The Earth2Class Model for Professional Development to Implement the Next Generation Science Standards
Friday, 19 December 2014: 3:10 PM
Professional development for teachers involved in the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) will require a multifaceted approach combining curriculum development, understanding the nature of science, applications of engineering and technology, integrating reading and writing, and other pedagogical components. The Earth2Class Workshops (E2C) at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University (LDEO) provides one model for creating effective training to meet the NGSS challenges. E2C has provided more than 135 workshops since 1998 that have brought together LDEO research scientists with classroom teachers and students from the New York metropolitan area and elsewhere. Each session provides teachers with the chance to learn first-hand about the wide range of investigations conducted at LDEO. This approach aligns strongly with the NGSS goals: mastery of the disciplinary core ideas, science and engineering practices, understanding the nature of science, and cross-cutting relationships. During workshops, participating teachers interact with scientists to gain understanding of what stimulated research questions, how scientists put together all the components of investigations, and ways in which results are disseminated. Networking among teachers often leads to developing lesson plans based on the science, as well as support for professional growth not always possible within the school setting. Through the E2C website www.earth2class.org
, teachers and students not able to attend the live workshops can access archival versions of the sessions. The website also provides a wide variety of educational resources. These have proved to be valuable on a national basis, as evidenced by an average of more than 300,000 hits per month from thousands of site visitors. Participating researchers have found E2C to be an effective approach to provide broader outreach of their results. During the next couple of years, the E2C program will expand to provide more resources useful for educators seeking to introduce NGSS-based programs in their districts. The E2C model can be applied in other settings, with appropriate modifications.