Project SUCCESS (Science Understanding through a Collaborative Commitment to Enduring Student Success) is a collaborative effort to improve elementary school science teaching and learning in a northeastern state in the US. This project is in response to the need to address the under-preparedness of K-6 teachers to teach science that is often reported in the literature and asserted by local elementary teachers. The overarching goal of SUCCESS is to increase instructional coherence by aligning curriculum, instruction and assessment to each other and the state standards. Higher education faculty work with two local school districts using workshops and Lesson Study (LS) to develop effective science practices and formative assessment with teachers. LS is an established form of action research that engages teachers in a peer-shared reflection on learning (Lewis, 2002). The impact of the project’s professional development on teaching and learning of science is assessed through qualitative analysis of teacher and principal feedback forms, and science lesson plans and student work samples from LS. The findings of the analysis include: a) shifts in teachers’ instructional methods and approaches, b) teachers’ appreciation of the role of science practices for learning science content, and c) building a collaborative learning community that supports teachers’ science teaching. The challenges teachers experienced consist of how to use science notebooks and assessment for learning, how to view classroom assessment in relation to state standardized assessment and the Common Core Standards, the apparent disconnect between teachers’ practices and district expectations, time restraints, and lack of resources.
Li-Ling Yang, Roger Williams University, United States
Maria Lawrence, Rhode Island College, United States
Stream: Social Sciences
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