"Pedagogy vs. Reality": a new study from NCSE

NCSE curriculum field testers working with teacher ambassadors.

"Pedagogy vs. Reality: An Investigation of Supports and Barriers when Implementing NGSS Storylines," a study from present and former staff at NCSE, appeared in the fall/winter 2024 issue of the journal Research Issues in Contemporary Education.

The abstract: "Over the course of a two-year curriculum field test study that implemented a curriculum-based professional learning framework, we investigated the factors that influenced teachers’ willingness and ability to implement NGSS-aligned, phenomenon-based storylines for teaching the nature of science, evolution, and climate change. Through qualitative data collected from interviews and lesson evaluation surveys from 25 middle and high school science teachers, we identified potential implementation barriers and support structures relating to organizational culture as well as curriculum and instruction at the classroom, school, community, and systemic levels. The data indicate that lack of administrative support, time constraints, difficulty with student sense-making, and mismatched classrooms are the largest barriers to implementation, while curriculum-based professional learning including working through the lessons from a student perspective, peer collaboration, autonomy, and flexibility were the largest predictors of successful implementation. Administrators can play a large role in providing successful supports and removing barriers for teachers implementing NGSS-aligned, phenomenon-based lessons."

The authors are NCSE Science Education Specialist Blake Touchet, Diane "DeeDee" Wright (formerly NCSE Assistant Director of Teacher Support and Science Education Research Specialist, now at Colorado State University), and NCSE Director of Education Lin Andrews.

Glenn Branch
Short Bio

Glenn Branch is Deputy Director of NCSE.