2

Will Ph.D.s Consider Careers in Secondary School Science & Mathematics Education?

To collect data on the career aspirations of Ph.D.s and to explore their potential interest in secondary school science and mathematics education careers, the committee fielded a Survey of Graduate Students and Recent Ph.D.s. We received more than 700 responses to the survey and this chapter presents an analysis of these responses. Most important, the survey results demonstrate that potential interest in teaching at the secondary school level appears to be much higher among Ph.D.s than the 0.8% of current Ph.D.s who are employed at the K-12 level would tend to indicate. Below we provide a description of respondents ' current status and field of science or mathematics, their demographic characteristics and career aspirations, and factors that could affect the interest of Ph.D.s in careers in secondary school teaching and education. The survey questionnaire is presented in full in Appendix C.

SURVEY METHODS AND RESPONSE

Survey Methodology and Response

The survey questionnaire was initially fielded to 2,000 graduate students and recent Ph.D.s during the summer of 1999. A first mailing was sent in July 1999 with a second, follow-up mailing about three weeks later in August 1999. Of the original 2,000 questionnaires mailed, the postmaster returned as undeliverable 169 forms. Another nine individuals responded that they were neither graduate students nor recent Ph.D.s and thus were out of the scope of the survey. The net number of individuals to whom the survey was fielded, then, was 1,822, and we received from them 719 responses. This resulted in a response rate of 36 percent of the original sample and 39 percent of the in-scope individuals contacted.

We also conducted a follow-up phone survey of 200 randomly selected nonrespondents. The purpose of this follow-up survey was to assess the reason for their failure to respond. Specifically, we were interested in determining if these persons did not respond to the survey because they were negatively biased towards careers in secondary education for science and mathematics Ph.D.s. As detailed in the appendix,



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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION 2 Will Ph.D.s Consider Careers in Secondary School Science & Mathematics Education? To collect data on the career aspirations of Ph.D.s and to explore their potential interest in secondary school science and mathematics education careers, the committee fielded a Survey of Graduate Students and Recent Ph.D.s. We received more than 700 responses to the survey and this chapter presents an analysis of these responses. Most important, the survey results demonstrate that potential interest in teaching at the secondary school level appears to be much higher among Ph.D.s than the 0.8% of current Ph.D.s who are employed at the K-12 level would tend to indicate. Below we provide a description of respondents ' current status and field of science or mathematics, their demographic characteristics and career aspirations, and factors that could affect the interest of Ph.D.s in careers in secondary school teaching and education. The survey questionnaire is presented in full in Appendix C. SURVEY METHODS AND RESPONSE Survey Methodology and Response The survey questionnaire was initially fielded to 2,000 graduate students and recent Ph.D.s during the summer of 1999. A first mailing was sent in July 1999 with a second, follow-up mailing about three weeks later in August 1999. Of the original 2,000 questionnaires mailed, the postmaster returned as undeliverable 169 forms. Another nine individuals responded that they were neither graduate students nor recent Ph.D.s and thus were out of the scope of the survey. The net number of individuals to whom the survey was fielded, then, was 1,822, and we received from them 719 responses. This resulted in a response rate of 36 percent of the original sample and 39 percent of the in-scope individuals contacted. We also conducted a follow-up phone survey of 200 randomly selected nonrespondents. The purpose of this follow-up survey was to assess the reason for their failure to respond. Specifically, we were interested in determining if these persons did not respond to the survey because they were negatively biased towards careers in secondary education for science and mathematics Ph.D.s. As detailed in the appendix,

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION we were able to obtain phone numbers for 174 of these individuals, whom we attempted to contact in late August. When contacted, 22 replied that they had already completed and returned the survey and six indicated they were neither doctoral graduate students nor recent Ph.D.s. Of the remaining 146 individuals, 94 (64 percent) fell into one of four categories: (1) they had not completed the survey because they were out of the office when it arrived, (2) a colleague indicated that the respondent was on vacation, (3) they did not respond to a voice mail message, or (4) they did not answer at all. Only three persons stated that they were not interested in participating in the survey and none of the persons we contacted in the follow-up survey indicated that they failed to respond because they were negatively predisposed towards careers in secondary education. A number of factors contributed to the overall in-scope response rate of 39 percent, which is lower than the committee would have liked. First, the committee was asked to undertake this study in a short period of time in 1999 as a first step before the second phase of the project began in early 2000. This timing obliged us to field the questionnaire in July and August, when many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are not available on campus. Second, many graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are in transit from one position or residence to another during the summer. The committee was dependent on university departments to provide accurate and up-to-date addresses for the respondents, which they do not always have. While we can say (as we do below) that the demographic characteristics of respondents to our survey are similar to those of the population we sampled, we cannot, of course, say for certain how non-respondents would have replied to the questionnaire. It is possible that, among those individuals who actually received the questionnaire, those who had an interest in secondary school education or who were at least neutral responded in higher proportions than those who had no interest. Such a result calls into question whether the respondents serve as a representative sample of the broader population of Ph.D.s. The results of this survey, therefore, should not be interpreted as the definitive word on the degree of interest of new Ph.D.s in the sciences and mathematics nationally in secondary school education. We do not know what that number or percentage might be and, as with any career choice, it most likely depends on the specific incentives offered and alternatives available at the time of choice. However, the survey results do demonstrate that potential interest in careers in prebaccalaureate education, even at its lower bounds, appears to be much higher among Ph.D.s than is represented by the 0.8 percent of them who currently work in K-12 education. This interest is high enough, we believe, to justify pilot programs to test the feasibility of this career alternative. Characteristics of Respondents By design, over half (57 percent) of the graduate students and recent Ph.D.s in our original sample were in the biological sciences, with the rest in physics, chemistry, earth, atmospheric, and marine sciences, and mathematics. We designed the sample in this way so it would mirror the universe from which it was drawn: according to the Survey of Earned Doctorates (SED), which collects data on new Ph.D. recipients population, there were 7,111 new Ph.D.s in the life sciences (biological sciences, biochemistry, and health

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION sciences) in 1997 and 5,685 new Ph.D.s in the physical sciences (physics and astronomy, chemistry, earth, atmospheric, and marine sciences, and mathematics) in that year. In general, the distribution of fields among our respondents reflects the distribution within the sample and the population. Over half (55 percent) were in the biological sciences, thus mirroring the overall population. However, one group in particular was underrepresented among our respondents. Only one-sixth (16 percent) of the respondents were chemists, though they made up 23 percent of our sample. Respondents in physics, earth sciences, and mathematics were 11 percent, 9 percent, and 8 percent, respectively, of our total respondants. Three-fourths (75 percent) of the respondents were graduate students and one-fifth (20 percent) were Ph.D.s in postdoctoral positions. The remaining respondents had received their Ph.D. degree but were not in a postdoctoral position. Many of these respondents were employed in research in science departments in medical schools. This distribution, again, is similar to the current distribution across these categories within the universe of people being addressed. According to the Survey of Graduate Students and Postdoctorates in Science and Engineering, the population in the universe we sampled consisted in 1998 of 118,452 graduate students, or 77 percent of the population, and 34,702 postdoctorate fellows, or 23 percent of the population. A plurality (45 percent) of respondents was age 25 to 29, followed by respondents age 30 to 34 (28 percent). Only 12 percent of respondents were younger than 24 and only 14 percent were age 35 or over. This distribution is within the expected range given recent results from the SED. In 1998, the average age of new Ph.D.s in the physical sciences was 30.7 years and in the life sciences 32.3 years. About the same percentage of respondents to our survey were single (49 percent) as were married (43 percent). According to the SED, the percent of physical scientists married at the time that they received their degrees was 50.6 percent in 1998 and the percentage of life scientists who were married was 56.2 percent. Native born U.S. citizens comprised 62 percent of respondents and naturalized citizens or permanent residents about 10 percent. The 176 foreign respondents on temporary visas represented 46 different countries of origin; most of these temporary residents came from the People's Republic of China (46), India (20), and the Republic of Korea (10). This breakout of survey respondents by citizenship status—72 percent U.S. citizens or permanent residents, 24 percent temporary visa holders, and 4 percent unknown is nearly identical to the distribution of new Ph.D.s in the 1998 SED across these citizenship groups. Nearly 70 percent of respondents classified themselves as white and about one-fourth as Asian/Pacific Islander. The number classifying themselves as African American and Native American was 18 (3 percent) and 17 (3 percent), respectively. Only 14 respondents indicated they were Hispanic. In 1998, about 53 percent of the all

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION respondents to the SED, but 70 percent of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, classified themselves as white. Finally, three-fifths (62 percent) of the respondents were male. In 1998, 62 percent of new Ph.D. recipients in the fields we surveyed were male according to the SED. Based on these comparisons, we believe the respondents to our survey are very similar in demographic characteristics to the universe of graduate students and postdoctorates in the fields we are interested in. Only one group in our sample is noticeably under-represented among our respondents, and that is graduate students and postdoctorates in chemistry. These individuals comprised 23 percent of our sample, but only 16 percent of our respondents. As discussed below, chemists who responded to the survey were less interested in secondary school teaching and curriculum development positions compared to respondents in other groups. CAREER ASPIRATIONS For nearly half of all respondents, their next step in employment was a postdoctoral position. Nearly three-fifths (58 percent) of graduate students anticipated a postdoctoral position as their immediate next step in employment or training, while only 21 percent of postdoctoral fellows sought an additional postdoctoral position for their immediate next step. In addition, over one-fifth of respondents indicated employment in industry as their next step. A position in K-12 education was the next step for only 8 respondents. The distribution of immediate next steps in employment or training is shown in Table 2-1. When asked about their ultimate career aspirations, over 60 percent of respondents selected careers in academia. The most popular career choice was a faculty position in a research university. A position in industry was the second most selected career aspiration, selected by over 24 percent of respondents. A position in K-12 education was the ultimate career aspiration for only 9 respondents. The distribution of respondent's ultimate career aspirations is shown in Table 2-2.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION TABLE 2-1 Percentage Distribution of Immediate Next Step in Employment or Training by Respondent Status Immediate Next Step In Employment or Training Status of Respondents Graduate Students (N=513) Postdocs (N=134) Other Ph.D.s (N=33) All Respondents (N=680) Postdoctoral position 58% 21% 13% 49% Research university faculty position 3 36 29 11 Liberal arts college position 4 6 0 4 Community college faculty 1 0 3 1 Other academic position 3 8 3 4 K-12 education position 1 0 3 1 Non-profit organization 1 0 3 1 Government 3 2 0 2 Industry 20 24 39 22 Self employed 1 1 3 1 Further education 3 0 3 2 Other position 2 3 1 3 Total 100% 100% 100% 100% TABLE 2-2 Percentage Distribution of Respondent's Ultimate Career Aspirations Ultimate Career Aspiration Percent of All Respondents (N=680) Postdoctoral position 1% Research university faculty position 43 Liberal arts college position 14 Community college faculty 1 Other academic position 4 K-12 education position 1 Non-profit organization 1 Government 4 Industry 24 Self employed 7 Other position 4 Total 100% Finally, to ascertain the breadth of career options that science and mathematics Ph.D.s entertain, we asked respondents to indicate all careers they have ever considered. On average, each respondent has considered four different career paths, although a few have considered as many as eight. Similar percentages have considered a position in industry (73 percent) and a position as faculty in a research university (70 percent). Half of the respondents have considered government employment (52 percent) and a quarter (28 percent) have considered working with non-profit organizations. Interestingly, a

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION position in K-12 education was a career path considered by 26 percent of the respondents (N=168). The distribution of long-term careers ever considered is shown in Table 2-3. TABLE 2-3 Percentage Distribution of Positions Ever Considered Position Ever Considered Percent of all respondents (N=680) Postdoctoral position 38% Research university faculty position 70 Liberal arts college position 43 Community college faculty 27 Other academic position 42 K-12 education position 26 Non-profit organization 28 Government 52 Industry 73 Self employed 22 Other position 3 INTEREST IN SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Defining Interest in Secondary School Education There were three parts of the questionnaire that identified respondents ' interest in a position in K-12 teaching or education. One question asked if the respondents had ever “considered a position in K-12 science/mathematics education, teaching, or leadership.” This response was included among the many alternatives to the questions on next employment step, career aspirations and positions ever considered. One-quarter of the respondents (N = 168) indicated that they had considered a position in K-12 education. In addition, respondents were asked “Have you ever actively considered taking a position teaching science or mathematics in a secondary school (grades 7-12)?” Just over 30 percent (N = 211) of respondents indicated that they had actively considered a career in secondary school teaching. In answering these two questions, a total of 245 respondents (36 percent) indicated that they had considered either a position in K-12 education or a secondary school teaching position.1 Conversely, 82 (12 percent) respondents indicated that they would not consider any secondary school position under any circumstances. Finally, 353 respondents (52 percent) fell into neither of these two groups and were classified as having no prior consideration of a position in secondary school education as a career alternative. Based on these responses, we classified respondents on the basis of their interest in or consideration of a position in secondary school education. A total of 245 1   For some unexplained reason, 77 survey respondents who indicated that they had actively considered secondary school teaching, did not indicate that they had aspired to a career in K-12 education.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION respondents had considered and not rejected a position in secondary school education; 353 had never thought about a secondary school position; and 82 had considered and rejected a secondary school position. In terms of their interest in a position in secondary school education the respondents are categorized as yes, there is an interest in secondary school education (N=246); they had not considered a position in secondary school education (N=353); and there is no interest in secondary school education (N=82). The respondents' interest in careers in secondary school education varied according to a number of social and demographic variables. For example, graduate students were somewhat more likely to have considered a position in secondary school education than were postdocs. Nearly 37 percent of graduate students indicated having considered a career in secondary school education compared to 28 percent for postdoctoral fellows. However, 51 percent of respondents classified as “other” (Ph.D.s not in postdoctoral positions) had considered a career in secondary school education. Younger respondents were slightly more likely to have considered a career in secondary school education. Just over 38 percent of respondents under age 30 indicated they had considered a career in secondary school education compared to 34 percent for respondents age 30 and over. There was also variation in whether the respondent had considered a career in secondary school education by the respondent's discipline. Respondents in mathematics and physics were most likely to have considered a career in secondary school education (44 percent) followed by those in biological sciences (37 percent), earth sciences (30 percent) and chemistry (27 percent). There was a significant difference in the percentage of respondents that had considered a secondary school position by gender (p < .01). A higher percentage of female respondents (43 percent) had considered a secondary school position than male respondents (32 percent). Citizenship was also significantly associated with consideration of a secondary school position (p < .005). As might be expected, 41 percent of U.S. citizens (native and naturalized) had considered a position in secondary school education, compared to only 27 percent of temporary and permanent residents. Although, respondents who identified themselves as white (38 percent) were more likely to have considered a position in secondary school education than those respondents of other ethnic origins (33 percent), the difference was not significant. There was no association between family status and prior consideration of a position in secondary school education. Neither marital status nor the presence of children in the household was associated with prior consideration of a position in secondary school education. All but eight of all respondents had some prior teaching experience and many respondents had multiple forms of teaching experience. Most (87 percent) have served as teaching assistants. In addition, about 10 percent of the respondents had experience

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION teaching in either elementary or secondary school. About 22 percent had teaching experience through volunteer work in secondary schools. Financial Considerations To understand better how financial considerations might affect career choices, we asked respondents to provide us with their current salary, the salary they expected at their immediate next step of employment, and the salary they expected seven years from now when, presumably, they would have settled into a stable career. We also asked respondents to provide us with the beginning salary they would require if they were to assume a position as a secondary school teacher and the salary they would require after seven years in secondary school teaching. The average current salary of respondents, most of whom are graduate students, was about $19,661. The current salary of postdoctoral fellows, $28,667, was significantly higher that the current salary of graduate students, $15,972 (p < .001). The respondents anticipated that at their immediate next step of employment their average income would be $37,753. About half of the respondents expected to hold postdoctoral fellowships as their next step in employment and they anticipated, on average, a salary of $29,500. For respondents planning on faculty positions at a research university, the average anticipated salary was $45,642. For those who planned a next step as faculty at a liberal arts college, the anticipated average salary was $40,259. Finally, respondents entering into industry expected a beginning salary of $52,082. Respondents were asked to anticipate their salaries in seven years, presumably at a time when they would all be in a stable career in the positions to which they aspired. The average salary for all respondents seven years out was $71,627 (see Table 2-4). Those respondents who sought self-employment anticipated the highest salaries in seven years, $121,276. Those planning careers in industry anticipated salaries of $80,812 seven years out. Respondents who planned careers in academia anticipated salaries that were considerably lower. For example, the salary anticipated in seven years by faculty in research universities was $65,819, and for faculty in liberal arts colleges only $56,113.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION TABLE 2-4 Respondent's Anticipated Average Salary in Seven Years by Ultimate Career Aspiration Ultimate Career Aspiration of All Respondents Anticipated Salary in Seven Years Research university faculty position $65,819 Liberal position arts college 56,113 Community college faculty 37,116 Other academic position 54,222 K-12 education position 54,375 Non-profit organization 60,000 Government 73,692 Industry 80,812 Self employed 121,276 Average, all respondents $71,627 All respondents were asked what they would require as a starting salary in order to consider a secondary school teaching position. The average of $37,128 is not very different from the $37,752 all respondents anticipated at the next step in their employment and considerably larger than the salary expected by respondents who chose to be postdocs at their next step. In addition, all respondents were asked for the salary they would require after seven years in order to consider secondary school teaching. The average salary of $52,828 is considerably lower than the average of $71,627 all respondents anticipated in their careers seven years from now (see Table 2-5). There were no significant differences in either anticipated salary at the next step of employment or salary anticipated in seven years among respondents based on their prior interest in secondary school education. However, respondents who had demonstrated some prior interest in a position in secondary school education had significantly lower salary expectations for a position in secondary education than did those who had not considered or were not interested in a position in secondary school teaching. TABLE 2-5 Beginning Salary and Salary in Seven Years Required to Consider a Career in Secondary School Teaching by Interest in a Position in Secondary School Education Interest in Secondary School Education Average Starting Salary1 Average Salary in Seven Years1 Yes (N=245) $35,795 $52,828 Not Considered (N=353) 37,460 55,973 No Interest (N=82) 41,037 61,370 Total (N=680) $37,128 $55,216 1 p < .001

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION ASPECTS OF A PROGRAM TO ATTRACT SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION To understand better the kinds of structural changes that might facilitate the entry of science and mathematics Ph.D.s into secondary school education careers, we asked graduate students and Ph.D.s in our sample to respond to a number of scenarios in which they were asked to indicate if they would consider accepting a position as a secondary school science or mathematics teacher. These scenarios dealt with a number of perquisites suggested by the focus group discussions that might be provided to Ph.D.s engaged in secondary school teaching. The perquisites that were tested included a national fellowship, a guaranteed two-year postdoctoral fellowship following two years of secondary school teaching, the option of teaching in a specialized science and technology high school, financial assistance for education expenses, student loan forgiveness, and teaching resource support. Respondent's responses to these prerequisites are shown in Table 2-6. TABLE 2-6 Percentage of Respondents Agreeing to Conditions for a Position as a Secondary School Science or Mathematics Teacher by Prior Interest in a Career Position in Secondary School Education I Would Consider Taking a Position as a Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teacher if.... Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents (N=680) Yes (N=245) Not Considered (N=353) No Interest (N=82) I were awarded a prestigious national fellowship that provided training, placement, and covered living expenses 87% 66% 12% 67% I had the option of 2-year postdoc following a 2-year teaching commitment, in addition to the national fellowship 73 67 11 63 I had the option of 2-year postdoc following a 2-year teaching commitment without the option of the national fellowship 57 37 7 41 I were able to teach in a specialized science and technology high school 81 48 13 56 I received support from a regional or university-based science resource center that provided science kits and loaned equipment 75 44 12 52 Financial assistance were available for the education expenses related to the certification process 40 11 8 21 One year of student loans were forgiven for each year of K-12 teaching 57 38 11 42

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION As expected, respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school education were much more likely to consider secondary school teaching positions under all of these scenarios. Only a handful of those respondents with no interest in a position in secondary school education would consider secondary school teaching under any scenario. Generally speaking, respondents who had not previously considered a position in secondary school education were similar to those who had. Some respondents who had considered a position in secondary school education would not consider teaching under any scenario, and some of the respondents who had no interest in secondary school education would consider each scenario. Respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school education endorsed four of the scenarios. These include: The award of a prestigious national fellowship that would provide training, placement, and special opportunities for networking with peers, as well as cover living expenses during the training period (87 percent). The option of a two-year guaranteed postdoctoral research fellowship at the end of a two-year teaching commitment, in addition to the national fellowship described above (73 percent). The ability to teach in a specialized science and technology high school (81 percent). Support during teaching through a regional or university-based science teaching resource center that provided science kits, loaned laboratory equipment, and organized field opportunities for science experiments in which students could participate (75 percent). These scenarios were also endorsed by respondents who had not previously considered a position in secondary school education, but not to the same degree. Two-thirds of respondents in this category endorsed the award of a national fellowship and the option of a two-year guaranteed postdoc in addition to the fellowship. Nearly half of these respondents favored teaching in a science and technology high school and the support of a science resource center. Participants who had previously considered a position in secondary school education were less enthusiastic about the remaining three scenarios. Two scenarios were endorsed by more than half of these respondents and one was endorsed by only 40 percent of respondents. These scenarios include:

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION The option of a two-year guaranteed postdoctoral research fellowship at the end of a two-year teaching commitment without the national fellowship (57 percent). One year of my student loans forgiven for each year of employment in a full-time teaching position (57 percent). Financial assistance made available for the educational expenses incurred in the process of gaining certification (40 percent). Respondents who previously had not considered a position in secondary school education were much less likely to endorse these three scenarios. Only 37 percent endorsed the two-year postdoc without the national fellowship; 38 percent endorsed the forgiveness of student loans; and only 11 percent were endorsed financial assistance for certification expenses. Relief of education debt was endorsed by 42 percent of all respondents. Over half (57 percent) of the respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school education were interested in education debt relief compared to 38 percent for those respondents who had not previously considered a position in secondary school education and only 11 percent of those with no interest in secondary school education. These differences may be the result of differences in the level of education debt among the three groups. Respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school teaching had higher levels of educational debt than did other respondents, although this difference was not statistically significant. Less than half (48 percent) of respondents reported any educational debt. For respondents with educational debt, the average level of debt was $20,817. Respondents who endorsed education debt relief had a significantly higher level of education debt, $23,585, than did those who did not endorse debt relief, $15,852 (p < .001). As part of the process for developing our survey questionnaire, we held a series of focus groups with graduate students and postdoctoral fellows on their career aspirations and interest in a position in secondary school education. Participants in the focus groups told us that there were five additional issues that would potentially affect whether some of them would consider a career in secondary school science and mathematics teaching. We developed a series of scaled-response questions to assess the importance of these issues for survey respondents in their consideration of a position in secondary school education. These five issues were: The availability of funded fellowships for work in research laboratories during the summer months; The ability to get release time and travel expenses during the school year to attend professional meetings; The availability of experienced teachers to serve as mentors during the school year; The ability to receive teacher certification through some expedited process; and

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION A time-limited commitment to secondary school teaching. The graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the survey were asked to consider a number of options for each of the conditions and respond yes or no to whether these options would affect their consideration of secondary school teaching. Each respondent was able to select more than one response. Consequently, the number of positive responses is greater than the number of respondents. Some respondents, especially those with no interest in teaching, selected none of the responses. As in the analysis of the previous scenarios, we have used the classification of respondents by their level of interest in secondary school education in this analysis. Respondents who had previously expressed an interest in secondary school education were most likely to indicate some level of consideration of conditions for employment in secondary school teaching. Respondents who had not previously considered a position in secondary school education were less likely to consider alternative conditions for secondary school teaching. Generally speaking, these were differences in degree between the response patterns of respondents who had considered secondary school education and those who had not. However, those who had no interest in secondary school education responded in a very different pattern. The following tables present the responses to each specific scenario. Summer Research. As seen in Table 2-7, many respondents consider a guaranteed position in a research lab for the summer months an important prerequisite in considering a career in secondary school teaching. On the other hand, a number of respondents indicated that freedom to do as they pleased during the summer would make secondary school teaching attractive. A majority of respondents who had expressed an interest in secondary school education would consider a secondary school teaching position if they were guaranteed a summer fellowship in a research lab, including travel expenses. This was also true of those respondents who had not previously considered a position in secondary school education. A guaranteed summer fellowship was of little interest to respondents who indicated no interest in secondary school education.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION TABLE 2-7 Percentage of Respondents Attracted to Secondary School Teaching by Availability of Summer Research and Interest in Secondary School Education I Would Consider Taking a Position as a Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teacher if.... Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents (N=680) Yes (N = 245) Not Considered (N = 353) No Interest (N = 82) I were guaranteed summer fellowship in a research lab including travel expenses 79% 63% 17% 63% I were guaranteed summer fellowship in a research lab 63 42 11 47 I had the opportunity to compete for summer fellowship in a research lab 41 18 6 25 I had the opportunity to participate without compensation in a lab during the summer 21 6 1 11 I were free to do as I pleased during the summer 62 26 12 37 No interest in teaching under any of these scenarios 7 30 80 28 Participation at Scientific Meetings. The respondents indicated that both release time and funding to attend at least one professional meeting during the school year would be an important factor in considering a position in secondary school teaching. As shown in Table 2-8, there is a considerable reduction in positive responses when the condition is restricted to just release time to attend professional meetings without funding. TABLE 2-8 Percentage of Respondents Attracted to Secondary School Teaching by Participation at Scientific Meetings and Interest in Secondary School Education I Would Consider Taking a Position as a Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teacher if.... Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents (N=680) Yes (N = 245) Not Considered (N = 353) No Interest (N = 82) I were given funding and time to attend two or more scientific meetings during the school year 88% 61% 17% 63% I were given funding and time to attend one scientific meeting during the school year 77 47 12 53 I were given time to attend scientific meetings during the school year 48 24 7 31 I were given time to attend one scientific meeting during the school year 39 14 5 22 I would have no opportunity to attend scientific meetings during the school year 13 2 5 6 No interest in teaching under any of these scenarios 7 30 80 28

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Assistance in Curriculum Development and Teaching. As seen in Table 2-9, respondents indicated that the assistance of an experienced teacher to serve as a mentor was an important factor in considering secondary school teaching. It is interesting to note that the duration of the assistance from an experienced teacher is not as important as the availability of assistance. TABLE 2-9 Percentage of Respondents Attracted to Secondary School Teaching by Interest in Mentoring and Interest in Secondary School Education I Would Consider Taking a Position as a Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teacher if.... Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents Yes (N = 245) Not Considered (N = 353) No Interest (N = 82) I were mentored by a selected, experienced teacher during my initial two years of teaching 60% 35% 7% 40% I were mentored by a selected, experienced teacher during my initial year of teaching 68 41 6 47 I were mentored by a selected, experienced teacher during my initial semester of teaching 60 32 11 40 I were mentored by a selected, experienced teacher on an as-needed basis 69 34 12 44 I would have no formal assistance from a mentor 27 12 5 17 No interest in teaching under any of these scenarios 6 33 82 29 Teacher Certification Requirements. Respondents clearly indicated that they were unwilling to spend more time than an intensive summer session to attain teacher certification. A majority of respondents indicated that teaching proficiency demonstrated on-the-job should suffice for teacher certification (see Table 2-10). However, a substantial proportion of respondents indicated that they would be willing to attend an intensive summer course in education in order to obtain teacher certification. Few respondents were willing to spend any additional time in coursework leading to teacher certification. Generally speaking, respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school education were more willing to commit to additional training for teacher certification.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION TABLE 2-10 Percentage of Respondents Attracted to Secondary School teaching by Procedures for Teacher Certification and Interest in Secondary School Education I Would Consider Taking a Position as a Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teacher if.... Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents (N=680) Yes (N = 245) Not Considered (N = 353) No Interest (N = 82) Teaching proficiencies could be demonstrated on the job 80% 61% 16% 63% I could demonstrate proficiency prior to becoming a teacher through prescribed formal courses or experiences based on my needs 69 41 11 48 I could receive teacher certification by taking intensive summer courses in education 68 35 7 44 I could receive teacher certification by taking one year of education courses 22 10 6 14 I could receive teacher certification by taking more than one year of education courses 6 3 2 4 No interest in teaching under any of these scenarios 5 26 82 26 Duration of Teaching Commitment. Respondents were asked to indicate how long a commitment they were willing to make to teaching in a secondary school (see Table 2-11). For respondents who both had and had not previously considered a position in secondary school education, any commitment longer than two years was not conducive to considering secondary school teaching. TABLE 2-11 Percentage of Respondents Attracted to Secondary School Teaching by Duration of Teaching Commitment and Interest in Secondary School Education I Would Consider Taking a Position as a Secondary School Science and Mathematics Teacher if.... Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents (N=680) Yes (N = 245) Not Considered (N = 353) No Interest (N = 82) I would accept a 1-year teaching commitment 79% 55% 15% 58% I would accept a 2-year teaching commitment 73 42 7 49 I would accept a 3-year teaching commitment 42 17 5 29 I would accept a 4-year teaching commitment 24 7 4 13 I would accept a 5-year teaching commitment 24 8 4 13 No interest in teaching under any of these scenarios 4 29 82 27

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION INTEREST IN OTHER K-12 EDUCATION POSITIONS In the course of holding focus group discussions in preparation for developing its survey questionnaire, 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 who participated in focus group sessions 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. Further, focus group participants suggested that Ph.D.s could also contribute by working in professional development, science education partnerships, or science museums and environmental centers. They also indicated that Ph.D.s could contribute as science or math specialists in school districts, science resource teachers in elementary or secondary schools, science specialists in regional or university-based science education resource centers, or K-6 science or math teachers. The committee believed these suggestions were important to explore 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. The suggestions of focus group recipients were addressed by adding one question to the survey questionnaire. Respondents were asked to indicate if they would consider full-time employment in a wide range of K-12 education positions other than secondary school teaching (see Table 2-12). Respondents were able to identify up to eight K-12 education positions. There was a very high level of interest among respondents in these positions; the typical respondent indicated an interest in four different K-12 education positions. The most popular K-12 education positions were: Professional development Science or mathematics specialist University or industry-based science educational partnerships Science specialist in a science resource center These positions were considered by more than three-quarters of respondents who had a prior interest in K-12 education and by more than half of those who had not previously considered K-12 education careers. More than half of all respondents indicated an interest in two other positions. Respondents who had previously considered a position in K-12 education were considerably more interested in these positions than other respondents. These positions include: Curriculum development Working in a science museum or similar institution

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Finally, fewer than half of the respondents indicated interest in two additional positions: Science resource teacher K-6 science or mathematics teacher TABLE 2-12 Percentage of Respondents Attracted to Positions in K-12 Science or Mathematics Education by Interest in Secondary School Education Secondary School Science or Mathematics Education Position Interest in Position in Secondary School Education All Respondents (N=680) Yes (N=245) Not Considered (N=353) No Interest (N=82) Curriculum development (devising or refining units of study by grade level) 66% 37% 16% 55% Professional development (teaching science or mathematics teachers) 82 54 23 74 Science or mathematics specialist for a school district 80 53 17 71 Science resource teacher for an elementary or secondary school 55 28 12 44 K-6 science or mathematics teacher 26 11 6 19 Science Education Partnerships (university or industry-based expertise for K-12 classrooms) 75 55 25 72 Science specialist in a regional or university-based science education resource center 74 58 28 73 Working in a science museum, environmental science center, or similar institution 66 49 28 64

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION While it would have been difficult to test for this through our survey, we did note in holding focus group discussions that the individuals who were interested in such positions as curriculum development specialist recognized that becoming expert in curriculum development took years of experience in the classroom. Indeed, it was clear that those who would be most interested in curriculum development would seek substantial classroom experience first. SUMMARY Level of Interest In 1997, only 0.8 percent of persons with Ph.D.s in the physical, biological, or mathematical sciences held a position in K-12 educational institutions. This survey demonstrates, however, that a surprisingly large percentage of science and mathematics graduate students and recent Ph.D.s among our respondents have considered a position in secondary school education. Respondents who were younger, female, and native born were the most willing to consider a position in secondary school education. Potential Incentives The survey also demonstrates that there are certain conditions under which Ph.D.s might potentially find careers in secondary education more attractive. We summarize these conditions here, and discuss our judgments about the pros and cons of implementing any one of them in the conclusions to Chapter 4. In sum, then, respondents were presented with a number of scenarios that asked whether they would consider taking a position as a secondary school teacher in science or mathematics. In one set of questions, four scenarios emerged that showed promise for attracting Ph.D.s to secondary school careers. These were: The award of a prestigious national fellowship that would provide training, placement, and special opportunities for networking with peers, as well as cover living expenses during the training period; The ability to teach in a specialized science and technology high school; Support during teaching through a regional or university-based science teaching resource center that provided science kits, loaned laboratory equipment, and organized field opportunities for science experiments in which students could participate; and The option of a two-year guaranteed postdoctoral research fellowship at the end of a two-year teaching commitment, in addition to the prestigious national fellowship. There were other issues that also had an impact on whether respondents would consider taking a position as a secondary school science or mathematics teacher. Two of these issues dealt with maintaining linkages to colleagues and updating scientific skills. First,

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION the availability of funded summer fellowships in research labs, with travel expenses, during the summer was an important factor in whether respondents would consider a secondary school teaching position, selected by nearly 80 percent of respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school teaching and 63 percent of all respondents. Second, 88 percent of respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school teaching and 63 percent of all respondents indicated they would consider a position as a secondary school science or mathematics teacher if funding and release time to attend two scientific meetings during the school year were made available. Respondents recognized that by teaching in a secondary school system, they would encounter barriers. Two issues of concern were teacher certification and acquiring skills in pedagogy appropriate to secondary schools. While most respondents preferred teacher certification based on proficiencies demonstrated on-the-job, a majority would consider participating in formal coursework in education during an intensive summer course to obtain certification. Two-thirds of the respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school education and 54 percent of all respondents wanted some level of mentoring from an experienced science teacher, but there was little consensus on the optimal amount of mentoring. Finally, most respondents indicated that they were unwilling to commit initially to more than two years of teaching mathematics or science in a secondary school. Respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school education had lower salary expectations for a secondary school teaching position, both for beginning salaries and salaries anticipated in 7 years. However, all respondents recognized that salaries for positions in secondary teaching were lower than for other career alternatives available to them. Other K-12 Positions Finally, respondents expressed considerable interest in a wide range of K-12 education positions other than secondary school teaching. Positions considered by more than half of respondents who had previously considered a position in secondary school teaching, as well as who had not considered such a position, include professional development, science or mathematics specialist for a school district, university or industry-based science educational partnerships, and science specialist in a science resource center.