2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 5:10 PM


MANDUCA, Cathryn A.1, RISSLER, Heather1, ANDERSON, Jennifer2, BEZANSON, Char3, MOOSAVI, Sadredin C.4 and MCDARIS, John R.5, (1)Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, Northfield, MN 55057, (2)Department of Geology, Winona State University, 114 Pasteur Hall, Winona, MN 55987, (3)Education Department, St. Olaf College, 1520 St. Olaf Avenue, Northfield, MN 55057, (4)Walden University, 726 Baker Avenue, Mankato, MN 56001, (5)Science Education Research Center, Carleton College, 1 North College St, Northfield, MN 55057, cmanduca@carleton.edu

Preparing future teachers to teach Earth science is one of the most important and highly leveraged activities of geoscience departments. Every teacher, well prepared or not, goes on to teach thousands of students the basics of Earth science, providing their first and often last introduction to the field. At the same time, preparing teachers is one of the most challenging aspects of a faculty member's work. It requires model teaching on the part of the faculty, so that future teachers not only learn to think like a geoscientist and have mastery of the content, but also have effective models for teaching this content as they move forward. It is most effective if done in collaboration with schools of education, and it caries with it the need for effective encouragement and mentoring for a group that has chosen a different career path than that of the professor.

To assist geoscience departments and faculty in meeting these challenges, the Science Education Resource Center has developed a web resource 'Preparing Teachers to Teach Earth Science'. This site has three major parts: 1) a section describing the overall challenge including information on the current preparation of Earth science teachers, information on the various roles in which teachers teach Earth science, and suggestions on the wide range of roles that geoscience faculty and departments can play in preparing and supporting teachers of Earth science, 2) a section on preparing future teachers that showcases strategies that departments have taken in designing introductory courses to support future teachers including those seeking broad-field certification, in designing full programs for teachers within the major, in incorporating teaching and research experiences for future teachers, and in mentoring future teachers. This section includes profiles of over 15 existing courses, and 3) a section on supporting the professional development of practicing teachers which provides an overview of a wide variety of approaches and profiles over 20 existing programs from around the country.

The site is envisioned as a community resource where geoscience faculty can showcase their work and share their experiences with others engaged in similar work. Under active development, we are seeking new examples of programs and courses to profile as well as feedback on the content and design of the site.