Reforming Elementary Science Curriculum and Instruction
The focus of the video is to document how our current NSF DR K12 project is designed to advance STEM education by providing ‘all’ students (grades 1-2) with a quality, interdisciplinary science and literacy program and demonstrating empirically student achievement outcomes on norm-referenced tests in science and reading comprehension. The video features the Science IDEAS Model and how its implementation in the classroom can provide the means by which educators can address a number of persistent educational problems in elementary science instruction. Specifically, the video segments will illustrate how the project (a) addressed a curriculum focus on standards and practices, (b) how to apply a theory of learning (Bransford, et al., 2000) to the design of instruction to support student conceptual understanding in science, © how an interdisciplinary approach to instruction which links science investigations/inquiry with reading, writing/journaling and propositional concept maps supports in-depth science learning and key literacy outcomes (e.g., reading comprehension, writing, reasoning from evidence), and (d) how the combination of the Science IDEAS curriculum focus on core science concepts along with the 6 instructional elements increased learning outcomes in science and literacy, was feasible for teachers to implement in authentic and diverse classrooms, and provided more time for science instruction. In effect, the Science IDEAS instructional model, by design, and each of the project outcomes have been shown to address ‘modifiable’ factors that, in the past, have been seen as reasons as to why gaps in science achievement have persisted across time.