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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OCR for page 6
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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Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards: Report of a Symposium ration, that is the way they will teach. The 'how's" for teaching science according to the Standards are: guiding active investigation, encouraging reflection, and supporting collaborative work. The policies outlined in the Standards have to be translated into programs. The policies of the Standards must be translated into credentialing and licensure requirements in each state. Other groups will translate them into curriculum materials or into undergraduate science programs. The very big, critical step is to move toward a change in classroom practice. Professional Development Standard B: Learning to Teach Science Pedagogical content knowledge is what sets apart good teachers from scientists. It is what makes the professional teacher an expert in his or her profession. It is what teachers know who are skilled at working with students on the concepts those students can learn, identifying when the students can learn the concepts, and making the concepts real to the students. Pedagogical content knowledge is the "what" of the second professional development standard. There are six science teaching standards that define what teachers need to learn in order to teach. Teachers need to learn to plan and to design learning environments. They need to learn to facilitate learning and to help students develop understanding. They need to learn to assess and to support communities of learners. In short, they need to learn how to design and implement the school science program. We talk about integrating the understanding of science with the understanding of pedagogy. Teachers need to learn this through experiences that model good teaching—experiences that allow teachers to inquire into learning and teaching in the same way they inquire into science: using inquiry, reflection, research, and so on. Professional Development Standard C: Learning for a Lifetime We thought it was extremely important to include a standard that addressed the ability, the tools, and the inclination to continue to learn. As a result, the "learning-to-learn" standard was developed. There are a number of different facets to this standard, including being able to reflect on one's own practice, to take feedback, to give feedback, to take advantage of a mentor, to be a mentor, and then to actually do