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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology Appendix C Nontraditional K-12 Teacher Preparation Programs This appendix describes three programs that offer nontraditional ways for both college students and midcareer professionals to become K-12 teachers: UTeach, at the University of Texas at Austin, the midcareer math and science program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Teach for America. This appendix discusses their history, candidate selection process, and some other features. As noted in Chapter 3, none of these is a program to train new and recent PhDs for K-12 teaching, but they do offer ideas about approaches to consider in designing a program for potential teachers. UTEACH History and Goals UTeach is an innovative program at the University of Texas at Austin that prepares science and mathematics majors to teach in secondary schools (see http://www.uteach.utexas.edu). The program, which began in fall 1997 with 28 students, involves a partnership of the College of Natural Sciences, the College of Education, and the local school district. The program was developed after the dean of the College of Natural Sciences, in response to the national shortage of highly qualified science and mathematics teachers, surveyed students in the college. The college has an enrollment of more than 8,000 students majoring in science, math-
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology ematics, or computer science. The results revealed that more than one-third of the students had considered teaching as a career, although only small numbers of students were pursuing teaching certification from the university during the 1990s. Concerned that this potential population of future teachers was not being tapped, the dean called on three outstanding secondary school teachers from the local school district and an assessment expert to propose an ideal teacher training program in science and mathematics. During the summer of 1997, this group developed a framework for a 4-year course of study, taking into account university regulations, and paying close attention to recently modified state and national guidelines. This plan was reviewed by interested professors and deans in both the College of Natural Sciences and the College of Education and also sent to education leaders across the state and representatives of the State Board for Educator Certification for their review and input. The document that resulted was a blueprint for UTeach. It featured early guided field experience, graduation in 4 years with a degree from the College of Natural Sciences and a recommendation for state certification from the College of Education. The program is based on a three-fold partnership, drawing on the experience of master teachers from the school district, the instructional and curricular knowledge of faculty in the College of Education, and the content-area strength of scientists and mathematicians in the College of Natural Sciences. The UTeach Program is designed to be flexible and to accommodate diverse student schedules. Candidate Selection and Enrollment A distinctive feature of the UTeach Program is that it does not have a formal selection process. The nature of the program’s first year is to encourage all mathematics and science majors at the University of Texas at Austin to explore whether the teaching profession is a career option for them. The College of Natural Sciences invites freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors to join the program, and it offers free tuition for the first two, 1-hour courses. To the extent that the university capacity allows, it admits a select group of post baccalaureates into the program. In spring 2001 there were 280 students in the program, and the first major group of 35 students graduated in May 2001. UTeach is one of the largest programs of this type at any research university in the country: Its enrollment by fall 2001 was expected to be more than 300, and it is projected that the following year the program will reach a steady state of about
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology 500 students a year. This means that the university will produce about 100 new mathematics and science teachers each year. Classroom Teaching Experiences In accordance with new national guidelines for teacher preparation that recommend early field-based experience, UTeach students enrolled in the introductory Step classes begin carefully supervised classroom teaching in local elementary school classrooms during their first semester in the program. Entering students begin with Step 1, the introductory field-based course that places preservice teachers in elementary classrooms. They then move on to Step 2, the second field-based course that offers UTeach students a chance to teach at the middle grade level. Working with excellent mentor teachers trained to supervise them with oral and written evaluations, UTeach students are encouraged to discover as early as their freshman year whether or not they are truly interested in teaching as a career. The classroom practice is usually an exciting and positive experience that raises the level of a student’s commitment to teaching. This early field-based experience is sustained throughout the course sequences, enabling students to gain exposure to elementary, middle, and high school students and to the diverse local population. Field-based experiences take place primarily in inner-city schools with high minority student populations with low socioeconomic status. They expose the UTeach students to the challenges of teaching in an urban setting and to an awareness of the difference that enthusiastic teachers can make to their students. This arrangement expands the schools’ capacity to meet the needs of disadvantaged children, and it encourages UTeach students to pursue teaching jobs in high-need, inner-city settings. Coursework The College of Natural Sciences has developed 16 new degree plans for UTeach that lead to undergraduate degrees in such specializations as mathematics, computer sciences, biological sciences, chemistry, physics, as well as Texas state certification for teaching secondary students. Faculty in the College of Education have developed a completely new set of professional development courses for UTeach. In order to foster interdisciplinary teaching in our students, students participate in professional development courses together. In contrast with a traditional menu of methods and ob-
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology servation courses, the new professional development sequence is specifically focused on the challenges of learning secondary science and mathematics. The courses give students a foundation in the theory of learning, but they also challenge the students’ knowledge of science and mathematics content areas. The courses combine educational theory with practical applications, current instructional technologies, and field experiences. Certification Under current state guidelines, UTeach students are certified to teach in grades 6–12. Most of the students obtain composite certification, which enables them to teach all of the science disciplines. Starting in 2003, the program will respond to new state categories for certification: students will obtain certification for grades 4–8 (middle school) or 8–12. UTeach will be expanded and modified to provide the middle grades certification option. THE MIDCAREER MATH AND SCIENCE PROGRAM History and Goals Established in 1983, the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s MidCareer Math and Science (MCMS) Program was designed to address the shortage of well-qualified, secondary teachers in mathematics and the sciences specifically by providing a venue for mid-career professionals from non-educational but technically oriented fields to enter careers as secondary science and mathematics teachers. (See http://www.gse.harvard.edu/~admit/progs-edm-tac-overview.html for more information.) The program is based on the premise that these new teachers can enrich secondary school environments and curricula with knowledge and materials drawn from their professional and practical experiences. Over the years, the MCMS Program has served as a national model for other universities and for state legislatures to consider for adoption. The objectives of the MidCareer Math and Science Program include: to attend to the condition of pre-collegiate math and science education by crafting an innovative response to the need for qualified new teachers and to the need for professional development of experienced professionals;
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology to attract a generally underutilized labor pool—mid-career professionals—for the education our nation’s youth; to rekindle and revitalize an intense commitment, interest, and pride in the work of practicing educators; and to provide an innovative model for other educational institutions across the country to address the condition of secondary math and science education. In addition, the MidCareer Math and Science Program is designed to address the larger goals of the Harvard Teacher Education Program, including: to prepare teachers for the specific challenges of urban education including providing high quality instruction for all students, addressing the causes of unequal access in our educational system, and creating classrooms and schools where previously unsuccessful students can succeed; to prepare teachers to facilitate students’ understandings and capacities to construct knowledge through a deep understanding of literacy and to assume new leadership roles within schools by developing skills to participate in organizational diagnosis and change leadership activities; and to demonstrate that teaching can be a life-long career with multiple stages and aspects of growth typical of adult development by starting novice teachers on a path toward National Board Certification. In carrying out these objectives, the MCMS Program works closely with cooperating urban middle and high schools in preparing its candidates for teaching. Extensive fieldwork in secondary school classrooms is the centerpiece of the graduate studies of MCMS candidates. The MCMS Program shares with HGSE a concern about the integration of practice and theory, as well as of curricular design and pedagogy, combining field-based experience with critical reflection on the nature and purposes of teaching and learning. In addition, MCMS supports it candidates in making use of their previous professional experience to develop real-world applications in secondary-school curriculum. Candidates who successfully complete the MCMS Program receive a masters in education and are eligible for middle- and/or secondary-school certification in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the appropriate content (i.e., biology, chemistry, earth science, general science, mathematics, or physics). Since the inception of the MCMS Program during the
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology 1983-1984 academic year, it has graduated about 300 candidates. The diverse program participants have included a retired Rear Admiral; electrical, computer, and civil engineers; biochemistry and microbiology specialists; physicists; statisticians; a meteorologist from the U.S. Weather Service; NASA affiliates; bankers; members of the U.S. Diplomatic Corps; a veterinary technician; and geologists. Candidate Selection To have been eligible for admissions to the program for 2001-2002, applicants had to have completed a major in their chosen teaching field or the equivalent of a major (having no more than two courses to fulfill to meet Massachusetts’ subject-matter requirements). They were required to submit an application, all transcripts of post-secondary study, three references, a personal statement (in response to questions specifically related to teaching and learning), and scores on either the Graduate Record Exam or the Miller Analogy Test (all of which are required for general admission to the Harvard Graduate School of Education). The Admissions Committee was composed of faculty, current Harvard students, and practitioners. Classroom Teaching Experiences Extensive fieldwork in secondary school classrooms is the centerpiece of the graduate studies of MCMS candidates. MCMS candidates complete their field-based requirements in a public high or middle school, working with experienced, state-certified teachers in urban schools within the greater Boston area that belong to Harvard’s Professional School Partnership. For the 2001-2002 academic year, MCMS candidates completed a minimum of a 75 clock-hour pre-practicum (observing, assisting, co-teaching, and/or teaching) and a minimum of a 150 clock-hour practicum (undertaking clearly defined, supervised instructional responsibility) to fulfill requirements of provisional certification with advanced standing. During this time, the program also encouraged candidates to observe in other classrooms (both within and without their own departments) and in at least one school that was substantially different from their own placement site. Interns completed their pre-practica and practica requirements in the fall term, enrolling, at the same time, in course work designed to address their fieldwork experiences and to bridge theory and practice. During the 2001-2002 academic year, MCMS candidates completed a
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology spring-term, semester-long clinical experience (of at least 400 clock-hours) to fulfill the field-based requirements for standard certification. During the clinical experience, candidates assumed teaching responsibility for the equivalent of three 45-50 minute classes in their chosen area of certification. In addition, the program asked that candidates work with guidance counselors, extra-curricular activities supervisors, and special-needs teachers and consult with their Teacher Mentors on a regular basis. During their clinical experiences, candidates enrolled in a seminar designed to support their systematic reflection on their implementation of curriculum, instruction, and assessment. Coursework MCMS candidates complete the equivalent of nine courses to fulfill requirements for a masters in education and state certification. Summer 2001 “Adolescent Development and Identity Formation” (module) “Introduction to Teaching” (module) “Summer Practicum” (module) Fall 2001 “Equity and Education” “Teaching English, History/Social Studies, or Mathematics/Science” “Literacy and Learning” (module) One elective Spring 2002 “Teacher Leadership and Research” (module) “School Reform: Curriculum and Instructional Leadership” “Urban Education Seminar” (module) One elective Year-long “Practicum/Clinical Experience in Secondary Education” Outcomes Generally, all HGSE MCMS graduates who seek teaching positions
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology procure them. At any one time, over the years, about 80 percent of all program graduates are teaching. TEACH FOR AMERICA History and Goals Teach for America began in 1989 as a senior thesis project by Wendy Kopp, who was then a student at Princeton University. The program places college graduates from all academic fields in 2-year teaching positions at public schools in low-income areas across the nation. A goal of the program is to help these districts with few resources to provide a high-quality education to their students. The school districts hire and pay corps members as regular beginning teachers. Local offices help orient corps members to their new schools and communities and foster professional and personal support networks. See http://www.teachforamerica.org/tfa for more information. The first year, 2,500 men and women from more than 100 colleges applied to become members of what became known as a corps. From the pool of applicants, 500 corps members were chosen. Over the past 12 years, Teach for America has placed 8,000 corps members in 16 urban and rural areas. During the 2000-2001 academic year, corps members were placed at schools in Atlanta, Baltimore, the Bay Area in California, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, the Mississippi Delta, New Jersey, New Orleans, New York City, North Carolina, Phoenix, the Rio Grande Valley, rural Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. About 59 percent of the placements were at the elementary level, and 41 percent were at the secondary level. Candidate Selection To apply for the program, candidates fill out a written application that includes a letter of intent, resume, and essay. When they are interviewed, applicants indicate their preferences for regional sites, grade levels, and subject areas. The program strives to meet the applicants’ preferences while meeting districts’ needs. Consideration is also is given to district and state requirements—for example, requirements for the corps members to have a certain number of coursework hours in a subject before they are allowed to teach it.
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology A selection committee reviews the applications and invites the most promising candidates to participate in a day-long interview, which includes a sample teaching lesson, a group discussion, and a personal interview. The selection committee looks for evidence that applicants have an ability to thrive on overcoming challenges, a drive to achieve results, a commitment to setting only the highest expectations for themselves and their students. Teach for America attempts to place corps members in schools that employ other corps members or alumni so that they can collaborate on projects and support one another’s professional growth. It also provides support for current and past corps members through monthly newsletters, electronic discussion groups, retreats, and social activities. In addition, local program staff works with area school districts, schools of education, professional associations, and other organizations to give corps members access to the best professional development and teaching resources available. At the national level, inter-regional conferences help corps members stay connected to their colleagues across the country. Teaching Preparation New corps members attend a preservice summer training institute for 5 weeks in either Houston or New York City, depending on their placement region. During the training program, the corps members learn about and practice approaches used by successful teachers in low-income communities. They also learn basic teaching skills, such as curricular planning around clear goals, effective lesson design, student assessment, classroom management techniques, and literacy development. In the mornings and early afternoons of the institute, corps members teach in a summer school program. In the afternoons and evenings, they participate in a full schedule of discussions, workshops, and other professional development activities with a faculty of exceptional corps members, alumni, and other experienced educators. The institutes also incorporate ceremonies and special events that are designed to build a sense of community among the corps members and allow them to appreciate the magnitude of their collective effect on the lives of K-12 students. Near the end or after the institute, corps members travel to their as-signed site to participate in a 1- to 2-week local orientation. During this induction period, corps members learn about the local communities in which they will teach, locate housing, and interview for their actual teaching positions.
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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology School districts hire and pay corps members as regular beginning teachers, but use alternate routes to teacher certification. This arrangement allows corps members to teach without the education courses that are typically required of teachers in public schools. In many cases, they must take courses after they begin teaching. Teach for America has formed partnerships with school districts, states, and schools of education to enable corps members to take the coursework they need after they begin teaching. Outcomes Of the program’s alumni, some of whom were placed as teachers in 1990, 60 percent are still working full-time in education: 40 percent are teaching, and 20 percent are working in other positions in the field of K-12 education. In the latter category, for example, some alumni work in school or district administration, or in organizations that are focused on education reform. Other alumni are graduate students in education. An independent evaluation of the effect of the program’s teachers on student performance in the Houston Independent School District was conducted in 2001 by CREDO, a research group based at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. The evaluation compared Teach for America participants with all other new teachers recruited during the same years. The evaluation reached three main conclusions (Raymond, M., et al, 2001): The effect of having a teacher from Teach for America was generally positive. The positive effect appears to be largest in mathematics, in both elementary and middle school. Results in reading also were positive, but the magnitudes of effects were smaller. The differences between the average Teach for America teacher’s and other teachers’ contribution to students’ perforamnce are generally not statistically significant. TFA teachers as a group show less variation in quality than teachers entering from different routes. The evaluation also indicated that the Teach for America teachers were more likely to hold a bachelor’s degree, were placed in more difficult classes, and were less likely to leave after the first year than were the other teachers.
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