Teacher Professional Learning

Geoscience Australia knows that helping teachers to better understand and teach the earth sciences will lead to better experiences for budding science and geography students. Throughout the year Geoscience Australia hosts earth science related programs and events for teachers. These initiatives focus on the skills and knowledge needed to teach geoscience topics within the Australian National Curriculum, with particular attention to engaging girls in STEM.

Upcoming opportunities

Teacher Earth Science Education Program (TESEP) are running two teacher professional development sessions in December 2022, hosted at Geoscience Australia. The PD workshops will include hands-on classroom exercises, an overview of the integrated TESEP rock kit, plate tectonic poster and online resources, and an opportunity to learn more about the role of Geoscience Australia, their displays and education centre. Presentations will be available to attendees. The topics are focused at upper primary science years 4-6 and years 7-10 secondary science students. Teachers and laboratory technicians are welcome to attend – with an ASTA Certificate of PD Attendance to be issued to all attendees.

Workshop Topic: Plate Tectonics
Date: Monday 12 December 2022
Time: 9.15 am to 3.15 pm    
Cost: $35
Venue: Geoscience Australia’s Education Centre (101 Jerrabomberra Avenue, Symonston, ACT)
Register: on the TESEP website

Plate tectonics explains the landforms we are familiar with on Earth today – as well as those from the past. The Plate Tectonics PD will examine the development of the plate tectonic theory, the mechanism for plate movement, and the effect of plate tectonics including where and how different rocks and natural resources form, and hazards like volcanoes and earthquakes – with suggested activities for the classroom. The workshop will also include an overview of Geoscience Australia’s role in earthquake monitoring and tsunami warnings.

Workshop Topic: Critical Minerals
Date: Tuesday 13 December 2022
Time: 9.15 am to 3.15 pm    
Cost: $35
Venue: Geoscience Australia’s Education Centre (101 Jerrabomberra Avenue, Symonston, ACT)
Register: on the TESEP website

Critical minerals is a commonly used phrase. But which minerals are critical and why? The Critical Minerals PD will examine how certain minerals will aid our transition from non-renewable to renewable energy, support our high-tech lifestyles, and enable food and water security. The workshop will cover how these minerals are used, how they form and can be recycled, examine their supply and demand, plus fun activities for your classroom. The workshop will include mineral and rock samples from Geoscience Australia’s National Mineral and Fossil Collection.

Presenter: Phil Gilmore is a geoscientist with over 25 years of experience and expertise in geological mapping and geodynamics, mineral systems and exploration, outreach and geotourism.

Teaching Secondary Earth Science

Plate tectonics misconceptions Part 1

This session of “Can I Fall Down the Cracks?” focuses on common misconceptions that are encountered when teaching plate tectonics.

Plate tectonics misconceptions Part 2

This session of “Can I Fall Down the Cracks?” focuses on common misconceptions that are encountered when teaching about hazards associated with plate tectonics.

Teaching Primary Earth Science

The accompanying PowerPoint presentations from the sessions are available on our website.

Earth Science professional learning session

This session focuses on teaching ‘Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity’. The presenters introduce slow changes to the surface and show hands-on investigations of weathering and erosion processes.

Earth Science professional learning session

This session focuses on teaching ‘sudden geological changes and extreme weather events that can affect Earth’s surface’. Geohazards (earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis) are the main topics considered and the presenters show hands-on demonstrations and inquiry activities to support student understanding.

All our videos are available on our YouTube channel.

TESEP

The Teacher Earth Science Education Programme (TESEP) runs professional learning sessions across the country. For further information about programmes in your state visit https://tesep.org.au.

In Western Australia similar sessions are available from Earth Science Western Australia (ESWA). Australian Earth Science Education (https://ausearthed.com.au/) is the national entity to ESWA and also runs professional learning sessions, particularly for senior secondary.