The Waterbury Summit

"Reforming STEM Education - The Central Role of Practices"

August 7-10, 2013

Penn State University

University Park, PA 16802


Sponsors:  Waterbury Chair Endowment, College of Education, Penn State Public Broadcasting (PSPB), Rock Ethics Institute

The National Research Council (2012) Framework for K-12 Science Education sets out a comprehensive agenda for the reform of science and engineering education coordinated around 3 Dimensions:  Science & Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas.  

The Framework’s central mission is to impact K-12 education through implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards, but there are issues for
• teacher professional development
• higher education,
• informal science education, and
• public media

The broad agenda will be to discuss and penetrate into R&D issues on
• the redesign of K-12 education for alignment of curriculum-instruction-assessment;
• STEM teacher education,
• post-secondary STEM education and
• informal education on publics’ engagement.

Three broad based science practices that establish a common platform to reconceptualize STEM education will be the focus of the Summit.   They are systems thinking, model-based reasoning, and quantitative reasoning.   Summit presentations and conversations will be coordinated around 4 themes (expanded across 5 sessions) that inform understandings on the designs of learning environments that

1. Engage learners in conceptual and cognitive development with systems thinking, model-based reasoning and quantitative reasoning.

2. Infuse formative/diagnostic assessment of learning STEM practices.

3. Establish criteria for evaluating epistemic and ethical outcomes of STEM practices.

4. Engender participation in STEM communication and policy debates.

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