Geosciences for Elementary Educators engages future elementary teachers in a hands-on investigation of topics aligned with the third and fifth grade Earth/Space Science and Scientific Inquiry benchmarks of the Oregon Content Standards. The course was designed to develop the content background of elementary teachers within the framework of the science described in the content standards, to provide an opportunity for future teachers to explore the content area in relation to what takes place in the classrooms of elementary schools, and to initiate a community of learners focused on teaching science to elementary students. The course focused on four themes: the classroom teacher as an activity and curriculum developer using diverse resources to keep the content current and alive; the classroom teacher as educator dealing with the diverse backgrounds of students in a developmentally appropriate manner; the classroom teacher as reﬂective practitioner exploring the links among pedagogy, content, and student learning; and, the classroom teacher as citizen staying current with emerging policy issues and debates that impact education. In a course where process is extremely important, participants are assessed on what they can do with content and process knowledge through preparing lesson plans, presenting lessons in a simulated classroom environment, and developing a portfolio and journal. Lesson plans demonstrate participant understanding of inquiry, using models, deductive and inductive approaches, links between communication skills and content knowledge, and effective use of technology, including the Internet. For each topic, the mixture of demonstration, experimentation, inquiry, and lecture models are explored through investigation, discovery, and analysis.
© Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0) (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)
Cummings, M. L.; Goodrich, M.; and Burmester, D.
"Geosciences for Elementary Educators: A Course Assessment,"
Journal of Mathematics and Science: Collaborative Explorations: Vol. 6
, Article 12.
Available at: https://scholarscompass.vcu.edu/jmsce_vamsc/vol6/iss1/12