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Education Week Features BSCS’s STeLLA Research

August 16, 2018

Video-Based Training May Help Teachers Make Science Lessons More Coherent

By: Sarah D. Sparks

It’s hard to collaborate and get perspective on science lessons when you are the only teacher in your subject on campus. But a new project is working to use classroom videos to develop more in-depth virtual professional development groups, particularly for rural teachers.

The Science Teachers Learning Through Lesson Analysis program, dubbed “STeLLA®,” is based on the model of lesson study: Teachers attend a two-week in-person training with other science educators. Then, each month, groups of six to seven teachers post videos of their classroom lessons, analyze them together online or in person, and develop future lesson plans focused on tying classroom activities to threads of “big ideas” in science that carry through the year.

The training is intended to help teachers identify and analyze student thinking on scientific concepts and frame lessons to develop an underlying narrative of science. Chris Wilson said the program was developed in response to a 2006 video study of science classes from five countries participating in the Trends in International Math and Science Study. Researchers led by Kathleen Roth, a senior science educator at BSCS Science Learning (formerly Biological Sciences Curriculum Study) in Colorado Springs found U.S. science courses were less coherent than those of higher-performing countries, concluding…

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