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Impact of NSES on Curriculum:. “Planetary Climate Change”, A Geosciences Course …. I. Department of Geosciences, SFSU II. An Informal Survey III. What Accounts for the Change? IV. What Set the Stage? V. What Obstacles Loomed? VI. The NOVA Program

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Impact of nses on curriculum

Impact of NSES on Curriculum:

“Planetary Climate Change”,

A Geosciences Course …

  • I. Department of Geosciences, SFSU

  • II. An Informal Survey

  • III. What Accounts for the Change?

  • IV. What Set the Stage?

  • V. What Obstacles Loomed?

  • VI. The NOVA Program

  • VII. A NOVA Course Proposal: “Planetary Climate Change”

  • VIII. Conclusions

Impact of nses on curriculum1

Impact of NSES on Curriculum:

“Planetary Climate Change”,

A Geosciences Course for Preservice Secondary Science Teachers (and Others)

  • Dave Dempsey, Karen Grove, Lisa White

  • Dept. of Geosciences

  • Kathleen O’Sullivan

  • Dept. of Secondary Education

  • San Francisco State University

Department of geosciences

Department ofGeosciences

San Francisco State University

  • Geology (8)

  • Meteorology (3)

  • Oceanography (2)

Impact of nses on curriculum

Dept. of Geosciences, SFSU



  • General Education (large)

  • Undergraduate majors (medium to small)

  • Graduate (M.S.) (very small)

  • Traditional lecture & lab styles, mostly

  • Smattering of alternatives

  • Occasional co-teaching (esp. graduate)

An informal survey of sfsu colleagues

An Informal Survey of SFSU colleagues

Answer (last year):

Usecriteria other than NSES: 13

UseNSES: 0

  • Question: How do you choose the material you cover in your introductory classes?

Answer (today):

Usecriteria other than NSES: 8 to 10

UseNSES:3 to 5

What accounts for the change

What Accounts for the Change?

  • Summer 2000 Geosciences Institute (SFUSD)

  • Fall 2000: “Planetary Climate Change”

    • national standards for teaching, assessment, earth/space science content

  • Planned courses

    • Physical Science (preservice K-8 teachers)

    • Earth System Science (lower division GE)

What set the stage

What Set the Stage?

  • Dissatisfaction with GE student attitude and achievement (widely shared)

  • Serious need for more, better K-12 science teachers

  • New California state standards for preservice secondary science teachers

    • geosciences breadth courses at SFSU inadequate

  • Alternative pedagogies

    • active, students centered

    • instructional technologies

  • Assessment and evaluation

What obstacles loomed

What Obstacles Loomed?

  • No formal training in pedagogy, assessment

  • No local models of alternative teaching strategies

  • Collaboration difficult--institutional barriers

    • psychologically tough doing it alone

    • interdisciplinary approach requires multiple expertise

  • Resources limited (especially time)

  • Instructional technologies technical, time-consuming

Conclusion: need helpSolution: get grant

Nova nasa opportunities for visionary academics

NOVA(NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics)

  • Vision: Change higher education to enhance science, math, and technology literacy of pre-service teachers

  • Objectives include:

    • promote NASA’s model for preservice SMT teacher education, aligned with:

      • NASA’s Strategic Enterprises (Earth Science, Space Science, etc.)

      • national standards and benchmarks

Nova cont d


  • Grant proposal requirements for new courses

    • address national standards

    • employ innovative instruction (active, student-centered)

    • develop course assessment plan

    • integrate instructional technology

    • connect to systemic reform efforts

    • connect to NASA’s Strategic Enterprises

    • take an interdisciplinary approach

    • form collaboration among content & education experts

    • attend 3-day workshop (brainwashing about above items)

Nova course proposal planetary climate change

NOVA Course Proposal:“Planetary Climate Change”

  • Course Outline

    • What is climate?

    • How has the climate on Earth (and Mars and Venus) differed in the past? How do we know?

    • How does Earth (Mars, Venus) behave as a dynamic system?

    • How does climate change?

    • How can we predict future climate?

  • NOVA requirements (including NSES) all achievable

  • Leverage the NOVA experience

    • develop new courses, get more grants for more support

Morals of our story lessons of earth space science standards

Morals of Our Story:Lessons of Earth/Space Science Standards

  • Standards alone have little impact

  • Standards better in context of systemic reform

  • Standards strongly invite interdisciplinary approach

    • collaboration

  • Must want to change teaching/learning

  • Need moral & resource support to make big changes

    • collaboration

  • Grant support can encourage use of standards

  • Get momentum from initial, grant-supported efforts

    • collaboration

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