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Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Secondary Science

Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Secondary Science
Five to Thrive [series]

Other Titles in:
Science | Secondary Science

January 2024 | 192 pages | Corwin

Your guide to grow and flourish as a science teacher!

The past two decades have seen a paradigm shift in science education, thanks in large part to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which advocate a move away from procedural lab investigations and direct instruction and toward increased emphasis on reasoning, sensemaking, phenomena exploration, problem solving, and collaboration.  Under this new paradigm, students are learning real science as scientists practice it, so that more and more students are actively investigating questions and pursuing solutions of their own making. As part of the Five to Thrive series for early-career educators, this comprehensive guide provides those who are new to teaching science, as well as seasoned teachers looking to enhance their practice, the fundamentals to develop best teaching practices that reflect their students’ experiences and requirements.

Written by experienced science educators, Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Secondary Science provides practical guidance on successful strategies and techniques for teaching science in a way that gives every student the opportunity to learn, grow, and achieve at high levels, while providing opportunities to develop their agency and authority in the classroom, ultimately resulting  in a positive science identity.

The book is  organized around five overarching questions and answers that will help you most thrive in your secondary science classroom:

  • How do I build a positive science community?
  • How do I structure, organize, and manage my science class?
  • How do I engage my students in science?
  • How do I help my students talk about science?
  • How do I know what my students know and how can I use that information to plan and move them forward?

The book concludes with a sixth question—Where do I go from here?—that provides guidance for growing your practice over time, including discussions on self-care, advocating for students, and an extensive discussion on growing your professional network.

Woven throughout, you'll find helpful sidebar notes on fostering identity and agency; access and equity; teaching in different settings; and invaluable resources for deeper learning.Strive to become the best science educator you can be; your students are counting on it!

About the Authors
Chapter 1: How Do I Build a Positive Science Community?
Chapter 2: How Do I Structure, Organize, and Manage My Science Class?
Chapter 3: How Do I Engage My Students in Science?
Chapter 4 How Do I Help My Students Talk About Science?
Chapter 5: How Do i Know What My Students Know and How Can I Use that Information to Plan and Move Them Forward?
Chapter 6: Where Do I Go From Here? How Do I Keep Learning?

Among the many resources on teaching science, this book stands out as an essential compendium of practical suggestions, thought-provoking ideas, and links to resources that support what it means for teachers and students to thrive and flourish in today’s teaching and learning environment. Drawing heavily upon the wisdom of accomplished teachers and research on effective teaching and learning, this book provides much-needed guidance on navigating the complexities of today’s science classrooms.

Page Keeley
Fort Myers, FL

Finally, a survivor’s guide to teaching! Unlike most pedagogical books, Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Secondary Science gives you just that—answers. From first day of school name games to year-end assessments, this educator team has brilliantly created a library of practical, implement-tomorrow structures, strategies, and tools. Cheers to a thorough teacher cheat sheet!

Briana H. Clarke
Oakland, CA

This is the book science teachers have needed for a long, long time. It is both practical and profound, providing students and beginning teachers with a multifaceted vision of excellent teaching and clear strategies for progressing toward that vision. Veteran teachers will find numerous entry points to reflect on and refine their own practice, and work collaboratively with colleagues to improve education for all students.

Nicole M. Gillespie
The Center for Aquatic Sciences
Camden, NJ

This is the book every science educator needs! It is organized around key questions that have the power to unlock great teaching. The authors have broad expertise and insights to offer, and they have gathered resources so that readers can easily go deeper with additional perspectives. Read it straight through or pick it up and read a section corresponding with a current dilemma—the accessible and straightforward ideas are sure to inspire.

Cynthia Passmore
UC Davis
Davis, CA

The only constant is change, and this book provides a tool for those trying to navigate all the new challenges teachers face in this new era of teaching. Answers to Your Biggest Questions About Teaching Secondary Science does a great job of acting as a roadmap for those currently in teacher training programs, new teachers, and even veteran teachers.

Chris Monsour
Tiffin Columbian High School
Tiffin, OH

If you are a beginning science teacher (or considering a change to your science classroom) and you do not know what you do not know, read this book! This book provides an insight into things you should consider about teaching science effectively that may not be covered in depth in an education program. This book is a great start to your journey in science teaching.

Anthony Tedali Stetzenmeyer
Knowles Teacher Initiative
Ann Arbor, MI

This book poses concise questions that are foundational for educators to answer to achieve great science teaching. Additionally, it provides specific tips, checklists, diagrams, and resources that new and veteran educators will find invaluable for improving teaching and cultivating the joy of science with their students.

Karen Olson
Baraboo High School
Baraboo, WI

Karen Mesmer

Karen Mesmer, PhD, taught middle and high school science for 33 years in both northwest Alaska and in Baraboo, Wisconsin. After she retired in 2015, she started Mesmer Science Education Consulting, working as a curriculum writer, reviewer, mentor and professional development facilitator focusing on the Next Generation Science Standards. She has been active at the local, state and national levels in professional organizations, including serving as the President of the National Middle Level Science Teachers Association and on the board of both the National Science Teachers Association and the Wisconsin Society of Science Teachers. Karen was... More About Author

Enya Granados

Enya Granados is in her fifth-year teaching as a high school life science teacher in Athens, Georgia. Enya has a passion for curriculum writing and has worked with BSCS Science Learning as a curriculum teacher co-writer on climate change. She is involved in the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) as an active member who presents regularly as well as chairs the organization’s Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committee. Enya was awarded the Knowles Teacher Fellowship in 2018 and NABT’s Outstanding New Biology Teacher in 2021. She has published in Teaching and Teacher Education and the National Center for Case Study... More About Author

Kevin Gant

 Kevin Gant has taught science and mathematics for 18 years, with most of his career focusing on physics education. In his most recent classroom work, he was a founder and the Lead Teacher at nex+Gen Academy, a public project-based high school in Albuquerque, NM. There he taught an Environmental Science and Statistics course from 2012 to 2016. Kevin was an early adopter of Project Based Learning, serving as the physics teacher at New Technology High School in Napa, California, a school at the vanguard of PBL instruction. That position led to his later work at the non-profit New Tech Network (NTN). Kevin has provided professional... More About Author

Laura Shafer

Laura Shafer, PhD, is a Senior Program Officer and Academy Instructor for the Knowles Teacher Initiative. She taught high school Physics, Biology, Chemistry, and Integrated Science focusing on facilitating student engagement in the practices of science to develop disciplinary knowledge. She designed and implemented curriculum components for a graduate science education methods course for preservice teachers focused on supporting preservice teachers in developing and facilitating lessons in alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards. She provided supervision for pre-service teachers developing and implementing approaches for... More About Author

Ayanna D. Perry

Ayanna Perry, PhD, is an Associate Director for the Teaching Fellows Program at the Knowles Teacher Initiative. She has been working in education for over 15 years. She taught high school math courses, as well as college level math education courses. In addition to her work as a teacher, she’s also been working as a teacher mentor and coach for high school science and math teachers. She’s published a number of blogs on issues of equity on the Knowles Teacher Initiative website and articles on technology use in math and on equity in math classes in The Mathematics Teacher- including 7 Features of equitable classroom spaces from her... More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071916377