“Off the Bench”: Three Case Studies of Geographic Information System (GIS) Integration in High School Chemistry Instruction

by Thomas C Hammond, Lehigh University; Kristen A. Brown, Texas Christian University; Curby Alexander, Texas Christian University; Molly Wienburgh, Texas Christian University; Kate Popejoy, PopejoySTEM LLC; Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University; Judith Morrison, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Danielle Malone, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Jonah Firestone, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Lindsay K. Lightner, Washington State University Tri-Cities; & Doug Leeson, Lehigh University

Across Texas, Washington, and Pennsylvania, three university teams worked with teachers at three high schools to integrate geographic information systems (GIS) and other geospatial tools into chemistry lessons as part of a larger, multi-disciplinary teacher professional development initiative. Each university followed a specific design model of socio-environmental science investigations (SESI) in their professional development and curriculum development processes. Each teacher’s work is presented as a case with distinct school contexts, professional development experiences, classroom implementation outcomes, and reflections after implementation. Cross-case findings include variability in teachers’ adoption processes, the importance of cross-site collaboration, and the ability of geospatial tools to bring chemistry topics “off the bench” and into students’ thinking about their world. These cases present an advance in the curricular reach of GIS, which to date has not been broadly used in high school chemistry instruction. Further, the cases illustrate examples of the teachers’ geospatial science pedagogical content knowledge.

Using University Science Courses for Preservice Teacher Internship Experiences

by Jerrid Kruse, Drake University; & Sarah Voss, Drake University

The importance and value of high-quality opportunities to authentically practice teaching is key for new teacher development. Unfortunately, securing high-quality field experiences for preservice teachers is an ongoing problem for many teacher education programs. This article describes how we used our own university-level science content courses to provide preservice secondary teachers with robust teaching experiences through teaching internships. We share our insights from engaging interns for the last ten years, as well as the key elements of the internship experience from the perspective of former interns.

Employing Justice-Oriented Curricula and Pedagogy to Support Elementary Teacher Candidates’ Future Science Teaching

by Daniel Alston, University of North Carolina at Charlotte; & Lenora Crabtree, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

An imperative shift in science education from approaches that emphasize access and identity to those that center justice will require both an inward critical analysis of science as a discipline and outward exploration of the role science might play in creating a more just society. Accordingly, future elementary science teachers need opportunities to consider how science education might be leveraged to create a more just and equitable society. However, many science teacher educators struggle to model justice-oriented pedagogies within discipline-specific instruction; employing justice-oriented approaches is especially challenging in elementary education programs. This manuscript will describe three justice-oriented curricular innovations which supported preservice elementary teachers as they learned to teach science to elementary students. Also described are the rationales for each curricular innovation and the impact of each innovation on student learning. We conclude with a discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of the curricular innovations, their generalizability and the relevance and need for justice-oriented curricular innovations in the current political climate.

Supporting Teachers to MASTER Science and Engineering Research Practices

by Jennifer Jackson, The Pennsylvania State University; & Kathleen M. Hill, The Pennsylvania State University

Many secondary teachers often lack experience in actual science and engineering research, as their preparation programs are structured to lead to certification in a particular science field, with science learning constrained to participating in undergraduate lectures and lab courses. As a result, they often hold a view of research through the lens of the traditional scientific method in which research is linear, static, and sterile such that each step is discrete and only occurs when the prior step is complete (Windschitl, 2004; Windschitl et al., 2008). With a focus of NGSS on the science and engineering practices (SEPs), teachers need ongoing professional development that increases their understanding of the ways in which experts do their work and builds their capacity to incorporate these practices into student learning experiences. To address this need, the CSATS Research Experience for Teachers (RET) program introduces teachers to the Modeling Authentic STEM Research (MASTER)model, which serves as a useful tool and intervention for understanding high-level science and engineering research. Therefore, this paper presents an innovative framework that (1) allows teacher educators to create diagrammatic depictions of science and engineering research and (2) enables using these diagrams in programs with teachers. Through the creation of MASTER models, researchers can assist with bridging the communication gap that exists between scientists/ engineers and the K-12 community.