Calls for student-centered classrooms that provide opportunities for students to engage in both the practices and content of science often require students to work together in groups. But group work by itself is far from a silver bullet. How do you develop tasks that are worth having students do together? How do you keep kids actually working together rather than socializing or simply working alone next to one another? Why does it seem like one student is doing most of the work? And why does group work seem to work well for some kids but not others? Complex Instruction (CI)—an instructional strategy that emerged in mathematics education—is a research-based strategy for disrupting some of the common pitfalls of traditional group work while engaging students in rigorous content. Knowles has adapted this strategy for science classrooms.
This sustained professional development course is designed for teachers who seek to promote equity in their science classrooms. Initiated by a three-day, in-person workshop—and supplemented with a one-day, closing workshop in the fall—this course will provide teachers with the opportunity to become familiar with and experience CI, plan lessons using CI, and receive ongoing coaching and support as they implement components of CI in their classrooms.