TEACHER PREPARATION AWARDS
NSF COLLABORATIVES FOR EXCELLENCE IN TEACHER PREPARATION
FISCAL YEAR 1998
Summary of Awards
PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS: FISCAL YEAR
The National Science Foundation (NSF)’s Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) is responsible for providing national leadership and support for improving the quality of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SME&T) education, kindergarten through graduate school. In exercising this responsibility, the Directorate has established the SME&T education of future K-12 teachers as one of its highest priorities. The ultimate goal is to achieve excellence in the preparation of the nation’s future teachers – teachers who are knowledgeable in the content areas and in the practice of teaching, creative and enthusiastic, and dedicated to life-long learning.
Teacher preparation is a complex undertaking. In fact, every component of the nation’s educational enterprise must be engaged to achieve success in this critical endeavor, including, for example: undergraduate institutions and, in particular, their mathematics, science, and education faculties and departments; practicing K-12 teachers; schools and school districts and their administrators; organizations responsible for teacher certification and licensure; developers of national standards in the sciences and mathematics; providers of informal educational experiences (e.g., science centers, museums, zoos); and parent, community and business organizations. The entire educational enterprise will benefit, both directly and indirectly, through a focus on improving this educational workforce.
The NSF effort in teacher preparation bridges several divisions of EHR. Primary programmatic emphasis and responsibility for coordination resides in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), reflecting the fundamental role of undergraduate education in the preparation of teachers. The NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (CETP) program, with additional support within other programs of the Division, is central to EHR’s efforts to effect long-lasting institutional reform in SME&T teacher preparation. The Collaboratives are developing the state and regional approaches necessary for systemic change, engaging a broad range of stakeholders in the design of exemplary courses and programs.
The projects described in this book received either new,
continuation, or supplemental awards in Fiscal Year 1998. Included are
projects funded through the Collaboratives program, projects funded through
other programs managed by DUE, and projects funded through other EHR Divisions
which include a teacher preparation component. These projects provide models
of exciting programs in teacher education; all of them have the potential
for significant national impact. They are rich in content, current in pedagogy,
serve a diverse set of students and institutions, and respond to the call
for new directions. The projects set high standards for future efforts
in SME&T teacher preparation. We are proud of these projects and commend
the individuals who have designed and are implementing them.
Luther S. Williams
Education and Human Resources
Teacher Preparation Awards
NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation Awards
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is undertaking a major effort to improve significantly the mathematics, technology, and science education of prospective elementary and secondary teachers. A basic premise of the Foundation’s efforts in this regard is that the mathematics, technology, and science that prospective teachers learn as part of their undergraduate education, and the manner in which the courses are presented, have a critical influence on the quality of their teaching. Knowledgeable teachers who are excited about the subjects they teach will ensure that their students in K-12 are well prepared in science and mathematics and are technologically literate. Because of the great importance of this undergraduate experience, the design and implementation of teacher preparation programs require leadership from faculty in all science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SME&T) disciplines working in partnership with their colleagues in education and teachers in the K-12 community, each providing their special expertise. The overall responsibility for the NSF teacher education effort resides within the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, with primary focus on the preparation of future teachers placed within the Division of Undergraduate Education.
In FY 98 the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) managed two major programmatic efforts in teacher preparation:
2. Support of projects concentrating on one course or a series of related courses through proposals submitted to the various DUE programs. These include the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program, the Course and Curriculum Development (CCD) program, the Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) program, and the Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement (UFE) program.
Information about Division of Undergraduate Education
projects can be accessed through the Division’s Web site at <http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/DUE/start.htm>.
Summary of Awards
NSF Collaboratives for Excellence in Teacher Preparation
Collaborative projects typically involve cooperative efforts that include science, mathematics, and education faculty and their departments working in concert with school personnel and appropriate institutional administrators. Because attention to introductory science and mathematics courses is essential, the Collaboratives feature strong leadership by the faculty and departments responsible for these courses. Each year, since the inception of the program in FY 1993, NSF has funded three to four projects at a level of $500,000 to $1,000,000 per year for up to five years.
New Projects: The two collaboratives newly funded in FY 98 include a diverse set of two-year, four-year, and comprehensive institutions. A total of 17 institutions of higher education are involved. The Puerto Rico Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation (PR-CETP) involves science, mathematics, and education faculty from 6 universities in partnership with the Resource Center for Science and Engineering, Arecibo Observatory, and the Puerto Rico Department of Education. The project articulates with the K-12 systemic reform of the PR State Systemic Initiative (PRSSI) and undergraduate reform of science and mathematics achieved through the PR Alliance for Minority Participation. Content and teaching courses are being redesigned to follow a constructivist approach and to incorporate authentic assessment and the use of educational technology. The Florida Collaborative for Excellence in Teacher Preparation centered at Florida A & M University includes 8 other four-year institutions and 3 two-year institutions in addition to area school districts. Faculty from the participating institutions are developing a core of mathematics and science courses for preservice teachers that are inquiry-based and taught in cooperative learning environments.
Continuing Projects: Fifteen Collaboratives initiated in FY 93 through FY 97 and involving 158 institutions continued to be supported in FY 98. The projects represent a rich diversity of approaches to comprehensive change in teacher preparation, offering different models for educational reform in mathematics and the sciences. Each project differs from the others in its needs, resources, participating institutional types, population, geography, and cultural and political traditions. Seven of the projects – those from Arizona State University, California State University at Dominguez Hills, the City University of New York, San Jose State University, Temple University, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Virginia Commonwealth University – are urban centered; six projects – in Louisiana, Maryland, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, and New Mexico– encompass institutions distributed throughout the state; and two – at the University of Northern Colorado, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst – are regional in character. All include strong leadership and participation from faculty in mathematics and science departments working collaboratively with faculty from departments of education.
The projects represent a variety of approaches. The Arizona Collaborative is designing an interdisciplinary course examining the nature of matter. The Los Angeles Collaborative is organizing its students in cohort groups and is creating strong ties across two-year and four-year institutions within the Los Angeles Basin. The El Paso Collaborative is closely integrating its activities with those of other systemic initiatives in its region. The City University of New York is designing materials for its courses, which reflect the urban setting of the institutions involved. Participants in the Colorado project are cooperating to integrate courses in pedagogy with mathematics and science courses. The Massachusetts Collaborative involves an existing consortium of five colleges collaborating with three community colleges and seven local school districts. Course revision teams include science, mathematics, and education faculty as well as K-12 teachers who previously participated in NSF-sponsored teacher preparation projects. The Oregon Collaborative is strengthening the curriculum, courses, and field experiences for prospective teachers to reflect current research on teaching and learning and includes a strong faculty development program to introduce science and mathematics faculty to current advances in research on pedagogy. The New Mexico Collaborative includes a strong focus on support for teachers through their first years of teaching and development of an engineering-related approach to a teacher preparation program.
The cooperating institutions in Philadelphia are designing new courses in science and cognitive psychology for inclusion in a new five-year program leading to teacher certification. Louisiana is experimenting with ways to encourage campuses throughout the state to design programs which answer the needs of each institution but are integrated into the overall state plans for reform of mathematics and science education. Maryland is pioneering ways to use telecommunications to facilitate joint curriculum reform throughout the state and has integrated an interesting set of research laboratory and science museum internships for pre-service teachers. The Montana Collaborative has expanded its outreach to include seven tribal colleges within the state and many model school sites with a high population of Native Americans. The Virginia Collaborative involves a cadre of outstanding K-12 teachers who enhance the in-school experiences of prospective and new teachers. The San Francisco Bay Area Collaborative includes curriculum reform relevant to the preparation of both elementary and secondary teachers and provides activities ranging from recruitment from underrepresented groups to support networks for new teachers. The statewide consortium of K-12 schools and two- and four-year institutions comprising the Oklahoma Teacher Education Collaborative is focusing on the early years of teaching. Engineering faculty participate in the design of general education courses for teachers.
Follow-on-Funding: Three collaboratives that have completed five years of funding (Maryland, Louisiana, and Montana) requested and were awarded support to conduct longitudinal evaluation of the project including tracking graduates for three years beyond the original completion date of the project.
Information about CETP projects can be accessed through
the Division’s Web site at <http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/EHR/DUE/awards/cetp/cetplist.htm>.
Preparation Supported through Other Programs within the
Division of Undergraduate Education
Proposals that seek to improve the science, mathematics and technical preparation of prospective teachers are given high priority in all DUE programs. Projects with a focus on teacher preparation benefit from and add to the research base concerning student learning of SME&T. Supported projects may affect courses specifically designed for pre-service teachers or courses in which prospective teachers are part of a larger student population. The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program supports initiatives that benefit students seeking preparation as technicians in science and engineering fields. Design of new courses or modification of existing courses is supported by the Course and Curriculum Development (CCD) program. The Instrumentation and Laboratory Improvement (ILI) program supports the purchase of laboratory equipment and exemplary use of laboratories. Workshops and educational activities for faculty concerned with science, mathematics, engineering, and technology courses, which enroll prospective teachers, are supported by the Undergraduate Faculty Enhancement (UFE) program.
Projects supported in FY 98 encompass: courses and curricula in mathematics, engineering, and the sciences for students preparing to be elementary, middle, and secondary teachers; innovative uses of technology, and recruitment of undergraduates to teaching careers. A CCD project at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls enables preservice K-12 science teachers to acquire experience with research methodology using open-ended software laboratory simulations integrated with Internet conferencing. Faculty members in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University are establishing an Extended Classroom for Enhanced Learning (EXCEL) to bring the capabilities of the scanning electron microscope (SEM) into elementary and secondary classrooms. Students at the University of California, Santa Barbara are participating in the work of science by collecting real Earth data, making authentic observations on the sea-floor, and analyzing results. Interactive, multimedia modules for a general education class and for preservice teachers to use in their classrooms is being developed. Through its Rio Grande River Project, Laredo Community College (TX) is developing an interdisciplinary program of studies focusing on the Rio Grande River. This CCD project integrates biology, algebra, trigonometry and the physical sciences using problem-posing, discovery learning, river monitoring and exploration, teleconferencing, microcomputers, and a student-led mini-science symposium as the culminating activity. MIDDLE MATH, designed by a team of mathematicians and mathematics educators at East Carolina University (NC), focuses on improving the undergraduate mathematics preparation of middle grades teachers. The project benefits from a research video laboratory that facilitates the study of teaching and learning with new course materials and methods of instruction.
Of the numerous ILI projects receiving teacher preparation funding, many provide equipment that supports courses primarily enrolling preservice teachers and include the use of technology in ways that reflect how students will use such technology in their future school settings. Laboratories to support such courses are being developed at the University of Maine-Farmington (ME) (physics), Millikin University (IL) (chemistry), Central Washington University (WA) (life sciences), University of North Iowa (IA) (engineering), Mankato State University (MN) (geoscience) and Towson State University (MD) (mathematics) among others. A project at Avila College (MO) is developing an improved algebra-based introductory physics course sequence based on Workshop Physics and other activity-rich curricula. Computer-based laboratories and video capture and analysis are used to model real-world phenomena such as position and time data for a freely falling body. The Department of Biology of Indiana University of Pennsylvania is using ILI funding to develop a new curriculum for Biology majors, stressing hands-on, experiential learning leading to opportunities for semi-independent student research. Preservice biology teachers are assisting with Saturday workshops for in-service teachers and are being given the opportunity to utilize the workstations during their student teaching.
A UFE project conducted by the Mathematical Association of America is providing workshops for faculty from mathematics and a partner discipline (biology or economics) to develop interdisciplinary materials. Field stations and marine laboratories provide the setting for faculty institutes focused on inquiry-based, active learning approaches for reforming undergraduate biology courses conducted by the University of Oregon, Eugene. The PRE-STAT project at Appalachian State University (NC) provides faculty development workshops focusing on improving the statistical skills of preservice teachers. Faculty workshops at Millersville University (PA) focus on the integration of chemistry and art. Preservice and inservice teachers are developing integrated chemistry and art curriculum for high school students.
An ATE project at Jones County Junior College (MS) provides training in network technology for faculty to enable the implementation of a computer network management curriculum for technical students including prospective teachers.
Continuing Projects: The focus on teacher preparation is also evident in several of the large, comprehensive projects funded under the Mathematical Sciences and their Applications throughout the Curriculum in FY 95 and FY 96 and continuing in FY 98. An important component of the project spearheaded by the State University of New York at Stony Brook involves faculty reworking all aspects of the curriculum for future mathematics teachers to reflect the needs of the National Council of Mathematics Teachers (NCTM) Standards. Similarly, the consortium project led by the University of Nebraska and Oklahoma State University involves a multidisciplinary approach to mathematics with attention to the needs of preservice teachers. An FY 96 project funded under the Systemic Changes in the Undergraduate Chemistry Curriculum Initiative continuing at the University of California, Los Angeles addresses the preparation of primary and secondary teachers by involving them as active participants in the lower division course of the molecular science curriculum.
The South Carolina Advanced Technological Education Center
of Excellence, an ATE project, features efforts at Clemson University and
other four-year colleges to help prepare the middle and secondary school
technology teachers of the future. The Maricopa Advanced Technology Education
Center (MATEC) focuses on technician education for advanced semi-conductor
engineering and is helping prepare future grades 7-12 teachers through
a partnership with Arizona State University.
Workshops and Conferences
In FY 98, DUE awarded support to, or hosted, a number of dissemination activities including a workshop on the role of two-year colleges in the science and mathematics preparation of prospective teachers, the fourth annual meeting of CETP Principal Investigators, a workshop for evaluators of CETP projects, and workshops on undergraduate education that specifically focused on teacher preparation.
Teacher Preparation Efforts in Other EHR Divisions
Teacher preparation is supported throughout the Directorate of Education and Human Resources. The Divisions of Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education (ESIE), Educational Systemic Reform (ESR), Human Resource Development (HRD), and Research, Evaluation, and Communication (REC) all contribute to the NSF-wide effort to improve the science, mathematics, and technology preparation of pre-kindergarten through grade 12 teachers. The Teacher Enhancement Program within ESIE includes projects linking in-service teacher education with pre-service teacher preparation programs. Projects under ESIE’s Informal Science Education Program provide opportunities outside a formal school setting for individuals to increase their understanding and appreciation of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology. With support from ESR, several Statewide and Urban Systemic Initiatives are collaborating with institutions of higher education to improve teacher education. Under HRD, the Alliances for Minority Participation Pre-Service Teacher Preparation initiative (AMP-TP) seeks to increase the number of individuals from groups underrepresented in the science and mathematics workforce preparing to teach SME&T. The HRD Program for Persons with Disabilities supports the development of intervention strategies to increase the interest, retention and advancement of students with disabilities in SMET education and careers. A number of teacher preparation projects focusing on gender equity are supported by the HRD Program for Women and Girls which seeks to increase the participation of women and girls in science, engineering, and mathematics. The primary research program under REC, Research on Education, Policy, and Practice, supports the cultivation of a research base for implementing K-16 educational reform and advancing the understanding of learning and pedagogical processes.
Additional information about programs within the NSF Directorate
for Education and Human Resources can be accessed through the EHR Web site
at <http://www.ehr.nsf.gov>. Abstracts
and award information are available through the NSF Web site at <http://www.nsf.gov>.
Teacher Preparation Efforts in Other Agencies
Included is a list of Web sites providing links to teacher preparation projects sponsored by other federal agencies.
of National Impact:
FY98 CETP/TP Collaboratives and Projects