Icon for: Charles Anderson

CHARLES ANDERSON

Michigan State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 09:40 a.m.

    It's exciting to learn more about a project that has been improved and sustained over 10 years--that seems rare these days, and your contributions to the field about effective partnerships and professional development design will continue to be valuable.  To that end, I wondering about the "big shifts in practice" that happen in the Carbon TIME project.  Over time, have there been key areas of teacher growth/change and what types of activities, back in schools, have been particularly supportive. A teacher in the video mentioned the benefit of Looking at Student Work sessions--it would be interesting to learn more about those or other types of supports.

  • Icon for: Deb Jordan

    Deb Jordan

    May 13, 2019 | 06:39 p.m.

    As a network leader for Carbon TIME, I have had the opportunity to work with teachers who have implemented at least three Carbon TIME units for at least two years.  During that time, I think that Carbon TIME Tools (Expressing Ideas, Planning and Predictions, Evidence-based Argument, and Explanations) as well as professional development have helped teachers better understand NGSS expectations around scientific practices and shift teacher practice toward apprenticing students in scientific practices.  I have seen teachers move from dispensing information to asking questions that advance student thinking.  I have also seen shifts that create more opportunities for academic student-to-student discourse.  Looking at student work (written explanations) and listening to recorded student discourse clips provided opportunities for communities of teachers to share and learn from each other.

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:39 p.m.

    Thank you for that additional information and description.  Have you/will you disseminate some of the tools on your website or in another way?  I'm sure they would inform other NSF projects that are designing teacher PD and support materials.

    I'll be sure to check out the JRST article as well, to learn more!

  • Icon for: Beth Covitt

    Beth Covitt

    Head of Science Education Research & Evaluation
    May 14, 2019 | 12:54 p.m.

    Hi Karen, Thanks for your question. I'm a co-PI on the Carbon TIME project and yes, absolutely, Carbon TIME tools and professional development supports are and/or will be available on the website and freely accessible. All of the units are posted at http://carbontime.bscs.org/  . There are many teacher-facing resources available as well. However, we are also currently working on a major  update to our website. When it is finished, there will be an extensive educator resource library available as well as a complete professional development course of study that districts and/or groups of teachers could use to develop their capacity for Carbon TIME instruction and NGSS-aligned, three-dimensional instruction more broadly. 

  • Icon for: Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Daniel Morales-Doyle

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 10:04 a.m.

    Thank you for this contribution! The video mentions the NGSS focus on natural phenomena and I noticed that the curriculum includes units on ecosystems and human energy systems. I'm curious how teachers are supported to deal with the interdisciplinary character and social, political, and cultural components of these topics.

  • Icon for: Beth Covitt

    Beth Covitt

    Head of Science Education Research & Evaluation
    May 14, 2019 | 12:48 p.m.

    Great question, Daniel!. I'm a co-PI on Carbon TIME and can speak to this a bit. Some of the ways Carbon TIME supports interdisciplinary and social components includes resources such as (A) providing student-facing readings that do things like highlight scientists from culturally diverse backgrounds, describing their research related to Carbon TIME topics and the social implications of their work; (B) the HES unit has a lesson that focuses on carbon cycling implications of lifestyle choices and decisions in a non-judgmental way; (C) many of the units have community connection extensions that support students in connecting the material of each unit to their daily lives - such as thinking about transportation emissions and food-related CO2 emissions. An overarching goal of Carbon TIME is building students' environmental science literacy (especially fundamental understanding of matter and energy moving through carbon transforming processes) that they can apply to important issues and decisions that our society currently faces. 

  • Icon for: Jen Fox

    Jen Fox

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2019 | 12:37 a.m.

    As a teacher and collaborator in the Carbon TIME work over the past 7 years we host several sessions where teachers come together and share student work.  Working in triads we use a tuning protocol to guide the discussion. The presenter shares the work followed by a few minutes for the others to ask clarifying questions. Next, teachers provide feedback in response to three questions to encourage the presenter to think more deeply about the work: a) What do you notice? b) What do you wonder? c) What would happen if…  The presenter then follows up with reflection and feedback on how their colleague’s contribution made them think deeper about the work.  In my own experience as a presenter I left a session with new ideas how to differentiate the lesson for different learners as well as insight to what gaps my students had in their learning.  My colleagues recognized gaps in learning that I didn’t really notice the first time. Since the tools are repeated in several units I had a new opportunity to try put these ideas into practice during the next unit. 

  • Icon for: Karen Mutch-Jones

    Karen Mutch-Jones

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 12:42 p.m.

    Thank you, Jen, for that additional description.  It's interesting to read an example of a way in which the project scaffolded collaborative work among you and your colleagues.

  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 08:42 p.m.

    I agree with Karen that it is impressive to visit a project presentation that has been on-going with so many schools/students for so many years. And I also wonder about the most noticeable adjustments teachers have been able to make as they shift from delivering content to supporting scientific practices in classrooms. With so many teachers making such big adjustments in their teaching practice over time, have you been able to map a kind of transformation of teaching practice curve or arc? How (with what small changes) does it most likely start? What is the typical pace of shift? What is the most difficult practice to instill in learners (or for teachers to exercise patience with, while students struggle)?  Do the teachers who are most successful (effective) exhibit certain characteristics or is it more about administrative support for the work? I'd love to know more about emerging longer-term insights. Exciting!

  • Icon for: Jackie Wilson

    Jackie Wilson

    K-12 Teacher
    May 14, 2019 | 10:50 p.m.

    I have been a Carbon TIME teacher for the past 5 years.  I can attest that there is a learning curve to this shift, and we're all growing year by year.  I think many teachers start out with the labs and activities, but take a little longer to fully grasp the learning progression.  Fortunately, Carbon TIME is designed in a way that helps teachers to envision and implement the shifts in practice.  One of my favorite parts of Carbon TIME is the tools.  Each unit has an Expressing Ideas tool that introduces the unit phenomenon and elicits students' initial ideas.  This helped me to teach my students to ask thoughtful, relevant questions and to value those questions as a way to engage all learners.  At the start of the year students are often nervous about being wrong, but as we move through the units they see that that they have a lot of ideas to drawn upon.  Indeed, over the course of each unit students track how their thinking changes on a Learning Tracking Tool, and they become accountable for their own learning and growth.  In labs, students separate the processes of analyzing evidence in an Evidence-Based Arguments Tool and explaining relevant scientific processes on the Explanations Tool.  It took me years to deeply understand why these tools are separate, but now I see that my students write better explanations by separating these two diverse skills.  These tools scaffold students' engagement in the science practices, but they also guide teachers.  Becoming more confident with the shift in practice has allowed me to drop old strategies or pet projects.  My growth in understanding of the methodology translates to my students' success with the practices.  Likewise, being part of professional development with my colleagues also allows me to talk through the ways in which we use these tools, and I always walk away with new ideas to try.  The Carbon TIME team has been responsive to teachers, answering our questions and making edits based on feedback from teachers and their students.

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Beth Covitt

    Beth Covitt

    Head of Science Education Research & Evaluation
    May 15, 2019 | 12:40 p.m.

    Great question, Karen. And, Jackie, I love what you say here. Building on Jackie's ideas about the tools to comment about longer-term insights, we see that as teachers' practices grow, that they become more adept at knowing when to scaffold different practices and discourse patterns with their students in the classroom. A few resources that we use to help teachers' work on differentiating types of practice and discourse over the course of a unit include our Carbon TIME Instructional Model (http://carbontime.bscs.org/sites/default/files/educator_resources/Carbon_TIME_Instructional_Model_8.11.16.pdf), which outlines how students engage as questioners, investigators, and then explainers over the course of each unit; and the Carbon TIME Discourse Routine (http://carbontime.bscs.org/sites/default/files/educator_resources/Carbon_TIME_Discourse_Routine.pdf), which highlights a pattern that moves from introduction, to private writing, to small group sharing, to whole class discussion and consensus seeking with each tool mentioned by Jackie. The specific purposes of these discourse phases are distinct for the different tools, but the overall pattern of phases holds. As Carbon TIME teachers implement these practices in increasingly expert ways over the course of teaching multiple units and multiple years, we see classroom discourse changing and student learning increasing in very dramatic ways!

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Sarah Haavind

    Sarah Haavind

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2019 | 07:27 a.m.

    Thank you Jackie for sharing your insights from experiencing the program, and Beth for extending her comments with example resources! Your thoughtful routines, discourse phases, are terrific to consider. When I was first involved in deepening online learning, I learned that there was a way in which participants need permission to share their thinking. You have taken this to a whole new level by scaffolding the processes so purposefully for both students and by association for teachers. Jackie admitting that over time the experience has prompted her to drop old routines and pet projects is stunning really. Do you have many teacher participants saying similar things, or have you been able to observe and document similar outcomes more widely? What sorts of results do you have to date regarding teacher change and then, transfer, outside of the program into other classes they teach? 

  • Icon for: Christie Morrison Thomas

    Christie Morrison Thomas

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2019 | 12:48 p.m.

    Hi, Sarah!  Thank you for your comment and interest.  The vast majority of our network teachers express similar sentiments to Jackie's. They articulate that using Carbon TIME with their students has provided them with the tools to shift their classroom practice toward 3-dimensional student engagement.  It provides a curricular toolkit that helps them enact the NGSS/Framework vision of students "figuring out" natural phenomena. We also hear from teachers that they are taking Carbon TIME student-facing Tools and scaffolds and extending or modifying them to use in other content areas (genetics/evolution) and courses (i.e., geoscience) they teach.

     
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    Sarah Haavind
  • Icon for: Elizabeth Phillips

    Elizabeth Phillips

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2019 | 09:01 a.m.

     The focus on professional development and collaboration around a common curriculum or unit of study is powerful tool for change but sadly it is not common practice. Great video! great project.

  • Icon for: Christie Morrison Thomas

    Christie Morrison Thomas

    Graduate Student
    May 16, 2019 | 12:49 p.m.

    Thank you for your kind and supportive words, Elizabeth!

  • Icon for: Emily Weiss

    Emily Weiss

    PI Improving Practice Together
    May 17, 2019 | 11:52 a.m.

    This sounds like a really exciting project, in which teachers are well-supported. I know that it's often difficult for teachers to make large changes to their practice and curricular materials without administrative support. How do you get administrator buy-in and support? And are teachers required to participate in teams from a school site? What do you do if only one teacher at a site is interested in the project/curriculum?

  • Icon for: Christie Morrison Thomas

    Christie Morrison Thomas

    Graduate Student
    May 17, 2019 | 01:46 p.m.

    Hi, Emily!  Thank you for your post and important questions.  Our network teachers were not required to participate in teams, and they vary widely in what their local contexts are like.  Some of our network teachers are the sole science/Biology teacher in their building/district, and we understand from them that their network participation provides access to reflective colleagues and a community of practice that supports their instructional shifts.  These teachers seem to experience a sense of autonomy and administrator support, so their use of Carbon TIME in their classrooms is generally their decision. 

    Other network teachers join from the same building or district.  We have many examples in which these teachers use their experiences to shape department/building/district-level decisions about using Carbon TIME.  Our network teachers often take leadership positions both in this decision-making and in supporting their non-network colleagues in using Carbon TIME and shifting instructional practices.  This is not always the case - we have a few network teachers who have had less successful experiences advocating for Carbon TIME in their local context, but these seem to be more related to local norms (with their colleagues) than administrator buy-in.

    In a different state, guidelines around the collection of student assessment data at the central office/district level were stringent enough to prevent many teachers from participating in our project. Finally, teachers in Seattle participated in a network with the support of a district-level administrator, who has articulated the value of the research-practice partnership approach in helping teachers, administrators, and researchers build together an understanding of how students engage in 3-dimensional learning and how teachers can shift their instruction.

  • Icon for: Jackie Wilson

    Jackie Wilson

    K-12 Teacher
    May 17, 2019 | 02:50 p.m.

    Emily - I can't speak for all teachers, but I am a teacher in a district lacking complete, NGSS-aligned instructional materials in Science.  We have to piece together materials for our students with minimal building-level oversight.  We are fortunate to have district-level collaboration opportunities in which we seek out and design resources together.  I can say that in this situation Carbon TIME has worked well.  Because Carbon TIME is free and readily available online, it is possible to access and use the materials as an individual teacher looking for resources.  As with any curriculum, it's beneficial to have a network of teachers to learn from and administrative support to engage in professional development.  Fortunately, there are ways to do this even if someone is the only teacher at their school who is interested.  Teachers who use the materials without taking the time to learn the instructional model are more likely to use bits and pieces while holding onto strategies they have used in the past.  I see that teachers who engage in collaboration are more effective in using the Carbon TIME resources – myself included!

  • Icon for: Christie Morrison Thomas

    Christie Morrison Thomas

    Graduate Student
    May 17, 2019 | 04:07 p.m.

    Thanks, Jackie!  Emily, I'll also add that - as Beth Covitt mentioned in an earlier post - we are currently working to make our Carbon TIME Professional Development Course of Study into modules that will be posted on our website and available for use by teachers/districts/administrators, to support teachers in shifting their practice and using Carbon TIME in their school/building/district.

    Additionally, you may be interested in an article from our project that discusses the role that local networks played in supporting implementation of Carbon TIME: Penuel, W. R., *de los Santos, E. X., *Lin, Q., *Marshall, S. L., Anderson, C. W., Frank, K. A.. Building networks to support implementation of science curriculum in the Carbon TIME project. In Yoon, S. A., & Baker-Doyle, K. J.  (Eds.). (2018). Networked by Design: Interventions for Teachers to Develop Social Capital. Routledge. * Co-equal second authors.

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