PhD Science Professional Development

We encourage all educators new to PhD Science™ to participate in professional development with our implementation team before starting with the curriculum. Sessions are designed and led our team of teacher–writers and experts who draw on their experience and expertise in the classroom to help participants prepare for and sustain successful implementation. 

IMPLEMENTING PHD SCIENCE

We now offer virtual PD. Virtual PD is not just an online course. It consists of live, facilitator-led sessions that are inspired by the same learning design and goals as our in-person sessions and are similarly tailored to your teachers' needs. 

Private Virtual PD

Come together with educators from your school or district for a private PD session just for your group. Great Minds facilitators will work with up to 35 participants joining from their homes or classrooms on their individual computers.

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Virtual Open Enrollment

Join educators from around the country for an open enrollment virtual PD session. Sessions are led by two Great Minds facilitators and are designed for 20 to 35 individual participants. View the schedule and sign up for a session.

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Virtual Coaching

Virtual coaching supports educators’ effective implementation of the curriculum. Sessions build local leaders' capacity to enhance implementation and empower teachers to make informed decisions regarding instruction.

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Virtual PD Options

The PhD Science team has crafted a multiyear sequence of professional development to support teachers, science coaches, and school leaders. Participants will learn the methods and strategies needed to make the shift to student-driven science learning. Select from the following sessions:

  • Launch PhD Science for Levels K–2
  • Launch PhD Science for Levels 3–5
  • Focus on Instructional Techniques I

PhD Professional Development Session
Launch PhD Science for Levels K–2

Learn more about the PhD Science learning design, approach to knowledge building, and lesson structure as well as curriculum details such as how each module incorporates hands-on investigations, trade books, and fine art in an age-appropriate manner. Learn how to transition to a student-driven classroom with a regular focus on building knowledge in science for young learners. Timing: before implementation

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Launch PhD Science for Levels 3–5

Discover the PhD Science learning design, approach to knowledge building, and lesson structure as well as curriculum details such as how each module incorporates hands-on investigations, trade books, and fine art. Learn how to transition to a student-driven classroom and gain comfort and to confidently implement a rigorous curriculum that prizes productive struggle. Timing: before implementation

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Focus on Instructional Techniques I

Dive into the PhD Science resources and learn to use practical planning tools and strategies that build teachers' content knowledge while preparing for curriculum implementation. Explore the anchor model and anchor chart, two key anchor visuals that allow students to drive their learning and document layers of knowledge they are developing. Timing: six to eight weeks into first year of implementation. 

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Virtual Coaching Options

PhD Science coaching sessions are designed for new and experienced classroom teachers, science coaches, and school leaders. Ideally, grade-level teams and professional learning communities will participate together so they can continue to build on one another’s experience after each session. Sessions are designed for 12 to 25 participants who must first complete a Launch PhD Science session.

  • Planning and Preparing by Using Checks for Understanding
  • Advancing Science Instruction with Collaborative Conversations
  • Classroom Management in a Student-Driven Classroom
  • Learn Anywhere with PhD Science in Sync

Planning and Preparing by Using Checks for Understanding

This session invites teachers to explore how Checks for Understanding help students build science knowledge throughout a PhD Science module. Teachers will also learn how they can use this lesson-level formative assessment tool to monitor learning and as well as to guide instructional decisions and adjust pacing. This session is currently available only for Levels 3–5.

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Advancing Science Instruction with Collaborative Conversations

In this virtual coaching session participants will explore collaborative conversations as an instructional routine in three-dimensional teaching and learning in PhD Science. Guided by the session facilitator and working with other educators in the session, participants will also examine ways to maintain collaborative conversations among students in a virtual learning setting. 

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Classroom Management in a Student-Driven Classroom

In this teacher-facing session, participants and facilitators identify the keys to successful classroom management and their understanding of the role it plays in pacing. Participants will develop skills in conducting small- and large-group discussions and supervising student-led hands-on investigations while studying resources that support effective classroom management. 

Learn Anywhere with PhD Science in Sync

In this virtual coaching session, teachers learn how to effectively implement PhD Science in Sync and sustainably support students in a continuous learning model. Participants gain an understanding of how PhD Science in Sync was created to support teachers, students, and families with knowledge building materials and video content. Teachers discover how to tailor their approach to suit the needs of their district, whether learning takes place in the classroom, in a hybrid model, or online only. This session is currently available for Levels K-5.

A PD Plan That Works

Great Minds and the PhD Science team can work with your school or district to create a PD plan that supports successful implementation of the curriculum. Contact us today, and we'll work together to help you meet your science education goals. 

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