INTRODUCING NEXT GENERATION SCIENCE STANDARDS TO THE TEACHER'S COLLEGE
There is sufficient diversity of science standards across the U.S. that a cautious approach may be wise when addressing matters of science pedagogy. This author has developed instructional materials to introduce NGSS into formal coursework when the go-ahead is given. These materials will be shared with colleagues in other departments to facilitate a common approach to science teacher preparation.
In 2012, according to an Eduventures report, WGU was by headcount the largest provider of Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Earth Sciences education (1). WGU was recently ranked #1 for secondary teacher preparation and #16 for elementary teacher preparation of 2,400 programs reviewed by the National Council on Teacher Quality (2). Currently, WGU is partnering with 100K in10 to increase the supply of middle school and high school STEM teachers by preparing 4,000 more graduates by 2018; it is hoped that at least 70% of these new teachers will come from underserved populations (3).
As more states adopt NGSS, the need for Earth Science teachers at middle schools and high schools will also grow. WGU faculty want to equip our Geoscience education graduates with skills and tools they can use in their classrooms regardless which science standards they teach to.
(1) "Western Governors University Leads the U.S. in STEM Teaching Grads" (2014). Retrieved from WGU website at http://www.wgu.edu/about_WGU/WGU_leads_in_STEM_1-6-14
(2) National Council on Teacher Quality (2014). Teacher Prep Review 2014 Report. Retrieved from NCTQ website at http://www.nctq.org/dmsStage/Teacher_Prep_Review_2014_Report
(3) "Western Governors University" (2014). Retrieved from 100kin10 website at http://www.100kin10.org/page/partners