Become a Certified Smarter Science Trainer

Thu, 2013-10-17 07:37 -- Mike Newnham
Smarter Science is pleased to announce we are currently accepting applications for Certification of Smarter Science Trainers in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.. Accreditation will allow the successful candidate to provide training of the Smarter Science Framework within their Board or for external groups.

Overview of Smarter Science & Benefits

Smarter Science is a conceptual framework for embedding Inquiry-Based Science Education (IBSE) in classrooms from Kindergarten to Grade 12, has gained wide acceptance across Canada.

The benefits of becoming a Smarter Science Lead Teacher are:

  1. Greater confidence with the process of ISBE as an educator.
  2. If sponsored by your Board, training costs within the Board are lowered. No need for external trainers and their fees.
  3. The ability to award Youth Science Canada Certificates of Completion to teachers attending your workshops.
  4. Access to special rates for workshop materials (e.g. posters, pins, discrepant event demonstrations)
  5. Exclusive access to services and materials (e.g. manuals, online services) provided by Youth Science Canada.
  6. Special ‘Lead Teacher’ rates to Summer Institutes and other Smarter Science Events

The Smarter Science Certification Application Process:

  • Must have attended a full day Smarter Science Introduction workshop within the past year
  • Adaptable & flexible
  • Wide range of integration of Smarter Science into several strands
  • Able to relate to both elementary and secondary
  • Must have taught science and/or have a good understanding of science
The cost to provide certification is $950 for training. Expenses due to travel and accommodation are the candidate’s responsibility. Applicant's submissions are reviewed and confirmed for acceptance Registration & commitment to the Certification process, including 4 days of classroom training, an online module and pre & post surveys Certification of Basic Level Candidates is valid for 2 years. A full description of maintenance of qualification is described below .

Smarter Science Certification - 4 Step Process

Prior to first session

Teacher Survey – online survey administered before participants arrive for first session. Determines inquiry readiness (confidence & competence)

Session one-- Introduction to Smarter Science

You will attend a full-day workshop that reviews the Smarter Science Framework and the Steps to Inquiry strategy for developing testable questions. You must commit to deliver a minimum of one inquiry-based lesson before the next workshop. You also commit to completing the online component described below. At this session, you will find a partner or partners to collaborate on their facilitation plans. Collaborations occur as partners see fit. Meetings may be face to face, through Youth Science Canada’s social networking portal or by videoconferencing. Smarter Science also provides co-planning tools and assessment/reflection instruments online. Teachers are expected to create an online Inquiry Portfolio and collect evidence or student work (in digital form) from their inquiry-based experiences over the next six weeks. Student work may include: reports, Power Points, student testimonials, video, audio, etc.)

Online Module

You will work at your own pace through an online Smarter Science module that covers topics such as:
  • Module 1: Inquiry-Based Learning Around the Globe
  • Module 2: Assessing Inquiry
  • Module 3: Assessment Tasks
  • Module 4: Changing Culture
It is expected that you complete this module before Session three. You will continue to collect evidence or student work for your online Inquiry Portfolio.

Session Two – Assessment & Evaluation

Candidates do a self-assessment of their own Assessment and Evaluation practices. You will review the Smarter Science Assessment Model for Skills Development and practice portions of the standard Assessment and Evaluation Workshop. Candidates are expected to continue to add to their online Inquiry Portfolio by collecting evidence or student work (in digital form) from their inquiry-based experiences over the next six weeks. Student work includes things like reports, Power Points, student testimonials, video, audio, etc.)

Repeat Teacher Survey before Session Three

All candidates will take a survey to assess the shifts in their attitudes and teaching strategies. The responses will be used to track longitudinal efficacy of the inquiry-based methods used and to further enhance delivery of future workshops. Candidates will also submit their Professional Practice Reflection at this time. They will be required to submit a report that analyzes and assesses the materials in their Inquiry Portfolio and examines the change in their own practice.

Session three -- Sharing & Train The Trainer

Candidates share their experiences and Inquiry Portfolio with the understanding that many eyes and minds will see things that one person might miss. During the session, candidates offer inquiry ideas and facilitators model how to convert traditional activities to inquiry-based approaches. Over the course of two days, Smarter Science facilitators will conduct a variety of exercises that will ensure that potential Smarter Science facilitators convey a practiced and professional image. They will receive Trainer manuals, FAQ’s, PowerPoint templates and access to Smarter Science’s Lead Trainer website. Participants will have several opportunities to prepare, rehearse and deliver short segments of a training workshop. They will be recorded and, using collaborative techniques, will discuss feedback to improve their delivery.

Maintaining Your Certified Status

  1. After successfully completing the workshop series, each provisional Smarter Science Lead Trainer is expected to conduct at least two presentations to their colleagues over the course of next year. At the end of one year, after provision to us of evidence e.g. ppt, feedback forms, etc from the sessions, they become fully accredited.
  2. Youth Science Canada understands that a school board values the accreditation of its Smarter Science Lead Trainers and wants to maintain and increase their expertise over time. Consequently, each Smarter Science Lead Trainer is accredited for a term of 2 years.
  3. To renew accreditation, each Smarter Science Lead Trainer must commit to continuing professional development, either online or in person. Each summer, Lead Trainer Workshops are offered to add further qualifications. (e.g. Problem Based Learning, Case Studies, Technological Problem Solving, Critical Thinking Skills)
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