- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050588
- First Name Cherie
- Last Name McCollough
- Discipline Life Sciences, Mathematics, STEM Education (general)
Faye Bruun, Robin Johnson, Carmen Tejeda-Delgado
Cherie McCollough, Robin Johnson, Carmen Tejeda-Delgado, Faye Bruun
The STEM INSPIRES secondary teaching workforce will develop 24 highly-qualified, ethnically diverse individuals who are culturally competent critical thinkers. Evidence based research questions include measuring self-efficacy in 7-12 STEM content knowledge, changes in STEM interest, mathematics and science performance in college classrooms, the influence on quantity, quality and diversity of 7-12 new teacher hiring by low-income districts, and changes in perceptions regarding inclusiveness, teaching and learning. INSPIRES will identify mechanisms, resources and politics that support and constrain effective implementation of a 7-12 STEM scholarship program for preservice secondary teachers while creating a replicative model for other areas throughout the country with similar resources and challenges.
1. Measuring impact on STEM secondary education Scholars by reaching out to Community Scholars making them an integral and specific part of the INSPIRES Program and experience. 2 Measure impact of infusing social justice and developing life-long agents of social change. 3. Measuring how community-engaged teacher preparation can be a catalyst of social justice.
How can teachers be better prepared to reach and teach a diverse population of students? How can future teachers better address the ‘achievement gap’ in education specific to STEM fields? What are the limiting factors in traditional teacher education and how can STEM INSPIRES address these issues?
Transforming the lives of teacher candidates’ communities and schools through community immersion where they experience things that influence student learning and impact student achievement. Create community engaged teacher preparation that includes critical service learning and integrated curriculum themed topics with ‘courageous conversations’ (Singleton & Linton, 2006). Devise school programs where culturally relevant books and activities regarding diversity, civil rights, historical community perspectives and projects contribute to teacher candidates and their students’ positive ideas and feedback. Examples are a multicultural book fair, reading bilingual books in Spanish, participating in food distribution at the local food bank, helping with community clean- up projects, and discussions and activities regarding students’ cultures, faiths, and character development.
STEM INSPIRES addresses STEM attrition by increasing underrepresented student participation in STEM teaching. Retention of STEM majors is a major challenge nationwide and at STU. Research on student retention indicates that engaging students in the higher education community by developing formal classroom and informal student and teacher communities increases persistence, particularly in the first and second years where the greatest loss of students, especially STEM majors, occurs (Tinto, 2012). STEM INSPIRES is investigating and gathering research evidence regarding changes in students’ self-efficacy in inquiry driven science and mathematics content courses and is building a model for transforming teacher education through community driven social justice. Theoretically-grounded research will contribute to STEM education literature and provide contextualized support for establishing similar programs at other institutions. Further, the program’s setting among underrepresented populations students make STEM INSPIRES well-positioned to illustrate how a student-centered, peer-mentored program with critical service learning combined with social justice can increase engagement of scientists and mathematicians in STEM education while contributing to STEM achievement and the quantity, quality, and diversity of the future STEM teaching workforce.