- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758500
- First Name Jeremy
- Last Name Aikin
- Discipline Math
Xinying Yin, CSUSB, email@example.com
David Polcyn, CSUSB, firstname.lastname@example.org
Marcus Funchess, SBCUSD, email@example.com
Xinying Yin, California State University San Bernardino, firstname.lastname@example.org
The rate of attrition of first-year math and science teachers is a major concern, both nationally and within our local districts. Findings suggest that both substance and content of new teachers’ pedagogical preparation are associated with this attrition. In our region, districts have a severe need to fill chemistry and physics positions with qualified teachers, and many of these positions remain unfilled each year. College readiness in our region, specifically mathematics readiness, is an ongoing concern, and contributes greatly to the average on-time graduation rate of 14% among the local colleges and universities. The work of this project addresses each of these areas by increasing the number of math and science teachers in our region who are thoroughly prepared in content and pedagogy, and who have years of experience teaching secondary math or science prior to their first job as a teacher.
Our goal is to refine and implement a comprehensive teacher preparation and professional development program in mathematics and science education that results in improving the quality of instruction, and ultimately improves student achievement among secondary students in the San Bernardino City Unified School District. The primary component of this program is a mentorship model for pre-service teacher support that greatly extends and enhances the standard experience pre-service teachers receive in teacher preparation programs. In an effort to increase the number of highly qualified math and science teachers and to reduce new-teacher attrition rates in our region we are implement an effective K-12 Early Teaching Experiences in Mathematics and Science program for STEM majors. This will contribute to the development of a pipeline of future Noyce Scholars, and ultimately, math and science teachers in local high-needs districts.
Each of the scholars are assigned to a SBCUSD mentor teacher who opens his/her classroom for their scholar to gain full-time experience for the first two weeks of the school, and then a minimum of four hours per week for the rest of the year. This model allows the scholar to become established early as another teacher in the classroom, while providing the scholars with direct exposure to quality instruction and classroom management strategies in addition to offering a ?hands on? classroom experience as they engage with students and receive regular support from a mentor teacher. During their time in the program, scholars are able to observe, participate in planning and delivering classroom instruction, and receive immediate feedback from their mentors. The scholars are expected to write up their observations and experiences in observation logs, discuss them with their mentor teachers and to conduct presentations on their activities jointly at monthly seminars.
Throughout the program, we intend to study not only the preparedness to teach each of our scholars and determine which program components contributed most to this preparation, but we also plan to extensively study the early teaching experience component of our program. Specifically, we hope to learn from students who decide to become Noyce Scholars and those that do not, in order to understand the factors that contribute to undergraduate STEM majors’ decisions to pursue, or not pursue careers in K-12 STEM education.
This project tackles the concern of new teacher attrition in the San Bernardino City Unified School District with an all-encompassing, first-hand experience for pre-service teachers that expands and compliments the California State University San Bernardino credential program. Building a community of learning and support among new teachers and master teachers in the district while supplying the district with extensively prepared and highly qualified new teachers will decrease the early career attrition rate and improve the quality of mathematics and science education in the district. This will in turn improve the college readiness of students, especially underrepresented minority students (SBCUSD: 73% Hispanic, 14% African American), in a region where the on-time college graduation rate is approximately 14%.