Next Generation Science Standards Advancing Inquiry-based Teaching & Learning through Action Research
NGSS (2013) NGSS serves as a guideline for states, districts, schools and teachers to facilitate student learning Goals reflect what students should know and are able to do
NGSS VisionClick on this link to watch: NGSS (2013) Vision for Science Education
SCIENCE TEACHINGSCIENCE LEARNINGCoherent, rigorous inquiry-based instruction Direct engagement in scientific practices in order to fully appreciate the nature of scientific knowledgeRequires identification of assumptions, use of critical and logical thinking, and consideration of alternative explanations. Acquisition and application of scientific knowledge to unique situations
Expert teachers arrange performance expectations as deemed necessary to support the developmental needs of learners. Opportunities to critically think and reason scientifically in order to solve real-world challenges
Facets of InquiryMaking observations Posing questions Examining sources of information to learn what is already known Planning investigationReviewing experimental evidence Using tools to gather, analyze, and interpret data Proposing answers, explanations, and predictionsCommunicating results
The On-going Challenge
Many teachers have not embraced this pedagogical approach, which encourages students to think scientifically due to the complexity of teaching in a non-traditional, inquiry-based manner (Fradd & Lee, 1999).
Elementary science teaching methods continue to most prevalently reflect the use of worksheets and textbook reading of definitions (Dept. of Edu., 2000).
Despite national efforts to encourage the use of inquiry-based teaching practices, many science teachers still do not practice science as inquiry with their students (Lebak & Tinsley, 2010) .
There has been a tremendous concern that our efforts are simply not resulting in the desired level of inquiry-based teaching (Meyer, Meyer, Nabb, Connell & Avery, 2011).
Tensions between Experiment & Enactment
Lacking familiarity with scientific inquiry processes
Lacking pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in science education
The challenging application of the practice in the real-world, diverse context of the classroom
Together, these considerations generate the grave uncertainty that is often to blame for teacher anxiety, frustration, and poor teaching practices in the subject area (Capobianco, 2010).
What is Action Research?A systematic, self-reflective, yet collaborative inquiry approach aimed at constructing knowledge about ones practice, with the major goals of improving and coming to a better understanding of that practice (Carr & Kemmis, 1986; Cochran-Smith & Lytle, 1993; Stenhouse, 1975).
Practitioners plan, act, observe, reflect, and improve upon their educational situation, sharing findings publically with all interested in transforming educational practices.
The Promise ofAction Research
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ReferencesCapobianco, B. M., & Feldman, A. (2010). Repositioning teacher action research in science teacher education.Journal of Science Teacher Education,21(8), 909-915.Carr, W., & Kemmis, S. (1986). Becoming critical: Education, knowledge, and action research. Lewes, UK: Falmer.Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. (1992). Communities for teacher research: Fringe or forefront? American Journal of Education, (100), 298324.Cullen, T.A., Akerson, V.L., & Hanson, D.L. (2010). Using Action Research to Engage K-6 Teachers in Nature of Science Inquiry as Professional Development. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 21(8), 971-992.Fradd, S., & Lee, O. (1999). Teachers roles in promoting science inquiry with students from diverse language backgrounds. Educational Researcher, (28), 1420.
References (cont.)Lebak, K., & Tinsley, R. (2010). Can inquiry and reflection be contagious? Science teachers, students, and action research.Journal of Science Teacher Education,21(8), 953-970.Meyer, D., Meyer, A., Nabb, K., Connel, M., & Avery, L. (2011). A Theoretical and Empirical Exploration of Intrinsic Problems in Designing Inquiry Activities. Research in Science Education, (43), 57-76.Next Generation Science Standards (2013). Retrieved May 27, 2013, from http://www.nextgenscience.org/
Stenhouse, L. (1975). Introduction to curriculum research and development. London: Heinemann.