- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852890
- First Name Catherine
- Last Name Lussier
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics, Other:Teacher Education, Physics
Catherine Lussier, University of California, Riverside
Research has indicated that an achievement gap exists between English learners (ELs) and non-ELs in STEM content areas (NCES, 2015; NCES, 2019). STEM teachers’ lack of preparation to teach students who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) may contribute to this gap (Reeves, 2006). Research suggests that content knowledge, professional development, and self-efficacy impact pre-service teachers’ job readiness and likelihood to pursue STEM teaching (Manasia et al., 2019). Given this need, providing quality instruction to pre-service teachers on how to integrate literacy and adapted instructional strategies as part of classroom practice, as well as providing diverse fieldwork opportunities, is of utmost importance.
Research Questions: At the conclusion of the program, will Noyce Scholars demonstrate a greater (a) understanding of STEM content standards and pedagogical practices, (b) sense of self-efficacy in providing STEM instruction to ELs, and (c) increased motivation for working in high-need schools with students from diverse backgrounds?
Noyce Scholars received supplemental training opportunities focused on adapting STEM instruction for diverse students: (a) fieldwork opportunities with early exposure to research-based teaching experiences with EL students, (b) professional development that provided further guidance in developing appropriate science and/or math pedagogy for diverse learners, and (c) peer mentorship and advising support. Pre-service teacher growth was assessed through observation-based ratings of six Teacher Performance Expectation (TPE) domains (scale: 1-4).
Though non-Noyce student teachers scored higher at the start of the program, Noyce Scholars scored significantly higher than non-Noyce students at the conclusion of the program. Additionally, Noyce students demonstrated greater growth overall (M = 1.28) when compared to Non-Noyce students (M = 1.03); group differences in growth between program start and program completion were significant (p = .042). Additionally, Noyce Scholars demonstrated greater growth in STEM pedagogical self-efficacy and EL practices compared to controls’ growth.
This Noyce pre-service teacher program has developed, implemented, and disseminated a model for recruiting and training highly qualified STEM-EL teachers, which will have a direct and positive impact on their STEM pedagogy and on the students they teach.