Available Tools, Option G:
Features of Resources for Science Literacy:
Professional Development

Estimated Time: 30 minutes.

List of Materials

Sample Presentation
TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Cover.

Presenter: Resources for Science Literacy: Professional Development was developed to respond to the many requests for help in using and understanding Science for All Americans and Benchmarks for Science Literacy. It is designed to help teachers fill gaps in their own knowledge of science, mathematics, and technology and their interconnections and to increase their familiarity with the ideas and skills that students of various ages need to develop on their way to science literacy.  

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Contents.

Presenter: The CD-ROM disk contains the complete text of Science for All Americans and descriptions of science trade books, college courses, and relevant published cognitive research. The disk also contains comparisons of Benchmarks and national standards for science, math, and social studies. Finally, it contains a leader’s guide for planning and conducting Project 2061 workshops. The trade books, college courses, research, and standards comparisons are linked to specific sections of Science for All Americans to allow users to search for resources related to the science literacy goals described in this document. A companion book provides samples from each of the databases on the disk, some background information, and suggestions for using each database.  

Return to TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Contents. Point to Science Trade Books.

Presenter: Few teachers are lucky enough to have strong backgrounds in science, mathematics, and technology or to understand them as connected endeavors. Therefore, Resources for Science Literacy: Professional Development contains descriptions of resources that can enhance teachers’ understanding of the three fields and their interconnections. 

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Science Trade Books.

Presenter: More than 100 trade books dealing with all areas of science, mathematics, and technology are cited with full bibliographic information, reviews, and other descriptive data. Each book is linked to specific SFAA chapters and sections so that users can compile a reading list around SFAA topics.  

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Science Trade Book Examples.

(Note that the cover of Archimedes Revenge is not included on the transparency.)

Presenter: Here are some examples: *

The starting point for identifying trade books was the AAAS’s Science Books & Films, a periodical that reviews science, mathematics, and technology resources. Highly rated books were examined for their relevance to Science for All Americans topics, and a list was compiled of those deemed interesting and informative to a general audience. Finally, scholars in science, mathematics, and technology reviewed the list of prospective entries and suggested some additional trade books to include.  

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Contents.

Point to College Courses.

Presenter: The college course database provides 15 syllabi from college courses that were designed to increase students’ knowledge of science, mathematics, and technology and their interconnections. To identify syllabi for the database, Project 2061 drew on The Liberal Art of Science: Agenda for Action, an AAAS publication on including science in undergraduate liberal education; courses developed or adapted for The New Liberal Arts Program (funded by the Sloan Foundation); and on university faculty who were already using Science for All Americans as the basis for their programs.

The courses were not necessarily designed with Science for All Americans in mind. They were submitted by university faculty who had analyzed their existing syllabi for strong links to Science for All Americans. The selection emphasizes course syllabi that cover topics found in Science for All Americans with which teachers are least likely to be familiar— technology, cross-cutting themes, and the nature and history of science, for example. Depth of content coverage, rather than breadth, was another criterion for inclusion.

For example, The Biology and Chemistry of Fat, taught by Merle Bruno and Nancy Lowry at Hampshire College, is part of the Learning Science as Inquiry program. This program is designed to attract students to science through concrete experiences on topics of interest to them, to develop their skills in analysis and quantitative reasoning, and to introduce them to how scientists ask questions and view the nature of science. In The Biology and Chemistry of Fat, students see what biologists and chemists have to say about fat in and out of the body and study some fats in the lab. They read and discuss primary and secondary literature, choose their favorite fat questions to work on, and then present their findings before the class and in papers. The course addresses, among others, topics from Science for All Americans chapters on The Nature of Science, The Human Organism, and Habits of Mind. 

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Course Descriptions.

Presenter: All course descriptions include the first 4 items on the list:

Some courses also include TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Course Design.

Presenter: The questions shown on this transparency were used to describe how a particular course design supports student learning.

Give participants time to read the questions; then entertain comments and questions.

Conclude the discussion on college courses with the comment: The purpose of the examples on the disk is to provide a framework for describing and comparing courses that improve teachers’ science literacy and to stimulate the design of new courses.  

Return to TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Contents.

Point to Cognitive Research.

Presenter: Resources for Science Literacy contains an introduction to cognitive research literature that sheds light on the ability of students of various ages to understand many of the topics in SFAA and Benchmarks.  

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Research Database.

Point to Chapter 15: The Research Base.

Presenter: The references used in Benchmarks, Chapter 15: The Research Base, is included on the CD-ROM. Because understanding the research on how students learn science concepts is so important to achieving science literacy goals, Project 2061 included in this chapter a survey of the research that influenced the content and grade-level placement of benchmark ideas.

The cognitive research database of Resources for Science Literacy supplements Benchmarks, Chapter 15, with descriptions of articles, reports, and books specifically written for and easily accessible to teachers.

Resources includes abstracts of over 80 articles and reports, 17 books, and 4 videos related to student learning of concepts from SFAA and Benchmarks. The articles were published over the past 15 years in teachers’ journals such as The Physics Teacher, The Science Teacher, Science and Children, The American Biology Teacher, Mathematics Teacher, and Arithmetic Teacher. All were judged to be of high quality, accurately representing the research, and directly relevant to concepts from SFAA and Benchmarks.  

Return to TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Contents.

Point to Comparisons of Benchmarks and National Standards.

Presenter: Also included are analyses of how Benchmarks relates to three sets of national content standardsū the science standards (from the National Research Council), the mathematics standards (from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), and the social studies standards (from the National Council for Social Studies).  

TRANSPARENCY: Comparison of Benchmarks and NSES: Radioactive Isotopes.

Presenter: For the science and math comparisons, users can call up any standard’s statement of what students should know or be able to do and find the relevant benchmarks.  

TRANSPARENCY: NCSS Standards: Related Benchmarks CHAPTERS and Sections.

Presenter: For the social studies comparisons, users can call up any section of the NCSS standards and find relevant Benchmarks sections. The disk allows them to turn to those sections and identify benchmarks that are specific to the NCSS standard.

TRANSPARENCY: Benchmarks Related to NCSS Standard I: Culture.

Presenter: For example, this shows some of the benchmarks that relate to Standard I: Culture.

Return to TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Contents. Point to Workshop Leader’s Guide.

Presenter: Educators can use the Workshop Leader’s Guide to design workshops and courses on using SFAA and Benchmarks to analyze state frameworks, to analyze instruction, or to design or analyze curriculum materials. The Guide can also be used as a tutorial on Project 2061 tools and their applications.  

TRANSPARENCY: Resources for Science Literacy: Workshop Leader’s Guide.

Presenter: The Guide includes

TRANSPARENCY: Designing a Project 2061 Workshop.

Presenter: All Project 2061 workshops aim to convince audiences of the need for change in science, mathematics, and technology education and to inform them about the help that Project 2061 tools can provide. Therefore, the Guide presents a variety of workshop options that help to reveal what workshop participants already know about the current condition of science education. It shows them that change is both needed and possible. It also describes Project 2061’s principles, strategy, and reform tools; and instructs participants in using SFAA and Benchmarks for Science Literacy to analyze curriculum materials and instruction and to design instruction. A workshop option focusing on assessment of student learning is being developed and field-tested and will be included on the next release of Resources.

The options presented in the Guide have been used extensively in half-day to three-day inservice workshops and have been piloted in ongoing professional development programs. Several higher education institutions around the country have begun to use the materials. The book that accompanies the Resources for Science Literacy disk offers direction on using the Leader’s Guide.  

TRANSPARENCY: Goals for Teachers.

Presenter: Project 2061 convened a dozen expert "blueprint" committees to consider the implications of its principles and tools for reforming the education system. Let me conclude by showing you the goals for teachers that were recommended by the Teacher Education Blueprint committee. Project 2061 is responding to these recommendations in its Resources for Professional Development and other tools.

If the HANDOUT: Resources for Science Literacy: Professional Development will not be distributed at another point in the workshop, make it available now.