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Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie


Towson University


NSF Awards: 1239758

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8

The new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) call for a dramatic shift in science teaching and learning, with a focus on students engaging in science practices as they make sense of natural phenomena. In addition, the NGSS have a significant and explicit focus on climate change.  The adoption of these new standards in many states across the nation have created a critical need for on-going professional learning as in-service science educators begin to implement three dimensional instruction in their classrooms.  This study describes an innovative professional learning workshop on climate change for secondary science teachers, designed by teacher educators and scientists.  The workshop was designed to improve teachers’ capacity to deliver effective three dimensional climate change instruction in their classrooms. We present the structure and goals of the workshop, describe how theories of effective professional learning drove the design of the workshop, and address the affordances and challenges of implanting this type of professional learning experience.

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Discussion from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase (16 posts)
  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 08:01 p.m.

    In our MADE CLEAR (Maryland Delaware Climate Change Education Assessment and Research) partnership, we started by studying teachers' challenges in teaching climate change in Maryland and Delaware. In the meantime, we created a collaboration between scientists, teacher educators and teachers to 1) make sense of climate scientists' work informed by different scientific disciplines; 2) make complex ideas behind climate change accessible to classroom environments; and 3) support teachers' implementation of scientific practices as they are teaching climate change. 

    Teachers have been a crucial component of our collaboration as they have been the critical consumers of the activities developed by the MADE CLEAR team. We went through multiple revisions of our activities after teachers' feedback based on implementation in their classrooms. The facilitation guide included background for teachers, student handouts, formative assessment probes, teacher and peer feedback tools. We looked specifically at local issues to create a culturally responsive classroom environment while extending students' sense making to global aspects of the problem. 

    During the last five years, the MADE CLEAR team produced numerous publications about teachers' and students' learning of climate change and there are still manuscripts in progress. If you want to learn more about the research resulting from this partnership, you can contact the team members at https://madeclear.org/about/staff/

  • Icon for: Rajeswari Kolagani

    Rajeswari Kolagani

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2017 | 07:51 a.m.

    This video was truly enlightening for me!  Congratulations and Thank you..  Asli,Jane,Mary and Joel

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 01:41 p.m.

    Thank you Raj for finding our video enlightening! We each have learned so much from each other and from the teachers we worked with.


  • Honi Bamberger

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 15, 2017 | 03:13 p.m.

    What a wonderful educational video. Having just hosted a STEM Day on campus I was excited to see some of the same activities that we did with middle school students in this video.  BRAVO!

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2017 | 08:23 p.m.

    Thank you Honey! I am glad you liked the activities we developed. It is definitely most rewarding when we see more students engage into these activities and STEM day helped to disseminate this experience to more students.

  • Icon for: Pat Harcourt

    Pat Harcourt

    Project Manager
    May 15, 2017 | 04:23 p.m.

    This video illustrates some of the challenges of bringing the broad and complex topic of climate change into the classroom, and it models some creative approaches that provide teachers with the tools to teach about climate change.

    One aspect that is especially interesting to me is that the climate change professional development was offered by a trusted source, and participating teachers know they can turn to their instructors with questions as they try out new lessons. Ongoing support is an important part of implementing new material in the classroom.

    Nice job!

  • Icon for: Marcelo Worsley

    Marcelo Worsley

    Assistant Professor
    May 15, 2017 | 09:53 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your work. In looking at some of these issues of climate change, I was curious to know if you all had found ways to incorporate computer modeling or simulations as part of the learning experience. If not, it might be a useful addition

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2017 | 12:43 p.m.

    Thank you Marcelo! Although we had our students work with data, we only used the computer simulations or modeling in a limited manner. We are hoping to focus on that more on our next project as it is an important aspect of understanding climate science. 

  • Icon for: Michael Lach

    Michael Lach

    Director of STEM Policy and Strategic Initiatives
    May 16, 2017 | 10:26 p.m.

    Wow, looks great. I'm curious how the activities you've created get used in schools--integrated into bio courses, or environmental science courses, or somewhere else? What happens to the rest of the curriculum that surrounds these activities? What sorts of tools have you used to "align" these to new science standards? (I think MD is using NGSS.)

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2017 | 10:05 a.m.

    Hi Micheal! Thank you. Our activities have been implemented in middle school classrooms and in high school as a part of various content areas. Our "Looking Forward, Looking Backwards" activity was about examining various pollens as proxy to determine paleoclimate. Teachers implemented this activity within biology, environmental science and earth science.  The one on ocean acidification was implemented within chemistry as well as Earth Science and Environmental Science. When we started working on our activities, NGSS was already published so we used that as a starting point. We then went deeper into the meaning of concepts and practices for each of our activity by utilizing the expertise of the scientists we worked with. Mary Stapleton featured in the videos provided teachers all related standards to the activity so that the teachers can have the flexibility to integrate the activity to the content area they choose. And yes MD is using NGSS and actually is one of the first states to adapt the NGSS. Thank you again for your questions. 

  • Icon for: Lauren Amos

    Lauren Amos

    Associate Director
    May 17, 2017 | 05:34 p.m.

    As a Washingtonian, politics is always on my mind! Does your project help develop the capacity of teachers to help students consider the connections between environmental science principles, public perceptions about climate change, and environmental policy?

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:19 a.m.

    Thank you Lauren. It is hard to think climate change isolated from policy issues and the filed of environmental education. We definitely try to respond to Environmental Education principles during the design phase of our activity. Public perceptions became the starting point on the core ideas we choose to focus as well. We looked at several interviews and the ten most common denials and worked on preparing teachers to be able to respond such denials with evidence. We invited experts from the filed who studies teaching controversial (assumed) issues in classrooms. Although there is a magic answer on how to overcome the challenges related to assumed controversy, our workshops became a comfort space for teachers to discuss policy issues and share their own coping mechanisms. 

  • Icon for: Nancy Shapiro

    Nancy Shapiro

    Associate Vice Chancellor
    May 19, 2017 | 11:43 a.m.

    You have raised a nagging problem for science educators--how to talk about and address topics that some people see as controversial.  Climate change is certainly not the only challenging science topic that teachers need to approach, but it is one of the most dramatic and visible.  By bringing the controversies to the surface, and helping teachers work through ways to address skeptics, be they students, parents, or school administrators, you are modeling important professional development.  In ethics discussions, these are sometimes called "courageous conversations"  (kind of scary that climate change may be one of those topics, but it is what it is).  Thank you for addressing the issue head on.

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:27 a.m.

    Thank you Nancy! During our last workshops, teachers wanted to have conversations about policy and how it will impact teaching climate change in their classrooms. Although they want to focus on the science aspect of climate change in their classrooms, they are aware that the issue is hard to teach in isolations from policy issues and parent's opinions.

  • Icon for: Traci Young

    Traci Young

    Graduate Student
    May 21, 2017 | 04:50 p.m.

    This is such a spectacular video. Climate change can be such a touchy topic for some people, and the efforts that you are making to make education on the topic easier seem incredible. Thank you so much for sharing.

  • Icon for: Asli Sezen Barrie

    Asli Sezen Barrie

    Lead Presenter
    May 22, 2017 | 06:23 a.m.

    Thank you Traci! It is definitely very complicated topic and teachers have hard time integrating it to their classrooms. Providing a strong support and follow ups can really help make things happen in classrooms.

  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.