Aim: To foster the development of geo-spatial skills in science teacher trainees, by providing resources to help increase the use of geospatial tools in science teacher training education, and to inform future requirements for their integration into the teacher training curriculum.
Key objectives are:
- To design and develop a prototype application using the advanced sensing functionality of modern mobile smart-phones (e.g. light and sound intensity, electromagnetic radiation, acceleration and strength of magnetic field) that serves as a customisable template for GIS supported science teaching. The application will support the collection of geo-annotated data in real-time, display places and information of scientific interest during the collection process, and will allow annotation of the data with a variety of textual and multimedia content captured by the user through the use of a mapping interface. The design will be tailored to facilitate trainee teachers to develop geo-spatial skills, and to support them to orchestrate their own science learning activities for pupils undertaking science fieldwork.
- To design and develop geo-spatial based teaching resources (activities) that can be used with GeoSciTeach. These will be made available for teachers to use in practice, or be integrated into the teacher-training curriculum. The design of an exemplary fieldwork-based science learning activity using the GeoSciTeach application will directly involve science PGCE tutors and trainees. This will enable us to identify the pedagogical goals underlying the learning activity being developed, and ways in which the GeoSciTeach prototype application and interface may be designed to support these.
- To examine the process of teacher trainees’ geo-spatial skill development; evaluate the effectiveness of the application in supporting this skill development, and the potential of the application to support teachers to develop their own learning activities for use in their teaching practice.
1. Primary output: (i) A report of geo-spatial skill development through engaging in the technical design process; (ii) A report on geo-spatial skill development through evaluation of trainee teachers’ ability to develop novel science activities for fieldwork in practice; (iii) A set of principles for integrating geo-spatial skill development into teacher training courses through the smart phone application.
2: A working prototype application on smart phones that provides a customisable template for GIS supported science learning and teaching.
3: Teaching resources comprising: (i) An exemplary teaching activity that integrates geo-spatial concepts and scientific concepts using GeoSciTeach, which will serve as an introduction for trainee teachers to develop skills to use geo-spatial tools in their teaching; (ii) A collection of science activities developed during the project to be made available for teacher trainers, and school teachers.