- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557396
- First Name Etta
- Last Name Kralovec
- Discipline Other: STEM teacher development
, BioSphere 2, University of Arizona
, University of Arizona
Educational challenges on the border that NBS responds to: Anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, Lack of qualified candidates to fill teaching positions High-needs rural schools, Low academic achievement rates, Low teacher pay in Arizona (49th in nation); teacher strikes in May 2018, In Arizona border communities, 26% of children live in poverty, Border creates complex socio-political environment, Uncertain DACA legislation creates hostile environment for Mexican heritage students, staff and teachers.
Noyce Border Scholar goals: • Recruit and prepare STEM teachers to work in AZ-Mexico border area schools. • Contribute to diversity and retention in STEM positions at partner LEAs • Increase in organizational capacity of the University of Arizona South M.Ed. program Activities: Redesign teacher preparation program for STEM teachers in border schools. The newly redesigned, two year M.Ed program offers intern certification, on-going classroom based coaching, monthly Professional Development programming in STEM pedagogical content knowledge, equity literacy and teaching strategies. Provide leadership to regional stakeholder meetings to development informal STEM programming on the border. Strengthen partnerships with local schools through placement activities and collaborative planning for professional development offerings.
The award-winning M.Ed. program in Secondary Education at the University of Arizona South is committed to preparing teachers with the dispositions and skills to work for middle and high school students in Arizona and Arizona border schools. Our context-specific focus on preparing teachers for the borderlands of Arizona involves developing in candidates an appreciation for their students’ and their own racial/ethnic backgrounds and socioeconomic status. Thus, critical analyses of the emerging teachers’ sociocultural, sociopolitical, and socioeconomic positionality are central for those in the M.Ed. program. In addition, interrogations of power in school settings occur across the M.Ed. curriculum. This work is accomplished by knitting together clinical experience in partner schools with carefully crafted coursework. New teacher learning is supported by a robust professional learning community of peer learners and teacher leaders in our partner schools.
1. Academic program and curricular changes approved for half of the courses in the M.Ed program, Fall, 2017 2. First cohort of 5 Border Scholars graduated in 2018 3. STEM Professional Development program in place for math circles, citizen science, school garden and BioSphere 2 offerings 4. Equity Literacy training offered to faculty and staff at UA South, Fall, 2017 5. Two grants submitted to support STEM professional development programming 6. USDA funded feasibility study underway for informal science learning center and field station for STEM field work on the San Pedro River 6. Next steps: Development of a river field station and local science exploration center to support teachers and students with informal STEM experiences in rural areas; Exploration of Grow Your Own model for teacher preparation, linking closely with partner districts.
1. Students in 6-12 schools on the border have had access to better prepared, culturally competent STEM teachers 2. Monthly professional development opportunities for STEM teachers in rural border communities. These programs are often attended by teachers on both sides of the border providing rich bi-national discussions of STEM teaching. Information about this programming is made available to Superintendents at monthly meetings; mass mailings to school partners; word-of-mouth of our students; monthly newsletter to schools and newspaper articles. 3. Feasibility study grant from USDA awarded in 2017 for the development informal science opportunities along the border 4. The border focus in this project has drawn international attention to border schools. International visitors from Finland and Mexico have conducted research in partner border schools.