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Knowledge From the Field

Strengthening Science Education: The Power of More Time to Deepen Inquiry and Engagement

Published: November 2011

Publisher(s): National Center on Time and Learning

Author(s): Traphagen, Kathleen

Funder(s): Noyce Foundation

View Report (68 pages; 9.92 MB; PDF)

Strengthening Science Education: The Power of More Time to Deepen Inquiry and Engagement

Area of Focus: STEM


The report studies five public elementary and middle schools that lengthened the school day with the goal of improving science instruction, making a case that additional time can bring marked change in studentsí science experiences and proficiency.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

+Schools succeeded in increasing studentsí science engagement and proficiency by: integrating more hands-on learning activities and facilitating more scientific discourse in the classroom; implementing specific strategies to counter deficiencies in reading levels, background context, and vocabulary; and collaborating with outside partners to deliver science electives.

+Schools succeeded in strengthening teachersí capacity to implement an enhanced science program by: providing professional development; using student assessment data to drive instructional improvement; and ensuring that core science curricula were uniform across classrooms and mapped to district and state standards and assessments.

Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Elementary School; Learning Time; Middle School; Professional Development; School Day; Science; Standards; STEM; Teacher Capacity

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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