Professor receives $526K grant for collaborative science education project

Dr. Elaine Silva Mangiante, in partnership with the Tiverton School Department, the University of California Berkeley and Rhode Island College, recently received a $526,000 Mathematics and Science Partnerships grant from the Rhode Island Department of Education.

The collaborative project, “Enhancing Content Knowledge and Pedagogical Skills of K-5 Educators in the Next Generation Science Standards,” is focused on deepening educator content knowledge and improving instructional practices, with the end goal of broadening students’ knowledge and skills in science.

“Salve Regina is fortunate to have been selected to work closely with the staff from Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science in providing this in-depth professional development to all elementary teachers in Tiverton,” said Silva Mangiante, an assistant professor in the University’s Department of Education. “Our efforts will establish protocols that can be used across the state to mentor teachers in conceptual understanding and pedagogical skills with the Next Generation Science Standards.”

Last month, Lawrence Hall of Science staff provided nine days of professional development on Next Generation Science Standards to Tiverton teachers in grades K-4 through the Amplify Science program. They will also provide three face-to-face professional development sessions throughout the school year, along with year-round virtual information and coaching webinars.

During the upcoming school year, Silva Mangiante and Amy Grattan, a master teacher at Rhode Island College’s Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities, will observe the Tiverton teachers as they give science lessons and engage them in evaluating student work. Observations will include data collection of teacher actions/discourse to promote students’ evidence-based thinking, as well as evidence of student-to-student talk when generating explanations and formulating arguments to explain their science thinking.

To build the sustainability of the program, teacher leaders will receive additional professional development, training them to observe and coach their colleagues in their science teaching and work with them to evaluate student work using key assessments in the Amplify Science program.

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