- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1525691
- First Name Charles
- Last Name Steinhorn
- Discipline Other: STEM Education
Victor Donnay, Bryn Mawr College, firstname.lastname@example.org; Alison Draper, Trinity College, Alison.Draper@trincoll.edu; Maria Rivera-Maulucci, Barnard College, email@example.com;
Daniel Bisaccio, Brown University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Donnay, Bryn Mawr College, email@example.com
There is a well-documented national need for K-12 teachers with substantial content knowledge in the several STEM disciplines. In this regard, undergraduate STEM majors from liberal arts institutions are an under-tapped pool of potential STEM teachers. Because of the small size of Liberal Arts Institutions, their teacher preparation offerings and particularly the STEM teacher preparation offerings at are often quite limited. Thus STEM majors who might be attracted to teaching do not have the opportunity to explore their interest and the STEM majors who are committed to pursuing a STEM teaching path are not able to take a course focused on math or science pedagogy.
This project explores to what degree an immersive summer experience in math or science pedagogy can (i) increase STEM student interest in pursuing a career in STEM teaching, (ii) increase their interest in teaching in high needs districts and (iii) strengthen their pedagogical abilities.
The Summer STEM Teaching Experiences for Undergraduates (TEU) program provides undergraduate STEM majors from liberal arts colleges and universities with a six week immersive summer experience in secondary mathematics or science education. Twelve students participate in thee math TEU at Brown University, Providence, RI and twelve in a science TEU at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. The TEU program encourages these students to explore careers in K-12 STEM education via a high quality discipline specific pedagogy course integrated with a teaching practicum with a focus on urban education. After an intensive two week pedagogy course, program participants team teach in a four week summer high school program. They implement lessons of their own design while being closely mentored and supervised by master teacher. The participants live together in a dormitory and thus are thinking and talking about teaching 24/7. A national network of 61 liberal arts institutions are participating.
The project is now in the 4th of its five year IUSE grant with 95 students having participated. Annual project evaluations indicate a high level of satisfaction among TEU participants with the program increasing their interest in pursuing careers in STEM teaching and in teaching in high needs districts. With an N=59, when asked about their level of interest in teaching pre and post the summer program: the number of students who had already decided on / were still committed to teaching increased by 22%, those who were extremely interested increased by 67% and those who were somewhat interested / not sure decreased by 72%. Five program graduates have been selected as Knowles Teaching Fellows, one as a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow.
The project is researching the linkages between participant self-efficacy and their teaching effectiveness.
Initial evidence suggests that the TEU model of a pedagogy course tightly linked to a teaching practicum supported by intensive mentoring accelerates novice teacher learning over the traditional approach of a pedagogy course one semester with student teaching in a later semester. Thus while this project was targeted at drawing STEM majors at liberal arts institutions, the TEU model could be applicable in a much wider range of settings. The project team has the goal of scaling up the TEU nationally. As a next step, they will be submitting a new IUSE grant in Dec 2020 to expand the number of TEU sites from two to five and diversify the types of sites and the applicant pool. To assist in these scale up efforts, the project has formed an Advisory Group consisting of national STEM education leaders.