- Year 2022
- NSF Noyce Award # 1339956
- First Name Sandra
- Last Name Adams
- Discipline Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geosciences, Mathematics, Physics
Sandra Adams, Douglas Larkin, Montclair State University
Hundreds of science and mathematics teaching positions remain unfilled in New Jersey’s public schools. The shortage is even more severe in schools serving students from urban and high need districts. This project also developed rich and detailed case studies with the intent of understanding the effects of different pathways on the process of learning to teach science.
GOALS: To recruit high quality prospective science teachers with strong academic backgrounds in STEM discipline areas. Goal 2. To prepare high quality prospective science teachers for high needs school districts. Goal 3. To improve the quality and retention of new science teachers in high needs school districts.
We used a multi-tiered approach to recruitment to attract into the program those science and mathematics majors who are academically qualified to participate. This committee consisted of the program coordinators and faculty representatives from the College of Science and Mathematics and the College of Education and Human Services and faculty representatives at area community colleges. A key focus of our recruitment efforts was the recruitment of community college students who will be matriculating at MSU after earning their Associates degree. Advising was key aspect of this program; the PI, co-PI, and the community college coordinators advised students in their course selections, and closely coordinated all aspects of the academic trajectories of the Noyce Scholars to ensure their progress through the program. We built a sense of community and pride through program activities that included monthly meetings, attendance to STEM teacher conferences, and program completion celebrations. Another aspect of retention was one year of induction support consisting of a highly qualified mentor in their subject area and participation in a professional learning community with their cohort during their first year of teaching.
The goal of this project was to recruit, prepare, and retain 30 science teachers for NJ’s high need schools in five years. We instead prepared 33 science and mathematics teachers in nine years. This project also developed rich and detailed case studies with the intent of understanding the effects of different pathways on the process of learning to teach science.
The broader impacts of this proposal are the recruitment, preparation, and retention of high-quality science and mathematics teachers for high-need districts. This project broadens participation to underrepresented groups in STEM by preparing teachers who will strengthen the teaching and learning of high school science and mathematics in schools that serve large numbers of minority students and students of low socioeconomic background. Therefore, a direct benefit to society will be the potential for well-qualified undergraduates to seek careers in science teaching.