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Professional Development Workshop
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What You Gain from Participating in the Program

Who participates in the Professional Development Program?

  • UCSC graduate students in science or engineering who can make a commitment to teaching in CfAO/ISEE - affiliated projects
  • University of Hawaii engineering, physics, and astronomy (Institute for Astronomy) graduate students
  • Participants in the Akamai Workforce Initiative
  • Educators involved in other CfAO/ISEE - affiliated education projects

What do participants gain?
Participants in this program:

  • Gain an understanding of inquiry as a teaching strategy for science and engineering
  • Learn about the connections between science/engineering teaching and educational theory
  • Get involved in designing educational activities
  • Become part of the PDP community
  • Get involved in partnership building
  • How participants have integrated what they learned into their teaching

What do participants gain from participating multiple times?
Participants are encouraged to attend for multiple years, with an increasing role in program leadership. To facilitate the varied levels and interests of returning participants, we are always developing a number of roles. Depending upon their role placement, they may gain experience in facilitating inquiries, shadowing a facilitator, leading a discussion, assessment, or new roles defined each year. Returning students are strongly encouraged to become Design Team Leaders, leading a small group of workshop participants in the design or refinement of a PDP-affiliated educational project.


“I know the professional development workshop helped me get an appointment.  I discussed at length inquiry-based plans during my job interview.  They liked it.”


“The workshop really changed my education philosophy. I feel like I’m much more conscious of why I teach the way I do and how I choose to teach a particular content area. I’ve also come to realize that I love teaching…”


“I have learned how to be a much better teacher and how to better explain science in a fashion that the public can understand and can get excited about. Additionally, I have learned that teaching requires a great deal of thought.”


“After attending the workshop, I felt much better about the field in which I was working. As a grad student, it’s very easy to feel like nobody is looking out for your interests. It’s nice to get reminded that the NSF, CfAO, and other are interested in your growth and well-being.”


“It has increased my awareness of the ability to grow as an educator, to treat it much like one does research; where one is constantly growing, learning and challenging ideas.”

“Most significantly I think has been the fact that I feel more competent to teach, I know about the possibilities…”
Last Modified: Nov 10, 2008 

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