Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version



Lewis, E.B., Baker, D.R., Bueno Watts, N. & Lang, M. (2014). A professional learning community activity for science teachers: How to incorporate discourse-rich instructional strategies into science lessons. Science Educator, 23(1), 1-9.


In this article we describe current educational research underlying a comprehensive model for building a scientific classroom discourse community. We offer a professional development activity for a school-based professional learning community, providing specific science instructional strategies within this interactive teaching model. This design activity provides a quick and practical means of transforming science lessons to be more engaging for students. Through this activity teachers can redesign any science lesson by focusing on each of the five core components of a scientific classroom discourse community: (a) scientific inquiry, (b) oral discourse, (c) written discourse, (d) academic language development, and (e) learning principles. By using this structure teachers will be better able to meet the Next Generation Science Standards and facilitate greater interdisciplinary learning. An example of a redesigned water cycle lesson is provided.