- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050108, 2050249, 2050099
- First Name Keith
- Last Name Hubbard
- Discipline Chemistry, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Other, Physics
Chrissy Cross, Stephen F. Austin State University
Keith Hubbard, Stephen F. Austin State University; Jennifer Whitfield, Texas A&M University
University research collaboration is valuable in many areas, but particularly vital in research areas where each institution has access to only a limited sample. Such is the case for educator preparation programs (EEPs). Universities typically have very few tracks to certification of STEM teachers, making it challenging to study the effect of EPP features on teacher outcomes without utilizing the populations of a variety of institutions. Our Noyce Track 4 initiative aims to understand and help address STEM teacher workforce challenges through a focus on how EPPs address the unique contexts, particularly rurality.
How do EPPs help prepare their STEM teacher educators for the types of ‘place’ they will be teaching? How can awareness of an attention to place be fostered among university educators and teacher candidates?
The ‘how’ of our project always includes team member involvement. Philosophically, it is not enough to have the ‘ideal’ framework for an EPP at one institution for one moment in time. We seek to collaboratively explore and implement best practices in attending to ‘place’ in EPPs, so that each institution’s insights can sharpen the others and each institution’s efforts can reinforce the others.
In terms of research design, we surveyed university faculty across all 14 institutions, looked at syllabi across all institutions, and designed three longitudinal surveys for graduates of our programs. We have also worked to collect various artifacts relating to ‘place’.
We have two rounds of surveys completed with very initial findings from survey 1 – the Teacher Intension Survey. We also have initial theme from the interviews, syllabi, and artifacts. We have three research articles in preparations, one AAAS blog post published, and another blog post in review.
Half the schools in the United States and roughly one fifth of American students are rural. Improving the preparation and retention of rural school teachers would profoundly affect education in our nation.