September 28, 2023 (Baton Rouge, LA) — Today the Knowledge Matters School Tour visited classrooms, heard from educators and students, and celebrated high-quality science instruction in Central Intermediate School and Central Community School System outside of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
This two-day Knowledge Matters School Tour celebrates how schools focus on high-quality science instruction and the role it plays in reading comprehension to accelerate student learning and improve literacy.
Members of the tour observed 3rd-5th grade science instruction, where students investigated
phenomena, including how dams affect the environment, how ecosystems work, and to which
surfaces magnets stick to. Through reading shared informational texts and gathering evidence to make a claim, students practiced inquiry and literacy.
The tour also included: a student panel featuring elementary school students; a teacher panel featuring 3rd-6th grade teachers; and a roundtable discussion with Central Community and Louisiana Department of Education leaders.
“Students like learning about things, and in science, we want students reading, writing, and
talking about the natural phenomena in our world,” said Barbara Davidson, president of the
Knowledge Matters Campaign, which conducts the Knowledge Matters School Tours. “When
students get regular, high-quality instruction in science, students improve their vocabulary and
become stronger readers and writers.”
“The bottom line is students enjoy learning when they can dive into important science topics,
like how condensation works. We simply need more depth and breadth dedicated to exploring
phenomena in elementary school, and the Central Community School System has prioritized
that,” continued Davidson.
Central Community School System, in Central, Louisiana, uses PhD Science, a knowledge-building curriculum from GreatMinds in elementary school grades and Louisiana Guidebooks in English language arts.
The Knowledge Matters School Tour, which was established in 2018, provides an opportunity for teachers and school leaders to share with other educators their learning journey to adopt
knowledge-building curriculum and accelerate student learning.
The Knowledge Matters Campaign is a project of StandardsWork, a non-profit advocacy
organization whose mission is to “find the good and praise it.” The campaign garners national
awareness for the importance of building students’ background knowledge of the world through
high-quality literacy instruction. To date, the Knowledge Matters School Tour has visited over 20 districts across the country whose implementation of high-quality, knowledge-building curricula is considered by the campaign to be praiseworthy.