- Year 2017
- NSF Noyce Award # 1340109
- First Name Patricia
- Last Name Stoddart
- Discipline N/A
Elisa Stone, University of California, Berkeley, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan J. Daly, University of California, San Diego, email@example.com
Sandra J. Carlson, University of California, Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie A. Bianchini, University of California, Santa Barbara, email@example.com
Gretchen Andreasen, University of California, Santa Cruz, firstname.lastname@example.org
SMTRI is a Phase IV Noyce award. It addresses a critical challenge in STEM education: preparing novice teachers to provide effective science and mathematics instruction to an increasingly culturally and linguistically diverse student population. There is an urgent need for research that examines how teacher preparation programs prepare teachers to teach in diverse schools. The SMTRI project brings together researchers from six University of California (UC) campuses to conduct an empirical study of the impact of a UC undergraduate STEM education program (CalTeach) and graduate programs of teacher education on the development of novice teachers’ knowledge, beliefs and practices in secondary mathematics and science teaching. More specifically, it examines the efficacy of UC programs in preparing novice teachers to implement the Common Core State Standards (CSSS) in Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), particularly as they relate to the teaching of English learners
As introduced above, the goal of SMTRI is to contribute to the knowledge base on how to prepare novice science and mathematics teachers to effectively teach all students, including English learners, in high-need secondary schools in California. We are studying a subset of teacher candidates enrolled and first-year teachers who graduated from one of six teacher education programs at UC campuses. We have two primary research questions: (1) How do novice teachers develop knowledge, beliefs, and practices for science or mathematics teaching across time? (2) Does the type of teacher preparation -CalTeach versus non-CalTeach and graduate versus undergraduate – impact the development of these novice teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practices?
The theoretical framework for our study includes three parts: a view of learning to teach as situated, a vision of reform-based instruction aligned to the new standards in mathematics and science, and principles of effective instruction for English learners. Our study included four types of participants: CalTeach undergraduates, mathematics and science teacher candidates (both those who had completed CalTeach programs as undergraduates and those who had not), CalTeach and teacher education program directors. We are nearing completion of our first year of data collection. We are collecting four types of data: surveys, interviews, undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and edTPA (a teacher performance assessment) portfolios and scores. For example, we administered surveys to math and science teacher candidates at each of our six participating campuses. Surveys included questions about teacher candidates’ understanding of the new standards and effective instruction for English learners.
As stated above, we are completing our first year of data collection. We have surveyed 107 science and mathematics teacher candidates across the six teacher education programs and interviewed 80 of them. We are currently working to transcribe these interview data. We have begun preliminary analysis of the survey data as well. At present, we are looking for large trends in self-efficacy, beliefs, and experiences across teacher candidates. We are also examining the trustworthiness of these data to determine if instruments need to be modified before we begin our second year of data collection.
Long-term, a broader impact of this project is to improve the preparation of science and mathematics teacher candidates: to identify program structures, principles, and strategies that are effective in supporting novice teachers to implement the new standards and to teach all students, including English learners. Short-term, a broader impact of this project is to produce research instruments (surveys, interview protocols, classroom observation instruments) other researchers interested in these same questions can use to investigate additional undergraduate STEM and teacher education programs.