Rethinking How To Teach Energy: Laying the Foundations in Elementary School
Principal Investigator: Sara J Lacy
Topics: Earth and Space Sciences, Physical Science
Grade Levels: Elementary
Responding to a need for a coherent pedagogical approach to teaching energy and matter, this exploratory project is researching and developing a proposed grade 3-5 learning progression that provides a strong base for understanding energy in middle school. Project researchers will identify core concepts that will develop across multiple grades and structure the learning progression; interview children to identify precursors to the core concepts, as well obstacles to learning them; work with teachers to conduct “teaching interviews” in urban after-school settings to explore key learning experiences that would allow students’ understanding of core ideas to progress; and design and disseminate the progression and blueprint with suggestions to extend the material to a complete K-12 energy learning progression.