My Interview with Brett Moulding & 3-Dimensional Science Learning


Meet Mr. Brett Moulding!

This summer I was able to complete the most challenging professional development I have ever attended and it has transformed my teaching forever. Very rarely do I come across the opportunity to attend a PD that focuses on both instructional strategies and science so when my District was approached about attending this PD I was excited! BIG THANK YOU to OKC Public Schools for bringing this amazing opportunity to teachers in Oklahoma! My teacher friend (and fellow OKSci Leadership Alumni!) is trying to bring this PD to the Tulsa/North Eastern area and I truly hope she can. Science education is changing, not only in Oklahoma but all over the US. This change is going to be hard. Teachers are going to need help with this transition. PD, like the one I attended, is going to be an important part of this process. For teachers that can’t attend PD I hope blogs like mine can provide the support they need. While I’ve done a short review of Moulding’s book, “A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning,” this post is going to focus on a short description of 3-Dimensional Learning and my interview with Brett Moulding. My posts this summer will then focus more on the 3D framework and provide examples and other links for more information.

At the end of the 10-day PD Brett Moulding so graciously agreed to a quick interview before having to catch his flight. Below you’ll find the 4 questions I asked him and his responses.

Teaching Elements (TE): Why should teachers incorporate 3-dimensional learning into their science classrooms?

Brett Moulding: Science education centers on engaging students in a deeper understanding of science and incorporates the abilities they will need to make sense of phenomena. Teaching should engage students in performing science, not just watching and listening to the teacher.

TE: Bringing up phenomena, for teachers that do not know, what is that and why would they want to use it?

Moulding: Phenomena are observations we make about the world around us using our senses. Science is about making sense of these phenomena and is the most authentic way to get students thinking about science.

TE: The Framework described in your book can initially be overwhelming to teachers, where would you suggest a teacher should start?

Moulding: Teachers should begin organizing their instruction around the 3-demensions: crosscutting concepts, disciplinary core ideas, and science and engineering practices. By doing this they can fuse their current practices with the 3-dimensions and ease into implementation.

TE: You’ve been in education for many years, including teaching in the classroom for 20 years. What’s your favorite part of teaching?

Moulding: Oh that’s easy, the students. They are always the best part.

Thank you Brett Moulding for letting me interview you! At the end of our conversation I was asked if I’d be interested in allowing a camera crew into my classroom to be videoed and I can’t wait! I know it’s practically a year away and many things can happen but I look forward to this challenge. 🙂

Moulding suggested that teachers should start organizing their instruction around IMG_4133the 3-dimensions, so what are they? Below you’ll find a basic outline of the 3 Dimensions found in the Oklahoma Academic Standards for Science.

Dimension 1: Science and Engineering Practices (SEP)

The Science and Engineering Practices (SEP) can be found in the first column of the Oklahoma Science Standards and are highlighted blue. The SEP’s are how scientists “do” science and it encompasses:

  1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  2. Developing and using models
  3. Planning and carrying out investigations
  4. Analyzing and interpreting data
  5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
  6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
  7. Engaging in argument from evidence
  8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Dimension 2: Crosscutting Concepts (CCC)

The crosscutting concepts (CCC) can be found below the 3 columns of our standards and are highlighted orange. The CCC’s are what connect the sciences and include:

  1. Patterns
  2. Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
  3. Scale, proportion, and quantity
  4. Systems and system models
  5. Energy and matter: Flows, cycles, and conservation
  6. Structure and function
  7. Stability and change

Dimension 3: Disciplinary Core Ideas

The disciplinary core ideas (DCI) are located in the center column and are highlighted blue. These are not the standards (those are the performance expectations) rather the DCI’s are content that needs to be taught, which are:

Physical Science

  • PS1: Matter and Its Interactions
  • PS2: Motion and Stability: Forces and Interactions
  • PS3: Energy
  • PS4: Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer

Life Science

  • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
  • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
  • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
  • LS4: Biological Unity and Diversity

Earth and Space Sciences

  • ESS1: Earth’s Place in the Universe
  • ESS2: Earth’s Systems
  • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity

Interested in a book study for “A Vision and Plan for Science Teaching and Learning”?  The #OKSci Facebook group will begin one on June 27th! There will be questions posted to the group to encourage collaboration and even if you’re not from Oklahoma you’re more than welcome to join us! A link to purchasing the book from the publisher can be found with my review of the book. You can purchase the book from Amazon as well but it’s nearly double the cost if you do that.

Also check out these PD on Your Plan Modules! I’ve done them and they are a fantastic resource for helping with implementing the new science standards and incorporating 3D learning!

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