Ellen P. Metzger1,
Richard L. Sedlock1
(1) San Jose State University, San Jose, CA
Abstract: The Bay Area Earth Science Institute: A proven model for teacher-scientist collaboration
In spite of inherent human interest in the world around us, earth science is not an important part of the K-12 curriculum and most teachers are not prepared to teach it. The Bay Area Earth Science Institute (BAESI), a comprehensive program for teachers of grades 4-12, was founded in 1990 with funding from the National Science Foundation and Chevron Corporation. Nine years later, BAESI has served more than 800 teachers through a flexible combination of summer, evening, and weekend sessions of variable format and length.
The need for programs like BAESI is even more evident now than in 1990. Geoscientists have not been as pro-active in education as other scientists and must make the most of a crucial opportunity: the recently issued National Science Education Standards have, for the first time, put earth science on a par with physics, chemistry, and biology in the pre-college curriculum. If teachers and teachers-to-be are not supplied with the appropriate knowledge and skills, earth science will retain its traditional status as a "lesser science". We will have fewer citizens who can make informed decisions about resource management and hazard mitigation.
Key elements of the "BAESI model", which is applicable to teacher-scientist partnerships in any community, include: 1) delivery of equal parts science content and classroom applications; 2) a Lead Teacher program; 3) an Earth Science Teaching Resource Center; and 4) an emphasis on active learning and interdisciplinary connections.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana