Supporting Practicing Teachers

Created by Jennifer L. B. Anderson, Ph.D., SERC, Carleton College.

Some Earth science teachers have a college major in a geoscience field, but most have a major in another science area and are assigned to teach Earth science either full- or part-time. These teachers are often highly motivated to increase their knowledge of Earth science, and need appropriate professional development opportunities such as summer institutes and graduate courses designed for teachers.

A Spectrum of Approaches for Scientists to Support Practicing Teachers

Find out about quick and simple ways to get involved in supporting Earth science teachers as well as opportunities for individual geoscience faculty, entire geoscience departments, and campus-wide or regional collaborations to offer professional development opportunities for practicing teachers. (learn more here)

Being a Science Education Advocate

There are many roles for scientists in local school districts such as being a member of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), the school board, or volunteering their time to review science textbooks and curricula. Scientists are recognized as leaders in their communities and can use their voices to support practicing science teachers and quality science education programs. A scientist who is an active science advocate raises the profile of science in their community and makes their work more visible and accessible to the general public by giving a public talk or field trip, or inviting a class to visit their lab on campus. (learn more here)

Assisting Teachers in their Classroom

If you would like to get into a local K-12 classroom and work directly with students and teachers, there are many opportunities available and many scientists already taking this approach. But there are also a number of important factors to take into account, such as working with school districts, administrations, individual teachers, and dealing with students. Check here for some examples and tips about this particular type of involvement. (learn more here)