Questions, Claims, and Evidence: The Important Place of Argument
in Science Writing
Jay Staker is the Associate Director of Education for Iowa Space Grant Consortium
and directs Iowa State University (ISU) Extension and Outreach's K–12 STEM outreach
program. Prior to his current role Mr. Staker taught science for over 20 years where
he started to delve into argument-based inquiry. At ISU Mr. Staker works with Brian
Hand and Lori Norton-Meier on research and professional development that helps teachers
shift traditional classroom science activities to a learning experience that teachers
can use to support students as they explore their questions and develop their understanding
of science concepts.
Dr. Lori Norton-Meier
Dr. Lori Norton-Meier, the current Project Coordinator for the Interdisciplinary
Center for Research on Early Childhood Issues and Initiatives at the University
of Louisville, brings extensive experience to this project as a classroom teacher,
a grant administrator, and as a language and literacy researcher. As a classroom
teacher, Dr. Norton-Meier taught for seven years in an inner-city environment where
many of her students lived in poverty and for whom English was a second language.
From this early point in her career, she began writing grants to better serve the
needs of her students and to enable professional development opportunities for teachers
in relation to curriculum planning and development including the creation of two
new sites of the National Writing Project (NWP): The Kansas Writing Project in Wichita,
KS and The Flint Hills Writing Project in Manhattan, KS. Each project is running
successfully today with strong teacher leadership.
The foundation of the NWP is an award-winning school reform professional development
model of teachers teaching teachers which is just one facet that Dr. Norton-Meier
brought her work as a co-director of the International Science Literacy Project
(ISLP). Along with Dr. Brian Hand, a science educator from the University of Iowa,
the ISLP is an ongoing research project investigating teacher implementation of
an innovative science and literacy approach and the impact on student learning in
Preschool-Grade 12. This work was made possible with over $2.5 million in grants
from the National Science Foundation, Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and through
federal Math-Science Partnership funding. As a researcher, Dr. Norton-Meier has
spent her career studying students’ literate lives in and out of school contexts.
She has multiple publications including over 20 journal publications, seven book
chapters and three books on science and literacy in the classroom. In 2011, she
was nominated for the American Educational Research Association award for “Relating
Research to Practice.” Finally, Dr. Norton-Meier has shown a commitment to disseminating
her work through publications and presenting to a variety of audiences, especially
on an international level.
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