Four concurrent 5-day summer courses focused on physics (mechanics), physical science, chemistry, and biology that introduce Modeling Instruction to high school teachers. Open only to Virginia public school teachers. There is no cost to participants who attend these training sessions. Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will pay for the CTA fees and housing/food for the week. The participants will receive professional development on both content and pedagogical methods, receive curricular materials they can use in their classrooms, and become members of the Modeling community. Upon successful completion of the academy, participants will receive 3 hours of education graduate credit.
In the CTA Modeling Academies, each participant will design and carry out several investigations that use the Modeling Method. (The materials used in the investigations are quite standard in any reasonably equipped science classroom.) They will practice Socratic questioning techniques that will enable them to foster scientific discourse among students. They will develop skills in authentic assessment. In addition to the daily work conducted in class, each participant will keep a daily journal book of problems solved, labs done, personal notes and reactions to activities and readings, and expected student difficulties with ways to address them. Teachers will also be asked to reflect on their own teaching practice and how they might apply some of the techniques they have learned in the academy to their own classes.
The goals of the CTA Modeling Academies are:
1. Introduce teachers to a pedagogy that uses a model-centered, guided inquiry method of teaching and, concurrently, improve content knowledge.
2. Give participants experiences with computer courseware that they can integrate into their science curriculum.
3. Establish an electronic network support and a learning community among participants.
4. Encourage participants to seek of further training in the Modeling pedagogy.
Physics Modeling Academy
The Physics Modeling Academy in mechanics is an intensive five-day course. The main objective of the academy is to introduce teachers to aspects of the Modeling Method, and develop skills in implementing this method to teach mechanics. Participants will complete three of the nine mechanics units. To that end, teachers will be provided with a fairly complete set of written course materials (organized into coherent Modeling cycles) to assist them as they incorporate what they have learned in the Academy into their classrooms. In addition, participants will receive a free one-year membership to the American Modeling Teachers Association.
Physical Science Academy
In this academy, participants will be introduced to a pedagogy known as Modeling Instruction. Modeling Instruction holds as its core principles that scientific models and their representations (not problems and facts) are the artifacts of knowledge and that students must actively generate and use these models in the classroom in order to learn science. Participants will be exposed to the research-based evidence backing the use of Modeling Instruction and interact with the Modeling method by engaging, as students, in two units from a physical science curriculum. The goal for the class is to provide enough information and experience for the participant to make an educated decision about whether they desire to pursue further training in Modeling Instruction and use it in their classroom. In addition, participants will receive a free one-year membership to the American Modeling Teachers Association.
The Modeling Chemistry Academy will focus on an explanation of the "modeling storyline" and development of questioning and inquiry based instructional skills. Many participants will discover new instructional methods for the chemistry standards: stoichiometry, conservation of mass, gas laws, etc. Academy participants will experience a variety of laboratory and white boarding activities, as well as role-playing and content instruction. Participants will leave with detailed curriculum support materials for use in the implementation of Modeling Chemistry in the classroom. In addition, participants will receive a free one-year membership to the American Modeling Teachers Association.
Biology Academy - REGISTRATION IS CLOSED FOR THE BIOLOGY ACADEMY
The Modeling Academy CTA Chair is Joseph Mahler, who is an experienced Modeling Method instructor. He graduated Cum Laude from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.A. in Physics and received his Masters degree in Education from Walden University. He’s been teaching high school physics for 12 years, implementing the Modeling Method for the last 9 years. He has been actively involved in physics education community and has led numerous modeling workshops at places including UNC-Charlotte and St. Catherine’s School. For his work with physics teachers throughout the state of Virginia he received the Virginia’s Association of Science Teachers 2012 Physics Award.