- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240055 1660681
- First Name Peter
- Last Name Garik
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Other: General Science, Physics
Donald DeRosa, Boston University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Dan Dill, Boston University, email@example.com; Andrew Duffy, Boston University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark Greenman, Boston University, email@example.com
Peter Garik, Boston University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tyler Wooley-Brown, Boston University, email@example.com
There is a national need to recruit and retain highly qualified science teachers in high need school districts. As a Noyce Scholars Program, our project aims to better understand what teachers need so that they will remain in high school districts over the long term. In particular, we are looking at introducing pre-service teachers to the concepts and practices of culturally responsive teaching in the science classroom and exploring the effect that these practices have on new science teacher success in the high need science classroom.
Our primary guiding question is how to better prepare science teachers to enter the high needs classroom and leverage the quality science thinking that their students are already doing in order to promote more rigorous science investigation. This is supported through direct instruction in the pre-service program and monthly combined meetings with Scholars and Master Teachers for two years after graduation.
Project goals are being achieved through surveys, interviews, and classroom observations. Monthly meetings serve for group discussion of issues the scholars face in their teaching. Resources, prior practice successes, and ideas for next steps are shared both by the Scholars (1st and 2nd year teachers) and the master teachers. From our surveys, Scholars do not connect what was taught in the regularly offered Equitable Pedagogies course to their day-to-day needs. We aligned that course and the pre-practicum course with culturally responsive practices (CRP). In the pre-practicum course, Scholars interview their students, explore their communities, and dig into their own biases that influence their perceptions of their students. In the Equitable Pedagogies course, the Scholars use what they have learned about their students and their communities to find or create CRP lesson plans, and critique these lessons (both found and shared by the professor) through a research based critical lens.
1. Our research indicates that differentiated preparation in the science methods courses is necessary for Scholars being prepared to teach in middle school as opposed to high school. 2. On going work suggests that the Scholars have a better idea of what Culturally Responsive Teaching is, how to implement it, and feel that implementing their CRP goals in their classroom is more practical than previous cohorts have felt. 3. Practice with our Scholars indicates a strong desire for quality CRP materials connecting science to student identity, social justice, and environmental justice as opposed to ‘just science facts’ that science teachers (particularly new science teachers) can use in their Grades 5-12 classrooms. We will continue to follow the careers of these Noyce Scholars longitudinally to learn what teachers in high need districts perceive as challenges and the supports they need.
As part of the Noyce Scholar program, Projects BoNUSS and PSUNS aim to increase the access to highly-qualified secondary science teachers by underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged student populations in keeping with the educational objectives of the White House, the Department of Education, and the National Science Foundation. Most of the 39 science teachers that we have prepared continue to work in high needs districts in the Greater Boston area, and other school districts around the country, and are preparing students who might otherwise not have access to a high quality science education. The outcomes of our research into integrating culturally responsive teaching into the pre-service curriculum is broadly relevant to other teacher education programs, and something that school administrators should be aware of.