Teacher Preparation > Supporting Practicing Teachers > Approaches to Professional Development

A Spectrum of Approaches for Scientists to Support Practicing Teachers

Created by Jennifer L. B. Anderson, Ph.D., SERC, Carleton College.


Quick and Simple Steps to Get Involved

If you are looking for simple ways to get involved in supporting local K-12 teachers and students, or just want to get your feet wet, here are a few suggestions that involve minimal time. (learn more here)

Individual Faculty Opportunities

Individual faculty often work with practicing teachers in a variety of ways that assist those teachers in their Earth science courses and impact a large number of students. There are a number of professional development opportunities, both formal and informal, that individual geoscience faculty can implement and work more closely with Earth science teachers. (learn more here)

Geoscience Department Opportunities

Many Geoscience Departments are offering professional development programs for practicing teachers through formal methods, such as Masters degrees and advanced courses, to more informal methods like an educational resource center for community teachers. (learn more here)

Grant-Related "Broader Impact" Examples

Many national grant-funding agencies such as NSF and NASA are now requiring a "Broader Impact" or other education-related statement in grant proposals that defines how the funded research program will affect a larger group of people than simply those involved in the research itself. Often, these "broader impact" statements involve using the research program to generate educational materials or programs that will benefit local practicing teachers. (learn more here)

Tips for Good Professional Development Programs

Characteristics of effective professional development programs.

Browse Professional Development Programs


Campus-Wide and Regional Opportunities

Find out about cross-departmental collaborations that support the collaboration of various scientists, educators and science teachers. There may be regional opportunities for supporting science teachers through museums, planetariums, and other educational centers.

Masters Programs in Education or Science Education

Beyond a Masters Degree in Education, some schools offer Masters Programs in Science Education or even more specifically Earth Science Education. Find out more about how these programs are run, what their goals are, and how to start one at your institution.


      Next Page »