Students who join our program will experience a unique blend of academic training and authentic teaching experiences in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone, as well as public and independent schools in the greater Wyoming landscape.
The Graduate Program is anchored by the three competencies of Teton Science Schools’ Framework: Educational Approach, Community Leadership and Intentional Culture. These competencies guide alignment of academic coursework, teaching and community experiences.
Classroom curriculum provides instruction and knowledge development in field science, educational theory and community leadership through the lens of place-based education. The courses are generally block-scheduled for two-to-four weeks and interweave lectures, fieldwork, classroom presentations and collaborative projects — each season, presenting new opportunities and challenges.
Authentic Teaching Experiences
The goals of the Teaching Practica are to improve teaching practices and expand professional education skills. These objectives are achieved by giving graduate students multiple opportunities to teach a variety of ages under the guidance and close mentorship of faculty. During the practica, students will develop curriculum, apply coursework content, build core competencies of a skilled educator and nurture their instructional identity.
Throughout the year, graduate students have the opportunity to teach in Teton Science Schools’ independent school, in the field with visiting school groups and at numerous regional schools through state-wide outreach. In total, graduate students complete over 350 hours of mentored teaching.
The Program Year
Each season presents new opportunities for the development of educational skills and topics; emphases will be approached on a continuum, with mentors and graduate students focusing on individual expertise and teaching goals. The seasonal progression includes the following topics.
Please note that the University of Wyoming is the Teton Science Schools’ first-year residency university partner. Once enrolled at Teton Science Schools, you will apply for admission to the University of Wyoming for this year, as well. The following course numbers are from the University of Wyoming course catalog.
Emphases: Introduction to Place-Based Education and field science teaching practices
NASC 5640 – Introduction to Field Science Teaching – 3 credits
ZOO 5430 – Community Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – 3 credits
NASC 5625 – Principles of Place-Based Education – 3 credits
NASC 5630 – Fall Teaching Practicum – 2 credits
Winter & Spring
Emphases: Best practices in place-based instruction, winter ecology, social-ecological systems, natural history and curriculum design.
ZOO 5405 – Winter Ecology of the Yellowstone Ecosystem – 2 Credits