Gottesman Center for Science Teaching & Learning To extend the use of Museum resources into formal K-12 education amnh.org/education
The goal of the Urban Advantage program is: To improve students’ understanding of scientific knowledge and inquiry through collaborations between the public school system and science-rich cultural institutions of New York City.
UA Program School Year 2004- 2005 2005- 2006 2006- 2007 2007- 2008 2008- 2009 2009- 2010 2010- 2011 2011- 2012 Schools 31111129156147174156138 New Teachers 62133116127611828664 Continuing Teachers 6294129196204285282 Total Teachers 62195210256257386371346 UA Students 5,50018,72221,01627,54124,79337,58237,82234,829 2011-2012: 50 schools have > 3 UA teachers 69 schools include all grades (6, 7, 8)
UA Framework: Six Components Professional Development Workshops for science teachers and school administrators Classroom Materials and Equipment Science materials/equipment for schools, teachers, & students Access to Institutions Vouchers for class field trips, family field trips and visits Outreach to Families Public exhibitions of student work, family science events at institutions, support for school-based family science nights Capacity-Building and Sustainability Lead Teachers, Leadership Institute for science teams Assessment Program goals, student learning, and systems of delivery
Raw performance data suggests UA is effective Student Weighted Mean Achievement, 8 th Grade Intermediate Level Science (ILS) Test – Percent Proficient
Urban Advantage is about students doing “real” science
Science Exit Projects NYC has defined four types of science investigations: Controlled Experiments Field Studies Design Projects Secondary Research
New Teacher PD goals Cycle 1 (2 days) Provide an introductory learning experience using specific UA tools and strategies for teaching science exit projects. Provide an overview of the four types of science exit projects and how UA partner institutions support the teaching of long-term science investigations. Cycle 2 (5 days) As learners, teachers complete their own science exit project using specific UA tools and strategies designed to support students and the resources of a particular UA partner institution. Teachers reflect on their learning experience and develop plans for how to incorporate effective school group visits to a particular UA partner institution. Teachers develop lesson plans for their classrooms that apply the specific UA tools and strategies designed to support science exit projects with students and the resources of a particular UA partner institution. Cycle 3 (1 day) Teachers learn how to design an effective school group visit to a second UA partner institution that is connected to the process of teaching students how to do successful science exit projects.
Essential Features of Scientific Inquiry in the Classroom Engaging in scientifically oriented questions Giving priority to evidence Formulating explanations from evidence Evaluating explanations in light of alternative explanations Communicating and justifying proposed explanations National Research Council
Understandings about Scientific Inquiry from the National Science Education Standards Different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigations. Current scientific knowledge and understanding guide scientific investigations. Mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry. Technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and allows scientists to analyze and quantify results of investigations. Scientific explanations emphasize evidence, have logically consistent arguments, and use scientific principles, models, and theories. Science advances through legitimate skepticism. Scientific investigations sometimes result in new ideas and phenomena for study.
Science Practices from the new Framework for K-12 Science Education Asking questions Developing and using models Planning and carrying out investigations Analyzing and interpreting data Using mathematics, information and computer technology, and computational thinking Constructing explanations Engaging in argument from evidence Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information
Exit Projects at the Museum Secondary research investigations Earth Science Central Park weather data from NOAA using Excel Earthquake data from IRIS Life Science Hudson River ecosystem and zebra mussel invasion
NSF-funded DR-K12 Project Jim Short, Principal Investigator, AMNH Suzanne Wilson, Co-Principal Investigator, Michigan State University
Hypothesis Learners must have access to the real work of scientists if they are to learn both about the nature of science and to do inquiry themselves.
Guiding Questions How can informal science education institutions best design resources to support teachers, school administrators, and families in the teaching and learning of students to conduct scientific investigations and better understand the nature of science? How are these resources then used, and to what extent and in what ways do they contribute to participants’ learning? How are those resources then used for student learning?
Project Goals 1. Refine the Urban Advantage professional development model by including opportunities to engage in field studies and the use of authentic scientific data sets to investigate the zebra mussel invasion of the Hudson River ecosystem 2. Extend the resources available to help teachers understand the nature of scientific work and apply this understanding to their teaching 3. Integrate a research agenda into the Urban Advantage program
Teaching Case Understandings about scientific inquiry Meet the Scientists Four passages describing the work of Cary Institute scientists Teacher versions for use in professional development Student versions for use in the classroom Four video segments of scientists at work in the field and in the lab Short documentary video feature of Cary Institute scientists Abilities to do scientific inquiry Graph the Data, Analyze the Data Web-based data interactive of data sets from Cary Institute
Research Questions How do professional development opportunities shape teacher and administrator understanding of scientific work and inquiry and freshwater ecosystems? How do teachers, parents, and administrators use resources to further their own learning and that of students? How do informal institutions’ resources and methods support teachers’ practices and student learning?
Data Collection Guiding Question: How are these resources used? Observed four PD sessions Took field notes on teachers’ learning opportunities and interactions Collected supporting documents (e.g., handouts, charts) used or created during each session Completed structured observation protocol describing each PD activity
Data Analysis Coded each PD activity for: Opportunities to do scientific inquiry (SI) Opportunities to understand the nature of science (NOS) Opportunities to understand the nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI)
Coding PD Activities NOS Aspects Tentativeness Empirical basis Subjectivity Creativity Sociocultural embeddedness Distinction between observation and inference Distinction between laws and theories NOSI Aspects Questions guide investigations Multiple methods of scientific investigations Multiple purposes of scientific investigations Justification of scientific knowledge Recognition and handling of anomalous data Sources, forms of, and distinctions between data and evidence Community of practice
Findings Multiple opportunities to observe and engage in all scientific inquiry practices Teachers engaged in two “mini-cycles” of scientific investigations over the course of the four sessions PD activities emphasized building teachers’ understanding about: Empirical and creative nature of scientific knowledge Importance of observations and inferences in generating scientific knowledge Use of questions to guide scientific investigations Use of data and evidence to justify scientific knowledge
Findings PD enacted theory of teacher learning involving two specific features: Teachers witness scientists’ work Recreate similar experiences for teachers to engage in Observed this pattern with activities related to helping teachers generate and understand scientific explanations and data
Findings Scientists’ work… Teaching case video showed Cary Institute scientists making data collection decisions and collecting data Teaching case videos showed scientists using their data and previous research to construct explanations for the relationships between the zebra mussel population and various biotic and abiotic factors Teachers’ work… Teachers made plans for their own data collection in Central Park and wrestled with similar problems when doing field work Teachers used Developing a Scientific Explanation tool to construct explanations to answer their original investigation questions
Continued Work Hypothesize that the interplay between these two features – witnessing scientists’ work and engaging in similar experiences – provided a rich learning environment for teachers Using other data sources – survey responses, teachers’ completed exit projects, classroom observations, teacher interviews – to explore in what ways these resources contribute to participants’ learning
Contact Information Jim Short, Ed.D. Director, Education Department American Museum of Natural History firstname.lastname@example.org (212) 769-5139 amnh.org/education/hudsonriver Jamie Mikeska, Ph.D. Project Director Michigan State University email@example.com (517) 432-9991 http://education.msu.edu/research/projects/urban-advantage