Nominations are open for NSELA elected leadership positions

Joining NSELA is an important step in supporting your leadership. Now that you are a member, have you considered getting actively involved with NSELA by running for an NSELA Board position? Volunteering your time by giving back to the science education community can be one of the greatest rewards of leadership. It is an opportunity to work with others who deeply care about science education and enjoy collectively working together to support science leaders through NSELA’s programs, networks, and advocacy. Consider joining a dynamic and dedicated group of leaders by running for NSELA President-Elect or a Regional Director position for Regions D or F. Regional Directors represent their region and serve on the Board of Directors. Information on each of these duties can be found here. NSELA is only as strong as the members who help lead the organization, and we invite you to become involved!

The deadline for nominations is Monday, November 8.

 

Submit the Nomination Form Here

The application window is now open for the OLISE Award and VESEL Scholarships

Visit the OLISE Award page for more information.

Visit the  VESEL scholarship page for more information.

 

September Webinar: What students should learn about science that is not taught now

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

3:00 - 4:00 pm EST

FREE to members and nonmembers! Pass along to your colleagues. Registration information is below.

K-12 science education standards and textbooks include many important topics (and some that are not so important). At the same time, multiple key science-based ideas are low priorities. Missing pieces include teaching students how to judge the quality of science-related claims and avoid “junk science”; providing basic information about viruses, vaccines, and immunizations; and helping students use science to make fact-based decisions in everyday life.

 In this talk, based on a recent Science Educator article, Dr. Zucker will identify topics and ideas often missing in science education, suggest how NSELA leaders can help teachers incorporate these ideas into instruction, and describe the multiple benefits for students, as documented by research. Dr. Andrew Zucker has written dozens of articles and reports about K-12 education, including an article about revising science education standards in the winter 2021/Spring 2022 Science Educator and a free curriculum unit for grades 7-12 called Resisting Scientific Misinformation (see The Science Teacher, January 2020). A former science and mathematics teacher, Andy has been a Senior Research Scientist at the Concord Consortium and earlier served as Associate Director of SRI International’s Center for Education Policy where he led a national evaluation of the AAAS’s Project 2061, as well as leading other STEM education projects. Andy holds a master’s degree in science education from Stanford and a science education doctorate from Harvard. You can also read more about Dr. Zucker's article in the Science Educator journal. 

Webinar Registration

President's Message

“Any collection of things that have some influence on one another can be thought of as a system. Thinking of a collection of things as a system draws our attention to what needs to be included among the parts to make sense of it, to how its parts interact with one another, and to how the system as a whole relates to other systems.” This quote from the seminal publication, Science for All Americans, still holds true today. A characteristic of effective leadership is the ability to think about systems—how parts relate to one another and to the whole. Systems thinking can help leaders support science education by examining how components that make up a K-12+ system interact with and influence one another. This is why the theme of my 2022-23 NSELA presidency is “Science Education Leadership in the K-12+ System.”

 One component of a K-12+ system that NSELA will be highlighting throughout the year is elementary science education leadership. Elementary science is a critical part of the K–12+ science education system; yet time, resources, and professional learning support for K-5 science have been greatly reduced in many elementary schools. The good intentions of ensuring children can read and be mathematically literate have diminished the fundamental K-5 foundation for science learning in our K–12+ education system. This crucial part for a fully functioning system is missing or incomplete.

 Learning in science begins in early childhood. This is a time when young minds are curious about the natural and human designed world and ready to engage in the core ideas, practices, and language of science and engineering that form a foundation to be built upon and strengthened throughout a student’s K–12+ science education. All young children bring to science and engineering views of their world and ways of thinking that have a major impact on their learning as they progress from one grade level to the next. Delaying the substantive development of science and engineering concepts, ideas, and practices until science is taught as a core subject in middle school goes against what we know about systems: If one part is missing or incomplete, it affects the other parts of the system.

NGSS and other Framework-based new standards have raised the rigor-bar for career and college preparation for all students. However, we can’t expect students who have missed out on six years of substantive science learning to suddenly be prepared to take on more complex science learning in middle and high school. The parts of the system, that should include the K–5 years of progressively and equitably building science understanding, are not fully there to support the steps along the way to grade 12 and beyond.

 It is time for us as leaders to work together to figure out how we can ensure elementary science has a foothold equal to that of reading and mathematics. Using a systems approach, all of us as leaders have a collective responsibility to advocate for high quality elementary science programs and resources; increased time spent on teaching elementary science; and opportunities for elementary teachers and leaders to access the professional learning they need to support science teaching and learning. The burden for elementary science advocacy and support can’t be placed solely on our elementary science leaders. Secondary science specialists, informal educators, pre-service educators and all others who make up our NSELA membership must act together to provide leadership and support for elementary science.

 An NGSS elementary goal for the crosscutting concept of systems and system models states, “students understand that a system is a group of related parts that make up a whole and can carry out functions its individual parts cannot.” We can apply that learning goal to our own work as leaders. Imagine what the output could be at the end of grade 12 if we all band together to strengthen our K–12+ science education system to support six years of high quality elementary science education for every student. After all, each part of the system, including elementary science, contributes to the whole. Stay tuned this year for ways you can be involved as a leader to advocate for elementary science education in our K-12+ system and support our elementary science leaders through our NSELA publications, professional learning opportunities, networking, partnerships, and more. And furthermore, invite elementary science leaders you know, including elementary science teacher leaders, to join NSELA.

 I’m pleased to announce that one new way we will be supporting elementary science leaders this year is through a partnership with NSTA’s Science and Children journal. Starting later this year, a new column, Leadership in Elementary Science, will be featured in the journal to support the work of elementary science teacher leaders and specialists. A panel of NSELA members, chaired by Kathy Renfrew, will solicit and review articles for the column. NSELA members are invited to write for this column. What other ideas do you have for ways that NSELA can provide support for elementary science leadership through our professional learning webinars and face-to-face events, networks, Science Educator journal, partnerships, our web-based Leadership Center, town hall meetings, and other avenues we can make available to our membership? I welcome hearing from you, especially any new ideas.

And last, elementary science is just one part of a K-12+ system, albeit a very important component. Let’s all put on our systems thinking hats to think about ways to support the other system components that interact and are integral to our work as science leaders. To quote Peter Senge, “Systems thinking is a discipline for seeing wholes. It is a framework for seeing interrelationships rather than things, for seeing patterns of change rather than static snapshots.” I’m looking forward to exploring leadership ideas through systems thinking with all of you this year.


Respectfully,


Page Keeley, NSELA President 2022-23

Exclusive NSELA Member Benefits:

Professional Development

  • Access to restricted materials including archived webinars, virtual conference recordings, learning materials and conference handouts.
  • Discounts on professional development opportunities like the 1-day Leadership Summit and 3-day Summer Leadership Institute.
  • A subscription to The Science Educator Journal, a refereed journal which seeks manuscripts dealing with topics and issues of interest to professionals involved in science education leadership across a variety of roles, institutions and agencies

Networking

  • Online members-only discussion forums and regional community forums of science leaders.
  • Access to restricted features of the NSELA web site including a searchable membership directory.

Education and Information

  • Access to members-only content in the weekly e-newsletter.
  • Access to the Safe Science series, a comprehensive and continuing series dedicated to the improvement of safety in the science classroom.
Click Here to Join

NSELA Launches New Leadership Center

The Leadership Center is our brand new platform where both members and non-members will be able to access multiple resources including webinar recordings, our Science Educator Journalpartner information, and more.

This intuitive platform also allows you to navigate custom learning pathways with virtual courses, receive on-demand certificates for attendance, and keep track of professional development hours.

The Leadership Center is designed to save time and hassle. Watch this video to get a quick overview of the Learning Center before diving in!

 

ACCESS THE LEADERSHIP CENTER