should be collated and disseminated through a national electronic database or library.

The National Research Council (1999f) has called for a decade of intensive research on how to improve education. The CSMTP recommends that a major component of this effort be devoted to a comprehensive yet focused examination of how to improve teacher education and teaching in science, mathematics, and technology, as well as how to improve teacher retention in these subject areas.3 The presidents and chancellors of 61 of the nation’s leading research universities already have committed their institutions to engaging in research that will enhance the practice of teaching (e.g., AAU, 1999). The members of the CSMTP applaud this action and urge other institutions of higher education to make similar commitments.

Effective ways must be found to disseminate the results of this research to teachers and to teacher educators. The National Science Foundation is currently investing in the development and construction of a national digital library for SME&T education (NRC, 1998, 1999g; NSF, 2000). The CSMTP recommends that this digital library effort take primary responsibility for collecting, indexing, and broadly disseminating the results of existing and future research on the improvement of teacher education and teaching.

4. Two- and four-year colleges and universities should maintain contact with and provide guidance to teachers who complete their preparation and development programs.4

With government agencies, state legislatures, and businesses demanding greater accountability and improvements in the quality of science and

3  

The primary sources of federal government support for educational research include numerous programs under the auspices of the Office of the Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education (<http://web99.ed.gov/GTEP/Program2.nsf>), the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Educational Research and Improvement (<http://www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/funding.html>), and the National Science Foundation’s Division of Research, Evaluation, and Communication (within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources: < http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/rec/default.htm>). In addition, the American Educational Research Association provides links on its website to its own grants programs and those of other organizations (<http://aera.ucsb.edu/subweb/links-FR.html>).

4  

This recommendation is modeled after a proposal currently under consideration by the Taskforce for K-16 Education of the Association of American Universities (AAU). Under this proposal, a new teacher who graduates from any AAU member institution and relocates to another area served by another AAU member institution would be invited to participate in a variety of professional and social activities with other teachers in the area. Such reciprocal agreements would enable teachers who have relocated to interact with other teachers with similar backgrounds and allow universities to maintain better records about the professional activities of their graduates. The CSMTP strongly supports this kind of networking and urges other higher education organizations to undertake similar ventures with their member institutions.



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