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Targeted Partnership: Culturally relevant ecology, learning progressions and environmental literacy


Driven by an environmental science literacy framework around learning progressions within core science and mathematics concepts complemented with citizenship, this targeted partnership connects the research and education prowess in the environmental sciences of universities and sites within the NSF-funded Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network with teacher professional development in science and mathematics of partner middle schools and high schools. The project extends across the nation, involving four LTER research sites and 22 K-12 schools/districts with direct impacts on over 250 science and mathematics teachers and 70,000 students of highly diverse backgrounds. The work focuses on coupled human-ecosystem interactions in the context of socio-ecological systems as a framework to develop a culturally relevant ecology from both a scientific and educational perspective. The following research, professional development and institutional goals unify the project:

Research Goals -

1: Refine and extend current frameworks and assessments for learning progressions leading to environmental science literacy and associated mathematics that focus on carbon cycling, water systems, and biodiversity in socio-ecological systems.

2: Assess the relationship between students' learning about socio-ecological systems and engagement in citizenship practices and local socio-ecological factors, including students' culture, socioeconomic status, region, and educational level.

3: Use teaching experiments conducted by participating teachers and graduate students to develop and disseminate improved frameworks, assessments, and teaching resources for environmental science literacy.

Professional Development (PD) Goals -

4: Develop models of PD that integrate the research efforts of scientists with the professional development needs of K-12 teachers to include a teacher-in-residence program, research internships for teachers, placement of graduate students into K-12 classrooms, professional development workshops leading to graduate credit and/or graduate degrees, and professional learning communities.

5: Develop models of culturally responsive engagement that connect culturally relevant ecological content with different populations of learners.

Institutional Goals -

6: Integrate culturally relevant, environmental content-based, PD models for K-12 teachers into district and university programs and outreach activities through the development of graduate training and degrees and in service-learning tracks.

7: Increase the awareness, opportunities and participation of K-12 teachers in content-based professional development activities.

Site Contributions
03/01/17Learning Progressions & Climate Change
03/01/17Promoting Students' Progressions in Science Classrooms: A Video Study
11/11/15Developing Learning Progression-Based Teacher Knowledge Measures
05/06/15Learning Progressions in Environmental Science: The impact of a Professional Development on Teacher Practice
05/06/15Science Learning Progressions, Discourse, and Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge
05/06/15Teacher Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Using Learning Progressions
05/06/15Using Learning Progression Frameworks to Inform Instruction in Environmental Science: Teachers' Efforts to Move Their Students Up Levels
12/05/14Learning Progression-based Teaching Strategies (LPTSs) for Environmental Science: Alignment of Instructional Goals with Student Outcomes
06/19/14Quantitative Reasoning Learning Progressions for Environmental Science: Developing a Framework
06/19/14Quantitative Reasoning in Environmental Science: A learning progression
05/21/14Promise and Problems of Learning Progression-Guided Interventions
05/21/14Learning Progression-Based Teaching Strategies in Environmental Science: Teachers' Successes and Struggles in Implementation
05/21/14Teachers' Use of Learning Progression-Based Formative Assessment in Water Instruction
05/21/14Teachers' Uses of Learning Progression-Based Tools for Reasoning in Teaching about Water in Environmental Systems
02/27/14Students' Inquiry and Argumentation About Carbon Transforming Processes
02/26/14Evaluating Scientific Arguments with Slow Thinking
02/26/14Connections Between Student Explanations and Arguments From Evidence About Plant Growth
08/04/11Using Learning Progression Frameworks and Assessments to Guide Research and Professional Development
05/12/09Culturally relevant ecology learning progressions key to environmental literacy within LTER
02/05/09UNC, District 6 partner with CSU on teaching grant
02/05/09Cary Institute part of $12.5 million grant to promote environmental education
02/05/09CSU receives $12.5 million for STEM education