Earth and Space Sciences
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
I am an Assistant Professor of Earth and Space Sciences at West Chester University where I teach Science Education Methods classes (Middle Grades, and Elementary) and Introductory Geology, and supervise student teachers.
In 2017, I received my PhD. from Purdue University, in Earth, Atmosphere, & Planetary Sciences focusing on geoscience education. I have my B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in geosciences, and my M.A. in Curriculum& Instruction/Science Education from Kean University in NJ. I taught high school/middle school earth science for 15 years in NJ, where I served as President of the NJESTA. I also was an adjunct teaching Science Methods, and Earth Science for Educators. Before teaching I was in environmental/geotech consulting for several years, and I also had a stint at ETS for about 10 months after I stopped teaching and moved out to Indiana to go to Purdue. I love teaching - I often say I am a teacher - first, last, always. I love doing outreach with kids, as I always want to improve kids' understanding and appreciation of science. I am always looking for new ways, new activities to do and try with kids to make learning earth science and geology more fun, memorable, and meaningful, especially if they can help teachers and are aligned with NGSS. My dissertation research focused on the introductory geology class and its students - the connection between the instruction, lab activities and course content and structure and their attitudes and understanding of geology and learning geology, in order to identify their geological worldview and how it may evolve over their experience in the course. Since being at WCU, I've written an introductory geology e-textbook (on the TopHat platform) and created a number of instructional demonstration videos and some VR field trips. I used these in my geology class and have collected quantitative and qualitative data to determine whether they are having an impact on student understanding of geology (yes - they are!). My pedagogy interests/research interests also lie in lesson and curriculum design, particularly as a lesson/unit is framed by a Cross Cutting Concept.
Website Content Contributions
Torn Pieces of a Newspaper part of Teach the Earth:Teaching Activities
A successful unit on plate tectonics begins with engaging learners about the puzzle of the continents. Using "torn pieces of a newspaper" (Wegener's actual words), students recreate the newspaper ...
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