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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION 1 Introduction The United States is at a critical juncture in its efforts to improve science and mathematics education for its children. Reports from the U.S. Department of Education suggest that the nation will need more than two million new teachers during the next decade. Finding qualified teachers of science and mathematics within this pool poses a special challenge. The nation needs to meet these challenges at a time when the National Research Council (NRC) and others are urging states and school districts to improve science and mathematics education through the implementation of National Science Education Standards and other efforts (National Research Council, 1996; National Research Council, 1997). This report examines whether recent Ph.D.s in science and mathematics might provide a resource for helping to meet the nation's need for qualified secondary school science and mathematics teachers in the future. BACKGROUND The Need for Qualified Science and Mathematics Teachers We estimate that the nation will need to hire about 20,000 public secondary school science and mathematics teachers each year over the next decade, or about 200,000 in all. Those public secondary school teachers who spent the largest portion of their time teaching science and mathematics account for about 10 percent of all K-12 teachers (National Education Association, 1997). As shown in Table 1-1, the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has projected that the nation will need to hire more than two million new teachers from the 1998-99 school year to the 2008-09 school year. This projection is based on total public and private elementary and secondary school enrollment increasing 4 percent, from 52.2 million in 1997 to 54.5 million in 2006, and a large cohort of teachers retiring in the coming decade. (National Center for Education Statistics, 1999a; National Center for Education Statistics, 1999b). If one assumes that 10 percent of new hires will also be in secondary school science and mathematics, then we would expect to hire about 20,000 such teachers per year.
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION The need to increase the pool of well-qualified teachers in science and mathematics can be further seen in several places. For example, even while the need for new hires will grow over the next decade, finding qualified teachers of science and mathematics is already difficult for many school districts and may become an even greater challenge in the years ahead. Current data about underqualified teachers are disturbing; Richard Ingersoll reports that 26.6 percent of secondary (grades 7-12) mathematics students and 16.5 percent of secondary science students in the United States are taught by teachers without a major or minor in the field they are teaching. These percentages are much higher in urban and smaller rural school systems. (Ingersoll, 1999). TABLE 1-1 Estimated Number of Newly Hired Full-time Equivalent Public School Teachers Needed Under Alternative Scenarios, 1994-1995 to 2008-2009 (in thousands) Scenario 1 Scenario 2 Scenario 3 Constant pupil/teacher ratioa Constant number of teachersb Projections of Education Statistics to 2008c Total needed 1998-99 to 2008-09 (11 years) 2,399 2,159 2,693 1994-95d 220 220 220 1995-96d 220 220 220 1996-97 223 177 224 1997-98 220 177 233 1998-99 214 180 218 1999-2000 210 181 227 2000-2001 212 184 235 2001-02 214 188 233 2002-03 218 192 244 2003-04 217 196 252 2004-05 221 199 253 2005-06 224 203 256 2006-07 224 208 256 2007-08 225 212 259 2008-09 221 215 261 NOTE: These estimates are based on the continuation rate of teachers from the 1993-94 school year to the 1994-95 school year. a Number of teachers for 1996-97 through 2008-09 were produced by dividing the public school enrollment projections from the Projections of Education Statistics to 2008 by the 1995-96 pupil/teacher ratio. b Total number of teachers for 1996-97 through 2008-09 based on maintaining 1995-96 level. c Total number of teachers for 1996-97 through 2008-09 is from the Projections of Education Statistics to 2008, which assumes decreasing class size. d The number of newly hired teachers was computed using the actual number of teachers. SOURCE: National Center for Education Statistics 1999, Table 7, p. 35.
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION The Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) in the mid-1990s found, in assessing the performance of a half-million students around the world, that students in the United States were not performing at a level similar to their peers in other countries. A recent NRC report examining TIMSS data concluded, “the results of TIMSS suggest that U.S. students are falling short. Although U.S. fourth graders compare favorably to their international peers, U.S. eighth graders and high school seniors achieve at a lower level than do students in many other countries.” The report argues that many factors affect the scores of U.S. students in TIMSS, including curricular issues, instructional practices, and school support systems. With regard to the latter, the report argued that one of several “particularly important aspects of this broader culture” is the preparation and support of teachers (National Research Council, 1999). Similarly, the attrition rate for students who initially major in science, mathematics, and engineering as undergraduates is unacceptably high in 4-year institutions in the United States. Elaine Seymour and Nancy Hewitt recently found that more than 40 percent of males and 50 percent of females who initially majored in science, mathematics, and engineering fields switched to other majors, and that the problem was even more severe for minorities. For 40 percent of these field switchers, the authors found that inadequate high school preparation in subject matter and study skills was an important factor (and Hewitt, 1997). The quality of teaching and teaching methods play a central role in ensuring adequate subject matter preparation in high school. Finally, the NRC's National Science Education Standards, published in 1996, urged dramatic changes in schools and school systems, including teacher preparation. This report advocates changes in how teachers are educated and keep pace and specifically recommends that teachers focus on “a new way of teaching and learning about science that reflects how science is done, emphasizing inquiry as a way of achieving knowledge and understanding about the world.” (National Research Council, 1996). The need for more qualified secondary school science and mathematics teachers and the call for inquiry-based teaching underlie the NRC efforts to attract Ph.D.s to secondary school science and mathematics education. An Untapped Resource At the same time that the nation requires more qualified teachers of science and mathematics, the number of new science and mathematics Ph.D.s who have difficulty securing positions in academe or industry is growing. As shown in Table 1-2, there were more than 30,000 postdoctoral fellows in science and mathematics—more than 20,000 postdoctoral fellows in the life sciences alone—in the United States in 1998. Many of these postdoctoral fellows find themselves in a “holding pattern” of three or more consecutive postdoctoral fellowships while awaiting employment (National Research Council, 1998).
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION TABLE 1-2 Number of Postdoctorate Fellows, by Field, Physical and Life Sciences, 1998 Field Total M.D.sa Ph.D.sb Physical and life sciences, total 34,702 6,672 28,030 Physical sciences 6,869 26 6,843 Physics and astronomy 2,256 20 2,236 Chemistry 3,716 4 3,712 Earth, atmospheric, and ocean sciences 897 2 895 Mathematical sciences 274 16 258 Life sciences 27,559 6,630 20,929 Biological sciences 15,480 1,729 13,751 Health sciences 12,079 4,901 7,178 aIncludes M.D., D.O. D.D.S., D.V.M. Also includes M.D.-Ph.D.s bDoes not include M.D.-Ph.D.s SOURCE: National Science Foundation/SRS, Survey of Graduate Students andPostdoctorates in Science and Engineering Recent data show that the job market may be improving as increasing numbers of new Ph.D.s—even in the life sciences—are entering tenure-track faculty positions at the time they receive their degrees. However, the job market for Ph.D.s and our system of graduate education operate such that supply and demand are out of synch from time-to-time, resulting in a periodic oversupply of science and mathematics Ph.D.s. Unfortunately, those already stuck in postdoctoral positions—especially those who have been in more than one—do not appear to be benefiting from the improving job market. Thus, the large numbers of Ph.D.s who have found themselves in this postdoctoral “holding pattern”—the current “oversupply” of Ph.D.s—may provide an untapped source of qualified secondary school science and mathematics teachers. This study aims to explore the potential interest of Ph.D.s in these positions. NRC ROLE IN SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS EDUCATION The National Research Council has been deeply involved in the last decade in efforts to improve the science and mathematics education of our nation's schoolchildren, emphasizing achieving the national goal of scientific and mathematical literacy for all of our students. The National Science Education Standards, published in 1996, urged dramatic changes in schools and school systems. The Standards advocate “changes in what students are taught, in how their performance is assessed, in how teachers are educated and keep pace, and in the relationship between school and the rest of the community—including the nation's scientists and engineers.” They also emphasize “a new way of teaching and learning about science that reflects how science is done, emphasizing inquiry as a way of achieving knowledge and understanding about the world.”
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION The NRC has since continued to initiate studies and programs designed to make a difference in our nation's science and mathematics education at all levels. The Center for Education (CFE) leads this effort by examining the efficacy and influence of standards-based systemic reform, the preparation and professional development of teachers, and programmatic and curricular models for improved mathematics, science, and engineering education. The NRC is also exploring the science of learning, the skills of teaching, and the assessment of student achievement. To this end the Center produces reports on implementing science standards, teacher preparation, and student assessment designed, above all, to improve science and mathematics education. Recent NRC reports include: Every Child a Scientist: Achieving Scientific Literacy for All (1997) Improving Student Learning in Mathematics and Science: The Role of National Standards in State Policy (1997) Improving Teacher Preparation and Credentialing Consistent with the National Science Education Standards: Report of a Symposium (1997) Science Teacher Preparation in an Era of Standards-Based Reform (1997) Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998) Designing Mathematics or Science Curriculum Programs: A Guide for Using Mathematics and Science Education Standards (1999) Global Perspectives for Local Action: Using TIMSS to Improve U.S. Mathematics and Science Education (1999) How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice (1999) Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Improving Student Learning: a Strategic Plan for Education Research and Its Utilization (1999) Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards: A Guide for Teaching and Learning (2000) PROJECT ON ATTRACTING PH.D.S TO SECONDARY EDUCATION In early 1999 the NRC launched a three-phase project to explore the feasibility of attracting science and mathematics Ph.D.s to positions in secondary school education. The essential goal of the project is to improve the science and mathematics education and literacy of our nation's schoolchildren. Among the keys to ensuring ongoing improvement in science and mathematics education—standards-based systemic reform, the excellent preparation and professional development of teachers, new programmatic
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION and curricular models for improved science and mathematics education, and the appropriate assessment of student achievement—this project deals with the supply, preparation, and professional development of teachers. It does so by focusing on attracting those Ph.D.s who could be well suited to secondary school education positions and could bring new techniques—such as inquiry-based learning—and a strong knowledge of science and mathematics to the classroom. This study reports on the outcomes of the first phase of the project, which focuses on assessing the potential interest of Ph.D.s in such positions and the changes that states, school districts, or others might implement to attract these Ph.D.s. Underlying Assumptions In launching this project, the NRC made assumptions about the contributions that Ph.D.s could bring to secondary schools. These were: (1) that Ph.D. training with its strong emphasis on experimental evaluation of scientific questions could be useful to teachers in providing the inquiry-based learning environment in schools recommended in the National Science Education Standards, and (2) that the deeper training of Ph.D.s in quantitative approaches and content—and their firm attachments to the nation's scientists and engineers—could also be very helpful in improving American science and mathematics education. The project also began with the assumption that the job market for Ph.D.s and our system of graduate education are such that supply and demand for researchers will be out of phase from time-to-time, resulting in a periodic oversupply of science and mathematics Ph.D.s who might be an untapped resource for science and mathematics teaching. In 1997, an NRC report on the careers of recent Ph.D.s in the life sciences indicated that the number of postdoctoral fellows in the United States has been growing and that—particularly in the life sciences—many recent Ph.D.s have experienced difficulty moving out of postdoctoral positions into permanent careers in either academia or industry. Thus, we have reached one of those moments when an oversupply of Ph.D.s has occurred and the nation has an unusual opportunity to attract these Ph.D.s to America's secondary school classrooms. The committee established to oversee the first phase of this project believes that most Ph.D.s are well suited to the research careers they have chosen and should continue to pursue them. Yet there are many Ph.D.s whose training, personalities, and outlook would make them ideal candidates for secondary school teaching positions and potential leaders in science and mathematics education. Just as there are select groups of science and mathematics Ph.D.s who have gone on to other careers outside of postsecondary teaching and research, we anticipate that secondary education may also provide attractive career opportunities for some Ph.D. scientists. Indeed, since 1991, a majority of Ph.D.s in science and engineering have worked in careers outside of postsecondary academic institutions (National Academy of Sciences, 1995; Rice, 1996; Tobias et. al., 1995; National Science Foundation, 1996; Commission on Professionals in Science and Technology, 1997; Association of American Universities, 1998).
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION There are, of course, a number of potential obstacles to Ph.D.s taking secondary school teaching positions. These include the willingness of Ph.D.s to take education courses and obtain certification; the attitudes of professors, colleagues, mentors, high school principals, and other secondary school teachers; the potential opposition of teachers' unions; and salary levels. It is the object of the phase one study to explore the interest of Ph.D.s in secondary school education and to see what incentives might be implemented to overcome the potential obstacles to Ph.D.s following this career path. Problems and Possibilities The NRC launched this project understanding that certain aspects of the graduate education and secondary school environments pose obstacles to Ph.D.s taking secondary school teaching positions. Success will depend, first, on the willingness and ability of Ph.D.s to apply their knowledge and skills in a different educational environment. Success will also depend on their ability to obtain certification, possibly through alternative certification programs that have already provided teacher preparation to many others. School districts, states, and higher education institutions will need to design programs—including appropriate teacher preparation programs—that offer incentives for scientifically trained Ph.D.s to enter secondary school education. Finally, the scientific community will need to provide these Ph.D.s with support and treat them as colleagues throughout their careers. We have some information about areas where we might meet obstacles to success. Number of Ph.D.s Employed in K-12 Educational Institutions. As displayed in Table 1-3, data from the 1997 Survey of Doctorate Recipients (SDR) show that only a very small fraction—just 0.8 percent—of Ph.D.s in the life sciences, physical sciences, and mathematics currently work in K-12 educational institutions. TABLE 1-3 Ph.D.s in Biological and Health Sciences, Physical Sciences, and Mathematics Employed in K-12 Educational Institutions, 1997 Employed Employed in K-12 Education* Field Population Estimated Percent Estimated Number Physical and life sciences, total 275,860 0.8% 2,200 Physical sciences 129,650 0.8% 990 Physics and astronomy 35,920 0.8% 280 Chemistry 54,220 0.9% 470 Earth/atmospheric/marine sciences 15,110 0.7% 110 Mathematical sciences 24,400 0.5% 130 Life sciences 121,810 0.9% 1,080 Biological sciences 104,630 0.9% 900 Health sciences 17,180 1.0% 180 *These data are calculated by special tabulations of a sample survey. They represent approximate estimates of the number and percentage of science and mathematics Ph.D.s employed in K-12 educational institutions. SOURCE: National Science Foundation/Survey of Doctorate Recipients, specialtabulation.
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Alternative Certification. For nearly 20 years, alternative certification has helped school districts and states meet the need for qualified teachers and will continue to be important as they seek to hire 200,000 or more teachers each year in the next decade. School districts, states, and institutions of higher education first developed alternative certification programs in response to the threat of teacher shortages in the early 1980s and the number of programs has grown since. In 1998, according to the private, non-profit National Center for Education Information (NCEI), 41 states and the District of Columbia report at least one alternative teacher certification program. These programs include a wide range of efforts, as NCEI notes, “from emergency certification to very sophisticated and well-designed programs that address the professional preparation needs of the growing population of individuals who already have at least a baccalaureate degree and considerable life experience and want to become teachers” (Feistritzer and Chester, 1998). Many individuals with non-traditional backgrounds have and could contribute their knowledge and skills to secondary school education. NCEI estimates that more than 80,000 individuals—those trained to teach years ago but who never did, those who switch careers or retire from the military, and those from other institutions such as liberal arts colleges—have already been certified through these programs. Thousands more receive certification through alternative programs created by institutions of higher education (Feistritzer and Chester, 1998). Graduate School Training. Although many science graduate programs require that their Ph.D. candidates teach undergraduates as part of their training, none of these programs currently view its mission to prepare graduates to teach in secondary schools. Indeed, graduate mentors may explicitly or implicitly discourage their students from spending too much time and effort preparing for careers in teaching if it “distracts” them from their research projects or lengthens the time needed for them to obtain their degree (Kennedy, 1997; Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University, 1998). In spite of the obstacles, the potential advantages of attracting individuals with advanced scientific training into undergraduate and secondary education have not gone unnoticed. Two new programs seek to improve the preparation of graduate and postdoctoral students who wish to assume teaching positions at undergraduate institutions. These are the Preparing Future Faculty (PFF) program, funded by the Pew Charitable Trust, and Shaping the Preparation of Future Science and Mathematics Faculty, funded by the National Science Foundation. These programs, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the Council of Graduate Schools, encourage colleges and universities to provide graduate students with experience in developing and teaching undergraduate courses outside of their own institutions. The National Science Foundation has recently recognized the potential for the pool of doctorate-level talent to work in pre-college education. In February 1999, the NSF announced the creation of the Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program, which provides graduate students and advanced undergraduates in science
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION the opportunity to receive training, gain experience, and serve as resources for science education in K-12 schools. Expected outcomes from this new initiative include “…improved communication and teaching skills for the fellows, enriched learning by K-12 students, professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers, and strengthened partnerships between institutions of higher education and local school districts ” (National Science Foundation, 1999). Organization of the Project The project has been organized into three phases: (1) an exploration of the interest of Ph.D.s in secondary school positions and incentives that states, school districts, and others could use to attract them to such positions; (2) the design of programs to attract science and mathematics Ph.D.s to secondary school positions, drawing on the results of phase one, and a dialogue with those interested in secondary school science and mathematics education; and (3) the implementation of demonstration programs that place Ph.D.s in such positions in selected states. Phase One: Assessing the Potential Interest of Ph.D.s in Secondary School Science and Mathematics Education The first phase of the project was carried out under the auspices of the NRC's Office of Scientific and Engineering Personnel (OSEP), in conjunction with the Center for Education (CFE). To identify the potential interest of Ph.D.s in secondary school teaching and how they might be attracted to such positions, this committee carried out a national survey of graduate students and recent Ph.D.s. We also conducted a series of interviews with Ph.D.s working as secondary school teachers and educational administrators at the K-12 and postsecondary level. This report summarizes the findings from our investigations, with suggestions to the committee overseeing phase two. Phase Two: Designing Demonstration Programs In the second phase of this project, a new committee will bring information from a number of sources to bear on the design of programs to attract Ph.D.s to secondary school science and mathematics education. One source of information will be the data and recommendations contained in this report. Another will be a workshop of interested persons in secondary school science and mathematics education—including representatives of states interested in sponsoring demonstration programs—to discuss the design of demonstration programs. Based on the outcomes of that workshop, discussions with other experts, and its own deliberations, the phase two committee will produce a report that recommends components of demonstration programs. Phase Three: Implementing State Demonstration Programs Once phase two of the project has been completed, the NRC will seek funding to implement and evaluate demonstration programs in three to five states, based on the goals
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION and design elements identified in phase two. This phase will also be overseen by an NRC committee. SCOPE OF THE STUDY The Charge to the Phase One Committee The charge to this committee was very narrowly directed to two issues: Is there a potential to attract science and mathematics Ph.D.s to secondary school teaching and other leadership positions? What incentives would be useful for states, school districts, and others in attracting them to such positions? The committee was not asked to examine or substantiate the premises that underlie the charge, nor was it asked to implement its findings. Moreover, it was not charged with assessing the potential benefits of placing science and mathematics Ph.D.s in secondary school teaching. These suggested benefits and their costs should be made explicit and carefully evaluated by the phase-two study committee. The charge for the phase one committee was primarily to provide information to the committee overseeing the second phase of the project as it deliberates on how demonstration programs might be designed. Nevertheless, members of this committee do believe that a program to attract science and mathematics Ph.D.s to secondary school classrooms could be of significant value to science education of secondary school students and would also provide a rewarding new career opportunity for Ph.D. scientists. The charge to the committee was to investigate the career ambitions of Ph.D.s in the physical and life sciences through focus groups, a national survey, and interviews. The committee was also asked to examine the potential interest of recent Ph.D.s in secondary school teaching and curriculum development positions and to determine the kinds of incentives—regarding work conditions and compensation packages —that states, school districts, and others could use to induce Ph.D.s to take these positions. The positions included the teaching of physics, chemistry, biology, and various electives in public high schools, as well as positions fostering better science and mathematical education at the secondary level. The committee found it necessary to discuss and address two issues that developed directly from the study data and that extended beyond its specific charge. First, in the course of holding focus group discussions, the committee found that many participants believed there were a number of ways, beyond secondary school teaching and curriculum development, that Ph.D.s could contribute to improving science and mathematics education. Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows clearly liked the idea of working on the development of science and mathematics curricula, not just for secondary school courses but across grades from kindergarten to grade 12. Focus group
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION participants suggested that Ph.D.s could also contribute by working in professional development, science education partnerships, or science museums and environmental centers. They indicated that Ph.D.s might be interested in serving as science or mathematics specialists in school districts, science resource teachers in elementary or secondary schools, or science specialists in regional or university-based science education resource centers. The committee believed it was important to explore these suggestions both in their own right and as context for the more specific questions on secondary school teaching and curriculum development it was asked to address. While the focus of this study remains secondary school science and mathematics education, the suggestions of focus group recipients were addressed by adding an additional question to the survey questionnaire. The results of this question are discussed at the end of Chapter 2. Second, the committee realized that recent Ph.D.s by themselves cannot satisfy the need for new secondary school science and mathematics teachers. We considered the question of whether we should also examine the interest of other individuals with extensive science and mathematics education backgrounds. This included those who were ABD (“all but dissertation”) and/or had master's degrees. In this case, the committee decided that a systematic exploration of the interest of these individuals in secondary school teaching and how to attract them to positions would take them beyond their charge. Nonetheless, the committee believes that graduate students in science and mathematics who obtain master's degrees or who are “ABD” should also be considered a potential source of qualified science and mathematics teachers. The fact that the focus groups we held and the questionnaire we fielded during the course of this study included graduate students as participants and respondents in some measure substantiates the potential interest of these additional groups, as well as the interest of those who have already received the Ph.D, degree. Questions to be Answered by the Present Study The data reveals that there is only a small number of Ph.D.s working in K-12 educational institutions, but is the potential interest of Ph.D.s in working in secondary school education higher than this small number might suggest? How do Ph.D.s perceive the teacher certification process and what is required to ensure that Ph.D.s become certified in an expeditious and effective manner? How should Ph.D.s who take positions in secondary school science and mathematics education be prepared? What incentives—related to the work environment and compensation—might be useful in attracting Ph.D.s to positions in secondary school science and mathematics education?
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION What have been the experiences of Ph.D.s who have taken secondary school teaching and curriculum development positions and what can we learn from these experiences? How do secondary school and higher education administrators perceive the strengths and weaknesses of Ph.D.s as secondary school science and mathematics teachers? What kinds of ongoing relationships should Ph.D.s who teach secondary school science and mathematics have with postsecondary education and academic research? This study is a first effort at addressing these kinds of questions. The information gathered here is designed to inform the discussions and deliberations of the committee overseeing the second phase of this project as this committee addresses options for developing demonstration programs with a small number of states. METHODS OF STUDY The committee began its information gathering by conducting five focus groups with advanced graduate students and recent Ph.D.s on their career aspirations and perceptions of secondary school science and mathematics education careers. Led by a professional facilitator, the focus groups obtained reactions to a number of hypothetical incentives that might be used to attract Ph.D.s to secondary school positions. The groups provided background information and elicited topics for a survey questionnaire to be fielded to graduate students and recent Ph.D.s on their career aspirations. To obtain data on the willingness of Ph.D.s to consider positions in secondary school science and mathematics education and on the various conditions that might enhance their recruitment, the committee conducted a national survey of graduate students and postdoctorates. The survey questionnaire reflects input from the five focus groups as well as the committee members and staff from several NRC units. It covers four broad areas of interest: (1) the demographic characteristics of the respondents, (2) their short-term and long-term career aspirations, including salary expectations, (3) the conditions under which the respondent might consider secondary school science and mathematics education as a career, and (4) incentives that might be required for the respondents to consider such careers. Respondents were asked to comment on their interest in a range of positions in K-12 science and mathematics education: elementary and secondary school teaching; K-12 science or mathematics curriculum development; professional development for teachers; school, district, or regional science resource specialist; working for a science education partnership; or working in a science museum, environmental center, or similar institution. The survey was fielded in July and August 1999 to a national sample of 2,000 graduate students and recent Ph.D.s stratified by field of study. We received 719 responses, for a 39 percent response rate. A telephone survey of nonrespondents to the survey indicated that there was little or no detectable nonresponse bias. The respondents
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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION had demographic characteristics similar to the population of graduate students and recent Ph.D.s from which our sample was drawn. The number of responses provided sufficient power to perform the required data analyses. In addition to fielding the survey, staff conducted a series of telephone interviews with interested individuals in secondary school science and mathematics education during the summer of 1999. We conducted interviews with 18 science and mathematics Ph.D.s currently in secondary school teaching or curriculum development positions to learn about the barriers they encountered, their strategies for overcoming these barriers, their areas of success and achievement, and their thoughts on the recruitment and retention of other science Ph.D.s. Interviews were also conducted with high school principals, school district superintendents, and chief state school officers to obtain information about their attitudes toward employment of Ph.D.s in secondary schools, about certification issues, and about funding of Ph.D.s in secondary school education. In addition, telephone interviews were conducted with graduate school deans to identify potential obstacles and ascertain the kinds of programmatic changes required in graduate education to prepare Ph.D.s for careers teaching in secondary schools. A more detailed explanation of the study methodology is provided in Appendix A. The committee deliberated whether staff should interview other interested individuals beyond the principals, superintendents, and deans, such as union representatives, non-Ph.D. secondary school teachers and postsecondary faculty, but determined that limited time and resources for its part of the overall project precluded interviewing these individuals. The committee overseeing the second phase of the project is charged with engaging the many additional interested persons, including union representatives, in conversations about bringing Ph.D.s into classrooms. OVERVIEW OF THE REPORT Chapter 2 reviews the results from five focus group sessions and from the national survey of graduate students and postdoctorates fielded during the summer of 1999. The data explore the willingness of recent Ph.D.s to consider secondary school education positions and the kinds of programs and incentives necessary to attract Ph.D.s to these positions. Chapter 3 presents the results of our interviews with Ph.D.s, secondary school administrators, and graduate deans. These results further inform our analysis of the opportunities and obstacles Ph.D.s face in pursuing careers in secondary school science and mathematics education. Chapter 4 summarizes the committee's findings and provides suggestions for the kinds of programs and incentives the committee overseeing the second phase of this project should consider in developing options for demonstration programs.
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Representative terms from entire chapter: