Summer Science & Literacy Academy (with institute and teaching practicum)

MARE will bring a three- to four-week summer science and literacy academy to your district that includes high quality professional learning experiences for teachers and an engaging hands-on science summer school for your students.

What’s it about?

The Summer Science & Literacy Academy focuses on student-centered science teaching to help students deepen their understanding of important science ideas and the relationship between science and literacy, specifically through a focus on argumentation and academic discourse. The Academy addresses several key questions of importance to teachers.

  • What is the role of argumentation in science and in science education?
  • How can argumentation be used as a critical thinking tool across content areas?
  • How do you create a classroom culture that supports argumentation and other forms of academic discourse?
  • How do you support all learners in building argumentation skills?

What happens during the Summer Science & Literacy Academy?

The Academy is a highly successful, two or three-phase model. This approach is based on research that shows that teachers are most likely to make changes to their practice when they

  1. are given the opportunity to try new teaching methods while receiving the support of coaches and peers; and
  2. are given time to reflect on these practices.

The first phase is a five-day professional learning institute in which teachers:

  • participate in hands-on science activities
  • engage in discussion around science concepts & teaching approaches
  • explore ideas about the integration of science, literacy, and discourse
  • learn practical strategies for engaging learners in argumentation and other forms of academic discourse to promote critical thinking and deepen conceptual understanding of science concepts.

The second (optional) phase is a two-week practicum in which teachers:

  • explore ideas from the institute in the context of actual teaching practice
  • co-teach an inquiry-based ocean sciences curriculum
  • facilitate rich, student-centered discussions and activities
  • spend 3 hours each day teaching elementary or middle school students—part of this time co-teaching with colleagues, and part of it independently leading a small group discussion
  • actively participate in one ocean sciences related field trip
  • receive supportive feedback from science and/or literacy coaches as you teach and explore your own pedagogical questions
  • reflect on teaching practice by observing and discussing video clips of your and other teachers’ whole-group and small-group discussions.

The third phase is a series of academic year follow-up sessions in which teachers:

  • reflect on teaching practice by observing and discussing video clips of your and other teachers’ whole-group and small-group discussions.
  • Receive relevant pedagogical support. 
  • Plan for upcoming science discussions with the support of coaches and colleagues. 

Who is it for?

MARE will tailor this Academy for your school or district. Contact us for information on bringing this powerful model to your site!

To learn more about Summer Science & Literacy Academies completed at two California School Districts, see the Science and Literacy Integration through Professional Development Academies page.