A Leader's Guide to Science Curriculum Topic Study

A Leader's Guide to Science Curriculum Topic Study

by Susan E. Mundry, Page D. Keeley, Carolyn J. (Jean) Landel

From professional development designs to handouts and PowerPoint slides, this guide has everything science leaders need to facilitate CTS and improve science teaching in schools!See more details below


From professional development designs to handouts and PowerPoint slides, this guide has everything science leaders need to facilitate CTS and improve science teaching in schools!

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SAGE Publications
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Meet the Author

Carolyn Landel received her doctoral degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of Chicago and pursued postdoctoral studies at University of Massachusetts Medical School and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. While maintaining an active research program, Landel brought together her strong scientific training and her commitment to education by supporting state and national science education reform efforts. In 2002, Landel joined the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education program at Western Washington University (WWU), home to the state’s largest teacher preparation program. Here, she serves as project director of a National Science Foundation–funded Mathematics and Science Partnership that unites scientists from Western Washington University and four community colleges with 28 small and rural school districts to improve science education K-16. Landel directs the day-to-day work of all aspects of the project, including participation in science education research studies in collaboration with Westat, Horizon Research, the Education Development Center (EDC), and Georgia Tech University.

Landel was a fellow in the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership and principal investigator of a state-funded initiative to develop and pilot a science education leadership program at WWU for K-12 teachers. This successful pilot was scaled initially through the NSF-funded Mathematics and Science Partnership program, and is currently being sustained through continued funding from the state department of education.

Landel led the early dissemination efforts of Curriculum Topic Study (CTS) in Washington State in both inservice and preservice contexts. Based on her experiences with CTS she joined a panel of national experts assembled to inform the development of print and Web-based publications to help teachers and professional developers utilize CTS to improve content-focused professional development and teacher practice.

Landel’s current collaborations include working with WestEd on the development of a simulation to help science education leaders understand the elements of effective professional development and how to design meaningful, content-rich experiences for science teachers. She is a lead consultant with the Education Development Center and Vulcan Production to produce an innovative print, Web, and video resource to help school-based leadership teams improve student achievement. She is also actively involved with Horizon Research and Project 2061 in the creation of instruments to assess teacher opportunities to learn and measure changes in teacher science content knowledge, teacher pedagogical content knowledge, classroom practice, as well as changes in student achievement.

Landel has authored numerous publications in scientific journals and, more recently, in the education literature. Her most recent publications can be found in NSTA press and Education Leadership. Her current research interests include understanding how partnerships between higher education scientists and teachers can improve teacher, faculty, and student learning and what attributes of professional development lead to improved science content and pedagogical content knowledge required of teachers to increase student learning.

Susan Mundry is currently deputy director of Learning Innovations at WestEd and the associate director of WestEd’s Mathematics, Science, and Technology Program. She directs several national or regional projects focused on improving educational practice and oversees the research and evaluation projects of Learning Innovations. She is codirector of a research study examining the distribution of highly qualified teachers in New York and Maine for the Northeast & Islands Regional Education Laboratory and is the project codirector for the evaluation of the Intel Mathematics Initiative, a professional development program for elementary and middle grades teachers aimed at increasing student outcomes in mathematics. She is also a Principal Investigator for two National Science Foundation projects that are developing products to promote the use of research-based practice in science and mathematics. Since 2000, Mundry has codirected the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership, which provides educational leaders with training and technical assistance on professional development design, leading educational change, group facilitation, data analysis and use, and general educational leadership, as well as access to research-based information to improve teaching and learning. Building on this work, she provides technical assistance to several large urban schools districts engaged in enhancing leadership and improving math and science programs.

As a senior research associate for the National Institute for Science Education (1997-2000), Mundry conducted research on attributes of effective professional development. She served on the national evaluation team for the study of the Eisenhower Professional Development program led by the American Institutes for Research, where she worked on the development of national survey instruments and the protocols for case studies. From 1982 to 1997, Mundry served in many roles from staff developer to associate director at The NETWORK, Inc., a research and development organization focused on organizational change and dissemination of promising education practice. There, she managed the work of the National Center for Improving Science Education and the Center for Effective Communication, provided technical assistance to schools on issues of equity and desegregation, oversaw national dissemination programs, and co-developed the “Change Game,” (Making Change for School Improvement) a simulation game that enhances leaders’ ability to lead change efforts in schools and districts.

Mundry has written several books, chapters, and articles based on her work. She is coauthor of the best selling book, Designing Effective Professional Development for Teachers of Science and Mathematics (2nd edition), as well as Leading Every Day: 125 Actions for Effective Leadership, which was named a National Staff Development Council Book of the Year in 2003. Her latest book is The Data Coach’s Guide to Improving Learning for All Students (2008).

Page Keeley is the senior science program director at the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA). She directs projects in the areas of leadership, professional development, standards and research on learning, formative assessment, and mentoring and coaching, and consults with school districts and organizations nationally. She has been the principal investigator on three NSF-funded projects: the Northern New England Co-Mentoring Network, a school-based mentoring program that supported science and mathematics professional learning communities for middle and high school mentors and new teachers; Curriculum Topic Study- A Systematic Approach to Utilizing National Standards and Cognitive Research; and PRISMS- Phenomena and Representations for Instruction of Science in Middle School, a National Digital Library collection of Web resources aligned to standards and reviewed for instructional quality. In addition she is a co-PI on two statewide projects: Science Content, Conceptual Change, and Collaboration (SC4), a state MSP focused on conceptual change teaching in the physical sciences for K–8 teachers and a National SemiConductor Foundation grant on Linking Science, Inquiry, and Language Literacy (L-SILL). Keeley is the author of ten nationally published books, including four books in the Curriculum Topic Study series (Corwin Press), four volumes in the Uncovering Student Ideas in Science: 25 Formative Assessment Probes series (NSTA Press), Science Formative Assessment: 75 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning (Corwin and NSTA Press), and Mathematics Formative Assessment: 50 Practical Strategies for Linking Assessment, Instruction, and Learning (in press).

Keeley taught middle and high school science for 15 years. At that time she was an active teacher leader at the state and national level. She received the Presidential Award for excellence in Secondary Science Teaching in 1992 and the Milken National Educator Award in 1993. She has served as an adjunct instructor at the University of Maine, is a Cohort 1 Fellow in the National Academy for Science and Mathematics Education Leadership, served as a science literacy leader for the AAAS/Project 2061 Professional Development Program, and has served on several national advisory boards. She is a frequent speaker at national conferences and served as the 63rd President of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) for the 2008-09 term.

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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments About the Authors
1. Introduction to A Leader's Guide Advice for Using This Leader's Guide Underlying Beliefs The Need for a Common Professional Knowledge Base CTS Makes the Knowledge Base Accessible Building Professional Community Observations and Voices From the Field Professional Development Designs Are Enhanced Through CTS CTS Use by Collaborative School Teams CTS Use in Preservice Education CTS Enhances Science Education Leadership The Language of CTS
2. Introduction to Curriculum Topic Study for Leaders What Is CTS?
What CTS Is Not CTS and Science Literacy Key Points About Standards and Research on Learning Using CTS to Lead Professional Learning CTS Resources and Tools From Generic Tools to Content-Specific Tools
3. Considerations for Designing and Leading Curriculum Topic Study CTS and the Principles of Effective Professional Development CTS Learning Cycle Facilitation Tips and Strategies Acquiring and Managing Materials Developing Norms for Collaborative Work CTS Group Norms Options for Organizing and Discussing Readings CTS Recommended Reading and Summarizing Strategies Reporting Out Strategies Reflection on CTS Summarizing Findings Strategy for Addressing the Issue of Time and Difficulty Next Steps
4. Tools, Resources, and Designs for Leading Introductory Sessions on Curriculum Topic Study Make Your Own CTS Introductory Session Essential Facilitator Preparation Module A1: Introduction to CTS Using K-12 Snapshots, Facilitation Guide Module A2: Introduction to CTS Resource Scenarios?Models, Facilitation Guide Module A3: Full-Day Introduction to CTS Resource Scenarios and Snapshots, Facilitation Guide Options for Introducing the CTS Resource Books Developing Your Own Snapshots and Resource Scenarios Next Steps After CTS Introductions
5. Leading Full Topic Studies Introduction to Full Topic Studies Module B1: "Experimental Design" Facilitation Guide Module B2: "Evidence and Explanation" Facilitation Guide Module B3: "Earth, Moon, and Sun System" Facilitation Guide Module B4: "Conservation of Matter" Facilitation Guide Module B5: "Atoms and Molecules" Facilitation Guide Module B6: "Photosynthesis and Respiration" Facilitation Guide Module B7: "Life Cycles (K-4)" Facilitation Guide Additional Suggestions for Designing and Leading Full Topic Studies Developing Your Own Half-Day Topic Study Combining Topics Cautions and Next Steps
6. Using CTS in a Content, Curricular, Instructional, or Assessment Context Introduction to CTS Context Applications CTS and Science Content Knowledge CTS and Science Curriculum CTS and Science Instructions CTS and Science Assessment Module: Developing CTS Assessment Probes Performance Assessment Tasks CTS Performance Assessment Task Design and Teacher Learning A CTS Process for Developing Performance Tasks CTS Performance Task Development Tools Introducing the CTS Performance Assessment Task Application Developing Their Own Performance Task Other Examples of Context Applications of CTS
7. Embedding CTS Within Professional Development Strategies Why Use CTS Within Other Professional Development Strategies?
CTS and Professional Learning Communities CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 1: Study Groups CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 2: Collaborative Inquiry Into Examining Student Thinking (CIEST)
CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 3: CTS Video Demonstration Lesson (VDL)
CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 4: CTS Integrated Lesson Study CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 5: CTS Action Research CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 6: CTS Seminars CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 7: CTS Mentoring and Coaching A Final Word References Index

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