Science Teacher Certification

Jimmy Karlan, Director of Science Teacher Certification, commuting on his all-electric scooter

Jimmy Karlan, Director of Science Teacher Certification commuting on his all-electric scooter

Antioch science teachers appear to be custom-trained for a school like ours. Because students learn through experience, the teacher’s job is to design and facilitate that experience, putting students in situations where they have to investigate, call on their knowledge, and think. Our Antioch teachers understand this.

If you want to see great science learning, come and see our teachers at Four Riverseducated, trained, and inspired by Antioch University New England.

Peter Garbus, principal, Four Rivers Charter Public School, Greenfield, Massachusetts

This concentration is the only science teacher certification graduate program in the country that is housed in an environmental studies department. Consequently, our graduate students want to infuse their middle level science (grades 5-8) and life sciences (grades 7-12) with ecology, environmental science, and natural history.

Earn an MS in Environmental Studies and Science Teacher Certification.

Because you are earning an MS in Environmental Studies along with your science teaching certification, you can pursue both formal and non-formal education careers. You can be successful in either public school science classrooms or non-formal educational settings like science museums, nature centers, and environmental learning centers.

Be part of a new vision for science education.

The Science Teacher Certification concentration values active classrooms where students and teachers work together to solve compelling classroom and community-based problems. They are playful, messy, and yet very rigorous places, where students design their own scientific inquiries in order to answer intriguing questions even their teachers cannot answer; all the while meeting educational standards. Teachers act more like coaches, facilitators, provocateurs, and guides.

Learn by walking the talk.

The only way to fully understand and appreciate a new vision for science education is to experience it first-hand. This is why you’ll learn how to design and teach problem solving based lessons in one of our two lab schools, create a unit for an area science teacher requesting your help, be filmed teaching experiential lessons in our second lab school, and student teach anywhere in the country. 

Program Delivery

  • 42 credits
  • Begins in Fall (September)
  • Classes Thursdays & Fridays and occasional weekends
  • Full-time student teaching during final semester

Antioch University New England is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Science Teacher Certification

Science Teacher Certification students simulating a non-sustainable economy and trying to figure out the difference between good and bad feedback loops.

Science teacher certification courses are hands-on, minds-on, student-centered, problem solving, and service oriented. For example, Problem Solving and Inquiry-Based Approaches to Science Teaching is taught in a local middle and high school where Antioch students craft and deliver very engaging lessons.

Curriculum Design models democratic, coherent, constructivist-based, and active assessment approaches to teaching while challenging students to employ these ideas in the development of a month-long unit for regional science teachers, and which they may also use while student teaching. Each student’s curriculum is presented in a convening environment by which their classmates are used as consultants to help improve the curriculum’s design based on the developer’s own concerns and criticisms.

Science Teaching Methods is taught at The Compass School, another one of our lab schools where students design and teach highly experiential and project-based science lessons for middle and high school students. The students’ videos of their teaching are opportunities for reflection and growth.

All of the science teacher certification concentration courses are designed to immerse students first-hand in the challenges and rewards of teaching through hands-on, minds-on, student-centered, problem solving, inquiry and service oriented curriculum.

The best teachers I can think of! would be Ms. Locke, Ms. Stamas, and Ms. Gilbert, all Antioch New England grads! We did lots of labs that involved sorting through the school trash, dropping bowling balls off balconies, and testing emissions of grease cars! Science is one of my least favorite subjects, but these three made it more comprehensible and interesting for me. I’m really glad that my little brother will get to have all three in the coming years.  Student at Four Rivers Public Charter School where all the science teachers are Science Teacher Certification graduates.

The Compass School in Westminster, Vermont serves as our lab school; this is where Science Teaching Methods is taught and where our students create and test original lessons with middle and high school students.

The core faculty in all programs are to be commended for the personal relationships and individualized attention provided to [students]. [Students] consistently reported that faculty were supportive, helpful, and accessible, and that they provided constructive feedback. Individualized plans to support [students] needing alternative placements or additional time contribute to a positive experience for [students].  NH Council of Teacher Education

REQUIREMENTS: 42 CREDITS

Select any 3 out of 4 Core Courses

Core (C) – 9 credits; Concentration (T) – 18 credits; Methods: courses selected by student - 9 credits; Capstone: Student Teaching Internship – 6 credits

Fall I (9 credits)
Earth Systems and Climate Change (C)(3)
Community Ecology of the New England Landscape (C)(3)
Problem Solving Science (T)(3)

Spring I (12 credits)
Political Economy of Sustainability (C)(3)
Curriculum Design (T)(3)
Conceptual Human Development(T)(3)
Method (3)

Summer (3 credits)
School Law (T)(1)
Teaching Exceptional Children (T)(2)

Fall II (12 credits)
Foundations of Science and Environmental Education (T)(3)
Leadership for Change (C)(3)
Science Teaching Methods (T)(3)
Method (3)

Spring II (6 credits)
Capstone: Student Teaching Internship (6)

“[At AUNE] the fact that the science teacher certification program is embedded within the environmental science department certainly reinforces system thinking in looking at how the world is organized.” New Hampshire Council of Teacher Education

Sample Method courses include:

  • Building Sustainable Organizations(BSO)
  • Citizen Participation and Sustainable Communities
  • Climate Change: Resilience, Adaptation and Mitigation
  • Coastal Geoecology of New England (Fall 2011 field study trip)
  • Community & School-based Sustainable Food Systems
  • Conservation Psychology Theory & Application
  • Cuba: Sustainability and the New Food System (Fall 2012 registration; January 2013 field study trip)
  • Ecology and Management of Adirondack Mountains (Fall 2012 field study trip)
  • Ecosystems of Mount Desert Island (Spring 2012 field study trip)
  • Energy and Materials Sustainability
  • Environmental Law
  • Environmental Assessment Techniques
  • Financial Administration
  • Foundations of Environmental Education
  • Geographic Information System (GIS)
  • Integrated Conservation of Tropical Ecosystems: Costa Rica (Spring 2012, March field study trip)
  • Land Use and Community Planning
  • Making Sense of Place
  • Natural Resource Inventory
  • New England Flora
  • Non Profit Organizations & Social Entrepreneurship
  • Organizing for Social Change
  • Ornithology
  • Principles of Sustainability
  • Program Evaluation for Environmental and Conservation Educators
  • Proposal Writing and Project Management
  • Qualitative and Quantitative Research Design Techniques
  • Research Seminar
  • Soil Ecology
  • Soils Mapping and Interpretation
  • Vertebrate Ecology: Mammalogy
  • Wetlands Ecology
  • Wildlife & Forest Management

Applicants to the Life Sciences (7-12) or Middle Level Science (5-8) program must satisfy the prerequisites listed below. They can either be taken prior to attending Antioch University New England or at an accredited community college or undergraduate institution while completing our master’s program.

Life Sciences Certification Prerequisites

You must satisfactorily complete (B or better) the following courses from an accredited undergraduate or graduate institution (within the last 10 years) or obtain a passing score on an equivalent CLEP exam before you complete your Antioch program:

  • two semesters of Basic Biology with lab (molecular and cellular, not available at Antioch; CLEP accepted)
  • one semester of Chemistry with a lab (not available at Antioch; CLEP accepted)
  • one semester of Mathematics (not available at Antioch; CLEP accepted)
  • one semester of Physics (not available at Antioch; CLEP test not offered by ETS)

Middle Level Science Prerequisites

In addition to a solid academic background in at least one science area, you must satisfactorily complete (B or better) the following courses from an accredited undergraduate or graduate institution (within the last 10 years), or obtain a passing score on an equivalent CLEP exam before you complete your Antioch program:

  • one semester of Basic Biology with lab (molecular and cellular, not available at Antioch; CLEP accepted)
  • one semester of Chemistry with lab (not available at Antioch; CLEP accepted)
  • one semester of Mathematics (not available at Antioch; CLEP accepted)
  • one semester of Physics (not available at Antioch; CLEP test not offered by ETS)

Science Teacher Certification

During their first class on Problem Solving and Inquiry-Based Approaches to Science Teaching, Science Teacher Certification students try to sort a pile of material like the director of a materials recovery center would.

Teacher certification students must complete one 6;credit, 15-week full;time student teaching assignment. Student teaching occurs during the fifth and final semester. All students also participate in a weekly seminar, either virtually or at AUNE.

Student teachers teach life, physical, and earth sciences in middle schools, and biology, AP environmental science, and ecology in high schools.

Student teaching can happen in public and private middle and high schools throughout the country. While most of our students find sites in New England, recent graduates have also student taught in California, Colorado, Washington, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia. A small sampling of New England-based student teaching sites follows.

[At AUNE] internship placements are as individual as the students for which they are designed. A theme of community service and concern for the environment runs throughout them. New Hampshire Council of Teacher Education

New Hampshire

  • Contoocook Valley High School, Peterborough, NH, high school biology
  • Keene High School, Keene, NH, biology, environmental science, earth science, and oceanography
  • Keene Middle School, Keene, NH, 7th grade life science with emphasis on research design, and experimentation
  • Kingswood Regional High School, Wolfeboro, NH, honors biology and physical science
  • Monadnock Regional High School, East Swanzey, NH, 8th grade physical science
  • South Meadow Middle School, Peterborough, NH, general science and mathematics
  • Westmoreland School, Westmoreland, NH, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade earth, space, biology, and physical science
  • Soughegan High School, Amherst, NH, biology and geology

Maine

  • Belfast Area High School, Belfast, ME, biology, environmental science
  • Camden-Rockport High School, Camden, ME, middle and high school research biology, laboratory biology, and earth science
  • Isleboro Central School, Iselboro, ME, 7th-12th grade biology and marine sciences
  • Lakes Region, Bridgton, ME, biology
  • Mary E. Taylor Middle School, Camden, ME, general science

Massachusetts

  • R.J. Grey Junior High School, Action, MA, 8th grade general science
  • Francis W. Parker Charter School, Ayer, MA, 10th-11th grade biology; 9th-10th grade chemistry
  • Cambridge Rindge and Latin School, Cambridge, MA, biology (basic and intensive)
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, Dorchester, MA, 6th and 8th grade general science, hydrology, and astronomy (bilingual science teaching)
  • Northfield Mount Hermon School, Northfield, MA, high school biology and environmental studies
  • Shutesbury Elementary School, Shutesbury, MA, 6th grade life science
  • Wayland Middle School, Wayland, MA, 7th grade life science
  • Pentucket Regional Middle School, West Newbury, MA, 8th grade earth science

Vermont

  • Brattleboro Union High School, Brattleboro, VT, life systems
  • F.H. Tuttle Middle School, Burlington, VT, 6th grade science/mathematics
  • Guilford Central School, Guilford, VT, 7th-8th grade general, physical, earth, and life science
  • Vergennes Union Junior High School, Vergennes, VT, middle school science and mathematics
  • Wilmington High School, Wilmington, VT, biology and astronomy

An entertaining YouTube video wrap-up of Andy Patari and David McMeekin’s presentation (Fall 2010).

The course: Ecological Dynamics of Landscapes
The challenge: Point sample and later identify at least three different forest communities. Then present your findings to the class with graphs, charts, maps, images, pictures, etc.

Science Teacher Certification student Alissa Murfitt and Environmental Education student Kimberly Jaskula play with water and tubes to follow their own curiosities and to learn about the nature of different types of science-based inquiry.

Bug Juice

The course: Problem-Solving and Inquiry-Based Approaches to Science Teaching
The challenge: Create a 10-minute, self-directed challenge that will help improve students’ skills using a microscope.

Topographical Mapping

The course: Problem Solving & Inquiry-Based Approaches to Science Teaching
The challenge: Create an algor-heuristic problem-solving and inquiry-based lesson that will motivate your students to deeply understand a scientific concept.

Chaffee Method to Instructional Success

The course: Instructional Delivery: Art & Craft
The challenge: Make a 5-10 minute DVD highlighting your best instructional practice. This should be done well enough to showcase to a prospective principal.

Let’s Do It The Hard Way

The course: Curriculum Design
The challenge: Compose a cover letter about your personally designed curriculum and your curriculum design quandaries that will capture our class’ attention. It should help set the stage for a productive convening session.
Sample student projects:

Curriculum Design letter by Jocelyn Smith
Curriculum Design letter by Emily Kingsley

There is an unprecedented demand for science teachers nationwide.

Science programs ensure candidates will demonstrate competency in the full depth and range of knowledge, skills, and dispositions for their certification area(s) by requiring that both cooperating teachers and supervisors complete checklists of certification standards at multiple intervals during the capstone experience. Such transparent incorporation of state standards is outstanding.  New Hampshire Council of Teacher Education (NHCTE), Program Review 2011

A community science class

Jeanie Williams, MS 04, and her students built an earth oven during a community science class, integrating principles of stone, clay, soil, bread, fire, and scientific processes throughout the project.

General Science and Biology Teacher Certification alumni teach in public and private middle and high schools throughout the country. Many of our alumni teach in Expeditionary-Based Learning Schools, Coalition Schools, and Environmental Charter Schools.

Our graduates teach life, physical, earth, and environmental science in the middle school, and biology, AP environmental science, and ecology in the high school. All our certification graduates instill their curricula with an environmental science and ecology orientation.

Teacher certification alumni also direct after-school programs, direct and/or teach in environmental camps and outdoor leadership programs during their summer breaks, as well as write environmental and ecology curricula.

“As a recent graduate of AUNE currently looking for a teaching position, I cannot emphasize enough how pivotal my advisor, Jimmy Karlan, EdD, has been in this process. Through cover letter convening sessions, resume advice, interview debriefs, and personal calls to school principals, I feel that I had an advantage in this tough job market, even after I graduated. Because of all of Jimmy’s help, I was able to choose from 4 different science teaching job offers: 2 in D.C., 1 in Denver, and 1 in Philadelphia.It has been reassuring to know that even though I am no longer at Antioch, I am being supported… I believe that this aspect of AUNE’s ES department is unique. In other graduate schools with volumes of students, I may have been forgotten and on my own in the job search. Amanda Gurgul, ES MS ’12

Federal Teach Grant Program

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year ($8000 graduate student maximum) to students who intend to teach in a specific high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Antioch University New England has designated the following programs as TEACH Grant eligible: Science Teacher Certification, Experienced Educators, Elementary Teacher Certification, and Waldorf Teacher Education. Interested students should carefully read the TEACH Fact Sheet. Students who are interested in applying for the TEACH Grant, after reading the TEACH Fact Sheet, should complete the steps below.

Federal TEACH Grant Application Check List

  • Read about the TEACH Grant here.
  • Schedule an appointment with the Financial Aid Office by calling 283-2490 or contact Marie Koski.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) 2010-2011 at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. Be sure to include our school code (E00557) on your FAFSA. If you have questions call 800-433-3243. If you have already completed the 2010-2011 FAFSA, you do not need to do it again.
  • Complete the REQUIRED Online TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) at the Federal Student Aid TEACH Grant website
  • Submit a copy of your SAT, ACT, or GRE scores if you scored above the 75th percentile. If you are unable to provide this documentation, you must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 prior to receiving the grant AND maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 each semester you receive a TEACH GRANT. The Registrar will verify this information on each student who does not submit one of the above college admission test scores.

Educational Testing Service’s (ETS) Praxis tests are taken by individuals entering the teaching profession as part of the certification process required by many states and professional licensing organizations. As a service to our prospective students, we post the last three years of Praxis pass rates.

Period # of students taking exam # of students who passed Pass rate (%)
2011-12 24 23 96%
2010-11 24 24 100%
2009-10 13 13 100%