Baltimore Ecosystem Study Institute of Ecosystem Studies

2011 BES Annual Meeting Presentation and Poster Abstracts

Developing Learning Progressions for Student Understanding of Water Systems in Baltimore
Caplan, Bess
Co-Authors: Tammy Newcomer

Abstract: We face an unprecedented crisis in maintaining abundant fresh water supplies due to climate change, population growth, and human land use. Addressing this crisis requires both individual and collective action about distribution, usage, and quality of water. It requires citizens who are literate in environmental science. School science should prepare students to make evidence-based decisions about protecting and maintaining fresh water resources. Learning progressions offer a method that brings together children’s learning, curriculum design, teaching and assessment to inform instructional planning and curricula to attempt to create more environmentally literate students. In our project we use a learning progression framework that helps us understand student thinking about water in socio-ecological systems in the Baltimore metropolitan region. This presentation will not only address the research that went into developing a water learning progression but also how teachers in Baltimore are using learning progression based teaching strategies to inform their teaching in the classroom.