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Episode 42 – Frank Novakowski – Helping Students Make Connections

In this episode, Mark talks with experienced modeler Frank Novakowski about the key changes to his teaching when he began using modeling instruction. They talk about the importance of the storyline in modeling, and how Frank and others are working to make the ideas in biology fit together in a cohesive story. He talks about what teachers do during workshops and how that helps them understand what students might be thinking as they go through activities.


Frank Novakowski

Frank Novakowski has been teaching for 24 years, using modeling instruction methodology since 2003. He is the science curriculum leader at Lake Park High School in Roselle, IL. Frank teaches modeling workshops, including one coming up this summer at Cal Poly.




[25:41] Frank Novakowski: “I mentioned the importance of going through the materials so that you kind of know what the sequence is and how, and why they were developed that way. But it’s also important for teachers to know that there’s flexibility and they need to…make modifications to best fit their students.”

[29:14] Frank Novakowski: “that joint session, I learned, I think as much as any of the participants in the workshop, just talking about that cross-cutting concept of energy and how it’s approached in physics, chemistry, and biology, and what are some of the ways that we can try to work together across those three core content areas so that when students take biology and they take chemistry and they take physics, they’re getting a similar treatment of, okay, here is how we talk about energy. And it makes sense in all three of these core content areas.”


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Ep 42 Transcript

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