- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1557323
- First Name Jenna
- Last Name Porter
- Discipline Other: Math, Bio, Chem, Physic
Sarah E. Ives
,California State University, Sacramento
Sarah E. Ives
, California State University, Sacramento
The demand for a workforce that is well prepared in STEM is expected to increase (Langdon, McKittrick, Beede, Khan, & Doms, 2011), yet California is failing to meet the current need. The 2011 Science and Engineering Readiness Index ranked the state 34th in math and science education (White & Cottle, 2011), while the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) found that only 5% of California 8th graders were at an advanced level of math (NCES, 2012). In response to these challenges, California adopted nationally recognized K-12 education standards, the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), and embarked on a statewide high school reform effort called Linked Learning that is aligned with the needs of both higher education and STEM business and industry. In order to successfully achieve these reforms, we must strengthen the pipeline of STEM teachers to prepare students for the competitive global economy
The SacMAST-L project seeks to develop 20 mathematics and science teachers’ leadership capacity for implementing strong STEM pedagogical content knowledge and mentoring other teachers as Master Teaching Fellows (MTFs). We are building a community of MTFs who can lead regional implementation of new K-12 STEM standards and model effective practices for inservice and preservice teachers. The major goals of the project are to (1) train MTFs to understand and effectively implement Common Core State Standards in Mathematics (CCSSM) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in Linked Learning Contexts and (2) develop leadership capacity for training other inservice teachers and preservice teachers to implement the new standards in Linked Learning settings. Activities for Year 2 of our project built upon activities from Year 1 and included a summer institute, action research, and MTF engagement in regional professional development. Summer Institute: During the five-day institute, we continued to support MTFs in understanding and practice implementing the CCSSM and NGSS. We designed the institute so that the MTFs could experience as learners what we wish them to teach, in terms of both the pedagogy and the science and mathematics content. Science and math MTFs worked together for a portion of the time to learn about overlapping practices (Science and Engineering Practices and Mathematical practices) as well as to support interdisciplinary collaboration. This collaborative practice embodies Linked Learning principles that MTFs engage in at their schools, and encourages them to continue interdisciplinary work but with increased knowledge of the new standards. Another focus of the institute was to provide MTFs with strategies for supporting their students in mathematical and scientific academic discourse, including argumentation, protocol for equitable student dialogue, and academic language development. We also facilitated an Action Research poster session, where MTFs visually displayed and presented their Action Research projects from Year 1. Action Research: We continue to support the process of action research through face-to-face monthly meetings, accompanied by monthly online activities. As one of the goals was to establish a community of practice, we continue to have MTFs share progress on their action research projects by participating in online discussions. During Year 2, MTFs continued to do action research. Some of them chose to do a second iteration of their research question from Year 1, while others found a new question to study. Research questions that MTFs asked included: • What dialogue strategies help increase academic discourse within an E.L. Science classroom? • How does the use of phenomena and model development improve student engagement and sense making in science? • How does incorporating the concept of pattern s in my Integrated Math 2 lessons impact/improve student ability to look for and make use of structure (SMP-7) in quadratic equations? • How does introducing productive peer dialogue affect students’ ability to ask questions (S1), develop and use models (S2), and/or plan and carry out investigations (S3)? To what extent will intentionally structured academic discussions/interactions help students develop a learning community that can foster more inquiry in my classroom? • What type of information specific to student depth of understanding for Physics DCI’s can I gain by using a set of assessments designed to force students explain a concept to different audiences both orally and in writing?
The project provided the summer institute for MTFs (described above). At the institute, MTFs designed a professional development plan for Year 2, so they could make intentional decisions about which training and professional development opportunities to engage in that would align with their action research and with their overall goals and objectives for developing as a professional. We also provided opportunities for MTFs to attend conferences and to engage in professional development workshops that were Linked Learning and STEM focused, including those sponsored by the Sacramento State Math and Science Education Center (MASE). We also supported MTF participation in their own school district professional development by collaborating with district liaisons to identify relevant connections between our project goals and the district professional learning offerings. In addition, we are providing the MTFs with memberships in professional organizations.
One of our MTFs, Clemens, J., wrote and will submit “Transformational Power of Parent Teacher Home Visits” for publication on her work with Parent Teacher Home Visits. She will also collaborate with them to help develop and facilitate the training for the summer institute. Two of our MTFs co-presented their Action Research projects with two of the grant PIs at a state wide conference this year: Porter, J., Ives, S., Brewer, R., & Vu, M. (2017). Science Teacher Leadership: Action research on physics modeling curriculum and self-assessments. (CSTA) Another MTF, Rubert, S., presented the workshop “Candle Chemistry- Using Combustion as an Introduction to Model Building” that integrated strategies from SacMAST-L NGSS science and engineering practices. For Year 3, we will continue working with MTFs to strengthen their understanding and implementation of NGSS and CCSS-M. In particular, we will co-construct definitions of leadership and build understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy.
Our project is already having an impact on society beyond science and technology because the MTFs are in the process of conducting action research in their classrooms. As the master teachers engage in this self-reflective process of inquiry, they are incorporating pedagogy that includes CCSSM and NGSS practices. Thus, the students are experiencing mathematics and science in the classroom in ways that are most likely more effective than their previous experiences learning mathematics and science. The project PI attended the national NSF Noyce conference in July 2017 and presented a poster on the preliminary project results, including action research questions that MTFs had developed. A co-PI will attend this summer conference to present additional findings. Another way that we’ve disseminated results to communities of interest is through our SacMAST-L advisory board. We facilitated bi-annual meetings to bring school district liaisons, along with our non-profit and community partners.