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Illinois Partner Starts GLOBE Integration Early with Preservice Teachers


Sparking a curiosity in science for his young students is what drives Dr. Do-Yong Park. "Children want to learn science," Dr. Park said. "I want to help them as much as possible and I have found that teaching GLOBE brings out the best in me and the students I teach."

Dr. Park began conducting GLOBE workshops in both Illinois and Ohio in November of 2006 as an Associate Professor of Science and Geosciences Education in Curriculum and Instruction at Illinois State University (ISU). ISU is a GLOBE Partner based in Normal, Illinois. For the past five years, the university has been very active –– training over 110 teachers. "Through my experiences as a GLOBE trainer, I have found ‘inquiry,' ‘integrated,' ‘personal,' ‘local,' and ‘relevant' to be words that represent key elements of the GLOBE teaching approach." said Dr. Park.

This year, workshops covering various GLOBE protocols are being offered as well as a semester-long inquiry project and a symposium presentation to approximately 70 preservice teachers. Those teachers at the schooling or supervised training level of an education major that is not yet fully certified to teach, as demand for the program continues to rise.

Dr. Park's latest workshop at ISU provided preservice teachers with instruction and practice in Cloud and Surface Temperature protocols, which was made possible by a grant from Illinois Association of Teacher Educators. In addition, this group also learned how to perform observations using GLOBE cloud charts along with outdoor observation. Teachers learned best practices for entering data into the GLOBE website database and discussed how the data can be utilized to teach Atmosphere using an inquiry-based approach. Surface temperature was also on the agenda along with its importance in relation to the climate and the atmosphere. Participants were split into five groups assigned to measure the surface temperature of three different ground sites: low grass, soil, and concrete. After learning how to use an infrared thermometer, participants measured nine spots within a 20x20 yard site and entered the data into the GLOBE database. Each group discussed how to link these activities to environmental education at the 3rd, 5th and 7th grade levels.

Workshops are where interested teachers develop a passion for GLOBE. In an effort to further amplify that, Dr. Park traveled to Wright State University, in Dayton, Ohio to teach Surface Temperature, Soil pH, Cloud, and Hydrology pH protocols. This group of enthusiastic teachers experienced firsthand how teaching science through empirical experiences can impact and invigorate students. "Science is an argument with evidence," Dr. Park said. "It is not just about teaching what the textbook presents." When conducting these workshops, Dr. Park uses the "4Ex2 Inquiry Method," which stands for Engage, Explore, Explain, and Expand with Reflection and Assessment. It encourages students to reflect on what science means in their lives, especially when assessing and resolving problems.

There have been positive responses to Dr. Park's method of teaching. "What you said about it being our responsibility to get true inquiry science learning into the classroom made an impression on me. The GLOBE Program is a great vehicle to make science real," one teacher said.

Whereas preservice teachers are certified to be GLOBE teachers upon completion of their education, inservice teachers benefit even more immediately. Inservice science teacher Denise Holmes at Glenn Elementary School implemented GLOBE protocols immediately into the classroom following her training. Ms. Holmes stated, "We study clouds and the atmosphere in science class but GLOBE carries it a little further and makes it real to kids. They are having so much fun contributing to a global project that they're giving up their recess to be a part of it." One fifth-grader mentioned, "I really like science. I never liked science until I started gathering data outside the classroom during recess time. I don't care about recess time, but I love GLOBE activities."

GLOBE Workshops are also offered to faculty members from both ISU and Wright so that they can incorporate aspects of the program into their STEM school programs and science methods classes. One professor noted that "GLOBE is a fascinating way to teach inquiry-based environment science to preservice teachers and K-12 students. I am grateful for all the efforts of educators around the world to make GLOBE available for all."

Find out how to join the GLOBE community by registering for upcoming workshops.

Read more GLOBE Stars in Illinois, USA:

24 October 2011