- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2151036
- First Name Jan
- Last Name Yow
- Discipline Chemistry, Engineering, Life Sciences, Mathematics, Physics
Eric Bothur, Midlands Technical College; Christine Lotter, Sean Yee, and Bert Ely, University of South Carolina
There is a high demand for STEM teachers. Partnerships between 2- and 4-year colleges are another avenue that may help support recruitment and preparation of more and better prepared STEM teachers.
How can a 2- and 4-year college partnership better prepare STEM teachers?
Year 1. The program management team will work with our evaluators to develop a survey that will be given to all scholars from the previous two Noyce Track 1 projects (~90 possible participants) The survey will focus on five areas: content and science/mathematics teaching efficacy, efficacy to teach in a high-need school, induction support, teacher leadership, and supports or obstacles to effective science or mathematics teaching in their high-need school districts. Project management will analyze the results from this survey to determine which Scholars will be asked to participate in follow-up in-depth interviews in Year 2.
Year 2. Year 2 will continue data collection with select case study teachers (at least 10 science and 10 mathematics teachers). Project staff will conduct two case study scholar interviews (one in early fall and one in late spring) based on an interview protocol that expands on the efficacy and beliefs survey as well as gather scholar reported data on their inquiry practices, leadership activities, and retention plans. Two observations will be conducted using SC Teaching Standards 4.0 rubric to evaluate the Scholars’ use of effective instructional practices. Finally, student data will be collected in the form of course grades and performance on any state-given assessment to help evaluate Scholar impact on student learning.
Year 3-4. Year 3 and 4 are dedicated to analysis and dissemination of findings from the study. Project staff will present findings at both research and practitioner conferences as well as publish findings in both research and practitioner journals such as the Journal of Mathematics Teacher Education, Mathematics Teacher, Journal of Science Teacher Education, and Science Teacher.
In our initial year of funding, we funded 8 Scholars. We have worked with those students to ease the burden of earning their STEM degree and teacher certification through the scholarship funds and provided the students with a supportive community in which they are learning about teaching in high need schools from their Noyce mentors, practicum teachers, and USC education and STEM faculty as well as Midlands Technical College STEM faculty.
USC-SMTI will positively impact the state of SC by cultivating and supporting 29 new and 41 current, highly qualified high school mathematics and science teachers who, in turn, will impact the students they will teach over the years. The project will also impact the national and international teacher education communities by continued research and development of an innovative tiered-approach that includes STEM underclassmen recruiting, preparation in accredited programs, and retaining high-quality mathematics and science teachers who will teach in high needs districts. Our partnership with MTC will further impact high need students and better prepare our scholars for engaging project-based technology rich instruction. Empirical evidence validated through the project evaluation will result in improved teacher education and retention for high school science and mathematics teachers for diverse populations within challenging settings and address a deep and enduring need in SC and the greater United States. The leadership team and partners will disseminate results as part of USC’s participation in the Mathematics Teacher Education Partnership as well as through professional organizations such as the associations of mathematics and of science teacher educators.