Pre-Service Education Working Group
Notes from November 8, 2006 PSEWG Telecon


Tim Slater
Rick Pomeroy
Greg Schultz
Bill Waller
Cheri St. Arnauld
Jennifer Grier
Denise Smith
Stephanie Stockman
Stephanie Shipp
Christine Shupla


Bob Gabrys
Tom Morin

Discussion began with the work that Tim, Rick, and Stephanie have done to prepare for the ASTE workshop in January.  Their goal is to create a transportable inquiry-based workshop that uses data mining to allow students to create and answer researchable questions.  Both Rick and Tim have been testing this process with their own pre-service and in-service teachers.  The biggest surprise so far is how difficult it is for many of their participants to create a good researchable question.

Denise and Cheri then reported on the NACCTEP Fall Board meeting. 

  • Denise gave a presentation on the PSEWG to the 10 board members. The board was excited and interested in working with us; they feel they need to broaden their view and determine how community college teacher preparation programs can strengthen science and math. 
  • They may have a variety of needs that we can serve, starting with connecting their members with resources.
  • Denise volunteered to serve as the contact person, to help establish regional and local connections between members of NACCTEP and working group members who can work with them.
  • NACCTEP’s conference is March 2–4 in New Orleans; Tim is planning to attend, Denise or someone from STScI will attend, and Christine may attend — Cheri needs a submission for a 1-hour presentation asap, with the audience of faculty and administration

Discussion then transitioned to what our working group should state that it is available to do

  • Are we as a group / individuals available to work one-on-one with regional and local pre-service groups?
  • We could provide connections to resources, people and programs
  • Some of our individuals may be available to answer questions, visit organizations, provide workshops, mentoring, etc.
  • We should be able to act as liaisons, connecting organizations and individuals to others who have existing resources and programs
  • We should do a needs assessment for pre-service space science within the community colleges; perhaps as something mailed to the Board members, followed by something to NACCTEP members
  • We need a 1 page description of who we are and what we have to offer (workshops, resources, etc) — Christine will create first draft; this will be sent to the Board along with a needs assessment

Tom Morin then spoke.  Tom was invited to join the telecon by Bill Waller.  He’s involved in Plymouth State pre-service; he teaches four sections of introductory astronomy and is involved in other K-12 and in-service astronomy education as well (telescope, Hands-on-Universe, image software).  Next year, he is considering applying for the Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical program, and will work on E/Pos during it.

Bob Gabrys (Chief of Education Office, GSFC) then spoke about Goddard’s Pre-Service Efforts

  • Goddard conducts a weeklong Professional development/"Teacher as scientist" annually. The History of Winter program (HOW) participants include university faculty interested in enhancing their pre-service science education programs, in-service teachers and pre-service education students. These teams of a science methods professor, a student teacher, and a co-op teacher spend a week with scientists focusing on research on snow and ice.
  • Goddard is involved with an after school program in New York City, with the American Museum of Natural History and the City College of New York in a pre-service program
  •  Goddard is working with the AMA to explore training pre-service teachers in an after-school program, which may incorporate the excitement of inquiry and science and hopefully transfer that to the student teaching.

Discussion then switched to NOVA and how it might compare to the programs at Goddard.  NOVA is fully funded now but not through NASA; the faculty participating in NOVA developed new curricula.