144 Professional Development Strategies to Support Weather and Climate in the New NYS P-12 Science Learning Standards

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Michael J. Passow, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia Univ., Palisades, NY

New York State continues to have, by far, the largest number of students and teachers learning weather and climate topics at the high school and middle school level. The “Physical Setting/Earth Science” (“Regents Earth Science”) and “Intermediate Level Science” exams include a significant number of Weather and Climate items. More than 155,000 students sit for the Regents Earth Science and more than 110,000 sit for the Intermediate Level exam annually. The NYS Board of Regents adopted “New York State P-12 Science Learning Standards” that are being implemented by schools and the State Education Department during the 2017 – 1018 school year. These are modified versions of the Next Generation Science Standards, which were based on A Framework for K-12 Science Education. Creating curriculum plans and activities based on these Standards will present challenges to many teachers accustomed to the NYS Math, Science, and Technology Standards and Core Curriculum Guides which have defined instruction for more than 20 years. This presentation will first describe the pertinent Weather and Climate Disciplinary Core Ideas and Performance Expectations in the new P-12 Standards. Then, I will provide selected examples of strategies to assist teachers in mastering the content knowledge and develop appropriate classroom activities. Some of these come from the Earth2Class Workshops program at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. This program provides opportunities for teachers and students to interact with research scientists to learn first-hand about cutting-edge investigations. Many of the investigation topics are directly related to the Weather and Climate (ESS2.D), Global Climate Change (ESS3.D), Earth Materials and Systems (EE2.A) and other DCIs. Workshop activities provide examples of how to address the related PEs. A second important strategy to enhancing teacher content knowledge involves the AMS DataStreme Atmosphere and DataStreme Earth’s Climate System courses. Implementation of the new P-12 Standards will be an ongoing challenge during the next few years, but one in which the strategies presented here may prove useful.
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