Long-term ecosystem education through the Kellogg Biological Station's K-12 Partnership for Science Literacy

Green, G.M. and T. Parshall

Presented at the All Scientist Meeting (2003-09-12 )

The Kellogg Biological Station’s Partnership for Science Literacy is collaboration between K12 science teachers in southwestern Michigan and research scientists and educators from Michigan State University. All participants are involved in the partnership over the course of three years with the understanding that educational reform is a long-term endeavor. Seventy teachers from 15 rural school districts attend workshops and summer institutes and meet regularly with advanced ecology Ph.D. students with the goal of improving science classroom instruction and teacher understanding of science content. The science is rooted in ecosystem ecology, based directly on five research areas studied by Long Term Ecological Research sites: primary productivity, decomposition, populations and trophic levels, nutrient cycling, and disturbances. This ecosystem framework is used to connect science concepts across disciplines and to link science teaching to ongoing scientific research. After two years, our approach has facilitated the most change in teacher understanding of science content and classroom teaching practice. In our first set of week-long summer institutes, teachers engaged in scientific study of local ecosystems and developed individual research projects in order to acquire a firsthand understanding of science inquiry. The ecological study and research project helped teachers develop instructional units to implement in their classrooms during the coming school year. Most teachers implemented their instructional units, oftentimes with critical assistance from ecology Ph.D. students. The school year workshops serve to introduce and reinforce ecosystem concepts and further explore inquiry-based science, assessment, and components of teaching for understanding.

Back to meeting | Show |
Sign In