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Moving STEM from Buzzword to Meaningful Integrated Science

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  1. Moving STEM from Buzzword to Meaningful Integrated Science

  2. Introduction • Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) • Presenters • Dr. Juanita Jo Matkins • Andrew Jackson • Jason Calhoun • Dr. Eric Pyle

  3. The State of STEM Education • “We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” - President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address And in Virginia: • In 2011, Governor Bob McDonnell and the Virginia legislature made the call “To enhance personal opportunity and earning power for individual Virginians by increasing college degree attainment in the Commonwealth, especially in high-demand, high-income fields such as science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care . . . . “To support the national effort to enhance the security and economic competiveness of the United States of America, and to secure a leading economic position for the Commonwealth of Virginia, through increased research and instruction in science, technology, engineering, mathematics . . . .

  4. The State of STEM Education • “We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” - President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address And in Virginia: • In 2011, Governor Bob McDonnell and the Virginia legislature made the call “To enhance personal opportunity and earning power for individual Virginians by increasing college degree attainment in the Commonwealth, especially in high-demand, high-income fields such asscience, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health care . . . . “To support the national effort toenhance the security and economic competivenessof the United States of America, and to secure a leading economic position for the Commonwealth of Virginia, through increased research and instruction inscience, technology, engineering, mathematics . . . .

  5. The Need for More Scientists and Engineers National Science Board. 2010. Science and Engineering Indicators 2010. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation

  6. The State of STEM Education • Virginia Science Education Leadership Association view of STEM • Integrated STEM InstructionVSELA defines integrated STEM instruction as a teaching methodology where science and mathematics concepts are introduced and taught primarily through the design process.  Integrated STEM instruction is often used as synonymous with the acronym STEM. However, VSELA takes the position that these terms are not interchangeable.  VSELA believes that integrated STEM instruction is a useful pedagogical approach for making connections across core disciplines.  Integrated STEM instruction may apply and reinforce many science and mathematics concepts but it is not well matched to all mathematics and science learning.

  7. The State of STEM Education • Virginia Science Education Leadership Association view of STEM • Integrated STEM InstructionVSELA definesintegrated STEM instruction as a teaching methodology where science and mathematics concepts are introduced and taught primarily through the design process.Integrated STEM instruction is often used as synonymous with the acronym STEM. However, VSELA takes the position that these terms are not interchangeable.  VSELA believes thatintegrated STEM instruction is a useful pedagogical approach for making connections across core disciplines.  Integrated STEM instruction may apply and reinforce many science and mathematics concepts but it is not well matched to all mathematics and science learning.

  8. The State of STEM Education • Virginia Science Education Leadership Association view of STEM • ScienceVSELA adopts the following definition of science.  Science is the study and explanation of phenomena via systematic observation; measurement; experimentation and investigation; data collection, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation; development of conclusions; and formulation of theory.  It includes: • the skills and processes of inquiry,  • the body of knowledge derived from verifiable experimentation and systematic investigation and scrutiny in the face of new evidence, and • the habits of mind underpinning rational inquiry (e.g., respect for data, demand for verification, questioning, intellectual honesty).  

  9. The State of STEM Education • Virginia Science Education Leadership Association view of STEM • ScienceVSELA adopts the following definition of science.  Science is the study and explanation of phenomena via systematic observation; measurement; experimentation and investigation; data collection, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation; development of conclusions; and formulation of theory.  It includes: • the skills and processes of inquiry,  • the body of knowledge derived from verifiable experimentation and systematic investigation and scrutiny in the face of new evidence, and • the habits of mind underpinning rational inquiry (e.g., respect for data, demand for verification, questioning, intellectual honesty).  

  10. Coming Soon:Next Generation Science Standards Now • Broad Geographic Representation • Account for more than 50% of the nation’s public school students • A bipartisan collection of states based on current governor • Are in one of the assessment consortia for common core. • Slightly more than half have grade-by-grade standards through grade eight • Most require three years of science for high school graduation • A Framework for K-12 Science Education – Practices, Crosscutting Concetps, and Core Ideas • Released July 19, 2011 • Provides the framework from which the NGSS will be developed • Next Generation Science Standards • Launched September 20th, 2011 • 26 states have signed on as lead states – they received partial draft version of the standards on November 21, 2011 • First draft version available early 2012

  11. Current Realities & Trends Elementary • Opportunities for pre-K through elementary school children to experience meaningful and thoughtfully planned science instruction are fundamental to the learning of all students… (VAST Position Statement, Nov. 2010) • Supporting teacher content development – in the context of solid pedagogy – is critical

  12. Current Realities & Trends Secondary • Science achievement declines in the middle and high school years • Science teacher support and retention is critical especially those who are career switchers • Laboratory experience is so integral to the nature of science that it must be included in every science program for every student (VAST Position Statement, 1995)

  13. Current Realities & Trends Essential For All • Hands-on, inquiry-based instruction is appropriate for all grade levels in all content areas • Inquiry science is an essential vehicle for supporting the development of life-long learners. (VAST Position Statement, 2010)

  14. Current Realities and Trends:Mathematics, Reading, and Science • Extremely important in K-12 and later • Maybe STEM should be STREM? • Science, Technology, Reading, Engineering, and Mathematics? • Finding the time to teach all - a key challenge, especially in elementary • Integration is one option • Students have difficulty with mathematical problem-solving because they don’t understand the context. • Using an integrated curriculum provides a more relevant and stimulating experience for learners.

  15. Integrating Mathematics and Science • Activities Integrating Math and Science (AIMS) • Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS) • Teaching Integrated Mathematics and Science (TIMS) • Unified Science and Mathematics for Elementary Schools (USMES)

  16. Integrating Reading and Science • UC-Berkeley’s Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading • Highly effective, including positive results for struggling readers and English language learners • National Geographic Science • Reach - Immerses students in the nature of science and inquiry; unlocks the big ideas of science for all learners; engages students in a connected, expanding, and dynamic language environment.

  17. Inquiry-based Science • What is it? • How do we connect the E in STEM? • What does it look like? • Why is it important?

  18. Essential Components of Science Inquiry Inquiry = developing and applying scientific habits of mind to an investigation These habits of mind include: Questions, evidence, explanations, connections, communication and justification. • Learner engages in scientifically oriented questions • Learner give priority to evidencein responding to questions • Learner formulates explanations from evidence • Learner connectsexplanations to scientific knowledge • Learner communicates and justifiesexplanations

  19. Essential Components of Science Inquiry Inquiry = developing and applying scientific habits of mind to an investigation These habits of mind include: Questions, evidence, explanations, connections, communicationand justification. • Learner engages in scientifically oriented questions • Learner give priority to evidencein responding to questions • Learner formulates explanations from evidence • Learner connectsexplanations to scientific knowledge • Learner communicates and justifiesexplanations

  20. Shared practices in Science and Engineering Asking questions and defining problems Developing and using models Planning and carrying out investigations Analyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics, information and computer technology Constructing explanations Engaging in argument Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

  21. Inquiry in Science Teaching: What does Inquiry look like? • Level 1: Confirmatory • Question, methods & solutions are provided to students • Level 2: Structured • Questions and methods provided to students, who in turn must provide appropriate solutions • Level 3: Guided • Question are provided to students, who select appropriate methods and define solutions • Level 4: Open • Only the context of inquiry is provided to students, who are responsible for questions, methods, and solutions Bell, R. L., Smetma, L., and Binns, I. (2005). Simplifying inquiry instruction. The Science Teacher, 72(7), 63-66.

  22. Inquiry in Science Teaching: Why is Inquiry Important? • In How Students Learn Science in the Classroom (Donovan & Bransford, 2005), science learning is best supported when teachers: • Identify and build upon student preconceptions; • Design learning experiences around inquiry; and • Create opportunities for student metacognition. • Numerous research studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of this model in student learning at all levels of the K-12 continuum; • Furthermore, embracing the complete model provides a meaningful and authentic context for writing, reading, and quantitative skill development.

  23. Inquiry in Science Teaching: What does Inquiry look like? Let’s do some inquiry science! • 20 minute stations, choose a station • Return and discuss together • Stations: • Group A – Grades K - 3 • Group B – Grades 4 - 7 • Group C – Grades 8 - 12

  24. STEM How can we work together to promote the very best STEM instruction possible in our Virginia schools?

  25. References Bell, R. L., Smetma, L., and Binns, I. (2005). Simplifying inquiry instruction. The Science Teacher, 72(7), 63-66. Commonwealth of Virginia (2010) School, school division, state report cards. Richmond, Virginia: Author. Online: https://p1pe.doe.virginia.gov/reportcard/report.do?division=All&schoolName=All Donovan, M. S., and Bransford, J. D. (eds.) (2005). How students learn science in the classroom. Washington, DC: National Academies. National Center for Education Statistics (2011).The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2009 (NCES 2011–451). Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. OECD (2011), Lessons from PISA for the United States, Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264096660-en

  26. References Gonzales, P., Williams, T., Jocelyn, L., Roey, S., Kastberg, D., and Brenwald, S. (2008). Highlights From TIMSS 2007:Mathematics and Science Achievement of U.S. Fourth- and Eighth-Grade Students in an International Context (NCES 2009–001 Revised). National Center for Education Statistics, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC. Ingersoll, R. (2003a). Is There Really a Teacher Shortage? Accessed July 11, 2011 at http://depts.washington.edu/ctpmail/PDFs/Shortage-RI-09-2003.pdf Ingersoll, R. (2003b). Is There a Shortage Among Math and Science Teachers? Science Educator, 12(1), 1-9. National Center for Education Statistics (2011).The Nation’s Report Card: Science 2009 (NCES 2011–451). Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. OECD (2011), Lessons from PISA for the United States, Strong Performers and Successful Reformers in Education, OECD Publishing. http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/9789264096660-en Science Education for Middle level Students, (2002, July). National Science Teachers Association, Available at http://www.nsta.org/about/positions/elementary.aspx.