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Tep Vol 28-N2-3

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Teacher Education and Practice, a peer-refereed journal, is dedicated to the encouragement and the dissemination of research and scholarship related to professional education. The journal is concerned, in the broadest sense, with teacher preparation, practice and policy issues related to the teaching profession, as well as being concerned with learning in the school setting. The journal also serves as a forum for the exchange of diverse ideas and points of view within these purposes. As a forum, the journal offers a public space in which to critically examine current discourse and practice as well as engage in generative dialogue. Alternative forms of inquiry and representation are invited, and authors from a variety of backgrounds and diverse perspectives are encouraged to contribute. Teacher Education & Practice is published by Rowman & Littlefield.

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The Chronic Shortage of STEM Talent

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The Chronic Shortage of STEM Talent

The Place of Integrative STEM Education

Joseph Mukuni

ABSTRACT: From the 1890s, education reforms in the United States have placed special emphases on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The concern over the years has been that the economic competiveness and well-being of the United States has been threatened by a severe shortage of STEM talent. Many initiatives have been taken to address this chronic problem, including revision of curricula in mathematics and science, introduction of a unified national movement to improve the teaching and learning of these core disciplines, and establishment of standards in mathematics and science. Despite these and other measures, the problem has persisted. This position paper suggests that one critical piece that has been missing in the reforms is integrative STEM education. The paper argues that integrative STEM education has the potential to raise students’ motivation levels in STEM disciplines and, therefore, maximize and sustain enrollment numbers in these core disciplines. The paper notes, however, that in order for integrative STEM education to make a contribution to increasing the volume of STEM talent, some barriers have to be overcome by teacher educators and school administrators.

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Rethinking How Mathematics, Science, and Technology Are Represented in Teacher Education

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Rethinking How Mathematics, Science, and Technology Are Represented in Teacher Education

Deborah Moore-Russo and Noemi Waight

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we engage in a discussion regarding the current tensions in the practice of teaching in the areas of mathematics, science, and technology. Specifically, we first discuss the practical rationality and disciplinary obligation of mathematics teaching. Current practices and opportunities for authentic mathematics education are also introduced. We follow by reviewing how reform efforts in science education and technology as currently conceived remain incomplete. As such, potential for meaningful changes in practice become lost in rhetoric. Alternative approaches that focus on the nature of technology are discussed. Finally, for both mathematics and science, we explore conceptualizing teaching as a practice creating opportunities for meaningful change. The discussion has implications for current conceptions and approaches in teacher education and professional development.

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Literacy-Rich STEM Project-Based Learning

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Literacy-Rich STEM Project-Based Learning

Preparing STEM Teaching Candidates for High-Needs Schools

Kevin Carr

ABSTRACT: How should 21st-century STEM teaching candidates be prepared, especially for work in schools and communities that have high levels of poverty and/or ELL student populations? One distinguishing feature of many such communities is the need to focus explicitly on the development of academic literacy, bridging the gap between the everyday language of students and the academic language needed for success in college and careers. This paper illustrates how STEM teaching candidates, mentor teachers, and university staff engaged together to create and implement literacy-rich STEM project-based learning (STEM PBL) activities. It is argued that supporting new STEM teachers to collaboratively implement literacy-rich STEM PBL prepares them to intentionally integrate academic literacy instruction into the STEM curriculum, a critical skill for successfully preparing students for STEM careers and citizenship.

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Uncovering the Need for Diversity Among K–12 STEM Educators

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Uncovering the Need for Diversity Among K–12 STEM Educators

Vincent Basile and Kevin Murray

ABSTRACT: Unlike its predecessors, the 2010 PCAST report on STEM education calls for a significant increase in the number of students of color pursuing STEM careers. While the report suggests various ways to begin to pursue this goal, it fails to identify the need for a significant increase in the number of teachers of color in STEM education. With specific consideration to the PCAST report, this paper explores rationales behind the need for more STEM teachers of color and the evidence that supports those rationales.

We aim in this paper to work toward a critical definition of effective science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Drawing on major STEM education policy reports (Before It’s Too Late: A Report to the Nation from the National Commission on Mathematics and Science Teaching for the 21st Century, Rising above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, and Prepare and Inspire: K-12 Education in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math for America’s Future), we find ourselves concerned that dominant definitions of effective STEM education are entirely silent on the issue of diversity among K–12 STEM educators. Most of these policy reports, which we review later in this paper, are focused narrowly on the ability of STEM to create economic prosperity both for individuals and for the nation as a whole. Even when these reports do engage in discussion about the ability of STEM to advance democracy and to serve the public good, they remain silent on the issue of diversity among STEM educators.

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Teaching Science toEnglish Language Learners

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Teaching Science toEnglish Language Learners

A Study of Preservice Teacher Preparation

Trish Stoddart and Eduardo Mosqueda

ABSTRACT: English language learner (ELL) students are the fastest-growing group in the K–6 student population and among the lowest achieving in STEM subjects. They are also the least likely to be taught by a qualified science teacher. The majority of K–6 teachers do not feel prepared to teach ELL students, and many preservice teacher education programs do not provide adequate preparation in effective teaching methods for ELL students. The authors describe the findings of research on the ESTELL project, which developed and implemented a teacher education program to prepare preservice teachers to teach science to K–6 ELL students. The findings demonstrate that an ELL-focused science methods course and student teaching practicum can significantly increase novice teachers’ knowledge of and confidence in using effective ELL science teaching methods.

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Design of Online Induction Programs to Promote Reform-Based Science and Mathematics Teaching

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Design of Online Induction Programs to Promote Reform-Based Science and Mathematics Teaching

Gillian H. Roehrig, Joel D. Donna, Barbara L. Billington, and Mary Hoelscher

ABSTRACT: This paper describes an online induction program designed to support secondary science and mathematics teachers. Research shows that almost 50% of beginning teachers leave the profession within the first five years, and induction programs have been shown to have a positive effect on teacher retention. However, a singular focus on retention misses the critical opportunity to provide a bridge from teacher preparation to practice through sustained professional development for beginning teachers to continue to develop their instructional practices. We discuss the development of the online induction program through design-based research, sharing challenges and solutions that led to the specific components of the current Teacher Induction Network (TIN) program. In particular, we describe the use of video annotation tools that allow teachers and mentors to reflect directly on classroom practices asynchronously and without regard for physical distances.

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A Comparative Study Investigating the Creative Capacity Across the STEM Disciplines in Third-Level Teacher Training in Ireland

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A Comparative Study Investigating the Creative Capacity Across the STEM Disciplines in Third-Level Teacher Training in Ireland

Keelin Leahy

ABSTRACT: One hundred and twenty-nine tertiary education students participated in this creative-capacity research study. Participants were assessed in terms of creative quotient (CQ) derived from fluency and flexibility values. From analysis of the mean data, maths students proved the most creative in the context of creative quotient. Further comparative analysis occurred in terms of the statistical difference (p-value) for fluency, flexibility, and CQ in the context of the four STEM disciplines. Overall, there is a small difference (very small effect size, < 0.1) between science-technology, science-maths, science-engineering and technology-engineering, and engineering-maths. In terms of technology and maths, in the context of fluency, flexibility, and CQ, there was no statistically significant difference. It is necessary that creativity is promoted throughout our education systems to ensure students maintain and develop their creative capacities into adulthood. Education systems need to foster independent thinking, creativity, and innovation. This paper portrays students’ creative capacity in terms of natural creative tendencies in the teacher training STEM disciplines.

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A Proposed Integrated STEM Framework for Contemporary Teacher Preparation

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A Proposed Integrated STEM Framework for Contemporary Teacher Preparation

Andrea Burrows and Timothy Slater

ABSTRACT: This theoretical position paper proposes a novel and actionable framework for analyzing and enhancing future teachers’ level of complexity in integrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Using a lens of pedagogical content knowledge, conventional STEM teacher preparation efforts focus on learning how to best teach isolated scientific disciplines separately. In contrast, recent calls for education reform emphasize the need for the next generation of teachers to be cross-trained across disciplines and having the ability to integrate the STEM disciplines as iSTEM. This is a challenge because most teachers have only received training in one or two disciplines and no formal training on integrating the STEM disciplines cohesively. In response, we propose a hierarchical conceptual framework to guide and assess the preparation of teachers to teach through a more contemporary lens of STEM as a fully integrated domain to advance STEM across educational systems.

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Research Experiences for Teachers as a Capstone for Content Knowledge

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Research Experiences for Teachers as a Capstone for Content Knowledge

Carole G. Basile, Doris Kimbrough, and Laura Sample McMeeking

ABSTRACT: Research experiences for teachers have been shown to change teacher beliefs and transfer learning about the nature of science, experimental design, process skills, and the ability to communicate complex science research to the classroom. In addition, collaboration with scientists has been shown to improve teachers’ science teaching and learning. This article examines the outcomes of 22 teachers who participated in summer research experiences in both science and mathematics. In this study, teachers’ content knowledge; beliefs about the nature and discovery of math and science; tools, processes, and technology use; pedagogical content knowledge; and pedagogical knowledge changed as a result of their participation. Transfer of the experiences to the classroom varied, and many barriers to transfer were identified.

cOver the years, experts have written about the “best practices” of professional development (PD) for teachers. Guskey (2000) defines PD as “those processes and activities designed to enhance the professional knowledge, skills, and attitudes of educators so that they might, in turn, improve the learning of students” (p. 16). The teacher professional development literature provides several lists of good research-based characteristics, many that overlap (Garet, Porter, Desimone, Birman, & Yoon, 2001; Guskey, 2000, 2003; Hawley & Valli, 2001; Loucks-Horsley & Matsumoto, 1999). From this larger list, the National Research Council (2000) created a simplified list of four principles of learning to consider in the design of PD: (1) learner centered, (2) knowledge centered, (3) assessment centered, and (4) community based.

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Making Science Relevant

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Making Science Relevant

An Investigation of SDAIE Methods in Action

Jomeline Balatayo

ABSTRACT: Research on specially designed academic instruction in English (SDAIE) generally focuses on professional development and broad instructional guidelines, not on how these methods are implemented in the classroom. Given students’ diverse linguistic backgrounds and developing English proficiency, science teachers trained in SDAIE encounter difficulties in engaging students in scientific discourse and creating learning opportunities for making the subject content accessible to all. Based on four months of ethnographic fieldwork in an earth science SDAIE classroom with mixed-proficiency English language learners (ELLs), this article examines how a teacher incorporates gestures, movement, and nonlinguistic sounds to teach science academic language. The analysis shows that instead of using SDAIE as a series of isolated techniques, this teacher used embodied resources to make relevant connections between the lesson material and her students’ lives. This article argues that these teaching methods provide effective learning opportunities to ELLs by weaving science content into students’ everyday experiences.

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Increasing STEM Learning for Teacher Trainers, In-Service Teachers, Preservice Teachers, and PK–5 Students Using a 4-Tier Learning Model

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Increasing STEM Learning for Teacher Trainers, In-Service Teachers, Preservice Teachers, and PK–5 Students Using a 4-Tier Learning Model

Nancy Jo Schafer, Brian A. Williams, Diane M. Truscott, and Vera L Stenhouse

ABSTRACT: Recognizing the limited access to quality STEM experiences in public schools writ large and in particular in urban elementary schools, we present a 4-Tier Learning Model aimed at addressing the specific educational needs of PK–5 students as well as the professional development of in-service and preservice teachers. The model is designed to engage teacher trainers, in-service teachers, preservice teachers, and PK–5 students in inquiry-based, curriculum-integrated, culturally responsive science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Aspects of the model implemented during a summer science camp experience in an urban-focused alternative teacher preparation program are shared. Implications of the model address recurring concerns about the (lack of) access to STEM in urban elementary schools as well as effectively preparing teachers to teach STEM.

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Restructuring Preservice Preparationfor Inclusive iSTEM Education

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Restructuring Preservice Preparationfor Inclusive iSTEM Education

Jennifer L. Goeke and Francesca Ciotoli

abstract: This article describes the development of an innovative dual-certification master of arts in teaching program in inclusive iSTEM education at Montclair State University. Candidates in this teacher education program receive a constellation of knowledge and skills intended to equip them to create STEM success for all learners, including those identified with learning disabilities. Specifically, candidates receive three integrated strands of teacher preparation: mathematics or science content expertise (in accordance with the Common Core Mathematics Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards); inclusive pedagogy (in accordance with Council for Exceptional Children standards); and pedagogy for integrative STEM (iSTEM) education (in accordance with the Standards for Technology Literacy). Program graduates earn a master’s degree, New Jersey subject area (PK–12) licensure in mathematics or science (i.e., biology, chemistry, earth science), and a teacher of students with disabilities endorsement. Innovative features of the program include coursework that integrates high-incidence disability-specific content with evidence-based inclusive pedagogy for subject area classrooms; field experiences with highly qualified, fully supported mentor teachers; and ongoing, high-quality mentoring, induction, and professional development for both preservice and experienced teacher-mentors, collaboratively supported by the program’s partners. In addition to describing the theoretical framework and key programmatic features, this paper discusses the opportunities and challenges involved in creating a cutting-edge teacher education program for dual educator preparation in the STEM areas.

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Building a Learning Environment, Supporting a Learning Community

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Building a Learning Environment, Supporting a Learning Community

Facilitating STEM Teachers’ Planned and Integrative Skill and Strategy Transfer

Patricia L. Hardré, Janis Slater, Mark Nanny, Hazem Refai, Randa Shehab, and Chen Ling

abstract: Teacher professional development in the United States is prioritized to respond to the country’s eroding role in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). University partnership programs in the interdisciplinary, applied field of engineering strive to blend disciplinary skills in authentic contexts, to mend the STEM pipeline. The present study followed 16 math and science teachers through a yearlong professional development immersion-to-transfer experience. Multimethod, multisource data included 181 data points for each participant, gathered in more than 30 different (synchronous and asynchronous) contact events. Findings provide insight into characteristics of teachers and mentors, along with designed and emergent characteristics of the activity and environments that influenced teachers’ success in learning and transfer. They also underscore innovative change efforts that teachers took back to their schools and how those efforts were received.

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Links to Quality STEM Instruction

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Links to Quality STEM Instruction

Student Engagement, Teacher Effectiveness, and Sustainable Professional Development

Nola W. Schmidt

abstract: A Nation at Risk, published in 1983, began the current thrust of science reform. The reform movement gained momentum with the publication of the National Science Education Standards in 1996. These two documents illuminated the disparity of educational opportunity, but, more importantly, the National Science Education Standards (NSES) proffered a roadmap of sorts to increase science educational opportunities for all students. Policy makers and science education stakeholders were introduced to a form of “hands on, minds on” science learning and science teaching called inquiry. Student science achievement showed little improvement after the advent of the NSES as reported in The Nation’s Report Card, published in 2006. The focus turned to science teacher education and training as research elucidated the importance of science teachers for student science achievement. This paper highlights the links among science student classroom engagement, science teacher effectiveness, and characteristics of sustainable professional development, which may impact student science achievement.

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Teaching STEM Within the Social Studies

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Teaching STEM Within the Social Studies

A Model for the K–9 Preservice Methods Course

Caroline R. Pryor

abstract: This study investigated the use of a two-step curriculum development process to foster the integration of STEM within the social studies (SS-STEM) in individually designed lesson plans. Participants were 57 K–9 preservice teachers enrolled in two sections of a social studies methods course. Interventions included redesign of textbook use and two course products. Results indicate inclusion of engineering and economics content within the social studies. A model for integrating SS-STEM in the methods course is provided.

Just as technological endeavor . . . cannot be separated from social and aesthetic contexts; neither should the study of technology be disconnected from the study of the social studies, arts, and humanities. (Sanders, 2009, p. 21)

It has long been the mission of the social studies to educate the nation’s next generation of citizens to participate in their democracy. This mission, seemingly at the core of U.S. public education, has—within the past 20 years, been diminished in the hierarchy of K–12 curriculum (Davis, 2003; Pace, 2007). Subjects such as reading/language arts and mathematics have claimed ever-larger percentages of instructional time, due in large part to the standardized testing environment of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) federal mandate. These two subjects, augmented by content areas that support the nation’s employment demands (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics [STEM]) comprise the current teaching focus in schools. Moreover, reports such as Tai, Liu, Maltese, and Fan (2006) serve to support the STEM teaching focus, noting its importance in years prior to eighth grade, the point at which students begin their high school course selection and career or college preparation.

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