Teacher Preparation and Professional Development

Friday 11:30am-1:30pm UMC Aspen Rooms
Poster Session

Session Chairs

Michael Wysession, Washington University in St. Louis
Kathy Browne, Rider University

Introducing the GLOBE Curriculum to South Dakota's 6th-12th Grade Teachers
Colin McKellar, South Dakota State University
Anne Lewis, South Dakota Discovery Center
Cody Troop, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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A critical part of learning the environmental sciences is connecting the concepts taught in the classroom to what is observed in nature. When students actively engage in the scientific process and contribute to the collective understanding of the environment and earth system, there is a deeper connection to the environment. This not only helps promote scientific discovery, but also a greater environmental stewardship at local to global levels. This has been a goal of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) since its inception in 1994. The GLOBE curriculum is introduced to 6th-12th grade teachers in South Dakota. This is done through 1) teaching the GLOBE protocols and introducing the GLOBE curriculum to educators during a 4 day workshop 2) incorporating climate and weather literacy principles through outreach by the state climate office and 3) field studies activities by kayaking and camping course along the Missouri River. An outcome for GLOBE educated teachers within the classroom will be to involve students in the field collecting and reporting data on local scale hydrology, soils, the atmosphere, land cover, and the earth system. Apart of this process will be to assist teachers in adhering to the Next Generation Science Standards. Another part of this process is including short science videos to help educators understand weather and climate and its connections to South Dakota.
Climate education solutions for the U.S. corn belt
David Blockstein, Association of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Richard Moore, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Dennis Todey, South Dakota State University
Wade Miller, Iowa State University
Kristi Lekies, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Nsalambi Nkongolo, Lincoln University
Deana Hudgins, Ohio State University-Main Campus

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The USDA AFRI grant "Climate change, mitigation, and adaptation in corn based cropping systems" involves more than 100 researchers focused on measuring GHG and carbon sequestration across the corn belt as well as building solutions that are resilient in times of drought, reducing soil and nutrient losses under saturated soil conditions, reducing farm field nitrogen losses, retaining carbon in the soil, and ensuring crop and soil productivity. The education component of the grant includes a goal to increase the climate change and agriculture knowledge of Grade 6-12 science and agriculture teachers. Solutions include identification of national agriculture and climate change and gaps in curricula; incorporating research into curriculum; development of a "toolbox" of teaching materials and activities for K-12 teachers such as Speed Science, data sets, and case studies which align with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS); identification local climate-based issues; communication and collaboration with other CAP projects and the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE) to share materials on CAMEL www.CAMELclimatechange.org ; conducting agricultural educator climate camps and university courses; and conducting a survey/needs assessment with agricultural educators related to Next Generation Science Standards, curricula/materials, values and beliefs, and capacity to teach on topics related climate and agriculture.
Using an InTeGrate module for the first time: Tales from a Two-Year-College
Elizabeth Nagy-Shadman, Pasadena City College
Martha House, Pasadena City College
Kristen Farley, Pasadena City College

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During springs 2013 and 2014 two faculty and one adjunct instructor from Pasadena City College, California, adopted the InTeGrate module "Climate of Change: Interactions and Feedbacks between water, air, and ice" into one or more of their courses. This included five sections of Introduction to Oceanography (lecture only) and one section of Introduction to Environmental Science (lecture/lab). Each course section had about ~35 students. The module consists of six units: - Unit 1: climate change vs. climate variability - Unit 2: El Niño-Southern Oscillation +/- the North Atlantic Oscillation - Unit 3: anomalous behavior (e.g., La Niña) - Unit 4: Greenland ice sheet changes 2000-2012 - Unit 5: role playing game about climate modeling - Unit 6: discussion of the array of climate change opinions To create a support system while using these new materials, the group participated in weekly lunch meetings during Spring 2013 to share experiences, discuss upcoming units, and to organize classroom materials and photocopying and laminating duties. These discussions were extremely valuable to the instructors in promoting confidence that the units were being carried out effectively. Each instructor kept daily notes about the experience from their perspective and their students' perspective. In subsequent semesters they repeated activities that they felt were most successful during the spring 2013 trial semester. Interestingly, all three instructors found different parts of the module to be most useful in their classrooms. One instructor continues to use the first 4 units, another uses only units 2 and 3, while the third uses only unit 5. This third instructor felt that the graphs and diagrams in the earlier units were too complicated for her students to grasp, but that the role playing game works well because it lets students discuss how complicated climate modeling is. These instructor-driven modifications illustrate the flexibility of InTeGrate module use in each individual's classroom.
Resources for Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Teach the NGSS
Anne Egger, Central Washington University
Molly Kent, Carleton College
Monica Bruckner, Carleton College

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Over 100,000 students obtain a bachelor's degree in education every year; these students most commonly encounter the geosciences through a general education course, and it may be the only geoscience course they ever take. However, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) contain much more Earth science content than previous standards. In addition, the NGSS emphasize science and engineering practices (SEP), and future teachers need to experience learning science as a scientist, through a hands-on, activity-based learning process, in order to give them the skills they need to teach science that same way in the future. In order to be successful at teaching the NGSS, both current and future teachers will need more than a single course in geoscience or science methods. As a result, there is now a key opportunity for geoscience programs to play a vital role in strengthening teacher preparation programs, both through introductory courses and beyond. To help programs and individual faculty take advantage of this opportunity, we have developed a set of web-based resources, informed by participants in the InTeGrate program as well as by faculty in exemplary teacher preparation programs. Web pages address the program-level task of creating engaging and effective courses for teacher preparation programs, with the goal of introducing education majors to the active pedagogies and geoscience methods they will later use in their own classrooms. Examples of activities, courses, and professional development programs highlight effective methods for integrating content and pedagogy, getting students into the field, and preparing future teachers for the STEM classroom of the future. Learn more on the InTeGrate web site about preparing future teachers: serc.carleton.edu/integrate/programs/teacher_prep.html and submit your own example activities, courses, and programs http://serc.carleton.edu/integrate/programs/teacherprep/submit_tpprogram.html
Addressing NGSS by Combining a Science Methods Course with an Introductory Geology Course
Tim Flood, Saint Norbert College
Scott Kirst, Saint Norbert College

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Instilling a passion for science in K-8 education majors is a lofty, yet difficult endeavor. The task is further exacerbated because students are also expected to advocate for other subjects in their future career. For pre-service educators, the definitive goal should be not simply to familiarize future elementary teachers to aspects of science, but rather to inculcate in them the excitement of science that they will then ultimately share with their students. Educators from St Norbert College, a small liberal arts college located in the greater Green Bay WI area, addressed the goal of producing competent and hopefully passionate, future K-8 educators by combining a 4-credit science methods course from the Education Department with a 4-credit introductory geology course from the Natural Science Division. The new combined course also includes a 3-day pre-course geology field trip. This required course for pre-service students also seeks to address K-8 science needs related to the NGSS. The administrative challenge to combine the two courses was not trivial. Assessment of this new instructional paradigm was based on qualitative and/or quantitative measurements of four learning characteristics; pre-service teachers' attitudes towards science, nature and depth of the pre-service teachers understanding of science and critical thinking skills, perceptions and recognition of the connections to science and science cross-cutting concepts, and perception of science and their thoughts on becoming a scientist. Assessment of these characteristics help measure the attitudes, perceptions, knowledge, skills, and dispositions of the students. Preliminary interpretation of the assessment data support the initial premise that the students, through this new paradigm, increase their conceptual foundation for the nature of science, their appreciation of the scientific endeavor and recognition that they are nascent scientists. Analysis also indicates that they are better suited to teach about the nature of science and what a scientist does.
Using Digital Media to Develop an Understanding of the Scientific Process
Kathy Browne, Rider University

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Common misconceptions about the scientific process have been the subject of much concern over the years and considered in K-12 science education reform efforts. For teachers, lack of understanding in the process can apparently have negative impacts on their learners' ability to learn science (e.g. Windschitl et al. 2008). In the most recent national standards, the Next Generation Science Standards (Achieve, 2013), the scientific and engineering design process is characterized with eight practices. As states consider adopting and then implementing the standards, teacher preparation programs are also adapting their curricula to introduce these practices to future teachers. In this project, an attempt was made to improve students' performance on the Science Literacy Concept Inventory (SLCI; Nuhfer, 2011) with a small cohort of first year undeclared students in an introductory integrated science class. The students were introduced to the science practices, reflected on their use of them while learning about science concepts central to the course, photo-documented their performance of the practices, collaboratively drafted a rubric for evaluating their video project, and created a video compilation to show their understanding of each of the practices. Five of seven students (71%) showed an increase in scores on the SLCI over the course of the semester. This approach was refined and used with a new cohort of teachers in an online graduate education course (Teaching and Learning Earth and Space Science) for elementary and middle school teachers during spring 2015. Example videos and results from both cohorts will be presented.
Climate change education: the perspective from middle school teachers
Peggy McNeal, Towson University
Patricia Reeves, Western Michigan University
Heather Petcovic, Western Michigan University

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Schools should be active places where citizens learn about climate and how to advocate for stewardship of the planet. However, the global nature of climate science, the complexity of Earth systems, misconceptions about human versus natural causes and confusion complicate implementation of climate change education. The literature also documents poor teacher knowledge of processes underlying climate change. Missing from prior work, however, is an understanding of climate education from the perspective of the teacher. This study acknowledges the voice of the teacher, specifically, how teachers identify their own conceptions and biases, gauge how relevant they feel climate science is to their curriculum and describe the impetus for its inclusion. Data were collected during an online focus group with teachers from across the country. The focus group methodology encouraged teachers to engage with each other, formulate ideas, and express a range of responses that might otherwise be unarticulated. Perhaps most important, while the focus group revealed dispositions and motivations to the researchers, it also brought teachers themselves into the conversation. The themes that emerged from qualitative analysis of the data provide an enhanced understanding of teacher attitudes, behavior, opinions and perceptions. The results of the study are informative for scientists, teachers, and education professionals. In order to fully and effectively implement climate change education, the classroom teacher must be considered, consulted and understood. This study provides a basis for understanding teacher perspectives about climate change education and implies that continued discussions with teachers are beneficial.
Earthed2YC: NASA-NAGT Earth Community Initiative for Two-Year College Faculty
Sadredin Moosavi, RCTC
Amber Kumpf, Muskegon Community College
Russanne Low, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies

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Two-year colleges educate more diverse and first-generation college students than any other sector in higher education and provide foundational STEM coursework for the majority of our Nation's pre-service teachers. EarthEd2YC is a venue for two-year college educators and E/PO professionals who want to share lesson ideas, activities, resources and implementation tips with this important sector of higher education and a way for Geo2YC and the Earth SMD E/PO Forum to support Earth science faculty that have been historically underserved. EarthEd2YC provides a monthly idea exchange webinar connecting two-year college faculty, the NASA Science Mission Directorate for Education and Public Outreach (SMD E/PO) Earth Forum and the Two-Year College Division of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGTGeo2YC). By and for two-year college faculty, EarthEd2YC launched in the Spring of 2014 in response to a documented need for resource dissemination and access for faculty who rarely have the opportunity to share their ideas with peers and who rarely attend national meetings where educational materials are routinely shared by NASA SMD E/PO professionals. This initiative connects two-year faculty nationwide and provides educational leadership, mentoring, professional development, and community building, while simultaneously disseminating NASA E/PO products and programs to a broader underserved audience. EarthEd2YC provides highly valuable resources in the short periods of time available to 2YC faculty with heavy teaching loads at no cost to the participants using technology typically available at two-year colleges. Webinars are 30 minutes long, split equally between presentation and discussion. Webinars are also recorded and archived on the NAGT GeoEd2YC website for those unable to attend in real time. We are actively seeking your participation in our project as well as other ideas about how to reach and support our colleagues in the two-year and community colleges.
A Program Model for Engaging a Community: Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges
Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
Robert Blodgett, Austin Community College
Jan Hodder, University of Oregon
John McDaris, Carleton College

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Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges (SAGE 2YC) is a multi-year national professional development program for geoscience faculty in two-year colleges (2YCs) that enabled broad and diverse participation, widespread dissemination of resources, and leadership development of 2YC faculty. Our program model includes a national workshop to collect and synthesize resources with dissemination via workshops held in association with professional society meetings, regional workshops, local workshops, online resources, and webinars. The program provides opportunities for faculty to expand their disciplinary connections, learn from one another and from the research base, plan and implement instructional and programmatic improvements, grow as leaders, and develop sustainable professional communities. Participation in SAGE 2YC has been broad and diverse. More than 400 geoscience professionals have attended a SAGE 2YC workshop or webinar, including faculty from 2YCs and four-year colleges and universities (4YCUs), and professional organizations or employers. Workshop participants came from ~200 institutions, primarily 2YCs and some 4YCUs. The workshops are effective in reaching women, underrepresented minorities, and adjunct faculty. The 2014 regional and local workshops had high participation of adjunct faculty (37% and 35%, respectively). The local workshops, provide a mechanism to engage full-time and adjunct faculty in regions around the country as well as leadership opportunities for 2YC faculty. In a three-year period, SAGE 2YC will have supported 17 local workshops, designed and led by teams of 2YC faculty. Webinars and online resources on topics related to supporting student success and workforce and careers, developed in association with the workshops, expand program reach (http://serc.carleton.edu/sage2yc/index.html). Factors contributing to program success include 1) leaders with 2YC experience; 2) a focus on topics of interest and importance to 2YCs; 3) well-designed workshops that engage participants and include individual action planning; 4) multiple ways to engage faculty; and 5) mentored leadership development for 2YC geoscience faculty.
Replicating the effects ongoing treatment through sustained networks: the Impact of the On the Cutting Edge Professional Development Program for Geoscience Faculty (CE) on faculty learning about teaching
Ellen Iverson, Carleton College
Krista Larsen, Carleton College
Monica Bruckner, Carleton College
Cathy Manduca, Carleton College

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An interview study of 15 geoscience faculty characterized how some Cutting Edge (CE) workshop participants develop networks of support to sustain changes in teaching, following a workshop experience. These networks replicate the mechanisms for sustained support which studies have identified as critical for changes in teaching to persist. Interview subjects were drawn from a sample of undergraduate geoscience faculty who had been observed using the Reformed Teaching and Observation Protocol (RTOP) and who had attended at least one CE workshop. We sought to understand the interaction between participants' department and institutional activities related to teaching and the CE program. Findings from this qualitative study also characterize the types of changes to teaching and the barriers and motivations to incorporating new pedagogies. Through the geoscience teaching practices survey and the CE RTOP project, we found that when controlling for other factors, a faculty member can participate in a single CE workshop and have observable changes in teaching practice to a comparable extent as a faculty member who participates in multiple CE workshops and events. The CE program by design provides mechanisms for sustained change in several important ways that we hypothesize replicates dosage support. Analysis of these interviews helped test this hypothesis. Following a workshop, participants report using the CE website and seeking networks of colleagues as a means to sustain their learning about teaching. Using institutional support when available, they described how programs and incentives aided them in making pedagogical changes in their courses. The CE experience gave them knowledge and shared vocabulary to inspire them to seek ongoing support. This presentation will describe the findings from the interview study including characterizations of ongoing supports, continued motivations, and contextual barriers experienced by these participants.