questions are children trying to answer in developing models? Are they given extensive, repeated opportunities to scrutinize, critique, and improve on their own models and representations of scientific phenomena? What could you do to improve instruction in modeling and representation?
For principals and professional development staff: prearrange with teachers to visit every classroom in your school during a science lesson. Observe the lessons for evidence of the metacognitive roles of both students and teachers, as set forth in the table of Sr. Gertrude Hennessey’s findings. How does what you observe in the practices of teachers and students across the grades in your school compare with Sr. Hennessey’s findings? Encourage faculty to examine their own classrooms and compare notes with colleagues across the grades in your school.
Choose an exemplary unit in your school or district K-8 science curriculum. Are children asked to work on scientific problems over time? Do problems satisfy the dual definition of “meaningful” in this chapter? If so, how? If not, what can be done to improve the problems and students’ ability to see them as meaningful?
For teachers, science specialists, or principals: observe students engaged in scientific discussion or explanations. Do you see evidence of the claim-evidence-reasoning framework described in this chapter? How might current practice be adapted to make better use of this framework?
How does scripting student roles help support more equitable participation in the classroom? What are some of the other methods described in this book that help support equitable participation?
Whose responsibility is it to make sure that the teachers have a good science curriculum? Whose responsibility is it to make sure that the teachers have time built into their days to participate in study groups or professional development opportunities? What specific roles should teachers, principals, professional development staff, and assessment professionals play in creating and refining science curriculum?