Sabbatical Leave Report
Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Science and Mathematics Education
During my sabbatical in the fall of 2015, I worked with local school district personnel with the goal of studying and evaluating their district-wide elementary science field experiences program. For eleven years, the current Science Experiences program has provided ongoing field based and hands-on science instruction for elementary students. Since adoption of the new Next Generation Science Standards by the state of Oregon in 2014, the need arose to determine the degree to which existing grade level science experiences were addressing the new standards. Additionally, the last evaluation of the Science Experiences program was conducted shortly after the previous state adoption of science standards in 2009.
Beginning in the fall of 2015, I attended district science experiences field trips with the goal of learning more about the program. I also met regularly with district personnel who were responsible for developing and implementing science experiences to learn about how the science experiences were used to supplement and support classroom instruction in science. Additionally, I developed an online tool to gather elementary classroom teachers’ perceptions of the program and how the program is used support their science instruction. Finally, in an effort to bring my own instruction in my elementary science methods course in line with the Next Generation Science Standards, I developed a series of activities designed to teach children about the nature of science. The nature of science is one of the key science and engineering practices in the new Next Generations Science Standards. I presented my work in the teaching of the nature of science at the National Science Teachers Association convention in Philadelphia in November 2015.
Bernhisel, Steven, "Sabbatical Leave Report" (2016). Post-Grant Reports. Report. Submission 87.