Consilience (n): “Literally a ‘jumping together’ of knowledge by the linking of facts and fact-based theory across disciplines to create a common groundwork of explanation.”
– E.O. Wilson (Consilience, 1998)
The Consilience Coalition brings together practitioners in biology and environmental science education who believe that our understanding of the natural world, its phenomena, and our own realizations of how we interact with it, will always be a continual iterative human endeavor. Thus, as educators, everything we create for the classroom, and do in the classroom, seeks to tell the story of this endeavor in the classroom in the most effective way possible.
Many educators today are aware of the best-practices that exist in the arena of science education. However, often these best practices remain in the realm of the philosophical, rarely being implemented within in the classroom because the philosophy never connects with the day-to-day realities of teaching in a classroom. This often requires the interlacing facts and approaches from many disciplines – a consilience or convergence of best practices. Therefore, our goal is to empower teachers with a pedagogy that allows for the execution of student centered classroom lessons and curricula that effectively tells the story of our understanding of the natural world and our place in it.
We do this by providing high quality, ongoing, professional development to educators who are looking for ways to bridge this gap. Our professional development workshops focus on honing core practices such as Socratic questioning and dialogue, managing student discourse, whiteboarding, and scientific model construction, refinement, and deployment. These practices takes place within the context of our curricula that we have developed and successfully implemented in our own classrooms for the last several years. We offer these professional development sessions to all levels of educators, pre-service or veteran, that is interested in taking their skills to the next level and telling the story of the scientific endeavor.
Curricula and Teaching Resources
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- Historical Modeling Sequence Biology (HMS Bio)
- Coming Soon: Applied Panarchy in Environmental Science (APES)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
How to Get Involved
- Propose an STEM Teaching Workshop
- Share a resource or idea with the group
- Ask the network for help or assistance
- Join us for an upcoming workshop
Christopher (Chris) Resch – A Co-Founder of the Consilience Coalition, Chris hails from New Jersey and has New York roots. Chris has been a practitioner of science education since 2006 at Montgomery High School (MHS) in Skillman, New Jersey. Chris became passionate about education in high school when he started teaching religious education to elementary school aged kids. Since that time, Chris earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Susquehanna University (where he also met his wife) and holds a Masters of Arts in Teaching and his Science NJ Supervisor Certification from The College of New Jersey. As a Modeling InstructionTM workshop leader, he has led biology workshops for STEMteachersNYC, the American Modeling Teachers Association, STEMTeachersCLE, the New York City Department of Education, the New York State Master Teacher Program at Binghamton University and various public and private schools. Chris is also a New Jersey Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) ambassador, one of his school districts and unions Danielson Evaluation District Trainers and New Teacher Cohort Leaders. As lead author of the Biology curriculum, “Historical Modeling Sequence in Biology,” Chris is not afraid to bring science, history, pedagogy, and narrative theory into focus to empower students, and tell the story of Biology in his classes. When not working, Chris’ two young children keep him busy!
Glen E. Stuart – Is a Co-Founder of the Consilience Coalition, and a New Jersey transplant with roots in the the South. Glen has been a student of teaching since he was first introduced the work of Wiggins and Dewey in High School. More importantly, this is where he met his lovely wife. They now share two wonderful children together. Glen was a G.H. Cook Scholar while earning his B.S. from Rutgers University, and also graduated with a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Rider University. Glen is interested in the intersection between education and sustainability and is not afraid of using art and philosophy in his pedagogy and curricula. But, don’t let his seemingly laid back attitude fool you, Glen is a passionate professional who believes education should empower learners. Glen has led biology workshops for STEMTeachersNYC, the New York City Department of Education, as well as various public private schools in the region and is a New Jersey Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) ambassador. Glen has also co-authored the “Historic Modeling Sequence Biology” curriculum and is lead author for the “Applied Panarchy in Environmental Science” (APES) curriculum. Currently, he is an Environmental Science teacher at Montgomery in NJ.
Jessica Pagodin – Is a co-founder of the Consilience Coalition, and a New Jersey native. She has dedicated the last 15 years to continually refining the art of teaching high school biology and related life science electives. Jessica received her BS in biology education from The College of New Jersey, MS in chemistry education from UPenn, and Supervisory Certification from Georgian Court University. Over the course of her teaching career, Jessica’s classroom has transformed from a traditional teacher centered classroom, to a full-fledged student centered learning experience. Professional development and networking with talented educators continues to influence her as a teacher and person. Jess is also co-authored of the “Historic Modeling Sequence Biology” curriculum as well as the “Applied Panarchy in Environmental Science” (APES) curriculum. Outside of the classroom, Jessica is a proud parent of 5 kids yes – a modern Brady Bunch!