Working in collaboration with the Earth and Space Science Partnership (ESSP), SCRiM has supported two professional workshops on Climate and Climate Change for public school teachers. The workshops, held at Penn State’s University Park and Brandywine campuses, served a total of 43 teachers spanning grades 3-12 and serving four urban (Bristol Township, Philadelphia, Reading, and York City) and three rural (State College Area, Daniel Boone, and Cumberland Valley) Pennsylvania school districts. An interdisciplinary team of climate scientists and science education faculty led by ESSP director and SCRiM investigator Tanya Furman developed and facilitated workshop activities rich in science content and rooted in pedagogical best practices.
The over-arching goal of the workshops was for participants to deepen their understanding of climate science content and learn how to effectively communicate their new/improved understanding in a meaningful way to students in the classroom. Each workshop day was thematically structured around a guiding science content question and supporting activities were designed using the Claims, Evidence, Reasoning pedagogical method. Appropriate time was allotted each day for sense making and reflection with special emphasis placed on how activities can be adapted/modified for use in classrooms. The blending of science content and pedagogy instruction has proven an effective strategy for improving teacher understanding and comfort level teaching.
For more information on our 2014 teacher workshops, visit http://www.essp.psu.edu/climate-and-climate-change-workshop-2014.