What’s the best way to teach science?
More than 20 teachers from 15 states will be on campus from June 26 to June 30 finding evidence-based answers to that question. Lisa Davidson,’96 (at left), will be the coordinator of the Great Lakes Biology Teacher Academy, a week-long professional development opportunity for biology teachers. The National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) is presenting the academy in partnership with HHMI BioInteractive.
Davidson is the instructional specialist for science from the Kenmore-Town of Tonawanda school district. A few years ago, Davidson attended a regional teacher academy for biology teachers. She said, “It was the single best professional development I ever attended.” She went on to complete leadership training through the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study Center and NABT, and presented what she’d learned to the science teachers she coaches in her school district.
“I was asked to coordinate this academy,” she said, “and I asked if I could hold it at my alma mater. Buffalo State and Dr. Lange [Catherine Lange, associate professor of earth sciences and science education] have been so helpful.”
The best way to teach science, Davidson explained, is to let the students explore and explain. “Students are the scientists now,” she said. “They’re not just regurgitating what we’ve told them. We provide them with equipment and guide them, but they develop their own questions and seek the answers.”
Teachers attending the academy are spending each day learning how to do just that. Topics include scientific practices, understanding the AP biology curriculum framework, and techniques for student engagement. Classes will be held in the Science and Math Complex, and housing has been arranged in the new Student Apartment Complex.
“Giving back is delicious,” said Davidson, “and it’s one of the best thing you can possibly do. It’s great to get a chance to come back to Buffalo State and reach out to other teachers. Science teaching is being revolutionized!”
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