Brain and Behavior Institute 2000

Learning Styles, Inquiry Method and Authentic Alternative Assessments

This page reflects links to the programs that have influenced the inquiry based, student-centered activities in my classroom.

This is the Serendip Home Page

This site , created by a group of faculty members at Bryn Mawr College, is a terrific source of information for educators.

This site gives valuable information on the different learning styles.

This site stresses the importance of student centered or inquiry based learning in science. Bruce Alberts President of the National Academy of Sciences gives many examples of this teaching style in relationship to the different learning styles.

Nora A. Kasper
Philadelphia Archdiocesan Curriculum Committee
Science Educator - GLOBE Teacher

Email Mrs.Kasper

Father Judge High School
"What best makes an impression on youth is not what you say but rather what you are."

I have been teaching science for fifteen years. The last twelve years have been in the largest all male private high school in Philadelphia, Pa. We have a student body of about 1400 and a strong tradition of academic and athletic excellence. Father Judge High School presents many challenges and opportunities for me.

I began my teaching career as a social studies teacher. Obtaining my science certification was a challenge for me. I have seen a change in my students over the last five years. For the most part, I teach non eager learners. These students are accustomed to using technology but have a short attention span. I have developed an inquiry based, student-centered, environmental science program which includes field-based activities.

I am a GLOBE(Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) teacher ( and I incorporate as much technology as I can into the curriculum. We have an ongoing working partnership with the Fairmount Park Commission. This partnership has enabled us to work on soil erosion prevention projects, stream bank restoration and other projects, in our community.

My classroom is a hub of activity and my students comment that class time goes by very quickly. I am learning along with my students and I can see, for the first time, a raising of consciousness for environmental concerns and issues.

Gis (Geographic Information System) is a software program that I plan on using in my environmental science classes.

The site below is very helpful and useful. This site also has activities that are interactive and which can be adapted to each teacher's individual needs.

Thanks to the Bryn Mawr Institutes, which encouraged and empowered me as an educator, I was awarded a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship. My research project was using GIS (Geographic Information System) in explaining global environmental changes.

The Woodrow Wilson site, below, has many projects in biology and environmental science for all grade levels.

Return to GIS group home page

The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation
CN 5281, Princeton NJ 08543-5281 - Tel:(609)452-7007 - Fax:(609)452-0066
Technical contact:

The following is an example of the alternative assessment on energy that I use in my environmental science classes. It is a prompt assessment which receives positive feedback from students and parents.

Energy Assessment Timeline

Part I

March 6, 2000

Introduction and Explanation

Part II

Due March 13, 2000

TMI and Chernobyl questionnaire (please follow directions on sheet)

Part III

Due March 20, 2000

Interview and Short Story

Your Opinion Please (based on facts)

Refer to rubric which must be attached to the interview and short story and presentation sheet.

Part IV

March 20 to 29, 2000

Oral Presentations begin the week of March 20th (five to seven minutes) please refer to cover sheet and appropriate rubrics.

Your oral presentation may take any form that you are comfortable with (refer to rubrics).

The audience (rest of class) must act appropriately and will also be graded according to the rubric that was given in the beginning of the year on oral presentations and group participation.

Thank you, Jan, for your help.

I would like to acknowledge Paul for giving me the courage and patience to be less wrong. Alison and Kim for the educational and psychological applications. Deepak and Victor for giving me more confidence in using technology.