Professional Development for Teachers

A key component of the Wildflowers in the Sky project is the development and delivery of effective professional development for the teachers in partner schools. As part of the project we hope to gain some answers or insights to these questions:

  1. How can we best deliver effective professional development in a timely manner to teachers in remote schools?
  2. What is the scientific content and conceptual understanding that teachers require in order to teach basic astronomy in schools?
  3. What ongoing support do teachers and schools require?

Topics & Modules

We aim to develop a resource materials for teachers on a range of fundamental astronomical concepts and classroom activities. These may include:

  • Day and night
  • Phases of the Moon and Moon journal
  • Seasons
  • Eclipses
  • Distance to the Moon
  • Scale Model of the Earth and Moon
  • Craters on the Moon (flour experiment)
  • Scale Model of the planets
  • Scale Model of the Solar System
  • Measuring the diameter of the Sun
  • Solar observation including Sunspotters
  • Collecting micro-meteorites
  • Tides
  • Use of a Dobsonian telescope (ie the type supplied to each partner school)
  • Gnomons
  • Simple astrophotography

The likely format for each is a video sequence demonstrating the techniques, equipment and approach used in a lesson. This may be developed into a DVD or made available for download over the web. Accompanying material may include PowerPoint presentations and printed documentation. Where possible each module will indicate ideas for extension activities and further readings.