- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050173
- First Name Jennifer
- Last Name Miller
- Discipline Life Sciences, Mathematics
Angela Brown, Jeanne Qvarnstrom, Savannah Williamson, Catarino Morales
Jennifer Miller, Jose Gloria, Haley Pate
The Noyce en la Frontera program seeks to increases the number of highly qualified STEM teachers serving isolated underserved populations located along the Texas Mexico border by 10% and self-efficacy of educators through a culturally responsive mentoring approach that incorporates the Universal Design for Learning framework to improve digital literacies. Literature highlights digital literacy gaps in many underrepresented rural communities. The Noyce en la Frontera aims to address digital literacy gaps and the need to increase representation of diverse and highly qualified STEM teachers serving isolated and underrepresented population areas located along the Texas Mexico border. The program addresses large teacher shortages identified in the area and provides broad insights as to how culturally responsive development might impact recruitment and retention of highly qualified STEM educators serving rural schools located in a high need area.
How does a culturally responsive mentoring program influence the number of underrepresented minority undergraduate STEM students pursuing and earning teaching certifications?
The Noyce en la Frontera aims to increase the pipeline of highly qualified STEM teachers by 10%, serving in high need schools located on the Texas-Mexico southwest border. The program implements a culturally responsive community mentoring pilot approach, incorporating a series of development programs leveraging the universal design for learning framework and the 4C’s technology integration framework to build a connected classroom. Participants create 5E lesson plans to implement in both formal and informal learning STEM camp experiences to extend learning beyond student teaching experiences through collaborative partnerships with participating schools, museums, community colleges, and industry partners. There are three primary objectives of the Noyce en la Frontera program: 1.) Increase the number of underrepresented minority undergraduate STEM students pursuing and earning teaching certifications; 2.) Increase self-efficacy of preservice teachers and STEM faculty to integrate technology in STEM content courses as measured by Technology Proficiency Self-Assessment for 21st Century Learning (TPSA) and the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation (2012) Teacher Efficacy and Attitudes Toward STEM (T-STEM) Survey; 3.) Improve pedagogical practices and culturally responsive teaching of STEM teachers and faculty serving high need schools, bilingual students and English Language Learners as measured by the Culturally Responsive Teaching Survey and Teacher Efficacy and Attitudes Toward STEM (T-STEM) survey.
Sample sizes continue to be small with 13 participating in pretest data collection (7 Noyce scholars and 6 mentors) from 2021-2022. However, pretest data analyzation indicated significant (p<.05) results when comparing preservice teachers to faculty in the following. Upon analysis of pretest data for 2021-2023, the following indicated a significant finding (p<.05), with Mentors self-reporting a higher self-efficacy toward using the World Wide Web, teaching with technology, teaching with emerging technologies, and using emerging technologies skills compared to Noyce scholars as measured by the TPSA C-21 survey. Analysis further revealed that males self-reported a higher self-efficacy toward emerging technology skills and teaching with the World Wide Web compared to females as significant (p<.05). Females reported a higher self-efficacy toward teaching with emerging technologies compared to males, medium significance as measured by the TPSA C-21 survey. Analysis of 21st Century Learning Attitudes found a significant finding (p<.05), with Preservice teachers reporting higher confidence toward teaching with 21st century skills compared to mentor teachers as measured by the TSTEM survey. Upon analysis of culturally responsive teaching, there were significant findings (p<.05) suggesting that science content teachers report a higher culturally responsive attitude toward establishing inclusion and attitudes compared to math content teachers. Upon further analysis of effect size, it was found that science content teacher report a higher use of culturally responsive practices to establish meaning compared to math content teachers. Data analysis indicates an effect size of medium educational significance, or r =.4761244. Seven Noyce scholars were awarded and participated in 2022-2023 activities with 3 returning scholars and 4 new scholars admitted into the program. Six Noyce mentors participated in 2022-2023 program activities, with 2 returning mentors and 4 participating in new mentor orientation. Twelve potential STEM students have applied or are in the process of applying for the Noyce 2023-2024 scholarship. All collaborating K12 districts have identified potential mentors to assist with the 2023-2024 program. The Noyce en la Frontera program continues to share successes at multiple state, national, and international conferences to share recruiting successes and program efforts. The team is eager to work this summer on additional journal and conference submission proposals after collecting posttest data of Noyce scholars and mentors exiting the program.
The Track 1 Noyce en la Frontera program met and/or exceeded its objectives during the first two years of the program through a robust recruiting and retention strategy in which seven Noyce Scholars and Mentors participated through a series of impactful activities and events. Pre to post-test analysis could assist in understanding how to address the digital literacy needs of underrepresented minority students and mentors located in isolated communities. These strategies have potential for broad application to other institutions serving isolated regions of the country with a need to improve self-efficacy of STEM preservice teachers, STEM literacies, culturally responsive teaching approaches by STEM faculty, and enhanced technology integration in STEM teacher preparation programs Innovative strategies to increase the pipeline of talented STEM students from secondary schools through completion of their teaching credentials are proposed that will improve the attitude and confidence levels of STEM K-12 teachers and have a broader impact on future U.S. global competitiveness through an increase in a well-prepared STEM teacher workforce.