- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557323
- First Name Jenna
- Last Name Porter
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Engineering, Math, Physics
Jenna Porter, CSU, Sacramento, firstname.lastname@example.org
The demand for a workforce that is well prepared in STEM is expected to increase (Langdon, McKittrick, Beede, Khan, & Doms, 2011), yet California is failing to meet the current need. The 2011 Science and Engineering Readiness Index ranked the state 34th in math and science education (White & Cottle, 2011), while the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) found that only 5% of California 8th graders were at an advanced level of math (NCES, 2012). In response to these challenges, California adopted nationally recognized K-12 education standards, the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In order to successfully implement these standards, we must support the development of culturally competent teacher leaders so they can serve as models in their school communities in an effort to strengthen the STEM teacher workforce.
How well do MTFs understand CC and NGSS and their intersections? How well do MTFs align CC, NGSS and culturally relevant pedagogy in their curriculum? How effective do MTFs perceive their preparation for training others on implementing CC and NGSS?
We constructed a Pedagogical Framework (Develop Capacity for Effectively Implementing NGSS and CCSS-M; Develop Reflective Practitioners; Develop Cultural Competence for Planning, Instruction & Assessment; Develop Leadership Capacity) which provides MTFs with clear professional learning and teaching goals. We use this framework to tailor our activities with MTFs and are currently focusing on developing cultural competence and leadership. We developed a Teacher Leader Profile (Has a growth mindset; is highly effective at teaching; is highly skilled at building interpersonal relationships) and will introduce it at our summer institute, asking MTFs to take on at least one form of leadership. We continue to work on supporting MTFs’ development of cultural competence, and have provided some experiences for them to engage in becoming aware of their own culture, understanding how cultural identity intersects with other identities, and being intentional in creating classroom cultures.
The MTFs do not express significant concerns about their content knowledge. They are still learning how best to incorporate some of the new standards’ most ambitious strategies into their regular teaching practice – namely, teaching at the nexus of science and math standards, designing opportunities for students to build conceptual models, developing tasks that facilitate students’ sense-making, developing tasks and activities that build students’ skills in supporting arguments with evidence and in engaging each other’s arguments and evidence, and assessment strategies that align to the standards and promote equity in the classrooms. Next steps include providing tools for MTFs to analyze both the accuracy of the content in their textbooks/instructional materials and the appropriateness of the content and how it is presented, through culturally relevant lenses. We also plan to support MTFs on designing culturally relevant curriculum using these standards.
Our project will impact human resources within each of the school districts and potentially in the math and science education communities at large. Some of the possible leadership projects that MTFs will engage in could include serving as mentors to student teachers or providing professional development within the school site across math and science departments, both of which will develop human resources. Our project is already having an impact on society because the MTFs engage in self-reflective process of inquiry, they are incorporating pedagogy that includes CCSS and NGSS practices. Thus, their middle and high school students are experiencing mathematics and science in the classroom in ways that are most likely more effective than the students’ previous experiences learning mathematics and science. This could lead more of these students to consider STEM education and careers beyond high school.