ERIC Number: ED444944
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-28
Reference Count: N/A
Middle School Science: Working in a Confused Context.
Berns, Barbara Brauner; Swanson, Judy
This paper presents the stories of two urban middle school science teachers, both identified as leaders in their districts. Both bring substantial expertise to science education, though neither has experienced optimal conditions for flourishing as teacher leaders. One teacher has strong content knowledge and a deep understanding of standards. The other, who feels that there was never a student she could not reach, received early mentoring and professional development toward a leadership role. The first teacher's greater content knowledge facilitated the implementation of a coherent curriculum. The other teacher's skill in scaffolding instruction produced significant student learning of complex scientific concepts. Neither teacher has yet achieved high levels of expertise in both realms. Their combined experiences highlight the many issues that contribute to the confused state of urban middle school science reform. Inadequate preservice preparation in content, scientific inquiry, and appropriate pedagogical skills leaves new teachers poorly prepared to engage in the complex process required in inquiry-based instruction. There is limited leadership at the district level for providing quality ongoing professional development that integrates content, inquiry strategies, and assessment practices. (Contains 12 references.) (SM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: N/A