what is actually happening. The optimal environment for learning science is constructed by students and teachers together. Doing so requires time, persistence, and skill on everyone's part.
Teachers of science actively participate in the ongoing planning and development of the school science program. In doing this, teachers
Plan and develop the school science program.
Participate in decisions concerning the allocation of time and other resources to the science program.
Participate fully in planning and implementing professional growth and development strategies for themselves and their colleagues.
[See Teaching Standard E]
PLAN AND DEVELOP THE SCHOOL SCIENCE PROGRAM. The teaching in individual science classrooms is part of a larger system that includes the school, district, state, and nation. Although some teachers might choose involvement at the district, state, and national levels, all teachers have a professional responsibility to be active in some way as members of a science learning community at the school level, working with colleagues and others to improve and maintain a quality science program for all students. Many teachers already assume these responsibilities within their schools. However, they usually do so under difficult circumstances. Time for such activities is minimal, and involvement often requires work after hours. Resources are likely to be scarce as well. Furthermore, the authority to plan and carry out necessary activities is not typically in the hands of teachers. Any improvement of science education will require that the structure and culture of schools change to support the collaboration of the entire school staff with resources in the community in planning, designing, and carrying out new practices for teaching and learning science.
Although individual teachers continually make adaptations in their classrooms, the school itself must have a coherent program of science study for students. In the vision described by the National Science Education Standards, the teachers in the school and school district have a major role in designing that program, working together across science disciplines and grade levels, as well as within levels. Teachers of science must also work with their colleagues to coordinate and integrate the learning of science understanding and abilities with learning in
Although individual teachers continually make adaptations in their classrooms, the school itself must have a coherent program of science study for students.
other disciplines. Teachers working together determine expectations for student learning, as well as strategies for assessing, recording, and reporting student progress. They also work together to create a learning community within the school.
[See Program Standard D]
PARTICIPATE IN DECISIONS CONCERNING THE ALLOCATION OF TIME AND OTHER RESOURCES TO THE SCIENCE PROGRAM. Time and other resources are critical elements for effective science teaching.