Using the Paleobiology Database with Preservice Teachers and Middle School Students to Address the Next Generation Science Standards

Friday 3:00pm-4:00pm TSU - Humphries: 118
Poster Session Part of Friday


Peggy McNeal, Towson University
As a rich data source of paleontological data, the Paleobiology Data Base (PBDB) was used in lessons with preservice teachers and middle school students to address the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). First, three lessons that are part of the Teach the Earth collection and hosted on the SERC website were identified as appropriate lessons for two Earth and Space Science classes taught to elementary education majors at a large eastern university. These lessons, all involving analysis of PBDB data, aligned with the current curriculum and focused on three aspects of the NGSS for K-8 students, the population of students that the preservice teachers are preparing to teach. First, the lessons addressed NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas aligning with Earth and Space Science content. Second, the lessons were especially well-suited for instructing the preservice teachers in three NGSS Science and Engineering Practices: 1) Analyzing and Interpreting Data, 2) Constructing Explanations, and 3) Designing Solutions, and Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Finally, the lessons exhibited the nature of two Crosscutting Concepts: 1) Patterns, and 2) Scale, Proportion, and Quantity.

After successfully using the PBDB to enhance these preservice teachers' experience with Earth Science content and the NGSS, the lessons were modified using lessons learned and repeated during a second semester. Additionally, the lessons were adapted for use in an eighth-grade middle school classroom. Working with an eighth-grade science teacher on the west coast, the lessons were used to teach the same NGSS Disciplinary Core Ideas, address aligning Science and Engineering Practices, and provide practice with Crosscutting Concepts. We found the PBDB an exceptionally effective and exciting resource to use with both populations and one that provides an opportunity to use authentic data for addressing multiple aspects of the NGSS. This presentation will share experiences and lessons learned.