Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

William Penuel

Second Advisor

Tamara Sumner

Third Advisor

Kris Gutiérrez

Fourth Advisor

Eve Manz

Fifth Advisor

Joseph Polman


Severance, Samuel (PhD, Learning Sciences & Human Development, School of Education, combined with Cognitive Science, Institute of Cognitive Science).

Teacher and Student Supports for Implementation of the NGSS.

Thesis co-directed by Professor William Penuel and Professor Tamara Sumner.

Through three articles, this dissertation examines the use of supports for implementing the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) within a large urban school district. Article one, titled Organizing for Teacher Agency in Curricular Co-design, examines the need for coherent curriculum materials that teachers’ had a meaningful role in shaping and how the use of a co- design approach and specific tools and routines can help to address this need. Article two, titled Relevant Learning and Student Agency within a Citizen Science Design Challenge, examines the need for curriculum materials that provide students with learning experiences they find relevant and that expands their sense of agency and how a curriculum centered around a community- based citizen science design challenge can help achieve such an aim. Article three, titled Implementation of a Novel Professional Development Program to Support Teachers’ Understanding of Modeling, examines the need for professional development that builds teachers’ understanding of and skill in engaging their students in the practice of developing and using models and how a novel professional development program, the Next Generation Science Exemplar, can aid teachers in this regard by providing them with carefully sequenced professional development activities and specific modeling tools for use in the classroom.

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