National Science Foundation
Strengthening Geoscience Teacher Training

The Geoscience Teacher Training (GEO-Teach) program was initiated in 2006 to address the need for highly qualified teachers in the geosciences. This ambitious program aims to establish transformative practices for providing high-quality professional development and training to pre-service and in-service secondary school earth system science teachers across the nation. Two GEO-Teach projects were selected for National Science Foundation support beginning in FY2007.  The first project is a collaboration between the University of New Hampshire (Karen Graham, PI), Pennsylvania State University (Tanya Furman, PI), Dillard University (Abdalla Darwish, PI) and Elizabeth City State University (William Porter, PI). It will bolster existing University of New Hampshire (UNH) teacher preparation programs through addition of mentoring, networking, research experiences, and development of inquiry-based classroom activities.  Expansion of the UNH model to satellite programs at the partner institutions will allow investigation of the adaptability and exportability of the model to other types of institutions, including those with diverse student populations. 

In the second project, the Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) (Robert Myers, PI, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies) will provide 40 academic institutions with online earth system science courses for in-service and pre-service teachers that address their needs in the areas of geoscience content, technology, educational resources, and new teaching methods. Participating teachers will be immersed in a knowledge-building community in which they conduct research, learn new content, expose their thinking to critical analysis, and develop new classroom activities.   

For both projects, evaluation data will be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model for teacher training and professional development and its potential to be successfully scaled up, institutionalized, and sustained at a larger number of institutions.

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