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Teachers of science need to have a significant role in the process by which decisions are made concerning the allocation of time and resources to various subject areas. However, to assume this responsibility, schools and districts must provide teachers with the opportunity to be leaders.
[See Professional Development Standard D]
PARTICIPATE FULLY IN PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING PROFESSIONAL GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT STRATEGIES FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR COLLEAGUES. Working as colleagues, teachers are responsible for designing and implementing the ongoing professional development opportunities they need to enhance their skills in teaching science, as well as their abilities to improve the science programs in their schools. Often they employ the services of specialists in science, children, learning, curriculum, assessment, or other areas of interest. In doing so, they must have the support of their school districts.
The National Science Education Standards envision change throughout the system. The teaching standards encompass the following changes in emphases:
LESS EMPHASIS ON
MORE EMPHASIS ON
Treating all students alike and responding to the group as a whole
Understanding and responding to individual student's interests, strengths, experiences, and needs
Rigidly following curriculum
Selecting and adapting curriculum
Focusing on student acquisition of information
Focusing on student understanding and use of scientific knowledge, ideas, and inquiry processes
Presenting scientific knowledge through lecture, text, and demonstration
Guiding students in active and extended scientific inquiry
Asking for recitation of acquired knowledge
Providing opportunities for scientific discussion and debate among students
Testing students for factual information at the end of the unit or chapter
Continuously assessing student understanding
Maintaining responsibility and authority
Sharing responsibility for learning with students
Supporting a classroom community with cooperation, shared responsibility, and respect
Working with other teachers to enhance the science program
Marking the culmination of a three-year, multiphase process, on April 10th, 2013, a 26-state consortium released the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), a detailed description of the key scientific ideas and practices that all students should learn by the time they graduate from high school.