Initial Publication Date: January 13, 2021

Earth Sciences Teacher Leader Standards

These proposed standards are under development by the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) Teacher Education Division (TED) to provide national recognition for excellence in K-12 Earth Sciences education.

We recommend these standards to support Earth Sciences educators in their personal goals, professional growth, and career advancement; help guide teacher preparation and professional development; and fit into the broader objectives of the Earth & Space Sciences education community.

(1) Support Earth Sciences educator development and student learning, with specific examples of peer mentorship or collegial guidance.

(2) Cultivate collaboration within school, school district, or state to enhance Earth Sciences K-12 education.

(3) Promote, participate in, or provide professional learning in Earth Sciences education for continuous professional improvement.

(4) Access and use research based best practices and data, including the results of geoscience education research (GER) and STEM education research, to improve teaching and student learning.

(5) Commit to diversity, equity, and inclusion with culturally appropriate teaching that respects and values difference, and reasonably accommodates learner challenges.

(6) Facilitate improvements in Earth Sciences instruction and student learning, such as the use of geosciences data by students and/or development of new hands-on activities.

(7) Incorporate opportunities to teach Earth Sciences in informal settings such as: science museums, planetaria, and aquaria; field settings (geology field trips, boat trips, and others); and virtual environments.

(8) Reach out to families and community to improve Earth Sciences literacy and create awareness about geoscience careers.

(9) Advocate for student learning and Earth literacy by: delivering presentations at the state, national and international level (e.g., EER, GSA, AGU, NSTA, EGU, NESTA, Ocean Sciences, etc.); or serving on the committees of professional organizations.

(10) Serving as a change agent by: leading Earth Sciences education initiatives; visibly advocating for Earth Sciences education; or providing regional, national and/or international representation.

For further study:

1. Metlay, Suzanne T., Laura R. Hollister and Katherine K. Ellins (2020). Seeking Feedback on Proposed Geoscience Teacher Leaders Criteria. Presented at Earth Educator Rendezvous, Online, July 2020.

2. Ellins, Katherine K., Susan Lynds and Eric Stocks (date pending). Creating a Climate for Teachers to Excel as Leaders in Earth Science Education Within and Beyond the Classroom: Examples from Texas (in preparation for Journal of Geoscience Education).

3. Metlay, Suzanne T. and Katherine K. Ellins (2018). Geoscience Teacher Leader Criteria: Developing a New Standard for Pedagogical Excellence, Abstract ED34A, Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union, Washington DC, 10-14 December 2018.

4. Ellins, Katherine K., and Eric Stocks (2017). Creating Earth Science Teacher Leaders Within and Beyond the Classroom: Examples from Texas. Paper No. 138-11, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America, September 21-25, Seattle, Washington.