- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050579
- First Name Holly
- Last Name Godsey
- Discipline Chemistry, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Physics
Mary Burbank, Jordan Gerton, Anne Cook, Lauren Barth-Cohen
Holly Godsey, Rebecca McMurray
The Utah Collaborative for Equitable STEM Teaching (UCET) is piloting models of pre-service teacher support through new academic pathways, an early-mentoring field experience, personalized cross-departmental advising, an environmental and social-justice focused methods course and research on how experienced teachers’ knowledge can be used to promote discussions among pre-service teachers.
UCET is striving to determine how we can utilize the experience and knowledge of in-service teachers to build case-studies that support pre-service teachers’ learning about equitable science teaching. Our program is also piloting a Teacher Mentor “Training” program that employs the collective knowledge of experienced teacher-mentors to share best practices and support pre-service teacher preparation.
UCET is employing several new approaches to preparing and supporting secondary science teachers. Our program developed a compact 5-year BS/MEd program to make becoming a secondary science teacher more efficient and affordable for students. We have also initiated one-on-one advising sessions that includes both disciplinary and education advisors, as well as program personnel. Our cohort seminars provide a time for Scholars to build relationships with each other, and with faculty, staff and practicing teachers who will support them in their induction years and beyond. We have started an early-mentoring field experience for Scholars in their junior and senior years so that they are exposed to a variety of teaching styles and schools before they start their student teaching. UCET’s new Advanced Secondary Science Methods course uses a lens of environmental social justice to help Scholars develop relevant, authentic, and meaningful units.
Outcomes for the first two years of the project include 20 Noyce fellowships awarded to 15 individual Scholars, and 5 graduates with a retention rate of 93%. 18 in-service teachers participated in the early-mentoring pilot and will become part of a highly qualified pool of potential student-teaching and induction mentors. The new Advanced Secondary Science Methods course is being offered to all STEM education majors, regardless of whether they are Noyce Scholars, and the course meets the new licensure requirement by the state of Utah for a second methods course on three-dimensional science teaching practices. We expect to have outcome data on the creation of use of case-studies to enhance pre-service teacher leaning by the end of next year.
UCET’s emphasis on STEM in context of environmental social justice will appeal to a new generation of undergraduates who are experiencing unprecedented environmental and social change, drawing many of them to teaching as a way to make an impact on K-12 students. UCET employs a new model of tiered support and mentoring that will help Scholars navigate the challenges of teaching in high-need schools, build their identities as science teaching professionals, and empower them to make a positive impact on students’ lives, leading to better retention in the profession.