Research Plan

5E magnifying glass logoThe introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by many states has led to raised expectations for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities (SCD). There is a gap between the science content that teachers of students with SCD are now expected to provide and the content of most pre-service teacher training programs. The 5E-SESE system is designed to meet the needs of in-service teachers to prepare for science instruction of students with SCD. The 5E-SESE system is designed to fill this gap.

The 5E-SESE system aims to help teachers develop necessary knowledge and skills to incorporate inquiry-based science teaching and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) options into a model for planning science instruction for students with SCD.

The 5E-SESE system integrates a well-established science teaching model and UDL to make the science content accessible to all students.

The research plan has four phases that allow the system to be evaluated and improved multiple times.

  • In Phase 1, we will produce six modules for grades 3-5. We will evaluate the usability of the 5E-SESE online system.
  • In Phase 2, we will refine the design of the system and modules. In addition, we will develop six new modules for grades 3-5. We will evaluate the usability of the professional development (PD) system.
  • In Phase 3, we will refine and expand the system to include 9 new modules for grades 6-8. We will pilot test the full system, which includes 21 online modules and a coaching system. We will use teacher and student outcomes to measure the effect of the system.
  • In Phase 4, we will evaluate the effectiveness of the 5E-SESE PD system. At the end of this phase, we will publish the final 5E-SESE PD system.

As we work through these phases, we will document everything we have developed. We will share the products from the 5E-SESE system online as well as at national conferences for educators and researchers.