ELECTS—Elementary Educative Curricula for Teachers of Science—Investigating teachers' Learning, Practice, and Efficacy Using Effective Curriculum Materials across Scientific Disciplines
Funding Agency: National Science Foundation
Period: 9/1/2010 - 8/31/2013
Inquiry-based science teaching provides an ideal context for elementary students to develop conceptual understandings and scientific practices. Yet the field knows little about how elementary teachers learn to engage in this ambitious teaching. Our proposal aims to address this gap in the literature. We will use the Smithsonian Institution's Science, Technology, and Children (STC) ecosystems and electric circuits curriculum materials. We will overlay educative supports for upper elementary teachers' subject matter knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. The educative curricula will provide sustained and situated opportunities for teacher and student learning. Our theoretical perspective is that situated opportunities to learn allow teachers to integrate their knowledge, making it more robust. This knowledge can be applied across multiple contexts, such as across science disciplines or in different lessons.