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SF Bay Integrated Middle School Science (IMSS) Partnership

This poster describes the project’s progress towards defining and studying effective STEM teaching and learning at the middle school level. The San Francisco Bay Integrated Middle School Science (IMSS) Partnership is developing a comprehensive professional development model that is situated in practice and focused on student learning (Borko, 2010). The project is designed to improve middle school science achievement and integration of science content and practice as described in the Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Cross Cutting Concepts and Core Ideas (NRC, 2011).

The project’s professional development focus is to build capacity at multiple levels of partner institutions, building on theories of networked learning and distributed leadership (Wenger, 1998; Spillane, 2004; Jackson & Temperley, 2007). Teachers attend a summer institute and then take part in lesson study during the school year with continued support by coaches and professional development provided by all partners. Teachers design units collaboratively with CSU science and education faculties. These units integrate science core concepts with key science practices. Simultaneously, each of the seven school districts have established a STEM Leadership team that convenes at CSU quarterly and is involved in systems change process to support improvements in K-12 science education.

Logic models have been used to graphically represent the overall project and our theories of action (Torres, Hopson & Casey, 2008) as well as to build a common set of operational definitions. We regularly use logic models to define effective STEM teaching and learning, refine and evaluate project goals and outcomes across various project components, and inform and coordinate project management, research and evaluation.