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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
mathematics teaching in the United States, it is in the interests of colleges and universities to know how their teacher graduates are faring. Colleges and universities that prepare teachers should (1) keep track of their graduates’ careers in teaching and (2) determine their graduates’ job performance and other measures of teaching success through questionnaires to the teachers themselves and to leaders at the schools where they are employed. Keeping track of these students would allow institutions of higher education to undertake research both on the career paths of teachers and on the academic performance of the teachers’ students. This information also could be used to target improvements in teacher education programs.
New teachers also could benefit greatly by maintaining formal official and informal contacts with their alma mater’s education programs. The social, cultural, and intellectual environments of college and university campuses offer important opportunities for new teachers to grow professionally. Thus, the CSMTP agrees with the American Council on Education (1999) in recommending that all institutions of higher education that educate teachers find ways to include their graduates in the life and activities of their campuses for at least three years following graduation. This contact might include invitations to new teachers to join listservs or chat rooms so that they may discuss common issues and concerns about teaching. Other ways to maintain such contact would be to invite teacher alumni/ae back to the campus in summer to participate in graduate-level or informal courses on topics of particular relevance to novice teachers. These courses and programs might include more in-depth study of content matter in science and mathematics; opportunities to undertake research projects with faculty, graduate students, or fellow teachers from local partnerships; and symposia and other presentations that deal with science, mathematics, and education.
Given the near ubiquity of access to the Internet, teachers who are in remote locations could still participate in electronic discussion groups and Webcasts of lectures and symposia sponsored by their undergraduate or graduate institutions.
5. Following a period of collaborative planning and preparation, two-and four-year colleges and universities in a partnership for teacher education should assume primary responsibility for providing professional development opportunities to experienced teachers of science, mathematics, and technology. Such programs would involve faculty from science, mathematics, and engineer-