2008 Joint Meeting of The Geological Society of America, Soil Science Society of America, American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies with the Gulf Coast Section of SEPM

Paper No. 5
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM

Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) Teacher Professional Development

MYERS, Robert J. and SCHWERIN, Theresa, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, 1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste 901, Arlington, VA 22209, theresa_schwerin@strategies.org

The Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) professional development program is providing in-depth geoscience content and teaching methods to pre- and in-service teachers. This NSF-sponsored network has expanded to nearly 40 institutions of higher learning committed to teacher Earth system science education. The program supports participating institutions with funding, training, and standards-aligned courses and resources for pre- and in-service teachers. As a result, teachers are prepared to teach Earth system science using inquiry-based classroom methods, geoscience data and tools.

The ESSEA program's mission is to: 1) support universities, colleges, and science education organizations delivering the K-12 online graduate courses; 2) strengthen teachers' understanding of Earth system science; 3) demonstrate the ability to deliver exceptional professional development to a national audience; and 4) create a solid infrastructure to sustain the program.

IGES is enhancing and building on the ESSEA foundation by:

1. Introducing extensive use of data, models and existing Earth system educational materials to support the courses;

2. Implementing a rigorous evaluation program designed to demonstrate growth in teachers' Earth systems knowledge;

3. Using the ESSEA courses as a model to introduce newly upgrade Earth system science undergraduate and graduate courses; and

4. Disseminating model teaching practices and program success through annual conferences and presentations at national geoscience and science teacher conferences.

The ESSEA program offers state-of-the-art online courses to promote understanding of Earth system science, to encourage communication and cooperation among teachers, and to facilitate the use of exceptional classroom materials. IGES furthers this vision by; updating the courses with additional tools and resources; and providing continuing support to institutions and faculty teaching middle-high school teachers (pre- and in-service) using the ESSEA courses and instructional resources.

URL Address: http://esseacourses.strategies.org/