The National Academies Press (NAP) recently released a new report titled Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts.
This report provides a rich, detailed, and research-based account of how school systems should move forward with professional learning for science teachers. This will be especially useful to school systems working to implement the Next Generation Science Standards.
The report includes thoughtful recommendations and conclusions to guide school systems as they try to improve science outcomes for students. Here are some examples of conclusions in the report:
Conclusion 1: An evolving understanding of how best to teach science, including the NGSS, represents a significant transition in the way science is currently taught in most classrooms and will require most science teachers to alter the way they teach.
Conclusion 2: The available evidence suggests that many science teachers have not had sufficiently rich experiences with the content relevant to the science courses they currently teach, let alone a substantially redesigned science curriculum. Very few teachers have experience with the science and engineering practices described in the NGSS. This situation is especially pronounced both for elementary school teachers and in schools that serve high percentages of low-income students, where teachers are often newer and less qualified.
Conclusion 3: Typically, the selection of and participation in professional learning opportunities is up to individual teachers. There is often little attention to developing collective capacity for science teaching at the build- ing and district levels or to offering teachers learning opportunities tailored to their specific needs and offered in ways that support cumulative learning over time.
If you are a leader responsible for shaping and designing science learning for teachers, then I HIGHLY recommend you check out this report. Click HERE to read a short NSTA blog post about the report as an entry point.
You can download this report for FREE or read it online in your browser HERE.