Friday May 16, 2003
Preparing Earth Science Teachers: What Should They Know and Be Able to Do
The following key points emerged from small group discussions led by Dan Barstow, Larry Braile, David Gosselin, Tom Lindsay, Cass Runyon and Dara Dorsey.
- to view earth science as a way to integrate NSES both content and social aspects, inquiry, etc.
- how to learn -- where to go for information
- maps, graphs, etc.
- how to approach problems
- link of research in education
- breadth vs. depth vs. inquiry -- need depth to do inquiry
- confidently and enthusiastically
- passion for engaging
- space age perspective
- interactions/dynamic systems
- integration through time
- teach to everybody
- know how to teach about the earth to all students
- 5 dimensions -- 3D + time + people
- impact of testing -- worst constraint -- list of content knowledge -- how change test
- environment, natural resources, hazards -- framework
- how to integrate with literacy
- two cultures
Introductory Courses: A Spectrum of Approaches to Linking Content and Methods
Introductory comments from Karen Havholm, Steve Good, and John Madsen were followed by a small-group break out session. The three groups discussed ways to create effective introductory geoscience courses for future science teachers: set aside specific courses for preservice teachers, add special laboratory sections for preservice teachers, and the integrated science approach.
Separate Introductory Courses Group Report
Dan Barstow, Gene Bierly, Robert Cichowski, Sue DeBari, Allan Feldman, Karen Grove, Jackie Huntoon, Jill Karsten, Carl Katsu, Steve Mattox, Ellen Metzger, Monica Ramirez, Cass Runyon, Leslie Sautter, Mary Savina, Nate Shotwell, Richard Yuretich, Karen Havholm
The group discussing separate introductory courses focused on the logistics of providing specialized courses, including establishing connections with a course in educational methods, teaching in classrooms that encourage hands-on activities, and making use of non-traditional time blocks. By implementing these changes, the introductory course may become more robust by allowing more time (longer class periods) and resources for teaching the process of science, addressing content standards, and encouraging discussion. Instructors might be liberated from the standard lecture format, and be free to demonstrate more effective teaching practices within the introductory course.
This approach to preparing preservice teachers is attractive because it does not require separate courses to be developed, it keeps the science education major in the general student population, and more students may benefit from learning about how to teach (or be attracted to teaching themselves). Drawbacks include inconsistency in teaching, the typically large class size in introductory classes, and questions of content level when compared to other science disciplines.
Supplements to Introductory Courses Group Report
Larry Braile, Dara Dorsey, Tom Lindsay, Randy McGinnis, Steve Good
This group began with an outline of a standard introductory course featuring additional sections for preservice teachers. The special sections would be designed to convey best practices, by teaching inquiry, constructivist theory (less is more), metacognition and pedegogical reflection, and other techniques that students could in turn use in their own classes. The construction of these sections might be as separate lab sections, or a separate shadow-pedagogy course connected to the introductory course.
Obstacles to developing this approach may include the course being perceived as watered down, difficulty in finding qualified faculty who can commit to creating and maintaining the course, and the fact that students in an introductory course may have very limited knowledge of pedagogy to work with.
Integrated Science Group Report
Dave Gosselin, Cathy Summa, Ron Narode, Randy Sachter, Joan Prival, Celeste Carty, Rusty Low, John Madsen
This group considered the development of science courses that include a geoscience component. Making the classes inquiry-based makes them more active and hands on. Since the students are involved in developing their own experiments, the experiments will be more relevant to the students' everyday life. Earth Science in general is integrated by nature and also links naturally with other areas such as math and literacy. This approach will lead to a better understanding of the interconnections between and within these disciplines. It will also allow more opportunity for the students to connect with the scientific concepts rather than just memorizing facts and data. This approach may be particularly appropriate for future elementary school teachers as is reflects the reality of teaching at that level.
Several obstacles to this sort of integration were discussed: the difficulty in affecting change in academic departments and teaching programs; it takes more time to teach this way—less material can be covered in a given class and instructor-student interaction would require smaller class sizes; class should be structured to counteract perception of watered-down content.
Suggestions for case studies and examples.
Gaining Real World Experience in Research and Teaching
The following breakout groups were asked to consider questions regarding students' experiences in research and teaching, from assessment of current opportunities to the proposition of new models.
- Teaching Experiences: Ron Narode and Cathy Summa, Larry Braile, Celeste Carty, Robert Cichowski, Susan DeBari, Dara Dorsey, Steve Good, Karen Grove, Karen Havholm, Tom Lindsay, Randy Sachter, Mary Savina, Nate Shotwell
- Research Experiences: Leslie Sautter and Steve Mattox, Dan Barstow, Gene Bierly, Allan Feldman, Dave Gosselin, Jackie Huntoon, Carl Katsu, Rusty Low, John Madsen, Randy McGinnis, Ellen Metzger, Monica Ramirez, Bob Ridky, Cassandra Runyon, Richard Yuretich
Finalizing Recommendations about Real World Experience
Recruiting Geoscience Students for K-12 Teaching Careers: Warming the Climate and Recruiting the People
Are We On Track: Perspectives from Teachers and Educators
Saturday May 17, 2003
Beyond Classroom Teaching: Brainstorming Session (break-out groups)
Developing ideas for new kinds of extracurricular or co-curricular experiences
Working Together: Strategies for Strengthening the Total Teacher Preparation Experience
Developing Plans, Building Support, and Gaining Commitment
Key Ideas, Missed Points, and Next Steps
Key ideas from this workshop center around improving the number and quality of students interested in becoming teachers, and supporting those students who do choose teaching as a career path. Collaboration and building communities and relationships between new and master teachers,