Are you passionate about improving science education, particularly in the elementary grades? Are you an instructional coach (or aspiring to be), dedicated to helping teachers improve their instructional practices? If so, consider joining us on the SPACE-IT Project! AnLar and Prince George’s County Public Schools are collaborating to develop and evaluate SPACE-IT, a teacher professional development training and coaching program designed to improve instruction and learning in 5th-grade science! This work is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute for Education Sciences, and you have an opportunity to be part of this exciting project!
Over the past year, the Design Team has developed the preliminary SPACE-IT Program and now seeks input from expert coaches on its usability and feasibility for implementation. We are recruiting science instructional coaches to participate in six focus group sessions during the fall 2022 semester.
What Is SPACE-IT? The SPACE-IT Program is a flexible teacher professional development training and coaching program. Once completed, this program could be used across any curricula, classroom context, and instructional schedule. It will teach 5th-grade teachers how to “spatially enhance” science teaching to facilitate students’ spatial thinking skills and science interest and achievement. Click to learn more about the program.
Why Is SPACE-IT Needed? STEM education is critical for students’ future opportunities. Today’s fast-changing world will require children to solve challenging problems, synthesize and evaluate evidence from multiple sources, and use this information to inform practical solutions. Demands for “STEM skills” are on the rise, yet one critical building block for success in STEM fields is often overlooked in education – the skill at thinking spatially. Research shows building students’ spatial skills can improve STEM achievement. Despite this growing body of evidence, teachers rarely receive training on how to provide instruction that simultaneously builds students’ spatial thinking skills and scientific knowledge.
How Can You Be Involved? We need your help to improve the usability and feasibility of the training program and materials. We are recruiting eight instructional coaches to participate in six focus groups from October 2022 to January 2023. we will hold 6, 3-hour focus groups (18 hours total time). During each 3-hour focus group, we will present materials and describe our training approach, and you will rate how usable and feasible materials and activities are for developing your skills as a spatial enhancement coach!
How Will You Be Compensated? You will receive $875 for participation in all 6 focus groups.
I am interested. What’s Next? If you are interested in participating, please send a response to Kristin Gagnier (firstname.lastname@example.org) by September 23. We hope that you will be able to join us!