By working with a variety of partners, we provide professional learning opportunities for classroom teachers and informal educators. We develop strategic partnerships and use a collaborative approach for educator professional learning.
Our programs tap the expertise of educators and scientists from research, cultural and educational organizations, and colleges and universities to model inquiry-based science, engineering and technology curriculums. To be able to successfully teach inquiry-based science, teachers need to be immersed in model programs as both “students” themselves and educators. By participating in Wade Institute programs teachers learn how to develop and implement hands-on, minds-on inquiry-based curriculum.
Teachers investigate science, engineering, technology and environmental/community issues on a variety of levels based on the local expertise of educators, research and industry scientists and local policy makers. The National Academy of Science’s report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm, states “Students learn about science, mathematics and technology first and foremost through interactions with teachers. Changing the nature of those interactions is the surest way to improve education in these subjects in the United States.” Our programs help bring about a positive change in the way science education is taught in our elementary, middle and high school classrooms by working with teachers to ensure they understand and are comfortable using inquiry-based, hands-on pedagogy.
HOW WE DO IT
Our professional development programs engage educators in science, technology and engineering content from museums, nature centers, wildlife sanctuaries, research facilities, businesses, technology centers, and higher education institutions. Our services connect teachers to STEM content and local resources. Classroom teachers and informal educators who take part in our programs and services learn by “doing” science instead of listening to lectures. Participants gain content knowledge and strengthen their instructional skills to enhance their science curriculum with more inquiry-based learning methods.
WHY WE DO IT
We promote inquiry-based learning because it models the scientific process and is a particularly effective way to teach critical thinking skills. Instead of just presenting the facts, inquiry-based learning uses questions, problems and scenarios to help students learn through their own exploration and investigations. We strive to improve the quality of science education by helping educators discover firsthand the value of inquiry-based learning. Through our programs and services, educators master innovative ways to spark students’ curiosity for STEM.