Lunar and Planetary Institute

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

NASA SMD Reporting

Event Form

Conference Name: ATE (Association of Teacher Educators)
Location:  Atlanta, GA
Date: Feb 17-21, 2006
Approximate attendance: unknown; early predictions were 2,000, but only saw evidence of 500 teacher educators. There were additional pre-service students and classroom teachers present for special sessions on Saturday through Monday.

SCORE staff attending: Stephanie Shipp and Christine Shupla

Conference Outcome/Things to Note and Follow-Up
(e.g., special needs noted at this conference, particular people SCORE should contact and why, questions to address from participants, etc.)


  • Increase our understanding of:
    • How science is integrated into the pre-service curriculum
    • Needs of pre-service faculty with respect to bringing science content and pedagogy into their classrooms
    • Who is the audience? What are the demographics of the colleges (and their preservice students) and of the schools that the students will be teaching in? Do the needs or the means of delivery differ?
  • Identify paths for appropriate partnerships to meet these needs
  • Discussion leads to identification of possible methods for NASA to deliver science resources, content, etc:
    • Is there sufficient interest among pre-service institutions?
    • Partnerships between pre-service institutions and scientists?
    • Resources (activities, demonstrations, etc.)?
    • Workshop for science teacher educators? possibly in conjunction with ATE and ASTE conferences??
    • Discussion identifies Educators who are willing to play a role in delivering space science to pre-service institutions.
  • Contacts to participate in our working group
  • Contacts who want to participate in bringing solutions to community (hosting/presenting workshops, etc.)
  • List of organizations who want to receive deliverables from us

To achieve these goals:

  • Planned a Saturday Earth-Moon Mysteries workshop for teachers and pre-service students
  • Planned a Sunday "Clinic"
  • Handed out materials and a survey
  • Conducted discussions at a table in the Exhibitors area and attended sessions


  • Saturday workshop was cancelled due to lack of participants
  • Sunday Clinic had one participant, so, we had a lengthy discussion with her (Dr. Margaret Hammer from Sam Houston.)
  • Attendance at the exhibitors area was low. We collected a few surveys and held about a dozen conversations with conference attendees, and distributed information about the pre-service committee to two dozen.
  • We held useful discussions with other participants and presenters during some sessions.
  • Overall impressions from discussions:
    • Most conference attendees were not involved in STEM education
    • Those who were involved in science education were often in the College of Education, and taught science methods and were often from elementary education
    • There is a sense that elementary majors do need more science content, both different (particular to their needs) as well as greater depth
    • One attendee expressed concern that the science methods classes in general havenít changed or improved in many decades
    • Many attendees expressed frustration that the science and arts faculty teaching science content are not teaching what pre-service students need to learn

  • Issues expressed:
    • Lack of funding for workshops
    • Teacher salaries
    • Student teacher goals and beliefs did not match their instructors (many felt their primary goal was to be a role model)
    • Disconnect between Colleges of Education and Science/Arts
    • Differing student needs based on various cultures, backgrounds
    • Minimum science requirements for educational degrees
    • Restricted time for putting science and math into the curriculum
    • Traditional versus alternative certification
    • No current national testing in scienceóteachers teaching to the tests, so not spending time on science until the 5th grade
    • Special needs students

  • Opportunities and models:
    • Science content taught by science department working in conjunction with Ed department, geared specifically for pre-service students
    • Science and math content imbedded throughout education courses (Wisconsin university developing)

Key contacts:
Dr. Margaret Hammer
Curriculum & Instruction
Sam Houston State University
Teacher Education Center
1908 Ave. H, Room 235
Huntsville, TX 77341
(936) 294-1145
Would like us to work with her on presenting astronomy

Elsa Price, EdD
Associate Professor of Biology and Education
Faulkner University
502 Johnson
5345 Atlanta Hwy.
Montgomery, AL 36109-3390
(334) 386-7517 is interested in participating on Committee

Debra Thatcher, Ph.D.
Assoc Dean for Teacher Education,
Director, School of Education
Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave.
Marquette, MI 49855
(906) 227-2728
science content taught by science department working with Ed, in courses specifically designed for Elementary majors

Who completed this form: Christine Shupla

Date: February 27, 2006