equation, for what models will these beginning faculty follow as they enter classrooms of future teachers?
Standards-based K-16 instruction, which at its heart centers on activity and inquiry, must be viewed as a connection of links or a seamless web rather than as separate compartments that parallel traditional organizational levels and bureaucracies. An overarching issue for campus renewal grants is to encourage the integration and coordination of course work across disciplines. Continuing reviews of existing academic programs and departments will make certain that subject matter departments under review demonstrate contributions to teacher preparation and undergraduate reform. Education departments under review must demonstrate their bridges with subject matter departments.
The CEPT project at Louisiana Tech is an interdepartmental effort. The main thrust is to develop model pre-service courses, with an instructor from the education department working with his or her counterpart in the content areas. Another goal has been to develop cooperating teacher sites that are supportive of reform-based strategies. There is a lot of emphasis on working with classroom teachers on campus, and then using those teachers for field placements. A side effect is that the idea of different teaching strategies has spread to a group of practicing teachers.
A third part of the project has focused on much-needed professional development for university faculty. This collaborative effort has given a unique opportunity to university faculty that they may not have had otherwise: the opportunity to go to conferences and also to return the following year as presenters. We have brought in speakers who have attracted faculty from across our campus and other campuses to look at issues such as critical thinking skills and how to reform teaching strategies at the college level. Ultimately, math and science must be taught better for all students. Changes in education courses will effect changes in content courses. Faculty who have participated in the pre-service programs already are implementing many of these strategies in courses that are not designed for pre-service teachers. The next step, of course, is to involve all faculty in our undergraduate programs, not just those who work with pre-service teachers.
A strong point is the team-teaching approach in pilot courses. A scientist, a science education specialist, and an outstanding public school teacher are in the classroom together. While this is not realistic for long-term reform, it has been tremendous in helping to see where each person has strengths and weaknesses. One thing the students learn from this experience is that the teacher does not know everything.
It is important that young, nontenured faculty are involved in research, that they publish research, and that they get research dollars. To encourage them to participate in activities to improve course content and teaching, a formal mechanism should exist that shows how this area will be given consideration in the tenure process.