Exploring Education

Environmental science student Katy Chase works with Professor George Meadows to create several portable environmental education kits. Photo by Bob Martin.

Katy Chase has bug viewers, digital microscopes, binoculars and GPS navigation systems at her disposal when she shares her knowledge about environmental science with the community. Using two recently purchased environmental science kits, Chase is one of 15 University of Mary Washington students teaching local families at the England Run Library as part of a partnership with UMW. She aims to ignite in them a similar passion and appreciation for science that she holds dear. “In schools teachers might be a little afraid of science and kids aren’t always exposed to different tools and materials related to the sciences. They learn a lot from textbooks,” said the environmental science and Master of Science in elementary education student. She’s already spread her love for science to Brazil, where as an intern, she taught environmental science in public schools. After she graduates, Chase plans to continue in the classroom, either home or abroad. Using the kits, Chase creates … [Read more...]

Educating Innovators

Professor Teresa Coffman uses new technologies to teach her education graduate students.

Don’t walk into Teresa Coffman’s classroom and expect to see a typical lecture. “I flip my classroom,” said Coffman. “I want my students to read and explain and think about the information. I like to hear what they have to say and how we can make it better.” An associate professor at the University of Mary Washington’s College of Education, Coffman pioneers innovative education in the classroom to inspire future teachers. “Technology is a tool that can create an environment that really gets students thinking effectively,” said Coffman. “It provides a vast amount of new sources and possibilities.” Coffman’s graduate courses focus on critical and creative thinking for real-world applications. “I want my students to think about ways that they can engage their students in new ways of thinking,” said Coffman. “You can’t just sit in front of a computer and expect learning to occur.” She requires blogs in all her classes, where students reflect and post assignments to … [Read more...]