- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439914
- First Name Ann
- Last Name Cavallo
- Discipline Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics
Gregory Hale, University of Texas at Arlington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ramon Lopez, University of Texas at Arlington, email@example.com
James Epperson, University of Texas at Arlington, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann Cavallo, University of Texas at Arlington, email@example.com
; Gregory Hale, University of Texas at Arlington, firstname.lastname@example.org
; Ramon Lopez, University of Texas at Arlington, email@example.com
Our national education community is acutely aware of the critical need for science and mathematics teachers. Science and mathematics teacher shortages are so severe that the current legislation has aimed to increase the number of teachers prepared from the current 2,500 a year to 10,000 a year nationally by 2015 (Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative, 2010). According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, school districts have the most difficulty filling teaching positions in mathematics, chemistry and physics (US Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2014). Furthermore, the shortage of science and mathematics teachers is most severe in high-poverty urban and rural districts, where more than 700,000 new teachers are needed in the next 10 years (National Center for Education Statistics, 2014). Reports on teacher shortages also indicate that secondary students in the US have only a 40% chance of being taught in the physical sciences by a teacher who majored in that field (National Academy of Sciences, 2007). The percentage of out-of-field teaching in mathematics and science is highest in urban, high poverty schools. Thus, there is urgent and immediate need to recruit and prepare teachers in the physical sciences and mathematics to teach in our urban school districts where they are most needed. This Noyce program is continuation of our university’s first, 2008 NSF funded Noyce program, both designed and dedicated to prepare highly qualified physics, chemistry, and mathematics teachers the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth school districts so desperately need.
The program objectives are to: 1) recruit physics, chemistry, and mathematics teacher candidates from baccalaureate programs, community colleges, and career changers from local industry, 2) provide a quality two-track teacher certification program for our candidates, and 3) induct, monitor, and mentor our teacher candidates through the program and their early years of teaching.
Key activities of this program are:
** Recruit candidates from UT Arlington and area community college science and mathematics programs and from the Dallas-Arlington-Fort Worth metropolitan area science and math related businesses and industry.
** Implement a two-track program for our teacher candidates through our collaborative College of Science and College of Education NCATE/CAEP approved teacher education programs, including UTeach Arlington.
** Provide candidates with access to academic and professional resources, and help them become members of a community of learners throughout their teacher preparation program, their induction into teaching, and beyond.
** Form and support cohort groups led by university Education and Science faculty and link candidates with school-based Mentor Teachers to guide field experiences and induction, and provide continued teaching support.
** Engage candidates in learning and gaining skill in implementing research-based, inquiry teaching models (learning cycle/5E), project- and problem-based teaching experiences, classroom action research, curriculum development, reflective practice, and in the sharing of findings, curricula, and reflections via regular Noyce Scholar Learning Seminars, electronic interactions, and professional presentations.
** Implement an evaluation plan that provides data on the project’s effectiveness in recruiting, preparing, inducting, and retaining teacher candidates, and that measures their professional development as teachers and teacher leaders through the program.
** Disseminate findings and best practices of this project through research, and scholarly publications and presentations at professional conferences.
Objective 1. Recruit science and mathematics teacher candidates from the science and mathematics baccalaureate programs, community colleges, and mid-career change pools in industry.
Our leadership team recruits undergraduates from UT Arlington (UTA) and from local community colleges, particularly Tarrant County College (TCC) who may be considering a transfer to UTA. Career changer candidates are recruited from STEM majors of the senior class and recent graduates of UTA and other area colleges, as well as from industry in the DFW area. Our team recruits candidates by utilizing appropriate websites to post information about the program. Promotional packets are prepared and disseminated to students in the College of Science and personal presentations about our program are made in introductory science and math classes. We personally visit and recruit undergraduate candidates from the area’s community colleges in collaboration with our TCC partners. We disseminate information and make personal contact with targeted industries employing large numbers of science and mathematics professionals. We maintain regular contact with various student organizations on campus to recruit candidates of underrepresented groups, including the Black Student Association, Association of Mexican American Students, and the Native American Student Association. We advertise through minority and bilingual media to reach minority/bilingual employees thinking of career changes, as well as seniors and recent graduates. Furthermore, our recently established UTeach Arlington program has been successful in recruiting large numbers of STEM students to “try out teaching” in one credit hour, UTeach scholarship funded courses (STEP 1 and 2); therefore, we recruit candidates to apply for the Noyce from among this group. In addition, we place STEM freshman and sophomore college students in educational experiences on campus and within our area informal science education partners supported through the project. UT Arlington hosts several summer science camps for K-12 students, including the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp, which is directed by two leadership team members of the Noyce program. We place the STEM recruits as counselors in this program to help foster their interest in the teaching profession. The Fort Worth and Dallas Science Museums, CR Smith Aviation Museum, and Arlington River Legacy Nature Center accept our STEM interns to work in teaching/teaching assistant positions at their facilities for educational experience and service to the community. These internships enable our college students to gain valuable experiences in STEM education, and provide a pipeline of recruits for our Noyce scholarship program.
Objective 2. Provide a two-track program for teacher certification that reflects quality, standards-based teaching and learning for our teacher candidates; one track for undergraduates and one for post-baccalaureates.
The undergraduate students are science or mathematics majors or equivalents who are also enrolled in secondary or middle level science or mathematics teacher education, completing all content and education courses as required of the program. Graduate students are enrolled in the certification component (post-baccalaureate teacher certification program) leading to a Masters of Education in Teaching (M.Ed.T.). Specific required courses in science/math content and education are determined through a review of each student?s academic transcripts by both College of Science and College of Education advisors. The students take the required education courses for certification, e.g., teaching methods, project-based instruction, teaching diverse populations, knowing and learning in science and math, and classroom interactions in science and math. Students in both the undergraduate and graduate tracks culminate their course work with a full semester of Internship/Student Teaching. The candidates are supervised and mentored throughout their programs, in the schools in all field experiences, and through their first years of induction by school-based Mentor Teachers, our on-staff Noyce Scholar Leader (experienced science and mathematics teacher), UTA faculty members serving as Content and Pedagogy Mentors, a Project Coordinator, and the PI/Co-PI team. Noyce Scholars participate in at least four professional development experiences each semester called, Learning Academy Seminars. These Seminars bring new and past Noyce Scholars together to address topics relevant to teaching their disciplines in the high need schools.
Objective 3. Induct, monitor and mentor our teacher candidates during the program and their early years as teachers.
Our teacher candidates begin the program as organized cohort groups. Each new cohort along with returning cohorts attend an orientation session early in the semester they are accepted to the program. In this session candidates meet the other members of their cohort group and the Noyce Scholar Leader, UTA Content/Pedagogy Mentors, the PI/Co-PI team members and as possible, school-based Mentor Teachers and other key school district personnel. Candidates engage in introductory activities on teaching and learning and become familiar with the program. The school-based Mentor Teachers begin mentoring our candidates during their first field experience. The Mentor Teacher and our Noyce Scholar Leader guide and mentor our candidates during student teaching, and through their first two to four years of teaching, thus providing sustained support for the new teacher candidates. The Noyce Scholar Leader makes regular visits the schools/classrooms of all Noyce Scholars in their first years of teaching to provide encouraging help and guidance in these early, critical years in the profession. Noyce Scholars engage in dialogue and exchange of ideas with peers in their own and other Noyce cohort groups throughout the program. Supportive activities include the four per semester Learning Academy Seminars, informal small group and/or individual meetings, online mentoring and discussion groups, bi-weekly meetings during their student teaching, professional development webinars, state teacher examination study groups, and professional and social activities provided to all Noyce Scholars throughout the project.
This continuation completed its first full year, and is on track in recruiting and preparing physics, chemistry, and mathematics teachers for our DFW and other area schools. UT Arlington is designated as a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI), recognized as the fifth most diverse university in the nation, and serves a high population of transfer and first generation college students. The majority of the student population graduated from nearby DFW schools in which our program serves. The initial program and now the current program therefore continues to broaden the pipeline of STEM teacher candidates as graduates from our local high need school districts, and returning to those same schools as teachers, mentors, and role models to our next generation of high school students.
The broader impacts are the recruitment, preparation, and induction of highly qualified teachers in the needed areas of physics, chemistry, and math to teach in our high need school districts. Upon completion of the program, thousands of students in our DFW area will have our NSF Noyce Scholars as their teachers. Successes and lessons learned have been and will be presented at professional conferences, and published in scholarly journals. This poster will feature our program model, and share best practices and evaluation outcomes.