When a group of teachers convened last June to continue development of a integrated three-year, open educational resource, high school science curriculum, they recognized that since beginning this development journey four years before, their skills as curriculum developers had grown. At the team’s request, they convened for two full days in early December to look back at the integrated high school science courses they had developed and critically review them based on their own teaching experiences with the curriculum.
Teachers from Wenatchee, WestSide, and Cascade High Schools gathered together to take a close look at their high school science teaching program. Led by Mechelle LaLanne, teachers reflected on what units appear to have the most learning and engagement with students, what attributes of the unit do they believe contribute to that learning and engagement, how well do the units align with the stated performance expectations from the NGSS, and how well do the units align with the stated science and engineering practices as well as the crosscutting concepts. The teachers’ analysis notes were captured in padlets and spreadsheets for future reference.
Teachers used the EQuIP rubric to evaluate the units in order to be consistent and see how their units measured up to other curriculum units available. They also experienced a middle school NGSS Design Badge unit from OpenSciEd, reflecting on how that unit engaged learners as compared to their own units.
It was a thoughtful two days that left these dedicated teachers with some powerful reflections on what and how they teach their students. This team will reconvene in June 2022 to use their reflections and begin the work of improving their science curriculum for their students.