The Final Report on NSF MSP/RETA “Promoting Institutional Change to Strengthen Science Teacher Preparation” Grant #0831950 is the summative report for the NSF-funded RETA grant entitled Promoting Institutional Change to Strengthen Science Teacher Preparation project. The grant work tested a theory of action that institutional change could be enhanced both by top leadership commitment and faculty ownership of the actions. We posited that APLU could affect the first, since it is a membership organization of presidents and provosts. Collaboration with the American Physical Society and the American Chemical Society was intended to promote faculty participation. Twenty seven institutions committed to SMTI were selected to participate in ‘The Leadership Collaborative’ (TLC). Each institution designated a Team Leader with a team consisting of faculty from science and mathematics as well as education, university administrators and K-12 representatives. APLU implemented a set of activities designed to galvanize institution leaders, encourage cross-college and cross-institution collaboration, and promote strategic thinking with regard to institutions’ science and mathematics teacher preparation programs. Additional activities included: convening three learning communities; identifying promising/exemplary practices in teacher preparation; and seeking consensus on the characteristics of quality teacher preparation programs that included interviews with national experts and focus groups with disciplinary faculty in the sciences and mathematics.
The Report of the Leadership Collaborative Retreat summarizes the sessions and discussions at The Leadership Collaborative (TLC) Retreat held on January 6-8, 2010. Change in Higher Education was the main theme at this meeting. Ann Austin, a national expert on change in higher education and a professor at Michigan State University, stressed the importance of finding leaders throughout the institution and supporting those leaders, having the involvement of senior leadership, and taking the time to define a clear and compelling vision for the institution that helps drive the change process forward. During the meeting, participants from 24 institutions, including team leaders and 15 provosts, discussed different policies and reward structures in place at their universities for faculty engaged in STEM teaching and STEM education research.
The Spring 2010 TLC Team Leaders’ Survey provides a synthesis of results from a survey designed to collect data about STEM teacher preparation initiatives among campuses that are part of The Leadership Collaborative (TLC). The survey documents approaches being taken by each institution in the following targeted areas: STEM Teacher Preparation Programs, STEM Teacher Preparation Faculty Appointments, STEM Discipline-Based Education Research, STEM Centers, and Faculty Rewards Systems. The survey was available online over a three-month period, from May to July 2010, and was completed by 23 of the 26 TLC Team Leaders, a response rate of 88%.
The Common Core State Standards and Teacher Preparation: The Role of Higher Education is a discussion paper that highlights three areas where universities have a key role to play in providing leadership for the Common Core State Standards: Aligning higher education curriculum with K-12 curriculum, which includes both adapting admissions standards and revising curricula of first-year courses that act as bridges between K-12 and college majors; Preparing and educating teachers, both prospective and practicing, which includes revising curricula in disciplinary departments to prepare teachers to teach the Common Core, revising professional preparation coursework and experiences, and working in partnerships with professional development programs; and Conducting research on issues of teaching and learning the Common Core State Standards, teacher quality, and the implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
The Teacher Education Program Assessment (formerly knows as the Analytic Framework) began the process of creating a classification, almost a taxonomy, of the critical components, goals, objectives and strategies that codify a shared language of concepts, strategies and assessments that are particular to science and mathematics teacher preparation. The AF is intended to be a useful tool in creating and achieving greater program coherence – and providing greater assurance that program completers will possess sufficient knowledge and skills to teach effectively.
Improving Postsecondary STEM Education describes factors that influence the success of collaborations involving STEM and Education faculty at research universities. In order to best drive widespread change and improve postsecondary education, it is critical to identify and empower individuals who can act as brokers between seemingly disparate disciplines in terms of research, theory, and practices and norms, and who can do so in ways that support and capitalize on the diverse experiences and expertise each individual brings to the table.
Engaging STEM Faculty while Attending to Professional Realities examines how to effectively involve STEM faculty and instructors in reform initiatives. The approaches detailed in this report provide new insights and confirm others about how to promote institutional change to foster undergraduate education (and by extension teacher preparation) reform through faculty participation. Many are low cost solutions, and all represent pragmatic practices that provide existence proof that reform is well under way among faculty in research-focused universities, and is becoming integrated into their professional cultures.
Seeking Consensus on the Essential Attributes of Quality Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation Programs covers four main themes: Entry and Exit Requirements, Clinical Preparation, Knowing and Teaching Disciplinary Content, and Evaluation and Research to Improve Teacher Preparation. It details critical components or indicators of quality programs that were distilled from interviews, focus groups, and a two-day colloquium with national disciplinary and education experts. The authors drew upon all of the data gathered to craft a list of ten key questions that can guide university leaders, wanting to gain insight into the quality of science and mathematics teacher preparation programs under their purview. The companion paper, Ten Key Questions University Leaders Should Ask about Quality Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation: Implementation Strategies from the Analytic Framework by Charles R. Coble, provides university leaders with a framework to quickly assess the teacher preparation programs on their campuses and the most important levers to push to promote program improvement and quality on their campuses.
Ten Key Questions University Leaders Should Ask about Quality Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation provides university leaders with a framework to quickly assess the teacher preparation programs on their campuses and the most important levers to push to promote program improvement and quality on their campuses. This report takes the Ten Key Questions from Seeking Consensus and maps them to the current strategies contained in SMTI’s Teacher Education Program Assessment (formerly knows as the Analytic Framework). The companion paper, Seeking Consensus on the Essential Attributes of Quality Mathematics and Science Teacher Preparation Programs by Jennifer B. Presley and Charles R. Coble, details critical components or indicators of quality programs that were distilled from interviews, focus groups, and a two-day colloquium with national disciplinary and education experts.
The Teacher Education Program Assessment (formerly knows as the Analytic Framework) was developed with significant input and critique by noted research scholars and education leaders from across the nation. It is designed to a be a shared tool that enables P–20 educators, teacher educators, content specialists, researchers, campus leaders, and policymakers to carefully assess the design of science and mathematics teacher preparation and inservice professional development programs. TEPA will enable users to understand the rationale behind and evaluate the strength of various program components, and to compare programs and specific program features within and across states – and thereby learn from one another and motivate program improvements. As it continues to evolve and as the evidence of success for program strategies is collected and shared, the TEPA may become a normative tool for identifying leading or promising practices in teacher preparation and development.
The History of APS Involvement in Education tracks our partnership with the American Physical Society (APS). APLU contracted with the disciplinary society to document how and why APS became involved in physics education reform as a possible guide to other disciplinary societies interested in seeding reform for STEM education in their discipline. Popkin reports that early in its history, APS focused on promoting physics research, publishing journals, and organizing meetings. As early as 1915 the Society did appoint a committee “to consider how the Society can be made useful to teachers in colleges and secondary schools,’” but APS generally declined to address educational and pedagogical issues except in marginal fashion. In the 1980’s this began to change with the creation of APS’ Department of Education and Outreach, which was in response to a growing awareness of educational problems facing the nation. One of the projects of this new department was a reevaluation of introductory undergraduate physics curriculum, which forged a partnership between the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT – which had spun off from APS in 1930), the American Institute of Physics (AIP), and APS.
The Final Grant Evaluation & Case Studies is a final report on data from the external evaluation of The Leadership Collaborative (TLC). The TLC was a project during 2008-2012 by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) and 25 member universities and colleges. Institutions pursued advances in their education of prospective middle and high school teachers in the subjects of science or mathematics. The project was funded by a National Science Foundation grant from NSF’s Mathematics-Science Partnership program, Research, Evaluation and Technical Assistance projects (MSP-RETA): Promoting Institutional Change to Strengthen Science Teacher Preparation, grant #0831950. This report describes conclusions by contractor WestEd, independent of any views by the APLU; it does not reflect views or endorsement by NSF. The document has two parts: a brief over-arching synthesis of findings from the evaluation over the course of the entire project (eight pages); and case studies conducted of four institutions’ APLU-influenced and -supported advancements in science and mathematics education and teacher preparation (approximately 10-pages each).
Promoting Institutional Change to Strengthen Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation provides an analysis of the final reports from 23 of the 25 institutions in the TLC. For their final reports, TLC Team Leaders were asked to respond to a series of targeted questions about their institutions’ involvement with the TLC. The final reports were reviewed, answers distilled, and common themes or core ideas across the institutions were identified. Each reported successful outcome was coded as a program improvement, program restructuring, or campus-wide change.