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A Leader's Guide to Science Curriculum Topic Study

A Leader's Guide to Science Curriculum Topic Study

December 2009 | 320 pages | Corwin
The Curriculum Topic Study (CTS) process, funded by the National Science Foundation, helps teachers improve their practice by linking standards and research to core content, curriculum, instruction, and assessment. This valuable guide shows leaders how to facilitate this research-based, standards-linked approach to increase their science teachers' knowledge of effective teaching and learning and improve the quality of content-focused professional development.

Keyed to the core book Science Curriculum Topic Study, this resource helps science professional development leaders and teacher educators understand the CTS approach and how to design, lead, and apply CTS in a variety of settings that support teachers as learners. The authors provide everything needed to facilitate the CTS process, including:

- A solid foundation in the CTS framework

- Multiple designs for half-day and full-day workshops, professional learning communities, and one-on-one instructional coaching

- Facilitation, group processing, and materials management strategies

- Ideas for embedding CTS in professional development programs

- A CD-ROM with handouts, PowerPoint slides, and templates for developing your own CTS sessions

- References to additional resources and materials

By bringing CTS into schools and other professional development settings, science leaders can enhance their teachers' knowledge of content, improve teaching practices, and have a positive impact on student learning.

About the Authors
1. Introduction to A Leader's Guide
Advice for Using This Leader's Guide

Underlying Beliefs

The Need for a Common Professional Knowledge Base

CTS Makes the Knowledge Base Accessible

Building Professional Community

Observations and Voices From the Field

Professional Development Designs Are Enhanced Through CTS

CTS Use by Collaborative School Teams

CTS Use in Preservice Education

CTS Enhances Science Education Leadership

The Language of CTS

2. Introduction to Curriculum Topic Study for Leaders
What Is CTS?

What CTS Is Not

CTS and Science Literacy

Key Points About Standards and Research on Learning

Using CTS to Lead Professional Learning

CTS Resources and Tools

From Generic Tools to Content-Specific Tools

3. Considerations for Designing and Leading Curriculum Topic Study
CTS and the Principles of Effective Professional Development

CTS Learning Cycle

Facilitation Tips and Strategies

Acquiring and Managing Materials

Developing Norms for Collaborative Work

CTS Group Norms

Options for Organizing and Discussing Readings

CTS Recommended Reading and Summarizing Strategies

Reporting Out Strategies

Reflection on CTS

Summarizing Findings

Strategy for Addressing the Issue of Time and Difficulty

Next Steps

4. Tools, Resources, and Designs for Leading Introductory Sessions on Curriculum Topic Study
Make Your Own CTS Introductory Session

Essential Facilitator Preparation

Module A1: Introduction to CTS Using K-12 Snapshots, Facilitation Guide

Module A2: Introduction to CTS Resource Scenarios?Models, Facilitation Guide

Module A3: Full-Day Introduction to CTS Resource Scenarios and Snapshots, Facilitation Guide

Options for Introducing the CTS Resource Books

Developing Your Own Snapshots and Resource Scenarios

Next Steps After CTS Introductions

5. Leading Full Topic Studies
Introduction to Full Topic Studies

Module B1: "Experimental Design" Facilitation Guide

Module B2: "Evidence and Explanation" Facilitation Guide

Module B3: "Earth, Moon, and Sun System" Facilitation Guide

Module B4: "Conservation of Matter" Facilitation Guide

Module B5: "Atoms and Molecules" Facilitation Guide

Module B6: "Photosynthesis and Respiration" Facilitation Guide

Module B7: "Life Cycles (K-4)" Facilitation Guide

Additional Suggestions for Designing and Leading Full Topic Studies

Developing Your Own Half-Day Topic Study

Combining Topics

Cautions and Next Steps

6. Using CTS in a Content, Curricular, Instructional, or Assessment Context
Introduction to CTS Context Applications

CTS and Science Content Knowledge

CTS and Science Curriculum

CTS and Science Instructions

CTS and Science Assessment

Module: Developing CTS Assessment Probes

Performance Assessment Tasks

CTS Performance Assessment Task Design and Teacher Learning

A CTS Process for Developing Performance Tasks

CTS Performance Task Development Tools

Introducing the CTS Performance Assessment Task Application

Developing Their Own Performance Task

Other Examples of Context Applications of CTS

7. Embedding CTS Within Professional Development Strategies
Why Use CTS Within Other Professional Development Strategies?

CTS and Professional Learning Communities

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 1: Study Groups

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 2: Collaborative Inquiry Into Examining Student Thinking (CIEST)

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 3: CTS Video Demonstration Lesson (VDL)

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 4: CTS Integrated Lesson Study

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 5: CTS Action Research

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 6: CTS Seminars

CTS Professional Development Strategy Application 7: CTS Mentoring and Coaching

A Final Word


"Knowing all the science standards and the science educational research about learning science for each of those standards is challenging for anyone. This book illustrates effective professional development models for using Curriculum Topic Study with science teachers and is a must-have resource, particularly if you're a professional developer in science education."

Francis Eberle, Executive Director
National Science Teachers Association

“Engaging science teachers at all levels with important ideas relating to both the content and how they can help students learn the content is critical to promoting effective instruction. We have been using CTS as one key element of our professional development program and our preservice preparation programs for several years. It has proven to be an incredibly valuable and appreciated tool. This leaders’ guide will help us use CTS even more effectively ourselves, and help us prepare new cadres of professional development providers who will engage current and future teachers with state and national resources to improve science instruction and student learning.”

George Nelson, Director, Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education, Western Washington University
Former Director, Project 2061, AAAS

Ease of access to resources and correlation with curriculum development and integration with other content areas.

Dr Bonnie Rabe
Education , Western Connecticut State University
June 13, 2011

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ISBN: 9781412978170