Recommendations from Review Panel Regarding Programs to Prepare
Teachers of EARTH/SPACE SCIENCE (DH)
August 25, 2006
The faculty at
We believe we have made a careful effort to address the points noted by the reviewers, yet if additional questions arise, or we can further clarify the strengths of our program, we look forward to the opportunity to address those issues as well. We thank the reviewers for their careful and thoughtful analysis.
Program Review Comment/Response
Standard 2.0 - . . . Apply mathematics, including statistics and precalculus, to investigations. . . Reviewers were unable to confirm that this standard is met. Please provide additional information beyond that currently stated in syllabi and course descriptions.
Effective with the fall of 2005, MA207 Statistics was a program requirement for all teacher candidates. This requirement is reflected in our Undergraduate Handbook, and stated as a requirement for graduation. In order to simplify this application, and to address the standard for individuals seeking to add the Earth/Space science endorsement, we will add MA207 Principles of Statistics to the program requirements (major/minor/endorsement) and reflect this change in the program narrative (2.b) and on Form XX. This change will increase the apparent program size by three semester credits. Similarly, the Earth/Space program requires MA111 College Algebra as a departmental degree requirement. We have added this to the major/minor endorsement requirements and reflected the change on Form XX.
Standard 4.0 - . . . design and conduct inquiry-based open-ended investigations . . . After examining the syllabi and expanded course descriptions, reviewers were unable to establish if this standard is being met by courses with a GE prefix. Please offer additional information to verify that these courses enable candidates to meet this standard.
Laboratory experiences, required in every course in
integrally incorporate learner investigations.
Laboratory experiences totaling over 330 hours are required in the major, and over 210 for the minor. During this time students gain invaluable
experience in the processes and procedures for implementing chemical based
investigations. Preparing teacher
candidates to lead inquiry-based open-ended investigations begins with training
university students in the concepts and skills of chemical analysis, and finds
its fruition in the classroom experiences of the field experience and the
discussions of TE443. While many
experiments assigned through the program are focused on specific learning
outcomes they might be considered to not be inquiry based. The teacher candidate applies these
principles in developing activities for their secondary classrooms. The institution has led EPA funded grants
with several local districts to assist the secondary students to become active
in water quality monitoring of local streams.
Through these collaborative projects our faculty, and
graduates-now-teachers, have worked to apply the techniques of the university
classroom to the real-world contexts of the secondary student’s world. TE443 discusses constructivist learning
theory and its application to the classroom as discussed in Chiappetta. See also our response to Standard 10.0.
Chapter 9 Learning in Middle Grades and Secondary Schools
· Cognitive Approaches and Strategies for Teaching Science in a Constructivist Manner
· Assessing and Reviewing
· Resources to Examine
Standard 6.0 – understand and promote the maintenance of a safe science classroom as identified by the Council of State Science Supervisors (CSSS). . . Please provide additional information as to how the teacher candidates are directed to or become knowledgeable of CSSS guidelines. For example, site the website (http://www.csss-science.org/downloads/scisafe.pdf) in the syllabi for TE443 and some of the earth space science courses.
TE443 is the best and most relevant place to hold a discussion of the supervision of a safe science learning environment. Laboratory safety is essential, and explicitly discussed in the the context of labs in all courses related to Earth/Space Science. However the discussion in a university laboratory centers on university student safety, not on the implications for science activities performed in distant (both physically and conceptually) secondary classrooms. In the science methods course we hold discussion regarding the Council of State Science Supervisors, illustrate reference sources such as Flinn Scientific Catalogs for laboratory/school safety, and we provide discipline specific information on laboratory safety, and practice laboratory safety inspections. We have used several different science methods textbooks over time, but each has given special attention to this important matter in a separate chapter in the textbook on science safety. The table of contents for Chiappetta’s book, referenced in the TE443 syllabus, has been provided for the reviewer’s reference. The chapter on laboratory safety, given a week’s instructional time in our course, addresses the discipline specific safety needs for each field of study. Teacher candidates prepare summaries of the textbook readings, and consistently relate their appreciation for the discipline specific discussion of safety topics. For example, the handling of animals in a biology class, the handling and disposal of waste from chemistry, and the health hazards of some minerals in earth/space science classes.
We wish the reviewers to consider that not every web
reference provided in our comprehensive secondary science methods textbook can
be expected to also be present in the syllabus.
Further, it is not an explicit goal of every science course to
specifically and explicitly address the teaching standards for pre-service
teacher candidates. Some outcomes, and
their application into the secondary classroom, occur through the integration
of pedagogical and content knowledge – a process which requires analytical
synthesis and internalization of deep science knowledge in powerful learning
environments associated with the field placements. For example, electrical engineers may be
concerned about the use of ground fault interrupt circuits, but that need not
be an explicitly stated in the general chemistry syllabus – even if we do have
and use them in our laboratories.
Nevertheless, we recognize the intent of the reviewers, and have added
reference to the CSSS resources to all course syllabi. Laboratory safety is the topic of Chiappetta’s 14th chapter, which is discussed in
Chapter 14 Safety in the Laboratory and Classroom
· Safety and the Law
· General Safety Responsibilities
· Safety Goggles and Eye Protection
· Specific Safety Guidelines for Biology
· Specific Safety Guidelines for Chemistry
· Safety in the Earth Science Laboratory
· Safety Guidlines for Physics and Physical Science Laboratories
· Radiation Safety
· Safety Units for Students
· Assessing and Reviewing
· Resources to Examine
Standard 8.0 - . . . conceptual understanding will occur for all science students; Provide additional documentation explaining how teacher candidate activities provide experiences that encompass all students.
The syllabi for content area courses describe the
content focused learning objectives and activities. These courses are used by many major and
minors. There are generally no
teacher-specific outcomes for teacher candidates identified in the syllabi, nor
are there engineering- or biology- or criminalistics- or environmental health-specific outcomes
explicit in the syllabi. The content
courses provide the foundation knowledge, and model learning activities
focusing on the application of that knowledge.
The education courses bring the content together with the pedagogy, and
through extensive pre-student teaching field experiences, and an extended
student teaching internship, these are put into practice in the secondary
classroom under the supervision and mentorship of a highly qualified practicing
teacher. The issues of diverse learners
in science instruction is specifically and explicitly discussed in Chiappetta’s eighth chapter during TE443, the Secondary
Science Methods course
Chapter 8 Diverse Adolescent Learners and Their Schools
· Student Diversity
· Equity in Science Education
· Cultural and Linguistic Diversity
· Adolescents' School Science Experience
· Assessing and Reviewing
Resources to Examine
Standard 9.0 - . . .teaching through investigative experiences . . . application of the scientific processs . . . TE443 is the only coursed sited for meeting this standard on the matrix. Reviewers request additional information showing how this standard is covered in earth/space science courses, in addition to TE 443.
Standards 2 through 11 are prefaced with the statement “the preparation of high school chemistry teachers will enable teachers to …” Our perspective in preparing the narrative for Standards 2-11 was to frame our thinking in the context of teacher specific training. The syllabi for the content classes in chemistry do not generally specifically detail the education related outcomes of their courses, any more than they identify the specific ancillary outcomes related to the preparation of pre-service doctors, firefighters, biologists, environmental health specialists or engineers. The content of these standards are present in the chemistry courses, but the application to the secondary classroom is implicit for education students, and explicit in TE443 and the program field experiences.
The curriculum covered by
Earth/Space Science is an extensively laboratory based curriculum. There is a required laboratory component for
each course in the program. These laboratories focus on investigative
experiences and the application of the scientific process (evidenced by the
laboratory activities described in each syllabus). These laboratories have as their focus the
university teaching individuals (teacher candidates, pre-professional students,
pre-engineering students, pre-firefighters and others) through and about
investigative scientific processes. The
teacher candidate then uses these skills and applies them in the context of
their pre-service field experiences (90 hrs prior to student teaching, and
generally two semesters of supervised student teaching under the direction of a
highly qualified science educator). Chiappetta’s 13th chapter on laboratory work is
discussed in TE443 where teacher candidates relate their experiences in the
many chemistry laboratories to their new role as teacher and coordinator of
student learning in laboratory.
Chapter 13 Laboratory and Field Work
· What is Laboratory Work?
· Preparing Students for Laboratory Experiences
· Ensuring Successful Laboratory Experiences
· Assessing and Reviewing
· Resources to Examine
On Form XX, please review the total number of semester hours for the secondary minor and additional endorsements. Section 2-b of the Program Summary (the sequence of courses) states 23 semester hours and Form XX also adds up to 23, while also reporting 28 semester hours at bottom of Form XX.
We will mark this up to an editing error. With this correction, and the explicit requirement of algebra and statistics, the program size has increased to 57 and 29 semester hours for the major/minor respectively. The changes are indicated on the revised FormXX.
Instructional Faculty table:
The university provides an annual allocation for each faculty member to pursue professional development. Attendance and participation at national and regional conferences are common, as are use of these funds for instructional technology and instructional resources (books, subscriptions, etc). The annual review of faculty, both in the school of education and in the schools and departments across campus, has as part of the contractual obligation, the preparation and assessment of a personal professional development plan. Reference to, and the criteria of, this plan can be found in the faculty handbook. The institution makes sufficient opportunity for faculty to avail themselves of professional development opportunities. The faculty may then take the opportunity to report of the details of their individual activities the purpose of this report and the MDE review panel.
We regret the oversight in omitting the instructors for these courses, the Instructional faculty table has been revised and new links posted from the program narrative page. The instructors of these courses are as follows:
TE443 – David Myton
GE315 - Diane Krueger
GE318 - Paul Kelso
GE445 - Lewis Brown
-------- Original Message --------
Re: fall faculty training
Thu, 20 Jul 2006 15:34:07 -0400
Michelle Ribant <firstname.lastname@example.org>
David Myton <
Dave - We at the
The department, which
finds its primary interests and faculty focus centered on the preparation of
professional geologists, active and ongoing international research agendas, and
nationally recognized curriculum reform efforts, may not necessarily find time
for collaborative opportunities with regional teachers from our extremely large
and remote region. On
the whole, the science faculty at the university have
good representation on regional science initiatives, with the
Reviewer requests specific information as to how females are encouraged to pursue Earth Science as specified in Section 2-e. Also, please describe how this incorporates gender equity into the teaching of the subject area.
The biographical poster assignment, described as in the excerpt below from the TE443 syllabus, requires candidates to generate a student assignment, including assessment rubric, in which the learner will identify the contributions of a minority or woman from the content area under examination. The teacher candidate prepares a lesson, rubric, and exemplar of the assignment poster, as a model for their subsequent use as an assignment for their classroom. Individuals in the student teaching internship often report the successful use of such assignments in their classes.
Biographical Poster (5%) – as described in the syllabus for TE443
Prepare a lesson plan for an activity where you assign your students to prepare a poster display of a biographical nature on a scientist (from your areas of endorsement). Create a series of overhead transparencies, or use other appropriate instructional technology, to use in your classroom to define the assignment, its grading rubric. Prepare a poster to model the assignment for the class. The focus should be to emphasize the wide diversity of cultural and ethnic backgrounds of scientists (scientists other than white men of European descent). Outline their background, scientific contributions, and information on their life to help understand them as a whole person, and to demonstrate the interconnectedness of all science. In-class presentations will allow each person to present their poster before they are placed on display in the school offices. Turn In: lesson plan, poster and webpage evaluation rubric