The strongest partnerships for teacher education would include, where possible, one or more school districts, two-year colleges, and four-year colleges and universities. Local businesses, industry, research laboratories, local or regional organizations, and individual scientists and mathematicians outside of academe also would be integral contributors to the design, planning, and implementation of these partnerships. Leaders at the highest levels from each of these sectors would need to demonstrate both to their institutions and to the larger community the importance they place on this kind of partnership.
As illustrated in Figure 6-1, teachers of science and mathematics in grades K-12, scientists and mathematicians, and science and mathematics teacher educators would serve as the core participants in this new type of partnership. Representatives from each of these groups who work together in this core would be selected on the basis of their expertise, interest, and commitment to improving teacher education. This core group would commit to developing a culture of recognition, respect, and trust that would give all partners equal voice and responsibility at the table.
Once the partnership was formed, its members would contribute both to the preparation of future educators and the improvement of the knowledge base and skills of all practicing teachers of science, mathematics, and technology in the K-12 and higher education sectors that are involved with the partnership. Implicit in this model is that, through their close professional association and interactions with master teachers from the partnership, scientists, mathematicians, engineers, and teacher educators at colleges and universities will have improved opportunities to enhance their own teaching skills. They also could increase their understanding of how students learn, and reexamine the scope, nature, and relevance of the content that they present in their courses.
New models for broadening the range of student teaching experiences and the planning and supervision of those experiences would be important work for the partnership. Similarly, the partnership would oversee the restructuring of continuing professional development for new and more experienced teachers employed by participating districts.
The policies and activities of the partnership would be informed by (1) educational research (both self-generated and from the scholarly literature—see below) that focuses on