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D. Science

Note.  Printed with permission from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, (Early Adolescence/Science Standards, 1998; Adolescence and Young Adulthood/Science Standards, 1997),www.nbpts.org. All rights reserved.

Checklist

1. Early Adolescence

Preparing the way for productive student learning

___a. Understanding students

___b. Knowledge of science

___c. Instructional resources 

 

Establishing a favorable context for student learning

___d. Engagement

___e. Learning environment

___f. Equitable participation

Advancing student learning

___g. Science inquiry

___h. Fundamental understandings

___i. Contexts of science

Supporting teaching and student learning

___j. Assessment

___k. Family and community outreach

___l. Contributing to the profession

___m. Reflective practice

2. Adolescence and young adulthood

Preparing the way for productive student learning

___a. Understanding students

___b. Knowledge of science

___c. Instructional resources

Establishing a favorable context for student learning
___d. Engagement

___e. Learning environment

___f. Equitable participation

Advancing student learning
___g. Science inquiry

___h. Conceptual understandings


___i. Contexts of science

Supporting teaching and student learning
___j. Assessment

___k. Family and community outreach


___l. Collegiality and leadership

___m. Reflection

Applications/Examples 

1. Early Adolescence

Preparing the way for productive student learning

___a. Understanding students

  • Teachers know how early adolescent learners grow and develop, actively come to know their students as individuals, and draw on this knowledge and their relationships with students to determine the students' understanding of science as well as their individual learning backgrounds.

  • Teachers are passionate about involving adolescents in the excitement and satisfaction of scientific inquiry.

___b. Knowledge of science 

  • Teachers have a broad and current knowledge of science and science education, along with in-depth knowledge of one of the sub-fields of science, on which they draw to set appropriate learning goals with their students.

  • Teachers coordinate their instructional program so their students' explorations of science are integrated with their experiences in the language arts, mathematics, history/social science, and other essential areas of school curriculum.

  • Teachers establish long-range learning goals that are attainable, worthwhile, and relevant to the students.

  • Learning opportunities are organized, structured, and sequenced so that they support the goals.

  • Teachers willingly improvise by taking their cue from newspaper headlines, local controversies or unpredictable events that become occasions for scientific explorations that link school learning to everyday life.

  • Teachers are well versed in (1) the nature of science (modes of inquiry, habits of mind, and attitudes and dispositions); (2) the concepts, themes, principles, laws, theories, vocabulary, terminology, and factual information; (3) the historical, intellectual, social, and cultural contexts out of which science and technology have developed and in which they function today; and (4) the nature of technology (its challenges and roles).

  • Physical science teachers understand the basic properties of matter and the principles governing its interactions; the forms energy takes; its transformations from one form to another, and its relationships to matter, motion and the principles that explain it; the nature of atoms and molecules; the forces that exist between and within objects and atoms.

  • Life sciences teachers understand the diversity and unity that characterize life, the genetic basis for the transfer of biological characteristics from one generation to the next, the structure and functions of cells, the life cycle, the dependence of all organisms on one another and on their environment, the cycling of matter and flow of energy through the living environment, the basic concepts of evolution of species.

  • Earth and space sciences teachers understand the origin, composition, and structure of the universe and the motion of the objects in it, the motion of the earth and the materials and systems that compose it, the processes that shape the earth's surface and the relation of these cycling processes to the living environment.

  • Teachers are proficient in the practice of mathematics appropriate to the developmental level of their students.

___c. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers select and adapt instructional resources (including technology, laboratory, and community resources) and create their own resources to support active student explorations of science.

  • Teachers actively recruit families or other community members with science- or technology-related backgrounds to contribute to the instructional mix.

  • Teachers encourage students to take responsibility for pursuing their own science-related interests in the community by arranging field trips, inviting guest speakers, etc.

  • Teachers put students in control of technological tools in their learning, as much as possible.

  • They provide opportunities for hands-on experiences with mechanical, electrical, and optical tools.

  • Teachers direct students who have expressed interest in a topic to sources of additional information (library, periodicals, other media).

Establishing a favorable context for student learning 
___d. Engagement

  • Teachers stimulate interest in science and technology and elicit their students' sustained preparation in learning activities.

  • Students are encouraged to creatively solve problems, offer ideas, pose and respond to stimulating questions.

  • Teachers are passionate about science and exhibit genuine enthusiasm in teaching the subject and its applications.

  • Teachers are co-discoverers alongside their students, demonstrating the value of false starts, blind leads, mistakes, and anomalous results to the inquiry process.

  • Whenever possible, teachers choose activities and topics that directly relate to the interests and experiences of adolescents.

  • Teachers treat seriously the ideas of all their students.

___e. Learning environment 

  • Teachers create safe and supportive learning environments that foster high expectations for the success of all students and in which students experience the values inherent in the practice of science.

  • Teachers work diligently to establish a congenial and supportive learning environment where students feel safe to risk full participation.

  • Teachers foster a sense of community by encouraging student interactions that show concern for others, by demonstrating high expectations for and involving all students in the practice of science, and by dealing constructively with socially inappropriate behavior.

  • Teachers are good listeners open to new ideas.

  • They have a healthy sense of humor and a genuinely caring, respectful attitude toward students.

  • Teachers are good classroom and resource managers - they establish orderly and workable learning routines that maximize student time on task.

  • Teachers instruct students in and enforce standard practices regarding the use of safety equipment.

  • Teachers are equally comfortable employing whole-class, small-collaborative or cooperative-group, one-on-one, peer-coaching, or other clustering arrangements depending on instructional purpose.

___f. Equitable participation 

  • Teachers take steps to ensure that all students, including those from groups that historically have not been encouraged to enter the world of science, participate in the study of science.

  • Teachers are able to modify the mainstream curriculum and to use adaptive strategies that enable each student to contribute.

  • Teachers often use examples derived from their students' culture, community, and home environments to demonstrate the relevance of science and technology in daily life.

  • Teachers carefully monitor the participation of students in groups, making sure that all have an equal opportunity to participate in key roles (planners, leaders, data collectors, reporters, etc.).

  • Teachers create an equitable learning environment through seating arrangements, design of lab activities, etc.

  • Teachers are sensitive to the needs of those students who are not fluent in English by carrying out regular comprehension checks, making reference to the students' prior knowledge, engaging in instructional conversation with the students.

Advancing student learning

___g. Science inquiry 

  • Teachers involve students in inquiries that challenge them and help them construct an understanding of nature and technology.

  • Students are encouraged to acquire mental capacities such as recognizing problems, asking relevant questions, formulating working hypotheses, handling data with accuracy, reaching conclusions consistent with what is known, etc.

  • Teachers organize their classrooms around frequent, hands-on explorations of natural and human-made phenomena in which students assume active roles as investigators and sense-makers.

  • Activities are age-appropriate to the developmental stage of the students, likely to stir interest, and relevant to students.

  • In facilitating classroom discussions or activities, teachers model good scientific discourse and ask thought-provoking questions.

  • Teachers monitor students' direct involvement in classroom discourse.

  • They often use students' words rather than the specialized vocabulary of a given field.

___h. Fundamental understandings 

  • Teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to expand students' understanding of the major ideas of science.

  • Teachers focus on fostering in their students deep understanding of a few topics rather than superficial familiarity with everything in the textbook (when the teacher and students engage in instructional conversation in which the teacher relates such formal, academic concepts to the students' individual knowledge and prior experiences).

  • Teachers put scientific information in the context of larger organizing themes (revolution, cause and effect, energy flows, etc.) that cut across disciplinary boundaries and encourage students to make connections between their previous understandings and everyday experiences and the scientific principles to be studied.

  • Teachers translate difficult content into terms more accessible to the students (by use of analogies and demonstrations).

  • Learning is maximized when students and teacher engage in dialogue while working jointly.

  • Through lab experiments, field experiences, physical models, simulations, and other activities, teachers involve students in conducting their own scientific investigations.

  • Teachers also make use of instructional technology in presenting scientific materials/principles/theories.

___i. Contexts of science 

  • Teachers create opportunities for students to examine a variety of contexts of science, including its history, reciprocal relationships with technology, ties to mathematics, and impact on society, so students make connections across the disciplines of science and into other subject areas.

  • Teachers regularly engage students in looking at questions from a scientific point of view across every facet of the school curriculum.

  • Teachers include a variety of activities focused on critical thinking about science, technology, and social issues as part of the curriculum because of the strong motivating powers of these subject areas.

  • Supporting teaching and student learning.

___j. Assessment 

  • Teachers assess student learning through a variety of means that align with stated learning goals.

  • Assessment takes place before (concept-mapping, conducting group dialogue on previous knowledge), during, and after instruction and intertwines with it.

  • Formal assessment instruments might include problem-solving games, computer-based simulation, or hands-on exercises.

  • Informal means to monitor student progress might include portfolio conducting reviews, evaluating science projects, videotaping lab performances, keeping response journals and logs, writing checklists, etc.

  • Teachers involve students in assessing their own progress; students might work through a self-evaluation form concerning their work on a given unit or they might respond to a survey on their attitudes toward important learning goals in science.

___k. Family and community outreach 

  • Teachers proactively work with families to serve the best interests of each student.

  • Teachers see parents and caregivers as allies.

  • Teachers establish two-way communication with families, seeking information from them about their children's strengths, interests, preferences, aspirations, and home life.

___l. Contributing to the profession 

  • Teachers contribute to the quality of their colleagues practice, the instructional program of the school, and the work of the larger professional community.

  • Teachers collaborate with peers and other education professionals to strengthen the school's program, promote program quality and continuity across grade levels, advance knowledge in the field of science education, and improve practice within the field.

___m. Reflective practice

  • Teachers constantly analyze, evaluate, and strengthen their practice in order to improve the quality of their students' learning experiences.

2. Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Preparing the way for productive student learning
___a. Understanding students

  • Teachers know how learners grow and develop, actively come to know their students as individuals, and draw on this knowledge and their relationships with students to determine the students' understanding of science as well as their individual learning backgrounds.

  • Teachers are passionate about involving adolescents in the excitement and satisfaction of scientific inquiry.

___b. Knowledge of science 

  • Teachers have a broad and current knowledge of science and science education, along with in-depth knowledge of one of the sub-fields of science, on which they draw to set appropriate learning goals with their students.

  • Teachers coordinate their instructional program so their students' explorations of science are integrated with their experiences in the language arts, mathematics, history/social science, and other essential areas of school curriculum.

  • Teachers establish long-range learning goals that are attainable, worthwhile, and relevant to the students.

  • Learning opportunities are organized, structured, and sequenced so that they support the goals.

  • Teachers are well versed in: (1) the nature of science (modes of inquiry, habits of mind, and attitudes and dispositions); (2) the concepts, themes, principles, laws, theories, vocabulary, terminology, and factual information; (3) the historical, intellectual, social, and cultural contexts out of which science and technology have developed and in which they function today; and (4) the nature of technology (its challenges and roles).

  • Physical science teachers understand the basic properties of matter and the principles governing its interactions; the forms energy takes; its transformations from one form to another, and its relationships to matter, motion and the principles that explain it; the nature of atoms and molecules; the forces that exist between and within objects and atoms.

  • Life sciences teachers understand the diversity and unity that characterize life, the genetic basis for the transfer of biological characteristics from one generation to the next, the structure and functions of cells, the life cycle, the dependence of all organisms on one another and on their environment, the cycling of matter and flow of energy through the living environment, the basic concepts of evolution of species.

  • Earth and space sciences teachers understand the origin, composition, and structure of the universe and the motion of the objects in it, the motion of the earth and the materials and systems that compose it, the processes that shape the earth's surface and the relation of these cycling processes to the living environment.

  • Teachers are proficient in the practice of mathematics appropriate to the developmental level of their students.

___c. Instructional resources 

  • Teachers select and adapt instructional resources (including technology, laboratory, and community resources) and create their own resources to support active student explorations of science.

  • Teachers actively recruit families or other community members with science- or technology-related backgrounds to contribute to the instructional mix.

  • Teachers encourage students to take responsibility for pursuing their own science-related interests in the community by arranging field trips, inviting guest speakers, etc.

  • Teachers put students in control of technological tools in their learning, as much as possible.

  • They provide opportunities for hands-on experiences with mechanical, electrical, and optical tools.

  • Teachers direct students who have expressed interest in a topic to sources of additional information (library, periodicals, other media).

Establishing a favorable context for student learning 
___d. Engagement

  • Teachers stimulate interest in science and technology and elicit their students' sustained preparation in learning activities.

  • Students are encouraged to creatively solve problems, offer ideas, pose and respond to stimulating questions.

  • Teachers are passionate about science and exhibit genuine enthusiasm in teaching the subject and its applications.

  • Teachers are co-discoverers alongside their students, demonstrating the value of false starts, blind leads, mistakes, and anomalous results to the inquiry process.

  • Whenever possible, teachers choose activities and topics that directly relate to the interests and experiences of adolescents.

  • Teachers treat seriously the ideas of all their students.

___e. Learning environment 

  • Teachers create safe and supportive learning environments that foster high expectations for the success of all students and in which students experience the values inherent in the practice of science.

  • Teachers work diligently to establish a congenial and supportive learning environment where students feel safe to risk full participation.

  • Teachers foster a sense of community by encouraging student interactions that show concern for others, by demonstrating high expectations for and involving all students in the practice of science, and by dealing constructively with socially inappropriate behavior.

  • Teachers are good listeners open to new ideas.

  • They have a healthy sense of humor and a genuinely caring, respectful attitude toward students.

  • Teachers are good classroom and resource managers; they establish orderly and workable learning routines that maximize student time on task.

  • Teachers instruct students in and enforce standard practices regarding the use of safety equipment.

  • Teachers are equally comfortable employing whole-class, small-collaborative or cooperative-group, one-on-one, peer-coaching, or other clustering arrangements depending on instructional purpose.

___f. Equitable participation 

  • Teachers take steps to ensure that all students, including those from groups that historically have not been encouraged to enter the world of science, participate in the study of science.

  • Teachers are able to modify the mainstream curriculum and to use adaptive strategies that enable each student to contribute.

  • Teachers often use examples derived from their students' culture, community, and home environments to demonstrate the relevance of science and technology in daily life.

  • Teachers carefully monitor the participation of students in groups, making sure that all have an equal opportunity to participate in key roles (planners, leaders, data collectors, reporters, etc.).

  • Teachers create an equitable learning environment through seating arrangements, design of lab activities, etc.

  • Teachers are sensitive to the needs of those students who are not fluent in English by carrying out regular comprehension checks, making reference to the students' prior knowledge, and engaging in instructional conversation with the students.

Advancing student learning

___g. Science inquiry

  • Teachers develop in students the mental operations, habits of mind, and attitudes that characterize the process of scientific inquiry.

  • Teachers involve students in inquiries that challenge them and help them construct an understanding of nature and technology.

  • Students are encouraged to acquire mental capacities such as recognizing problems, asking relevant questions, formulating working hypotheses, handling data with accuracy, reaching conclusions consistent with what is known, etc.

  • Teachers organize their classrooms around frequent, open-ended explorations of natural phenomena in which students assume active roles as investigators and sense-makers.

  • Activities are age-appropriate to the developmental stage of the students, likely to stir interest, and relevant to students.

  • In facilitating classroom discussions or activities, teachers model good scientific discourse and ask thought-provoking questions.

  • Teachers monitor students' direct involvement in classroom discourse.

  • They often encourage student-to-student interaction in discussion.

___h. Conceptual understandings

  • Teachers use a variety of instructional strategies to expand students' understanding of the major ideas of science.

  • Teachers focus on fostering in their students deep understanding of a few topics rather than superficial familiarity with everything in the textbook (when the teacher and students engage in instructional conversation in which the teacher relates such formal, academic concepts to the students' individual knowledge and prior experiences).

  • Teachers put scientific information in the context of larger organizing themes (revolution, cause and effect, energy flows, etc.) that cut across disciplinary boundaries and encourage students to make connections between their previous understandings and everyday experiences and the scientific principles to be studied.

  • Teachers translate difficult content into terms more accessible to the students (by use of analogies and demonstrations).

  • Learning is maximized when students and teacher engage in dialogue while working jointly.

  • Through lab experiments, field experiences, physical models, simulations, and other activities, teachers involve students in conducting their own scientific investigations.

  • Teachers also make use of instructional technology in presenting scientific materials/principles/theories.

___i. Contexts of science

  • Teachers create opportunities for students to examine a variety of contexts of science, including its history, reciprocal relationships with technology, ties to mathematics, and impact on society, so students make connections across the disciplines of science and into other subject areas.

  • Teachers regularly engage students in looking at questions from a scientific point of view across every facet of the school curriculum.

  • Teachers include a variety of activities focused on critical thinking about science, technology, and social issues as part of the curriculum because of the strong motivating powers of these subject areas.

Supporting teaching and student learning

___j. Assessment

  • Teachers assess student learning through a variety of means that align with stated learning goals.

  • Assessment takes place before (concept-mapping, conducting group dialogue on previous knowledge), during, and after instruction and intertwines with it.

  • Formal assessment instruments might include problem-solving games, computer-based simulation, or hands-on exercises.

  • Informal means to monitor student progress might include portfolio conducting reviews, evaluating science projects, videotaping lab performances, keeping response journals and logs, writing checklists, etc.

  • Teachers involve students in assessing their own progress; students might work through a self-evaluation form concerning their work on a given unit, or they might respond to a survey on their attitudes toward important learning goals in science.

___k. Family and community outreach

  • Teachers proactively work with families to serve the best interests of each student.

  • Teachers see parents and caregivers as allies.

  • Teachers establish two-way communication with families, seeking information from them about their children's strengths, interests, preferences, aspirations, and home life.

___l. Collegiality and leadership

  • Teachers contribute to the quality of their colleagues' practice, the instructional program of the school, and the work of the larger professional community.

  • Teachers collaborate with peers and other education professionals to strengthen the school's program, promote program quality and continuity across grade levels, advance knowledge in the field of science education, and improve practice within the field.

___m. Reflection

  • Teachers constantly analyze, evaluate, and strengthen their practice in order to improve the quality of their students' learning experiences.