Case Studies in Science Education

A video library for K-8 science teachers:
25 half-hour video programs and guides

These video case studies take science education reform to a personal level, where individual teachers struggle to make changes that matter. Follow Donna, Mike, Audrey, and other science teachers as they work to adopt one or more research-based interventions to improve science teaching and learning.

Each case follows a single teacher over the course of a year and is divided into three modules: the teacher's background and the problem he or she chooses to address, the chosen approach and implementation, and the outcome with assessment by the teacher and his or her advisor. Average running time: 1/2 hour.

Program guides and supporting materials (PDF)
Program guides and supporting materials (Link)

Produced by the Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory
with support from Annenberg Learner.

Elsa — K
Elsa, a kindergarten teacher, is implementing discovery-oriented activities to make science more active.
Jennie — K
Jennie, a kindergarten teacher, wants to design grade-level appropriate science activities.
Ingrid — Grade 1
Ingrid, a first-grade teacher, works with students' ideas while focusing on specific learning goals.
Najwa and Pat — Grade 1
Najwa and Pat, first-grade teachers, want to teach special needs students more effectively in an integrated classroom.
Patricia — Grade 1
Patricia, a first-grade teacher, wants to increase her students' role in their learning.
Linda — Grades 2-4
Linda, a resource specialist for second through fourth grade, works with teachers to help their students build scientifically accurate ideas.
Jo-Ann and Richard — Grade 2
Richard and Jo-Ann, who teach second grade, are integrating both math and science into their classroom activities.
Jean — Grade 3
Jean, a third-grade teacher, searches for ways to meet the needs of diverse learners.
Terez — Grade 4
Terez, a fourth-grade teacher, is developing an assessment strategy that is more student centered.
Donna — Grade 5
Donna, a fifth-grade teacher, is incorporating the diverse backgrounds of her students into the science curriculum.
Erien, Year One — Grade 5
Erien, a fifth-grade teacher in her first year, strives to include and manage class discussions in science learning.
Erien, Year Two — Grade 7
Erien, now in her second year of teaching, wants to increase her seventh-grade students' higher-level thinking skills.
Margarita — Grades 5-8
Margarita, a bilingual teacher of mixed-grades five through eight, is working with non-English speaking students to accelerate their science skills.
Sarah — Grade 5
Sarah, a fifth-grade teacher, wants to ensure that her students understand core science concepts.
Tom — Grade 5
Tom, a fifth-grade teacher, is working to assess his students' science understanding accurately and fairly.
Greg — Grade 6
Greg, a sixth-grade student teacher, is designing hands-on, minds-on science activities for his class.
Jeff — Grade 6
Jeff, a sixth-grade student teacher, is exploring problem-centered learning with his students.
Paul — Grade 6
Paul, a sixth-grade science teacher, wants to involve his students in the minds-on components of science tasks.
Dotty — Grade 7
Dotty, a veteran seventh-grade teacher, is incorporating the use of technology in a science-technology-society approach to teaching.
Mike — Grade 7
Mike, a veteran seventh-grade teacher, is working to involve girls more in science and strengthen their self-confidence.
Raquel — Grade 7
Raquel, a seventh-grade teacher, is increasing the involvement of girls and students of color in science.
Nancy — Grade 8
Nancy wants her eighth-grade students to develop more autonomy and critical thinking skills.
Pat — Grade 8
Pat, an eighth-grade life sciences teacher, is working to bring focus to inquiry-oriented science activities.
Audrey, Year One — Grade 8
Audrey, a social studies teacher who is teaching eighth-grade science for the first time, is developing an approach to science that empowers students.
Audrey, Year Two — Grade 7
Audrey, in her second year of teaching science, is helping her seventh-grade students develop critical thinking skills.

Copyright © 1997
Smithsonian Institution Astrophysical Observatory
ISBN: 1-57680-089-X