Developing Expert Interdisciplinary Thinkers: Online Resources for Preparing Pre-service Teachers to Teach the NGSS

Friday, 19 December 2014: 2:40 PM
Molly Kent1, Anne E Egger2, Monica Z Bruckner1 and Cathryn A Manduca1, (1)Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, Northfield, MN, United States, (2)Central Washington University, Geological Sciences and Science Education, Ellensburg, WA, United States
Over 100,000 students obtain a bachelor's degree in education every year; these students most commonly encounter the geosciences through a general education course, and it may be the only geoscience course they ever take. However, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) contain much more Earth science content than previous standards. In addition, the NGSS emphasize the use of science and engineering practices in the K-12 classroom. Future teachers need to experience learning science as a scientist, through a hands-on, activity-based learning process, in order to give them the skills they need to teach science that same way in the future. In order to be successful at teaching the NGSS, both current and future teachers will need more than a single course in geoscience or science methods. As a result, there is now a key opportunity for geoscience programs to play a vital role in strengthening teacher preparation programs, both through introductory courses and beyond.

To help programs and individual faculty take advantage of this opportunity, we have developed a set of web-based resources, informed by participants in the InTeGrate program as well as by faculty in exemplary teacher preparation programs. The pages address the program-level task of creating engaging and effective courses for teacher preparation programs, with the goal of introducing education majors to the active pedagogies and geoscience methods they will later use in their own classrooms. A collection of exemplary Teacher Preparation programs is also included. Additional pages provide information on what it means to be an “expert thinker” in the geosciences and how individual faculty and teachers can explicitly teach these valuable skills that are reflected in the science and engineering practices of the NGSS.

Learn more on the InTeGrate web site about preparing future teachers: serc.carleton.edu/integrate/programs/teacher_prep.html
and training expert thinkers: serc.carleton.edu/integrate/teaching_materials/expert_thinkers.html