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)

About

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.  

Our Goal

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.

Our Process

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

To gain access to the curriculum, sign-up for our email list we’ll email you further instructions!

  1. Historical Modeling Sequence Biology (HMS Bio)
  2. Applied Panarchy in Environmental  Science (APES) – An Overview/Preview

How to Get Involved

We welcome all life/environmental science educators of all levels and backgrounds to join us! To get involved, email consilience@stemteachersnyc.org or join the email list!

  1. 1. Propose an STEM Teaching Workshop
  2. 2. Share a resource or idea with the group
  3. 3. Ask the network for help or assistance
  4. 4. Join us for an upcoming workshop

Join the Consilience Coalition email list to share resources, network or ask for assistance!

EcoSTEM Working Group

Notes from Nov 16, 2019

Themes:

“Many Paths, Many Sources, Independence, Collaboration”

Routes to Success:

+ Connections across & between grades and subjects
+ Rethinking space (rooftop reading garden; indoor hydroponics)
+ Student directed and managed PBL
+ Sample from multiple resources
+ Build interdisciplinary teacher teams
+ Engage students at the policy level
+ Get outside! Learn with your students!
+ Use design challenges
+ Leverage share CER in both science subjects and humanities
+ Link skills and study to potential careers
+ Teachers following their own interest/inspiration
+ Kids want to be around plants!

Challenges and Questions:

+ Doing all work on your own
+ Issues of PBL management
+ Help writing grants
+ Getting youth input
+ Support for teachers new to growing
+ Path is often a blank slate at school
+ Navigating resources, balancing with core curriculum and pedagogy
+ Students want to DO relevant work
+ Comprehensive list of EE books? (Design better resources on climate?)
+ What is the state of climate education in NYC?

Organizational Perspectives:

+ How to help teachers implement?
+ How to learn from how materials are actually implemented?
+ What do you want or need to know from teachers?
+ How to help get materials into classrooms?

Goals for the Group:

+ Set up folder of all the resources mentioned – Pending
+ Use part of each meeting to support one lesson (“my fossil lab for paleo-climatology is still not NGSS compliant”)
+ Develop new material
+ Continue to share ways teachers learn and explore by themselves
+ Build out other non-stem connections, values, that support bridges across subjects
+ Develop and share projects aligned with units already in place
+ Support classroom teachers to be less afraid of messy hands-on projects
+ Align meeting themes to contexts, resources, or challenges (for example):

Greenhouse, rooftop or community garden collaboration?

Green team or no team?

Consilience Coalition Organizers

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!