Robert Yager Works With NSTA to Encourage Lasting Education Reform
In Robert Yager's series on Exemplary Science, teachers, curriculum specialists, professional development providers, and methods professors will find collections of essays by top-notch educators who describe successful programs that fulfill the National Science Education Standards' vision for the reform of teaching, assessment, professional development, and content and implementation of inquiry in student learning. The books' real-life examples demonstrate how the Standards can be used to inform and improve science education for all learners, ranging from preschool to college and including those who study science in informal settings outside the classroom.
Building Interest in STEM Careers
National standards encourage science teachers to help "increase student economic productivity through the use of the knowledge, understandings, and skills of the scientifically literate person in their careers." Exemplary Science for Building Interest in STEM Careers provides the examples and inspiration to accelerate the trend toward steering students to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math. This monograph explores 16 examples of ideas and experiences representing a large number of career areas; they include scientist, engineer, inventor, and education reformer. Many of the authors have enlisted the help of community members and business and industry representatives, emphasizing the more current view of what science is and the importance of collaborative learning.
Resolving Societal Challenges
Amid a flurry of national standards and high-stakes assessments, it’s easy to overlook the curiosity and invention that is inherent to science and that should be central to any science lesson plan. Similarly, the connections between what students learn in the classroom and the issues facing our society are often lost in the race to cover content. Exemplary Science for Resolving Societal Challenges emphasizes the NSES goals of successfully drawing on personal and societal problems in the classroom to illustrate the use and understanding of science for all learners.
The National Science Education Standards call “for every student (every year) to experience the richness and excitement of knowing and understanding the natural world.” Yager notes that “in one sense, inquiry can be used as a synonym for science. Both include starting with questions, collecting evidence concerning the explanations offered, and arguing with others about the validity of the explanations. Science is a continuing quest for better understanding of the natural universe. This quest is inquiry!” Science teachers aiming to foster inquiry in their classrooms will find that Inquiry: The Key to Exemplary Science illustrates various forms of inquiry, offers detailed examples of planning and execution, and provide case studies highlighting successful implementation of inquiry.
Just as science education doesn’t stop at the schoolhouse door, neither should effective application of the National Science Education Standards. Exemplary Science in Informal Education Settings shows real-world examples of how science education reform has taken hold in museums, science centers, zoos, and aquariums as well as on television, radio, and the internet. The programs described here demonstrate how the Standards can be used to inform and improve science education in a wide range of settings and with learners ranging from pre-schoolers to adults.
Professional Development Best Practices
This collection describes programs designed to train current or future teachers to carry out the constructivist, inquiry-based approach of the Standards. These professional development programs are in universities and school districts around the country—from Florida to Alaska, in rural and urban areas, and in contexts ranging from summer institutes to on-site support programs. In addition to describing how the program works, each essay also provides evidence of effectiveness—how teachers grow more confident using inquiry approaches, in integrating technology into the classrooms, collaborating with their colleagues and local resource persons, and developing as science education leaders in their schools and districts.
Standards-Based Success Stories in Grades K–12
In each of three volumes—one each for elementary, middle, and high school—educators demonstrate their creativity in these real-life examples of programs that fulfill the Standards’ vision for the reform of teaching, assessment, professional development, and content. They provide models for how better to approach science teaching and encourage student learning. As Yager notes, the exemplary programs described here are meant to “give inspiration while also providing evidence that the new directions are feasible and worth the energy and effort needed for others to implement changes.”
Read more about elementary, middle, or high school programs!