Watershed-Integrated Sciences Partnership (WISP)
University of Massachusetts Boston
Sustainability is the key to the success of this program. As part of our Phase 2 GK-12 program, we are institutionalizing some of the strategies used to train Fellows in a “Teacher Assistant Training Program.” The Deans of the College of Science and Mathematics and Graduate Studies and the Provost have agreed to require all Teacher Assistants in the College of Science and Mathematics to participate in TA training. This will continue well beyond the end of the grant. The key elements will include differentiated learning (how do we teach ALL of our students), formative assessment (how do we know what they are learning), use of analogies (how do we translate knowledge into something they can relate to), prior knowledge (what do they already know and how do we advance both their content and the conceptual knowledge), and backward design (can we structure their learning to focus on what we expect them to learn). This institutional change will improve: (1) graduate students’ ability to teach and communicate their science to a variety of audiences, (2) teaching in general at the University, and (3) teacher training by strengthening the science courses (both learning and as a model for good pedagogy) that future teachers take as undergraduates. It should also increase the impact the Fellows’ can make through their career-long engagement in K12 science education.