Lunar and Planetary Institute

Conferences of Interest
LPI Education and Public Outreach
Pre-Service Education Working Group

ASP 2006 Workshop

On September 18, 2006, at the Astronomical Society of the Pacific conference in Baltimore, Maryland, the Professional Development Team of the PSEWG held the following workshop:

Lead Author/Presenter 1:
Jennifer Grier
Planetary Science Institute
Phone Number: (301) 483-8520

Title: Building Awareness: Needs, Opportunities, and Best Practices in Pre-Service Teacher Education

Author/Presenter 2:
Greg Schultz
University of California, Berkeley

Author/Presenter 3:
Tim Slater
University of Arizona

Author/Presenter 4:
Peter Holden
Wheelock College

Session Outcomes:

Participants will come away with a broader awareness and understanding of (1) the needs of pre-service K-12 teachers and the faculty and programs that prepare them, (2) opportunities for involvement in pre-service education by space science EPO professionals, and (3) best practices in the preparation of elementary and secondary teachers.


This interactive panel session, developed by members of the Pre-Service Education Working Group (PSEWG) of NASA's EPO Support Network, will focus on building awareness of the needs of pre-service K–12 teachers and the faculty and programs that prepare them. We will address the nature and scope of teacher education, how to become more involved with education faculty and pre-service teachers, and approaches for improving college science instruction to promote best practices in future K–12 classrooms.

Pre-service education is a critical entry point into the improvement of K–12 science education. It is truly "high leverage," since effective teacher preparation positively impacts many teachers and vast numbers of students over the teacher's career.  Additionally, there are needs and opportunities for enhanced teacher education that our community can effectively address.

Our panel will consist of three leading teacher educators to be confirmed upon session acceptance. Panelists will briefly describe their unique and informed perspectives, in 15-minute integrated presentations. We will transition into interactive roundtable discussions, with small groups talking directly with the panelists about specific issues, and with session organizers serving as facilitators. Questions that may be addressed include: What draws people into teacher preparation programs? What is the process to become a certified teacher? How do we reach broader and more diverse numbers of potential teachers? How can we mitigate "science phobia" amongst elementary teachers? What approaches need to be different for preparing secondary science teachers? What are key areas of space science content knowledge for pre-service teachers?