Through a Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant from the Virginia Department of Education, Sweet Briar College partnered with local schools to help 6th through 8th grade teachers provide high quality, inquiry- based instruction in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM subjects). The grant specifically focuses on science teachers, working in partnership with their math-teaching team members. Participants will be partnered during the program into Peer Learning Communities and will work collaboratively with their PLC partners.
During the 2013-14 school year, inquiry-trained teachers will be working in partnership with STEM faculty educators at the college. Following the INoVATR model (see our Professional Development Model), the teachers will first developed a lesson plan that involves a Structured Inquiry approach to teaching in the content area. Next, the teachers implement and assess the lesson that they have planned. And finally, the teachers reflect on the lesson and use assessment data to suggest improvements to the lesson plant for the future. Each teacher in the program repeats this cycle a total of three times – such that each teacher had an opportunity to develop – implement – assess – and reflect on a lesson that used a structured inquiry approach (cycle 1), a guided inquiry approach (cycle 2) and a an open inquiry approach (cycle 3). At the end of professional development program, each teacher will write one final inquiry lesson, using any of the inquiry approaches studied, to demonstrate her understanding of the pedagogy.
Of all the lessons written and tested during the project, those with the highest correspondence to established criteria that are consist with inquiry teaching and learning will be provided as resources to be shared.
Participating school(s) divisions include:
- Amherst County Public Schools
- Appomattox County Public Schools
- Bedford County Public Schools
- Campbell County Public Schools
- Lynchburg City Public Schools
- Nelson County Public Schools
- Prince Edward County Public Schools
- Increase teachers’ understanding and practice of inquiry approaches to teaching science content;
- Increase teachers’ understanding of the nature of science and teachers’ scientific investigation skills;
- Increase teachers’ understanding of classroom assessment through action research questions related to an inquiry pedagogy;
- Enhance the development of teacher-leaders in local schools; and
- Increase student achievement in science.
A Dissemination Conference will be held at Sweet Briar College on TBD.
For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org