- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050608
- First Name Sarah
- Last Name Irvine Belson
- Discipline STEM Education (general)
Shari Watkins, Carolyn Parker, Danielle Sodani, Kiho Kim
Danielle Sodani, Sarah Irvine Belson
There is a need to understand and inform how partners come together to support the Noyce scholar community to make programmatic decisions related to retention, preparation, induction and mentoring. There is an ongoing need to recruit highly qualified STEM educators into the workforce who have cultural competency and the ability to build belongingness and self-efficacy among students who are underrepresented in STEM careers. This study will provide insights into the specific programming and structural supports that benefit scholars and increase retention and persistence in STEM teaching.
Our study is guided by the following questions: In what ways, if at all, did the Scholar’s (1) teacher preparation program, (2) induction program, and (3) professional development experiences influence persistence and retention in schools serving racially and culturally nondominant communities? These questions serve to address an over-arching research question: What is the quality of the partnerships, how are the quality of the partnerships related to the three Noyce program components, and how does the partnership itself influence teacher persistence and retention in schools serving racially and culturally nondominant communities?
This project is part of a larger Noyce Track 4 project (2050608), which uses a Critical Race Theory lens to determine how the Scholars have experienced race, racism, and power within the Noyce program components and how these experiences influenced their retention in the Noyce programs and in teaching. We measure these experiences through a survey combining three inventories: (1) Dispositions for Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Scale (Whitaker, 2018), (2) Professional Racial Self-Efficacy Scale (Coleman & Stevenson, 2013), and (3) Psychological Sense of School Membership Scale (Goodenow, 1993). The survey also collects scholars’ retention data within the Noyce program and within teaching with high need schools, the scholars’ demographic identity data, as well as profiles about their mentoring and professional development experiences. We plan to use the survey findings, along with interviews and a case study to inform further Noyce teaching preparation programs.
We will present the survey design process and the preliminary findings that are available by the time of the Noyce Summit with the goal of engaging in member checking with the summit attendees. The research team conducted an extensive literature review of the elements of Noyce programs that are understudied including an understanding of the cultural competencies of Noyce scholars, how their sense of belonging in the Noyce program and in their schools influences their resistance and retention, and how prepared they are to face racial conversations in their programs and schools. We will also provide information about the components offered by the Noyce programs and the experiences of the scholars.
When teachers and students have similar backgrounds and experiences it can increase student achievement for students from racially and culturally nondominant communities. Therefore, it is important to establish the factors that influence the persistence of teachers of color in the teaching profession. This study will inform teacher education programs and schools how to invest time, energy, and funds into how they recruit teachers, design teacher preparation programs, and support teachers within school contexts through professional development and whether they should invest in partnerships to more effectively implement these activities. As teachers persist in teaching and become more effective teachers, they can influence how students feel about STEM subjects and guide more students into STEM careers.