How Can We Teach Atmospheric Dynamics Better?
Atmospheric dynamics is/are arguably the hardest class(es) to teach in the undergraduate meteorology/atmospheric sciences curriculum. The subject is rooted in math and physics material that our students may have not learned well; dynamics is an important gateway class for prospective atmospheric sciences graduate students, but its theoretical content can be off-putting to future forecasters and visual learners; some of its key topics, such as the Coriolis force, confound even faculty; and the first edition of James Holton's classic textbook on the subject will be 50 years old in 2022. In this mini-workshop, we will pool both our frustration and our fresh ideas in order to emerge with an improved understanding of, and new approaches to, how to teach atmospheric dynamics successfully to a wider range of students than before. Bring with you an example of what works for you and your students in dynamics, and a topic or aspect of dynamics that you want to improve on as a teacher!
Fill out this pre-workshop survey to give input ahead of time
By the end of this workshop, participants will:
- Meet and get to know colleagues who teach, and care about teaching, atmospheric dynamics
- Share and receive new ideas and resources for teaching atmospheric dynamics better
- Make an action plan for implementing one or more innovations in their next dynamics class
- Become part of a continuing group of instructors interested in teaching atmospheric dynamics better
3:00 Welcome to the workshop and brief introductions
3:10 Breakout groups to get to know each other better
3:30 Refining goals
3:40 Whole-group discussion of common challenges in atmospheric dynamics: what's hard to teach, what gets left out that belongs, what should get left out?
3:50 Breakout groups focused on individual topics/challenges: why is it hard, why should it be included, whyshould it be left out? What would solutions look like?
4:15 Problems to Solutions: whole-group discussion including feedback from breakout groups and responses from those with new ideas, innovations, and/or resources
4:55 Participants work on action plans/discuss possible collaborations
5:15 Wrap-up, next steps, and evaluations