Science and Education
I currently teach undergraduate and graduate, secondary and elementary science methods courses. The methods curriculum that comprises the foundation of my instructional approach includes the use of microteaching, peer feedback, concept mapping, Gowin’s vee, personality analysis, journaling, video review, and student work samples to develop a critically self reflective practice for pre-service educators. In addition, I have gained experience teaching and evaluating lesson study, teacher work sample, and content lesson artifact projects.
I have gained extensive experience in supervising student teachers at the undergraduate and graduate levels of secondary science. It is in this role that I have developed my skills of constructively critiquing the teaching styles and methods of pre-service teachers, and to collaborating effectively with in-service teachers. I strive to use this role as a conduit to creating lasting professional relationships with the community of science educators in the Southern Illinois and Metro area/
I served as a program assistant with the Office of International Programs at Montana State University from 2006-2009. Through my experiences, I have been exposed to all aspects of planning a scholarly program for international fellows, from initial paperwork and visa applications to planning the social and academic endeavors that comprise a well-rounded program. Specific to the academic realm, I have worked extensively with K-12 and university educators from Thailand and Pakistan in areas of active teaching and learning, including action research. In Pakistan, the effort to develop and reform schools is particularly important to me in a personal and professional sense, as this is an environment in which critical action research among educators could have meaningful and transformative results within Pakistani society. I look forward to utilizing the skills I have learned to create opportunities in which I can work with international science educators in the areas of active teaching and learning, science education, and action research.
I first developed my interest in teaching children while in college, as many educators do. From 1997 – 2003, I taught middle school and high school science classes. During this time, I gained experience in coaching and supervising events for the Delaware Science Olympiad, participated in the JASON Project and Wild Dolphin Societies EarthWatch Expedition. Teaching in areas such as the Hopi Indian Reservation and suburban Wilmington, Delaware has instilled in me an appreciation of the importance of context when teaching any students I encounter. My career in education has instilled in me an appreciation for learner diversity, a love for the biological, environmental and earth sciences, and a respect for all students that I teach.
Reflection, constructivism and inquiry learning and teaching comprise the foundation of my teaching philosophy. It is important for me to be creative and challenge myself with the lessons I teach. I strive to meet national, state and local standards by creating and implementing inquiry-based, interdisciplinary lessons that encourage diversity and include all students. An example of this philosophy is reflected in “Ice Core Investigations”, an environmentally conscious lesson that can be adapted for many subjects in both middle and high school classes. Ice Core Investigations was published in the September 2008 issue of the National Science Teachers Association’s publication of The Science Teacher.