- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660689
- First Name Anthony
- Last Name Fernandes
- Discipline Math
Anthony Fernandes, UNC Charlotte, firstname.lastname@example.org; Amanda Smyle, UNC Charlotte, email@example.com; Kaylee Bell, UNC Charlotte, firstname.lastname@example.org
This grant proposal is for the Track 1 Noyce grant program that seeks to increase the number of STEM teachers in high-needs schools and is an initiative of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in collaboration with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. UNC Charlotte’s teachers primarily serve the Charlotte-Mecklenburg metro area which includes North Carolina’s largest county with a population of over one million but also rural counties with populations around sixty thousand. The goal of this project is to increase the number of qualified middle and high school mathematics teachers who can work with culturally and linguistically diverse students in the high-needs schools in the area.
What do preservice teachers learn about teaching diverse students through their classroom experiences, especially building relationships with culturally and linguistically diverse students?
The unique feature of this program will be to prepare the scholars by drawing on a Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT) (Gay, 2000, 2002) framework. This framework views the culture and experiences of diverse students as resources, rather than deficits that can be used to build higher interest in content (Gay, 2000). The CRT framework will better prepare the Noyce scholars to work with CLD students who form the majority of students in high-needs schools in the Charlotte area and many urban and rural districts across North Carolina. The Noyce scholars in the program spend about three hours a week in a classroom being mentored by an experienced teacher. Further, the scholar works with a smaller group of students getting to know them on a more personal level. Efforts are made to assign students who come from backgrounds that are different to the scholar. As such, the scholar learns about the students’ experiences and community through their interactions.
Through the classroom experiences, especially the intense interactions with diverse students, and reflecting on these experiences, it is expected that the preservice teachers will be better prepared to address the needs of diverse students in their own classes. The preservice teachers will be able to build on these experiences to craft mathematics lessons that will draw on their students’ backgrounds.
The program will contribute to bridging the current shortage of highly qualified teachers in high-needs schools. The use of CRT strategies in their teaching will generate interest and meaningful learning among CLD students; thus having a broader impact of increasing the pipeline of STEM students. The program will contribute to the existing knowledge base, especially the recruitment and preparation of mathematics teachers and effective pedagogical approaches of preparing mathematics teachers to work with CLD students.