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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
stature to the level of other professions.
Both individually and collectively, two- and four-year colleges and universities must assume greater responsibility and be held more accountable for improving teacher education.
Neither the higher education nor the K-12 communities can successfully improve teacher education as effectively in isolation as they can by working closely together. Collective, fully integrated efforts among school staff and administrators in individual schools and districts, teacher unions, faculty and administrators in institutions of higher education, policymakers from local colleges and universities, parents, and the private sector are essential for addressing these issues.
Many more scientists, mathematicians, and engineers must become well informed enough to become involved with local and national efforts to provide the appropriate content knowledge and pedagogy of their disciplines to current and future teachers.3
To initiate action based on these principles, the committee envisions a new partnership arrangement between K-12 schools and the higher education community, with support and assistance from the broader community, that is designed to promote high-quality teacher education over the continuum of a teacher’s career. Two- and four-year colleges and universities, and especially those that have teacher education programs, would enter into long-term partnerships with one or more school districts. Large school districts could partner with more than one institution of higher education (for example, with their local community college and a four-year institution). The objectives of such partnerships would include the sharing of responsibility for teacher preparation and providing on-going
In a recent study of Columbia University’s Summer Research Program for Science School Teachers, Silverstein (2000) found that students of teachers who had participated in summer research received higher scores and pass rates on the New York State Regents Examination than the students of teachers from the same schools who did not participate in such programs (teachers who participated in this program were drawn from a broad spectrum of schools in the New York City area). Additionally, participation in Westinghouse/Intel Talent Search projects, science clubs, and extra-curricular activities in science was higher for students whose teachers participated in this program compared to students from the same schools whose teachers did not participate. Additional information about this program is available at <http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/physio/>. The program at Columbia University is one of approximately 70 such programs across the U.S. that are part of the Science Work Experiences for Teachers(SWEPT. A listing of SWEPT programs is available at <http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/dept/physio/swep.html>.