SALEM, Mass., June 9, 2021 (Newswire.com) - Research from Dr. Tracy L. Waters at Northeastern University highlights the changing attitudes, instructional practices, and achievement levels that resulted from the implementation of KnowAtom's Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)-designed curriculum. She evaluated KnowAtom curriculum implementation by elementary and middle school science teachers. The KnowAtom curriculum is designed to help teachers connect students with phenomena-based science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning opportunities.
"This scientific research helps us start to understand just how much using the KnowAtom curriculum helps teachers, administrators and students rethink their own attitudes and beliefs about teaching and learning science," said Francis Vigeant, founder and CEO, KnowAtom. "Dr. Waters' research shows that giving students the opportunity to collaborate, ask open-ended questions, and evaluate their own thinking about phenomena during as a way of teaching science results in more-engaged learners."
In her research, Dr. Tracy L. Waters identifies the changes middle and elementary school teachers made to their instructional practices when implementing KnowAtom's NGSS-based curriculum. She describes the KnowAtom curriculum as "built on an innovative approach to teaching science based on the NGSS, where teachers become facilitators of learning rather than givers of information."
Schools in the study that adopted the new curriculum while also providing long-term professional development as part of a substantive partnership with KnowAtom showed a transformation in beliefs, teaching practices and student-engagement levels. The study identifies major instructional changes from teachers who began to ask students to discover, explore, and model their understanding. Using the KnowAtom curriculum helped teaching professionals develop a new classroom culture to support active learning and collaboration. Researchers also measured improvement in student test scores and classroom behavior as a result.
"One thing we've learned is just how important having a partner like KnowAtom is when implementing an NGSS-aligned curriculum," said Vigeant. "The NGSS instructional model can be a major change for teachers and administrators, and a key element of success depends on supportive, engaging professional development that challenges traditional practice." KnowAtom also offers hundreds of resources for free teacher professional development online.
KnowAtom's Professional Learning Community model is designed to support both district and school leaders, as well as classroom teachers. The new model of professional development gives teacher leaders hands-on training aligned directly with the KnowAtom curriculum. The leaders return to the school to help train and mentor their colleagues throughout the process, creating a trusted and sustainable network of in-house professional development specialists to support long-term change in teaching methods and ultimately beliefs on science education. KnowAtom serves as a collaborative partner in delivering sustainable outcomes in elementary and middle school science, including how to implement a Professional Learning Community.
See original release here.