The Central Role of Energy Concepts in K-12 Science Education

Sunday, 16 February 2014: 1:30 PM-4:30 PM
Comiskey (Hyatt Regency Chicago)
Energy plays a central role in all science disciplines as well as our everyday lives. As a consequence, students’ understanding of the concept of energy receives particular consideration in policy documents, including educational standards around the world. Energy is one of several “big ideas” of science that are also referred to as “crosscutting concepts” or “enduring understandings” and are found in every year of schooling and across disciplines. Energy is also a disciplinary core idea, and the distinction between energy in this context and energy as a crosscutting concept is not always apparent. Science education researchers have studied students’ understanding of energy and proposed means to support the development of their understanding. However, until now, no consistent way of teaching the energy concept exists that will foster the development of a comprehensive understanding throughout K-12; an empirically validated K-12 learning progression of energy is missing. As the K-12 curriculum changes to accommodate research on how students understand energy, parallel changes at universities can promote coherence across science disciplines and college student realization of the interdisciplinary nature of the energy concept. This session features an in-depth look and one-hour interactive discussion with attendees on K-12 research on energy concepts, its implications, and how it can impact college instruction.
Arthur Eisenkraft, University of Massachusetts
Arthur Eisenkraft, University of Massachusetts
Robert F. Chen, University of Massachusetts Boston
Boston Energy in Science Teaching
Joseph Krajcik, CREATE for Stem Institute
The Central Role of Energy in Science Education
Jeffrey C. Nordine, Trinity University
Rethinking Middle School Energy Instruction
See more of: Education and Human Resources
See more of: Symposia