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NESA Fall Leadership Conference 2019

Victor Sampson

Associate Professor of STEM Education

The University of Texas at Austin

VICTOR SAMPSON is an associate professor of STEM Education at The University of Texas at Austin (UT-Austin), and Founder and Chief Academic Officer of Argument-Driven Inquiry. He received a BA in zoology from the University of Washington, an MIT from Seattle University, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in science education from Arizona State University.

Dr Sampson also taught high school biology and chemistry for nine years. He is an expert in argumentation and three-dimensional instruction in science education, teacher learning, and assessment. He has received several awards for his research in these fields, including the 2008 Outstanding Dissertation award and the 2012 Early Career award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching. He is also an NSTA (National Science Teachers Association) Fellow.

2-Day Institute

Argument-Driven Inquiry: Transforming laboratory experiences so students can use core ideas, crosscutting concepts and scientific practice to make sense of natural phenomena

Connect & Engage

Participants will examine and discuss several proposed shifts in what students and teachers do inside the classroom in order to align instruction with current research on learning. They will look for and discuss shortcomings in many common instructional approaches and widely used instructional materials in light of these proposed shifts.


Participants will be introduced to the Argument-Driven Instructional model. The facilitator will then demonstrate an ADI investigation from start to finish and will stop between each stage of the model to foster a discussion about issues that teachers need to keep in mind to facilitate learning during that stage of the model.

After this initial demonstration, we will discuss the nature of scientific arguments, the differences between hypotheses, predictions, conclusions, and claims, and ways to support students as they learn to design and carry out investigations using samples of student work.

Next, the facilitator will demonstrate a second investigation from a different content area. This part of the institute will end will a discussion of ways to make accommodations and scaffold participation in the practices of science during each stage of the instructional model in order meet the needs of all learners inside a classroom.

Reflect & Apply

Participants will be given an opportunity to create a plan to integrate ADI investigations into their own curriculum and identify specific ADI investigations to use based on their unique context and goals. The institute will conclude with a discussion of the 'big take-aways' and goal setting for the following academic year.


At the end of the institute, the participants will be able to:

• describe the key elements of Argument-Driven Inquiry;
• explain how Argument-Driven Inquiry is different from typical approaches to laboratory instruction;
• describe how Argument-Driven Inquiry is aligned with current research on how people learn; and,
• explain why Argument-Driven Inquiry fosters student learning of core ideas, crosscutting concepts, scientific practices, and literacy skills.

Target Audience:

Grades 1-12 Science Teachers, Curriculum Supervisors, Science Supervisors, Administrators

Continuum Levels:

1, 2

Learn more about how NESA plans Professional Learning
NESA'S Learning Continuum:


Save paper and effort where possible!

For your convenience, and to support our efforts in being "green", all handouts/files posted here have been notated with an A, B, C or D indicating the following:

(A) hardcopies needed at workshop
(B) electronic version on laptop is sufficient (for viewing during the workshop)
(C) required reading PRIOR to the workshop
(D) file not needed for workshop itself, but simply material of additional interest/reference


Updates to handouts may be made until shortly before the start of the conference.