- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1540806
- First Name Tony
- Last Name Hall
- Discipline STEM
Gail Hughes, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Maher, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, email@example.com
Tony Hall, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, firstname.lastname@example.org
The benefits of experiential education or learning by doing are well known; however, the specific impacts of increased experiential education on STEM teacher candidates are less well documented. Knowledge of effective teacher preparation strategies will be enhanced through the program evaluation data collected regarding the additional classroom practice experience using the Arkansas TESS observation forms and the TPPS survey which were developed from the research-based Framework for Teaching by Dr. Charlotte Danielson. Data will reveal any changes that occur in candidates’ planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities during their additional teaching. Data will also be collected from mentor teachers to measure impacts of the collaboration and embedded professional development on their practice. Therefore, the project has the potential to contribute to the knowledge base and improve STEM education and educator development.
1. Increase licensed STEM graduates
2. Increase STEM alumni teaching in high-need schools
3. Additional clinical-teaching experience to improve effectiveness
4. Partnership with local high-need school(s)
5. Internships providing paid, informal practice
6. Support of new teachers
The UALR Noyce Scholars Program will include opportunities for funded internships during the summer prior to their sophomore or junior year. This is anticipated to help with recruitment and retention into the STEM education fields. Interns will be placed with partners such as the Museum of Discovery and Children’s International where they can practice their teaching approaches in informal educational settings while serving the public at these locations.
Placing candidates in classrooms early and often allows them to apply prior knowledge and expand their pedagogical practice through experiential learning with classroom students. Because of this, we propose to study the impacts of expanding the clinical-teaching experiences for Noyce Scholars. Candidate pairs will be matched with mentor teachers at Henderson Middle School where they will teach a mathematics or science lesson to one class every-other-week (except for their final semester during apprentice teaching). During their non-teaching week, Noyce Scholars will work with Master Teachers and the Mathematics and Science specialists to prepare STEM-focused lessons for the following week. Candidates will be encouraged to use the STEM teaching kits available for free to educators through the UALR STEM Center. After each lesson, the candidates will leave the STEM Center kits with the mentor teacher for use with their other classes and then exchange the prior kit for a new one when the candidates return for their next lesson. Thus, all Henderson Middle School mentor teachers will have access to innovative lessons and needed supplies to share those lessons with students in other classes and share their experiences with other HMS teachers.
The proposed additional clinical-teaching experiences should improve candidates’ pedagogy and classroom management skills, the embedded professional development should enhance the teaching of mentor teachers through use of the model inquiry-based lessons shared by the Noyce Scholars, and Henderson Middle School student achievement in mathematics and science should increase through participation in the model lessons.
The UALR Noyce Scholars Program is less than one year old and has not collected sufficient data to make any definitive claims. However, through the recruitment and retention capabilities of the UALR Noyce Scholars Program we anticipate an increase licensed STEM teachers graduated from UALR.
With this increase of STEM teachers and our alumni support, we also expect an increase of UALR graduates in high needs schools.
We anticipate that the additional clinical-teaching experience will improve the teaching effectiveness of Noyce Scholars, which will be measured with TESS and TPPS assessments.
We have made a partnership with a local high-needs school, Henderson Middle School, where Noyce Scholars gain the additional clinical-teaching experience. Because to the modeling of inquiry- and technology-based lessons by the UALR Noyce Scholars for HMS mentor teachers, we anticipate an increase in the use of UALR STEM Center activities by the teachers of this school.
We anticipate an increase in teacher candidates due to the availability of summer internships. The internship will provide the candidates an income while honing their professional skills. Therefore, the internships will serve as both a recruiting tool and an educational enhancement for our candidates while they contribute to increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology. We anticipate our alumni will stay in the teaching field longer (>5 years) due to the increased teaching experience and support provided by the UALR Noyce Scholars Program.
The community engagement aspect of the project design will benefit all parties. Partnerships with Henderson Middle School, Children’s International, and the Museum of Discovery will be enhanced. Students at HMS will receive enhanced inquiry-based (e.g., project and problem based) mathematics and science lessons supporting the mentor teacher’s activities. UALR candidates will gain additional practice, confidence, and additional resources for classroom management. Henderson Middle School mentor teachers will observe newly-created inquiry-based lessons using materials available to them free of charge from the UALR STEM Center. Visitors to the Museum of Discovery and children served through Children;’s International will have expanded opportunities to engage in science and mathematics activities.