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Required Readings for "Experiencing and Applying Inquiry in Science Learning and Teaching"

CfAO Professional Development Program, March 13-17, 2008, Maui, Hawaii

Please read the assigned readings before the workshops. They are linked below and may be downloaded as needed. All readings are required for all participants except one -- "The Engineering of Technology Education" -- noted below. When you arrive at the workshop, you will get a binder with copies of the readings for referral -- but to save paper they will be printed 2-pages-per-side and double-sided.

Chapter 2 from How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice
This reading provides a nice overview of the How People Learn framework. Although this reading introduces four learning "environments", we prefer the term "lenses" taken from other books in the series. This is because the four lenses give you different ways to look at a teaching and learning environment.
So, by the "framework", we mean the 3 principles gleaned from research, and the 4 lenses.
This is a new reading (but within the same overall framework) for this year; however, new participants who attended "Re-Thinking Science Learning and Teaching" in November 2007 did this reading for that workshop. Please review for the coming workshop. Chapter 1 of the same book is included here for more context but is not required reading.
Relevant for: Day 1, "Revisiting the How People Learn Framework", and thereafter

"Molecules in Motion" example - pages 45-54 from Ready, Set, Science!
This selection provides an example of interesting, innovative, intentional design of a science activity. We will use it as a sample activity to examine through the lenses of the How People Learn framework. Although it is a 7th-grade science activity, there is plenty to be learned by examining this that can be applied in other settings. During the workshop we will have conversations about aspects of the reading; the discussion prompts are written at the beginning of the reading. Please think about those prompts while you read.
Relevant for: Day 1, "Revisiting the How People Learn Framework"

"The Engineering of Technology Education" - G. Salinger, 2005, Journal of Technology Studies 31:2
The academic community is still nailing down how to design an engineering curriculum that mirrors how engineering is practiced by professionals.  This short reading takes a look at the issue by making reference to the Backward Design reading.  In this vein, the author focuses on goals for good engineering activities and notes that designing an activity (or larger curriculum) is an engineering problem in itself!
This reading is only required for returning participants, optional for 1st-year participants
Relevant for: Day 2, "Designing Engineering Activities" and thereafter

"Tools and strategies for discussions on equity and culture"
This short handout includes some easy-sounding but important tips for having conversations about diversity. We created this by grabbing bullet-points from Kris Gutierrez and Barbara Rogoff, 2003, "Cultural Ways of Learning: Individual Traits or Repertoires of Practice", Educational Researcher 32:19-25 and Julian Weissglass, 1990, "Constructivist Listening for Empowerment and Change", Educational Forum 54:351-370.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"The Threat of Stereotype" - J. Aronson, 2004, Educational Leadership, v62 n3 p14-19 Nov 2004
The concept of "stereotype threat" is important in psychology and is particularly relevant for diversity and equity issues in education. Joshua Aronson and Claude Steele are noted important contributors to this field. This reading is a nice introduction to the concept of stereotype threat, as well as some strategies for addressing it.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"The Secret to Raising Smart Kids" - C. Dweck, 2007, Scientific American Mind, Dec. 2007
The previous article introduces stereotype threat and some strategies for combating it, including strategies discussed in this article. Carol Dweck is an important contributor to the field of "mindset" -- the psychology and effects of believing that one's abilities and skills are "fixed" or "malleable/improvable". This short piece discusses the two mindsets and their importance for learning and achievement.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"Inquiry Processes" - excerpted from Chinn & Malhotra 2002, Science Education 86:175
Everyone knows about the idea of having certain goals for what facts students are supposed to learn in an activity, but that activities can also have the purpose of teaching students skills, like how to design an experiment, may be less familiar. This reading gives examples of such "process skills", and talks about how many activities in school (including "hands-on" experiments) do a poor job of teaching students to become proficient in the skills that are necessary to do science. The piece will be used in a discussion at the workshop where you will be asked to think about skills that you use in your work as a researcher.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Introduction to Process Skills" and thereafter

"What is Backward Design" - excerpted from Wiggins and McTighe, 1998, Understanding by Design.
This reading outlines the process of designing an activity as we want you to do it at the PDP.  First one decides the learning goals for the activity, then you decide what kinds of evidence would prove to you that those goals have been met, and finally you plan the instruction to meet those goals. it also talks about the act of prioritizing which goals are most important and encourages goals that aim at "enduring understanding".  The core of the reading, that we really want you to take to heart, is the fundamental principle described in the short section called "Are the Best Curricular Designs Backward?" starting on page 2. At the workshop we will review the content of this reading and give you some tools that will help you design your activity along these principles, but everyone needs to be familiar with the process.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Backward Design" and thereafter

"Four Strands of Scientific Proficiency" - excerpts from chapter 2 of Ready, Set, Science! and chapter 2 of Taking Science to School
The traditional way of categorizing goals for science teaching and learning was to divide them into understandings of science content and science process. In this categorization scheme, understandings about the nature and role of science, and attitudes about science also sometimes appear as types of goals. However, the thinking may be changing. We have noticed, and other thinkers in this field have noticed, that content and process are not so easily disentangled. Also, attitudes about science and understandings of the nature of science itself are intimately related to students' understandings of practicing science. This selection discusses some of the shortcomings of the classical way of thinking, and introduces a new framework for thinking about science learning goals. Although this reading seems to focus on K-8 education, in fact the ideas seem applicable in higher education as well. (There are far more books like this for K-12 educators than for anyone else.) We have assembled this selection from the two new National Academies books Taking Science to School and Ready, Set, Science! which cover roughly the same intellectual ground in two different ways. If you are interested in seeing a concrete example of the four strands in action, follow the link to Ready, Set, Science! and read the "biodiversity in a city schoolyard" example that starts on page 22, and the analysis that follows.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Introduction to Process Skills", "Practicing Backward Design" and thereafter

*The readings are password protected. Please email Hilary O'Bryan, hilary@ucolick.org, for the password.

Last Modified: Feb 19, 2008 

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