11856 Views (as of 05/2023)
  1. Sarah Michaels
  2. Professor of Education, Senior Research Scholar, Hiatt Center for Urban Education
  4. Clark University
  1. Jean Moon
  2. http://tidemarkinstitute.org/founder
  3. Founder and Principal
  5. Tidemark Institute
  1. Cindy Passmore
  2. http://education.ucdavis.edu/faculty-profile/cindy-passmore
  3. Associate Professor, Chair of Graduate Group in Education
  5. UC Davis
  1. Brian Reiser
  2. http://www.sesp.northwestern.edu/profile/?p=80
  3. Professor, Learning Sciences
  5. Northwestern University

Next Generation Science Exemplar System

NSF Awards: 1251611

2015 (see original presentation & discussion)

Adult learners

NGSX (Next Generation Science Exemplar System) is a face-to-face professional development environment for teacher study groups, in which participants connect to an on-line system that poses tasks for each session. NGSX provides rich cases, supportive materials, and scaffolding tools to guide the work. A pilot pathway consist of series of 3 hour units with independent work between sessions (reading, writing assignments, trying things out in classrooms), resulting in a PD experience of approximately 25-30 hours across 8 weeks. The pathway focuses on explanation, argumentation, and modeling, key practices in the shifts involved in NGSS, set within the disciplinary ideas of matter and its interactions. Participants develop disciplinary ideas through science practices as they participate as learners. Participants then engage in in-depth analysis of video cases from classrooms at the elementary, middle, and high school level to analyze how science practices can take place in classrooms, and the pedagogical approaches for supporting students. Participants develop tools to engage learners meaningfully in the practices, develop a classroom culture that can support the practices, and develop the discourse strategies to scaffold the knowledge building elements of science practices. More than 300 teachers in 10 states have participated in field trails of NGSX. Analyses of teacher growth reveal growth in subject matter knowledge and shifts in beliefs about teaching and learning that undergird the shifts in NGSS. Initial analyses also suggest growth in pedagogical context knowledge underlying argumentation, explanation, and modeling.

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Discussion from the 2015 Teaching & Learning Video Showcase (19 posts)
  • Icon for: Suzanna Loper

    Suzanna Loper

    Curriculum Co-Director
    May 12, 2015 | 08:54 a.m.

    I saw a presentation about this work at NARST and find it very exciting! The hybrid on-line and face-to-face seems like it has the potential to support scalability while also maintaining a high-quality experience for teachers. I look forward to seeing more.

  • Jean Moon

    May 12, 2015 | 01:19 p.m.

    Thanks, Suzanna. Sarah, Brian, and I appreciate your comments. From the very beginning the issue of scalability was among a number of issues in the forefront of our thinking and it continues to inform our design and development work. Our newest online pathway, the Facilitator Pathway, directly addresses the scalability issue. This Pathway is designed to build capacity among district and state science teacher leaders to facilitate NGSX study groups. At the moment we are piloting the Facilitator Pathway in Vermont and thus far quite pleased with what we are learning.

  • Icon for: Sue Ellen McCann

    Sue Ellen McCann

    Executive in Charge, Science
    May 12, 2015 | 03:53 p.m.

    Looks like a great project. I’m curious if you include any media literacy training in your exemplars to assist educators understand how to use media in their teaching practice.

  • Jean Moon

    May 12, 2015 | 05:50 p.m.

    You have asked an interesting question, Sue Ellen. The NGSX PD pathways are situated in a high functioning web platform that supports significant use of classroom-based video cases, ability to upload pictures/posters from a smart phone, tablet or laptop to the pathway as well as opportunities for study group participants to post comments/summaries/reflections. There are other media-based capabilities as well, but we do not include media literacy training per se. It is something to think about. Appreciate your note.

  • Icon for: Amy Busey

    Amy Busey

    Research Associate
    May 12, 2015 | 04:42 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work! I’m curious about the use of video analysis as part of the professional development experience. Do you use protocols or a particular approach to viewing, reflecting on, or discussing video? In what situations or for what kinds of things have you found video to be particularly effective?

  • Icon for: Sarah Michaels

    Sarah Michaels

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of Education, Senior Research Scholar, Hiatt Center for Urban Education
    May 13, 2015 | 05:39 a.m.

    This is a hugely important question! Video analysis of classroom cases by participants in an NGSX study group is a central focus of NGSX (after participants have engaged in 3-dimensional science themselves as adult learners and linked their own experience to the Framework and NGSS). We do use specific protocols and structured approaches to viewing classroom video and reflecting on it. Before watching any classroom video the group reviews a set of video-watching norms. These norms promote a culture of respect for the teacher in the video (assume good intent and knowledge of the situation and kids on the part of the teacher in the video) and emphasize the goal of learning “from” the video, rather than fixing the teacher. The protocols we use help participants slow down (often viewing a video more than once or twice) and take very seriously what students are saying. We emphasizing the importance of what we call “first-draft” or “exploratory” talk on the part of students (particularly students who are hard to understand at first) and we focus participants’ attention as well on what teachers are doing to “open up the conversation” so that students are positioned as reasoners, and supported to engage in modeling, argument, and explanation (the three core practices that we emphasize). One specific protocol we use is called “Slowing Down and Stopping Time” – and it uses a “descriptive review” approach, based on Pat Carini’s work. Working with a transcript and watching a video several times, participants first notice and identify specific evidence in a student’s turn – staying very close to the descriptive level (this is VERY hard to do and takes practice) before moving to interpretation and judgment. We find that video of classroom discussions is very powerful for NGSX participants – in two regards. First it provides vivid images (across elementary, middle, and high school classrooms) of what 3-dimensional science teaching and learning looks like and sounds like – in unedited, raw examples from classrooms that represent ALL students (including ELLs and students who have struggled in the past). Secondly, through specific prompts and protocols, participants develop their capacity to listen in new ways to first draft talk, and take students (even very young students) very seriously as thinkers. Sorry for the long answer, but video cases and analysis are a central part of NGSX!

  • Icon for: Martha Merson

    Martha Merson

    Project Director
    May 13, 2015 | 10:56 p.m.

    Thanks for this description. I am thinking about using videos of adult learners’ mathematical problem solving and this is helpful, particularly the ideas of exploratory talk and the notion of understanding student thinking vs. fixing teacher or student.
    I hope to learn more about this project.
    Nice job on the video (voice over, music, etc.)

  • Icon for: Michelle Perry

    Michelle Perry

    May 12, 2015 | 05:11 p.m.

    This project looks very promising. The hybrid or blended learning approach to PD is great. I couldn’t tell from the video, but is there a facilitator for the online experience as well as the f2f sessions? If so, is it the same facilitator? If not, is the online work set up as self-paced modules or other resources?

  • Icon for: Sarah Michaels

    Sarah Michaels

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of Education, Senior Research Scholar, Hiatt Center for Urban Education
    May 13, 2015 | 06:01 a.m.

    Thanks for the question – a good one given that we blend face-to-face and cyber-enabled interactions. Most of the actual work in an NGSX study group happens in face-to-face sessions, guided by a live facilitator or co-facilitators in the room, with real-time posting of images and interactive polling capabilities enabled by the NGSX platform. In between face-to-face sessions, participants have access to the web-based pathway and resources, and there are “On-Your-Own” assignments – of readings, video watching, or actually doing things in one’s own classroom, involving audio taping science discussions, and reflecting on them. Participants post their reflections (often quite lengthy), upload images, and audio records (though these are for research purposes and their own use, not shared with others). The facilitator has access to all of the groups’ reflective postings (as do the members of the study group), and some asynchronous dialogues ensue. Thus, to answer your question, the “On-Your-Own” work is self-paced, but it is monitored and responded to by the same facilitators who meet with the group face to face.

  • Icon for: Sarah Michaels

    Sarah Michaels

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of Education, Senior Research Scholar, Hiatt Center for Urban Education
    May 13, 2015 | 07:09 a.m.

    Note to all: The NGSX Project and NGSX System has been co-led and co-designed by Jean Moon (Tidemark Institute), Brian Reiser (Northwestern University), and Cindy Passmore (U.C., Davis). Too bad only one person can be listed as presenter!

  • Icon for: Mariana Rutigliano

    Mariana Rutigliano

    Community Engagement Director
    May 13, 2015 | 08:49 p.m.

    Hello! Very interesting to see concrete and specific solutions to provide teachers support on NGSS. Do you recommend teachers to apply specific curriculum as part of the training? If so, how do you select it? And if not, what are ways in which you encourage teachers to customize activities to their own settings?

  • Icon for: Jean Moon

    Jean Moon

    Founder and Principal
    May 14, 2015 | 07:06 a.m.

    Thanks, Mariana, for your questions. Providing teachers with experience in adapting existing curriculum or instructional units to reflect 3-dimensional science teaching and learning is the next step for NGSX. And under Brian Reiser’s leadership we are taking that step. We have been working with teams of teachers and preservice faculty in Connecticut in this adaptation process. Now the work ahead of us is to take what has been learned from the CT experience as well as work Brian has been doing with Illinois teachers and design units as part of an NGSX learning pathway to provide study group participants with experience in adapting an existing instructional unit. We believe this will be an important component in our NGSX blended PD model and look forward to moving forward with design and development. Stay tuned !

  • Suzan Locke

    May 14, 2015 | 10:20 p.m.

    NGSX has been a wonderful professional development. I first took part in it at my district this past winter. There were about fifteen teachers. The group contained kindergarten through high school teachers. NGSX is a wonderful way to learn the shifts in teaching science along with content knowledge. I loved it so much that I then signed up to become a facilitator of NGSX. I have learned some tools on how to facilitate adult learners. These tools will be very important to me when I teach the NGSX pathway in my school district this fall.

  • Icon for: Jean Moon

    Jean Moon

    Founder and Principal
    May 15, 2015 | 05:54 a.m.

    Thank you for your note, Suzan! It has been a pleasure for the NGSX team to be a part of helping Vermont in their scaling process with the Framework and NGSS. And to have you be a member of both study groups is a treat for us and very helpful to current study group members. We look forward to more visits to Vermont and work with your initial group of NGSX facilitators.

  • Pat Fitzsimmons

    May 15, 2015 | 08:55 a.m.

    This is an incredibly exciting project that really enables teachers to implement changes in practice required by NGSS. We are so fortunate to be collaborating on this work!

  • Icon for: Sarah Michaels

    Sarah Michaels

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of Education, Senior Research Scholar, Hiatt Center for Urban Education
    May 15, 2015 | 09:33 a.m.

    Thanks Pat! We are thrilled to be working with you and the educators we’ve met through our NGSX study groups and leadership cadre in Vermont, as well the remarkable “uber” facilitators (Deanna Bailey, Renee Affolter, and Dave White) who have helped us design and build the NGSX Facilitator Pathway. It’s an inspiring group and a privilege to be a part of this partnership.

  • Maura O'Brien

    May 15, 2015 | 12:35 p.m.

    The NGSX initiative is a step towards revolutionizing Professional Development in Science. Many appealing aspects of this program stand out for me:
    - The accessible online platform
    - A design, science content, and pedagogical content knowledge that is appropriate for K-12 teachers. (It’s been challenging to find H.S appropriate programs.)
    - An approach that reaches teacher as adult learners, engaging them in the type of learning we wish to provide for our students
    - An emphasis on the Science and Engineering Practices of modeling, argumentation, and explanation
    - Availability of the background research and supporting resources is a click away

    There’s so much more. The NGSX will allow us to reach the goals having teacher leaders knowledgeable of and conversant with the NGSS, and a focus and direction for local professional development in science to take, reaching all teachers in the state. We are so fortunate to be collaborating with NGSX here in VT.
    Bravo NGSX!

  • Par Fitzsimmons

    May 15, 2015 | 01:59 p.m.

    Additionally, NGSS shows teachers how to facillitate meaningful discourse among students In order to build an understanding of science concepts. This is an essential skill for teachers to support science instruction as well as the Speaking and Listening Standards in CCSS.

  • Icon for: Jean Moon

    Jean Moon

    Founder and Principal
    May 15, 2015 | 05:46 p.m.

    Maura and Pat your comments are so affirming – for Vermont and NGSX!! Thank you. Our collaboration with VT has been so helpful to our work, our ability to pilot new Matter pathway revisions and, of course, the development of the Facilitator Pathway. The beneficial results for Vermont shared in your notes are instructive and reflect your strategic attention to scaling up efforts in VT, not only for the Framework/NGSS, but for components of CCSS as well. We look forward to more collaborative work! Thanks again for your comments.

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