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Earth Systems: Role in the Program

Page prepared by William Slattery of Wright State University.

A discussion of the design and implementation of an earth systems science content course serving pre-service teachers at Wright State University, created by William Slattery.

A description of this course and its goals is available.

What Role Does this Course Play in Teacher Preparation?

This course is the Earth/Space science course in the upper tier of courses taken by pre-service Middle School teachers seeking a Science Concentration on their License. It is a required course in their teacher preparation.

How does the Course Address Each Role?

Earth Systems addresses its role as an upper tier course by building on the 9-12 National and State science content benchmarks and by the courses role in using research in the process of scientific inquiry.

How do Students Integrate Learning & Teaching?

The Middle School Licensure program at Wright State University is a five year program (four baccalauriate and one graduate year)with most of the pedagogy and student teaching done in the fifth year. Students are not required to "teach" per se but instead build their understandings of connections across STEM disciplines through independent research, discussion and creative development of laboratory activities.

How does the Course Transition Pre-service Teachers into the Classroom?

The pre-service teachers are encouraged to save the resources that they have used in developing their Earth Systems science research reports and laboratory activities and use them when they do their student teaching in their fifth year student teaching.

How is the Course Content Aligned with the National Science Education Standards?

The course is aligned with the National Science Education Standards for Science Content, Assessment in Science Education, Teaching Science and Science Teaching.

How does the Course Meet Certification Requirements?

The course is required for all pre-service Middle School teacher candidates seeking a Science Concentration on their Ohio Teaching License.

What Challenges have been Encountered in Teaching this Course? How have they been Resolved?

The most challenging aspect of teaching the course comes from scheduling the course through the university bureaucracy because teaching the course requires scheduling both computer lab time in order to engage in internet website research and also scheduling classroom/laboratory space. There is no easy mechanism in place to provide two spaces for one class.