Brian Reiser Keynotes Illinois Science Education Conference

Brian Reiser Keynotes Illinois Science Education Conference

Brian Reiser

Professor Brian Reiser’s keynote talk at the Illinois Science Education Conference on October 25 will highlight the importance of new standards adopted by Illinois for improving K-12 science teaching. Addressing hundreds of educators, Reiser will discuss “What Do the 2011 NRC Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards Mean for K-12 Science?”

A learning sciences expert, Reiser was on the National Research Council (NRC) panel that recommended a new research-based framework for the nation’s K-12 science education. Illinois has adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) based on this framework to guide science education, replacing the standards created more than a decade ago.

In his talk, Reiser will highlight how the new approach can make scientific practices meaningful and effective for students and teachers in the classroom. Reiser emphasizes the value of new research in defining a coherent vision for science education.

The NRC framework and NGSS standards identify key scientific concepts and practices that all students should learn. These initiatives aim to ensure that by the end of high school all students have some appreciation of science, the ability to discuss and think critically about science-related issues, and the skills to pursue careers in science or engineering.

The new approach emphasizes depth over breadth and systematic teaching of key ideas throughout the grades, as well as real-world science. “Science education needs to provide students with “engaging opportunities to experience how science is actually done,” the NRC report says.

Currently, Reiser is working on an innovative research-based teacher learning resource for K-12 science education called the Next Generation Science Exemplar. The image-rich online resource is designed to help teachers incorporate the NGSS into their classrooms.

In his research Reiser, a professor of Learning Sciences, examines how to make scientific practices such as argumentation, explanation and modeling meaningful and effective for classroom teachers and students. His design research investigates the cognitive and social interaction elements of learning environments supporting scientific practices, and design principles for technology-infused curricula that embed science learning in investigations of contextualized data-rich problems.

Reiser leads the Scientific Practices project to develop an empirically based learning progression for scientific practices that specifies how learners can engage in constructing, applying and refining scientific knowledge with increasing sophistication from elementary to middle school. Reiser is also on the leadership team for IQWST (Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology), a collaboration with the University of Michigan developing a middle school project-based science curriculum.

The Illinois Science Education Conference from October 24 to 26 has the theme “Wild about NGSS.” According to ISTA, the 150 presentations and symposia at the conference will address science teachers’ interests, teaching responsibilities and emerging technologies. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 10/24/13