Next Generation Science Standards
Preparing for the Next Generation Science Standards—Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Dr. Katherine L. McNeill
Dr. Katherine L. McNeill Katherine L. McNeill (Ph.D. 2006, Science Education, University of Michigan) is an Associate Professor of science education at Boston College. A former middle school science teacher, she received her doctorate in science education from the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on two overlapping areas: 1. Scientific explanations and arguments; and 2. Science curriculum design and implementation. Through the generous funding of the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Carnegie Corporation of NY, she has worked on a number of projects focused on the design of middle school and high school science curriculum developed to support scientific inquiry practices. Currently, she is on the leadership team with colleagues at the Lawrence Hall of Science to design a digital middle school science curriculum that provides teachers with multimedia supports around explanation and argumentation. From this work, Dr. McNeill has published a book on supporting middle school students in scientific explanations, a book on supporting elementary students in scientific explanations, numerous book chapters, and articles in a variety of journals including the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Science Education, and The Journal of the Learning Sciences. In 2011, she received the Early Career Research Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). She has also conducted numerous workshops at the annual meeting of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and for school districts including the Detroit Public Schools, the Denver Public Schools and the Boston Public Schools.

Dr. Leema K. Berland
Dr. Katherine L. McNeill Leema K. Berland (Ph.D. 2008, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University) is an assistant professor of STEM education at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Berland is broadly interested in facilitating and studying students as they engage in the disciplinary practices such as scientific argumentation, modeling, and explanation, as well as engineering design practices. In this work, she focuses on understanding how students interpret the disciplinary discussions, how those interpretations influence their participation in the discourse, and why they interpret it in the ways that they do. Each of these questions is designed to better understand the dynamics of how and why students are able (or unable) to productively engage in substantive classroom discourse. She is currently a Co-Principal Investigator on the National Science Foundation funded project “Supporting scientific practices in elementary and middle school classrooms.” In addition, she is a researcher on the NSF funded project “UTeach Engineering.”

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Underwritten by the Carnegie Corporation of New York