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  • Elizabeth Barrett-Zahn

Three Dimensional Teaching and Learning (Call for Papers)

Publishing date:September/October 2021

Manuscript deadline: December 1, 2020

The idea of three-dimensional teaching and learning has been around since the release of the Framework for K-12 Science Education (Framework; NRC 2012) and Next Generation Science Standards (2013). We have all seen the blue, orange, and green pillars or multicolored bundled rope model aimed to represent the interweaving of the three dimensions to support mastery of performance expectations. Yet, how are three-dimensional lessons and units designed, so that they provide opportunities for students to actively engage with the practices and apply the crosscutting concepts as they deepen their understanding of core ideas across disciplines?

Making sense of phenomena and designing solutions has become a driving force behind the three-dimensional learning process. Science is more than a list of memorized facts; science requires critical thinking, communication, and creativity. For students to experience science and engineering “as” scientists and engineers, we must encourage them to ask questions and solve problems. Through sensemaking and student-led inquiries, students can deepen their understanding of the world around them.

We are looking for manuscripts that offer students opportunities to be immersed in three-dimensional learning, sharing how this translates into the preschool or elementary learning environment.

Article suggestions for this issue include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Describe how three-dimensional learning is essential for all children regardless of language, gender, race, ethnicity, age, skill, cognitive and physical abilities, or economic status.

  • Share how students, when engaged in three-dimensional learning, can participate in meaningful discourse with their peers – similar to the work of scientists and engineers – as they make sense of phenomena or design solutions to problems.

  • Explain how students can apply their knowledge of science and their understanding of the nature of science to make informed decisions on personal, societal, and global issues.

  • Provide examples of assessment of students’ learning that matches their three-dimensional learning experiences.

  • Share how three-dimensional teaching can be supported through distance or virtual learning platforms.

  • Identify and describe effective instructional models


that support three-dimensional science instruction.

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