Labnet: Toward a Community of Practice / Edition 1

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Connected by a computer telecommunications network, ninth-graders from eight high schools scattered thousands of miles across Alaska work together, building a robot submarine to gather samples from the floor of Prince William Sound.

This is high school science as some teachers and educational reformers today envision it — centered on student projects that encourage learning by doing...supported by modern technology...enriched by collaboration among students and teachers, both face to face and far apart.

This example is drawn from LabNet, a three-year effort funded by the National Science Foundation. The project was conducted by Technical Education Research Centers (TERC), a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to improving mathematics and science education. Eventually reaching 562 teachers in 37 states, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa, LabNet had a direct impact on their classroom practice. In a follow-up evaluation, the majority said they had assigned their students more projects and had used LabNet's telecommunications network to exchange project ideas with other teachers. This book is the story of LabNet as told by its editors, with 14 additional essays on science projects — both theoretical and practical — by LabNet teachers and TERC staff.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805812633
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 10/1/1992
  • Series: Technology and Education Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 382
  • Lexile: 1220L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

The Book and Its Authors
1 An Introduction to LabNet 1
The Broad View 1
A Short History of LabNet 4
Glossary 14
2 From Current Practice to Projects 21
Introduction 21
Physics in the High Schools 23
Project-Enhanced Science Learning 34
3 Shifting the Approach to Science Teaching 59
Introduction: A Framework for Evaluating LabNet 60
Gauging the Shift 68
Seizing Learning Opportunities 81
Shaping New Patterns of Science Teaching: Conclusions 98
4 Support and Leadership in a Community of Practice 101
Introduction 102
Community-Wide Support 102
Leadership for Learning: The Big Idea Grants 126
Patterns of Community Participation: Conclusions 141
5 Design for a Science Network 145
Introduction 145
The LabNetwork 150
The Medium 153
Elements of a National Science Teachers' Network 183
6 Reflections on Project-Enhanced Science Learning - Teachers 199
The Making of a Scientist Or Engineer 200
Theory Into Practice 205
Developing Student Scientists 210
Projects Fuel Physics Course 213
Some Thoughts About Project Science 217
To Motivate, Try Projects 219
Learning to Think Through Project Science 222
Postscript: LabNet Student Comments 227
7 Reflections on Project-Enhanced Science Learning - TERC Staff 235
Learning About the Scientific Method 235
Data Analysis Projects 244
Conversations: Their Importance in Project Science 250
Essential Elements of MBLs 257
Finding an Authentic Voice 263
Don't Tell Me How Things Are, Tell Me How You See Them 269
Projects and Experimental Exploration 280
8 Agenda for an Uncertain Future 291
Introduction 291
Nourishing the Community of Practice 293
Creating a Working K-12 Science Telecomputing Network 298
PESL: NSF Support, Research and Collaboration 302
From Current Practice to Project-Enhanced Science Learning: A Final Word 310
Appendix A: The LabNet Teacher Community 311
Appendix B: Creating Permeable Boundaries for Reflective Expertise: Collaborative Evaluation on a Network 315
Appendix C: Spring 1991 Teacher Questionnaire With Data 324
Appendix D: The Big Idea Grants - Summaries 328
References 341
Author Index 351
Subject Index 355
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