NCOSP Tools

Science Curriculum Topic Study (SCTS)

Description: Science Curriculum Topic Study (SCTS) is a systematic process and a set of tools and strategies designed to help educators improve the teaching and learning of science through the considerations of key ideas and practices. SCTS helps to improve the understanding of science content, clarify curriculum content big ideas, identify potential learning difficulties or misconceptions, apply effective teaching strategies, and improve coherence of topic development across curriculum.

Keeley, P. (2005) Science curriculum topic study: Bridging the gap between standards and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Resources:
  • Curriculum Topic Study Website: Includes additional up-to-date resources, including books, videos, CDs and articles to support topics found in the CTS Guides.

B. Introduction to Science Curriculum Topic Study

Description: These resources help teachers develop an awareness of SCTS as a tool for connecting standards and research on learning to classroom practice as well as provide guided practice in using SCTS.

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Presentation Time: 90 min

Resources:

C. SCTS and Developing Assessment Probes

Description: These resources provide a process to design research-based assessment probes to identify student conceptions before, during, and after instruction.

Preparation Time: 90 min

Presentation Time: 3 hr

D. SCTS and Examining Student Work

Description: These resources provide a process to clarify learning goals through analysis of research on children's ideas. They also help to improve teachers' ability to analyze and diagnose student thinking based on their written work.

Resources:
  • Keeley, P. Science Curriculum Topic Study. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press, 2005. p. 90.

E. SCTS and Curriculum Implementation

Description: These resources provide a process to use science curriculum effectively by improving understanding of content, clarifying the meaning and intent of curricular goals, and reviewing research that may impact student learning.

Resources:
  • Keeley, P., Science Curriculum Topic Study. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press, 2005. pp. 69-74.

    Science Curriculum Topic Study on-line resources

  • Figure 3.9 The CTS Learning Cycle. Keeley, P., Science Curriculum Topic Study. Thousand Oaks, CA:Corwin Press, 2005. pp. 41.

F. SCTS and Study Groups

Description: These resources help traditional study groups use SCTS to focus learning on science content, standards, and research.

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Presentation Time: 90 min

Resources:

G. SCTS and Examining the Hierarchy of Content Knowledge

Description: These resources provide a process to "unpack" a topic. Through the identification of concepts, specific ideas, important facts and terminology teachers can better understand the topic and how it connects with other ideas.

Preparation Time: 1 hr

Presentation Time: 90 min

Resources:

H. SCTS and Collaborative Inquiry into Examining Student Thinking (CIEST)

Description: These resources provide a process by which groups construct their understanding of student thinking through asking questions, analyzing relevant data, and engaging in constructive dialogue.

Preparation Time: 90 min

Presentation Time: 2 hr

Resources:

I. SCTS and Identifying Content Knowledge to Teach a Topic

Description: These resources provide teachers a process to identify relevant grade-level science content while also increasing their own content knowledge.

Resources: