1. William Sandoval
  2. Developing teachers' capacity to promote argumentation in school science
  3. https://centerx.gseis.ucla.edu/science-project/
  4. UCLA
  1. Jarod Kawasaki
  2. Developing teachers' capacity to promote argumentation in school science
  3. https://centerx.gseis.ucla.edu/science-project/
  4. UCLA
  1. Anahid Modrek
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Anahid_Modrek
  3. Post-Doctoral Research Scholar
  4. Developing teachers' capacity to promote argumentation in school science
  5. https://centerx.gseis.ucla.edu/science-project/
  6. UCLA
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Kathy Kennedy

    Kathy Kennedy

    PISA2 Program Manager
    May 15, 2017 | 07:35 a.m.

    William,

    Thanks for sharing your video. Our work in the PISA2 program has found similar findings related to the length of time to see change. Can you let us know a little more about the changes you are seeing. Is there a most common change to teacher practice, or is there a first step that you expect to see? Good luck in the next half of the project!

    Katheryn Kennedy

     
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  • Icon for: William Sandoval

    William Sandoval

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 11:53 a.m.

    We are seeing a couple of things. One is that most of our teachers are starting to open up opportunities for kids to make their own decisions about how to investigate things. I emphasize "starting," though, as they are getting comfortable with kids not getting to the "right" answer right away. Most exciting to us is that they now see the value of student-student talk, and they're creating more space for that to happen. It's all very challenging things to document.

     
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    Dawn O'Connor
    Anahid Modrek
  • Icon for: Katherine McNeill

    Katherine McNeill

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 11:07 a.m.

    The quotes from your teachers resonated with me and aligned with the teachers I have worked with in the Boston area. Really great points about the amount of time it really takes to support this type of transformative teaching and learning. 

     
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  • Icon for: William Sandoval

    William Sandoval

    Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 11:55 a.m.

    Yep. It emphasizes for us the need and value of creating structures in teachers' work for collaboration. My thinking at the moment is that if schools can't create this kind of space on their own, then this sort of university partnership is crucial.

     
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    Katherine McNeill
  • Icon for: Rachel Shefner

    Rachel Shefner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 17, 2017 | 12:10 p.m.

    I completely agree, William! The similarities between our projects are many! The teacher quotes could just as easily have come from teachers in our project. We are both working in large urban districts, so it is not so surprising. The focus on argumentation is such a rich one for fostering collaboration in teachers and students. I know this is a middle grades project, but are you thinking of rolling out to other grades? In another project we have used the NGSX system too. It actually was a great tool to get collaboration across grade bands. It was amazing to see high school teachers and kindergarten teachers arguing about air puppies together. A great equalizer.

     
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  • Icon for: Anahid Modrek

    Anahid Modrek

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 12:20 p.m.

    Thanks for your feedback, Rachel.

    Yes, you're so right, argumentation really is fundamental in fostering collaboration in both teachers and students. Our project, however, is not just on middle school science teachers -- we have high school science teachers, as well!

    In fact, we've been looking at differential susceptibility (why/how middle- v. high- school students react and benefit differently to teachers' NGSS teaching developments and changes), to better understand the needs of not only teacher development efforts, but how such findings can in turn inform different tactics needed for different grade levels.

     
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  • Icon for: William McHenry

    William McHenry

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2017 | 12:29 p.m.

    This is an important strategy for successfully implementing NGSS. I like their teacher(instruct)-to-teacher(observe) model for developing useful lessons. I wonder if their strategies for increasing “student talk” is based on project oriented or flipped classroom approaches.

     
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  • Icon for: Jarod Kawasaki

    Jarod Kawasaki

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:45 p.m.

    The emphasis in our PD has been around teachers redesigning instructional units around an anchor phenomenon and using the NGSX storyline tool. Our approach to increasing student talk relies on teachers asking good framing questions, which we have them script out as often as possible, anticipating student responses, which we have them write out as well, and then using talk moves to try and manage the discussion that ensues. A big mantra within the PD is don't stop the discussion just because the correct answer comes out. 

     
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    Valerie Butler
    Anahid Modrek
  • Icon for: Anthony Petrosino

    Anthony Petrosino

    Researcher
    May 15, 2017 | 01:39 p.m.

    This project is critical in giving teachers a sense of how to make NGSS come alive in their own classrooms. The idea of Ambitious Teaching is an exciting development in science education over the past 5-7 years and this project will go a long way in providing the field with additional research and implementation strategies to bring this idea closer to scale. As a Co-Founder of the UTeach Natural Sciences program- I am excited about incorporating this and other work on Ambitious Teaching into the next iteration of our Professional Development. Also-- great quotes by the teachers-- love the video.

     
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  • Icon for: Jarod Kawasaki

    Jarod Kawasaki

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 03:56 p.m.

    Thanks for the comment!  We are really grateful to have included our teacher collaborators' voices in this video.  We shared one of the activities we developed around identifying phenomena at the last National Science Teachers Association meeting and it was really well received. We are pulling together a project website so that we can share more broadly some of the tools and resources we are using in our PD.  For now, if you follow the UCLA Science Project on twitter, they often post stuff about the PD work.

     
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  • Icon for: William Sandoval

    William Sandoval

    Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 02:33 p.m.

    Tony, thanks!  One thing we're looking at here is linking this sort of PD work with the teacher prep work we already do - thinking about how to create a sort of professional pipeline support model from pre-service coursework through to the first couple of years of teaching. What should we be thinking about??

     
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  • Icon for: Joni Falk

    Joni Falk

    Co-Director of CSR at TERC
    May 15, 2017 | 06:03 p.m.

    Very much enjoyed this video which brings the point home that it is not fast or easy for teachers to change their practice towards a student centered, hands on, NGSS approach that embraces science discourse and argumentation in the classroom. Can you tell me if some of the first cohort of teachers become coaches later on?  I am trying to understand how this model scales beyond the two dozen teacher involved. Do these lead teachers subsequently  run professional development opportunities for other science teachers in their school? If so, does this work, as you move beyond the first cohort?

     
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    Stacy Wenzel
    Anahid Modrek
  • Icon for: Jarod Kawasaki

    Jarod Kawasaki

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 01:15 p.m.

    This is a great question that we are puzzling through as well. The teacher leaders are definitely tasked with taking back what the learn to their department colleagues. They did a few meetings at their school site during the first year and then two teacher leaders (1 MS and 1 HS) facilitated a summer PD for the district in between Y1 and Y2. We supported teacher leaders in both of these tasks, but it was not part of this project so we have not followed up to see how the ideas may be trickling into other teachers classrooms. The PD team has tried some other approaches with other districts they are working with. For example, entire departments going through Adaptive Schools training (http://www.thinkingcollaborative.com/seminars/a...) where they learn to productively collaborative together as a department and then a teacher leader will facilitate lesson study within the department. This is something we would like to try and are looking to possibly find funding to do so.

     
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    Joni Falk
  • Icon for: Jake Foster

    Jake Foster

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 03:20 p.m.

    On Joni's point, I too find it interesting to think about the dissemination of such efforts. Given the intentionality of the initial PD and commitment of the first participating educators, my experience and observation of similar models has shown a pretty significant difference in the quality and even focus of the PD for the next round of participating educators. What supports, tools, or resources would those teachers need to be effective in working with their colleagues once back in their schools?

     
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  • Icon for: Jarod Kawasaki

    Jarod Kawasaki

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 05:52 p.m.

    Our PD team has worked with a district on this and their hunch is that to effectively support this second layer of PD would be support in productively collaborating within the department (see above about Adaptive Schools seminars), some facilitating support for teacher leaders (our PD team has used Cognitive Coaching certification), and some feedback/reflection loop for the teacher leaders as they plan for subsequent PD sessions for their colleagues. This model has, anecdotally, worked with one particular district our PD team is supporting, but we do not have any empirical evidence for this yet.

     
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    Michelle Garcia

    K-12 Administrator
    May 17, 2017 | 09:47 p.m.

    I am excited to see this type of project being implemented in a large, public school district. I hope that the ideas of Ambitious Teaching, Argumentation, and true embodiment of NGSS in the classroom will take hold on a large scale. This could bring back the joy and engagement that has been missing recently due to the focus on standardized testing and test prep (especially in "under-performing" schools).

    I taught science for 5 years and am now transitioning to a leadership role at my school, and this is exactly the type of teacher development I would like to implement within our science department. Your work will help give me a starting point to gain administrative and district support. I agree with the points above regarding lasting implementation and the concern of dilution or misunderstanding as the initial teachers share this model with their colleagues. Have any school or system leaders provided feedback or buy-in to your model, or could that be a next step in the research and implementation?

    Looking forward to browsing your project website when it's up and running. Thanks for sharing!

     
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  • Icon for: Jake Foster

    Jake Foster

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 03:24 p.m.

    I appreciate the teacher-focused approach to your project, and the recognition that transitions such as this take time. I think the research community is settling in on a 3-year time frame for such transitions, provided appropriate supports and such. It is also great to see the transition toward more student voice and engagement. Your video provided a nice overview of these aspects. I am interested in hearing a little more about argumentation itself in your work. What are you learning from teachers about building a conception of argumentation from their (developing) perspective? How does that compare with established conceptions or frameworks for argumentation? And what might a formalized instructional model for argumentation include?

     
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  • Icon for: Anahid Modrek

    Anahid Modrek

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 07:22 p.m.

    Thanks for your question, Jake.

    What we're seeing from the teachers about building their conceptions of argumentation, is that they're realizing that they have to (a) give up some of their control of the classroom, and give the students the opportunity to guide their own discourse and discussions, and (b) they're realizing they need to incorporate activities into their lesson plans that stress the use of evidence, as a way to drive stronger reasoning in students' science argumentation.

    In comparison to the established conceptions of argumentation, the teachers are seeing that its not about what the students disagree on, and making them argue about it, but rather its about why they disagree on certain scientific findings, and arguing about how they ended up with different claims our outcomes after a lab experiment. They're seeing the shift of focusing on the processes of science as a pillar for argumentation, rather than facts and content.

    A more formalized instructional model of argumentation might include students' comparison - and argumentation - of differing experimental methods in a science lab as a way to explore different outcomes, rather than just comparing the different findings of the experiment. Accordingly, making students argue about what factors or different materials group A used in their group project, versus group B, might be the topic worth arguing about to understand why group A and B had different outcomes, and what factor(s) served as the consequential variable(s) to explain different results between the groups' projects.

     
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  • Icon for: Heidi Schweingruber

    Heidi Schweingruber

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2017 | 10:16 p.m.

    Hi Bill and Bill's colleagues! Love the video. The insights from teachers are terrific. I'm interested in what you are seeing in terms of impacts on teachers and students. There was a bit of mention of it in the video, but I would love to hear more. Also, how are you documenting the changes you see?  What are the biggest challenges you are finding as teachers shift to the NGSS? Do you think the model you are developing is scalable? What kinds of resources are needed to run the program effectively?  

     
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  • Icon for: Anahid Modrek

    Anahid Modrek

    Co-Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 04:56 p.m.


    Thanks for your inquiry, Heidi!


    We’re definitely seeing the impact on both teachers and students!


    Changes we’re seeing with Teachers:



    • Rather than the teacher chiming in and asking close-ended questions, for example, the teachers are starting to give the students more autonomy and have them direct one another’s dialogue. They’re really starting to create an ethos where students take control of their scientific inquiry and discourse. Likewise, the teachers are starting to tailor group activities as a platform that’s conducive to discourse – that is, group projects are becoming no longer just about working together and helping one another out, but challenging one another on how to run a lab investigation, what materials to use, how to use it, why certain materials should be used in a certain order, etc.



    • We’re really seeing the changes in teachers’ own conceptions about teaching and what it is to be a science teacher, but we’re now (in year 2) starting to see them incorporate it into their lesson plans and day-to-day teaching.


    How we are documenting (measuring) this change?



    • We have several instruments we’re administering multiple times, throughout the year, over the 3 years we’re working with them.

    • To name a few, we have (1) autonomy (Eccles et al., 1991), where we actually ask teachers to report how much autonomy the students are giving, versus how much they should (or want to) be giving. We found quite a bit of variation, even at baseline, and so the teachers are really being honest about where they are at. And so we keep asking the teachers similar/repeated questions over time, and we see the changes. (2) We are coding hours, and hours, of classroom observations, that we take intermittently, throughout the year for each teacher over the couple years of this project. Specifically, we are using LIDO - Low Inference Discourse Observation Tool (by Catherine O'Connor), which helps us analyze dialogue of the actual classrooms, i.e, we rate whether the teacher (a) gets student(s) to respond to another student’s turn, or (b) if the teacher poses truly open, contestable question, etc. (3) We have interviews, one-on-one, with each teacher intermittently throughout the year over the three years of this effort, and so again, we are coding their feedback and thoughts on NGSS and how they’re actually starting to receive the Professional Development training more effectively.


    Changes were seeing with Students:



    • We’re essentially seeing that the students’ scientific thinking and evidence based-reasoning skills are indeed developing and increasing, as the respective teachers’ efforts of (i.e.) autonomy also increase. We’re also seeing that students’ stronger argumentation is resulting from teachers’ argumentation skills and engagement of discourse in the classrooms.


    How we are documenting (measuring) this change?



    • We have several instruments we’re administering multiple times, throughout the year, over the years we’re working with these students.

    • First, I’d like to note that we have a total of 696 students (both from middle school and high school) that are all students of the two-dozen teachers we’re working with.

    • To name just a couple of the assessments that we are using (1) Evidence-Based Reasoning and Scientific Thinking (Kuhn et al., 2015), in brief, is an activity we administered to each of the students asking them to analyze scientific graphs, and data given to them, and make hypotheses and predictions based off of the data, while also showing us what evidence they used (from the data given to them) to make these predictions. (2) Argumentation (Kuhn 2016; Kuhn & Modrek under review), we administered a task where we ask students to provide counter assertions to statements they disagree with, and we essentially looked at what type of evidence they used to provide a claim that gave the strongest counter assertion. (3) Fear or Failure (Conroy, 2001), we administered a widely used, and highly validated, questionnaire where we asked students’ for their beliefs about failure, and if it, i.e., explained why they were less inclined to raise their hand and ask a question, or scared to be wrong when disagreeing with someone.


    We anticipate the following outcomes:
    • Evidence of students’ enhanced science learning through development of teachers’ science instruction.
    • Evidence of students’ stronger argumentation and evidence-based reasoning. • Data informing individual differences in susceptibility to the change in teaching.

    Aside from that, some of the biggest challenges we’re finding, so far, with the teachers is that they are finding it difficult to give up the control they usually have and let the students guide their own discussions. A lot of teachers say that its just so different than what they’ve been used to doing over the past 30+ years that they’ve taught.


    I’m going to have to say that our model seems scalable, as of now, yes. It’s just a matter of these teachers being eager and open to pushing themselves to try and learn new things.


     
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  • Icon for: Valerie Butler

    Valerie Butler

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 18, 2017 | 11:41 a.m.

    Great project! Every teacher is different and in our projects with urban teachers we have found that coaching them and really spending one-on-one time with them in professional development but also in the real-world setting of the classroom allows them to innovate their lessons and let the students engage in collaborative discourse and inquiry fully. In science, failure happens all the time and is how we learn. I like that you are encouraging discussions beyond getting the "right" answer. Bravo!

     
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  • Icon for: Anahid Modrek

    Anahid Modrek

    Co-Presenter
    May 18, 2017 | 01:39 p.m.

    Thanks for your comment, Valerie!

    I couldn't agree with you more -- failure and failing is part of the scientific process; it's a core element of experiments, and is fundamental to science learning and education.

     
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