Physical Science by Inquiry for Inservice Teachers K-12

The Physical Science by Inquiry for Inservice Teachers K-12 program by the University of Cincinnati offers a lot of great things:

  • A High Quality Activity-Based Inquiry Program in Physical Science
  • Free Tuition and No Fees for Graduate Courses
  • A Large Amount of Graduate Course Credit in Physics
  • A Cash Stipend
  • Free Equipment
  • No Previous Background in Physics is Required
  • Aid in adopting the new Ohio Science Academic Content Standards

Here’s the official blurb:

This workshop has been specifically designed for inservice science teachers in grades 5-12. No previous background in physics is necessary. The participants will work together in cooperative learning groups to perform hands-on science inquiry activities. The workshop will emphasize learning science content using inquiry activities and be a model for inquiry-based science instruction. Each teacher who participates in the workshop will write inquiry science lessons, which will be shared with all of the other participants. The primary goal of the workshop is to increase student proficiency in science by initiating systemic changes in science instruction. The program uses modules developed by the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington, based on extensive research in physics education. This workshop was developed by Dr. Endorf as a four-week workshop using principles and materials which have been demonstrated to improve student performance in science.The program follows the National Science Education Standards for professional development and will aid teachers in adopting the new Ohio Science Academic Content Standards.

2013 registration isn’t up yet, so check back for that.


PBS TeacherLine

pbsPBS TeacherLine offers a variety of professional development for teachers, including many science offerings.  The only disadvantage is there is a cost involved.  However, you can earn graduate credit, which could be useful for re-certification.

AAPT eMentoring

ementoringlogoThe American Association of Physics Teachers offers a free mentoring program designed to, “connect high school physics educators who desire additional guidance with experienced high school physics educators.”  Sounds perfect for someone who is a) teaching physics for the first time and b) is the only physics teacher in the school.  I’ve signed up as a mentee, and I’m looking forward to getting a mentor to help guide me.

National Geographic’s National Teacher Leadership Academy

National Geographic’s National Teacher Leadership Academy looks awesome!  Here’s the official description:

The National Teacher Leadership Academy (NTLA) provides intensive, high-quality professional development for practicing teachers who are selected for their potential to become state and national-level leaders for the transformation of geographic education. This two-year program enables teachers to develop their own teaching skills, become members of a tight-knit professional community, and prepares them to deliver professional development and serve as mentors to other teachers in their home communities.

In the NTLA model, teachers attend one-week, residential institutes in two successive summers, with ongoing participation in online professional communities during the academic years. During the first academic year, teachers practice and reflect upon what they have learned. In the second summer, teachers return for a program focusing on teacher leadership. In this institute, they learn and practice the facilitation of professional development, mentoring, and coaching, in the context of the content and pedagogy that was the focus of their first year. During year two and beyond, they utilize these teacher leadership skills by providing professional development in their own schools, districts, or states through conferences, workshops, and ongoing communities of practice.


While the description implies geography, one of the academies sounds great for biology teachers: Marine Ecology, Human Impacts, & Conservation.

The next NTLA will take place in 2013, but still no information yet about how to apply so I’ll have to check back later.

National Geographic Science PD

Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 1.23.09 PMNational Geographic Science is an elementary textbook line, but I thought the information on Science Notebooks and Cooperative Learning were very useful.  After all, if a fourth grader can do it, hopefully my high schoolers can!  I’ve tried to implement Binders in the past with mixed results, but perhaps this site will give me some additional ideas about how to organize them.

There are also some nice podcasts: Teaching Scientific Inquiry: Exploration, Directed, Guided, and Open-Ended Levels, Levels of Inquiry and the 5Es Learning Cycle Model, Teaching the Nature of Science: Three Critical Questions, and Science through Literacy.

PD for Miller & Levine Biology

If you are lucky enough to teach with Miller & Levine’s “Biology,” I would definitely look into the professional development associated with it through Pearson.

biologycover09_1552Miller & Levine Biology, or “the macaw book,” is an awesome, well thought out text book.  While my biology classes don’t have an official textbook, I rely on this book heavily as a resource.  I would love to go to their PDs which include

  • Coaching & Modeling
  • Understanding by Design
  • Personalize & Differentiate Instruction
  • Science by Inquiry

It looks like something your district or larger organization would have to organize, but I think they would be very valuable.

National Association of Biology Teachers

nabt_logoThe National Association of Biology Teachers features a professional development area called the NABT Ecosystem.  Membership in the NABT ($75/year) allows you access to a community of educators who share resources.

As I have not yet joined the NABT, I don’t much more detail, but I would consider joining in the future if I continue to teach biology.  The NABT also puts on a yearly conference which would probably be interesting.