2018 Outstanding Academic Title, Choice Ambitious Science Teaching outlines a powerful framework for science teaching to ensure that instruction is rigorous and equitable for students from all backgrounds. The practices presented in the book are being used in schools and districts that seek to improve science teaching at scale, and a wide range of science subjects and grade levels are represented. The book is organized around four sets of core teaching practices: planning for engagement with big ideas; eliciting student thinking; supporting changes in students' thinking; and drawing together evidence-based explanations. Discussion of each practice includes tools and routines that teachers can use to support students' participation, transcripts of actual student-teacher dialogue and descriptions of teachers' thinking as it unfolds, and examples of student work. The book also provides explicit guidance for "opportunity to learn" strategies that can help scaffold the participation of diverse students. Since the success of these practices depends so heavily on discourse among students, Ambitious Science Teaching includes chapters on productive classroom talk. Science-specific skills such as modeling and scientific argument are also covered. Drawing on the emerging research on core teaching practices and their extensive work with preservice and in-service teachers, Ambitious Science Teaching presents a coherent and aligned set of resources for educators striving to meet the considerable challenges that have been set for them.
About the Author
Mark Windschitl is a professor of Teaching, Learning & Curriculum at the University of Washington. He taught secondary science for thirteen years in the Midwest before receiving his doctorate and moving to Seattle. His research focuses on how teachers take up new practices and the tools they use to engage students in authentic disciplinary activity. Dr. Windschitl is the lead author of "Rigor and Equity by Design: Seeking a Core of Practices for the Science Education Community," a chapter in the newest edition of the Handbook of Research on Teaching (American Education Research Association). He is a past recipient of the AERA Presidential Award for Best Review of Research, and a member of the National Research Council Committee on Strengthening and Sustaining Teachers. Jessica Thompson is an associate professor in Teaching, Learning & Curriculum at the University of Washington. Her research focuses on building Local Improvement Networks that support ambitious and equitable teaching practice with novice and experienced science teachers, science and English learner (EL) coaches, principals, and district leadership. She has expertise in facilitating and studying teacher learning of Ambitious Science Teaching practices at the elementary and secondary level, as well as in the methods of improvement science. Central to her work is partnering with culturally and linguistically diverse student populations in formal and informal settings. She also runs and studies afterschool programs that learn from and support ethnic minority girls' engagement in scientific inquiry. Dr. Thompson has a background in biology and chemistry. She taught grades 6-12 science as well as in a dropout prevention program for eight years in North Carolina and Washington State. At the University of Washington, she teaches secondary and elementary science teaching methods courses, Teacher Learning and School Change, and Culturally Responsive Math and Science Teaching. Melissa Braaten is an assistant professor of Science Education at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She taught upper elementary, middle, and high school science for thirteen years in Texas and in South Seattle before receiving her doctorate. Her research focuses on the complexities of teaching science in culturally sustaining and responsive ways that disrupt injustices and advocate for justice. In research partnerships with teachers, she drew upon teachers' expertise and insights to refine professional learning experiences across their career trajectory and build stronger explanations of how teachers learn. She is interested in how teaching is shaped by--and how teachers could shape--the political and institutional contexts of schools, educational reforms, and education policy. In 2011, she received the Outstanding Doctoral Research Award from the National Association for Research on Science Teaching.