Results from a Workshop and Follow-Up Program on Climate Change for In-Service Teachers

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Conference Proceeding

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Eighteen in-service teachers completed in a three-week workshop in June 2011 (12 days, 6 hrs/day). They spent most of the time learning content, but through a variety of directed activities that involved field and hands-on lab experiences, inquiry, and cooperative learning.

During the first week the teachers studied weather and mechanisms that determine climate, especially seasonality. The second week was focused on geologic time and changes in the Earth system that have driven climate changes on long timescales. Anthropogenic climate change was the major topic for the third week. Towards the end of the workshop, the teachers designed lesson plans for multi-day units on one of the topics taught in the workshop. Some worked individually, others in teams. The teachers took a content pre-test at the start of the workshop and a post-test at the end. Their scores increased from 39.4% on the pre-test to 76.8% on the post-test, a normalized gain of 65.8%.

The follow-up program included one half-day meeting in August and two full-day meetings in October and May and two classroom visits by a veteran teacher. During this time, the participants taught their lesson plans and administered pre- and post-tests to 476 of their own students. Their classes showed normalized gains ranging from 16% to 88%, with an average-per-student normalized gain of 56%. These measurements do not include a class that collaborated on the pre-test and one that will complete their lessons this fall.


Presented at the 2012 Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Charlotte, NC.

Paper Number 243-8.

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