|The FOR SEA marine science curriculum and teacher training program has its roots in the recognition of both the power and the fragility of the world ocean and in the need for individuals to understand and appreciate these seemingly contradictory aspects of the sea. Since 1978, FOR SEA has helped teachers provide high quality science education. From its modest beginnings in a few classrooms, the project grew to regional and then national prominence as the materials and teaching strategies led to student success in science.
In recognition of this effectiveness, the National Science Teachers Association, the Council of State Science Supervisors and the National Science Supervisors Association selected FOR SEA as an exemplary middle school/junior high school curriculum, as an exemplary career awareness in science curriculum, and as an exemplary environmental education curriculum. In addition, on five separate occasions FOR SEA received national validation from the U.S. Department of Education and the National Institute of Education for the FOR SEA elementary and secondary curriculum materials and teacher training program.
Why does it work?
FOR SEA marine science curricula have been widely accepted and effective because they are:
FOR SEA teacher training has been effective because teacher trainers:
- developed by professional marine educators
- read for scientific accuracy by noted scientists in the field
- analyzed for gender/cultural bias by noted specialists
- read for reading level by reading specialists
- trial taught by experienced and naive teachers
- revised in accord with above reviews, and
- periodically updated using the above process.
- have utilized the materials in classroom settings
- are trained by project staff in program content and adult presentation skills
- begin with short awareness presentations provided under the guidance of project staff and progress to longer trainings and still longer residential institutes, and
- become part of the FOR SEA Teacher Training Network which provides on-going support in arranging and delivering teacher training workshops nationally.
The FOR SEA Teacher Training Network supports a cadre of outstanding “teachers of teachers”. At workshops and residential institutes, teachers engage in FOR SEA hands-on activities, learn from leading scientists and science educators, practice successful marine science teaching strategies, and develop a plan for their own use of the FOR SEA materials.
Thanks to financial support from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education National Diffusion Network, school districts, and many individuals, FOR SEA trained teachers are now providing high-caliber science instruction in 41 states and over 2,000 public and private schools.