May 19, 2013
AIT is partnering with the Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education at Texas State University, San Marcos, to produce Geography: Teaching with the Stars, a series of geography professional development videos and supplementary materials. The first program in the series—Globalization—was funded in part by the National Geographic Education Foundation and has been completed. Production is currently underway for the second program on water resources.
The purpose of Geography: Teaching with the Stars is to contribute substantially to geographic education in middle/junior high and high school. At the core of the project is a set of media-based professional development materials, aligned with national and state standards, that will demonstrate to teachers how geographic perspectives, concepts, and skills together with relevant instructional and assessment strategies can be used to improve studentsí ability to understand and deal with the geographical aspect of important issues that affect their daily lives. The project includes an extensive website at www.geoteach.org.
At the core of this project is a series of video demonstration programs featuring actual geography teachers modeling teaching strategies and assessment with students in real classrooms. The programs also contain segments in which the teachers reflect on their teaching.
Two enhancements—video segments—are also developed for each in-class video program, linked to specific segments of the lesson demonstrated. One of the enhancements focuses on the geographical content dealt with in the lesson. The second enhancement focuses on one or more pedagogical strategies used in the lesson. An expert in the pedagogical area hosts these enhancements.
Teachers are also given opportunities to practice developing and implementing instructional materials, with the support of fellow teachers and a facilitator, using the project model for lesson plan development. Exemplary classroom lessons serve a critical role in the professional development activities in this project. These lessons, designed to support relevant national and state geography standards, are made available to project participants to use in their own classrooms.
For more information on Geography: Teaching with the Stars, visit the project website.