LSD Science Education Program -- Questions to Consider

Goals:

Have We Thought About the Following?

1. Curriculum

*  What is our current science curriculum?  How does it compare to current best practice around curriculum selection?

*  What have we learned that has implications for the science curriculum in our district?

*  What are the potential opportunities or barriers for adopting standards-based curriculum?  For example:  Teacher ownership of existing curriculum?  Textbook adoption cycle?  District/state science standards?

*  How will we pilot, and select the standards-based science curriculum?

*  How will we implement the standards-based science curriculum?  Grade by Grade?  Strand by Strand?  School by School?  Level of teacher readiness?

*  How will we provide for the continuous evaluation of our science curriculum?

2. Professional Development

*  How will we prepare all teachers to use the new curriculum materials?  This plan should correlate with the curriculum implementation plan.

*  How will we recruit and train teacher leaders for curriculum piloting and as potential staff developers?

*  What other stakeholders need PD?  Administrators?  Scientists?  Community?  Parents?  Support staff?  What PD do they need?

*  What opportunities or barriers exist for PD planning?  An existing PD plan for other disciplines?  Other districts that would work with us to share the resources?  Other PD providers that our district can use?

*  Have opportunities been provided for teachers to work together as they learn, plan to use, and implement the new curriculum?  Time for collegial dialogue and reflection?

*  Is there the opportunity to provide site-based mentoring of new teachers or teachers changing grade levels?

*  What needs to be put in place to set the stage for extending and sustaining the engagement of teachers beyond the mechanical and routine levels of science education implementation?

3. Assessment

Classroom:

*  What assessment tools do our teachers currently use?

*  What opportunities or barriers will support or hinder our assessment plan?  High-stakes tests?  Teachers' knowledge of assessment purposes both for instructional planning and for accountability?  Teachers' knowledge of assessment formats and scheduling for pre-assessment, embedded, formative, and post- or summative evaluation?

*  What PD will teachers need?

Program:

*  What data should we be collecting at the beginning of the journey?

*  What questions will our stakeholders want to have answered?

*  What questions do we want answered?

*  What current intact assessment strategies can we take advantage of?

*  Does our assessment strategy support our objectives?

4. Materials Support

*  What type of materials refurbishment model fits our school system?

*  What facility will we use?

*  Distribution plan?

*  What human resources will we need?

*  What will be our scale up plan to provide all teachers with science materials support?

*  How do we provide for maximum use of the materials for the least cost?

*  Who has to approve this plan in order for it to be put into practice?

*  How will we monitor the effectiveness of the materials system we will use?

*  How will we handle teachers' questions regarding the materials in their kits (e.g. missing items, etc.)?  How about questions about the intended or appropriate use of the materials in their kits?

*  How will we provide live materials if required?

5. Administrative &

Community Support

*  Who are the stakeholders who will have influence on our program/activities?

*  Who do we need to bring “on board” immediately to get started?

*  What support do we need over time to implement a standards-based science program and sustain it?  From who?  How can we gain their support?

*  Have we considered using a simple hands-on activity (e.g. light the light bulb using a piece of wire, a battery, and a bulb) when presenting our plan to our stakeholders?

*  Do we plan on publicizing our activities via our local print media, radio, and television stations?