- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852942
- First Name Yeping
- Last Name Li
- Discipline Mathematics, STEM Education (general)
Sandra B. Nite
The struggle to meet the demand for teachers who can facilitate deep learning of mathematics so that students are college-ready to engage in STEM majors and successfully enter STEM fields is ongoing. Although there is a dire need for qualified teachers at the high school level, the elementary and middle school experience is critical for fostering student interest in STEM subjects.
How to identify, recruit and support STEM majors to teach mathematics in high-need school districts, esp. elementary and middle school levels, with diverse student populations in Texas?
As mathematics lays a foundation for students’ learning in STEM subjects, strengthening mathematics education in elementary and middle schools with teachers in STEM majors has been the focus of TAMU Noyce Scholars grant since 2019.
The past four years (2019-2023) has been a great journey for the project in recruiting and supporting STEM majors to teach mathematics in high-need school districts. In this presentation, we share our learning and experiences, combined with unprecedented challenges and increasing hope and successes, that reinforce our beliefs in the great value of this project for Improving STEM education in K-12 in Texas.
It is important to have well educated and trained teacher leaders in elementary and middle schools, who have a deep understanding of mathematics, together with a sense of cultural diversity in classrooms, that they can impart to their students. There are few STEM majors teaching at these levels. The deeper and broader knowledge of mathematics, with culturally relevant pedagogical training, gives these teachers a great understanding of the place mathematics plays as a foundation for STEM areas. Increasing the number of STEM major teaching mathematics at the elementary and middle school level will improve the school and community.