Field-Based Research Partnerships: Teachers, Students, and Scientists Investigate the Geologic History of Eastern Montana Using Geospatial Technologies
The Paleo Exploration Project (PEP) was a University of Montana (UM) professional development program serving K-12 teachers from eastern Montana. Two cohorts of 25 teachers each completed the program. Each cohort was engaged in the training for 12–18 months. The program began with several 2-day teachers’ weekend workshops during the spring semester. The following summer, teachers attended a weeklong summer research institute with middle-school-aged students. Over the next academic year, teachers took part in a final weekend workshop and developed, and in most cases implemented, their own learning activities with their students. Using a design experiment framework, we learned that teachers needed (1) additional hands-on practice with the technologies, (2) a curriculum component that was targeted more directly on scientific inquiry, and (3) more practice with project design.
KeywordsField work GIS Google earth Paleontology Scientific inquiry
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