Modeling Workshops provide a deep understanding of standards-based content in high school physics, chemistry, physical science, and mathematics. To exemplify effective instruction, they are taught using a robust pedagogy, Modeling Instruction. In 2001 the U.S. Department of Education designated Modeling Instruction, a grass-roots movement of teachers in partnership with Professor David Hestenes of Arizona State University, as one of two EXEMPLARY K-12 science programs in the nation.
Content of an entire semester course is reorganized around basic models to increase its structural coherence. Participants are supplied with a complete set of course materials and work through activities alternately in roles of student or teacher -- usually for three weeks of all-day classes in summer. Modeling Instruction is introduced as a systematic approach to the design of curriculum and instruction. The name Modeling Instruction expresses an emphasis on making and using conceptual models of physical phenomena as central to learning and doing science.
Modeling Workshops are ideal preparation for teachers to implement Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core Math Standards.
Review from Guidestar
I took my first Modeling workshop in 1995, and Modeling completely changed how I taught physics in the most positive way. Our school's science department is now entirely Modeling trained, and our science enrollment is through the roof. I have now led 26 workshops myself, and have trained over 600 teachers, who have in turn, impacted hundreds of thousands of students in their science classes. The AMTA continues its valuable work today with workshops nationwide, webinars on modeling methodology, curriculum development, and many more contributions to STEM education.
Modeling Instruction has dramatically improved the way my students learn and interact with each other, and the AMTA has provided a crucial professional support network for me and other teachers.
I was introduced to Modeling Instruction and the American Modeling Teachers Association when I took my first Modeling Workshop in 2011. This workshop revolutionized the way that I teach and learn. The AMTA has provided me with a community of educators that supports my improvement as a science educator. The AMTA has supported me with beneficial professional development through summer workshops and meetings. The AMTA provides well-developed curricular resources that I utilize in my classroom.
I love being a part of the AMTA community. Our teachers are dedicated to their profession and their students, they are committed to doing their best in their classrooms. I love having the support of this organization and it's members.
AMTA and their Modeling Workshops have been instrumental in career. Taking my first workshop back in 2010 was the best professional decision I ever made. The skills I learned from working with the teachers in the Modeling community have helped me become a better teacher.
After 18 years of teaching chemistry in a fairly traditional manner, I took my first Modeling workshop and have never looked back. Year 19 was like being a new teacher all over again and I loved it!!! My students are engaged and help each other to learn and thrive. This is so encouraging to see each day in my classroom.
As one of the 2 employees of AMTA, it is great to see how engaged the teachers are in the Modeling Workshops, like I witnesses yesterday on Day 1 of the Biology workshop in Phoenix. 26 teachers take 2 weeks out of their summer to attend a very intense workshop, some traveling from Texas, Missouri and Minnesota, others are local teachers.
When I was earning my Masters degree in Natural Science in STEM for middle school teachers with Modeling Instruction, we all received a free AMTA membership. I choose the MNS program to learn how to better teach my students, to improve my science content knowledge and to learn a more effective pedagogy. While in at Arizona State, I was a student worker, partially for AMTA. After my action research presentation, I signed a contract and have been a part of the AMTA organization ever since.
In my role as workshop coordinator, I hear from workshop hosts, leaders and participants how much MI has changed their teaching and for many, their lives as well. Some were tired from teaching and the summer workshop renewed their energy to be a better and happier teacher! I see and hear testimonials when I present Modeling at different venues; people love it as much as I do.
We want to make sure more teachers learn the pedagogy!
Wendy H AMTA's workshop and outreach coordinator since 2012
The organization is full of passionate and dedicated teachers. They care about their craft and about the way their students learn. Modeling Instruction changed my teaching, made my classes more interactive, and helped my students learn & engage in ways they hadn't before. I was so happy that I put in the time & effort to attend a Modeling Workshop and would highly recommend it to STEM teachers looking to make a change.
I have been involved with AMTA for over 8 years. They started as an organization of teachers striving to continue a tradition of training teachers, when that tradition seemed doomed to end due to disappearing grant funds. AMTA has done amazing work, with 50+ teacher trainings offered most summers across the USA. AMTA's teacher trainings help teachers learn to deliver extremely high-quality science education to millions of students in the US. They are doing a fantastic job!
By my 15th year of teaching, before I attended Modeling Workshops in 1998 and 99, I was a good physics teacher. I had the plaques and certificates to prove it. Yet, learning to use Modeling Instruction fundamentally transformed me as a teacher and as a thinker. subsequently the Modeling Teacher community supported my ongoing evolution as a modeler and teacher. Modeling provides an overarching structure--conceptual models and modeling practices--to what I do with my students in the classroom, and it allows me to hear (out loud) and see their representations of what they are thinking and how they make sense of the learning tasks in which they engage. Building, testing, refining and applying conceptual models shapes the way I think now...about everything...and ultimately has defined my career as an educator and a researcher. AMTA makes this transformation possible for science teachers by providing them with an effective pedagogy, a large supportive virtual community of practice and an extensive library of teaching resources in all the sciences taught in middle and high school. It is a grassroots teacher community--driven by the needs of the teachers it supports. It makes a tremendous impact--reaching 1000 teachers every summer with 2- to 3-week Modeling Workshops on an extremely modest annual budget (~$250K). Imagine what it could do with more resources...
The American Modeling Teachers Association provides great professional development to in- and pre-service teachers. I have been coordinating workshops for 5-6 years and it is so exciting to see how enthusiastic teachers are and how it can transform their teaching and their lives!
Joining AMTA and learning about the Modeling Instruction(TM) pedagogy was surely one of the wisest decisions I've made. It connected to me to an amazing group of highly dedicated educators from across the country, deepened my understanding of science content, reaffirmed my passion for teaching STEM, and even opened doors for me that I didn't know existed. Becoming trained in Modeling Instruction(TM) was a profound experience for me - it was incredibly insightful and motivating.
I was introduced to Modeling Instruction in 1995 as part of the initial set of national Modeling Instruction workshops for physics teaching. This methodology had such a significant impact on my teaching that I became a "modeling evangelist", leading modeling workshops and doing my best to spread the word of this superior methodology for teaching physics. Like most people who had the opportunity to experience this career changing workshop, I became worried that this would not be available for future physics teachers once National Science Foundation funding ran out for this project. Not wanting to see Modeling Instruction go the way of such excellent curriculum projects as PSSC and ChemStudy, I was eager to become a member of a grass roots organization dedicated to preserving Modeling Instruction and expanding it to disciplines beyond physics. I have been a member of AMTA since early in the existence, and was eager to serve in a leadership role within the organization. When I meet preservice and inservice science teachers, I always encourage them to consider taking a Modeling Instruction workshop and to become a member of AMTA. It is the best thing one can do to to become a better science teacher.
In my opinion, AMTA is one of the best organizations offering professional development for teachers. PD is not always readily available, nor is it always applicable to STEM practices, but AMTA Modeling Workshops are content-specific and help teachers improve their teaching practices. With the NGSS now in effect in many states, I think more school districts should use AMTA for PD because Modeling Instruction ties into all three dimensions of NGSS. This is a fantastic organization...thank you!
ATMA has helped my professional carrier by providing such an usuful and innovating methods to support students learning. Keep up on amazing work!
I have been a member of this organization since the day it was founded. This is a grassroots organization of teachers who are passionate about working together to become the best middle, high school and university science teachers they can be. When NSF funding to develop and disseminate Modeling Instruction expired in 2005, teachers stepped up. They did not want to see 16 years of great progress vanish. They took on the task of continuing to offer teacher workshops in physics, nurturing the teacher community (then numbering around 2000), and expanding curriculum resources available to Modeling teachers. Workshops have been added for teachers of chemistry, physical science, biology, middle school science, and this coming year astronomy and computational modeling in physics (for 9th grade) are coming on line. And we have done it all on a shoestring, thanks to committed members and peer leaders who have step up time and again to move the work forward. Currently there are around 12,000 Modelers (teachers who teach using the Modeling Method of Instruction). Around 2500 of them pay annual membership dues. AMTA reaches over 1000 teachers every summer with 2-3 week intensive professional development workshops, thanks to partnerships with almost 50 universities, schools, districts and local teacher alliances across the country. We conduct and participate in ongoing research on the effectiveness of Modeling Instruction, and are continually adapting and evolving to meet the needs of teachers, because that's who we are...and together we can help each other teach brilliantly.
AMTA has been a constant source of encouragement, motivation and amazing professional development throughout my teaching career.
AMTA helped to transform my teaching and it strengthened my content knowledge as well. It is a supportive organization and a great community for STEM teachers.
AMTA is focused like a laser on helping teachers improve learning outcomes. It is based on Educational Research by top professors across the country and has solid evidence of dramatic improvements to learning outcomes.
I spent two weeks learning how to implement better teaching methods at an AMTA workshop and I have been delighted with the improvements my students have made learning physics. This organization is very lean. Every dollar donated goes a long ways to improving science education.