- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1758419
- First Name Paul
- Last Name Heideman
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematics, Physics
Meredith Kier, Heather Macdonald, Marguerite Mason, Melody Porter
Monica Grillo, Paul Heideman, Meredith Kier, Heather Macdonald, Marguerite Mason, Melody Porter, & Joy Jackson, College of William & Mary
There is a need not only for new STEM teachers skilled in teaching, but also STEM teachers prepared and motivated to teach in high need schools. Preservice teachers and new teachers need preparation and practice for inclusive teaching using effective methods to develop students in in content knowledge and metacognitive skills. Our project aims to develop a model for STEM teacher preparation to build and sustain an enduring commitment to STEM teaching with the ability to connect effectively with diverse communities.
Q1. What are the outcomes of exposure of preservice teachers to experiences that frame STEM teaching partially as an issue of social justice. Do these experiences help motivate new STEM teachers to stay in teaching and to choose to teach in high need schools? Q2. What are the outcomes from a Noyce add-on course in which students are exposed to (A) research on learning and teaching from the perspectives of STEM education, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience, and (B) involved in developing ideas for research questions and experiments in STEM education? Do these experiences increase motivation of teachers to engage with new research and ideas that may improve their teaching?
We engage mathematics and science students as early as freshman year in teaching activities and reflection through programs of the institution’s Office of Community Engagement. Prospective teachers grow an understanding of STEM teaching as a social justice issue for fair access for all students to skills in mathematics and science. Noyce scholars supplement cultural competency preparation in the curriculum with workshops and other activities focused on equity-mindedness and working with diverse communities. The program offers two Noyce add-on courses. One, a Practicum in High Need Schools, uses focused readings, discussion, reflections, and early visits to a diverse range of high-need schools to help students understand effective STEM teaching in high need settings (Grillo and Kier, 2022). The other, How Students Learn, develops an understanding of how to teach learning skills and self-management of learning to students.
Q1. Our data (Kier and Chen, 2010), indicates that for a subset of students, a social justice perspective is a highly motivating factor for teaching in high need schools. Q2. Survey data indicate that our Noyce alumni value these experiences highly, contributing to dispositions and experience that can help them value teaching in high need schools years after their Noyce commitment (Grillo and Kier, 2021).
Our results suggest value in this approach (Grillo and Kier, 2022). Including earlier two earlier Noyce grants, the program has produced 105 STEM teachers teaching in high need districts and schools, serving tens of thousands of students, and with data on the elements that motivate those alumni who persist over the long term as teachers in high need schools.