PDI-7: Issue-Oriented Science: Engage, Motivate, and Educate (Lawrence Hall of Science)
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Location: Boston, MA—Boston Convention and Exhibition Center; Room 206B
Recommended Pathway Sessions
The Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) of the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
Barbara Nagle, SEPUP Director, Lawrence Hall of Science
Sara Dombkowski, SEPUP Developer, Lawrence Hall of Science
Kathaleen Burke, BPS Coordinator, Buffalo Science Teacher’s Network
- Why is issue-oriented science an important approach?
- How can issue-oriented science units provide rigorous science content and process and address national and state standards?
- What are some characteristics of high quality issue-oriented science?
- How can I use issues in my own classroom or prepare teachers I work with to use issue-oriented approaches?
- How can issue-oriented science be assessed?
Issue-oriented science engages all students in thinking about how science relates to their own personal lives and to societal challenges. The Lawrence Hall of Science’s Science Education for Public Understanding Program (SEPUP) has extensive experience developing issue-oriented instructional approaches and in providing professional development to teachers who use these approaches. This Institute is designed for teachers, science curriculum coordinators, administrators, and other instructional leaders who will explore criteria and approaches for developing issue-oriented science lessons and units. Participants will be introduced to specific strategies for integrating scientific issues into science units, analyze and critique model units, develop concrete plans for how to integrate local issues into the science classroom , and learn how to develop a classroom environment for effective use of issues as part of a rigorous and engaging science program.
Adolescent students will soon be independent adults, making numerous personal and political decisions that can be informed by scientific principles and processes. They will make decisions about personal health, consumer goods, and public policies related to the environment, to name just a few. Yet science programs often fail to bring to life the connections between the science content and processes students learn and their everyday lives and do not give students experience applying their science learning to making evidence-based decisions.
This Institute is intended for participants who work with middle and high school students or pre-service and in-service teachers. Participants will be introduced to criteria and a learning cycle for issue-oriented science programs and evaluate sample units from the life, earth, and physical sciences to determine how well they meet these criteria. They will also review student work and be introduced to assessment strategies for issue-oriented science. They will then work in small groups based on content area and use resources that present current issues to develop and evaluate ideas for meaningful issue-oriented science activities and units for their own classrooms.
Since 1988, the Lawrence Hall of Science’s SEPUP program has completed a series of NSF-funded instructional materials development and teacher enhancement projects related to issue-oriented science. SEPUP was also a partner in the development of the BEAR Assessment System for embedded and authentic approaches to assessment. Through these experiences, the program has developed experience in developing issue-oriented science approaches that engage a broad range of students, encourage scientific literacy, and avoid advocacy, encouraging students to make their on evidence-based decisions.
Participants should bring several examples of socioscientific issues in the news that they would like evaluate and develop into lessons for their own classroom.