Astronomy provides a unique environment for teaching the excitement of scientific inquiry to students. At the same time, high quality astronomy teaching presents an ardent challenge because students who most often elect to take astronomy courses are frequently apprehensive of science and mathematics courses in general. Sponsored by the NASA JPL Navigator and SIRTF EPO Programs, this two-day, interactive teaching excellence workshop will focus on dilemmas astronomy teachers face and develop practical solutions for the troubling issues in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
In the workshop, after reviewing the latest research about how students learn, participants will define and set measurable student learning goals and objectives for students in their astronomy courses. To improve instruction, participants will learn how to create productive learning environments by using interactive lectures, peer instruction, engaging demonstrations, collaborative groups, and tutorials. Participants will also learn how to write more effective multiple-choice tests and implement authentic assessment strategies including portfolio assessment, performance tasks, and concept maps. Materials presented include resources from:
- Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching, Slater & Adams, Prentice Hall, 2002;
- Great Ideas for Teaching Astronomy, Pompea, Brooks Cole, 2000; (iii) Lecture-Tutorials for Introductory Astronomy, Adams, Prather, & Slater, Prentice Hall, 2002; and (iv) Insights into the Universe, Slater & Zeilik, AAPT Press, 2003.
PRESENTERS: The presenters Ed Prather and Tim Slater are astronomers in the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team at University of Arizona's Steward Observatory where their scholarship focuses on the teaching and learning of astronomy. The workshop leaders have published numerous articles and books on active learning in astronomy and have coordinated curriculum development and professional development projects for professional societies, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. Additional presenters will also participate.
COSTS: Participants are responsible for their own travel and lodging expenses. The majority of costs are being borne by the hosting professional societies and the NASA JPL Navigator and SIRTF EPO Programs. You do not need to be a member of the AAS to attend the workshop.
Pre-registration is appreciated, but not required, by emailing your name, institutional contact information, and email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org. It is strongly recommended that you attend BOTH days of the workshop.
If you have questions, please contact Tim Slater at email@example.com or telephone 520-621-7096.