1. Julie Yu
  2. Senior Scientist
  3. STEM Practice-rich Investigations for NGSS Teaching
  4. Exploratorium
  1. Sara Heredia
  2. Assistant Professor Science Education
  3. STEM Practice-rich Investigations for NGSS Teaching
  4. University of North Carolina at Greensboro
  1. Jessica Parker
  2. Director of Teaching and Learning
  3. STEM Practice-rich Investigations for NGSS Teaching
  4. Exploratorium
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Julie Yu

    Julie Yu

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:36 a.m.

    Hi, and thanks for checking out our video! This project was part of the Exploratorium Teacher Institute’s ongoing work as a professional learning center for science teachers. Our programs are grounded in experiential learning, and we built on this approach to help teachers start to understand the learning described by the Next Generation Science Standards. We’ve always worked alongside teachers to best respond to their needs and deeply value the involvement of researchers in this project to help us understand how engaging in three-dimensional learning experiences supported teachers’ sensemaking of NGSS.

    Please post any questions you have along with any strategies that you’ve found successful in helping teachers transition to NGSS. If you’re a teacher, what have you found helpful in implementing NGSS? What remains a challenge?

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  • Icon for: Daniel Capps

    Daniel Capps

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 07:01 a.m.

    Really enjoyed the teacher accounts of the PD in this video, but tell me a little bit about the research and evaluation on the project. What are you learning about teacher PD and what kind of evidence do you have related to the impact of the PD you have been delivering?

     
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    Molly Stuhlsatz
  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 07:40 a.m.

    Thanks for your question. The research on the project looks at how science teachers use their experience as learners in the museum PD as a resource in their planning. We've found that when teachers have time to reflect on the activity in relation to their own practice they surface ways they need to change their instruction or notice how their current instruction reflects some aspect of NGSS. This reflective time allows teachers to think through those changes and request resources to support those changes. In interviews a year after the PD, the teachers point to those experiences as learners as important to their continued planning throughout the school year, as well as the importance of the collaborative time with teachers from other districts to locate resources to support implementation.

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    Molly Stuhlsatz
  • Icon for: Molly Stuhlsatz

    Molly Stuhlsatz

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 11:18 a.m.

    Nice video. It’s so fun to hear from teachers about how their experience with your project is helping them adjust to NGSS. Does the PD include providing teachers with instructional materials that they take into the classroom? If so, could you describe the materials?

     
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  • Icon for: Julie Yu

    Julie Yu

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:37 p.m.

    As part of the PD, teachers engaged with a NGSS learning experience that many take and use in their classrooms. Rather than provide a stock set of instructional materials though, we focused the rest of the time supporting teachers to modify activities in their own existing repertoires to be more aligned with NGSS. We feel that this assets-based approach builds on what teachers know and their past experiences, which might make the new task less daunting. As part of this project, we developed a planning tool to help teachers everywhere think through modifying their existing activities. The tool can be found at https://www.exploratorium.edu/snacks/ngss.

     

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    Molly Stuhlsatz
  • Icon for: Patrick Moyle

    Patrick Moyle

    Professional Learning Specialist
    May 13, 2019 | 03:34 p.m.

    Hi there! I enjoyed your video and really appreciate your approach to professional learning. Giving teachers an authentic adult-level science learning experience is integral to them knowing what to try and replicate in the classroom. 

    I'm wondering what type of framework you use for helping teachers shift their lessons. I feel like there are a lot of resources out there that are designed to help with this but many are either too heavy and dive way too deep into the NGSS that using them frequently and quickly is a challenge. While others are easy to use but don't really get the shifts we are looking for. How have you struck this balance?

     

     
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  • Icon for: Julie Yu

    Julie Yu

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 06:12 p.m.

    We have definitely also experienced the tension between the need for a deep dive to get at the heart of NGSS and the realities of what teachers have the capacity to tackle on a day-to-day basis. The planning tool I mentioned above came out of iterative work with teachers to develop something that is useful to them. And we are still iterating! We're actually due to publish the latest revision of this tool in the coming weeks. Most of all, we have found it valuable to set aside dedicated time during PD to have teachers reflect and work on their individualized needs. What have you found to be useful?

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  • Icon for: Marcia Quackenbush

    Marcia Quackenbush

    May 14, 2019 | 04:16 p.m.

    Enjoyed hearing the teacher perspectives. This is "thinking inside the box"? 😃 Thanks for a lovely video.

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    Julie Yu
  • Icon for: Courtney Arthur

    Courtney Arthur

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 04:27 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing this work! I was curious as to whether teachers come in 'teams' from their school or work in collaboration with their departments? Is there a model that supports this work and what have you found, if anything, with/without that support?

     
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  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:37 p.m.

    The Teacher Institute is a 30 year professional learning community for science teachers mainly in Northern California. Teachers apply to participate in a three-week summer institute and once they participate in the summer institute they are alumni and can participate in one Saturday workshop a semester and one one-week alumni summer workshops. The project in the video looked at an alumni workshop designed to support teachers to modify museum-based science activities to align to NGSS. So the long answer to your question is that teachers self select and often come as individuals, rather than as school-based teams. 

    The project described in the video did look at how other teachers in the participant's school influenced the their implementation of NGSS aligned activities designed during the workshop. We found that their school colleagues willingness to implement NGSS was a factor in whether or not they implemented the activities. We also found that participants in the workshop took the activities and planning tools back to their schools and used it to demonstrate instructional shifts in NGSS. This finding lead to our current iteration on the work that includes workshops to support science teacher leaders in CA to develop professional development resources to support NGSS implementation.

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  • May 14, 2019 | 06:53 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work and tools! Do you think these tools will be appropriate for elementary school teachers as well?

     
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  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 08:45 p.m.

    The tools were primarily designed for secondary science teachers. The Teacher Institute has a sister institute at the Exploratorium, The Institute for Inquiry that works with elementary teachers.

     
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    Irina Lyublinskaya
  • Icon for: Julie Yu

    Julie Yu

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2019 | 09:51 a.m.

    Hi Irina,

    As Sara noted we have used the tools mostly with secondary level teachers. A key emphasis, though, is to have teachers think through their own context and students' needs as they prepare their lessons. I would expect that this could translate to elementary teachers as well but would love to have the data. Please let us know if you use it with any teachers!

     
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    Irina Lyublinskaya
  • May 15, 2019 | 11:18 a.m.

    Hi Sara and Julie, thank you very much! New York State adopted NGSS, so your materials will be very helpful to us. I hope that we can adapt them for professional development workshops for our elementary science teacher-leaders. 

     
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    Julie Yu
  • May 15, 2019 | 11:22 a.m.

    Hi Julie and Sarah, thank you very much! I hope to be able to adapt your planning tools for our MTFs, who are elementary teachers. Our next year professional development program focuses on instructional planning aligned to NGSS since New York State adopted these standards. These are great resources and I appreciate you sharing them!

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  • Icon for: Hilary Kreisberg

    Hilary Kreisberg

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 14, 2019 | 07:58 p.m.

    Hi,

    The video resonated with me as I direct the Center for Mathematics Achievement at Lesley University and we offer professional learning opportunities focused on mathematics education - primarily around shifting toward more inquiry-based learning, such as what you discussed in your video. I am wondering, what are your research questions for this study and how are you measuring the impact?

     
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  • Icon for: Sara Heredia

    Sara Heredia

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 09:00 p.m.

    Thank you for your question. We engaged in design-based research to understand how to leverage teachers' current repertoire of  instructional practices (primarily museum-based inquiry activities) as a resource for their learning about NGSS. We wanted to understand how experiences as learners in familiar inquiry activities, modified to align to NGSS, supported teachers' sensemaking about NSS. Specifically, how did teachers describe the changes they needed to make to their practice after the PD and how did the modified activities act as a model for how to modify other inquiry-based activities to align to NGSS. We analyzed patterns in teacher discourse during the PD and found that their experiences as learners provided the fodder for pedagogical sensemaking as they designed their activities. We also found that in interviews a year after the workshop, a number of teachers referenced the PD activities as a resource in their continued sensemaking of NGSS.

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  • Icon for: Kenneth Huff

    Kenneth Huff

    K-12 Teacher
    May 15, 2019 | 08:20 p.m.

    Hello Julie,

    Appreciate all your efforts to help teachers understand importance of phenomena with NGSS.  Pleased to learn your program emphasizes several important components including teacher as learner, curiosity and creativity, and designing investigations, collecting and analyzing data and arguing from evidence.  These points are also emphasized in recent National Academies report.  Here is an infographic from the report https://www.nap.edu/resource/25216/interactive/

    Thank you. 

     

     
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    Jessica Parker
  • Icon for: Julie Yu

    Julie Yu

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 11:16 a.m.

    Hi Kenneth,

    I hadn't seen that infographic. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Icon for: Perla Myers

    Perla Myers

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2019 | 01:37 a.m.

    Thank you very much for sharing this great video! The work looks amazing and the teachers seem to be enjoying themselves and are really delving deeply into the explorations. I particularly appreciated the assets-based approach/ having teachers modify their own activities. :) How do you assess what the teachers are gaining? What are some words of wisdom. What kinds of activities do teachers select from among their activities?

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  • Icon for: Julie Yu

    Julie Yu

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:35 p.m.

    Hi Perla,

    This was a two-year project, so the research findings that Sara discusses above cover teachers' experiences one year after the PD. Anecdotally, we continue to do this work with teachers and teacher leaders across California who report the full range of results, from still struggling with understanding NGSS to success working with large district implementation. In terms of selecting candidate activities to develop, we encourage teachers to think about a guiding question or phenomenon that might engage their students and a sequence of activities to explore this. In addition to modifying for NGSS, teachers also come to terms with things that don't quite meet the demands of three-dimensional learning and might be better left out of their curriculum, even if it's a favorite demo.

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  • Icon for: Shelly Rodriguez

    Shelly Rodriguez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2019 | 08:30 a.m.

    Hi Sara, Jessica, and team. A great video! I love what you are doing with PD. It is wonderful to see fellow STEM/ Maker enthusiast using the resources people bring to facilitate learning!

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    Jessica Parker
    Julie Yu
  • May 18, 2019 | 02:10 p.m.

    Hello,

    This PD really looks like fun! And very interesting to help understand the NGSS. I find putting teachers in the students' position to be very effective. This is how professional learning is approached in our project as well!

    After experiencing activities as students, which challenges do the teachers meet in the design process of their own activities and how do you support them?

    Thanks,

    Coralie

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