Reconceptualizing STEM Education: The Central Role of Practices, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Reconceptualizing STEM Education

The Central Role of Practices, 1st Edition

Edited by Richard A. Duschl, Amber S. Bismack


350 pages | 35 B/W Illus.

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Reconceptualizing STEM Education explores and maps out research and development ideas and issues around five central practice themes: Systems Thinking; Model-Based Reasoning; Quantitative Reasoning; Equity, Epistemic, and Ethical Outcomes; and STEM Communication and Outreach. These themes are aligned with the comprehensive agenda for the reform of science and engineering education set out by the 2015 PISA Framework, the US Next Generation Science Standards and the US National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The new practice-focused agenda has implications for the redesign of preK-12 education for alignment of curriculum-instruction-assessment; STEM teacher education and professional development; postsecondary, further, and graduate studies; and out-of-school informal education. In each section, experts set out powerful ideas followed by two eminent discussant responses that both respond to and provoke additional ideas from the lead papers. In the associated website <> highly distinguished, nationally recognized STEM education scholars and policymakers engage in deep conversations and considerations addressing core practices that guide STEM education.

Table of Contents


  1. Introduction: Coordinating PreK-16 STEM Education Research and Practices for Advancing and Refining Reform Agendas
  2. Richard A. Duschl, Amber S. Bismack, James Greeno and Drew H. Gitomer

    Theme 1: Systems Thinking

  3. Thinking about a System and Systems Thinking in Engineering
  4. Thomas A. Litzinger

  5. Diagnostic Instruction: Toward an Integrated System for Classroom Assessment
  6. Jim Minstrell, Ruth Anderson, and Min Li

  7. Response 1: Systems Thinking as a Design Problem
  8. Marcela Borge

  9. Response 2: Improving Learning about Systems Requires Designing for Change in Educational Systems
  10. William R. Penuel

    Theme 2: Model-Based Reasoning

  11. Modeling Authentic STEM Research: A Systems Thinking Perspective
  12. Annmarie R. Ward

  13. Meeting the Standards for STEM Educations: Individual and National Needs
  14. Spencer A. Benson

  15. Response 1: Model-Based Reasoning in Professional Development
  16. Hilda Borko

  17. Response 2: "Where is the line?"
  18. Brian P. Coppola

    Theme 3: Quantitative Reasoning

  19. Quantitative Reasoning in Mathematics Education: Directions in Research and Practice
  20. Heather Lynn Johnson

  21. Teachers Use of Data, Measurement, and Data Modeling in Quantitative Reasoning
  22. Anthony J. Petrosino

  23. Response 1: Quantitative Reasoning in STEM Disciplines
  24. Robert Mayes

  25. Response 2: Quantitative Reasoning: Capturing a Tension Between Structure and Variability
  26. Rose Mary Zbiek

    Theme 4: Equity, Epistemic, and Ethical Outcomes

  27. Educational and Ethical Dilemmas for STEM Education in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale Gasfield Communities
  28. Catharine Biddle & Kai A. Schafft

  29. Defining a Knowledge Base for Reasoning in Science: The role of procedural and epistemic knowledge
  30. Jonathan Osborne

  31. Response 1: Views from Above and Below: Access to Science Education
  32. Nancy Brickhouse

  33. Response 2: The Values of Science Literacy
  34. Nancy Tuana

    Theme 5: STEM Communication and Policy Outreach

  35. Why People Care About Chickens and Other Lessons about Rhetoric, Public Science, and Informal Learning Environments
  36. Stacey Pigg, William Hart-Davidson, Jeff Grabill, and Kirsten Ellenbogen

  37. New Environments for Professional Development: Situating Science Learning and Teaching in a Framework and NGSS World
  38. Jean Moon

  39. Response 1: School-System Contexts for Professional Development
  40. Edward J. Fuller

  41. Response 2: Technology-supported Communication in Science: Conjectures on Expertise and Evaluation
  42. Drew H. Gitomer

    Reflections and Summary

  43. Reflections on the Waterbury Summit: STEAM And Systems Thinking
  44. Stephanie E. Vasko

  45. Summary: Driving Change Forward

Amber S. Bismack, Yann Shiou Ong, Armend Tahirsylaj, and Richard A. Duschl


About the Authors

Waterbury Summit Participants

About the Editors

Richard A. Duschl is the Kenneth B. Waterbury Chaired Professor in Secondary Education, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, College of Education, The Pennsylvania State University, USA.

Amber S. Bismack is a Ph.D. student, Department of Educational Studies (Science Education), School of Education, The University of Michigan, USA.

About the Series

Teaching and Learning in Science Series

The Teaching and Learning in Science Series brings together theoretical and practical scholarship emanating from a wide range of research approaches and paradigms on an equally wide variety of topics.

International concerns about the quality of the teaching and learning of science continue to increase across countries, states, provinces, and local communities with each round of international assessments. During a period of expansive reform in science education, it is especially important that the most current research in areas of critical concern be synthesized for use by both practitioners and researchers.

Proposals for authored or edited books are encouraged that address research and practice in the teaching and learning of science and/or any aspects of the current reforms in science education. The primary focus is the theoretical and practical importance of the problem being investigated. Equal consideration will be given to theoretically oriented and practitioner-oriented proposals. It is hoped that this series will generate as many critical questions as answers it may provide. Themes for prospective manuscripts may include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • the practicality of scientific literacy
  • science for "all" in urban and rural settings
  • scientific inquiry
  • nature of science
  • student misconceptions
  • conceptual change
  • teacher education
  • curriculum development
  • educational policy
  • high stakes testing
  • alternative teacher certification
  • apprenticeship models
  • curriculum integration
  • problem-based learning
  • special needs students and science reforms
  • teacher knowledge and beliefs
  • informal science education
  • classroom discourse
  • professional development
  • teacher/scientist collaborations
  • technology integration
  • equity and diversity within a climate of change

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Teaching Methods & Materials / Science & Technology