Boeing, ASU collaborate to support science teacher training
An article in the Arizona Republic profiles how teachers in the Valley have benefited from a collaboration between Arizona State University and the Boeing Company.
Boeing commits significant funds to support the professional education and advancement of teacher science education through the Modeling Instruction Program, housed in ASU's Department of Physics.
ASU programs offer summer courses in the science teaching method called modeling instruction. Teachers can enroll in individual classes to help with specific physics or chemistry lessons, or they can work toward a master of natural science degree with a concentration in physics through ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, reports The Republic.
"Instead of lectures and textbooks, students do science," said Jane Jackson, co-director of the ASU program. "They build conceptual and mathematical models in an active learning community."
Jackson said that roughly 80 teachers of physics and chemistry participate in modeling Instruction courses each summer. Most are Arizona teachers, but a half-dozen come from Singapore, and others come from all over the nation.
"This kind of public funding from Boeing is crucial. We are thankful," said Jackson. She also credits the Salt River Project for their contribution of 10 partial tuition scholarships. She believes that businesses are essential to supporting teachers who face financial stumbling blocks to pursuing professional summer education.
"The economic future of Arizona depends on Arizona students pursuing science, technology, engineering and math – STEM – and the teachers who strive to teach it more effectively," Jackson said. "Research has shown that student learning gains with modeling instruction are double that found in traditional lecture instruction."