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 Spitzer EPO Programs and the National Science Foundation, this two-day interactive teaching excellence workshop focuses on dilemmas astronomy teachers face and develop practical solutions for the troubling issues in topic coverage, engaging instruction, and authentic assessment.
In the workshops, after reviewing the latest research about how students learn, participants define and set measurable student learning goals and objectives for students in their astronomy courses. To improve instruction, participants learn how to create productive learning environments by using interactive lectures, peer instruction, engaging demonstrations, collaborative groups, and tutorials. Participants also learn how to write more effective multiple-choice tests and implement authentic assessment strategies including portfolio assessment, performance tasks, and concept maps with the goal of constructing a syllabus and assignments that improve student achievement. Materials presented include resources from:
(i) Learner-Centered Astronomy Teaching, Slater \& Adams, Prentice Hall, 2002,
(ii) 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: Ed Prather and Tim Slater (CAPER) Team at University of Arizona 's Steward Observatory. Additional presenters will also be invited to participate.
COSTS: There is no registration cost.
PREREGISTRATION: Pre-registration is highly recommended, but not required. You should email your name, institutional contact information, and email address to: firstname.lastname@example.org and the specific workshop dates and locations you wish to attend.
It is strongly recommended that you attend ALL days of the workshop. If you have additional questions, please contact Tim Slater at email@example.com or telephone 520-621-7096.