Podcast: Excitement & Curiosity in Science Education in OpenSciEd

Podcast interview with OpenSciEd

This episode of the 180 Days Education podcast features an interview with Jim Ryan, Executive Director of OpenSciEd, a K-12 science curriculum initiative. The conversation explores the origins, goals, and successes of OpenSciEd, particularly focusing on its open educational resources and alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).


Key Talking Points:

00:00 - 01:22: Introduction of podcast hosts and guest, Jim Ryan.

07:55 - 11:15: Jim Ryan introduces OpenSciEd and explains its origin as a response to the need for NGSS-aligned science curriculum.

11:15 - 14:15: OpenSciEd's development process and focus on middle school curriculum are discussed. The free and open nature of the resources is highlighted.

14:15 - 17:10: The conversation explores the importance of professional development for teachers implementing NGSS and the role OpenSciEd plays in supporting this.

17:10 - 21:39: Concerns regarding the implementation of NGSS in high schools and the potential challenges with AP science courses are addressed. The comparison to the Common Core debate is drawn.

21:39 - 23:35: The potential political challenges with certain science topics, like climate change, are acknowledged.

23:35 - 26:27: The significant shift in instructional strategies required by NGSS and the importance of supporting teachers in this transition are discussed.

26:27 - 31:35: Jim Ryan reflects on his experience in San Francisco Unified School District and the district's efforts to de-track math education, highlighting the need for a multi-pronged approach to change.

31:35 - 37:58: The concept of de-tracking and its positive impact on student outcomes in San Francisco is explained in detail.

37:58 - 39:14: The potential for OpenSciEd to disrupt the current educational materials market and promote innovative science teaching is discussed.

39:14 - 45:50: The lack of adequate time dedicated to science education in K-5 schools, particularly in disadvantaged communities, is highlighted as a major concern.

45:50 - 49:09: The episode concludes with a "Crush/Inspire" segment. Jim Ryan expresses his concern about the state of science education but also shares his optimism about the potential for OpenSciEd to make a difference.

49:09 - 50:41: Host Karen shares her concerns about book banning and her uplifting experience working with a school principal who is open to change.

50:41 - 52:20: Host Tim discusses his frustration with resistance to adopting innovative math materials but expresses hope for the future of education.

52:20 - 52:55: The episode concludes with a call to action for listeners to rate and review the podcast.

Overall, the interview with Jim Ryan provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities facing science education. OpenSciEd emerges as a promising initiative that could contribute significantly to improving science teaching and learning for all students.