- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1339951
- First Name Meghan
- Last Name Marrero
- Discipline Biology, Mathematics
Marion Ben-Jacob, Mercy College
Anthony Canger, Mercy College
Amanda M. Gunning, Mercy College
Meghan Marrero, Mercy College
Research shows that teachers from underrepresented groups tend to continue teaching longer in high-need schools than do White peers (Achinstein, Ogawa, Sexton, & Freitas, 2010). Thus, it is critical to uncover the strategies and supports needed to recruit and ensure success of teachers of color.
The goal of the Mercy College Intensive STEM Teaching Initiative is to recruit, prepare, and retain 20 math and biology teachers in high-need schools. We are using a clinically rich model in which students are recruited as undergraduates and begin conducting observations in high-need schools and reflecting on these experiences. The teacher candidates then spend a full year student teaching in a high-need school and go through an intensive process of analyzing their teaching with support from peers within their cohort, faculty, and clinical supervisors. Other key activities include pedagogical seminars and a summer engineering experience.
The MISTI project is built upon a framework of social constructivism in teacher education (Richardson, 1997), in which MISTI Scholars are building an important peer network that will continue to be a support system in their induction years. Using vialogues, Scholars will share videos of their teaching and use a structured tuning protocol to support one another’s growth. Another important aspect of the project is intensive mentoring by both content area and pedagogical faculty. Faculty members from both disciplines provide extensive support, checking on all aspects of the academic and teacher certification process, including coaching students on how to advocate for extra help, providing supports for state teaching exams, and constantly reflecting on academic progress in each course.
The major outcome of the project will be 20 newly certified science and math teachers. At this point, we have 16 scholars, 6 of which are beginning their Master’s degree program. By the conclusion of the project we will meet our goal. Additionally, through evaluation and research data, we hope to learn the strategies that were most effective in recruiting and supporting these scholars.
The broader impact of this project is that we will better understand how to recruit and retain teachers of color and those who are first generation college students. This project is still very much a work in progress as the first cohort has just completed their bachelors degree.