GSA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, USA - 2017

Paper No. 138-5
Presentation Time: 2:30 PM


D'ERRICO, Megan E., STEWART, Lauren N., ROSS, Donna L. and VAUGHN, Meredith H., Center for Research in Mathematics and Science Education, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Dr, San Diego, CA 92182,

The Noyce Master Teaching Fellowship program at San Diego State University provides intensive, sustained professional development to 16 secondary science teachers. This five-year program involves providing 10 days of formal professional development each year. Throughout the project, there has been an explicit focus on student thinking through a careful consideration of student ideas in classroom artifacts, teachers’ sense-making of those ideas, and teachers’ decisions about instructional moves they would make based on student ideas. We use a framework of Professional Noticing to characterize this focus on students’ ideas.

Professional noticing of students’ scientific ideas has three components: attending, interpreting, and deciding how to respond. In this presentation, we will share our longitudinal findings of teachers’ abilities to attend to and interpret student ideas at the beginning of and midway through the project. We designed an instrument to measure science teachers’ professional noticing of student’s scientific ideas. Initial findings show that teachers attended more to teacher moves and classroom features than to students’ ideas. However, by midway through the project, the number of instances of teachers’ noticing of student ideas increased by 20%. Consistent with the math education literature, this finding confirms that it is often challenging for teachers to notice student ideas and that learning how to do so takes time and sustained support through professional development.

The newly adopted Next Generation Science Standards call for teachers to enact 3D, phenomenon-based teaching with a strong earth science component. Yet, most science teachers have strong content knowledge in areas other than earth science, and so they will need to gain the knowledge of earth science from their teaching practice. We believe that those teachers who professionally notice their students’ ideas about earth science will be poised to learn from and with their students, and will be able to make decisions about instructional moves that can support their students’ learning. Additionally, those teachers with noticing expertise will be better able to support their students’ performance and engagement with science.