Companion Book available now on Harvard Ed Press
What is Ambitious Science Teaching?
Great teaching can be learned. This web site provides a vision of ambitious science instruction for elementary, middle school and high school classrooms. Ambitious teaching deliberately aims to support students of all backgrounds to deeply understand science ideas, participate in the activities of the discipline, and solve authentic problems.
We feature 4 core sets of teaching practices that support these goals. These core sets make up the Ambitious Science Teaching Framework. The framework has been based on classroom research from the past 30 years—research that has asked, “What kinds of talk, tasks, and tools do students need in order to fully engage in meaningful forms of science learning?”
If you are a member of a group of science educators committed to the improvement of teaching, the vision, practices, and tools here will furnish a common language for you about teaching. You will be able to identify “what we will get better at” and how to get started.
Become Part of a Community That Shares a Common Vision of Excellence in Teaching.
Because ambitious science teaching focuses on doing four things really well in the classroom (the core practices), members of our community can speak a common language about how to continually improve instruction and support student learning. We can frame problems together and work towards solutions with help from each other. The expertise of our community comes from our members (teachers, instructional coaches, teacher educators) as well as from extensive empirical classroom research. On this site you can explore how other professionals are using core practices and the tools that go with them.
Explore New Tools That Support Student Learning
This site provides a constantly evolving set of tools to help improve student participation and learning. Some of these tools will help you plan for student engagement with “big” science ideas. Some will help students reason publicly with each other about science ideas. Others will help students engage in scientific modeling, explanation and argument with evidence. Still others will scaffold science-specific writing and talk. We have unique sets of tools for teachers, instructional coaches, and teacher educators.
But here’s what is really important about our tools—they belong to the community, meaning that they need to be continually tested under different classroom conditions in order to be improved and diversified.