Brian Reiser Keynotes Illinois Science Education Conference

Brian Reiser Keynotes Illinois Science Education Conference

Brian Reiser

Learning sciences professor Brian Reiser will deliver the keynote address for the 2015 Illinois Science Education Conference on October 23, along with two Illinois teachers who collaborate with him on research. Their presentation to science educators will support implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards.

A national leader in science education, Reiser is a contributing author of the National Research Council's Framework for K-12 Science Education, which guided the design of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). These standards for improving K-12 science education have been adopted by the state of Illinois.

At the Illinois Science Education Conference, Reiser’s keynote presentation with middle school teacher and SESP adjunct faculty member Michael Novak and high school science teacher Mike Fumagalli is on “NGSS Storylines.” They will describe how to construct coherent instructional sequences driven by phenomena and student questions.

Storylines is an approach teachers can use to make science learning more meaningful and to help maintain the coherence sought by the NGSS. Keynote attendees will gain experience with linking phenomena with driving questions for exploring core science ideas.

The Illinois Science Education Conference on October 23 and 24 focuses on the theme “Your Passport to NGSS.” The conference, presented by the Illinois Science Teachers Association, takes place at the Tinley Park Conference Center in Tinley Park, Illinois.

The new NGSS framework is designed to help students develop critical thinking skills and to make scientific practices more meaningful. “The focus on depth over breadth, coherence across years and the key role of scientific practices are all promising steps forward in the new standards,” says Reiser.

Reiser, a professor of learning sciences, researches how to make the scientific practices of argumentation, explanation and modeling meaningful and effective for classroom teachers and students. Reiser co-led the development of Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology (IQWST), a three-year middle school curriculum that supports students in science practices to develop disciplinary core ideas.

In addition to co-authoring the Framework for K-12 Science Education, Reiser has also worked with a National Research Council committee to develop guidelines for NGSS assessments. He is currently collaborating with several state initiatives to design professional development to support K-12 teachers in realizing the reforms of NGSS.

Novak teaches middle school at Park View School in Morton Grove, and Fumagalli teaches life science at Leyden High School District 212 in Franklin Park. Novak and Fumagalli are 2015 finalists for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. In addition, both have worked with Reiser on developing curriculum materials for student engagement with the NGSS.

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 12/14/15