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Paper: Getting to Know and Address Your State Science Standards to Connect Classroom Instruction and Field Trips During IYA
Volume: 400, Preparing for the 2009 International Year of Astronomy: A Hands-on Symposium
Page: 39
Authors: Bednarski, M.; Larsen, K.
Abstract: Astronomy activities often pose problems for in-service teachers, especially at the elementary level, as many do not have a solid content background. Often astronomy instruction revolves around reading and answering questions. This is not an effective way to work with abstract concepts or engage students, and also fails to meet the standards of inquiry-based instruction recommended by the National Science Teachers Association and national and state standards. Science museums and planetariums bring unique and exciting perspectives to astronomy education. However, bringing students to the museum can sometimes be perceived as only a “cool field trip.” With mounting pressure for teachers to teach to the new standardized tests demanded by No Child Left Behind, and shrinking school budgets, field trips are rapidly becoming an endangered species. Coordinating museum, science center, and planetarium offerings with national and state science standards can renew interest in (and perceived relevance of) field trips. Therefore, university faculty, in-service teachers, and museum/planetarium staff can form successful partnerships which can both improve student learning and increase attendance at informal education science events and facilities. This workshop will first briefly introduce participants to national and representative state standards as well as research on in-service teachers’ astronomy content knowledge and the educational value of field trips. For the majority of the workshop, participants will engage in the actual steps of coordinating, planning, and writing inquiry-based astronomy curriculum embedded performance tasks that collectively meet the learning needs of students in elementary, middle, or high school.
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