- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758437
- First Name Deborah
- Last Name McAllister
- Discipline STEM Education (general)
DeAnna Beasley, Jennifer Lynberg
Deborah A. McAllister
The new teacher induction program serves as an initial interface from Noyce scholar to Noyce teacher. It was conducted as virtual and asynchronous as post-baccalaureate participants had school-based obligations for a month past the end of the university semester.
The new teacher induction program was conducted as virtual and asynchronous. Scholars responded to prompts from the two Co-PIs and the mentor teacher on the topics of classroom management, public science, and lesson preparation for STEM. Each teacher received feedback regarding responses. Themes across responses were noted.
The induction program focused on classroom activity. Several topics were based upon Danielson’s Framework for Teaching (The Danielson Group, n.d.). Induction activities were drawn from the framework’s four domains: planning and preparation, learning environments, learning experiences, and principled teaching. In addition, reading topics included high-impact teaching strategies, misconceptions in mathematics, and classroom management. Students Discover (2017) was the launching point for the public science project assignment.
With regard to classroom management, common themes included all students being capable of learning, each student learns in different ways, and building strong relationships with students is critical. With regard to challenges that may occur with a public science project, scholars believed that a lack of prior student knowledge or a lack of student interest could hinder the implementation of the project. However, they believed that beginning the project with an informational introduction and splitting the class into groups could lessen these difficulties. Groups of students should be formed so that students can collect and analyze data together, before sharing their findings with the class. With regard to lesson preparation, the most commonly identified area of strength was learning environment due to the scholar’s confidence in relationship building, while the most common area of weakness was planning and preparation due to a lack of experience. The scholars agreed that math instruction does not simply require sufficient content knowledge, but that this content knowledge must also be backed up by strong teaching pedagogy.
Enhancing teacher effectiveness can have a profound impact on student outcomes, including the strengthening of student STEM self-efficacy and increased STEM achievement. Building awareness and support in teachers’ sense of efficacy, as well as developing respectful and supportive relationships between educator and pupil during the secondary grades transition, may construct permanence and accomplishment for all in STEM. The STEM program and the subsequent induction program are designed to provide a deep background in the discipline and to advance discovery and understanding in STEM, K-12 curriculum, assessment, and development. Secondary STEM teachers have historically been shown to prepare and motivate students to achieve in STEM and possibly consider STEM career fields.