How will my teachers benefit from an MSI graduate course?
The Museum’s science teacher education courses can provide your teachers with science content and teaching strategies directly relevant to their classroom curriculum.We offer academic year and summer sessions all at NO COST to teachers selected to participate.
Museum courses target fourth- through eighth-grade educators with limited experience teaching science. MSI makes it an effort to prioritize schools in high-needs communities.
Courses provide a broad background in science, are designed in accordance with Illinois and national science education standards (NGSS) and complement Museum exhibits and resources. Participating teachers will actively engage in sessions designed to improve their science instruction, enhance science content knowledge, provide them with inquiry-based curriculum materials/lesson plans, and develop additional classroom instructional strategies. Participating teachers will be better equipped to promote student achievement and foster a positive attitude toward science and science-related (STEM) careers.
Are your courses effective?
A recent study by an international expert on K-12 science and math curriculum at Michigan State University found that MSI's teacher courses significantly improve what teachers and their students know about science. The impact was immediate. Researchers determined with a high degree of confidence that these improvements were due to the teacher's participation in MSI courses.
When do sessions take place?
Academic year courses meet six times during the school year for five or six graduate credits. Actual session dates can be found on the individual course pages. During academic year courses, the Museum reimburses schools for the cost of a substitute teacher for sessions held on school days. Summer courses meet over five consecutive days for three graduate credits.
What do teachers receive?
Teachers receive continuing professional development credits from Illinois and Indiana, and can also earn graduate credit from partner universities.
How can teachers participate?
To participate in MSI courses, teachers must apply and be selected to enroll. Teachers are recruited in pairs to ensure shared resources at schools. Applications are accepted in the spring and late summer.
What courses do you offer?
We currently offer these five courses:
Who has participated?
Since the program’s inception, teachers at 320 schools – mostly Chicago Public Schools – have participated. Fourteen schools have participated for at least five years, and two of them -- Gallistel Language Academy and Sawyer Elementary in Chicago -- have participated every year.
Teachers credit MSI courses with showing them how to make science fun and exciting for their students. Here’s just some of the feedback we’ve received:
"The MSI teacher courses embody the values that I think we all want to instill in our students -- the values of lifelong learning and continuous curiosity about the natural world. MSI has not only helped me teach my students key components of science literacy, but also the importance of scientists acting as stewards of the Earth." -- Laura Gluckman, Sawyer Elementary, Chicago
"My students are really responding to the hands-on, inquiry-based teaching approach. Since I've been involved in the Museum courses, my students' ISAT scores have improved." -- Arleta Bazile, Kellar Middle School, Robbins
The Center aims to inspire the next generation of inventors and innovators with programs that empower teachers, engage the community and excite students.
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