Links and Other Resources:
Lansing School District (LSD)
LSD LASER Work and Resources:
LSD DRAFT Five-Year Strategic Plan for K-8 Science Education Program: this 2-page downloadable MS-Word file includes the "top levels" of our strategic plan as developed while in Washington DC. The first page includes our "mission," "vision," and "goals" statement for the five areas that our strategic plan addresses. As we continue our work, for each goal, a set of objectives are being identified, and then action plans developed for meeting each of those objectives. The second page lists a number of questions to be considered -- received during the LASER Institute -- associated with each goal. Web-based versions of these components can be found here:
Much of the above work makes reference to developing and implementing "a coherent inquiry-, standards-, and research-based science program." Here's what we have in mind when we use each of these terms:
Inquiry-based: Following release of the National Science Education Standards (NSES) in 1996, with its prominent focus on "inquiry," the National Research Council (NRC) commissioned "a document that would help educators improve the quality of teaching, learning, and assessment through the use of inquiry." Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards (2000) was the result. This description of the abilities and understandings that all students need to develop about scientific inquiry, along with the teaching and learning strategies that support science content mastery through investigations, is the basis of what we mean by "inquiry-based." In particular, we strive to include the five essential features of classroom inquiry -- as outlined in Table 2-6 on page 29 of Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards -- in our K-12 science education program, supported by an atmosphere of collaborative learning and investigation.
"Table 2-6: Essential Features of Classroom Inquiry and Their Variation":
Standards-based: Whether you call them "standards," "benchmarks," or "objectives," there are a number of documents at the local, state, and national level that attempt to define and delimit what knowledge and skills all students need to master to be considered scientifically literate. Our Lansing School District science education program, as articulated in our curriculum and pacing guides, is informed by and based upon the Michigan Curriculum Framework (1996, 2000) -- and its predecessor: Michigan Essential Goals and Objectives for Science Education K-12 (1991) -- as well as national documents and resources like those from the NRC and AAAS's Project 2061.
State of Michigan:
Research-based: The phrase "best practice" is very familiar to anyone working in education. We all want to claim that what we're doing reflects current best practice. But what determines these best practices? To claim that our instructional program reflects best practice, we need to depend on more than personal experiences and anecdotal reports. The past three decades have witnessed increasing amounts and levels of sophistication in the research that can inform our understanding of current best practice in education, and in particular, science education. A useful entry to this research is provided by Chapter 15 of Project 2061's Benchmarks for Science Literacy. Additional insights can be gained by reviewing several of the references and resources mentioned in that chapter, such as the pair of books compiled by Rosalind Driver and her colleagues.
Children's Ideas in Science (1985), edited by Rosalind Driver, Edith Guesne, and Andrée Tiberghien. ISBN: 0-335-15040-3.
Making Sense of Secondary Science: Research into Children's Ideas (1994), by Rosalind Driver, Ann Squires, Peter Rushworth, and Valerie Wood-Robinson. ISBN: 0-415-097657.
How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School [Expanded Edition] (2000), by the National Research Council's "Committee on Learning Research and Educational Practice"
Journal of Research in Science Teaching, published by the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST)
Detroit Science Center
Dow Chemical Company
Hewlett-Packard Company (HP)
This page was last updated: 2005.12.20 by RTSmith