The NSF has supported three programs over the last 5 years that are designed to provide pre- and postdoctoral experiences in K-12 education for scientists, mathematicians, and engineers. The programs are the Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology Education (see NSF, 2001a and http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/dge/programs/pfsmete/), the Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education (see NSF, 2001b and http://www.nsf.gov/home/crssprgm/gk12/start.htm), and the Centers for Learning and Teaching (see NSF, 2001c and http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/esie/resources/centers.asp).
The NSF Postdoctoral Fellowships in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology Education (PFSMETE) have two goals:
to prepare PhD graduates in science, mathematics, engineering or technology with the necessary skills to assume leadership roles in science education in the nation’s diverse academic institutions, and
to provide opportunities for outstanding PhD graduates to develop expertise in a facet of science education research that would qualify them for the new range of academic positions that will come with the 21st century.
The fellowships, which were first awarded in fiscal 1997, are given to academic institutions. The first awards were used to support 63 fellowships for PhDs in the earth sciences, engineering, chemistry, the life sciences, mathematics, physics, and psychology. The fellows’ projects included work in cognition and learning, community-based research, curriculum development, educational technology, evaluation and assessment in K-12 education, and teacher education.
The primary objective of the Graduate Teaching Fellowships in K-12 Education Program (GK-12) is to provide fellowships to highly qualified graduate and advanced undergraduate students in science, mathematics,