Big Outcrops and Big Ideas in Earth Science K-8 Professional Development
Tuesday, 16 December 2014
Washington State has recently adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and state leaders are now working toward supporting teachers’ implementation of the new standards and the pedagogical practices that support them. This poster encompasses one of one such professional development (PD) effort. The Enhancing Understanding of Concepts and Processes of Science (EUCAPS) project serves 31 K-8 in-service teachers in two southeast Washington school districts. In year two of this three year PD project, in-service teachers explored the Earth sciences and pedagogical approaches such as the Science Writing Heuristic, concept mapping, and activities which emphasized the epistemic nature of science. The goals of the EUCAPS PD project are to increase in-service teachers’ big ideas in science and to provide support to in-service teachers as they transition to the NGSS. Teachers used concepts maps to document their knowledge of Earth science processes before and after visiting a local field site in Lewiston, Idaho. In the context of immersive inquiries, teachers collected field-based evidence to support their claims about the geological history of the field site. Teachers presented their claims and evidence to their peers in the form a story about the local geologic history. This poster will present an overview of the PD as well as provide examples of teacher’s work and alignment with the NGSS.