Bio: Kathryn Show

Kathryn Show

Elementary Science Curriculum Consultant
Seattle's K-5 Inquiry-Based Science Program Project
Seattle Public Schools

As one of three elementary science curriculum consultants, I plan and present professional development courses (Initial Use) which are designed to introduce teachers to specific grade level science units and accompanying kit materials. An introduction to inquiry pedagogy, management strategies, and some content on the topic of the unit are embedded. I also support teachers in their classrooms as they teach science, through unit and lesson planning, assessing student work, reflecting on instruction, and modeling lessons. In order to expand leadership in science, I work with many Lead Classroom Teachers, who are in the process of learning to facilitate the Initial Use classes mentioned above. Our team of consultants is also continually working on extending lessons in various science units and supporting teachers in order to enable them to authentically integrate math instruction, particularly in the areas of measurement and statistics as well as instruction in expository writing in the science notebooks. Working with university scientists to design and implement adult level content courses which closely connect to grade level science units is also part of my work.

Our program has evolved quite a bit in the last seven years. When our program began, we had an LSC grant which provided funding for more science resource teachers (SRTs), which was my title at that time. We had seven SRTs and a project manager at the height of our effort to provide 100 hours of professional development to approximately 1400 teachers in 70 elementary schools. During the first five years, whole schools entered the program, by cohort, for a two-year period which included a week-long summer institute where we introduced teachers to inquiry science, one science unit specific to grade level, and adult content underlying that unit. Classes continued for these teachers throughout the year which focused on reflection on instruction, teacher questioning and strategies for encouraging student questioning, assessment, and a deeper look at inquiry pedagogy. During the second summer, these teachers took another content course underlying a different unit on their grade level.

Since our grant has been over for the last two years, we are mainly trying to provide formal professional development to new teachers and teachers who are changing grade level. We now try to do what was presented during the first week-long summer institute during 6-9 hour Initial Use courses mentioned above. We support any teacher in the classroom as well, upon request. In some schools, where science is a focus, I work with grade level teams, following the Japanese Lesson Study model.

My role has remained essentially the same over the last seven years that I have been out of the classroom, even though the title has changed and our team has diminished in the last two years.

© TERC 2003, all rights reserved