Selecting Essential Classroom Strategies

In the beginning, we thought we could focus all our attention on doing environmental research - letting the teachers work out their own classroom management strategies. Our school staff members disagreed. They argued that there were some absolutely essential classroom strategies that must be actively taught. Otherwise classrooms would be chaotic and teachers would either give up or reserve the research experience for small groups of well-behaved students. As one participating teacher (Scholar) said, "teachers need to learn how to be two places at once." Of course, our initial list of essential classroom strategies was far too long. We believe that our final list includes only those that are absolutely essential if all students are going to have the opportunity to engage in research.

There are special problems (opportunities?) which arise whenever a professional development program attempts to teach classroom methodology; the program is the teacher. If the teaching staff does not value a teaching strategy enough to use it themselves - the participating teachers will never it use it in their own classrooms. We, therefore, recommend that each strategy be presented in, at least, these four ways:

Our list of teaching strategies included the following topics: We have provided you with a detailed description of the rationale and methodologies we used for each of our NSF/5C5C Strategies You may want to add some additional ones - or eliminate ones that are not appropriate for your situation.