treated as professionals whose work requires understanding and ability. This change cannot happen within the science program alone; it demands the transformation of entire schools into communities of adult learners focused on the study and improvement of teaching and learning. Without movement toward the school as a community of learners engaged in reflective practice, the vision of science teaching and learning promoted by the Standards is unlikely to flourish.
[See Professional Development Standard C]
REGULAR TIME NEEDS TO BE PROVIDED AND TEACHERS ENCOURAGED TO DISCUSS, REFLECT, AND CONDUCT RESEARCH AROUND SCIENCE EDUCATION REFORM. The transformation of schools into centers of inquiry requires explicit action to remove destructive practical and policy constraints to reform. Schedules must be realigned, time provided, and human resources deployed such that teachers can come together regularly to discuss individual student learning needs and to reflect and conduct research on practice. In a community of learners, teachers work together to design the curriculum and assessment. They also design and take part in other professional growth activities. Time must be available for teachers to observe other classrooms, team teach, use external resources, attend conferences, and hold meetings during the school day.
TEACHERS MUST BE SUPPORTED IN CREATING AND BEING MEMBERS OF NETWORKS OF REFORM. For teachers to study their own teaching and their students' learning effectively and work constructively with their colleagues, they need tangible and moral support. Collaboration must be developed with outside institutions such as colleges and universities, professional societies, science-rich centers, museums, and business and industry to ensure that the expertise needed for growth and change is available from within and outside the school. Teachers need the opportunity to become part of the larger world of professional teachers of science through participating in networks, attending conferences, and other means.
Teachers of science also need material support. As communities of learners, schools should make available to teachers professional journals, books, and technologies that will help them advance their knowledge. These same materials support teachers as they use research and reflection to improve their teaching.
AN EFFECTIVE LEADERSHIP STRUCTURE THAT INCLUDES TEACHERS MUST BE IN PLACE. Developing a community of learners requires strong leadership, but that leadership must change dramatically from the hierarchical and authoritarian leadership often in place in schools and in school districts today. Leadership should emerge from a shared vision of science education and from an understanding of the professional, social, and cultural norms of a school that is a community of learners.
The leadership structure might take many forms, but it inevitably requires that teachers and administrators rethink traditional roles and responsibilities and take on new ones. School leaders must structure and sustain suitable support systems for the work that teachers do. They are responsible for