- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852738
- First Name Ed
- Last Name Himelblau
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, Physics
Seth Bush, California Polytechnic State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chance Hoellwarth, California Polytechnic State University, email@example.com; Jane Lehr, California Polytechnic State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Oscar Navarro, California Polytechnic State University, email@example.com; Nancy Stauch, California Polytechnic State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ed Himelblau, California Polytechnic State University, email@example.com
The need to retain highly qualified STEM teachers is especially important in high need districts where high rates of teacher turnover are common. Teacher turn over harms students, and the public education system as a whole (Emma Garcia and Elaine Weiss, Economic Policy Institute, 2019). California Polytechnic State University has an effective STEM teacher credential program and we believe our alumni generally persist in the profession beyond their induction year. However, in the Noyce FIRST program we propose to be much more intentional about providing intervention and support for new teachers. We will assess the impact of attending a summer lesson study retreat before and during the induction year.
For new teachers (about to begin their first job or at the completion of their first year), how beneficial is timely exposure to experienced Noyce alumni who teach in high-need districts?
During previous Noyce Support we developed a format for a 4-day summer professional development retreat to engage Noyce and STAR alumni in lesson plan revision. Each attendee brings a lesson plan they wish to improve either in terms of its NGSS alignment or cultural inclusivity. The revised lesson plans are implemented in the Fall and results of implementation are shared with the group. Initially, we thought the retreat would primarily benefit in-service teachers, keeping them engaged in lesson planning and connected to their Noyce network (and this has been the case). However, it became clear that pre-service teachers, particularly those about to begin their first job in the Fall, also benefitted from participation. The Noyce FIRST assessment plan involves tracking cohorts of teachers from the Cal Poly Credential Program who have and have not participate in the Noyce Program. Interviews and surveys we will assess the effect of Noyce participation on satisfaction and retention.
Outcomes of this project and descriptions of our retreat model will be reported at future Noyce Summits.
How to best support new teachers during their induction year is an important question for STEM teacher education programs and we hope to contribute a possible model to promote retention. Our model, if successful, could be beneficial to other Noyce and STEM teacher training programs in which alumni tend to find positions over a large geographic area and are, therefore, not available for frequent, local events during their induction year.