- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1660785
- First Name Huseyin
- Last Name Colak
- Discipline Other: Math and Biology
Dr. Joel Olfelt, Northeastern Illinois University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Matthew Graham, Northeastern Illinois University, email@example.com
Dr. Mahesh Gurung, Harry S Truman College, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Huseyin Colak, Northeastern Illinois University , email@example.com
Dr. Hector Morales, Northeastern Illinois University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Substantial demand exists for a qualified and diverse pool of STEM teachers in both the Chicago are and the State of Illinois. Due to the shortage of certified teachers STEM teachers, many middle and secondary teachers in the fields have not received certification to teach in their subject area. In the State of Illinois, 60% of school districts reported they were unable to fill all of their teacher positions, and 76 % suggested there was a lack of qualified candidates (IARSS Report 2015). Approximately, 16 % of district officials report having to cancel classes due to being unable to find qualified teachers. The problem especially arises in the STEM fields, math and science. The goal of the NOYCE program is to recruit more STEM majors into the teaching profession and prepare them to be high quality STEM teachers who have strong content and pedagogy as well as sense of public needs and leadership in their communities as the STEM teachers.
The primary goals of the project follow as:
1. Recruit undergraduate majors in mathematics and biology, and prepare them to teach diverse students in high need and underresourced communities and schools at the high school level by providing Noyce Scholars with the relevant cultural competence, pedagogical knowledge, and disposition to be a successful teacher in a high-need local educational agency.
2. Provide an ongoing recruitment and early preparation program for freshman and sophomores that includes courses and co-curricular experiences built on best practices in undergraduate mathematics and biology, early experiences in schools, community, informal education programs, summer internships and mentored research.
3. Fund 45 scholarships over 5 years.
4. Further develop and sustain a culture at Northeastern Illinois University, Wright and Truman College where community college students and NEIU undergraduate mathematics and biology majors are encouraged and supported to become mathematics and biology teachers in Chicago Public Schools and in other high-need and underresourced districts.
5. Institutionalize the collaboration between Northeastern Illinois University, Wilbur Wright and Harry S Truman Colleges and the Chicago Public Schools Offices of Math and Science to blend the experiences for the Noyce Scholars into a single, collaborative, multi-institutional program by developing faculty, coursework, and research that is shared across the Noyce learning community created by these four institutions.
6. Implement a content specific novice teacher induction and mentoring program that facilitates the transition into teaching, contributes to the further development and effectiveness of the Noyce graduates and aids retention during and beyond the obligatory teaching service period.
7. Contribute to the role of NSF as central to discovering, studying, and promoting pathways for STEM teacher education through research and development by conducting studies on the impact of intentional collaborative practices in a teacher education program and by posing such questions as what the relationship between Noyce Scholars’ experiences in this STEM teacher preparation program, with its emphasis on collaboration, and community building in their school communities via their engagement in collaborative practices, the extent to which pre-service collaboration practices facilitate Scholars’ collaboration in other parts of their academic program and later in their teaching careers and do teacher quality and teacher retention in high-need urban schools improve as a result of such collaborations? The Key Activities are :
NOYCE Internship Program: GEAR UP and MSTQE Collaboration for All three Noyce Scholars had an opportunity to participate in the summer STEM programs offered by GEAR UP through NEIU?s Center for College Access and Success (CCAS), serving 100 high school students from underserved communities throughout Chicago. Noyce Scholars collaborated with experienced teachers in their field to design curriculum, mentor teams of students in engineering design projects, and engage in reflective practices to help improve their own teaching practices. The Noyce Scholars gained valuable experience working with students with similar backgrounds, demographics, and academic needs as those who they will later teach as part of their teaching commitment in high-needs schools as part of the Noyce program.
New Course and Curriculum Design: Seminar Developed for Noyce Scholars and Taught in Fall 2017: Scientifically Updating Beliefs Seminar: At the core of doing Mathematics and Science is the ability to update one’s belief. In this seminar all three scholars were exposed to: how both mathematicians and scientists update their beliefs; how Bayesian statistics fit into this process; many different fallacies; and the inner workings of the brain that make all of these things happen.
Undergraduate Action Research Project and Seminar-Taught in Spring 2018 for Noyce Scholars: The two Scholars who are seniors have developed research questions and are conducting action research in the schools in which they are doing their student teaching. Because they have been placed in high need Chicago Public High Schools, their research is connected to expanding their knowledge of teaching and learning in mathematics of students from high need communities.
Seminar and Clinical Experience in Student Voice, Restorative Justice, Advisory and Teams Experiential Education for NOYCE Scholars: This course engages the students in hands on clinical experiences with teachers and students in high need schools with students who are often alienated to the value of schooling, that are implementing the Chicago Public Schools initiatives to train their faculty in approaches to increasing student engagement, civic engagement and responsibility, conflict resolution and social emotional learning. CPS developed the Office of Student Voice and Restorative Justice and the Office of Service Learning and Civic Engagement. The seminar is part of the collaboration with CPS and the new grant partner, the Service Learning and Civic Engagement Consortium of Colleges, Universities and Chicago Public Schools. The seminar provides simulations, cases studies, research, training on the facilitation of advisory, controversial topic discussions and theoretical content on these practices as well as training the students to become informed facilitators of the practices.
Prerequisite Biology Course-as part of the Community College partnership, work has begun at Wright and Truman to develop one of the prerequisite courses required for admission to the biology major at NEIU that to this point they have not been able to offer. The Truman Co_PI secured the approval to proceed from the Truman College administrators and is leading the process in collaboration with the CO-PI from Biology at NEIU. Co-Curricular Experiences:
Connections to Professional Development Experiences with In-Service Teachers and School Consultants-Fall 2017 and Spring 2018 Center for College Access and Success (CCAS) connected the Noyce Scholars to professional growth opportunities through GEAR UP, MSTQE and other NEIU partnership programs in order to engage with a broader community of teachers working in high-needs schools in Chicago. Mentoring Noyce Scholars served as near-peer mentors for high school students in the GEAR UP often continuing the relationship with students they worked with during the Summer Academy.
A significant activity has been developing the Pre-Noyce Scholars (Now called the Noyce STEM Interns) program based on the MSTQE Bridge Partnership Model. The collaboration with Wright and Truman included the development of a pre-Noyce scholars program that would increase the quality and quantity of students who qualify for the math and biology majors at NEIU and, in addition to interest them in becoming high school teachers and Noyce Scholars.
The Scholars will take a seminar class during their clinical and student teaching experiences. In the first seminar course, they will discuss about student voice, restorative justice, advisory, and team experiential education. In the second one, they will do an action research along with their edTPA assignment. The scholars also participate in a summer research in their discipline. The research personnel and the director of Student Center for Science and Engagement will work with the scholars.
This Spring NOYCE scholars participated and presented at the 2018 (STEAM) Conference coordinated by the Center for College Access and Success, based on their experiences teaching and mentoring high school students during the GEAR UP summer STEM program. Over 150 educators from other GEAR UP schools will attend the conference and be able to share similar experiences with the NOYCE scholars. Two NOYCE scholars graduated and one of them has already accepted to a teaching position in a high need high school. One scholar is participating in the SCSE research and professional development program for the first time in 2018 because NEIU?s NOYCE award after the summer 2017 program participants had already been finalized. The summer research and professional development program provides students with the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor on a research project. The NOYCE Internship program started with two candidates from Truman college.
Through the GEAR UP summer program, the new seminar and the additional clinical experiences NOYCE scholars have been exposed to a wide variety of restorative justice, student engagement and team building practices that they will be able to employ in their future teaching. During the summer program and the fall and spring seminars NOYCE Scholars will able to practice developing lesson plans that incorporate strategies such as developing community and trust in the classroom, facilitating project-based learning opportunities that incorporate students’ self-identified social issues of interest, and techniques for engaging in two-way conversations with students regarding challenges they face in their communities. The content has been taught in the context of the ethics and socio economics of science, mathematics, big data, mathematical modeling and equity. Service learning and civic engagement embedded mathematics and science, both in the content and in the teacher preparation program.