Oct 17, 2017
2:00 pm
Benjamin Building, Room 2226

Center for Science and Technology (CSTE) Invites You to Attend...

Promoting Scientific Literacy through Model-Oriented Issue-Based Teaching and Learning

Tuesday October 17, 2017 

Troy Sadler

Troy D. Sadler studies science teaching and learning and, in particular, how students make sense of and learn through complex societal issues. He holds appointments as a Professor of Education at the University of Missouri and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, where he will assume the role of Associate Dean for Research in 2018. 

2:00 - 3:00pm      Distinguished Lecture     (Benjamin Bldg, Room 2226)

3:00 - 3:45pm      Visit with Graduate Students      (Benjamin Bldg, Room 2226)

Light refreshments will be served.

A long-standing goal of science education is promoting scientific literacy among all learners, and numerous scholars and educators have compellingly argued that scientific literacy for all demands moving beyond a focus on science ideas alone (Roberts & Bybee 2014). I take the view that scientific literacy corresponds to engaging in scientific practices for solving problems and negotiating complex societal issues (i.e., socio-scientific issues) and invoke scientific practices in a manner consistent with the Framework for K-12 Science Education. The practices most critical for the form of scientific literacy espoused here are those that are epistemic in nature, that is, those practices which engage students in sense-making, such as scientific modeling. In the NGSS era, many efforts are devoted to development of strategies for supporting student engagement in modeling, and the most promising approaches involve learning experiences focused on scientific phenomena. Phenomena-based approaches can be productive in terms of science learning (Reiser et al.2017), but organizing instruction around phenomena alone does not go far enough toward achieving the ultimate goal of promoting scientific literacy for all (Dillon, 2017). If we want students to use scientific modeling beyond school settings, they need opportunities to see and practice scientific modeling in the negotiation of issues that matter beyond their science classrooms. Students, who engage in modeling to better understand scientific phenomena central to issues that they perceive as important, are far more likely to build usable and lasting scientific understandings and modeling competencies (Louca & Zacharia 2012), precisely what is needed for scientific literacy for all.

In this presentation, I present a new science teaching approach for promoting scientific literacy through the development of modeling competencies. The approach, Model-Oriented Issue-Based (MOIB) teaching, highlights student engagement in modeling as they make sense of the science underlying critical societal issues (such as climate change and genetically modified organisms). Our work on MOIB teaching reveals that the approach can support student learning of science concepts and modeling practices. Other aspects of the research reveal ways in which teachers engage in the process of designing and enacting MOIB learning experiences as well as the barriers and challenges that must be addressed to support teachers as they engage in this work.


Natalie Ylizarde,  ylizarde@umd.edu   

Inline image 1