Manual Coaching Science (Active Learning in Sport Series)

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Sport and Exercise Sciences. Sports Coaching. Develop internal capacity in science while seeking external partners with science expertise: School and district leaders should work to build school- and district-level capacity around science teaching. These efforts should include creating learning opportunities for teachers but might also include exploring different models for incorporating science expertise, such as employing science specialists at the elementary level or providing high school science department heads with time to observe and collaborate with their colleagues.

When developing a strategy for building capacity, school and district leaders should consider the tradeoffs inherent in such choices. School and district leaders should also explore developing partnerships with individuals and organizations—such as local businesses, institutions of higher education or science rich institutions—that can bring science expertise. Crucial to developing relevant expertise is developing the capacity of professional development leaders.

Investing in the development of professional developers who are knowledgeable about teaching all students the vision of science education represented in the NGSS Next Generation Science Standards Lead States, and the Framework National Research Council, is critical. It is not sufficient for these leaders to be good teachers themselves; they must also be prepared and supported to work with adult learners and to coordinate professional development with other policies and programs including staffing, teacher evaluation, curriculum development, and student assessment.

Create, evaluate, and revise policies and practices that encourage teachers to engage in professional learning related to science: District and school administrators and relevant leaders should work to establish dedicated professional development time during the salaried work week and work year for science teachers. They should encourage teachers to participate in science learning opportunities and structure time to allow for collaboration around science.

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Resources for professional learning should include time to meet with other teachers, to observe other classrooms, and to attend discrete events; space to meet with other teachers; requested materials; and incentives to participate. These policies and practices should take advantage of linkages with other policies For example, natural connections can be made between policies concerning professional development and teacher evaluation.

Similarly, administrators could develop policies that more equitably distribute qualified and experienced science teachers across all students in school, districts, and school networks. These tools may be particularly useful for supporting cross-school collaboration, providing teachers with flexible schedules for accessing resources, or enabling access to professional learning opportunities in rural areas where teachers may be isolated and it is difficult to convene in a central location. Without the work of teachers, professional development leaders, and school leaders at the local level, the promise of these visionary documents cannot be realized.

Of course, working at that local level—while necessary—is not sufficient to change how science is taught across the United States and determining whether all children have access to high-quality science learning experiences. Within and across states, as well as nationally, science education needs to be elevated through policies, practices, and funding mechanisms. Without that kind of support, the local and essential work described in these recommendations will fall short. Other reports of the National Research Council , include recommendations targeted to the state level that identify policies such as those related to assessment National Research Council, , high school graduation requirements National Research Council, , and teacher certification National Research Council, that can help create supportive contexts for improving science education.

The National Research Council also has issued recommendations for a national indicator system that would make it possible to track improvement in STEM education reforms, covering domains of state policy, curriculum, accountability, and teacher quality, and the National Science Teachers Association has issued a number of relevant position statements on accountability, teacher preparation and induction, leadership, and professional development.

These organizations also are creating networks of science educators who are exploring the Framework and NGSS and sharing ideas about implementation of the vision set forth in those documents. It is a massive undertaking to support all students, teachers, and schools in rising to the challenges of the new vision of science teaching and learning. Considerable research exists, both in science education and in education more generally on which to draw, for insights into the wise development of policies, programs, and practices that will enhance teacher learning.

At the same time, much remains to be learned. The committee identified several areas of research that would inform the work of school leaders interested in supporting ongoing teacher learning. Before offering our recommendations for future research, we reiterate the major gaps in the research literature. The committee found enormous variation in teacher learning opportunities, with no centralized way to determine general trends or the effectiveness of various programs or combinations of experiences.

This observation is similar to a conclusion drawn by the authors of the National Research Council report on teacher preparation. In general, more research is needed to understand the path from professional learning opportunities to changes in teacher knowledge and. To be maximally helpful, that research should attend to the contexts in which teachers learn and teach see Figure Fundamental to most research aimed at linking science teacher learning to student science learning and engagement is the development of publicly credible, technically sound, and professionally responsible measures of relevant teacher and student outcomes.

Because teaching and learning also have subject-specific aspects, these outcome measures need to sample broadly from the practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts outlined in the new vision of science teaching and learning. The committee cannot emphasize enough the centrality of good measures of teacher and student learning, particularly for addressing gaps in all of the domains cited above.


Lacking good outcome measures, considerable resources will continue to be devoted to professional learning opportunities with a limited ability to gauge their effects. Such measures would enable a great deal of needed research.


The committee urges a broad conceptualization of professional learning and thus research that examines how teachers learn from portfolios of learning opportunities, including both off-site and embedded professional development e. Of particular benefit would be research assessing the effects of the interactions among various learning opportunities, as well as the particular contributions of different kinds of learning experiences to teacher knowledge and practice. The conduct of such research would require having much better documentation of the range of learning opportunities in which teachers participate and that were designed intentionally to build upon, extend, and enhance one another.

Moreover, any investment in. Typical research on professional learning is small scale, conducted by the program designers or providers, and uses locally developed measures. The collective body of small-scale research has produced some insights, but understanding of the nature and effects of the range of professional learning opportunities will remain limited without large-scale studies that include multiple programs and are not as dependent on teacher self-report.

A wide range of research methodologies have important roles in shedding light on science teacher learning, as does the use of multiple measures of teacher knowledge and practice and student engagement and learning. The committee urges that research on science teacher learning focus on opportunities that help teachers meet the needs of diverse students while teaching to the standards.

Accomplishing this goal will require developing and studying professional learning programs—in and outside of schools—that interweave attention to science content with attention to the needs and experiences of all students, including English language learners, special education students, gifted and talented students, and diverse learners. Compelling research exists in many of these areas. But teachers do not teach diverse learners on Tuesdays and science on Wednesdays; they teach the two together, and supportive professional learning experiences for teachers will integrate knowledge across a range of domains.

In other words, research that attends to the development of all three dimensions of teacher knowledge and skill discussed in this report—the. When relevant, attending to the potential role of technology in enabling teacher learning would help schools and school districts take advantage of the capabilities of new technologies in enabling teacher learning.

Such research could focus on online or hybrid professional development programs, face-to-face learning opportunities that take advantage of the use of technology in pursuit of ambitious instruction, the use of technology to teach to the new vision of science learning, or the support of online professional networks of teachers.

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The field also needs research on the development of teacher educators, professional development leaders, and teacher leaders more generally. Learning to teach teachers is related to but distinct from learning to teach. Research documenting and explaining how skilled teacher developers acquire relevant knowledge and practice would help improve the quality of professional learning across the myriad settings in which it takes place. First, given current efforts toward developing new curriculum and assessment materials aligned with the Framework and NGSS, it would be strategic to design research that documents what teachers learn in developing and implementing those materials, especially in their classrooms and with the range of supports provided to help them.

As teachers and schools embrace the new vision for science teaching and learning, teachers, teacher leaders, principals, and professional development staff will be learning a great deal. Research should document that learning so that efforts to reform science instruction can learn productively from that experimentation. Second, many fields of research relevant to science teaching and learning currently do not address what science teachers and their students learn.

Science education would benefit greatly from being integrated into programs of research concerning instructional reform, English language. Finally, given that many schools and school networks are currently engaged in efforts to improve teacher learning opportunities, some of the research envisioned here might draw on design-based implementation research, networked improvement communities, strategic education partnerships, or other research designs.

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These research traditions—which are designed as collaborations among various stakeholders schools, teachers, policy makers, and researchers and committed to responding quickly to data and shifting course when necessary—holds great promise for helping teachers and schools respond in a timely fashion to the mandate to raise standards and teach all children scientifically rich curricula. Heller, J. Differential effects of three professional development models on teacher knowledge and student achievement in elementary science.

Journal of Research in Science Teaching , 49 3 , National Research Council. Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education.

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Roth, K. Videobased lesson analysis: Effective science PD for teacher and student learning.