- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2050588
- First Name Robin
- Last Name Johnson
- Institution Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi
- Role/Position Associate Professor; Field-Based Experience Coordinator
- Workshop Category Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends
- Workshop Disciplines Audience STEM Education (general)
- Target Audience Co-PIs, Evaluators/Education Researchers, Noyce Master Teachers, Noyce Teaching Fellows, Other Faculty/Staff, Project PIs, Undergraduate and/or Graduate Noyce Scholars
- Topics Culturally Relevant Pedagogy, Developing Teacher Leaders, Partnerships for Success (High-need schools/informal institutions/industry/community), Recruiting with Retention in Mind, STEM Content Area and/or Convergent Description Skills Development
- Session Length 30 minutes minutes
- Additional Presenter(s)
Danielle Bravo (Noyce Scholar) firstname.lastname@example.org; Faye Bruun email@example.com; Carmen Tejeda-Delgado Carmen.Tejeda-Delgado@tamucc.edu; Cherie McCollough cherie.Mccollough@tamucc.edu
1. Participants will gain knowledge and insight into the Try Teach experience, the curriculum, and the logistics with the school and university partnerships. 2. A Noyce Scholar who was a participant in the second Try Teach experience and helped facilitate the third one will share first-hand knowledge of how both weeks impacted her. 3. Presenters will share qualitative and quantitative data collected over the course of the three Try Teach experiences conducted so far.
Objectives or Purposes: STEM INSPIRES (Infusing Social Programs in Residential Education Scholars), an externally federally funded project, promotes mathematics and science undergraduates to become secondary STEM teachers working in high need school districts. As part of the STEM INSPIRES scholarship program at our University, the program team recruits potential STEM Scholars during the spring semester of their sophomore year to apply for participation in an early, intensive, field-based teaching experience called Try Teach. During this field experience, participants spend five days after their spring semester is completed with a partnering school district master STEM teacher observing, collaborating, and co-teaching in a STEM classroom. They also participate in focus groups, reflective journaling, and surveys to help them process their experiences and how that experience influences their perception of and desire to pursue STEM teaching as a career. The STEM INSPIRES scholarship program provides stipends to the participants and the STEM teachers who host participants in their classroom. Participants must be enrolled in their sophomore year at either a community college or university and have a minimum 3.0 GPA. They complete an application for Try Teach consisting of demographic questions, state reasons why they would like to participate, and report financial need. STISD master STEM teachers are chosen for Try Teach through a collaborative process between district administration and the STEM INSPIRES leadership team. These are the same teachers that attend STEM PD with the university and during the STEM INSPIRES Clinical Experiences year. Evaluation of Try Teach consisted of Pre/Post surveys for student perceptions of teaching and self-efficacy and pre/during/post experience prompted journals. Try Teach is intentionally designed to allow participants to authentically experience a week with a master STEM teacher with the goal of inspiring the participants to consider STEM teaching as a career. Curricula is developed for Try Teach as a joint collaboration between the College of Science, the College of Education, and the district. This curriculum includes observations of the district teachers, development of lesson plans for a co-teaching lesson, and a reflection addressing self-efficacy and learning that occurred during this field experience. The goals developed for Try Teach as components of STEM INSPIRES are: •Introduction of STEM majors to the teaching profession •Provide experiential learning for STEM majors in authentic teaching contexts •Measure changes in teaching perspectives and self-efficacy for STEM majors •Develop meaningful relationships between STEM Majors and STEM teachers at the district, the university, and the local community college. Perspectives or Theoretical Framework: The development of highly qualified experts in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is a top priority in Higher Education for effectively advancing our economy and preparing a STEM workforce in the 21st Century. Nationally, we continue to suffer disappointing declines in the critical mass of college students enrolled and completing STEM programs (Reñdon & Kanagala, 2017), particularly those that want to become STEM teachers, leading to a dearth of skilled teachers within all STEM fields. Thus, a top priority for Higher Education is the reversal of this trend by bolstering STEM teaching program enrollments nationwide (Jeffery et al., 2016). About half of the students who declare or intend to major in STEM fields ultimately leave STEM undergraduate programs and do not earn STEM degrees (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). In interviews and conversations at the district level, STEM teachers reported that STEM students do not feel valued in STEM fields.. The phrase “STEM is not for me” was a common one. We have data that shows the number of STEM students enrolled in the secondary teacher certification programs at the university. Although the number of students entering the 7-12 Math program has stayed consistent, it is still low. The number of students entering the 7-12 Life and Physical Science program at the university has dropped. The national data also reports that fewer teacher candidates enter STEM fields (Horvath et al., 2018). Research studies advocate curriculum changes to learner centered approaches, and engaging STEM students in projects with real-world applications to retain STEM students (Borden, 2018; Lischka & Garner, 2016).Traditional teacher education programs often lack authentic connections between university- based teacher education courses and K-12 field experiences (Zeichner, 2007; Putnam & Borko, 2000). Darling-Hammond (2009) identified this lack of connection as the Achilles’ heel of teacher education. Students are typically are left to work alone with little guidance in relating what they are doing to coursework and assume that good teaching practices are personally identified as they occur, rather than taught in an authentic, situated context (Darling-Hammond, 2009; Valencia et al., 2009). Methods, Techniques, or Modes of Inquiry: To create a more authentic experience and address Darling-Hammond’s (2009) Achilles’ heel in teacher education, a Try Teach Experience was developed between the STEM INSPIRES team and the district administrators and STEM teachers. This experience created what has been called a third space, or a “hybrid” space where EPPs bring together school and university-based teacher educators and practitioner and academic knowledge in new ways to enhance the learning of prospective teachers (Zeichner, 2009). The STEM INSPIRES program team used a combination of methods and instruments to analyze participants self-efficacy and career perceptions and goals after participating in Try Teach. The following research questions were designed for knowledge generation during this pilot study regarding the STEM INSPIRES Try Teach Experience: 1.How did the STEM INSPIRES Try Teach Experience affect the self-efficacy of the participants in STEM subjects? 2.How did the STEM INSPIRES Try Teach Experience impact initial STEM career perceptions and goals of participants? Try Teach Recruitment The STEM INSPIRES team met with the STEM Faculty Fellows, chosen STEM faculty from both the university and the community college in the area, to discuss the plan for recruitment. Due to Covid-19, many of these courses were being taught online. The researchers created a website and added a recruitment video filmed with the STISD STEM teachers along with the Try Teach information. The STEM Faculty Fellows showed the video in their classes and provided the website link along with the time and place for an information meeting about Try Teach to be held at the University. In addition, personalized emails were sent to students in these STEM classes who were identified as highly qualified candidates as well as STEM advisors at both colleges. Pilot Study Participants: Six university students attended the information meeting held in person at the university. Three of those students along with two others applied for Try Teach and were accepted. Four of the five participants indicated a possible interest in grades 7-12 Life Science teaching certification. Three of these four were current Biology majors and one was a Clinical Laboratory Science major. Two were placed with STEM teachers at the district High School and two were placed at the district Junior High. The final participant was a Math major who was interested in a math teaching certification. She was placed at the district Junior High. Data Sources, Evidence, Objects or Materials: Data Collection and Instruments: Two instruments were utilized as sources of quantitative data: (a) Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument (MTEBI), and (b) Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Scale (STEBI). To assess the changes in self-efficacy in math of the one prospective math certification major, the MTEBI (Enochs, Smith, & Huinker, 2000) was given as a pretest and a posttest. The STEBI was administered to measure changes in science teaching efficacy of the four prospective science certification majors (Riggs & Enochs, 1990). Qualitative data was collected through daily prompted journal questions. Pilot Study Procedures: The STEM INSPIRES team met with the district STEM teachers prior to the week of Try Teach. The purpose, procedures, and curriculum for the participants was collectively agreed upon. Day one, the STEM INSPIRES team met the participants in the junior high library, shared introductions, completed the pre-survey, and began the pre-experience journal prompts. Each day, the participants made observations in their journal, worked collaboratively with their teacher, and completed the assigned journal prompts. On the final day, the STEM INSPIRES team and the participants met at the high school to complete the post-survey, the final journal reflection prompt, and discuss the overall experience. Results or Substantiated Conclusions or Warrants for Argument or Point of View: Teaching Career Perceptions and Goals The initial analysis of the qualitative data showed positive perceptions of the STEM classrooms, the lessons taught throughout the week, and the knowledge and engagement shown by the teacher. One participant shared that she was “terrified” at first. After getting to know the students, she became “very excited about being in a classroom for the first time. ”All five of the participants stated that they felt “comfortable” in their classrooms, were “excited about the projects” and enjoyed the “engagement” and “authentic situations” that the teachers presented to their students. Three of the participants took part in a STEM Coding event with their teachers held at STISD on the Saturday after Try Teach. Self-Efficacy in Teaching Math and Science Initial summaries of scores on the MTEBI and STEBI indicate that the participants showed an increase in confidence of teaching in their math or science content area following Try Teach. Three of the five participants in Try Teach chose to apply for the STEM INSPIRES scholarship program and commit to a secondary science or math teaching certification in addition to their STEM major. The student interested in the math certification realized she did not want to pursue a 7-12 certification but instead a 4-8 certification which made her ineligible for the program. The participant pursuing a clinical lab sciences degree chose not to apply, stating, “Although teaching is something that I truly enjoy and Try Teach—which I was very fortunate to partake in— exemplifies why I find teaching so alluring, I feel that my passion for patient care is drawing me towards the medical route. ”Scientific or Scholarly Significance of the Study or Work Try Teach through the STEM INSPIRES scholarship program will increase underrepresented student participation in STEM teaching. Retention of STEM majors is a major challenge nationwide and at STXU. Research on student retention indicates that engaging students in the higher education community by developing formal classroom and informal student and teacher communities increases persistence, particularly in the first and second years where the greatest loss of students, especially STEM majors, occurs (Tinto, 2012). Try Teach will continue to investigate and provide research evidence regarding changes in students’ self-efficacy and teaching perceptions and goals in STEM fields over an extended period. Large national teacher education studies report that carefully coordinated field experiences connected with college courses are more influential in supporting teacher learning than disconnected field experiences that dominate American teacher education (Darling-Hammond, 2006). Engaging students in authentic, situated practices of science, mathematics, and teaching is also important because it provides a productive context to grasp a deeper understanding of these concepts as well as increased self-efficacy and positive teaching perceptions. Future Implications: Try Teach will inform EPPs of the importance of early field experiences in identifying, recruiting, and retaining future teachers in all education fields. Providing these authentic field experience settings for hands-on, experiential learning utilizing a variety of instructional strategies that are positive for student engagement and achievement early on in college experiences for multiple fields will be a benefit to the students, the university, and the partnership school districts. References: Borden L. (2018) Drawing Upon Indigenous Knowledges to Transform the Secondary Mathematics Classroom. In: Kajander A., Holm J., Chernoff E. (eds) Teaching and Learning Secondary School Mathematics. Advances in Mathematics Education. Springer, Cham. Darling-Hammond, L. (2006). Powerful teacher education. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Darling-Hammond, L. (2009, February). Teacher education and the American future. Charles W.Hunt Lecture. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, Chicago.Enochs, L., Smith, P., and Huinker, D. (2010). Establishing Factorial Validity of the Mathematics Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument. School Science and Mathematics, 100 (4), 194-202. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1949-8594.2000.tb17256.xHorvath, M., Goodell, J. E. and Kosteas, V. D. (2018). Decisions to enter and continue in the teaching profession: Evidence from a sample of U. S. Secondary STEM teacher candidates. Teaching and Teacher Education, 71, 57-65.Jeffery, T. D., McCollough, C. &, Moore, K. (2016). Impact of collaborative teaching on K-12 mathematics and science learning. The Journal of the Effective Schools Project, 23, pp. 37-44. Partnerships. Lischka A.E., Garner M. A. (2016). Practitioner’s Instrument for Measuring Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Beliefs Surrounding Learner-Centered Classroom Practice. J Appl Meas. 17(2):166-184.National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). State postsecondary enrollment distributions by race/ethnicity before and after changes to reporting categories. Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/datatools/Putnam, R., & Borko, H. (2000). What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning? Educational Researcher 29(1), 4-15.Reñdon, L., and Kanagala, V. (Eds). (2017). The Latino Student’s Guide to STEM Careers.ABC-CLIO, LLC.Riggs, I. and Enochs, L. (1990). Towards the development of an elementary teacher’s science teaching efficacy belief instrument. Science Education, 74 (6), 625-637. https://doi.org/10.1002/sce.3730740605 Tinto, V. (2012). Completing College: Rethinking Institutional Action. University of Chicago Press.Valencia, S., Martin S., Place, N., & Grossman, P. (2009). Complex interactions in student teaching: Lost opportunities for learning. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(3), 304-322.Zeichner, K. (2007). Professional development schools in a culture of evidence and accountability. School-University Partnerships, 1(1), 9-17.Table 1: Math and Science Teaching Certifications (Certification office of STXU, 2020)YEAR2014-20152015-20162016-20172017-20182018-20197-12 Math222227-12 Science01742Total23964
National teacher education studies report that carefully coordinated field experiences connected with college courses are more influential in supporting teacher learning than disconnected field experiences that dominate American teacher education (Darling-Hammond, 2006). Engaging students in authentic, situated practices of science, mathematics, and teaching is also important because it provides a productive context to grasp a deeper understanding of these concepts as well as increased self-efficacy and positive teaching perceptions. Try Teach is an intentionally designed recruiting opportunity that allows participants to authentically experience a week with a master STEM teacher with the goal of inspiring the participants to consider STEM teaching as a career. Co-created curricula developed for Try Teach includes observations of the master STEM teachers, development of lessons for co-teaching, and reflections. Through the sharing of our experiences and collected data, we hope Try Teach will inform Educator Preparation Programs of the importance of early field experiences in identifying, recruiting, and retaining future teachers in all education fields. Providing these authentic field experience settings for hands-on, experiential learning utilizing a variety of instructional strategies that are positive for student engagement and achievement early on for multiple fields will be a benefit to the students, the university, and the partnership school districts.