Presentation Title

Earth Science Teacher Development at Georgia Southern University

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Abstract or Description

Geology faculty at Georgia Southern University have nearly 20 years of experience working with in-service and pre-service teachers who must teach some aspect of earth science in K-12 programs. As federal monies have come available, grants have been funded every year since 1988. The former Eisenhower Higher Education Program, now a part of Improving Teacher Quality, and a new initiative known as the Partnership for Reform in Science and Mathematics (PRISM, a NSF Math-Science Partnership grant) have allowed Georgia Southern faculty to work very closely with hundreds of teachers and teacher candidates. Natural outdoor classroom settings, such as St. Catherines Island, and numerous mines and quarries in the kaolin belt and granite district allow us to illustrate a wide range of geological features and principles. Our earth science offerings have very strong hands-on, field-oriented, inquiry-based components that lead to enhanced content knowledge for teachers at all grade levels. We also make special efforts to see that teachers develop their own collections of rocks, minerals, and other natural history materials as well as photographs and videos. Follow-up classes ensure proper implementation of collections and knowledge and provide sustained contact that ensures continuous application of what has been learned. An additional strength in our approach is the development of an understanding of the scientific method and instruction of fundamental principles in both life and earth sciences. Cooperative teaching that has relied upon the skills of a public school science teacher, two paleontologists, and an economic mineralogist has allowed us to address many different topics with clarity and confidence.


Geological Society of America Annual Meeting (GSA)


Philadelphia, PA