SALEM, Mass., May 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- An evaluation of KnowAtom curriculum implementation by elementary and middle school science teachers showed changing beliefs and attitudes about teaching and learning related to next generation science standards (NGSS), according to Northeastern University researcher Dr. Tracy L. Waters. The findings are spurring adoption of student-led, collaborative teaching models for science instruction in schools nationwide.
The National Research Council's Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards called for major changes in science education. KnowAtom's middle and elementary school science curriculums are designed to help teachers implement NGSS and connect students with phenomena-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities.
"For teachers and administrators looking to implement KnowAtom in their classrooms, understanding just how effective early adopters have been is important," said Francis Vigeant, founder and CEO, KnowAtom. "Using this case study, which evaluates KnowAtom's use in elementary and middle school classrooms, we can learn more about how our partnership approach to next generation science standards better engages students and strengthen skills in areas outside of science."
In "The Effects of the Next Generation Science Standards on Teaching Practices: An Instrumental Case Study," Northeastern University's Dr. Tracy L. Waters identifies how teachers adapted their instructional practices and transformed expectations of how and what students were capable of learning. Assessment data showed 10% fewer 5th grade students and 12% fewer 8th grade students were 'on warning' on state standardized testing after two years. One study participant called it a "drastic reduction in our learners scoring in the lowest regions of warning."
A major takeaway from the research is the strong link between science education and learning in other core subjects like math and literacy standards. In addition, more collaborative teacher learning opportunities resulted in higher student engagement levels and less behavior challenges. All the teachers and the district administrator who participated in the study reported an increase in engagement and participation levels.
The study identifies sharing measurable feedback on student outcomes as a requirement to ensuring that new teaching practices continue. Teachers reported becoming more invested in KnowAtom curriculum after seeing student success in their own classrooms. In addition, ongoing professional development supported long-term success.
Teachers in the study participated in 'Science Champs,' a peer support network for teachers that connected directly to what teachers were experiencing in the classroom. Schools looking to start their own 'Science Champs' can access a free on-demand video series at:
www.knowatom.com/ngss-science-resources-for-teachers or visit www.knowatom.com/professional-development to partner with KnowAtom facilitators.
KnowAtom makes real science possible in every K-8 classroom. We provide a complete K-8 solution designed for mastery of the Next Generation Science Standards: fully aligned curriculum, integrated hands-on materials and targeted professional development. Our research-based, classroom-tested tools and techniques bring students' own ideas to life with hands-on materials and technology.
To learn more, visit www.knowatom.com or call 617-475-3475.
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