfully complete the task? Does the task require students to use some understanding of disciplinary core ideas to successfully complete the task? Do students have to use at least one science and engineering practice to successfully complete the task? Are the dimensions assessed separately in the majority of the task? Is the task coherent and comprehensible from the student perspective?

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STEP 1: Choose a performance expectation that addresses science in its societal and political contexts and analyze the relevant sections of A Framework for K-12 Science Education and craft learning claims Assessment begins with defining what you want to be able to say about what your students know and can do. The Framework provides a starting place for defining the understanding that should be assessed at each grade band. The practices chapter (Chapter 3) and crosscutting concepts chapter (Chapter 4) highlight grade 12 endpoints and what is known about progressions across K-12. The disciplinary core ideas chapters (Chapters 5-8) include descriptions for what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of grades 2, 5, 8, and 12. Some performance expectations will lend themselves more easily to justice-focused assessment tasks. Those involving engineering design practices that call for consideration of human needs are good candidates, as are performance expectations focused on human-nature relationships. This does not mean that other standards cannot be used. For example, an assessment of nuclear chemistry (e.g., HS-PS1-8: Develop models to illustrate the changes in the composition of the nucleus of the atom and the energy released during the processes of fission, fusion, and radioactive decay) could be assessed in a justice-focused task by asking students to use what they have learned about radioactive decay to propose solutions for addressing potential and past harms to communities exposed to radiation from uranium mining. It is valuable to consider using justice-focused assessment tasks for such standards, because it gives students a chance to apply what they have learned to a community-relevant issue. Use the text to define a set of “learning claims” that you want to be able to make about what students know and can do. A claim is more than just a phrase that references a concept (e.g., “ecosystem stability”). For example, “A complex set of interactions within an ecosystem can keep its numbers and types of organisms relatively constant over long periods of time under stable conditions,” is a statement derived from the 12th grade expectation for LS2C. This particular claim is not sufficient to develop a learning claim for an assessment, as it does not account for performance related to the other two dimensions (Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts), as shown in the example below. The performance expectations can be the basis for developing claims. However, many assessment tasks will only assess part of a performance expectation. You can choose parts that fit together, for example, because they are necessary to explain a particular phenomenon, or because conceptually they are related. Below, we present a performance expectation in the form of a claim, and show the relevant Framework text that makes up the claim. This text is the same text that is in the “connections” boxes of the NGSS.

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Claim Students can propose and defend a solution that addresses the threats to species caused by changes in human activity at a border between two countries. Associated PEs (partially addressed): MS-LS2-4, MS-LS2-5, MS-ESS3-3

Relevant Framework Text Disciplinary Core Ideas: Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience) Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience) Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (ESS-3C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems) Science and Engineering Practices: Construct an oral and written argument supported by empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to support or refute an explanation or a model for a phenomenon or a solution to a problem. (SEP: Engaging in Argument from Evidence) Crosscutting Concept: Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part. (CCC: Stability and Change)

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STEP 2: Analyze the facets of the claim to be assessed related to the focal disciplinary core ideas of science Developing a deeper understanding of the components of the performance expectation is needed, both to help select a design challenge for the assessment, and also to help develop a sense of what is important to score in an assessment. Depending on your purposes for the assessment, you may choose to assign a score or grade only for students’ use of target science ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts. If you want to assess students’ understanding of the social, economic, and political systems that inform the focal issue, you may wish to analyze relevant social studies or social justice standards. An analysis of the facets of the performance expectation is the second step in assessment design. A facet is a small observable piece of knowledge or a strategy that a student uses to make sense of a problem (Minstrell, 1992). Facets can be about any dimension, and can be written as claims, such as “Students can define the boundaries of ecosystems on the basis of direct and indirect interactions among organisms,” or “Argument from evidence involves evaluation of given claims.” The NGSS Evidence Statements are one representation of the facets of a performance expectation. However, analyzing facets can be a valuable way for a team to develop a shared understanding of the learning targets for an assessment task. Making “sticky notes” with the facets on them can help teams keep track of whether the assessment prompts you design actually elicit each one. Facet analysis can also be used to understand the breadth of student thinking revealed through their assessment responses.

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Sample Facets (DCI Only) Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. • Changes can be to physical (e.g., climate) or biological (e.g., number and species of organisms that live there) of components. • Changes can also be to interactions among components. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. • Ecosystems’ components are highly connected. • Changes to climate affect the ability of particular species to survive in an area. • Because many species are interdependent (e.g., part of a food web), changes to populations of one species can affect survival of another. • Many changes are caused by human activity, such as resource extraction, adverse land use patterns, pollution, introduction of nonnative species, and global climate change. Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. • Different ecosystems have different levels of biodiversity. • Levels of biodiversity are related to the fact that organisms vary in their requirements for food, water, oxygen and other resources. • A change to the habitat of an organism can affect organisms living there (from LS4.D, elementary school). Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. • Human activities can have major effects on the land. (From elementary school) • Individuals and communities are doing things to protect or restore habitats. (From elementary school) But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. • All human activity draws on natural resources, and has positive and negative consequences for the health of people, other organisms, and the environment.

Relevant Framework Text Ecosystems are dynamic in nature; their characteristics can vary over time. Disruptions to any physical or biological component of an ecosystem can lead to shifts in all its populations. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience) Biodiversity describes the variety of species found in Earth’s terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems. The completeness or integrity of an ecosystem’s biodiversity is often used as a measure of its health. (LS2C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience) Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth’s environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (ESS-3C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems)

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STEP 3: Choose a social or environmental justice issue in which students can use their knowledge of science ideas and engineering practices to address Justice-centered assessments present problems for students to solve, in which they use science ideas, crosscutting concepts, and engineering practices to address. There are many types of issues that could be the focal point of assessments. A problem could be an issue or matter of concern to local communities, to particular cultural groups, or to people across the globe. It could be a matter of care related to the more-than-human world. The problem could also arise from contemporary scientific developments. It is quite likely that most students overwhelmingly encounter natural phenomena and images of science that are framed as apolitical. However, there is a growing understanding that science education has a vital role to play in helping students develop deep ethical sensibilities and develop complex views of natural systems are inextricably tied to social systems. Students have a right to learn how science and engineering are connected to justice and injustice. Justice-focused design challenges ask “should we?” questions that can invite students to use their knowledge, clarify values and goals, and explore potential impacts of solutions they design. Such questions can pertain to everyday decisions in families, or they can relate to decisions made on a community or society level. Engaging with the issue should require students to apply their understanding of pieces of one or more targeted performance expectations. This particular requirement means that developing a task will involve considerable time looking for a good phenomenon or design challenge. The task’s scenario should be engaging, relevant, and culturally accessible to a wide range of students (Achieve, 2018). In addition, justice-focused assessments should be ones that engage students in science and engineering practices in expansive ways, so that students are encouraged to notice and articulate connections between the science they are learning and the broader social and political forces that are implicated in an issue. ACESSE Resource E presents a process for selecting a problem or phenomenon to anchor a 3D assessment or sequence of lessons. The resource outlines a multi-step process that includes an analysis of the standards as shown in Step 2, as well as the use of a student survey to elicit students’ ideas about their interest in phenomena, as well as how important problems are to them and people in their community. For groups new to phenomena and design challenges, it may be useful to play the Phenomenon Game that is part of Resource E, a card sort activity that helps participants learn to distinguish questions posed as phenomena and design challenges from those posed about disciplinary core ideas. Justice-focused assessments pose questions as design challenges or problems to be solved. Another useful guide to selecting an issue that has both social and scientific dimensions is the [RI]2 Issue Selection guide. This resource produced at the University of Missouri’s ReSTEM Institute provides a list of questions that can be asked when selecting an issue: Is the issue a socio-scientific issue? Is it productive for the intended audience? What instructional moves need to be made to promote successful teaching? As part of analyzing whether the issue is productive, designers of tasks are invited to consider how the issue is related to standards. Ideally, multiple candidate issues are identified initially for use in an assessment, since not all will likely meet the criteria above on close scrutiny. No issue is likely to require mastery of a full performance expectation, either. It is more likely that any issue will address parts of multiple performance expectations. Once several candidate issues have been identified, you can use the Task Annotation Project in Science’s Equity criteria to assess the issue’s integrity to those criteria.

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Phenomenon and Associated Facets Border walls have been threatening and continue to threaten the survival of many species of organisms along the border between the United States and Mexico in two ecosystems, the Sonoran Desert and the Sky Islands. Within the communities along the border walls, the walls have been a focus of controversy as well. Explaining this phenomenon requires students to apply their understanding of species’ dependence on movement to secure resources they need, and the harms caused by human activity. Designing a solution to the problem requires students to engage with policies that affect the border wall and with competing perspectives of people with different political views. It also requires them to consider at the same time how to balance human concerns with the thriving of non-human animal populations that are affected by human activity.

Scenario U.S. policies about the U.S.-Mexico border have changed a lot over the past 100 years. Over the past six years, government officials in the US built a long border wall between Mexico and Arizona in public lands. A goal was to keep people from entering the U.S. from the Mexican side of the border. The border wall has been controversial within border communities (link to PBS video to show students). It has also affected wildlife along the border. Human activity has been threatening and continues to threaten the survival of many species of organisms along the border between the United States and Mexico in two ecosystems, the Sonoran Desert and the Sky Islands. These two ecosystems are biodiverse, meaning they have lots of different species (McCallum et al., 2014). This makes them healthy and resilient, if not disrupted by human activity. Accesss pictures and audio of the sounds of the Sonoran Desert and pictures and audio of the Sky Islands. An example of a threatened species is the jaguar. Until the middle of the 20th century, there were many jaguar populations in the US, north of the border. Today, camera traps have found only male jaguars living in the area (McCain & Childs, 2008). Camera traps take pictures of animals when they move in front of them. The populations of US jaguars will die out if females do not join them. Jaguars are predators that feed on javelina and deer, as well as some birds. Answer the questions below to address these three big questions: 1. How could human activity along the border threaten the survival of species like the jaguar? 2. What should be done to protect animals like the jaguar in these two ecosystems? 3. How would people with different perspectives on the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in Arizona respond to your proposed solution?

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STEP 4: Write a complete student explanation of the solution to the design challenge Before developing specific prompts for the task, it is useful to write a complete student explanation of the scientific phenomenon and/or a possible solution to the design challenge. The explanation or solution should be what you expect students to develop in writing or through some other means of expression (e.g., a video). They are the “answers” to the questions or prompts that you will develop in your assessment. Write them as an emerging bilingual or multilingual student who had mastered the performance expectation would write an explanation.

Scenario U.S. policies about the U.S.-Mexico border have changed a lot over the past 100 years. Over the past six years, government officials in the US built a long border wall between Mexico and Arizona in public lands. A goal was to keep people from entering the U.S. from the Mexican side of the border, during a time when border crossings have been decreasing. The border wall has been controversial within border communities (link to PBS video to show students). It has also affected wildlife along the border. Human activity has been threatening and continues to threaten the survival of many species of organisms along the border between the United States and Mexico in two ecosystems, the Sonoran Desert and the Sky Islands. These two ecosystems are biodiverse, meaning they have lots of different species (McCallum et al., 2014). This makes them healthy and resilient, if not disrupted by human activity. Accesss pictures and audio of the sounds of the Sonoran Desert and pictures and audio of the Sky Islands. An example of a threatened species is the jaguar. Until the middle of the 20th century, there were many jaguar populations in the US, north of the border. Today, camera traps have found only male jaguars living in the area (McCain & Childs, 2008). Camera traps take pictures of animals when they move in front of them. The populations of US jaguars will die out if females do not join them. Jaguars are predators that feed on javelina and deer, as well as some birds. Answer the questions below to address these three big questions: 1. How could human activity along the border threaten the survival of species like the jaguar? 2. What should be done to protect animals like the jaguar in these two ecosystems? 3. How would people with different perspectives on the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico in Arizona respond to your proposed solution?

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Complete Student Explanation Possible Explanation There are three possible claims to evaluate, to decide if human activity threatens other species’ populations. First, human migration across the border could scare animals away. Jaguars would be especially affected by this activity: because travel happens at night when jaguars are most likely to be spotted, it could affect their movements. Second, border walls could be barriers that prevent travel across the border, and also disrupt paths animals use to seek out food or mates across the border. Walls stop animals from reaching resources they need on the other side of the border (Flesch et al., 2010). Third, building and protecting the border wall itself could be destroying habitats for organisms. Evidence from a study shows that animal activity was affected by border walls, but not by humans crossing the border (McCallum et al., 2014). Scientists found similar numbers of crossings of animals where there were also people crossing the border. But they also found fewer numbers of animals crossing near border walls. A separate study by Lasky and colleagues (Lasky et al., 2011) evaluated the impacts of the existing border wall and other barriers on amphibians, reptiles and mammals. They identified 56 species that have likely been affected by existing border walls. Some of these are at risk of extinction. Their study argues that the impact is not limited to a single organism, but is affecting the biodiversity of the ecosystem. A change to one aspect of the ecosystem—the building of a border wall—could lead to the extinction of jaguar populations and populations of other species. That is because the range of these animals crosses the border: they seek food and mates across the border. If the jaguar, a key predator, went extinct, then the javelina and deer populations could grow very large.

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STEP 5: Use the Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts Tools to develop individual prompts A key challenge for many teams is to develop tasks that elicit students’ grasp of the science and engineering practices and their understanding of crosscutting concepts. Two tools exist to help develop prompts (individual questions) that do so: STEM Teaching Tool 30: Integrating Science Practices into Assessment Tasks STEM Teaching Tool 41: Prompts for Integrating Crosscutting Concepts into Assessment and Instruction You can use the first tool to organize a sequence of prompts that make sense for students, and then adapt prompts from the second tool in appropriate places so that students can show their understanding of crosscutting concepts. There are multiple task formats for the science and engineering practices. Having multiple task formats to choose from allows for variety in assessment prompts. The formats vary in how challenging they are likely to be for students, too. Most assessments will rely on more than one practice, because multiple practices are almost always needed to solve problems (see STEM Teaching Tool 3).

SEP Task Format

Linked Prompt to Elicit Explanation

Analyzing and Interpreting Data Format 4

Researchers put out “camera traps” in four different areas of the desert. They wanted to test whether human presence affected animal migrations across the border. They also wanted to test whether there was a difference between animals seen in areas that had a wall, versus those that didn’t. A camera trap takes a picture of any animal (including humans) whenever it goes in front of the camera. Here are some examples of pictures taken in this region.

Describe an investigation, the phenomenon under investigation, and one or more recorded observations from the investigation, then • Ask students to organize, represent, and analyze the data in at least two different ways, and • Ask students to compare how the representations and analyses help them to identify patterns in the data.

Table 1 shows the rate of pictures taken of different types of species at different sites.

Species Type 1

Species Type 2

Species Type 3

Humans

Site 1

0.09

4.94

4.77

1.93

Site 2

9.12

10.53

7.74

1.89

Site 3

8.72

5.95

4.49

5.81

Site 4

13.66

8.06

4.51

2.34

Where there are more humans, are there fewer animals of species type 1 seen? Re-organize the data in the table or draw a graph to identify relationships that are important to consider in answering the overall question about the relationship between human presence and the number of animals. Continued on the next page

Continued on the next page

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SEP Task Format (Continued)

Linked Prompt to Elicit Explanation (Continued)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence Format 2

The scientists who conducted this study concluded that the presence of humans crossing borders did not impact migration of animals across the border. • What evidence from the study supports the claim? • What evidence might refute that claim? • Using your knowledge of ecosystems, explain why the conclusion is surprising.

Present students with a claim about a phenomenon, then • Ask students to identify evidence that supports the claim, and • Articulate the reasons for how scientific principle(s) connect each piece of evidence to the claim. Constructing Explanations Format 6

Figure 1 shows the rate of pictures taken of different types of species at sites with barriers (walls) and those without.

Present students with data from independent and dependent variables in an investigation, then • Ask them to construct a quantitative and/or qualitative claim about how the independent variables relate to the dependent variables.

Using data shown above, what do you conclude about how walls affect the movement of different types of species?

Engaging in Argument from Evidence Format 4b Describe a scenario in which two or more explanations are offered for a phenomenon and associated evidence using text, images, video, and/or data, then • Ask students to identify the differences in reasoning and the evidence that supports or contradicts each.

One scientist concludes that human activity is affecting migration of animals across the border, and thus is a likely explanation for why some species are threatened. Another says that human activity is not affecting migration of animals, and so something else must be threatening the animals, if their numbers are decreasing. What evidence from Table 1 and Figure 1 supports each scientist’s position? What evidence contradicts their position? Why do you think the first scientist thinks reduced migration of animals across the border is affecting species’ ability to survive?

Continued on the next page

Continued on the next page

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SEP Task Format (Continued)

Linked Prompt to Elicit Explanation (Continued)

Designing Solutions Format 5

One possible solution to the problem of protecting animals along the border is to remove the border wall altogether, which would allow for the free migration of animals across the border.

Present students with a description of two competing solutions to a well-defined problem given a set of described needs, criteria and constraints, along with evidence related to the performance of each solution, then • Ask students to evaluate which design better addresses the needs, • Evaluate which design meets the criteria and constraints, and • Justify their conclusion using evidence presented.

Each of these solutions might be viewed differently by people who have different viewpoints about the wall along the U.S.Arizona border. (Optional audio story) Another is to build a corridor that allows for animals to cross, preserving that land for this purpose. What human needs or concerns does each solution address? Use evidence from the video about how different people in the town of Douglas, Arizona view the wall to support your answer. What needs of the jaguar population does each solution address? Use evidence from your explanation to support your answer. How could you test whether your solution was effective in protecting the jaguar? One possible criterion for a successful solution is that it addresses “multi-species justice,” the idea that decisions should be made by considering how organisms (including humans) and trees, rivers, and soil are all interdependent and depend on resilient ecosystems. If you were an advocate of multi-species justice, which solution would be better? Use evidence to support your conclusion.

CCC Prompts

Linked Prompt to Elicit Explanation

Stability and Change Small changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part.

Asked at the beginning: What are some factors that might be causing the Sky Island and Sonoran Desert ecosystems to be unstable at this time?

What are the factors causing this system to be unstable at [time point named in the scenario where the system is changing or not at equilibrium] ?

Asked at the very end: How might these ecosystems be affected in the long-term by creating a corridor for animals to cross the border? By removing the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico entirely?

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STEP 6: Integrate questions to assess student interest and identification with science and engineering presented in the scenario Interest and identification with science can be assessed in the context of an assessment. Gathering evidence of students’ perceptions of the personal or community relevance of a scenario can help you monitor equity goals. Assessments can help build relationships with students and help them see themselves in the science, even though they are not typically used for this purpose.

Construct

Example Question (Ideal answers are bolded)

Relevance to Community

What we did in class today matters to people in my city or town because: (select the option that best describes your feelings) A. This material is important and people should know about it B. This material could improve the lives of people in my city or town C. What we did today doesn’t matter to people in my city or town D. Other: (Please write in an answer)

Connection to Culture and History

How (if at all) is this topic important to people in your culture or its history?

Identification with Science

While completing this assessment, I felt (circle all that apply): A. Excited B. Bored C. Frustrated D. Like a scientist E. Afraid F. Angry E. Happy

Agency

As a result of learning about this, I feel like I could make a difference in solving this problem by… Talking with other people about the issue Advocating for changes to laws Using social media to advocate for a position or engage others in the issue... Organize a group at school to address the issue Make a connection to a global issue How much of a difference do you think you could make in solving the problem in this scenario? Likert: I can’t have an impact at all — With others, we can have a big impact...

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STEP 7: Develop a range of ideal student answers and a scoring guide Next, develop an answer key, and assign points to facets included in student answers that are linked to the facets identified when analyzing the performance expectation targeted in the assessment. Be open to the idea that a number of different ideal student answers likely exist. When developing a scoring guide, make sure that students get the most points for answers that reflect the facets you analyze. A total score for the assessment can be given as the sum of the individual points. The higher the number of points, the stronger the evidence of a deep understanding of elements of the targeted performance expectations. Feedback to students can focus on the facets that students still need to develop to construct a satisfactory explanation of the phenomenon or solution to the problem. The example below focuses on a scoring guide for the solution to the problem to illustrate how a science teacher might evaluate students’ solutions, without expecting students to come up with a particular solution.

Prompt One possible solution to the problem of protecting animals along the border is to remove the border wall altogether, which would allow for the free migration of animals across the border. Each of these solutions might be viewed differently by people who have different viewpoints about the wall along the U.S.-Arizona border. (Optional audio story) Another is to build a corridor that allows for animals to cross, preserving that land for this purpose. What human needs or concerns does each solution address? Use evidence from the video about how different people in the town of Douglas, Arizona view the wall to support your answer. What needs of the jaguar population does each solution address? Use evidence from your explanation to support your answer. How could you test whether your solution was effective in protecting the jaguar?

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Possible Ideal Student Answer and Scoring Guide Human needs addressed by eliminating the border Creating a corridor, but not eliminating the border might better address the concerns of the rancher who said that migrants cut fences and water lines on his property and who said he was concerned about security. The mayor who said construction helped the economy might prefer this solution as well. +1 point for each stakeholder named who would support a solution that would maintain the wall +1 point for reasoning that is consistent with that stakeholder’s position Removing the wall would likely be the preferred solution of the minister. The minister argued that the wall has led to many deaths. Javier Osorio, a professor, is also likely to support the solution of removing the wall. The migrants fleeing their home countries and seeking refuge in the U.S. might prefer that solution, too. +1 point for each stakeholder named who would support a solution that would remove the wall +1 point for reasoning that is consistent with that stakeholder’s position Needs of the Jaguar Addressed by Each Solution Each solution addresses the survival needs of jaguars potentially. These include needs for food and for mating. This is because both solutions allow jaguars to move more freely across the border. +1 point for noting each solution potentially addresses the same needs of jaguars, because they allow for movement Testing the Solution We could use camera traps along the place where a corridor was created or where the wall would be removed, in order to monitor jaguar movements. By examining data before and after the solution was implemented, we could test whether the solution was effective. If it were effective, we would expect an increase in pictures taken of jaguars crossing the border. +1 point for generating a strategy for monitoring +1 point for noting the need to have some point of comparison (e.g., before and after, or monitoring an area with a wall and without one) +1 point for stating what the data would show, if the solution was effective.

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STEP 8: Review your task with peers for intelligibility, worldview, alignment, and accessibility Sharing your initial tasks with a colleague and asking them for constructive feedback on how to improve them is a good way to begin. There are many roles your colleagues could play in helping improve your task. They can help improve the intelligibility of prompts, so that more students will understand what you are asking. They can help ensure that a justice-centered worldview is maintained in the assessment. They can help ensure alignment to the targeted performance expectation. And, they can help ensure the accessibility of the task.

Tool or Practice

How It Can Improve Your Task

Have a colleague complete your assessment

Can help ensure you are asking what you think you are asking and getting responses you hope to get from students

Discuss the specific ethical and justice dimensions of your assessment

Can help the assessment scenario and prompts be tightly focused on social and political dimensions of justice and injustice

Assess whether the scoring guide is aligned with the Evidence Statements for the targeted performance expectations

Can help ensure you are awarding points for what really matters, in terms of what students know and should be able to do

Review the assessment using the Achieve’s Task Screener for equity

Can help ensure that the task is accessible and engaging to a wide variety of users

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STEP 9: Pilot and revise your assessment Assessment design requires many cycles of developing, testing, and revising tasks to ensure that you are getting an accurate picture of what students know and can do. It is very helpful to pilot test assessments with a small number of students to feed that actual student response data into the revision process. It is easy to design assessments where students misunderstand what was intended or asked for. Carefully review alignment of the different elements presented here (claims, scenarios, application of task formats, and hypothetical/actual student answers) and pilot tasks with students as part of classroom instruction to reveal ways to improve tasks. A key is to be ready to revise your initial tasks, even when you’ve put a lot of work into them. Often, the challenge is not with our students but with the questions that we ask. It is difficult to develop tasks that allow all students to show what they know and can do. Yet it is imperative to do so in order to create fair, valid assessments of students’ three-dimensional science proficiency. Also, once you test them with students, your hypothetical student responses can be replaced with actual student responses, along with ideas for how to address problematic aspects of student responses.

References

Achieve, Inc. (2018). Assessment task prescreen. Washington, DC: Author. Achieve, Inc. (2018). Science task screener. Washington, DC: Author. Ewing, M., & Sadler, T. D. (2020). Socio-scientific issues instruction: An interdisciplinary approach to increase relevance and systems thinking. The Science Teacher, 88(2), 18-21. Minstrell, J. (1992). Facets of students’ knowledge and relevant instruction. In F. Duit, F. Goldberg, & H. Niedderer (Eds.), Research in physics learning: Theoretical issues and empirical studies (pp. 110-128). Kiel, Germany: IPN. National Research Council. (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. National Research Council. (2014). Developing assessments for the Next Generation Science Standards. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Sadler, T. D., Foulk, J. A., & Friedrichsen, P. J. (2017). Evolution of a model for socio-scientific issue teaching and learning. International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science, and Technology, 5(2), 76-87. https://doi. org/10.18404/ijemst.55999

This work was created and refined as part of the Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE) project. ACESSE brings together partners from educational research and practice to improve equity by building coherence in science education. Learn more at cosss.org/ACESSE. This material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number DRL—1920249 and by the Gates Foundation. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funders. This work is provided for educational use under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License

21



STEM

TEACHING TOOL

#84

Let’s Talk Climate! Bridging Climate Justice Learning and Action Across School, Home, and Community What Is The Issue? Students feel and see climate change and its impacts all around us. Indigenous People, People of Color, People Living in Poverty, People with Dis/ abilities, the young and the old, and those living at the intersections of these identities, are especially impacted by changing lands and waters due to systems of oppression that govern social, political, and economic dynamics among people and places. Teachers can support solution- and justice-centered learning of climate change by bridging conversations between school, home and community across their

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Students, families, and communities— especially those who are most impacted by climate change—have valuable knowledge about climate impacts and solutions to bring into the classroom to guide learning about climate justice. Educators should utilize school resources and time to provide a holistic understanding of climate change by connecting classroom learning and community resources, activities, and organizations—around composting, cleanups, civic engagement, place-based walks, movies, local issues, and events.

curriculum. They can help others Talk Climate! BY IKRAN ELMI, TI’ESH HARPER, MEGAN SLADE & HEATHER PRICE | JANUARY 2022

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/84


Things To Consider • Everyone, particularly youth, deserves to learn how climate change and intersecting issues of justice are impacting their daily lives and communities. Three quarters of teachers say schools should teach about climate change & impacts, and 4 out of 5 parents agree. Families want to see climate change taught in schools. Young people are concerned about climate change, and they influence the attitudes of adults in their lives. • Talk about climate in ways that support young peoples’ emotions helps to build a healthy, adaptive relationship with the realities of a changing climate and motivate their engagement in community and organizational climate action. • Connect STEM learning to social-emotional and justice-focused learning at your school and across disciplines. Climate change touches everything we teach and belongs in all subjects from history, art, and English, to math and science. • Teachers play a key role in bridging climate justice learning and action between home and school, encouraging youth to bring family and community knowledge and practices into the classroom and take home new learning about climate science and justice. They can foster intergenerational learning, elicit family feedback, and encourage homeschool climate conversations. All teachers, across disciplines and grades, need support to implement justice-focused climate learning sequences.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Foster ongoing dialogue between home and the classroom about climate justice. Engage in ongoing and locally contextualized conversations about climate change and climate justice with other youth, families, educators, and community members. Schools should invite families and community members to share their experiences and climate actions with students. There are many good resources to share about talking climate or to clarify climate science understandings. • Foster authentic and mutually beneficial partnerships with local organizations to connect school-based learning with community issues, helping students recognize climate action happening around them and how they can be part of it. Examples include: Caring For Our Watersheds, Project Citizen, World’s Largest Lesson, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, and Seattle Youth Climate Action Network. • Engage students in school decision making about the climate impacts of school facilities and operations and identifying and implementing solutions. This supports place-based climate learning and action projects that engage learning in place and community. It might focus on places for outdoor learning, food waste reduction, building electrification, etc.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How can local climate, health, and environmental justice issues and solutions be woven into your curriculum, connecting school, home, and community? What resources and experiences do you need to expand your knowledge of and engagement with local climate justice issues? What local equity-focused organizations might you collaborate with to expand climate justice learning?

Attending to Equity • Marginalized communities experience climate impacts first, worst, and longest due to current and historical systemic racism and oppression. It is critical that the expertise of frontline community organizations, educators, and leaders is centered in climate justice curriculum and educational engagement. • Teachers need an investment of resources—including time, financial support, and training—to incorporate climate justice and community engagement into existing curriculum so students receive culturally responsive and intersectional teaching and learning. • Provide paid professional learning for educators to shift curriculum and learn how to engage students, family, and community. Examples of this include ClimeTime, the Climate Justice Symposium for Transforming Education, and Climate Justice in the Curriculum.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #12 #44 #67

Climate Science Ed Addressing Controversial Topics Justice Centered Phenomena

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

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STEM

TEACHING TOOL

#85

Principals! Here’s what you can do to foster equitable three-dimensional science learning Image courtesy of the Institute for Systems Biology (ISB), isbscience.org

What Is The Issue? Principals directly influence classroom instruction, second only to teachers in impact on student achievement. However, school principals have varied content and pedagogical backgrounds and few have had learning experiences engaging in the practices of scientists and engineers to explain phenomena and solve challenging problems. Without these experiences, too few principals are effectively leading for improvement of equitable science instruction. This tool describes some steps that districts and/or individual principals can take to enable them to effectively lead the implementation of three-dimensional (3D) science learning in their schools. BY TIFFANY CLARK, JENNIFER EKLUND, CAROLINE KIEHLE, KIM KLINKE & RICHARD SANDER | FEBRUARY 2022

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should provide principals with resources such as this tool and this other resource to explore how best to support 3D science learning. District Staff & PD Providers should dedicate time for contentspecific professional development for principals, to enable them to lead the implementation of science instructional change in their buildings. School Leaders should Increase their knowledge of 3D science learning and develop strategies to effectively lead the implementation of these changes in science instruction across their buildings—on their own & with others.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/85


Things To Consider • Three-dimensional (3D) science learning should look and sound different than learning in traditional science classrooms. Instructional leaders need experiences that help them learn to recognize effective 3D science learning. • When principals participate in 3D science learning activities as part of their professional development process, they experience what it is like to be a learner with these new science standards, thus deepening their ability to recognize 3D science learning during brief learning walks. • Principals using this science learning walk recording tool in their school buildings gain insights into 3D science learning. Listening to student discourse and looking for evidence of student learning across the three dimensions should be key areas of focus for successful learning walks. Instructional leadership teams may also want to explore this procedure for specifically learning to notice the science and engineering practices. • With an established understanding of 3D science learning, principals can identify their problems of practice and develop action plans that address specific needs related to their school’s science instruction. Five key actions to build into these plans are called for in the The Wallace Foundation report The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning. Principals can use these case stories and reflection questions, tied to these 5 key actions, to guide their own thinking for professional learning in science leadership. • School principals and leaders should participate in professional learning communities—including teacher learning communities. This provides a space to share ideas, questions, and challenges that develop from a deep focus on the specific discipline of science and to understand how to translate new insights to other disciplines or integrated approaches. • One way to gain a better understanding of the three dimensions and why each of them are important for learners is through facilitated interactions with professional scientists and engineers who can help illuminate the skills and knowledge that promote student success through varied educational and career pathways.

Attending to Equity • The NRC Framework calls for each student to be be provided with opportunities to learn and engage in science and engineering, resources and teachers that support and motivate learning, and adequate time for science learning. Principals are key gatekeepers at every aspect of this vision and therefore play an essential role in answering this call. Their deeper understanding of 3D science learning allows them to set culture, shift policy, direct resources, and lead for quality 3D science instruction in more informed and purposeful ways. When principals take an active role as instructional leaders for 3D science learning, their vision for student learning within and across the disciplines changes the experience and opportunities in their school.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS As an instructional leader, what roles do you play in implementing equitable 3D science learning? How prepared are you to lead implementation of 3D science learning in your school? How could science learning walks help increase your knowledge of 3D science learning? How would you approach engaging in them?

Recommended Actions You Can Take • Personal learning: Gain awareness and insights about the vision of 3D science learning by exploring the Framework. • Professional learning with other principals: Gather evidence from your own school to learn more about 3D science learning by going on individual or team learning walks to learn to recognize 1, 2, or all 3 dimensions during science lessons. Calibrate the evidence you collect with colleagues from other schools. • Leadership actions: Go on frequent learning walks through your building. This will place a student-focused lens on the learning activities, to help you develop your own action plan to support all science teachers’ professional learning. Continue to work on all 5 key actions of effective principals to initiate, encourage, and enhance 3D science instruction and learning. • Learn more about the principal’s role to influence classroom instruction through the Principles of Science for Principals developed by the Logan Center for Education at ISB.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #3 #9 #21 #51

Cascade of Practices Focusing PD Administrators & 3D Sci District Implementation

Playlist Principals & 3D Sci

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STEMteachingtools.org/brief/85


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#86

How do race and racism connect with science learning in early childhood and elementary classrooms? What Is The Issue?

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU

Early childhood and elementary educators play a critical role in confronting historical and ongoing racial injustices, especially within science learning contexts. . Science has been and continues to be complicit in perpetuating systems of oppression against racially and intersectionally marginalized communities. However, scientific knowledges, practices, and learning experiences can also contribute to more just and thriving possibilities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) youth. Conversations and learning engagements centering race can and should begin in the early childhood and elementary years. BY MELISSA BRAATEN, DANELLE FOSTER, JASON FOSTER, RAE JING HAN, DÉANA SCIPIO & ENRIQUE SUÁREZ (AUTHORS EQUALLY CONTRIBUTED); EDITED BY DEB L. MORRISON & PHILIP BELL | FEBRUARY 2022

Educators should engage in reflection about their own racialized experiences, identities, beliefs, and teaching practices, and create opportunities for justice-centered, age-appropriate conversations and explorations of race, racism, and racial justice. District Staff & PD Providers should make resources and spaces available for early childhood and elementary educators to practice facilitating learning about race in their classrooms. Educational Leaders should cultivate school-wide commitments to racial justice learning as relevant and essential to all subject areas, including science.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/86


Things To Consider • Everyone within educational systems should commit to anti-racist learning and practices across their roles and responsibilities. • Race and racism are present in science classrooms. Students, no matter how young, are aware of race, and mirror societal biases. They notice who is in the room both literally (you and other students) and figuratively (Who does science? What does a scientist look like?). • PK-5 educators developing an anti-racist pedagogy may fear talking about race with young children. However, our students are ready and willing to have these conversations, no matter how young they are. Discussions about race are not only integral to science teaching, but also necessary for holistic, rigorous science education and intellectual and civic health. Here’s how one teacher talks with her students about race, and here’s another resource for navigating these conversations. • Youth of color, especially BIPOC children, want to see themselves and their communities in STEM. Explicitly teaching a wider representation of the global majority doing STEM work allows students to see themselves as scientists and engineers. Teaching science through a color-evasive lens and avoiding these conversations can perpetuate false narratives of who engages in science and engineering.

Recommended Actions You Can Take • •

REFLECTION QUESTIONS How are you building an antiracist learning community in your early childhood or elementary classroom? Who can you build it with? How are you supporting young learners’ sense of belonging, agency, empowerment, and selfdetermination with regard to issues of racial justice?

Attending to Equity • Working for racial justice as a teacher of young children requires placing equity at the heart of STEM education. This is lifelong work that cannot be completed like a checklist.

• Begin by considering how you likely have been socialized or taught to engage with Learn more about what anti-bias and anti-racist learning with young or avoid talking about race and racism. children can look like in practice. Consider how your own story shapes your Work to recognize when questions and comments relate to race and ideas about what is possible in a raceresist the urge to avoid these conversations. Follow children’s lead and conscious early childhood or elementary engage with the questions they raise. Their curiosities about race, racism, community. and fairness can be leveraged for shared learning and connected to • Next, consider how your local school scientific phenomena and inquiry. community has engaged with or avoided Incorporate discussion of race, racism, and racial justice into routine talking about race and racism. There is everyday learning that already occurs in your classroom, including no universal playbook for talking about science investigations, engineering projects, shared reading of ageracism. Because different communities appropriate books, math, social-emotional learning, outdoor play and have particular histories of racism, antilearning, and the arts. Consistent integration of racial justice topics racist pedagogies should adapt to and supports children’s agency and their commitments to justice and care. engage with specific communities and Explore how culturally relevant, responsive, and sustaining science contexts. instruction can provide opportunities for students of diverse cultural, • Look for opportunities to connect ethnic, linguistic, and racial backgrounds to access scientific knowledge with and amplify other anti-racist and and practices while also inviting their knowledge and that of their anti-oppressive movements, such as community into science learning. Work from the assumption that taking those that center Black and Indigenous up cultural approaches to science teaching is complex, ongoing work communities. that is worth the effort.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #54 #67 #71

Equitable Community Justice-Centered Phenomena Science Ed Equity Projects

#79

Systemic Racism & Science Ed.

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/86


STEM

TEACHING TOOL

#87

Identifying local environmental justice phenomena for science and engineering investigations What Is The Issue? Making sense of phenomena that are based on pressing environmental justice (EJ) issues allows students to explore locally relevant concerns, to engage in meaningful science and engineering learning, and to engage in civic reasoning and action. Investigating local EJ issues that are personally meaningful provides crucial opportunities for students to understand the causes, implications, and various perspectives related to real issues in their communities and cultivate individual and collective agency. This type of learning adds relevance and supports youth in understanding, advocating for, and making change. BY JENNIFER PINNEY, MICHAL ROBINSON, TINA MILLER-WAY & PHILIP BELL. EDITED BY RAE JING HAN, CHRISTINA GUEVARA, PHILIP BELL, ABBY RHINEHART & DEB L. MORRISON | FEBRUARY 2022

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers should engage students in local, personally relevant environmental justice science learning to develop more holistic understandings of current issues, possible solutions, and activisms to participate in. District Staff & PD Providers should help educators connect with EJ contexts and organizations to focus investigations on the everyday, interdisciplinary work of supporting frontline communities. School Leaders should support community-based EJ investigations, support the involvement of EJ organizations in classroom activities, and honor the expertise of students and community partners.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/87


Things To Consider • Environmental justice (EJ) is a resistance movement in which the work starts, lives with, and is led by the people experiencing the harms and challenges of environmental injustices (e.g., water insecurity, toxic pollution, food insecurity), with the goal of moving everyone into the work of transforming injustices. Learn about environmental justice. • Environmental policies and regulations do not keep pace with societal change (see how EPA and OEJ have progressed over time). Understanding and engaging with these issues can prepare young people to change the oppressive systems, values, and norms that have allowed inequitable practices and policies to persist. • Help students develop compassion for and learn from people who are experiencing environmental injustices, including their own and/ or other nearby communities. By focusing on local issues, teachers can help students avoid making judgments about what marginalized communities in other places “should” do, without understanding the full context. Engaging in nearby community issues can foster students’ sense of social responsibility and collective agency to be part of solutions.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS What environmental justice issues are in your community? How is science illuminating an injustice—or how is science implicated in it? What designs are causing injustice—or how is justice promoted through design? What does meaningful EJ learning look like from community, student, and teacher perspectives? Whose interests are being served in EJ efforts? Is the focus on techas-savior, individual responsibility, degrowth, collective action, or systemic transformation?

• Environmental justice learning incorporates interdisciplinary perspectives. Students benefit from integrating ethics with concepts and practices from various subjects into a broader conceptual framework and Attending to Equity exploring various viewpoints on EJ issues. EJ investigations help students • Environmental injustices tend to understand how science must be integrated with other disciplines to be created by dominant ideologies inform ethical decisions for communities. underlying decisions and actions such Recommended Actions You Can Take as: imbalanced resource extraction, disproportionate protections, and • Consider using these criteria and this process to identify a meaningful unsustainable patterns of consumption. anchor phenomenon. To stay focused on EJ phenomena, also ask: (1) Does Use firsthand perspectives from frontline the phenomenon disproportionately or differently affect a community communities in investigations, including of color and/or a poverty-impacted community? (2) Can students access responses that promote community different forms of evidence (e.g., narrative accounts, photos, maps, thriving (e.g., Climate Frontlines). Center quantitative data) and connect with local community experts to support non-dominant leaders (e.g., BIPOC, low their sense-making of the phenomenon? (3) Does this phenomenon socio-economic communities & womxn) allow students to explore the different dimensions and principles of EJ? to enact ideologies and values supporting • Identify local EJ issues: EJSCREEN and EPA data and mapping tools can healthy communities. Include different help find sites of local relevance. Public GIS databases can also support forms of storytelling to highlight place-based interdisicplinary investigations: Tree Equity Score, How’s community narratives—photos, videos, My Waterway?, AirNow, Current Flooding Conditions & Flood Risk Map, art, poetry, testimonials, and dance. Social Indicators for Coastal Communities Initiative & Interactive Map. • Communities include both humans and • Engage students in self-documentation to identify EJ issues faced by their more-than-humans. Science should be own communities and how they have been responding to them. used to advocate for healthy, just, and • Leverage critical engineering design and the practice of communication thriving conditions for all living beings. to support meaningful responses to environmental injustice. Responding Considering the place-based nature of to environmental harms includes design-related actions of repair, clean environmental injustices, how can you up, and/or abatement, as well as strategic communication to help respond to different histories of places correct prejudices outsiders may have about a community. that derive from power and privilege? ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #42 #67 #70 #83

Phenomena-Based Inquiry Justice-Centered Phenomena Intersectional Env Science Justice-Centered Assessment

PD E

Anchor Phenomena

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/87


STEM TEACHING TOOL

#88

Fostering meaningful conversations about equity grounded in teacher practice

What Is The Issue? Meaningful conversations about equity in science

education can be hard to start and even more difficult

to sustain. Many teachers lack opportunities to deeply and openly discuss equitable instruction. Researchers or administrators often share equitable instructional

practices with teachers with little discussion about the

practice’s underlying principles. As a result, teachers lack ownership and sufficient opportunities to make sense of how these practices support equity. Administrators and

researchers can use the resources in this brief to position

teachers as equal contributors in collaborative learning— creating more meaningful conversations and stronger

WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU Teachers have knowledge of the unique characteristics of their schools, students, and local communities—and how that should shape instruction. They can work together to address persistent issues of inequity by providing each other guidance and holding each other accountable to progress on equity. School Leaders should provide space for honest, critical reflection among teachers that is not tied to evaluation. Teachers, instructional coaches, other school staff, parents, and researchers can all use the Conversations about Equity that Link Theory to Practice tool.

theoretical understandings of social justice in practice. BY MARIA CHIARA SIMANI, EMILY V. REIGH, AND EMILY ADAH MILLER (AUTHORS EQUALLY CONTRIBUTED) | APRIL 2022

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/88


REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Things To Consider • To create equitable classrooms, teachers need collaborative learning opportunities for extended periods of time where they build from their experiences with students to enact theories that address equity and social justice.

Everyone in your organization should be able to answer and discuss the following questions:

• In these learning spaces, teachers should be systematically positioned as equal contributors. This is critical for meaningful conversations about equity and for the development of shared theoretical understanding.

Do I understand our equity/social justice goals? How would I put it in my own words? Which parts of the goal resonate and which are unfamiliar or concerning? What specific practices can I do in the classroom to work toward our equity/social justice goals? What evidence of progress toward our goals can I look for and collect in my own instruction? What steps will I take if I do not find evidence that our goals are being achieved?

Recommended Actions You Can Take Use the Conversations about Equity that Link Theory to Practice tool for meaningful conversations about equity, including the guidance and supports for using this tool. As you work with the tool, enact these principles: • Create a supportive environment: School climate shapes the interactions that occur between students, teachers, and administration. Talking openly about difficult topics requires mutual trust among all of these stakeholders. Trust is built over time through genuine dialogue. • Have confidence in the process: Classroom environments, like the rest of society, have entrenched power-laden hierarchies that take time to identify and dismantle. Have confidence in and support teachers’ active efforts to disrupt those hierarchies—and develop ‘more flat’ structures. • Honor teachers’ sensemaking practices: Teachers consistently reflect on how to make their classrooms more equitable, but how teachers make sense of classroom dynamics differs based on their positionality and experiences. Find the value in different approaches to this work. • Focus on classroom practice: Equity work is most transformative when theoretical ideas are situated in teachers’ own instruction. As teachers see their relationships with students strengthened by the equity work, they will become more invested in the pursuit.

Attending to Equity • Take an asset-based stance toward teachers by valuing their experiences and expertise and by working to understand where they are in their own personal development. • Create opportunities for teachers to discuss equity that are never tied to any form of formal or informal evaluation.

• • Distribute expertise: Some schools position a person, coach, social worker, or administrator as the expert on equity and social justice. However, it is more productive to recognize that every staff member has relevant experiences for understanding systems of oppression and • marginalization that can be elicited to enrich conversations about equity. • Recognize all efforts as valuable for learning: The development of equity and social justice practices requires that teachers envision, create, attempt, and reflect on new practices, not all of which will be immediately successful. Attempts that are not successful should be gracefully accepted and celebrated as valuable to improvement.

Offer teachers from marginalized groups opportunities to engage in separate conversations if they so choose. Racial caucusing might be a useful approach. Support creative partnerships between teachers of different grade levels and subject areas with other staff and stakeholders, like paraprofessionals and parents. Ascribe value to the work that happens outside of officially sanctioned spaces and times.

ALSO SEE STEM TEACHING TOOLS: #15 #22 #24

Equity in Science Ed Teacher Social Networks Teacher Communities

Work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 Unported License. Others may adapt with attribution Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Opinions expressed are not those of any funding agency.

STEMteachingtools.org/brief/88


ACESSE Project Supporting Equity and Coherence in Science Education The Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE, or “access”) project brings together partners from educational research and practice to promote equity and coherence in science education. The project is based on a deep collaboration between the Council of State Science Supervisors, the University of Washington, and the University of Colorado Boulder. Opportunity Systems in need of transformation can promote inequities. Educators are also frequently asked to implement state and local initiatives that do not share a common vision for teaching and learning or cohere with one another. This incoherence can reinforce educational inequities. It provides an extra challenge for schools that are already struggling with accountability pressures or assessment systems. ACESSE Work The ACESSE project has been bringing together educators and researchers to collaboratively research, develop, and promote strategies to make science education more coherent and equitable. Strategies and resources that come from this project are being shared around the country through networks of science education leaders. The strategies are grounded in the vision of A Framework for K-12 Education. The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation under multiple phases of grant funding. •

Phase 1 went from 2016-2019 and focused on formative assessment as a leverage point for improvement (grant #1561300).

Phase 2 is underway and will occur between 2019-2023 with a focus on the adaptation of instructional materials as a leverage point for improvement (grant #1920249).

Resources The ACESSE project is testing and iteratively refining resources and strategies that educators and researchers identify and design together. Find resources at cosss.org/ACESSE_Resources or stemteachingtools.org/pd. Phase 2 curriculum adaptation is likely to focus on designing for equity projects such as: •

Engaging in cultural-based pedagogies

Centering racial justice

Supporting diverse sense-making

Disrupting ableism

Arranging for cross-age, family, and community science learning

Promoting place-based learning and ecological caring

Designing course sequences using a range of meaningful phenomena

Find resources at cosss.org/ACESSE_Resources or stemteachingtools.org/pd Follow the ACESSE project on Twitter at @ACESSEproject for the latest resources This project is supported by the National Science Foundation under grant #1920249. Opinions expressed are not those of any funder.


ACESSE Resource A: Introduction to Formative Assessment to Support Equitable 3D Instruction The NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education and the resulting Next Generation Science Standards include a signature focus on engaging all students in integrated three-dimensional science learning using inclusive instructional approaches. This new vision calls for new approaches to classroom assessment. This open educational resource provides an introduction to formative assessment that supports equitable 3D instruction. It is designed to provide an introductory professional development session of 60-70 minutes for educators to help them learn about formative assessment and how it fits into the new vision. The module includes all of the resources that PD facilitators need to adapt and run the sessions—including slides, speaker notes, facilitator guide, and embedded resources. The professional development module supports the following specific goals for educators: • • • •

Explore how equity and social justice goals relate to the use of formative assessments Develop a shared understanding of formative assessment purposes and processes Learn how cognitive formative assessments and cultural formative assessments can build capacity for equitable 3D instruction Learn about the kinds of professional learning resources available to support the development of 3D formative assessments

stemteachingtools.org/pd/sessiona

The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Education and Human Resources Core Research program under grant #1561300.


ACESSE Resource B: How to Assess Three-Dimensional Learning in the Classroom How is assessing three-dimensional science learning different than past assessments of science learning? How can we design assessment tasks that elicit the core ideas, practices, and crosscutting concepts in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) performance expectations? There are very few existing examples of elementary and middle school assessments completely aligned to the NGSS. Instead, educators need to adapt their existing assessments. This open educational resource provides an opportunity for educators to begin building or adapting three-dimensional formative assessments in a 60-70 minute professional development session. The module includes all of the resources that PD facilitators need to adapt and run the sessions—including slides, speaker notes, facilitator guide, and embedded resources. The workshop aims to help participants identify assessment components that focus on individual practices, core ideas, or crosscutting concepts, and understand how, taken together, the components can support educators as they make inferences about students’ three-dimensional science learning. Through this workshop, participants will review tasks that aim for assessing performance expectations, discuss strengths of these tasks, and gain practice adapting them to better elicit three-dimensional science learning.

stemteachingtools.org/pd/sessionb

The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Education and Human Resources Core Research program under grant #1561300.


ACESSE Resource C: Making Science Instruction Compelling for All Students: Using Cultural FormativeAssessment to Build on Learner Interest and Experience What role do students’ cultures play in science learning? And how might teachers use formative assessments to root science learning in students’ cultural contexts, interests, and identities? This open educational resource is designed to help educators develop cultural formative assessments that build on students’ pre-existing interests, identities, and knowledge. This session highlights cultural dimensions of science learning and showcases a general instructional technique for formative assessment called “self-documentation”—where students collect information related to a particular theme in their everyday lives. It describes an example use case of a self-documentation activity. The session also highlights different assessment approaches and guides educators in thinking about particular goals for incorporating cultural formative assessment into their own practice. This resource is designed to be used as a 2 to 2.5 hour professional development session for educators. The module includes all of the resources that PD facilitators need to adapt and run the sessions—including slides, speaker notes, facilitator guide, embedded resources, and sample student work. It may be more useful for educators after they have already participated in the following professional development session: ACESSE A: Intro to Formative Assessment to Support Equitable 3D Instruction. The professional development module supports the following specific goals for educators: • Learn how to promote equity and social justice as the focal point of NGSS implementation work by focusing on learning and teaching as an inherently cultural process. • Develop a shared understanding of how cultural formative assessment can reveal the interests, experiences, and identities of students. • Understand how and when to use different kinds of cultural formative assessment to guide instruction — and ‘overlap’ the curriculum with the lives of youth.

STEMteachingtools.org/pd/SessionC

The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Education and Human Resources Core Research program under grant #1561300.


ACESSE Resource D: How to Craft 3D Classroom Science Assessments As the educational vision in the NRC Framework for K-12 Science Education is being implemented, it is crucial to design assessment practices to be coherent with its 3D model of learning. This session provides a step-by-step process to support participants as they design a 3D assessment task. Along the way, they learn how to define 3D learning performances for specific lessons—and how to use a range of tools to support their assessment design work. A key goal of the session activity is to improve the connection of intended learning goals to assessment practices. Participants build their 3D assessment design capacity by following a step-by-step process using supporting tools to design and workshop tasks—before piloting them in their classrooms. The approaches learned in this workshop can be used with any science curricula, at any grade level, and across all domains of science and engineering.

stemteachingtools.org/pd/sessiond

The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Education and Human Resources Core Research program under grant #1561300.


ACESSE Resource E: Selecting Anchoring Phenomena for Equitable 3D Teaching This pair of workshops is designed to introduce you to the process of selecting phenomena that can anchor an entire unit that supports students’ 3D science learning or that can serve as a basis for a multi-component assessment task. This resource can also be used by individuals wanting to refine their teaching practice around phenomena based instruction. You may have heard a lot about phenomena, but you may also be wondering what exactly they are, and whether using phenomena is any different from how teachers teach today already. This learning experience will help you: • Explain to a peer the role of phenomena and design challenges in science teaching, with a particular focus on equity and justice. • Generate working definitions of phenomena, design challenges, and disciplinary core ideas. • Identify phenomena related to a bundle of three-dimensional standards. • Experience how phenomena can be introduced at the start of a unit, in order to launch a student-driven series of questions. With respect to the assessment process, this resource supports the task of clarifying learning goals and eliciting evidence of student learning. Specifically, analyzing standards helps to clarify learning goals. In assessment, scenarios present phenomena to students, and then specific prompts are designed to elicit student understanding of core ideas, practices and crosscutting concepts. Once written as a scenario for an assessment, teachers can use the resources introduced in ACESSE Resource B to design specific prompts for their assessments (SEP Task Formats Tool, CCC Prompts Tool). This resource complements Resource C, in that it provides some ways to integrate tools to connect science instruction meaningfully to students’ everyday lives and cultural practices. This workshop has multiple segments, and it is broken into two sessions that last roughly three hours each, which can be organized as a full-day session or across multiple days.

STEMteachingtools.org/pd/SessionE

The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Education and Human Resources Core Research program under grant #1561300.


ACESSE Resource G: Learning to See the Resources Students Bring to Sense-Making In this workshop, we will build our capacity to identify the range of intellectual resources students use as they make sense of phenomena. Every student has the right to feel and be treated as fully belonging in educational settings. This resource can help support this goal by helping educators develop an asset-based stance towards the various contributions that students bring to making sense of phenomena. The resource starts by highlighting the rationale for culture-based approaches to pedagogy—and then focuses on how to identify and leverage the resources students use in moments of sensemaking. This learning experience will help participants: • Explore equity dimensions of sense-making through the science and engineering practices. • Learn to see different ways students contribute to making sense of phenomena—and connect to science. • Better appreciate that navigating multiple ways of knowing is the basic human condition—not the exception for some students. • Make a commitment to shape instruction to supports diverse sense-making. This workshop provides participants with an opportunity to explore important theoretical ideas by exploring examples of how learners engage in diverse sense-making. Participants will learn about some of the challenges that less expansive learning environments can cause for learners from non-dominant communities. This resource is estimated to take between 250-300 minutes (4 - 5 hours), depending on the choices of the facilitator in scenario selection. It can be used to support a full day of professional development; it has also been run as a one-hour “quick overview”.

STEMteachingtools.org/pd/SessionG

The ACESSE Project is funded by the National Science Foundation through the Education and Human Resources Core Research program under grant #1561300. No funder is responsible for the content of the resource.