GSA Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, USA - 2019

Paper No. 253-6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


EBERT, James R., Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, SUNY Oneonta, 108 Ravine Parkway, Oneonta, NY 13820-4015, DOLPHIN, Glenn R., Dept. of Geoscience, University of Calgary, 2500 University Drive NW, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada and BISCHOFF, Paul, Secondary Education and Educational Technology Department, SUNY Oneonta, 108 Ravine Parkway, Oneonta, NY 13820-4015

Earth Science Education majors that participated in Model Research and Design Summer Institutes at SUNY Oneonta (supported by NSF GEO/ICER 1701048) learned about models as effective pedagogical strategies and the role of model-making in NGSS. After authentic research into specific content, these students planned, designed and built physical models of various Earth processes. The students then presented their models to 28 in-service teachers in a workshop at the 2018 Science Teachers Association of New York (STANYS) conference. In a post-workshop evaluation, the in-service teachers overwhelmingly reported positive responses to the workshop and indicated that the new models would help students understand the target concepts. Post-workshop evaluations clearly show that in-service teachers are receptive to and benefit from professional development provided by pre-service teachers.

A large majority of the in-service teachers responded that it was a great idea and/or great practice for pre-service teachers to conduct research that benefits in-service teachers. One third of the workshop teachers reported that the most positive aspect of the workshop was that students were presenting. In-service teachers pointed out that pre-service teachers bring new blood, new ideas and new perspectives and that in-service teachers generally lack the time to conceive of, design, and build new models.

Over one third of the workshop teachers stated that the models presented changed their thinking about the target concepts. This was especially the case for 2 biology teachers that had been assigned to teach Earth Science for the first time. Equally important, one third of the teachers indicated that although their thinking about the concepts didn’t change, they thought of new ways to teach the target concepts. A large majority asserted that they were very likely (>75%) to use at least one of the models in their classrooms.

Teachers in the workshop also provided feedback on other concepts for which new models would help student understanding. Two of the concepts suggested were the focus of new models constructed during the 2019 Summer Institute. These, and other models from the 2019 Summer Institute, will be evaluated by NYS Master Teachers, field-tested in high school classrooms and presented at the 2019 STANYS conference.