spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer
NASA Logo - Jet Propulsion Laboratory + View the NASA Portal  
JPL Home Earth Solar System Stars & Galaxies Technology
spacer spacerGenesis Banner spacer
Mission Science Technology Education People Multimedia Gallery Get Involved Genesis Home
spacer spacer
Science Modules Interactive Simulation From a different angle Creator's Kitchen Back to Genesis homepage

Web Link Food for Thought Home
PDF Icon Culturegram
PDF Icon Culturegram with Facilitation Guidelines
PowerPoint Interactive Culturegram

Processes used by Genesis instructional developers:
Web Link NASA Outreach Design Principles

PDF Icon Speaking to Inform
PDF Icon The Art of Listening
PDF Icon Off the Cuff

Class Discussion:
Web Link Cues for Effective Questioning

Learning Cycles
PDF Icon Facilitating Student Research on the Internet
Web Link Teaching Elementary Teachers How to Use the Learning Cycle for Guided Inquiry Instruction in Science
PDF Icon Visualizing Data

A Product Design Team Approach
Web Link A Design Process for Science Classrooms

What Do The National Standards Say About Instructional Design?
A Rationale for the Genesis Instructional Design

Alice Krueger

The design of the Education and Public Outreach (EPO) portion of the Genesis project is firmly grounded in the science education reform concepts presented by the National Research Council and endorsed by the National Science Teachers Association. Content standards indicate what knowledge and skills students of various ages should have attained, and ultimately define a scientifically literate citizen. These reform concepts also apply to instructional and assessment practices in science education. The Genesis EPO design team is keeping all these national reform concepts in mind as they operationalize the EPO Plan.

The Science Teaching Standards of the National Science Education Standards are grounded in five assumptions. Two of these are foremost in the thoughts of instructional designers as they construct educational materials for the Genesis mission EPO.

  • "What students learn is greatly influenced by how they are taught. The decisions about content and activities that teachers make, their interactions with students, the selection of assessments, the habits of mind that teacher[s] demonstrate and nurture among their students, and the attitudes conveyed wittingly and unwittingly all affect the knowledge, understanding, abilities, and attitudes that students develop."

  • "Student understanding is actively constructed through individual and social processes. In the same way that scientists develop their knowledge and understanding as they seek answers to questions about the natural world, students develop an understanding of the natural world when they are actively engaged in scientific inquiry--alone and with others."

Teaching Standard A states that science teachers, in planning an inquiry-based educational program for students, must "select science content and adapt and design curricula to meet the interest, knowledge, understanding, abilities, and experience of students." To select in an informed manner, teachers must have a repertoire of teaching and learning models, and must understand the strengths and weaknesses of each model. The planning process starts by examining the relationship between the content to be learned and the teaching models considered for selection. Good teachers "integrate a sound model of teaching and learning, a practical structure for the sequence of activities, and the content to be learned."

The central instructional model recommended by the Science Teaching Standards is inquiry into authentic student-generated questions. Students may be given teacher-planned investigations, or may be guided to design their own investigations, within age-appropriate limits. The science teacher will focus the inquiry, as much as possible, on real phenomena. However, with more complex subjects, investigation of real phenomena may not be possible, and students must use other primary or secondary sources of information. With primary information, students need to be aware of how the information was collected. With secondary information sources, students need to judge the acceptability of the source of the information.

Science is collaborative in that it depends on the sharing and debating of ideas about the natural world. Such collaborative work should be modeled by students in the science classroom. In group settings, science teachers encourage interdependency by assisting students in the social skills needed for collaborative work. The teacher's role in large and small group classroom activities is "to listen, encourage broad participation, and judge how to guide discussion."

Teaching Standard B states that, in guiding and facilitating student learning, science teachers will "orchestrate discourse among students about scientific ideas." This discourse may be oral or written. Its purpose is to focus students' attention on "how they know what they know and how their knowledge connects to larger ideas, other domains, and the world beyond the classroom." Teachers support this reflective communication by requiring students to record their work, and by promoting the use of a wide variety of communication forms.

These national standards provide guidance for the production of EPO materials for the Genesis mission. They provide direction in selecting content for students and for the general public, as well as in creating the instructional design of education modules and of individual activities. Stated as a design principle in the OSS strategy document, the national standards in mathematics, science, and technology education form the base of the Genesis EPO plan.

grey bottom nav bar
spacer spacer spacer
FIRST GOV + Freedom of Information Act
+ The President's Management Agenda
+ FY 2002 Agency Performance and accountability report
+ NASA Privacy Statement, Disclaimer, and Accessiblity Certification
+ Freedom to Manage
NASA Home Page


spacer spacer spacer
spacer spacer spacer