What is AMTA?

The American Modeling Teacher’s Association is community of teachers that promote Modeling InstructionTM by providing Modeling Workshops, ongoing professional development and community support.   Members have access to Modeling resources aligned to NGSS Standards for teaching.

What is Modeling Instruction?

Modeling InstructionTM is a guided-inquiry approach to teaching science that organizes instruction around a coherent storyline of model development. This method provides content instruction while students are immersed in the process of doing science. Research has shown students in Modeling InstructionTM classrooms perform significantly better on measures of conceptual knowledge when compared to similar students in traditional classrooms.

Historical Overview

In the early 1990s, after a decade of education research to develop and validate Modeling InstructionTM, Dr. David Hestenes was awarded grants from the National Science Foundation for another decade to spread the Modeling InstructionTM program nationwide. As of 2021, greater than 15,000 teachers have participated in summer workshops or other professional development involving Modeling Instruction, including nearly 10% of the United States’ high school physics teachers. It is estimated that Modeling teachers reach more than 100,000 students each year.

AMTA was created by teachers to continue and expand the mission after government funding for Modeling InstructionTM ended. The AMTA has expanded to a nationwide community of teachers dedicated to addressing the nation’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education crisis.

What’s Happening?

Membership in the AMTA Modeling Teacher community includes: Professional Development Offerings, Community Events, Classroom-ready Teacher Resources as well as Research on Modeling Instruction.

Community Events

AMTA offers FREE webinars to members and non-members alike. Support is provided to Modeling teacher members through Professional Learning Communities and book clubs. Check out the 2024 schedule [...]

What our members have to say

  • Modeling encourages cooperation and discourse about complicated ideas in a non-threatening, supportive environment.

    Kelli W. Arizona Physics & Math Instructor
  • Modeling has led me to the scientific practice of science education. It helps me focus on what helps my students learn.

    Jim D. Kansas STEM teacher
  • Modeling Instruction has changed the way I teach Chemistry. [It] is a very student-centered approach to teaching and I firmly believe that it is the best way to teach. 

    Gerri S. Tennessee Chemistry Instructor
  • I was late about 10 minutes due to a meeting in the office ...students had picked up right where we left off the day before.  One student was acting as moderator.  Teams had whiteboards.  They had created their own review problem and posted it on the front board.

    LISTSERV post Chemistry Modeling
  • I believe the methods and philosophy of Modeling Instruction have changed physics teaching and have made physics more accessible for all students.

    Karie M. Arizona Physics Instructor
  • Modeling is how I became interested in physics as a high school student in the early 1990s.  More students should have this powerful science experience!

    Melissa G. Arizona Physics Instructor
  • Modeling Instruction motivated me to step back and let students learn through inquiry and my career got a boost!

    Anonymous AMTA Donor STEM teacher

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