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Edited by Michele Hollingsworth Koomen, Sami Kahn, Christopher L. Atchison and Tiffany A. Wild

Towards Inclusion of All Learners through Science Teacher Education serves as an indispensable resource for teachers and teacher educators wishing to understand how to educate students with exceptionalities in science. This book begins with the voices and stories of the experts: current and former K-12 students with disabilities sharing their experiences in science education classrooms. The voices of students with disabilities are then connected to the work of leading experts in the area of science education for individuals with disabilities in an effort to address the goals of national reform documents by ensuring rigorous science experiences for all students. It is written in a highly accessible and practical manner, making it ideal for all educators including pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and curriculum developers.

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Edited by Michele Koomen, Sami Kahn, Christopher L. Atchison and Tiffany A. Wild

Towards Inclusion of All Learners through Science Teacher Education serves as an indispensable resource for teachers and teacher educators wishing to understand how to educate students with exceptionalities in science. This book begins with the voices and stories of the experts: current and former K-12 students with disabilities sharing their experiences in science education classrooms. The voices of students with disabilities are then connected to the work of leading experts in the area of science education for individuals with disabilities in an effort to address the goals of national reform documents by ensuring rigorous science experiences for all students. It is written in a highly accessible and practical manner, making it ideal for all educators including pre-service and in-service teachers, teacher educators, researchers, and curriculum developers.

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Edited by Michele Koomen, Sami Kahn, Christopher L. Atchison and Tiffany A. Wild

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Cathy Newman Thomas, Delinda van Garderen, Kate Sadler, Mary Decker and Deborah Hanuscin

Abstract

This chapter addresses the demand of the conceptually rich, dense, complex and abstract language of science for students with high incidence disabilities, including learning disabilities, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, emotional and behavioral disabilities, communication disorders, and high functioning autism. For these students, the language demands inherent to science may pose a barrier to full access to the general science curriculum. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013) call for All Standards, All Students is focused on equity in science education while maintaining the quality of the science learning experience. One inclusive framework for teaching and learning is Universal Design for Learning (UDL). UDL suggests that it is not the learner who is disabled, but the curriculum, and that a one size fits all curriculum works for few students in today’s diverse classrooms. This chapter shares the UDL framework and philosophy, and provides models, suggestions, and resources for using UDL to design learning experiences in inquiry-based science that reach all learners and meet all standards.

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Judith S. Lederman and Selina Bartels Selina Bartels

Abstract

International science education initiatives as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States 2013), consider Scientific Literacy the ultimate goal of science education for all K-12 students. All of our students deserve the opportunities to be educated in our science classrooms to the level at which they can adequately use and evaluate the science they are being taught. Being scientifically literate empowers our students to be wise consumers of science as they deal with science related issues in their adult lives. The understandings of Scientific Inquiry (SI) and Nature of Science (NOS) are considered to be essential for the development of scientific literacy. However, a critical evaluation of assessment instruments related to NOS and SI shows they are all in the form of “traditional” paper and pencil assessments. These written assessments are often inappropriate for many students with some physical and/or learning disabilities and interfere with them being fairly evaluated. Consequently, the purpose of this chapter is to describe valid and reliable assessment protocols that can effectively assess all students’ views of science regardless of their physical and cognitive abilities. Examples of research projects, classroom based evaluations, and curriculum development that have incorporated these assessments are shared.

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Edited by Michele Koomen, Sami Kahn, Christopher L. Atchison and Tiffany A. Wild

Co-Teaching for Inclusiveness

How Two Teacher Educators Collaborated across Disciplinary Boundaries in an Elementary Science Methods Course

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Teresa Shume and Keri Desutter

Abstract

This chapter provides a duet narrative recounted in the voices of a science education faculty member and a special education faculty member who co-taught within an elementary science methods course in order to strengthen the presence of inclusiveness-related learning outcomes. Redesign of their elementary teacher education program, involving an infusion of special education standards and a novel structure for integrating field experiences into coursework, resulted in a need to better prepare teacher candidates for differentiation and collaboration. This need, compounded by the science education instructor’s dissatisfaction with how inclusion was addressed in her elementary science methods course, fueled a decision to combine their expertise in science education, special education, and co-teaching to undertake curricular and instructional revisions targeting inclusiveness-related learning outcomes. These efforts yielded a co-planned and co-taught lesson, revised course materials, professional growth for both faculty members, and ultimately a powerful expression of programmatic vision for inclusive elementary teacher education. This chapter provides a distillation of the relevant programmatic context, an account of the co-planning and co-teaching processes that highlights recommendations resonating with current professional literature about co-teaching, and a reflective analysis that casts light on valuable instructional practices for infusing a Disability Studies in Education orientation more deeply into elementary teacher candidates’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions.

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Jenna Porter and Kathy Gee

Abstract

This chapter outlines the need for providing equitable access to NGSS under the All Standards, All Students vision. It describes one university’s model for institutionalizing a collaboration between general education and special education preservice teachers in an effort to strengthen their preparedness for two areas: using Universal Design for Learning (UDL); and, collaboration strategies for working together to modify and accommodate students with moderate to severe disabilities. A process of co-planning a science unit for the inclusion of students with disabilities is detailed, which integrates UDL principles and Understanding by Design (Backwards Design). The process also includes the development of Participation and Support Plans for students with disabilities so they have access to the science curriculum. Sample science unit plans that are NGSS aligned and co-designed by our general education and special education preservice teachers are also included in the chapter.

Conclusion

Bringing the Book Together

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Michele Koomen, Sami Kahn, Christopher L. Atchison and Tiffany Wild

Crosscutting through Science Education

Opportunities for Inclusion Resulting in Exceptional Learning for All

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Terri Hebert, Jannnike Jakobsen Seward and R. Lee Smith

Abstract

Science education for all is the premise behind this chapter. However, to fully understand that phrase we must first determine what is comprised within a general education. We believe the formalized learning which occurs under the umbrella of a general education is to prepare the individual, regardless of race, socio-economic status or ability, to lead a personally fulfilling and responsible life. The teaching of science is one layer in the larger picture; however, it is vital to the welfare of society as we collectively face global environmental challenges. Science education extends beyond head knowledge (i.e., factual knowledge and theories), and if done properly, engages the hands and heart. This type of best practice involves a progression of learning over time and occurs across all fields of science. Vignettes used within the chapter demonstrate individualized inclusive science education practices relying on the UDL Framework Principles to teach the Crosscutting Concepts found within the NGSS.