Professional Learning Science and Literacy Academies

Science and Literacy Integration through Professional Learning Academies

Since 2002, the Lawrence Hall of Science has provided teacher professional learning Science and Literacy Academies integrating inquiry science and literacy instruction. This dual emphasis on science and literacy helps students gain both literacy skills and a greater understanding of science concepts. The model includes teams of teachers working together in a summer school classroom as they implement inquiry science and literacy instruction with a class of students in the morning and participate in professional development activities in the afternoon. Follow-up sessions, mentoring, and videotaping to reflect on practice are integral to the program. Summer school academies have been implemented in middle schools of two large urban districts, San Francisco and Oakland Unified School Districts. The academy model has also been implemented in a rural K–6 school district (see the Mountain Region Science and Reading Academy below). Teachers say the program helps students master science content and improve their academic language skills. The summer academy model provides an opportunity to build teacher expertise and positively affect student achievement.

The Mountain Region Science and Reading Academy

This California Postsecondary Education Commission-funded project in the rural central Sierra Nevada was a partnership of the Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education, and the Tahoe-Truckee Unified School District. The Mountain Region Science and Reading Academy provided professional development for more than 190 teachers in seven schools, and implemented an integrated inquiry-based, hands-on science and reading program in a K–6 summer school. More than 4,000 students benefited as the district replicated the teaching model throughout its summer programs and academic-year classrooms.