- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240037
- First Name Cynthia
- Last Name Trawick
- Discipline Other: Pre-Service -STEM Teacher Initative
Cynthia Trawick, Morehouse College, Cynthia.Trawick@morehouse.edu
Triscia Hendrickson, Morehouse College, Triscia.Hendrickson@morehouse.edu
Cynthia Trawick, Morehouse College, Cynthia.Trawuck@morehouse.edu
Melissa Demetrikopoulos, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cynthia Sims (2009) reported that minority students are more successful in classrooms when their teachers reflect their racial or ethnic groups, yet realizes that minority teachers are beneficial to all students as their presence can help create an awareness of and appreciation for diverse populations. There is a significant gap between the number of minority STEM teachers and Caucasian STEM teachers. The U.S. DoE National Center for Education Statistics (2011) reported percentage gaps in ethnic and racial diversity in STEM teachers as: Caucasian (70%); African American (9%); Latino/Hispanic (7%); Asian American (7%); Multi-Ethnic (5%); Other, non-white (2%); and Native American (0.4%). These percentages reflect a critical workforce shortage of minority teachers in STEM careers. According to a report by the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME), the relative absence of African Americans, Latinos and American Indians in STEM careers has flat lined, and in some cases actually declined. U.S. Department of Commerce data indicate that more than one-third of students in today’s public schools are people of color. By the year 2025, at least half of all students in public schools will represent minority groups. Meanwhile, only 13% of these students’ teachers are minority. More than 40% of schools across America have no teachers of color on staff at all (The Education Trust Report, 2005).
Financial hardship threatens degree completion for many AA students, who require fiscal support to continue their education. The National Center for Education Statistics and the Condition of Education indicate that dropout rates are particularly high for African American and Hispanic students, with 38% – 41% of college freshmen and sophomores dropping out due to financial constraints. This also is reflective of the Morehouse student population that is predominantly African American, with 81% on student loans and other sources of federal funding.
Dream to Teach II students will learn the importance of culture and its role in the lives of all students. Culturally responsive pedagogy incorporates the use of a variety of instructional and assessment strategies appropriate to diverse learners. The culturally responsive teacher appreciates the cognitive processes involved in the teaching and learning process in diverse learning styles of students. Opportunities to apply knowledge of education theory and methods with culturally diverse students, construct multiple pathways for student learning and developing relationships with the youth they teach will be afforded through internships, summer programs, and extensive mentoring opportunities. Specifically, participant learners will demonstrate competency to integrate content and pedagogical knowledge to create meaningful experiences for all students and will appreciate the cognitive processes involved in academic learning and diverse learning styles.
The program builds upon liberal arts coursework aimed at developing multicultural and international perspectives and includes the study of general principles of human growth and development, the relationship of teaching and learning theories to physical, social, intellectual, and emotional growth, and courses complemented by planned programs of field and clinical experiences. Program graduates will be scholarly teachers and leaders who will be innovative role models and leaders in academic communities throughout the world with special emphasis on urban environments and critical need schools.
The working team for this project is composed of Morehouse faculty from STEM departments, the Center for Teacher Preparation and Leadership center, along with an Academic Advisor Specialist and APS and FCS STEM faculty. This group meets two to three times per month. They developed the curriculum for the dreamS to teach program which takes into consideration APS and FCS faculty understanding of students’ current competencies as well as the Morehouse faculty understanding of students’ competencies that are critical for success as a STEM major. This working group developed a program to bridge differences. This process incorporated Georgia standards, required Core Competencies, and programmatic goals to develop future STEM teacher leaders.The program consists of six major program components (High School Summer Program; Saturday Academy I, II, and III; Pre-Freshman Summer Program, and Summer Research Experience), which begins in the summer between the student’s junior and senior years of high school and supports students through their sophomore year of college. The collaborations between education and STEM faculty and between Morehouse, APS, and FCS faculty have resulted in the development and implementation of all six program components. The working team for this project recognized a need to reach back earlier in the K-12 educational system. As a result, the team collaborated on a recently funded NSF ITEST proposal entitled Morehouse College I-STEM Strategy Project (MC I-STEM) which extends the collaborations back through middle school to address educational needs for minority students at a critical stage of their educational development by having students begin the I-STEM program in grades 7-9 and supporting their development for a three (3) year period.
The state of Georgia has a severe shortage of mathematics and science teachers. According to the 2011 Georgia Professional Standards Commission Report, 11.4% of Georgia STEM teachers do not have NCATE certification; and while the bulk of STEM teachers are NCATE/CAEP certified, these teachers often are not teaching in critical need school districts. The Dreams to Teach II Program will graduate African American and minority males with both a STEM career and NCATE certification to teach in these schools. The Atlanta Public Schools (APS) will partner with Morehouse College for this project and will serve as the location for student teaching (see letter of support). The 2010-2011 student enrollment for the APS was 49,991 with 90% of the students being minorities and 86% being AA. These figures are projected to increase to 54,160 for the 2018-2019 school year (Atlanta Public School Demographic Study). Many of the schools within the Atlanta Public School district have students with financial hardships. Seventy-six percent of APS students are eligible for free or reduced priced meals.