Award-Winning Professional Development
The primary mission of AMTA is to provide quality professional development for teachers of STEM courses. Most PD occurs in summer workshops of 2-3 weeks duration that thoroughly treat the pedagogy and content for a middle school, high school, or introductory college STEM course.
- Modeling Instruction was designated in 2000 by the U.S. Department of Education as one of the seven best K-12 educational technology programs out of 134 programs evaluated.
- Modeling Instruction was designated in 2001 by the U.S. Department of Education as one of two Exemplary programs in K-12 Science Education out of 27 programs evaluated. Download the U.S. Department of Education award booklet .
- High School Modeling Instruction received the 2014 Excellence in Physics Education Award from the American Physical Society, the largest association of research physicists worldwide. Our speeches are here.
- Content is organized around a small set of basic models (rather than a lengthy list of topics) to increase its structural coherence.
- Workshop leaders have attended multiple Modeling Instruction workshops and have considerable experience teaching using this method.
- Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials and work through activities alternating in the roles of student or teacher, as they practice techniques of guided inquiry and cooperative learning.
- Workshop leaders are prepared to integrate technology (such as electronic probes) and give participants new ideas about how to implement it, dependent upon site availability.
- First-time participants in full workshops are typically eligible for a free 1-year membership in AMTA.
Immersive Experience Transforms Teachers
AMTA typically provides (and strongly recommends) workshops that are at least three weeks in duration. We believe that in order for teachers to truly transform their practice, they must have the opportunity to practice the interactive engagement techniques crucial to the successful implementation of Modeling Instruction in the classroom.
Two-week workshops can also be effective, provided academic year follow-up support is available. Professional development experiences that are shorter in duration are not considered Modeling Workshops. Such “Modeling Lite” or “Introduction to Modeling” type sessions afford participants the chance to explore aspects of modeling instruction. However, we believe they provide teachers neither sufficient time to develop a deep understanding of the pedagogy nor the opportunity to practice the listening and questioning skills that allow one to successfully implement the approach.