Geoscience Courses That Prepare Future Teachers

Workshop by Invitation
Carleton College, Northfield MN
May 10-12, 2007
Sponsored by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Future teachers are one of the most important constituencies in our geoscience courses. Because they will go on to teach, it is important that we help them learn both geoscience knowledge and effective ways to impart that knowledge to students. Many future middle and high school teachers major in our departments and take both introductory and upper division courses. Future elementary and middle school teachers are an important population in our introductory courses. Increasingly, there are examples of introductory courses addressing earth science and interdisciplinary science that are aimed primarily at elementary and middle school teachers.

The goal of this workshop is to examine the spectrum of ways in which geoscience courses are being designed to serve the needs of teachers: courses that serve only future teachers, those where future teachers are explictly considered in the design of the course, and those where evaluation suggests that future teachers are well served.

Workshop activities will include:

  • sharing course syllabi, and activities from geoscience courses serving future teachers
  • discussing the motivation, context, strengths and challenges of these different approaches
  • developing materials that will make what we learn available to others through the Preparing Teachers To Teach Earth Science website
  • reviewing the website and making recommendations for enhancements and use
  • developing a core community that can work together to improve teacher preparation in the geosciences and plans for that community

Participants will be asked to share course materials (e.g. activities or sample lessons) and syllabi in advance of the workshop and to participate in follow on activities.

The workshop will begin at 5:00 on May 10 and conclude after dinner on May 12. Funding is provided for travel, room and board through a grant from the National Science Foundation (EAR-0304762).

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