AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 132 Astronomy in the K-12 Classroom
Oral, Wednesday, January 12, 2005, 2:00-3:30pm, Pacific Salon 1

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[132.02] Distance Learning as a Successful Means to Enable Research in the Classroom

C. E. Walker, S. M. Pompea, S. K. Croft (), NOAO Education Outreach Team

Teacher Leaders in Research Based Science Education (TLRBSE) is an NSF-funded Teacher Enhancement Program hosted by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) in Tucson, AZ. Consistent with national priorities in education, TLRBSE seeks to retain and renew middle and high school science teachers. Within the exciting context of astronomy, TLRBSE integrates the best pedagogical practices of Research Based Science Education with the process of mentoring. The main means by which participants are provided training in astronomy content, research pedagogy, image processing and leadership skills is through a 15-week distance-learning course and an in-residence, two-week summer institute at Kitt Peak National Observatory and the National Solar Observatory. At the observatories, teachers are the researchers on one of four research projects. In preparation for the research experience on Kitt Peak, the distance-learning course addresses the transition of the educational environment into an authentic research center and describes how best to prepare teachers to become part of scientific research teams. The DL course achieves this by successfully modeling best practices in research-based science education in three investigations. Subsequently the teachers’ experience and knowledge gained through the distance-learning course and the summer institute are transferred to the classroom, where students learn science by doing science and mentees are mentored. Staff support by astronomers and education specialists continues with efforts to sustain a professional learning community that outlives the research experience. Further observing experience is available during the academic year. Students submit research papers to the RBSE on-line journal. Teachers and their mentees present at national NSTA meetings. During the AGU presentation, the focus will be on aspects of the distance-learning course, outcomes, lessons learned and future directions.

If you would like more information about this abstract, please follow the link to http://www.noao.edu/outreach/tlrbse/. 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: spompea@noao.edu

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