This project focuses on critical needs in the preparation and long-term development of pre-service, undergraduate, K-6 teachers of science. The project investigates the impact on these students of undergraduate, standards-based, reform entry level science courses developed by faculty based on their participation in the NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics processional development program to identify: short-term impacts on undergraduate students and long-term effects on graduated teachers; characteristics of reform courses and characteristics of effective development efforts.
About Me (Bio):
Dr. Cheryl L. Mason is a Professor of Science Education and Biological Sciences at San Diego State University. Mason received her Ph.D. in Science Education and Educational Computing from Purdue University, and her bachelor and masters degrees in Biological Sciences from Indiana University. Her teaching experiences include undergraduate and graduate courses in biological sciences, science teaching and learning, and interfacing technology in the science classroom. In addition, she has 12 years of teaching at the precollege level. Mason has scholarly publications in numerous journals and several books, and has made presentations to various audiences over the past 30+ years. She is an active member and leader of international professional organizations such as ASTE, NARST, and NSTA, in addition to serving as a Program Director for the National Science Foundation. Four of the highlights of her career are that she received the Association for Science Teacher Education Outstanding Science Teacher Educator Award, the Perham Indiana Women of Distinction Award, the first National Space Educator Award, and the first Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. Overall, Mason's research focus is on the relationship of cognitive, including visual/spatial thinking skills, and attitudinal factors concerning successful science teaching and learning. She is especially concerned with helping girls and persons of color succeed in the science classroom and scientific community.