Pre-Service Education Working Group

Advance Notes—Executive Summary

Wheeling, West Virginia, 8-10 May



Art Bowman

Norfolk State University

Larry Cooper
NASA Headquarters
Adriane Dorrington

NIA Director Pre-Service Teacher Program

Bonnie Eisenhamer
Space Telescope Science Institute
Jennifer Grier
Planetary Science Institute
Peter Holden

Wheelock College
Larry Jones

Wheeling Jesuit University

Doug Lombardi
Lunar Planetary Laboratory
Dan McCallister
Space Telescope Science Institute
Stephanie Parker

Education Research (CAPER) Team

Katharine M. Perrow
Mid-Atlantic Region Space Science Broker (MARSSB)

Rick Pomeroy

ASTE Representative

Laurie Ruberg
Mid-Atlantic Region Space Science Broker (MARSSB)
Greg Schultz
Sun-Earth Connections Forum

Stephanie Shipp
South Central Organization of Researchers and Educators (SCORE)
Christine Shupla
South Central Organization of Researchers and Educators (SCORE)
Timothy F. Slater

Education Research (CAPER) Team

Denise Smith
Origins Education Forum Lead (ASO)
Cheri St Arnauld

National Center for Teacher Education

Stephanie Stockman
Goddard Space Flight Center

Bill Waller
New England Space Science Initiative in Education (NESSIE)


Intended Goal 1 - Develop a deeper understanding of pre-service programs and needs

§               Analyze survey data and information to identify pre-service needs

§               Identify existing models that can serve to meet those needs

§               Determine intersections and gaps between SMD community activities/resources and pre-service needs


We began on Day 1 by identifying the challenges that are faced by Education department faculty, Science department faculty, and future teachers. 

We then voted (using dots) on the challenges we felt we could tackle as a group.  Here are the challenges identified as most critical for us to address (each receiving at least 4 “yes” votes):

Challenges: Future Teachers

·        Education students’ understanding of science varies greatly

·        A significant number of students in elementary education are uncomfortable with science

·        Marketing—getting future teachers to take the most beneficial science courses

Challenges: Science Department Faculty

·         There is often a disconnect between introductory college science (lecture) classes and classroom pedagogy; science classes do not model how future teachers should teach science

·         College science classes often fail to consider & address student misconceptions

·         Science faculty do not understand the needs of their pre-service students due to their lack of classroom experience

·         Some science faculty do not see the value of professional development in science instruction methods

·         Making connections and collaborations between scientists and educators to get at the human nature of science

·         Need to consider & address cultural connections between disciplines (education and science)/increase awareness/not force change

Challenges: Education Department Faculty

·         Some education faculty teaching science methods or science content pre-service classes have a weak background in science; others desire more up-to-date content and a greater depth of understanding

·         Faculty have limited opportunities to convey/ integrate science

·         Education faculty have expressed a lack of professional development opportunities

·         The structure of college science courses and the lack of good science classroom role-models (for field experiences) presents inconsistent modeling of best education practices

·         Faculty have awareness / training challenges for bringing grade-appropriate, inquiry-based, valuable science resources into the classroom

·         There is a lack of diverse learning experiences (field/ classroom/ mentoring)


Also on Day 1, using the challenges, and looking at the various survey data and information that we had gathered individually, we discussed and identified associated needs that the PSEWG should be working to address:

Needs: Pre-Service Students and Future Teachers

·         Confidence to review curriculum and gaps and areas for integration

·         Low risk opportunities to do science, including learning how to use data in the classroom and related student science experiences, modeling that science is accessible

·         Leadership experiences

·         There is a need for more future science teachers—for recruitment; one possibility is to create bridging programs (high school to community colleges to universities to classroom)

·         Strategies (and experience creating rubrics) to empower student teachers to select quality curriculum / activities and make what they need, given their limited time and resources

·         Models of best practices

·         Mentoring relationships

·         Marketing / communication about opportunities available to them: the best courses, how to link with professional societies, what experiences are available to them

·         Diversity: among different ages of future teachers, their cultural background, their socio-economic background, their prior experiences and abilities, and special needs

Needs: Science Department Faculty

·         For content faculty and teaching assistants to understand and use pedagogy in their teaching practices, through awareness building, coaxing, and coaching

·         Need for scientists to receive professional development in models of good teaching, with incentives to motivate them (release from class, participating in a committee, funding, and evidence of success).

·         Need to find ways to create teamwork between scientists and educators for pre-service science education: by finding places for scientists in educator conferences and vice-versa, by creating professional development opportunities for scientists interested in mentoring or advising future teachers

·         Need to target and support graduate teaching assistants through science and education conferences.

·         Need to elevate status of education departments / schools

Needs: Education Department Faculty

·         Our materials, workshops, institutes, etc need to model best practices, particularly by including good examples of inquiry, and alignment with & incorporation of education standards, learning outcomes, and assessments (focus on core science topics, not mission-focused)

·         We need to build awareness of the resources and provide training in using them; one option is to create an interactive resource that educators can use to locate existing materials, curricula, and activities that address education standards and misconceptions

·         Our science content needs to be versatile to fit into tight college plans/schedules: some subjects should be multi-disciplinary (covering chemistry, biology, etc.) and some should focus on literacy or math as means of injecting science into curricula

·         We need to equip teachers in aiding students in mastering the exams, by giving them the tools to do assessment on classes, test exams

·        Need to find ways to create teamwork between scientists and educators for pre-service science education


By the end of Day 1, we were identifying existing models that meet these needs, and some of their key characteristics:

Models that meet needs

·         Materials that are cross-curricular (can assist with elementary pre-service): 

·         Use of real data:  DLESE EET, Student Observation Network, MSIP, Clickworkers, Stardust

·         Professional Development on Line, using inquiry: example, Brain Research

·         NASA Center for Astronomy Education’s weekend workshops at community colleges

o        Includes research and the tools to address misconceptions

·         Recruitment: STEM – TP, University of Colorado

·         Partnership Space Grant / John Hopkins

o        Pedagogy and content combined (models teaching)

o        Series of classes: inter-related, Science methods only—not content

·         College Pre-Service programs:

o        Towson University

o        U-Teach at New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona

§         Extensive field experiences

§         Aligned course work

§         Arizona—3 classes required for degree: Intro to Ed, Multicultural, exceptional child

§         Build real world learning products

o        California Teach

o        Tufts—professional development for faculty

§         Implemented by dean of Arts & sciences

§         Possible model for ASTE collaboration

o        Langley: Bring in faculty for 1 week overlapping with PST’s for 1 day on real-world problem

o        Wheelock—river study for Ed students (revamped SG unit major)

o        NOVA’s program

·         Maryland collaborative model for pre-service teaching: internships

·         Project Astro: mentoring

·         Athena / Phoenix student interns: provides research experience – Education undergrads

·         The “lesson Study” process education & science collaboration: Lesson Development

·         Maine math and science assessments --cross-correlation with misconceptions


Model Characteristics

·         Real Data Experiences

o        Tools to use data

o        Context for data

o        Training

o        Low risk/ high probability of success

o        Websites navigable

o        Provides a contribution to science

o        On-line or face-to face

o        Range of grade levels

·         Classes

o        On-line courses: NTEN (Montana State)

o        Master Science – Science Ed

o        ESSEA –earth systems science and pedagogy

§         Combines content and pedagogy

§         Uses real data

§         On-line collaboration

§         Uses diverse approaches

·         “Solar System Ambassadors” style content / professional development / mentoring

o        Low-cost method of keeping in-touch / updating content knowledge

o        Needs to be thematic

o        Focused with clear purpose

o        Valid information

o        Current

o        As needed

·         Science content reading

o        Language-arts based reading / math

o        Grade-appropriate about space science

o        Low-tech

o        Accessibility

o        NSES standards-based

§         NCTM based

o        Readability

o        McRel standards

o        Rigorously field-tested/ validated

o        Scientist-educator partner developed

o        Scientific accuracy / relevance

·         Lesson Study

o        Collaboration – scientist / educator / student

o        Sustainability / evolving

o        Links with curriculum improvements

o        Adaptable

o        Flexible

·         Mentoring / Apprenticeships

o        Mentoring and research experience and professional development for mentor / mentee

o        One-on-one imbedded—teaching how to mentor

o        Team-building exercises – builds trust/ professional relationship/ partnership

o        Building awareness of importance of education for scientist

·         Research Experiences

o        Build understanding of inquiry / scientific process



Intended Goal 2 - Identify diverse ways to meet those needs relating to space science education

§               Develop a “menu of opportunities” in which SMD community can be involved in pre-service preparation

§               Identify potential partnerships and necessary resources

§               Create a timetable of action for the next 3-5 years

By Day 2, we realized that there might be other ways to meet the various groups’ needs beyond generating new materials.

There is a need to:

·        Model best practices, particularly inquiry-based experiences to provide a variety of inquiry-based experiences

·        “Teaching to fish” so that these exemplary educators could find the right existing space science resources and use them effectively

·        Ensure that quality materials are available for long-term use (so that what is available to teacher educators is later available to the teachers for classroom use)


So we generated and discussed a series of “experiences” and their characteristics that could meet these needs.


A motto was suggested and widely accepted: Our Role: Science in Action ™


Authentic opportunities for conversation (establish partnerships)

Research experiences for pre-service teachers and faculty and understanding usage and impact of NASA materials

Bridging experiences

Exemplary lessons demonstrating best practices, inc. misconceptions

Workshops for science / ed faculty with long-term support

Institutes (face-to face with follow-up and support)



Product aligning content w/ standards & misconceptions

Community- building infrastructure

Web experiences (iPod podcasts)

Distance learning

Good Practices for Everything

·         Communication

·         Follow-up (email, workshops, house calls/ site visits, etc)


Advance participants developed some models of future workshops, institutes, exemplary lessons, and research experiences; these and other models need to be more thoroughly characterized to create a detailed menu of opportunities.


Future Action Items

On Day 3, we created our lists of future actions

Individual commitments are italicized

Continuous Action

·         PSEWG communications: Telecons and emails

·         Attending conferences / building a presence

·         PSEWG needs to evolve and grow--Requires professional development of PSEWG members

·         Collect a research library


Short Term

·         Proposals to present at conferences:

·         Begin building partnerships with other organizations

·         Conference call next week on proposals/ ASP meeting

·         Create 5 new teams (no “working groups” within a “Working Group” on issues—immediately

o        Find a forum to bring in partners / especial companies

o        Business and education coalitions

·         E.g. Boeing sponsorship of institution

·         Working group with other organizations?

o        Communication / public outreach

o        Recruitment and buy-in

o        Awareness of sustainability issues of California teacher collaborative

·         Communicate to PSEWG members’ home institutions. consider ways to involve home institutions

·         Communicate PSEWG goals & plans, to future NASA AA 


Intermediate Term

·         Address Cross-cutting Issues

·         Advertising / building audience for products and programs

o        Reward

o        Audience to Deans (increase students in classes, etc.)

o        Why will this impact the university / school?

·         Evaluation

·         Coherence, continuity, connectivity, scope

·         Organize matrix / pieces / resources

o        Work with faculty leaders to do

o        Pre-service workshops


Long Term

·         Go through pre-service literature--discuss one article per telecom

·         Continue to build partnerships, attend meetings, reps to Board meetings:




Moved forward in strategically building a community to lead efforts in assisting pre-service science and education faculty and in preparing future teachers

·         Identified Overarching Themes:  Development of experiences and products must be based on models of best practices and should:

o        Prepare future teachers to fish

o        Focus on inquiry through exploration

o        Present existing, revised, and necessary new NASA resources in an organized manner and format that meets the needs of pre-service faculty and future teachers 

·         Developed Cross-Cutting Strategies and Concerns

o        Sustainability

o        Recruitment

o        Partnerships

o        Diversity

o        Disseminating our efforts / building audience for products and programs

o        Evaluation

o        Coherence, continuity, connectivitiy, scope

·         Began to develop a Menu of Opportunities

o        Professional development workshops, institutes, and research experiences – based on identified audience needs

o        Aligning with best practices, identifying model programs