Practicum Academy to Improve Science Education (PRACTISE)

Argumentation is one of the most complex science practices both for students to learn and for teachers to learn to teach, yet it is a high-leverage practice that cuts across all content areas and builds students’ critical thinking skills. The PRACTISE project developed and researched an effective model of professional learning to support the development of teachers’ pedagogical skills to teach scientific argumentation. The model includes a summer teacher institute focused on facilitating scientific argumentation, as well as several follow-up sessions during the academic year that utilize small-group video reflection of teachers’ practice, structured planning time, just-in-time pedagogical input, and coaching. A detailed PRACTISE implementation handbook was written and developed for dissemination by a Lawrence Hall of Science team of professional learning specialists to share useful approaches with the field. The team was led by Emily Weiss and Craig Strang, and research was conducted by Hilda Borko and Jonathan Osborne at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education. For more information on the project and to access The Leaders Handbook for the Practicum Academy to Improve Science Education (PRACTISE): A professional learning program to support scientific argumentation in grades 3–5, visit: https://mare.lawrencehallofscience.org/partnerships/current/practise or contact Emily Weiss at weisse@berkeley.edu.