California State University Channel Islands has received a NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) grant ($593,000), Promoting Educational Leadership (PEL), that will involve Oxnard Union High School District science teachers.
Professor Bob Bleicher is the Principal Investigator on the project. PEL aims to increase GCC (global climate change science) literacy in high school students. Science teachers from our district will receive training and professional development through Summer Institutes, and on-going collaboration over the next three years. OUHSD students will also be involved in student-centered Summer Institutes beginning in 2012.
PEL will first enhance teachers’ GCC content and pedagogical knowledge. Argumentation plays an important role in the PEL curriculum. When students learn to construct a sound scientific argument, they demonstrate critical thinking and a mastery of the science content. PEL involves a year-round approach to professional development starting with a summer institute for teachers and associated summer camp for students. The project support will follow participating teachers back at their school sites with periodic classroom visits by project teacher support personnel. Project goals include:
- Increasing student interest in GCC science and STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) careers
- Energizing the achievement opportunity in science for Hispanic students
- Establishing an authentic science discourse in classrooms
- Building teacher leadership capacity at their school sites
- Increasing science teaching self-efficacy.
The partnership with California State University Channel Islands and the implementation of the PEL grant will help grow OUHSD’s very successful Green Technologies Academy as well as bring about many other positive improvements.