Main page Science blog My media blog Media page
Science at the Crossroads
WCS officials John Calvelli (right) and Tom Naiman (left)Reaching across Fordham Road, long-time neighbors have forged a new bond in the name of science. Beginning in September 2008, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Fordham University's Graduate School of Education (GSE) will team up to offer a joint graduate program. The coursework will lead to a master of science in education degree and a New York State initial teacher certification in adolescent science.
education (biology grades 7 through 12).
The partnership between informal science institution and university is the first degree-granting program of its kind in the U.S. Its innovators hope the program will spawn similar collaborations elsewhere; zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens, and science museums can all serve as valuable resources for science teaching.
Students in the Bronx Zoo/Fordham University Graduate School of Education will take courses at the Zoo in subjects such as conservation biology, habitat ecology, environmental science, natural resource use, ecosystem function, wildlife conservation, and population biology. At Fordham University, they will study the psychology of adolescent development and learning, learning environments for adolescents, and teaching methods for linguistically and culturally diverse adolescents, among other topics. Students in the program will also gain field experience as teaching fellows by working alongside experienced science instructors both in the school classroom and at WCS's New York City facilities (the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, and Central Park, Queens, and Prospect Park Zoos).
Tom Naiman, WCS director of curriculum development and international education, commented on this novel partnership as setting a new course for science education, especially for city school teachers. "Amid the growing distress about the low achievement in sciences on the part of American middle and high school students, there is a new appreciation for the fact that science instruction needs to be exciting and relevant to the lives of today's students. Together, Fordham and WCS are creating a new model for how universities and informal science education institutions can together provide urban science teachers with content, tools, and venues to bring science inquiry alive for their students".
Posted by: Beverly Source