Principal Investigator: Debra Bernstein and Brian Drayton

Funders: National Science Foundation


This is a project to improve understanding of practices critical to the design of curricular materials for implementation in a broad range of educational contexts. Three organizations — TERC, the University of California-Berkeley's Lawrence Hall of Science, and the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center — will collaborate to explore and codify practices that enhance the success of efforts to design K-12 science curriculum materials for large-scale implementation. Investigators from these three organizations will conduct and synthesize results from a series of retrospective and live-design practice, broad and 'deep dive' studies, with the goal of articulating a conceptual model of educational design for large-scale use. Of particular concern are the processes and strategies designers employ to address key challenges to producing curricular materials capable of having meaningful impacts on large numbers of learners (e.g., to achieve deep understanding and rich performance, to connect to and leverage diverse social and cultural experiences, and to facilitate implementation in diverse and resource-limited settings). These issues will be explored from a variety of perspectives, including: interviews with designers and document reviews to identify structural project characteristics that appear to be empirically associated with scaling success; retrospective case studies to identify salient features and lessons learned from more and less successful large-scale design initiatives for science education; and deep dives (involving participant-observation, interviews, focus group discussions, and document analysis) into sustained design practices over an extended period to explore how design teams address key design challenges while developing educational materials for large-scale use.