Professional Development for the Milwaukee Public School — Phase I

Project Website(s)

  • Abstract

    The long term goal of this project is to help high school science teachers develop an investigative approach to teaching biology for all students that: 1) integrates fundamental biological concepts from the molecular to the organismal level 2) provides an investigative approach predicated on physical and computer modeling and hands-on experimentation and 3) integrates the physical sciences and mathematics. The specific aim of this project is to create a comprehensive professional development program for high school science teachers in the Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) an urban district with a high minority student enrollment. The program will create partnerships between MPS teachers and university biomedical scientists to provide a range of professional and leadership opportunities aligned with the on-going MPS curriculum reform efforts. This project is designed to achieve a NCRR SEPA goal – active biomedical scientists working as partners with educators to improve K-12 student understanding of the health sciences – – and to achieve the educational goals of MPS. This will be done by utilizing the resources of a wellestablished successful professional development program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison the innovative technologies for science education at the Milwaukee School of Engineering and the human and physical resources of the Medical College of Wisconsin the Blood Center of Southeastern Wisconsin and the UW Campuses at Milwaukee and Parkside. We propose a three year project that has in each year a summer component and an academic year follow up and support component. The project will provide a comprehensive professional development program for each year’s cohort of 15 – 25 MPS high school science teachers. Over the 3 years we expect to directly reach between 45 and 75 MPS high school biology and chemistry teachers; indirectly we expect to reach the entire high school science faculty of MPS. Two complementary and supporting programs we wil develop in this project are: a.) internship opportunities for young scientists and b.) internships for preservice teachers. For a given teacher cohort a three week summer course in year 1 is followed in years 2 and 3 with opportunities to design and test curricula with peers and with students to design and test physical models for use in the classroom or to engage in a summer research experience in the laboratory of a biomedical researcher. Academic year follow-up and support will facilitate the creation of a community of learners within the Milwaukee Public School system.

  • Additional Information

    This is a comprehensive professional development project in science education especially molecular biology for Milwaukee public high school teachers. Teachers will be trained to integrate computer-based modeling with hands-on physical modeling of DNA and protein structure. These professional development courses are based on the National Science Education Standards that emphasizes hands-on inquiry-based pedagogy using innovative curricular materials.