Research Capacity Building through Professional Development for K-12 Teachers
Monday, 15 December 2014: 1:40 PM
Engaging teachers in field research provides opportunities to learn and use the knowledge and skills in the eight practices of science and engineering emphasized in the Next Generation Science Standards. At Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) professional development workshops for teachers in Alaska, we use a professional development model that we developed in the Seasons and Biomes Project. Daily activities integrate an earth system and interdisciplinary approach, science content and processes based on GLOBE measurement protocols in various fields of investigations such as weather and climate, hydrology, land cover, phenology, and soils, best teaching practices such as inquiry, and a model for student science research investigation. Besides learning and practicing the measurement protocols and the steps in conducting a science investigation inside and outside the workshop classroom, teachers conduct field research with scientists studying the ecosystems of a deciduous forest and a black spruce forest. In addition to enhancing science content and practices learning, assessment results and student work indicate increased research capacity when the trained teachers return to their classroom and engage their students in ongoing regional or global research investigations as well as in conducting their own studies at or close to their schools.