- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439546
- First Name Jacqueline
- Last Name Leonard
- Discipline Other: Elementary/STEM
Saman Aryana, University of Wyoming, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Michelle TH Chamberlin, University of Wyoming, email@example.com;
Scott A Chamberlin, University of Wyoming, Scott@uwyo.edu;
Ramesh Sivanpillai, University of Wyoming, Sivan@uwyo.edu
Jacqueline Leonard, University of Wyoming, firstname.lastname@example.org
It is imperative that beginning teachers have the background needed to engage students attending high-need schools in equitable mathematics and science teaching. A deeper focus on quality mathematics and science instruction in P-12 educational settings will prepare and sustain a diverse workforce.
In the Wyoming Interns to Teacher Scholars (WITS) program our main goals are to recruit and retain diverse candidates to teach in high-need schools in the Rocky Mountain West. We use summer internships to recruit candidates into the WITS program and support scholars with tuition, housing, books, professional development, and social activities. Faculty and graduate student mentoring are also key components to retention.
The theoretical framework that undergirds the WITS Noyce project is self-efficacy theory. Bandura (1977) developed what is now known as self-efficacy theory, which connects the predictive value of an event?s success to the confidence that one has to perform it. Bandura identified two factors: personal efficacy and outcome expectancy. When applied to teaching, personal efficacy is defined as perceived judgment about one?s ability to teach (Leonard et al., 2012). Outcome expectancy deals with perceptions of students’ ability to learn what is taught. The PI, Co-PI, and Project Manager are involved in helping to improve WITS participants’ self-efficacy in science and mathematics.
Seven Noyce scholars completed pre-post STEBI and MTEBI surveys in Year 2. Descriptive data reveal positive changes in STEBI and MTEBI self-efficacy scores. However, outcome expectancy scores declined slightly. These data are consistent with the results of prior studies that show teacher efficacy is malleable while outcome expectancy tends to decline among teacher candidates once they actually begin working with students (Leonard et al., 2012). Additional professional development workshops are planned to improve participants’ self-efficacy overtime. New data are pending as 14 WITS participants complete additional surveys and questionnaires in Year 3.
Over the past two years, 16 summer interns and 13 scholars (three of whom were student teachers) have participated in the WITS program. Roughly 25% of these participants are from diverse backgrounds. Furthermore, we have reached more than 350 students in high-need rural settings.