Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES)
The mission of Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES), a project of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, is to teach middle school science teachers the most-up-to-date concepts of evolutionary science.
TIES has developed free resources and professional development opportunities to enable middle school science teachers to confidently teach the evolutionary science in their classrooms and fulfill their curriculum requirements. TIES will raise the profile and literacy of early evolutionary science education. Your support will power significant measurable change, raising scientific knowledge among middle school science teachers and their young students. Middle school children are at an impressionable age when the wonders of evolutionary science and the mysteries it unlocks can compel them to see the world in a positive, rational light. The impact of your dollars at work will be immediate.
Evolution is the underlying theme of all of the biological sciences, not to mention vital to the understanding of many pressing modern-day issues, such as antibiotic resistance, agricultural monocultures, and species conservation. Nonetheless, Evolution is getting short shrift in our science classrooms. A middle school science teacher will typically cover many areas of science within his/her annual curriculum, including earth science, physical science, and life science. It is virtually impossible to become an expert in all of these areas. Because many parents do not want their children exposed to the scientific explanation of the world because it contradicts their belief systems, teachers who are not comfortable with evolutionary science will glance over it or avoid it altogether.
Proposed ways TIES is working to address these challenges
and achieve its mission.
TIES is working to address these challenges in several ways. Our TIES Teacher Workshops give teachers the opportunity to learn the most up-to-date concepts in evolutionary science. The success of TIES depends upon providing ready-to-use resources that teachers can begin to use immediately. Participating teachers leave the workshop with presentation slides, labs, guided reading assignments, an exam, and a valuable resource list for their lesson plans. The TIES website has every teaching resource presented in the TIES Workshops available for download. It also includes a registration page for educators interested in organizing and presenting a TIES workshop in their own school district. Seven workshops have either already taken place or are scheduled to occur within the next seven months. Twenty-six elite science educators have already joined our TIES Teacher Corps.
Expectations and Outcomes
● After a six-to-nine month start-up period, the TIES’s goal is five workshops per
semester, and ten workshops per semester after the second full year of operation.
● 100 TIES Teacher Corps members around the country will be recruited and trained
after the end of the second full year of operation.
● Online evaluations will follow every TIES workshop.
● The TIES webpage, will track the numbers of users and time spent on the
● Real-world and virtual workshop data will be tracked.
● The TIES webpage will allow program alumni to keep in touch, and discuss
and resolve issues amongst themselves.
Middle school is a challenging, exciting time for young people. They are still curious and playful and yet their minds and bodies are starting to enter the first stages of adulthood. It is a time of exploration and of a constantly developing self-awareness. For middle school science teachers, it is the perfect moment to capture a young person’s creativity and natural love of science. A quality science teacher can seize this opportunity and change his/her students’ life direction, introduce them to the wonders of nature, and engage them in the enjoyment of lifelong learning. The TIES project with its ready-to-use resources and professional development workshops aims to give middle school science teacher the tools to make this vision of a more scientifically literate generation a reality.
Thanks for checking this out; look for our updates in the days ahead!
Mr. Louis Appignani, a generous benefactor of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, will match ALL donations dollar for dollar. Please give by December 31.
For individuals, families, or groups interested in contributing to TIES through gifts of stock and mutual funds, charitable gift annuities, bequests, or assets, please contact Sree Kumar (Director of Development, Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason & Science) at [email protected] or 202-733-5287.