Graduate Teaching Fellows in Biodiversity
Yale University Peabody Museum of Natural History
GK-12 Fellows and master teachers in the New Haven schools produce inquiry-based science curricula that use hands-on specimens from the Peabody Museum to explore biodiversity. The program draws on the Peabodyís expertise and materials and provides a broad selection of subject matter upon which basic science competencies can be developed. It enhances the professional development of graduate students and middle-school teachers, plus enriches the science-learning environment for middle school students. Fellows offer disciplinary expertise, and teachers provide mentoring in grade-appropriate pedagogy and classroom management techniques. Working with the teachers and their students improves the science communication skills of the Fellows. Curricular materials designed in connection with this program will be incorporated into the New Haven districtís middle-school science curriculum and disseminated broadly via the Museumís website. The project affects a spectrum of beneficiaries. Graduate students are exposed to educational issues at the middle-school level and to the challenges of communicating the importance of nature and the excitement and value of science. Teachers increase their scientific knowledge and develop new content-rich curricula. Their students (90% minority, 75% on subsidized lunch programs) benefit from exposure to scientific subject matter and an increased perception of its relevance to their daily lives. This initiative strengthens Yale's graduate programs in its commitment to providing enhancement resources for science education in the local school system.