- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660681
- First Name Peter
- Last Name Garik
- Discipline Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics
Donald DeRosa, Dan Dill, Andrew Duffy, & Mark Greenman
Peter Garik, Wheelock College of Boston University
The Greater Boston area has multiple high need school districts: e.g., Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville. Each of these districts need to have highly qualified teachers in the sciences. Our two Noyce awards have targeted these districts. Our current award (DUE-1660681) prepares physical science teachers specifically as these are the ones most needed.
We are most concerned that our Noyce Scholars are prepared to be culturally competent teachers. For this purpose, our Master of Arts in Teaching Program emphasizes the importance of treating each student as an individual, but also as someone who comes from a community and a background culture. The questions we formatively address as our program evolves are: What are the best methods to prepare students to be culturally competent? and, How successful are we?
The approach we have adopted is to use the students’ pre-practicum and practicums to practice culturally competent teaching. Assignments are designed for students to become aware of their students’ communities and how they can relate to students’ concerns through their classroom teaching. We rely upon the literature for proven methods of preparing new teachers so that their classroom practice will affirm the abilities of all their students regardless of community and home culture.
We have prepared over 50 Noyce Scholars with Noyce awards that began in 2013. In the process, as instructors we have grown in the cultural pedagogy preparation that is part of the Scholars’ preparation. The changes in our program for the preparation of all new science teachers, Noyce or non-Noyce, is a significant outcome of our awards. Preliminary results of longitudinal survey data from our Noyce alums with respect to their evaluation of their program experience and their cultural competency practices will also be presented.
Aside from providing multiple schools in many high need districts with highly qualified science teachers, the Noyce awards have resulted in a closer collaboration between the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University with faculty from Biology, Chemistry, and Physics receiving secondary appointments in the College of Education. Our next step is to engage with local community colleges to improve our recruitment of potential teachers of color.