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About the Teachers' Corner

The purpose of this site is to facilitate teaching about the Great Lakes and its fisheries. The clearinghouse identifies teaching materials that currently exist on these topics (as of September 2005) and seeks to help individuals select from among these materials by offering professional reviews based on content and environmental education guidelines. Free lesson plans from each of the reviewed materials can also be accessed, all of which have been aligned with Michigan science education benchmarks. Lastly, the clearinghouse offers a forum for exchanging resources and ideas on Great Lakes and fisheries education.

  • To promote Great Lakes and fisheries education through facilitating access to and selection among existing teaching materials on these topics.
  • To c ontribute to building community among those interested in Great Lakes and fisheries education through providing a means for sharing resources and ideas.
Primary Audience
K-12 teachers and non-formal educators

Secondary Audience
Developers of teaching materials and other supporters of Great Lakes and fisheries education

How were the teaching materials listed on the site identified, selected, and reviewed?
To identify teaching materials with a focus on the Great Lakes and its fisheries, we reviewed bibliographies of education resources, searched the Internet and requested identification of relevant materials via list-serves, and consulted with leaders in Great Lakes and fisheries education. We reviewed materials which met the following selection criteria:

  • They cover one or more of the concepts identified by the Great Lakes and fisheries education content guidelines.
  • They are designed for youth or can clearly be adapted for youth.
  • They are interactive (i.e. require thought or action); i.e. they are not just a reference or support material.
  • They are at least 10 pages long, i.e. they are not a brochure or a single activity.

One reviewer with a professional background in Great Lakes and fisheries education reviewed all of the selected materials. This reviewer assessed how well each material covered eleven different content issues ranging from fish habitat, pollution, and biodiversity to promoting stewardship and fisheries careers. For each issue, the reviewer determined the percent of concepts covered as related to each issue and weighted these by how extensively they were covered.

The following assessment scale was based on the final distribution of scores for the eleven issues which ranged from 0 to 60%:

- content not covered
limited coverage (i.e., 1-12%)
fair coverage (i.e., 13-24%)
moderately good coverage (i.e., 26-36%)
good coverage (i.e., 37% and above)

The quality of the materials’ pedagogy based on environmental education guidelines was assessed similarly with:

- no indicator present for a particular guideline
limited number of indicators present (i.e., 1-34%)
fair number of indicators present (i.e., 35-54%)
moderately good number of indicators present (i.e., 55-74%)
good number of indicators present (i.e., 75% or more)

How were the free lesson plans selected and aligned with Michigan science education benchmarks?
The developer of each teaching material was contacted and asked to provide one free lesson illustrative of their resource. These lesson plans were then reviewed by four Michigan-certified K-12 teachers with a background in Great Lakes and science education. The teachers were asked to independently identify the Michigan science education benchmarks with which they felt the lesson plans aligned. The benchmarks listed for each lesson plan are those identified by at least three of the four teachers.

Why were the lesson plans aligned with Michigan science education benchmarks?
Based on available funding it was possible to align lessons plans with one set of standards for one Great Lakes state. Because all of the lesson plans had a science education focus, this particular set of standards was the most appropriate. Michigan was selected because the funding source of this site, the Great Lakes Fishery Trust, focuses its efforts on this Great Lakes state.

funded by:

Funded by: GLFT

Teacher's Corner was produced by the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & Environment with funding from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust. For more information, contact: Dr. Michaela Zint, Project Leader.

This section of TEACH was made possible through the work of:

Steering Commitee members
Great Lakes Commission staff
School of Natural Resources and Environment students

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