Teachers seeking to deepen their content knowledge and improve their teaching can take advantage of one of LeTUS’ many professional development opportunities available in Chicago and Detroit.
In working with LeTUS, teachers learn the full implications of project-based science. They develop an understanding of this approach as being more student-centered than the traditional teaching practice. As teachers continue to work with LeTUS, they see that students benefit from working through a problem and asking and answering questions on their own. In LeTUS classrooms, students must deal with complexity, reason through difficulty and apply analytical methods to answer their questions. By helping their students meet these challenges, teachers grow in their own content knowledge and technology skills.
Teachers may also take part in curriculum design through work circles. In developing and/or piloting a curriculum unit, teachers gain a more robust understanding of the rationale behind a curriculum. By considering the design rationale, teachers understand why certain activities are part of the curriculum, giving them a new appreciation for the theory behind the curriculum.
In Detroit, Deborah Peek-Brown uses peer coaching to observe a teacher teaching a LeTUS curriculum. Together, they reflect on the lesson and discuss such topics as:
• Engaging students in more collaborative discussions
• Overcoming a student’s difficulties in using the technology
• Content issues
• Developing new techniques for managing the classroom when using computers
These encounters encourage teachers to improve their practice as well as reflect on the teaching practices they employ.
LeTUS also assists teachers having difficulty teaching a portion of a curriculum by providing demonstration lessons and team teaching. A teacher liaison or researcher will come to the school and teach the lesson to the students while the teacher observes. If the teacher is using the lesson in different classes, the liaison might teach the first class and observe and support the teacher in the second class. After the lesson, teacher and liaison discuss what they saw and did. This gives teachers an opportunity to reflect on their practice as well as explore new teaching strategies.
At the Summer Institute in Detroit, teachers have the opportunity to watch a video of themselves teaching a LeTUS curriculum lesson. This gives teachers the chance to evaluate themselves and to “see what others see” in their teaching.
Our facilitators are experts in using LeTUS curricula and provide ongoing assistance for classroom teachers. At every level, LeTUS’ partners build the foundation for lasting change by developing the skills and vision of its participating teachers.
Check the LeTUS News page for announcements about new professional development opportunities and curriculum kickoffs.