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Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards: Report of a Symposium innovation, knowledge, and creativity to create undergraduate programs that are consistent with the Standards. The programs must prepare teachers at all grade levels to teach to the Standards for all children. Graduate and continuing education programs for our current teaching force must be based on the content and methods in the Standards for teaching all children at all grades. Certification policies must be aligned with the Standards and requirements for certification must be aligned with the content standards for students and reflect the understandings that teachers must have in science and in the teaching of science. Continuing professional development certainly is necessary to renew your license to teach. But we need to expect more from the process, and we need to develop an articulated scope that has an impact on student learning. We need a renewal process that reflects on teaching, not just a count of credits. The National Science Education Standards are designed to guide our nation toward a scientifically literate society. The first morning of the symposium was devoted to understanding the Standards, the criteria for teaching and learning science presented in the Standards, and the implications of the Standards for change in state policies and for institutions of higher education that prepare teachers. Response to Dr. Forgione Angelo Collins, Professor of Education, Vanderbilt University; Director of Development, National Science Education Standards Project Curriculum, assessment, and teaching are the three legs of reform in science education. The focus today is on the most important: teaching. How we select and promote people into the teaching profession is an extremely important task. It is time for teachers to be recognized as professionals. Professionals have both theoretical and practical knowledge of their profession. They have control of that profession and are service oriented. Professionals have professional working conditions. Being recognized as a professional grants status and has rewards. The National Science Education Standards call for prospective teachers to learn science in the way they are going to teach it: as inquiry and for full understanding. They are to learn to teach science in the places where science teaching happens. They are to be members of life-long communities of learners, and they are to experience coherent and integrated professional development programs. The challenge is to move from national standards that represent a vision to state programs at our colleges and universities in order to work together for the future of education. The Standards: a Guide for Systemic Reform Rodger Bybee, Executive Director, Center for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Education; Chair, Working Group on Science Content Standards The National Science Education Standards present a thorough, complete, and adequate definition of scientific literacy and give a thorough, complete, and appropriate presentation of science content. But reform is not about standards.
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Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards: Report of a Symposium Reform is about improving teaching and student learning. We cannot stop now and say, ''Okay, we have standards. That is it, that completes the reform.'' We have to keep going. The reform of science education is a long-term project. Keep your eye on the teachers. If this reform is going to work, we have to keep our eyes on the teachers. That is where the real reform has to happen. It is not curriculum materials—it is the teachers. The reform is not out there somewhere. It is not going to happen to us some other day in some other way. It is not just sitting out there. The reform is us, and it is what we are doing. We are the reform, and I think we have the opportunity for significant improvement with the Standards. The National Science Education Standards were developed by committees and working groups of highly qualified and respected scientists and science educators. Participants at the symposium heard from members of the Standards working groups, then had the opportunity to engage in small group discussions to clarify understandings and interpretation of the vision and intent of the document. The Standards: a Guide for Professional Development Susan Loucks-Horsley, Senior Researcher, National Center for Improving Science Education; Senior Research Associate, WestEd; Member, Working Group on Science Teaching Standards Good professional development mirrors good teaching: learning by doing, learning through inquiry, learning through collaboration, learning over time, and developing personal meaning. Those are the ways to help teachers learn and the ways that we need to help ourselves learn. This reform is all about learning—all people learning, not some people learning. We need to stop thinking of teachers as targets but rather as co-learners, as sources of important knowledge, and as facilitators of their own growth and the growth of others. We need to move the concept of professional development from technical training to career-long support for professional growth. The professional development standards help point the way. Professional Development Standard A: Learning Science Content Teachers need to understand and to inquire into the nature of science and what science has to offer. There are some "how's" and "what's" all teachers should know. The first is inquiry: the nature of inquiry, the processes of inquiry, what inquiry is about, what inquiry is, and how to do it. Teachers should have the abilities needed to conduct an inquiry. Teachers at all levels need to know the fundamentals of the major disciplines of science—the big ideas. They need to understand the connections across the disciplines and the connections with math, technology, and other subjects. They need to understand and to be able to apply scientific understandings to their own lives and to societal issues. Teachers will teach science the way they learned science. If they continue to have the same traditional kinds of courses in their undergraduate science prepa-
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