Private workspace
(for workshop participants only)

Thursday, July 16

8:30 Introductions: with a few Introductory slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 528kB Jul14 15)

9:00 What do future teachers need in an introductory course? Slides: What do future teachers need? (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 5.3MB Jul15 15)

Most important things in how we teach current/future teachers

  • Being explicit when you are modeling best practices; explaining why you are doing what you are doing
  • Express that students can be competent in science - it is not unreachable: Building confidence and highlighting that they ARE scientists and they have been from the day they were born
  • Infusing discussions about the real world of science and technology throughout the curriculum, especially when what you are modeling is not exactly what scientists do (what is cutting edge?)
  • Modeling online learning and engagement
  • Belonging to professional organizations provides ideas, reviewed/good materials, support, and a community (as in NESTA, GSA, NAGT, NSTA, AGU, AGI, IAGD, SERC)
    • Incorporating reading assignments from the primary literature, especially NSTA/NESTA/NAGT publications that they can use in the future
  • Engage in small classes with lots of interaction and hands-on experiences, using materials that teachers can get hold of in the future
  • Show how teaching techniques are transferable in scale (classroom size) and grade level
    • Specifically how to modify a lesson for different students without just "dumbing it down"
    • e.g. Take a college-level lab and modify it for middle school
  • Develop curiosity in students, especially in science
  • Providing examples of science careers and role models; provide a range of things that they might do professionally, and showing them faces that look like them
  • Building relationships with scientists, developing their confidence to talk to and work with practicing scientists in the future; make use of bridge-builders/connectors like NOAA, NASA, NCAR outreach professionals; encouraging participation in an RET or REU programs
  • How to think scientifically and how to approach a problem with a scientific mindset: what is uncertainty, how does science progress over time, etc.
  • Build awareness of bad teaching that they have personally experienced: teaching therapy, reflecting on their own experiences and how to improve them.
  • Field experiences:
    • making the connections between what they are learning in the classroom and the real world
    • Bringing what they are learning into a teaching experience
  • Time for adaptation, modification, reflection
  • Culture of support at the institutional level who are willing to evaluate the way we are teaching our pre-service teachers: a meaningful professional learning community that students participate in as well so they can become part of one in the future
  • The politics of education: it's not going to be easy to implement everything you want
  • Forewarning about controversial topics like evolution, geologic time
  • Modeling how to answer questions when you don't know the answer, how to find the answer, that it's OK to say I don't know
  • How to make a lesson from ground zero that is aligned with the NGSS, and the resources available to help them, or at least build awareness about what a lesson consists of that includes NGSS, or maybe it's a lab specific for the pre-service teachers in the class

9:45 Small group work: Comparing performance expectations in the Next Generation Science Standards to current syllabi

Break as needed

10:30 Report out from small groups, group synthesis of needs

Observations about comparison between NGSS and current syllabi

  • Gaps
    • teaching about Earth's place in the universe: can use personal shadows to investigate
    • Scale and proportion: use Earth's place in the universe
  • There is much more than would be covered in a normal intro course
  • How do data visualizations fit it? Pair big data visualizations with other resources to recognize how it fits into the science and engineering practices
  • Gen Ed intro course comparison: topics are generally covered, but students probably couldn't address the performance expectations
  • Be more explicit about bringing in engineering practices and design principles
  • Need to be more explicit about how to assess these ideas - need to better understand what the skills are (e.g. what is "construct"?)
  • Defaulted to looking at DCIs - most similar to the content/topics of current course. Need to be more intentional about including engineering practices in particular.
  • Some of the "cool" things we've been doing may need to be dropped - they don't fit the standards or aren't one of the DCIs. Or you need to approach it from a completely different perspective. What can you do to modify an existing activity to meet the needs?
  • Thinking about science in a conceptual way: the NGSS are a really good framework to "impose" on students.
  • Integrated science approach: can this help pull together more of the disciplinary core ideas?

11:00 The role of the affective domain: Overcoming sciencephobia in future teachers

Damaging beliefs we encounter among future teachers

  • "I am not a math/science person."
  • Stereotype threat: "Girls don't do/aren't good at science" – gender stereotypes about abilities
  • Religion: "I'm a religious person, so I can't do science/don't agree with science"
  • Past experience/fixed mindset: "I've never done well in science before."
  • Imagining the future: "I'll never use this again."
  • Equating speed with intelligence/ability ("if it takes me a long time, I'm not good at it")
  • Science isn't/wasn't cool, or it isn't cool to be interested in science
  • Beliefs inherited or learned from parents (when they say things like "I hated that class" or "Physics is hard")
  • "I hate science" - probably based on past experiences
  • Cultural stereotypes and biases: "You're Asian, this should be easy for you."
  • Natural sciences: fear of outside, fear of getting dirty, or desire to dissociate from camping, being outdoors based on culture and background.

Strategies for address the affective domain

  • Don't say how long an assignment should take (so they don't feel bad about how long it takes them)
  • Give early, formative assessments with just comments, no grades – allow them to see a progression of skills
  • Remind students that they've learned something before – it's not hard, it's just that it's been a long time:
    • Budweiser Effect: Ask them what they know about Budweiser, and they can identify the logo, describe the colors, the commercials. They never explicitly learned that, but it's around them all the time. Ask them what they know about Eisenhower, and they try to recall something from their 8th-grade class... it's not that it's hard, they just haven't thought about it or seen it in a while.
  • Learn how to praise failure, not in a superficial way (good job, bobby!), but that it is part of learning and part of the process of science
  • Describe your own misconceptions and emphasize the learning progression you went through about a concept
  • Discuss common misconceptions among elementary students and ask students why they think those misconceptions exist and how they would address them
  • Structure assignments so that everybody gets the chance to be a leader and have a role, as simple as everyone lighting the Bunsen burner (not just the boy who takes charge) or a jigsaw activity where everyone is responsible for the group knowledge
  • Be attentive to language in feedback: make sure it is about the content, not the person (e.g. "This response does not cover X" instead of "You didn't include X")
  • Scaffolding feedback to develop their writing/editing skills, focus on different things in each writing assignment
  • Share your passion for the topics with the students

11:25 Road check

11:30 Adjourn for the day

Friday, July 17

8:30 Overview of resources available for teaching introductory courses and teaching strategies

9:00 Individual work: Explore resources and begin to develop action plan

9:30 Report out and formation of small groups with similar needs

Individual report-outs: Name, Situation, What you want to work on

  • Katherine Ryker; Eastern Michigan, intro geo for pre-service teachers: Addressing teacher candidates' comfort leading labs and answering student questions
  • Joe Reese; Hazards class for non-majors including pre-service teachers: Lessen amount of time of traditional lecture, model better pedagogies in the classroom and make it more explicit what you are doing
  • Caitlin Callahan; Grand Valley State; intro integrated science for pre-service teachers: Helping students find resources as a part of incorporating more metacognitive strategies
  • Abir Biswas; Evergreen; general intro course: Aligning content to NGSS for all students
  • Todd Ellis; Western Michigan, K-8 preservice class in weather and climate: Gap analysis WRT NGSS, address the affective domain, adding engineering task
  • Rick Ford; Weber State, preservice ELED majors course in geo and meteorology: new UT science standards will be similar to NGSS - develop a module that is particularly focused on the NGSS and helping students understand it
  • Scott and Tim; St. Norbert; integrated geology and science methods: more coherent and connected courses, particularly vocabulary, refining courses
  • Beverly Stambaugh; Fairborn City Schools (6-8): Incorporate NGSS into a very structured curriculum of Project Lead the Way (national model engineering-based curriculum), RET proposal
  • Shane Ott.., high school in Calgary (10-12): Continuing to look at resources, potential new geoscience course in the future
  • Wendi Williams; Northwest Arkansas CC, Univ. of Arkansas-LR; intro courses that include some pre-service teachers including online and hybrid courses: Redesigning courses with new books and taking a systems approach (in support of NGSS) in anticipation of more pre-service and in-service teachers taking geoscience
  • Koa Lavery, high school in San Diego, Earth science for the first time: developing activities that establish a sense of community and get everyone involved and make sure everyone contributes.
  • Bree McG; Texas A&M-Kingsville, intro geography courses and Earth science for teachers: Incorporating new teaching methods including online/hybrid and helping future teachers modify activities for other grade levels
  • Carla McAuliffe; TERC (development of materials and PD for teachers): Looking at resources, especially On the Cutting Edge, and explore adaptability at the k-12 level. What resources should teacher leaders be aware of?
  • David Thesenga; St. Vrain; inservice training in geo for teachers across the district: Trying to convince teachers that PD is a good idea, haven't adopted NGSS as a state, but the district has adopted them and teachers need to buy in and evaluate curricula
  • Monica Maynard; Bell Gardens high school (SoCal): develop more rigorous geoscience course that might be dual-credit with nearby college and incorporate the resources into geology class, including systems thinking
  • Hillary Peddicord; NOAA, PD courses about data visualizations, bringing Science on Sphere into the classroom: Bring in readings and discussion that incorporate the technology and supercomputing into workshops, including careers that are options in the development of the data visualizations
  • Amanda Patterson; U of Mississippi: develop a new online geo course for education majors that will be an improvement over a 200-person lecture course


10:15 Small group work: Share ideas and strategies for your type of situation, continue to develop action plan with feedback from colleagues. Upload action plans

  • Incorporating more NGSS content and methods into general intro course: Joe, Abir, Wendi, Rick
  • High school geo course: Monica, Shane, Koa
  • Professional development for in-service: David, Hillary, Carla
  • Intro for pre-service: Amanda, TimandScott, Caitlin, Katherine, Todd, Bree

11:00 Report out and synthesis of strategies and needs

11:25 Workshop evaluation

Additional Resources