MN P-20 Education Partnership

Science Instruction Working Group

Charge Statement

The Science Instruction Working Group should identify policies and practices that will increase the capacity of teachers, principals, mentors and other adults to help students from all backgrounds meet and exceed state academic standards in science and develop a lifelong interest in science and related fields.  In particular, the group should work to identify instructional best practices in elementary and secondary science education that can be disseminated through the State of Minnesota’s new Math and Science Academies and other professional development initiatives. 

Guiding Questions

  1. What are the elements of effective instruction in science at the elementary, junior high/middle and senior high levels? 
  2. What science curricula and instructional materials are aligned with and effective in helping Minnesota students meet and exceed state standards in science? 
  3. What are the characteristics of high-quality professional development in science for teachers and principals, and what effective programs currently exist in the state? 
  4. How can science be used to help students develop “21st Century Skills” such as creativity, collaboration and critical thinking? 
  5. How can schools create integrated approaches to the teaching of science, so that scientific knowledge and skills are also taught through math, literacy and other subjects? 
  6. What in-school strategies and structures promote student success in science?  Examples could include increasing the amount of instructional time devoted to science, staffing elementary schools with teachers who specialize in science instruction and using technology to help students master difficult scientific concepts.
  7. How can out-of-school-time be used effectively to strengthen student interest and success in science?  Examples could include mentoring and summer enrichment programs. 
  8. How can teacher preparation programs, the licensure process and other strategies be utilized to increase the supply of highly-qualified science teachers? 

Working Group Co-Chairs

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