Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice

Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice: A Middle School Ecology Unit and Teacher Professional Development Model is a project supported by the National Science Foundation and an extension of earlier collaborative work – Learning Scientific Inquiry — between Suzanne Wilson, Jamie Mikeska, and a group of researchers then at Michigan State University, scientists and teacher leaders at the American Museum of Natural History, and scientists at the Carey Institute. In that project, we developed teaching case materials concerning the zebra mussel invasion of the Hudson River and offered professional development for middle school teachers in the New York City Public Schools to introduce them to the materials and how they might be used in middle school classrooms. Based on that work, we are now developing a middle school ecology unit in collaboration with science educators and curriculum specialists at the Lawrence Hall of Science and offering professional development for New York City Public School teachers in how to use those materials in their classrooms. Materials are developed to bring to life the Next Generation of Science Standards and the Framework for K-12 Science Education, both of which aspire to raise the quality of science education in this country to new heights. Suzanne Wilson, Bianca Montrosse-Moorhead and their team of research assistants at the University of Connecticut are developing measures of teacher learning that could be used in future evaluation of the effectiveness of professional development programs like this one. Our collective goal is to develop curriculum materials for teachers, high quality professional development that supports teachers as they iteratively learn to adopt and adapt those materials in their classrooms, and authentic measures of student and teacher learning that can be used to assess the quality of the materials and professional development we have generated.