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The goal of the Capital Region's Science Education Partnership LSC Project is to provide professional development for science teachers that expands and deepens their content and pedagogical knowledge.  The primary focus of this professional development is assessment in the service of teaching (Wiggins and McTighe 1998).  This innovative approach will also develop district and school cultures that will sustain K-8 science teachers as they strengthen their teaching practices to enable all students to meet state and national science standards.

The rationale for choosing to focus on grades K-8 was influenced by two overriding factors.   The first, that by establishing a solid foundation for excellence in science teaching at the elementary and intermediate levels, students will achieve the benchmarks of science knowledge and understanding that are requisite for achieving standards at the commencement level.  Secondly, the new high stakes New York State Science assessments offer a perfect opportunity to align Local Systemic Reform with accountability in a standards-based curriculum.

What CRSEP has to offer to participating districts:

  • Quality workshops presented by professional Development Specialists who are teachers on special assignment from the participating districts for the duration of the grant, SUNY Graduate Assistants, and Professional Development Associates identified at the district level
  • Overview of the Science and Technology for Children program and STC materials management
  • Assistance in identifying STC Life Science, Earth Science and Physical Science units to pilot
  • Development of criteria to evaluate STC pilot units
  • Introduction to each of the STC units
  • ESPET and Intermediate Awareness Workshops to familiarize all teachers K-3 and 5-7 of the skills necessary to be successful on NYSED exams and identify where those skills are introduced and reinforced
  • An opportunity to engage teachers in a deeper understanding of how the standards relate to student achievement, assessment, and student learning
  • An opportunity for teachers to look for and identify their own misconceptions, as well as how to analyze students' responses for evidence of misunderstanding
  • Assistance in data analysis of the ESPET and Intermediate Science exams to identify trends and patterns at the district level
  • Active involvement of teachers in designing and implementing their own professional development
  • Skills to design a sustaining process to facilitate continued growth

What teachers will gain:

  • A deeper knowledge of the content in the STC units through concept maps developed by the CRSEP project
  • A relationship between the content in the STC units and the NYSED Standards
  • Strategies for analyzing the alignment of Local program goals with State Standards
  • Information to identify gaps in the science program by using data to drive curriculum evaluation and to support further curriculum development
  • Knowledge to align classroom practices with NYSED standards by designing assessment tasks and performance expectations based on what students are expected to learn
  • Improved ability to design assessment tasks and performance expectations aligned with the National Science Education Standards, the Science Standards contained in the New York State mathematics, Science and Technology Learning Standards, and the goals of the Science and Technology for Children program and intermediate level science curricula
  • Improved ability to use performance expectations to plan instruction
  • Skills necessary to use data from the administration of the assessment tasks to monitor student progress and plan future instruction
  • Development of content knowledge in the context of the analysis of the standards
  • Development of content knowledge embedded in professional development
Copyright 2003 by the Capital Region Science Education Partnership.  This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 9911868.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendation expressed this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.