PRACTISE: Practicum Academy To Improve Science Education
A collaborative project of the Lawrence Hall of Science, Stanford Graduate School of Education, & Oakland Unified School District Science Department
Funded by the National Science Foundation (grant #1223021)
The Practicum Academy To Improve Science Education (PRACTISE) project is a research study that will provide intensive summer and school year professional development to support teachers in their ability to facilitate student discourse, specifically focused on argumentation, in order to improve students’ use of evidence-based explanations and argumentation skills in the science classroom. These skills are specifically in line with the Common Core English Language Arts Standards as well as the soon-to-be released Next Generation Science Standards. They will also support FOSS instruction, preparation for the District’s Student Writing Tasks, and the newly adopted California English Language Development Standards. The goal of the project is to gain a better understanding of the efficacy of a variety of professional development models to help grade 3-5 teachers improve their practice around student argumentation.
Professional development providers from the Lawrence Hall of Science and researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Education are collaborating to research the efficacy of three models of professional development. We strongly believe that each of the models will positively impact teachers’ practice, and subsequently student learning.
“Constructing and critiquing arguments are both a core process of science and one that supports science education, as research suggests that interaction with others is the most cognitively effective way of learning.” —Next Generation Science Framework
- Teachers participate in a five-day professional development Institute that explores how students learn, the role of discourse/argumentation and evidence-based reasoning in student learning, and how to effectively engage students in discourse/argumentation. Teaching approaches will be modeled through adult learning experiences and classroom videos. Participants will delve into the education research literature and work closely with outstanding professional developers and leading experts in the science education field, including Jonathan Osborne, one of the authors of A Framework for K-12 Science Education, on which the Next Generation Science Standards are based. The fifth day of the Institute is focused on helping teachers become familiar with the GEMS Ocean Sciences Sequence, an engaging hands-on curriculum, specifically designed to support discourse/argumentation and evidence-based reasoning.
- Immediately following this experience, teachers participate in a highly supportive 8-day Practicum and 1-day Application to FOSS Workshop during a summer school session at an OUSD elementary school. During the practicum, teachers spend 90 minutes each day team teaching the GEMS Ocean Sciences Sequence and spend an additional 45-60 minutes individually facilitating reading groups of 4-6 students from grades 3, 4, or 5 engaging with texts related to the science content. The pedagogical focus of the whole-group and small-group instruction is discourse/argumentation. Science and literacy coaches help with lesson planning, observations, and providing feedback. During the practicum, teachers’ instruction is videotaped so that they may reflect collaboratively with their peers and a coach during afternoon sessions utilizing a reflection protocol. Additional professional development sessions may also be offered in the afternoon depending on need. Ample planning and prep time is available daily. During the 1-day Application to FOSS Workshop, teachers will work collaboratively to enhance their FOSS lessons by incorporating opportunities for discourse/argumentation in preparation for the academic school year.
- During the following two academic years, teachers will participate in four Academic Year Follow-up Days per year. During these days (either on Saturdays or school days), teachers will both use videotapes from their own classrooms to reflect with their peers on the use of discourse/argumentation in their science lessons as well as receive ongoing professional development and support from science and literacy coaches/PD providers.
- Teachers participate in a four-day Institute and 1-day Application to FOSS Workshop as described in Model 1. They also participate in four Academic Year Follow-up Days per year over the following two academic years as described in Model 1. Teaching in their own classrooms will serve as a practicum.
- Based on research and evaluation findings from those participating in Model 1, the model may be revised. In order to see if the revisions lead to greater improvement in teaching and learning, those participating in Model 3 will participate in the revised version of Model 1 two years later. This will provide time for research and evaluation findings to inform revisions.
We are now recruiting for Group 3 participants only. Please check all of the Group 3 dates before applying. We recognize that you probably do not know your plans for 2015-2016 school year.
- Summer Institute (June 17-21, 2013)
- Summer Practicum (June 24-July3)
- Application to FOSS Workshop (July 5, 2013)
- 4 Academic Year Follow-up Days each year (TBD 2013-2014 and 2014-2015)
- Summer Institute (June 17-20, 2013)
- Application to FOSS Workshop (June 21, 2013)
- 4 Academic Year Follow-up Days each year (TBD 2013-2014 and 2014-2015)
- Summer Institute (June 22-26, 2015)
- Summer Practicum (July 6-16, 2015)*
- Application to FOSS Workshop (July 17, 2015)*
- 4 Academic Year Follow-up Days (TBD 2015-2016)
*Final dates for Practicum and Application to FOSS Workshop will be contingent on the final approval of the OUSD Summer School calendar.
OUSD teachers of grades 3-5.
Now Recruiting for Group 3 from the following schools (please contact us directly if you wish to apply but your school is not on the list):
- Acorn Woodland Elementary School
- Ascend Elementary School
- Bella Vista Elementary School
- Brookfield Elementary School
- Burckhalter Elementary School
- Carl B. Munck Elementary School
- Cleveland Elementary School
- E.C. Reems Elementary School
- Emerson Elementary School
- Encompass Elementary School
- Franklin Elementary School
- Fruitvale Elementary School
- Futures Elementary School
- Garfield Elementary School
- Glenview Elementary School
- Greenleaf Elementary School
- Hoover Elementary School
- Howard Elementary School
- Joaquin Miller Elementary School
- Kaiser Elementary School
- La Escuelita Elementary School
- Lafayette Elementary School
- Laurel Elementary School
- Lighthouse Community Charter School
- Manzanita Community School
- Manzanita SEED
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School
- New Highland Academy
- Peralta Elementary School
- Piedmont Avenue Elementary School
- PLACE @ Prescott Elementary School
- Reach Academy
- Redwood Heights Elementary School
- RISE Community School
- Sankofa Academy
- Sobrante Park Elementary School
- Thornhill Elementary School
Fill out an application form for your school. All interested teachers from a school must apply together and get principal approval for your application. Teachers must apply in groups of two or more. All participants are expected to participate in research activities including teacher interviews, surveys, videotaping of classroom instruction, and student assessment. Applications can be turned in by mail, fax, or email.
Aside from high quality, supportive professional development, all participating teachers will receive $200/day stipends for project work done outside of regular school hours. Stipends will be issued at the end of the summer Institute and Practicum as well as after each academic year follow-up day. See stipend schedule below.
2013 Summer Institute
2013 Summer Practicum
2013-2014 Follow-up days
2014-2015 Follow-up days
2015 Summer Institute
2015 Summer Practicum
2015-2016 Follow-up days
Up to $600
Up to $800
Up to $600
Up to $800
Up to $800
Substitute teacher coverage will be provided for project work performed during regular school hours (some follow-up days may occur on regular school days). Additionally, you will have the option to earn credits for participation through Dominican University. You will also receive materials to support your instruction during the school year.
Principal Investigator Craig Strang (Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science) and Co-Project Director Emily Weiss (Science & Literacy Education Specialist at the Lawrence Hall of Science) will oversee the professional development portion of the project. Principal Investigator Jonathan Osborne (Professor of Education, Stanford University) and Co-Principal Investigator Hilda Borko (Professor of Education, Stanford University) will oversee the research efforts of the project. Bernadette Chi of the Research Group at Lawrence Hall of Science will oversee evaluation efforts for the project.
You really don’t ever get the chance to practice and build new very important skills because of all of the pressures you meet as a teacher… You don’t have the space to experiment or figure things out even if you know it’s really important. With the practicum you really had space and support and community, and that made a tremendous difference for me. I never would have been able to pull it off on my own. (2010 participant)
Reflection is very important and PRACTISE gave me a lot of opportunity for that. Thank you! (2013-2014 participant)
Access and the ability to talk through lessons with expert professional developers who understand teachers and a teammate in my school let me figure out in a brief amount of time something that would have taken me years on my own. (2010 participant)
Probably the most constructive PD I’ve ever had! (2009 participant)
My expectations of what my students can do have increased. (2013-2014 participant)
I feel much more confident in incorporating academic discussion in my class around science. (2013-2014 participant)
It has helped me incorporate critical thinking and academic discussion across curiculum as part of our classroom culture, which has been transformative. (2013-2014 participant)
The biggest impact that this has had on my teaching practice and pedagogy is to engage me in wanting to create opportunities for academic discussion and argumentation in my classroom. Additionally, the resources and tools have helped to give me the means to make it easier to do so. (2013-2014 participant)
I learned tangible ways to have conversations with students about content so that they are able to construct meaning around key concepts. (2013-2014 participant)
Asking more questions than I answered was a great reminder that I do not have to be the fountain of all knowledge. (2009 participant)
By fax: 510-642-1055 to Emily Weiss (please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 510-643-6350 to let us know that you sent a fax so that your fax is not lost)
By email: Scan the document with your principal’s signature and email to email@example.com
Emily Weiss, MARE
Lawrence Hall of Science
1 Centennial Drive
Berkeley, CA 94720-5200