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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology
group of K-12 professionals who possess deep content knowledge, a mastery of inquiry and analytic skills, direct connections to current research and laboratories, an ability to engage students and K-12 teacher colleagues in original research, and knowledge of the culture of science. These professionals can serve as role models for students who might want to become scientists or engineers. Very importantly, they can bridge the very different cultures of science and the schools in a variety of ways. They have the potential to form broad connections between universities and school districts; to become leaders in science and education at the district, state, and national levels; and to be advocates for school systems to gain access to resources at museums, zoos, aquaria, industries, and universities.
A key to the success of the demonstration program proposed in this report is designing it to be responsive to the needs and interests of the PhD fellows, to the institutions that will conduct the teacher education, and to the local communities in which they will ultimately work. The latter two groups must be responsible for the operation and administration of the preparation programs; they will also serve as a “home” for the fellows.
Four features critical to the demonstration program are that it:
is national in scope;
is 2 years in length;
provides financial and other support for participants; and
is designed to provide the opportunity for the participants to obtain state teaching certification.
The next section discusses these four program features; this will be followed by a discussion of other program features that will be important for the program’s success: recruitment, selection and placement, teacher preparation, and mentoring and leadership preparation. The final sections briefly discuss the demonstration program’s structure, funding, and evaluation, closing with a brief look at next steps.
A NATIONAL 2-YEAR FELLOWSHIP
A National Program
We propose a demonstration program that is national in scope for four reasons: (1) the national needs in K-12 science, mathematics, and technology education; (2) the mobility of PhDs; (3) a desire to offer the maximum