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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
professional development for the school districts’ teachers.4 The committee envisions that each of the contributors and stakeholders in these partnerships would be recognized and utilized for their particular professional expertise in science, mathematics, and technology education. The partners would work collectively toward improving teaching and ongoing professional development for all teachers in the partnership community, including those in higher education. These partnerships collectively would establish and implement goals for improving the learning and academic achievements in science, mathematics, and technology of students in affiliated institutions, including students in teacher education programs and the children in the schools that are members of the partnerships.
It is important to note that this new type of partnership envisioned by the committee would involve a restructuring of the various phases of teacher education. Responsibility for student teaching experiences would be vested primarily in school districts that participate in the partnership. In turn, professional development would fall primarily within the purview of the higher education partners. The committee’s vision also would involve a corresponding rethinking of how each partner uses its resources in support of the partnership.
Thus, in the new teacher education partnership envisioned in this report, master teachers in partner school districts could have adjunct faculty appointments in the partner two- and four-year colleges or universities. These teachers would take on a much more significant role in the mentoring of future teachers during their practicum experiences. In turn, faculty in both the school of education and in science, mathematics, and engineering departments at partner colleges and universities would assume much greater responsibility for providing ongoing professional development opportunities for the school districts’ teachers. The partnerships would base their approaches to improved teacher education on the scholarly literature, recommendations about improving teacher education from professional and disciplinary organizations, and an ongoing analysis and evaluation of the partnership itself. A major component of this evaluation would be the academic
The committee emphasizes in this report that all colleges and universities, including those that do not have formal teacher education programs, should become more involved with improving teacher education because the nation’s teacher workforce consists of many individuals who have matriculated at all types of two- and four-year institutions of higher education. Although many of these schools do not offer formal teacher education programs, virtually every institution of higher education, through the kinds of courses it offers, the teaching it models, and the advising it provides to students, has the potential to influence whether or not its graduates will pursue careers in teaching.