- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758392
- First Name Jacqueline
- Last Name Huntoon
- Discipline Other: Integrated Science and Engineering
Joshua Ellis, Michigan Technological University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Shari Stockero, Michigan Technological University,email@example.com; Kedmon Hungwe, Michigan Technological University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Amanda Gonczi, Michigan Technological University, email@example.com
Jacqueline Huntoon, Michigan Technological University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Students’ achievement in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the U.S. is falling behind that of other industrialized nations. The Program for International Student Assessment Results in Focus document [PISA, 2015] indicates that U.S. students scored behind many advanced industrialized nations; only 13.3% scored at or above level 5 in science and math, while 13.6% scored below level 2 [p.5].
In Michigan, the Department of Education?s Top 10 in 10 report [MDE, 2016] describes the compelling need to increase student achievement in science. Most recent data indicate that only 14.7% of 4th graders, 23.9% of 8th graders, and 33.0% of 11th graders pass the science section of the high-stakes Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP, 2015] results are similar: only 38% of 4th graders and 36% of 8th graders in Michigan were scored as proficient or above in 2015.
Educators in Michigan are already planning to improve student learning outcomes. One major effort, focused at the middle school level, is Mi-STAR (Michigan Science Teaching and Assessment Reform). Mi-STAR, led by Michigan Tech (with Huntoon as PI), is a partnership involving scientists, engineers, curriculum developers, education researchers, assessment specialists, teachers, and administrators throughout Michigan who are collaborating to improve STEM education in the middle grades. Mi-STAR is developing and delivering curriculum materials and professional learning (PL) to support teachers as they implement the NGSS-aligned Michigan Science Standards (MSS). Mi-STAR?s products and services enable middle school teachers to engage students in science and engineering practices (the NGSS ?SEPs?) while simultaneously emphasizing cross-cutting concepts (CCCs) and disciplinary core ideas (DCIs).
The Michigan Middle School Master Teachers Fellowship Program (or Master Teachers Program: MTP) is preparing a cadre of 20 middle school (grades 6-8) teacher-leaders to guide science education reform efforts in their home districts within the state of Michigan. MTP is taking a multifaceted approach by providing academic courses and supplemental professional learning that emphasize leadership, networking, and mentoring.
MTP is intended to produce teacher-leaders who are ready to help other teachers effectively implement three-dimensional instructional practices as envisioned by the National Research Council’s reports [NRC, 2012, 2014] and articulated as performance expectations for students in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Michigan Science Standards (MSS). MTP is anticipated to ultimately improve the performance of students in STEM coursework and increase students’ interest in pursuing future STEM courses and careers by increasing the number of effective STEM teachers [Darling-Hammond, 2000; Tschannen-Moran and Barr, 2004; Tucker and Stronge, 2005; NRC, 2011; Hossain and Robinson, 2012]. MTP’s multifaceted approach is also anticipated to promote collaboration among teacher leaders around the state in support of ongoing instructional improvements.
The project leverages existing networks, products and services. By collaborating with Mi-STAR, MSTA, and MESTA, MTP Fellows have immediate access to a large support system drawn from across the state of Michigan. If the approach being tested by MTP is effective, it could serve as a model for collaborative efforts in other states. By increasing teachers’ effectiveness, leadership abilities, and persistence in the profession, MTP intends to ultimately improve the performance of students in STEM courses and increase students? interest in pursuing future STEM courses and careers.