2015 NARST Papers and Presentations


Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge and Uses of Learning Progression-Based Curricula in Teaching for Environmental Science Literacy

Abstract: What do teachers need to know in order to use learning progressions effectively? In what ways do teachers take up and use learning progression-based curricula and associated teaching strategies? The four papers in this set address these and related questions through reports on research exploring teacher knowledge and practices in using learning progressions and learning progression-based curriculum materials in a multi-state research project on developing environmental science literacy. The project focused on three topic areas: carbon cycling, water cycling, and biodiversity. Utilizing assessments of teacher knowledge, surveys of teachers about curriculum materials, and video of teachers’ instruction, these papers examine teacher uses of teaching strategies aligned with the learning progression approach, pedagogical content knowledge for using learning progressions, and implementation of learning progression-based curricular materials. Combined, these papers shed light on the nature of professional learning as teachers shift to use of particular teaching strategies when implementing learning progression-based curricula. These papers also provide insight into how teacher pedagogical content knowledge and understanding of learning progressions influence curricular implementation and, conversely, how using learning progression-based materials can support teachers in enriching their pedagogical content knowledge.

Using Learning Progression Frameworks to Inform Instruction in Environmental Science:   Teachers’ Efforts to Move Their Students Up Levels (Paper, Presentation)
Nissa Rae Yestness, Tobias Irish, Julie A. Bianchini, Jiwon Kim, LaTisha M. Hammond, Stacey L. Carpenter, Katherine J. Nilsen, Sylvia D. Parker, and Alan R. Berkowitz

Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Using Learning Progressions (Paper, Presentation)
Kristin L. Gunckel,  Beth A. Covitt, Aubrey Cano, and Ivan Salinas

Science Learning Progressions, Discourse, and Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Paper, Presentation)
Shandy Hauk, Kitty Roach, Nissa Rae Yestness, Joyce Kaser, Alan Berkowitz, and John C Moore

Learning Progressions in Environmental Science: The impact of a Professional Development on Teacher Practice (Paper , Presentation)
By: Tobias Irish, Alan R. Berkowitz, Sylvia Parker, Jennifer Doherty, Michele Johnson, Nissa Rae Yestness, Bess Caplan, Laurel Hartley, Neely Clapp, and John C Moore

Learning Pathways to Environmental Science Literacy

Abstract: In this thematic poster session we share results from a decade of work aimed at developing and validating environmental science literacy learning progressions (LPs) at middle and high school levels, and subsequently employing those LPs to support learning necessary for informed citizen decision-making about socioecological issues. Our research addresses three disciplinary strands (i.e., biodiversity, carbon cycling, and water cycling) as well as transcending themes like quantitative reasoning. Our scope encompasses facets of NGSS including core disciplinary ideas (e.g., Earth’s Systems, Ecosystems, and Biological Evolution), scientific practices, and crosscutting concepts (notably systems and system models, structure and function, energy and matter, and scale). A core result is a unifying framework that describes a span from informal/force-dynamic toward scientific-model based discourse concerning environmental systems. In this session, we discuss how discourse-based LP frameworks may be used to understand student learning in terms of growth toward environmental science literacy. Addressed questions include 1) How do our discourse-based LPs frame learning? 2) How can we measure student learning with LPs and how does LP-based instruction lead to learning? And 3) to what extent and in what ways can our LP work be extended to address new topics and lines of scholarly inquiry?
Poster 1: Defining Common Elements of Environmental Science Literacy Learning Progressions: Implications for Research and Teaching
John C. Moore, Charles W Anderson, Alan Berkowitz, Beth A. Covitt, Kristin Gunckel, Laurel Hartley, Jennifer Doherty, Hui Jin, Michelle Johnson, Yamina Pressler, Nissa Yestness

Quantitative Reasoning Learning Progression: Rasch Analysis (Poster)
Robert Mayes

Middle School Students’ Pathways of Learning About Water Flow (Poster)
Beth A. Covitt, Kristin L. Gunckel, Ivan Salinas

A Learning Progression-based Biodiversity Teaching Unit: Investigating the Impact of Teacher Knowledge and Implementation Fidelity on Student Learning (Poster)
Laurel Hartley, Jennifer Doherty, Cornelia Harris, John Moore, Alan Berkowitz, Charles W. Anderson

Urban Middle School Student Learning of Local Tree Diversity & Common Ancestry (Poster)
Yael Wyner, Jennifer Doherty

How Do Students’ Framings Hinder or Promote Their Progressions Towards Scientific Reasoning? (Poster)
Hui Jin, Nissa Yestness, Michele Johnson, Charles W. Anderson