Meet the Rock Stars, Part 5: Dr. Jeff Thomas

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Name: Jeff D. Thomas

Title: Associate Professor

Year Started at CCSU: 2008

Courses Taught: Severe and Hazardous Weather, Introduction to Meteorology, Elementary Earth and Physical Science, Teaching Science in Secondary School, History and Nature of Science; Research in Science Education; Projects in Science Education

Current research projects:  Presently, I am working on two major projects.

The first project I am working on is NESSLIENext Generation Earth and Space Science Literacy Instruction & Expertise. I am the Principal Investigator and Project Director of this federally-funded Teacher Quality Partnership grant which involves Central Connecticut State University, the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, and ten local school districts including Bristol, Cromwell, Colchester, East Hartford, Hartford, Meriden, New Britain, Portland, Southington, and Waterbury. The goal of this project is to improve teachers’ understanding of the new Earth and Space Science Next Generation Science Standards (e.g. climate change), the instructional shifts associated with these standards such as encouraging students to construct science models, and for teachers to embed reading and writing strategies as part of their instruction to improve students understanding of science

The second project I am working on is about better understanding secondary science teachers’ implementation of literacy practices with Dr. Sally Drew from the School of Education and Professional Studies. More specifically, this study examines the extent to which teachers are implementing the science literacy practices articulated in the (Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The significance of this project is to identify practices that teachers struggle with in order to provide suggestions for professional development opportunities.

Favorite book: How People Learn (educational) and Kate Remembered (for fun). Yes, these are both nonfiction

Favorite film: This is far too hard to select one movie as my favorite film, so here is my short list: The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, X-Men, and The Birdcage.

Favorite scientific term: Fogbow—Google it!

Something my students don’t know about me: A bear at Sequoia National Park chased me—I escaped.

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