Teacher Perceptions of the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence: Central Gulf of Mexico Program
Sempier, Tracie Tingle
The 12 Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence (COSEE) are funded by the National Science Foundation and are designed to promote creative ways of disseminating marine science research and its importance to the public. The focus of this study is the COSEE Central Gulf of Mexico program which encourages active partnerships between research scientists and teachers. In these collaborative partnerships, teachers and scientists work together to create educational products and disseminate best practices in ocean sciences education. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the lesson plans and curricula created through the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence: Central Gulf of Mexico program (COSEE:CGOM), which are the products of this collaboration, were being used effectively in the classroom. The study addressed issues such as teacher perceptions of collaboration with scientists,effectiveness of COSEE:CGOM curriculum implementation in producing more ocean literate students, and teachers’ varying views concerning how to successfully implement new COSEE:CGOM knowledge and concepts into their classrooms in order to improve student scientific understanding. In addition, the study examined frequency of use of COSEE:CGOM lesson plans and identified predictor variables that can produce a model for understanding factors hindering or enhancing lesson plan use. Further, participant perceptions of using peer-teaching as a method for disseminating COSEE:CGOM information in their districts were addressed.