Understanding the nature of causality is critical to learning a range of science concepts from “everyday science” to the science of complexity. Our earlier research established that students hold default assumptions about the nature of causality that hinder their science learning and that curriculum designed to restructure students’ causal assumptions while learning the science leads to deeper understanding. Here, the UC team and the Science Media Group (SMG) of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics collaborated in a five-year iterative design process to create on-line professional development tools to help teachers use the Causal Patterns in Science curriculum and pedagogy well. The tools guide middle school physics and biology teachers in assessing the structure of their students’ scientific explanations and in developing curriculum to restructure or RECAST students’ understandings to fit with scientifically accepted explanations. The resulting website is available at: www.causalpatterns.org.
The RECAST Project was supported by the National Science Foundation, grant #ESI-0455664 to Tina Grotzer. All opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Funding & Quick Facts

Start Date: 2005