Teacher Development Programs
The Education Division of WCS offers a variety of learning experiences for teachers. Whether on-site at one of our five WCS parks across the city, online from the comfort of your home, or through our partnerships, teachers can earn credit as they learn how to connect to wild nature.
On-site Professional Development
The Education Division of WCS offers a wide range of professional development opportunities for teachers. Teacher courses are held at the Bronx Zoo, New York Aquarium, Central Park Zoo, Queens Zoo, and Prospect Park Zoo. WCS courses for teachers of grades K–12 help bring a new dimension to your lessons, whether you teach science, math, language arts, or anything in between! Professional development courses can also be provided at your school or district. Call 718-220-5136 for more information.
Our multi-disciplinary programs are aligned with both state and national education standards.
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Online Teacher Academy
Professional Development Department invites K-12 educators to take a walk on the wild side. Whether teaching for schools or non-traditional settings, our Online Teacher Academy offers something for every teacher!
Our courses conveniently enhance your understanding of the living world and revitalize your love for nature and science. Entirely online, these six-week courses provide unique opportunities to examine the life sciences of zoology, ecology and conservation, through topics including predators, marine biology, habitat ecology, and climate connections.
Realizing it’s not just what we teach, but how we teach it, our courses elaborate on effective science education practices. Pedagogical studies will better equip you to facilitate scientific learning and promote STEM (Science,Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs and curriculum.
- Enhance your teaching and use of technology in the classroom
- Learn from virtual and interactive simulations, videos, and presentations from WCS scientists
- Interact with educators around the world
- Graduate credits available
- Receive excellent, ready-to-use education resources
Wildlife Conservation Society Webinars are a unique opportunity to learn more about animals and the science of studying wildlife. As a participant, you will learn about WCS field research and conservation work as you listen to conservation stories from our field researchers.
Appropriate for ANYONE interested in learning more about wildlife and conservation, WCS Webinars are FREE and easily accessible through our E-Learning Portal (http://pd.wcs.org). WCS Webinars also include an additional element specific to educators wishing to learn more about how to bring these engaging topics to students.
During the Webinar, you will have the opportunity to:
- learn more about wildlife and wild places, around the world
- discover ways WCS works to save wildlife and wild places through research and conservation
- enjoy conservation stories from WCS field researchers
- view spectacular wildlife photos, video and presentations
- discover how you can help save wildlife and wild places
- explore strategies and resources to enhance your curriculum with wildlife!
Urban Advantage (UA) is a standards-based partnership program designed to improve students’ understanding of scientific inquiry through collaborations between urban public school systems and science cultural institutions such as zoos, botanical gardens, museums, and science centers. UA involves institutions outside the formal education system that support the science-specific goals of the public school system.
Urban Advantage was launched in 2004 in New York City by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in collaboration with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, the New York Botanical Garden, the New York Hall of Science, the Queens Botanical Garden, the Staten Island Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo and New York Aquarium, and the New York City Department of Education, with leadership funding from the New York City Council.
UA began by assessing and responding to the science education needs of NYC middle schools. Assessment results showed a severe shortage of qualified science teachers. At the same time, a new city-wide mandate required all eighth grade students to complete long-term scientific investigations (known as “exit projects” in New York City). This provided the program with a clear focus: eighth grade student exit projects.
Urban Advantage Framework: Six Components
- High-quality professional development for teachers and administrators
- Classroom materials and equipment that promote scientific inquiry and authentic investigations
- Access to UA partner institutions through free school and family field trips
- Outreach through family events, celebrations of student achievement, and parent coordinator workshops
- Capacity-building and sustainability structures, including a network of demonstration schools and support for the development of lead teachers
- Assessment of program goals, student learning, systems delivery, and outcomes
For more information, read the Urban Advantage brochure.
WCS / Fordham University – Master of Science Degree in Education
Earn your Master of Science degree in Teaching Adolescence Biology/Conservation Life Science (Grades 7-12) or Master of Science degree in Education, Curriculum and Teaching with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
The Wildlife Conservation Society and the Fordham University Graduate School of Education offer a joint program leading to a Master of Science degree focused on professional development in the field of Conservation Life Science and Environmental Education.
The first degree-granting program of its kind in the United States, this unique partnership addresses dire need for well-trained science educators with increased knowledge in the sciences, better teaching skills, confidence in science teaching and an understanding of the value of informal science institutions as resources for teaching science.
Courses offered by the Wildlife Conservation Society focus on science content and best practices in science education; including topics such as:
- conservation biology
- habitat ecology
- conservation challenges
- field studies
- inquiry-based learning
- technology integration to teach conservation life science and environmental education
Courses offered by the Fordham University Graduate School of Education focus on teaching methods, the psychology of adolescent development and learning, learning environments for adolescents, and teaching linguistically and culturally diverse adolescents. The program involves field experiences based on a teaching fellowship model at the Bronx Zoo and a variation of the New York City Department of Education’s Teaching Fellows Program.
For more information about this graduate program, visit the following links:
Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education
FORDHAM magazine article “At the Zoo”
The Fordham University / Wildlife Conservation Society NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Program