- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1657755
- First Name Irina
- Last Name Lyublinskaya
- Discipline Other: Elementary science
Kenneth Gold, College of Staten Island, firstname.lastname@example.org; Abdeslem El Idrissi, email@example.com
Irina Lyublinskaya, College of Staten Island, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Lisa Thompson, P.S. 78, email@example.com;Deirdre Reilly, P.S. 22, firstname.lastname@example.org
The major goal of the project is to develop science teacher-leaders in high-need elementary schools on Staten Island. For this purpose, the project’s goal is to recruit experienced elementary school teachers from high-need public schools on Staten Island, to deepen their science content knowledge and to develop their leadership skills through custom designed academic courses and professional development opportunities. By providing rich and targeted learning opportunities for teachers, the Discovery Institute at the School of Education (SOE) aims to transform their teaching with the ultimate goal of providing all students access to the high-quality science instruction. It is equally important to equip top science teachers with the skills and knowledge to act as teacher-leaders who can spearhead the improvement of science education in elementary schools across the city. As stated in our proposal, the fundamental goal of this project is to build a solid underpinning for science learning.
During the year 2 of the program the main focus of the project was on supporting MTFs in analyzing the high needs context and community in which they are teaching; identifying opportunities to link STEM topics with local resources and needs; and learning and practicing culturally relevant STEM pedagogy.
The second-year professional development included a 3-day summer institute that introduced MTFs to culturally relevant teaching, integration of history of science into science teaching, and ‘Engineering Is Elementary’ program. Out of 9 after school 3-hour workshops, six focused on culturally relevant teaching. The remaining three workshops focused on areas of need identified by MTFs in their individualized professional goals. The graduate course ‘Big Ideas of Science’ met for 2 hrs/week for 15 weeks per semester. The focus of the courses was on developing deep, transferable understanding and skills by relating the concepts taught in the elementary science curriculum to science big ideas. A total of six full day Saturday experiences were incorporated into training. The labs were coordinated with graduate course content and included physics, chemistry, and biology research experiences, engineering experiences, geology field trip, and NGSS practices workshop in the Liberty Science Center.
The program produced observed improvements in science instruction: Analyses of year 1 vs. year 2 mean “Danielson” evaluations scores conducted by administrators found the MTFs “growing and developing professionally”. Independent observations of the MTFs in their classes (using the RTOP) indicated that MTFs grew in several ways across year 2: The MTFs’ abilities to facilitate communicative interactions with their students showed strong growth. The MTFs’ abilities to design & implement inquiry-based lessons grew very strongly. Their propositional content knowledge grew, although their procedural content knowledge did not. The MTFs’ students themselves showed significant improvements in their own science content knowledge during year 1. Improvements in students’ AY 2017-2018 science grades correlated with MTFs’ own demonstrations of content and pedagogical knowledge.
During the report year MTFs collectively provided 6 STEM workshops for 170 teachers at the district level and, 9 workshops for 80 teachers at their own schools. In addition, two MTFs delivered 3 workshops as part of PD in this program. 3 MTFs developed STEM projects and received funding for these projects. 5 MTFs accepted various leadership positions at their schools, such as instructional coaches, PD trainers, STEM lead teachers, etc. A video highlighting project partnership with Staten Island Makerspace was included.