subsequent conversations among education specialists and members of professional disciplinary societies led to the development of additional recommendations. For example, participants at a 1993 conference sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, the NCTM, and the Wisconsin Center for Education Research recommended that, in elementary schools, specialist teachers of mathematics teach all mathematics beginning no later than grade 4 and supervise mathematics instruction at earlier grade levels (Romberg, 1994).
In recent years, many elementary schools and their districts have begun to address the disconnect between how elementary school teachers have been prepared to teach science and mathematics and the critical need for teachers who have the knowledge and acumen to work effectively with younger children in these subject areas. A number of strategies have emerged. They include
recruiting teachers who have majored in science or mathematics to teach these subjects at the elementary level (similar to their counterparts in the secondary grades and, increasingly, in the middle grades). Because many science or mathematics majors have decided to enter teaching late in their undergraduate years or thereafter, many of these students may opt to teach in private schools where certification is not required;
training current employees or hiring teachers who can serve as content specialists in these subject areas. Depending on the size of the school or district, these content specialists may be responsible for teaching most of the science program in a school and may even travel among schools to do so (similar to teachers of art or music);
establishing “teaching pods” consisting of several teachers and the students they teach within a school. In this system, every teacher oversees one class of students. One teacher in the pod may take primary responsibility for teaching science or mathematics while other teachers focus on other subject areas. Depending on the school, teachers may rotate among the classes in the pod over the course of a day or several days. Conversely, if one classroom has been specially constructed for science, teachers may remain in a given classroom throughout the day while students rotate among the classrooms.
The issue of preparing content and pedagogical specialists in science and mathematics for teaching in the elementary grades persists, however. While elementary schools are being held