TAUNTON – Superintendent John Cabral is pleased to announce that Taunton Public Schools STEM Director Elizabeth Pawlowski has published an article about the district’s successful implementation of the OpenSciEd curriculum in “The 74.”
Director Pawlowski wrote “Curriculum Case Study: A Massachusetts Town Boosts Students’ STEM Learning by Letting the Students Do the Talking, ‘It’s Real Life’” about Taunton Public School’s high-quality instructional materials (HQIM) curriculum, OpenSciEd. To read the article in full, click here.
“Since its implementation within Taunton Public Schools’ three middle schools, we have seen a tremendous improvement in our students’ classroom engagement when using the OpenSciEd curriculum, and Director Pawlowski has truly been a huge proponent and driving force behind its success,” Superintendent Cabral said. “Director Pawlowski continues to share our success story and we are pleased to see the curriculum and our teachers who have been teaching OpenSciEd get the well-deserved attention and recognition they deserve.”
In the article, Director Pawlowski wrote about the positive impact the implementation of OpenSciEd has had on improving Taunton Public Schools’ equitable and culturally responsive teaching practices and students’ learning. Also included in the article were testimonies of support from teachers within Taunton’s three middle schools who teach the curriculum, as well as students who have been taught it.
As stated in the article, while there was a learning curve and adjustment period for educators to leave their old practices behind and adopt the new teaching style associated with the OpenSciEd curriculum, most quickly ”found it meaningful to be overwhelmed by the feeling of not knowing and then figuring it all out with a colleague.”
As for the students and their experiences with OpenSciEd, in the article a student shared, “My teacher wants to know what I know and what I’m thinking. Nowadays I raise my hand because I know that I have something important to share.”
Through the use of this curriculum, TPS is ensuring that students’ voices and ideas are included in daily instruction and that these students can envision themselves as scientists through hands-on exploration of science topics. Currently, every middle school educator in Taunton Public Schools is implementing the OpenSciEd curriculum and Taunton High School is piloting newly developed units.
“If simply sharing the story about how OpenSciEd has allowed our school district to improve upon our STEM education and our students’ experiences manages to convince even just one other school in Massachusetts to adopt this curriculum, then that will be a win for me as an educator,” Director Pawlowksi said. “While beginning the process might be daunting, it truly is a worthwhile curriculum with an array of benefits.”
Added Superintendent Cabral, “Science is at the forefront of education nationally and we are committed to instilling and fostering a love for science in our kids through exposing them to the many fields, some of which they don’t even know exist, by utilizing the materials OpenSciEd provides to us.”
“The Department appreciates the leadership of Superintendent Cabral and Elizabeth Pawlowski in pioneering the implementation of OpenSciEd and the focus on equity and improving science education for all students. From the beginning, Taunton’s teachers have contributed feedback to strengthen OpenSciEd and its impact,” said Heather Peske, Senior Associate Commissioner, Mass. Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
About The 74
The 74 is a non-profit, non-partisan news site covering education in America. Our public education system is in crisis. In the United States, less than half of our students can read or do math at grade-level, yet the education debate is dominated by misinformation and political spin. Our mission is to lead an honest, fact-based conversation about how to give America’s 74 million children under the age of 18 the education they deserve.