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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

Published in Association with WestEd

Published in Association with Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance

Published in Association with National Science Teachers Association

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

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter 1: Introduction to A Leader's Guide

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ISBN: 9781412978170