Literature Connections for BI Projects with K-12 Aged Children

This is a sampling of literature for K-12 students in formal settings.

  1. Bransford, J, Brown, A., and Cocking, R. (2000). How People Learn: Brain, Mind, Experience, and School: Expanded Edition. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    Evidence from many branches of science has significantly added to our understanding of what it means to know, from the neural processes that occur during learning to the influence of culture on what people see and absorb. "How People Learn" examines these findings and their implications for what we teach, how we teach it, and how we assess what our children learn. The book uses exemplary teaching to illustrate how approaches based on what we now know result in in-depth learning. This new knowledge calls into question concepts and practices firmly entrenched in our current education system.

  2. Wiggins, G.P. and McTighe, J. (2005). Understanding by Design. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

    What is understanding and how does it differ from knowledge? How can we determine the big ideas worth understanding? Why is understanding an important teaching goal, and how do we know when students have attained it? How can we create a rigorous and engaging curriculum that focuses on understanding and leads to improved student performance in today's high-stakes, standards-based environment? Authors Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe answer these and many other questions in this second edition of Understanding by Design.

  3. National Research Council (2007). Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    What is science for a child? How do children learn about science and how to do science? Drawing on a vast array of work from neuroscience to classroom observation, Taking Science to School provides a comprehensive picture of what we know about teaching and learning science from kindergarten through eighth grade. By looking at a broad range of questions, this book provides a basic foundation for guiding science teaching and supporting students in their learning. The book also provides a detailed examination of how we know what we know about children's learning of science, including the role of research and evidence. Taking Science to School answers such questions as:

    • When do children begin to learn about science? Are there critical stages in a child's development of such scientific concepts as mass or animate objects?
    • What role does non-school learning play in children's knowledge of science?
    • How can science education capitalize on children's natural curiosity?
    • What are the best tasks for books, lectures, and hands-on learning?
    • How can teachers be taught to teach science?

  4. President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (2010). Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) for America's Future.

    A report outlining the need to improve STEM education through better preparation and inspiring students, and increase the federal government?s strategy for improving K-12 STEM education.

  5. National Science Foundation (2010). Preparing the next generation of STEM innovators: Identifying and developing our nation's human capital. Publication No. NSB-10-33.

    This report contains a series of policy actions, a research agenda, and three key recommendations detailing how our Nation might foster the identification and development of future STEM innovators: a) Provide opportunities for excellence - we must offer coordinated, proactive, sustained formal and informal interventions to develop their abilities. Students should learn at a pace, depth, and breadth commensurate with their talents and interests and in a fashion that elicits engagement, intellectual curiosity, and creative problem solving?essential skills for future innovation; b) Cast a wide net - develop and implement appropriate talent assessments at multiple grade levels and prepare educators to recognize potential, particularly among those individuals who have not been given adequate opportunities to transform their potential into academic achievement; and c) Foster a supportive ecosystem - parents/guardians, education professionals, peers, and students themselves must work together to create a culture that expects excellence, encourages creativity, and rewards the successes of all students regardless of their race/ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, or geographical locale.

  6. Partnership for 21st Century Skills (2009). P21 Framework Definitions.

    To help practitioners integrate skills into the teaching of core academic subjects, the Partnership developed a unified, collective vision for learning known as the Framework for 21st Century Learning. This Framework describes the skills, knowledge and expertise students must master to succeed in work and life; it is a blend of content knowledge, specific skills, expertise and literacies.

  7. National Research Council (2012). A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    A Framework for K-12 Science Education Standards represents the first step in a process to create new standards in K-12 science education. The framework highlights the power of integrating understanding the ideas of science with engagement in the practices of science and is designed to build students? proficiency and appreciation for science over multiple years of school.

  8. NGSS Lead States (2013). Next Generation Science Standards: For States, By States. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were developed by educators, content experts and policymakers, using as a guiding document the Framework for K-12 Science Education from the National Research Council. The K-12 academic standards in science were developed by and for educators and school leaders, and as such states, districts, schools, teachers and non-profit education entities may copy, reproduce, alter, adapt, edit, delete and rearrange any and all parts of the NGSS as they see fit and without permission. To limit any confusion, states and districts may not represent that their K-12 science standards are the NGSS unless they have adopted all of the performance expectations. Statement from the NGSS website at

  9. Krajcik J, Codere S, Dahsah C, Bayer R, Mun K. (2014). Planning Instruction to Meet the Intent of the Next Generation Science Standards. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25(2):157-175.

    This paper examines how to design instruction to support students in meeting a cluster or ?bundle? of Performance Expectations and how to blend the three dimensions to develop lesson level expectations that can be used for guiding instruction. This practical paper provides a ten-step process and an example of that process that teachers and curriculum designers can use to design lessons that meet the intent of the Next Generation of Science Standards.

  10. Michaels S, Shouse AW, Schweingruber HA (2008). Ready, Set, Science! Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    Based on the recently released National Research Council report Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8, this book summarizes a rich body of findings from the learning sciences and builds detailed cases of science educators at work to make the implications of research clear, accessible, and stimulating for a broad range of science educators.

  11. Vasquez, J., Comer, M., Gutierrez, J. (2020). Integrating STEM teaching and learning into the K-2 classroom. Arlington, VA. NSTA Press.

    This book?s 10 chapters are a mini-course on blending authentic, phenomena-driven, integrated STEM teaching and learning into busy K-12 classrooms. Based in both research and real-world experience, Integrating STEM Teaching and Learning Into the K?2 Classroom provides professional learning experiences that help you make connections between STEM topics and the everyday activities you?re already doing with your students.

A sampling of literature focused on Informal Learning.

  1. National Research Council (2009). Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits synthesizes the learning science literature on learning in informal environments to demonstrate the learning does occur in non-school environments and provide a framework on how to make this learning successful.

  2. Brown, J.S. & Adler, R.P. (2008). "Minds on fire: Open education, the long tail, and learning 2.0." Educause Review, 43(1).

    This document focuses on social learning in virtual environments and peer to peer learning through these environments. The authors emphasize the importance of forming a community of practice so that students can learn the "practices and the norms of established practitioners in that field". Also, this article stresses inquiry in terms of a "demand-pull" model instead of the "traditional supply-push" mode of building up an inventory of knowledge in students' heads. They also mention virtual networking between students and scientists. Finally, the article discusses examples of how scientists have answered student questions using their scientific equipment (i.e. running bugs sent in by the public through an SEM).

  3. National Research Council (2015). Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    More and more young people are learning about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) in a wide variety of afterschool, summer, and informal programs. At the same time, there has been increasing awareness of the value of such programs in sparking, sustaining, and extending interest in and understanding of STEM. To help policy makers, funders and education leaders in both school and out-of-school settings make informed decisions about how to best leverage the educational and learning resources in their community, this report identifies features of productive STEM programs in out-of-school settings. Identifying and Supporting Productive STEM Programs in Out-of-School Settings draws from a wide range of research traditions to illustrate that interest in STEM and deep STEM learning develop across time and settings. The report provides guidance on how to evaluate and sustain programs. This report is a resource for local, state, and federal policy makers seeking to broaden access to multiple, high-quality STEM learning opportunities in their community.

  4. National Research Council (2014). Enhancing the Value and Sustainability of Field Stations and Marine Laboratories in the 21st Century. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

    For over a century, field stations have been important entryways for scientists to study and make important discoveries about the natural world. They are centers of research, conservation, education, and public outreach, often embedded in natural environments that range from remote to densely populated urban locations. Because they lack traditional university departmental boundaries, researchers at field stations have the opportunity to converge their science disciplines in ways that can change careers and entire fields of inquiry. Field stations provide physical space for immersive research, hands-on learning, and new collaborations that are otherwise hard to achieve in the everyday bustle of research and teaching lives on campus. But the separation from university campuses that allows creativity to flourish also creates challenges. Sometimes, field stations are viewed as remote outposts and are overlooked because they tend to be away from population centers and their home institutions. This view is exacerbated by the lack of empirical evidence that can be used to demonstrate their value to science and society.

Additional Resources

  1. Role Models Matter Toolkit

    Created by Techbridge Girls, prepares STEM professionals to do outreach with girls and underrepresented youth. It includes hands-on STEM activities, reflection exercises, and tips for "dejargonizing" your communication for K-12 audiences.

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