CIRCL brings together the research of more than 200 separately funded research projects in the National Science Foundation theme of “cyberlearning.” New technologies change what and how people learn. Informed by learning science, cyberlearning is the use of new technology to create effective new learning experiences that were never possible or practical before.
Biocomplexity has emerged as an umbrella science that helps us understand how humans are an integral part of nature. Thinking about humans as agents within and for ecosystems as opposed to external actors who produce an impact is a radically different way to think about people in the world, and brings a number of new perspectives to the practice of ecology. The Biocomplexity and the Habitable Planet project was funded by the National Science Foundation to bring this new perspective to high school environmental science and ecology instruction through a high school capstone course
EDC’s project Foundation Science, which developed four introductory high school courses in biology, chemistry, earth science, and physics (now known as Concepts and Practices: Biology, Concepts and Practices: Chemistry, and EDC Earth Science), framed its approach on Wilson’s premise that story is a powerful tool for teaching and learning science. No learning can take place unless the learner is engaged in the topic and motivated by a need to know the information and how it relates to his or her own life.
Moving Next Generation Science Standards into Practice was funded by the National Science Foundation to develop a middle school ecology unit and professional development program that models the three-dimensional learning envisioned in the Framework for K–12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
Science in the Learning Gardens (SciLG) brings together two recent education movements: adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and a surge of national interest in garden-based learning.
The Learning Design Group at the University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science focuses its research and development on the interface of science with literacy. Over the past 15 years, The Learning Design Group has received several grants, all focused on better understanding and capitalizing on the synergies between science and literacy.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an instructional framework to guide the development of curricula that enable all learners to be successful. Drawing on research in neuroscience and the learning sciences, UDL provides a set of principles and guidelines that enable consideration of how learners vary and support instructional design to address that variability. Just as universally designed buildings provide options that accommodate a wide array of visitors, curricula designed using the UDL framework offer options that enable learners with varying needs and preferences to access and engage with learning materials.
Following the release of the Framework for K-12 Science Education (Framework), the National Research Council (NRC) published recommendations for how to track national progress toward improved STEM education in a report entitled Monitoring Progress Toward Successful K–12 STEM Education (Monitoring Progress; NRC, 2013). One of the recommendations of Monitoring Progress was to identify a set of criteria that could be used to determine the degree to which widely used instructional materials promote the vision of science education described in the Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In 2014, the NSF funded BSCS to develop a set of guidelines for evaluating instructional materials that could be used for this purpose.
WISE is a research-based digital learning platform that fosters exploration and science inquiry. Standards-based WISE projects are specifically tailored for classroom use, and revolve around key conceptual difficulties that students encounter in biology, chemistry, physics. WISE gives teachers powerful tools to customize projects and watch student work unfold online in real-time. WISE inquiry projects are based in the knowledge integration concept, the process of synthesizing multiple knowledge models in a common representation.
WISEngineering (http://www.wisengineering.org) is a free online learning environment that supports learning science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) concepts through engineering design projects.
This project is funded by the National Science Foundation, grants # 0822241, 1449550, 1650648, and 1743807. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.