AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 51 Improving Undergraduate Astronomy through Faculty Professional Development and Education Research
Poster, Tuesday, January 11, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[51.02] The NASA/JPL Navigator Program Center for Astronomy Education (CAE): Building a Community of Practice

G. Brissenden, E. E. Prather, T. F. Slater (Univ. of Arizona), W. M. Greene, M. L. Thaller, R. F. Alvidrez (JPL)

The NASA/JPL Navigator Program Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) is devoted to the professional development of introductory astronomy instructors, with the primary goal of building a “community of practice." This community of practice model has been effective in improving instructional practices in settings where instructors feel isolated from their professional peers. Particular emphasis is being given to community college instructors by the CAE.

The Center's major effort is to provide professional development through "Teaching Excellence Workshops," offered at national and regional venues through a partnership with the University of Arizona's Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team. Ongoing support is offered through the CAE website where visitors can learn about, and register for, upcoming workshops. In addition, instructors can engage in discussions about educational issues and share best practices with their peers as part of a moderated discussion group. The CAE website also provides an updated "Teaching Tip of the Month.”

In the future, CAE will be offering advanced workshops designed for those instructors who have already participated in the introductory Teaching Excellence Workshop. The advanced workshops will focus more deeply on single issues from the introductory workshop such as curriculum design, implementation, or assessment.

The Center for Astronomy Education is supported by the NASA/JPL Navigator Program.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://caperteam.as.arizona.edu. This link was provided by the author. When you follow it, you will leave the Web site for this meeting; to return, you should use the Back comand on your browser.

The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract: gbrissenden@as.arizona.edu

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.