Professional learning in science for teachers of the gifted: A focus on science and engineering practices and crosscutting concepts

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This chapter argues that a way to bridge the gap between the science education and gifted education literature on professional learning is to design professional learning experiences that emphasize the science and engineering practices (SEPs) and crosscutting concepts (CCCs), from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The two dimensions of the NGSS, the SEPs and the CCCs may be less familiar to science teachers of the gifted than the disciplinary core ideas. Professional learning for teachers of science should be generative, such that it leads to greater professional expertise, both in terms of teachers’ science content knowledge and their pedagogical content knowledge. Immersion professional learning experiences for science teachers often take place during the summer. When examining student work related to a CCC or SEP across instructional units, teachers can develop a deeper understanding of how learning develops over time and how to help students engage in the complex thinking needed to understand core ideas across the sciences.

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Best Practices in Professional Learning and Teacher Preparation: Professional Development for Teachers of the Gifted in the Content Areas: Vol. 3

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