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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
percent of these sites teachers worked together with college faculty to plan curricula for improving teacher education at their collaborating institution of higher education as well as on site at their schools. More than 90 percent of the respondents reported that at least one preservice course was being taught directly at their school site. Further, at more than 50 percent of the sites, teachers from grades K-12 held adjunct or other similar kinds of college faculty appointments. At 60 percent of the sites, PDS classroom teachers participated in activities connected with the upgrading of university-level teacher education program renewal. Seventy-five percent of the sites surveyed indicated that the preservice teachers working with them also engaged in research about teaching practice. Finally, 89 percent of the respondents indicated that university and school faculty worked together to plan professional development activities (Houston et al., 1999).
According to anecdotal reports, graduates of PDS programs begin their professional careers with greater knowledge and more teaching skills than graduates of more traditional preservice programs. In addition, it has been observed that teachers trained in PDS environments have a greater understanding of the diversity and the nonacademic needs of students, are more committed to and self-confident about teaching, and are more likely to reach out to others and participate in school-wide activities (Houston et al., 1999).
Houston et al. (1999) also reported that in Texas, teacher candidates with PDS experience outperformed their peers by 15 to 34 percentage points in the state’s required examination for teacher licensure, although the study authors acknowledged that it is unclear whether the difference in performance was due to PDS experience per se or to the qualities of students attracted to PDS programs.
There also is isolated statistical and anecdotal evidence that a higher percentage of PDS graduates remain in teaching. For example, in a study of the Model Clinical Teaching Program (MCTP), a PDS partnership between East Carolina University faculty and cooperating teachers in the Pitt County, NC schools was formed that included a full year of internship along with extensive and ongoing staff development. Of 60 MCTP graduates whose careers were followed after having completed this program, 96 percent continued as classroom teachers five, and in some cases, six years after entering the profession compared with a national average of less than 60 percent. After seven years of piloting this program, East Carolina University has now adopted it for the senior year of all of its