APPENDIX B

Focus Group Summaries

SITES OF FOCUS GROUPS

University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - Rutgers University/UMDNJ

Duke University

University of Texas at Austin

University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC)

SUMMARY OF FOCUS GROUPS

Interviewees - A total of 43 Ph.D. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows participated in the five focus groups. Most were in the biological sciences. A few were in mathematics and chemistry. One was in geological sciences. Several had started out to become teachers or had taught high school. Some had participated in secondary school teaching through the Science and Health Partnership (SEP).

Career Aspirations - Many would stay in scientific research if they could. Attitudes about possibility of obtaining tenure-track research positions were realistic. About one-third aspired to work in small colleges, another third in industry. Some still hoped for tenure track research positions. Perceptions of the academic professor's life were often negative. Several interviewees had considered teaching as a career. Almost none were planning to teach K-12.

Positive and negative attitudes about teaching K-12 - Although the importance and social responsibility of good science teaching was recognized and many had enjoyed teaching as teaching assistants, few considered K-12 teaching as an option. The perceived positives included great hours, schedule is same as your children, great vacations, summer option to do research, and enjoyment of fostering scientific interest among children. Some believed student motivation to learn at private and magnet schools would be a good. As one interviewee said, “Teaching at a good secondary school could be better than a bad college.” Others believed this would be a socially irresponsible copout. The perceived negatives included lack of status and respect, poor classroom laboratory facilities, excessive numbers of students in classroom, structured curriculum with no opportunity for creativity, possible conflicts with non-Ph.D. teachers, and problems of discipline, violence, or drugs. A Ph.D. is overeducated for K-12, said one participant. “I enjoy teaching math too much to be teaching 10th grade algebra.”



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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION APPENDIX B Focus Group Summaries SITES OF FOCUS GROUPS University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - Rutgers University/UMDNJ Duke University University of Texas at Austin University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC) SUMMARY OF FOCUS GROUPS Interviewees - A total of 43 Ph.D. graduate students and postdoctoral fellows participated in the five focus groups. Most were in the biological sciences. A few were in mathematics and chemistry. One was in geological sciences. Several had started out to become teachers or had taught high school. Some had participated in secondary school teaching through the Science and Health Partnership (SEP). Career Aspirations - Many would stay in scientific research if they could. Attitudes about possibility of obtaining tenure-track research positions were realistic. About one-third aspired to work in small colleges, another third in industry. Some still hoped for tenure track research positions. Perceptions of the academic professor's life were often negative. Several interviewees had considered teaching as a career. Almost none were planning to teach K-12. Positive and negative attitudes about teaching K-12 - Although the importance and social responsibility of good science teaching was recognized and many had enjoyed teaching as teaching assistants, few considered K-12 teaching as an option. The perceived positives included great hours, schedule is same as your children, great vacations, summer option to do research, and enjoyment of fostering scientific interest among children. Some believed student motivation to learn at private and magnet schools would be a good. As one interviewee said, “Teaching at a good secondary school could be better than a bad college.” Others believed this would be a socially irresponsible copout. The perceived negatives included lack of status and respect, poor classroom laboratory facilities, excessive numbers of students in classroom, structured curriculum with no opportunity for creativity, possible conflicts with non-Ph.D. teachers, and problems of discipline, violence, or drugs. A Ph.D. is overeducated for K-12, said one participant. “I enjoy teaching math too much to be teaching 10th grade algebra.”

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Curriculum Development and Professional Development–While not previously considered an option by any of the participants, the idea of being involved in curriculum development and teaching science to teachers aroused substantial interest at all sites. Participants thought curriculum development was appealing because of the opportunity it would provide to look at the “big picture” of how all the pieces of science or math education fit together. They thought training science teachers would provide them a role in keeping teachers current with regard to the latest scientific advances. Training and Certification - Participants realized that in addition to knowing their subjects, teachers need to learn how to teach and to deal with children. Standard teacher education courses received little enthusiasm. At several sites a mentored teaching experience was suggested to be important. There was some interest in a time-limited teaching experience of 1-2 years. Five years was considered too long. It was suggested that this experience should be mentored, and that it could be rewarded by a guaranteed NIH-funded fellowship. Also heard was: “If you take 2 years off to teach you won't get back on the research track.” Compensation - Career and life style issues were considered more important than salary. K-12 salaries were considered unattractive in contrast to other professional options. Comments and Suggestions “The best time to capture Ph.D.s for secondary school teaching is right after graduation.” “If you put an ad in Science or Nature with an established program to recruit Ph.D. scientists to secondary school teaching it would work. Lots of students would sign up.”

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Focus Group Questions and Responses Tell me about your current position? Rutgers/UMDNJ: five postdocs; five grad students; all in life sciences Duke: one postdoc; one Ph.D. just graduated; two Ph.D. candidates; one MS/MAT UT Austin: one in geology, three in math, one chemistry, one microbiology, one biochemistry, and one biology UCSF: All 10 are life science graduate students. Six are in biochemistry, and one each in cell biology, biophysics, pharmaceutical chemistry, and immunology FHCRC: All are postdocs at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Three are working in gene regulation, three are working in mouse genetics, and one each is working in drug design, cellular growth regulation, transcription regulation, and molecular genetics. The range from first to sixth-year postdocs. Seven of the 10 had teaching assistant (TA) experience while in graduate school. What are your career aspirations? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Academic research/tenure-track faculty: five (one said she might consider secondary school or college teaching in her native Puerto Rico) Not sure: maybe industry: one Own business (contract research): one Don't know: two (one postdoc facing a difficult job market; one 2nd year grad student who hasn't faced the issue) One participant indicated that they all wanted to do research. That 's why they are in grad programs or postdocs positions. Duke: Academic research/tenure-track faculty: two (one explicitly said research without teaching) Undergraduate teaching at a liberal arts college: one Non-formal environmental education: one K-12 mathematics curriculum development, but career is on hold while husband finishes mathematics Ph.D. UT Austin: Two were interested in teaching in a small college Four were interested in research, one was emphatic One wanted to work for the FBI as an analytical chemist (and not in academia) One wanted to work in industry All participants had teaching assistantships (university requirement) and, consequently, some teaching experience

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION UCSF: Only three out of 10 want research careers, several want to teach in small colleges. For the immediate future four have lined up postdocs, two want to teach (one at a community college and one at a secondary school), two are interested in industry, and two are interested in a traditional academic career. One of the students leaning toward academics is also considering patent law and three of the others have considered teaching at the community college level. All 10 are involved in the SEP program that gets them involved in high schools, but not at the teaching level. In addition, all students are required to serve as a TA at some time in their student careers. This is interesting as there are no undergraduate students, so they have 2-3rd year graduate students teaching 1st year students. One sees no practical applications of research and wants to get into industry One wants to teach at a small college, enjoys teaching and will give up cutting-edge research for teaching, wants to get out of the pressure cooker. This is definitely a life-style exchange. Another needs the big equipment that is only available at a big research university; likes cutting-edge research. Another commented that big universities have the big salaries but a lot of stress. Small colleges have lower salaries and lower stress. This is a trade off; teaching is not lucrative. FHCRC: Two want to teach in small colleges, three want to remain in research (one has an interest in technical writing), two want to work in industry, one wants a traditional academic/research position (although has considered teaching), one is interested in science education administration, and one is undecided. What do you find attractive about the career you aspire to? Rutgers/UMDNJ: I like science, Enjoy scientific investigation, Intellectual seeking, Independence, and Can develop your own experiments. Duke: While not all of the participants explicitly answered this question, it was evident from the discussion of career aspirations that each was motivated by what they would find fulfilling. As with the Rutgers/UMDNJ group, they were focussed on the substance of what they would be accomplishing in their careers rather than considerations such as salary (see below). K-12 math curriculum: would enjoy reforming the math curriculum at a school. Environmental education: enjoys taking science teachers through experiments that they can teach to students. Neurobiological research: would enjoy applying skills in research. Undergraduate education: has taught secondary school English in Japan and enjoys teaching. Would feel overqualified for secondary school teaching; would enjoy undergraduate teaching.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION UT Austin: Teaching gives you a better return on your investment, the research process is too long for so little research to happen. Started in education but was bored, switched to math – research is a stressor, the roller coaster of research is too much. Started in elementary education but transferred into chemistry, too much lesson planning in elementary education. Started in chemical engineering but switched to biochemistry, didn 't like the responsibilities associated with chemical engineering. What is unattractive about the career you aspire to? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Having to pursue research grants. Salaries are low. The personal costs of obtaining the tenure-track faculty research positions are too high. Duke: See “chance of realizing aspiration” below. UT Austin: Too many Ph.D.s, competition is tough, computer science and electrical engineering is the place to be. There is a dark side to science. Postdocs have low pay and high stress. Industry pays better, especially as you move into middle management. Working with grants is difficult, there is pressure to produce and get grants. Takes too long (6 to 8 years) to get degree. UCSF participants were asked what factors affected their career choices. Advocates for community. Success leads to money. This will enable him to give something back to the community. But still wants financial security to enable to fund community projects. Was surprised how hard people are willing to work. This is part of the UCSF culture. Life beyond work is important. Work level is shocking and it surprised him. Everybody is doing science all the time. Wants a life and wants to get excited about things outside of science. Secondary school teaching was very hard. Had to be on call all the time. Although it has less flexibility, he likes it. Research first – teach later; you can't do both. You can't achieve balance across time, but you can over time. UCSF is very stimulating, small college will be broader but less intense. Secondary school compensation is too low. Teachers should be given better tools. You must raise the pay levels to make secondary school teaching more attractive.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Summer money is an issue with the public. Looked for peer interaction in secondary school teaching, not as much as hoped for or desired. Likes the level of interaction with the grad students. Right now, what do you think are your chances of realizing your aspirations? What are the obstacles to realizing these aspirations? Rutgers/UMDNJ: The job market is very difficult now for tenure-track faculty positions. There are hundreds of applications for positions, even at small institutions. Only 5 percent of Ph.D.s will obtain tenure-track faculty jobs [check for actual percentage] A research career is dependent on your research outcomes. All Ph.D.s have a strong foundation in scientific concepts, so luck is a factor in generating a hot research project at the right time. Getting one of these positions is also dependent on who you know, having the right connections. Duke: The psychology job market is horrible but the neurobiology market is doing really well so he has retrained himself and hopes his chances for a research position at a major research university are good. In zoology, Duke grads have a better than average chance of attaining research jobs; a postdoc is needed first. Mathematics: The job market is awful and the dual career issue has made matters worse. Her career is on hold while her husband finishes his Ph.D. She once considered the academic faculty track but doesn 't believe it's likely. Environmental education: already doing what she wants to do. Undergraduate teaching: reasonably confident about obtaining a position at a liberal arts college. UT Austin: Math job market is depressed, must consider alternatives, but you are not taken seriously if you look outside of academe I am developing a product for my PI who has his own start-up company. He will support me in getting a job. The old boy network hurts females; fecundity is a liability, the potential for spousal mobility is a problem; the government has come to terms with this, while industry and academe have not. People hit the ceiling in industry. Not everybody can teach and do research. Working under grants is tenuous, when the grant runs out, research is sidetracked. Family is important and the lab requires too much time.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION UCSF: All 10 participants are involved in the SEP program that gets them involved in high schools, but not as teachers. In addition, all students are required to serve as a TA at some time in their student careers. Since two want to teach (one at a community college and one at a secondary school) and three others are considering teaching at the community college level, many of their comments focused on teaching. What is the next step after the postdoc? Wants to make a difference and may teach to pay back. Not much teaching experience in grad school. Teaching is discouraged by the principal investigators (PIs), so you must gain teaching experience on your own. Because there are no undergraduate students, faculty who are interested in teaching are not attracted to UCSF. This makes it difficult for students who want to teach. The PIs are not happy about the TA teaching requirement but support SEP activities. Took time off from graduate school to teach at secondary school to gain experience (summer only, taught a summer school session). This had a negative impact on his career, but it was worth it. It is not possible to take time off, fields are too competitive, too much is happening too fast It's hard to even take a vacation, the PIs want you in the lab all the time. Grad students (and other faculty) in other areas have time off – this is frustrating; there is a penalty to take time off. Think back to when you first started college and when you first started graduate school. What were your career aspirations at each of these times? If you have changed your aspirations, what caused you to change? Rutgers/UMDNJ: One participant had originally been pre-med and decided that, instead of working with people; she preferred working in a lab doing research [not a good candidate for teaching?] One participant had previously earned a degree in special education and was turned off by both the teacher education courses (superficial use psychological theories misconstrued in the first place) and their application in the educational environment. As noted above, about half suggested they have always aspired to positions in academic research, an aspiration reinforced by their mentors and the graduate school culture. One person said she once aspired to academia but was now considering industry. Two said that they had considered secondary school teaching as an option, but one had fully rejected the notion and the other (whose husband has become a secondary school teacher) said that she had decided instead on starting her own contract research business. One participant said that since his wife earns a good income he has the flexibility of considering options (such as teaching) he might not otherwise have considered. Duke: Postdoc: had subtly shifted from psychology to neurobiology because of the job market; he said he's working on the same issues, just with different tools. Math: had aspired to being a great mathematician, but now wouldn't want to be a math researcher; the job market is difficult and after so many years of doing research by herself she wants to do something less lonely that involves people.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Zoology: don't like the priorities you have to set to make it as an academic researcher so has focused now on undergraduate teaching. Environmental education: changed from environmental management to environmental education; then had considered secondary school teaching and had a chance to work in a high school biology classroom, but now is more interested in education programming and teacher education in environmental studies. (NC recently passed a law requiring that earth and environmental sciences be taught in secondary schools. Most science teachers are not trained in this area and would require some training at this point.) UT Austin: Interested in applied biotechnology. Wants to go into applied math – thinks there is lots of money in applied fields. Wants close ties to industry, wants an industrial focus or a governmental focus. Doing research and getting tenure – wants to be in a big academic research center. FHCRC: They got into science through the usual routes, good teachers in high school turned them on to science. Now many wonder what they are going to do “when they grow up.” This group was mature and quickly got to the point of discussing secondary school teaching. They recognized that they hadn't been trained to secondary school teachers, but had been trained to be basic scientists. Further, they recognized that most of their professors had never been trained to teach. Although many had worked as teaching assistants as graduate students, they recognized that that experience would not prepare you for secondary school teaching. Many expressed an interest in secondary school teaching and some had ventured into the field. Have you ever considered a career other than in a university, such as in industry (biotechnology, pharmaceutical) computers, science writing, law school, or teaching? Rutgers/UMDNJ: As noted above, participants have considered: industry, starting independent research business, and secondary school teaching. One person mentioned patent law as another career option but did not indicate that he had considered it. Participants' perceived positives about jobs in industry were better hours, higher salaries, better benefits, and funds available for undertaking research. “You don't need to secure grants.” Perceived negatives were not as independent in conducting research, lose control over research, and research outcomes are held as corporate secrets instead of furthering scientific knowledge. Risks: small biotech firms could go under (though if you're an assistant professor and you don't get grants you can go under, too). Duke: As at Rutgers/UMDNJ, there was discussion that (1) graduate programs don't expose students to much beyond academic research, and (2) there is active discouragement of other careers… “if you say you're interested in something else, they cut you off”

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Still, some information does seem to get to these students: in the Math department there was a career symposium that focused on industry and finance, particularly Wall Street. The participant was disappointed that the symposium didn't include options like secondary school teaching and curriculum development that she would be interested in and doesn 't know how to get into. UT Austin: Liked teaching, but major professor wanted her in the lab all the time. Likes small biotech companies, this enables one to acquire skills and move from lab to lab. UCSF: Seminar series on practice of science career center, SEP. Bruce Alberts is a good role model for alternative careers. Got scooped – will get scooped – PIs are afraid to tell students the reality of science. When you start grad school you never think about the end. When you enter graduate school, you focus on your thesis project, not about careers. FHCRC: Industry – has some bench science. Writing, but I just don't know how to get into it. Traditional careers are often at odds with family formation. Small college teaching presents similar problems. Supporting the lab is a major issue. Have you ever considered a career as a secondary school science or mathematics teacher? If yes, why? If not, why not? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Five out of 10 participants had considered secondary school teaching on some level: 2 of these individuals have parents who are secondary school teachers which was responsible, in part, for the thought crossing their minds. One person said he had never considered the option until he heard about the focus group; he was focused on obtaining a research position. Duke: Four of the five participants had considered or been involved in K-12 teaching: One had previously taught autistic children, but was now seeking a position in zoology research. One had taught secondary school English in Japan, but was now focused on obtaining an undergraduate teaching spot. One had experience in the last year with student teaching in secondary school biology, but was now working in teacher education in environmental studies. One Ph.D. in math would like to pursue secondary school teaching as an option and thinks it wouldn't be too different from teaching math to college freshmen. One definitely was not interested.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION UT Austin: Four had considered teaching. One ruled it out because he wanted to be less people oriented and more research oriented. Another likes math too much to teach 10th grade algebra forever UCSF: One participant is now considering secondary school teaching as an option. Others have considered, but would prefer teaching undergraduates. FHCRC: This group quickly got to the point of discussing secondary school teaching. They recognized that they hadn't been trained to be secondary school teachers, but had been trained to be basic scientists. Further, they recognized that most of their professors had never been trained to teach. Although many had worked as teaching assistants as graduate students, they recognized that that experience would not prepare you for secondary school teaching. Many expressed an interest in secondary school teaching. Some had ventured into the field. What might be attractive about such a position? UT Austin: Good secondary school teaching is better than bad college teaching. Teaching at a super high school could be a turn-on. Respondent wants to teach advanced courses to maintain interest in math alive. There are positive social issues associated with secondary school teaching. Respondent wants to give something back. FHCRC: The summer option to do research is attractive. The salary advantage of the PhD is good. You have the ability to increase the knowledge level in secondary school. Time-limited teaching experience would be interesting. The 5-year option is too long, a 1- or 2-year option would be appropriate. The first year would be hell, the second year would be productive. The best time to capture Ph.D.s for secondary school teaching is right after graduation. If you put an ad in Science or Nature with an established program to recruit Ph.D.s scientists to secondary school teaching, it would work. Lots of students would sign up. What makes this position unattractive to you? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Getting a Ph.D. involves specialized, advanced research while the science courses one would teach in secondary school are so basic: I wouldn't be teaching what I learned over 8 years as grad student and postdoc, and I would feel as though I wasted my Ph.D. In response to this, another participant said that it would depend on what the course is. If it's basic bio, then it

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION would be boring; but it would be interesting if you could teach students how to set up and carry out experiments. Another said that they don 't do that even with undergraduates. A final participant suggested that they ought to teach this to students at both the college and high school levels. Worried that there would be conflict between teachers with Ph.D.s and teachers who don't have Ph.D.s Not sure I would have a good sense of how to measure the progress of secondary school students. Wouldn't be able to deal with high school students: if you work in a high school you don't just teach, you have to deal with teenagers. Teaching (even at the university level) gets in the way of the research you want to do. Research is fun. Teaching in a secondary school would pull you out of access to the scientific community (other scientists, seminars, etc.). The problem is not the kids, not the salary, not the loss of research, it's the other teachers I'd have to work with. Duke: Couldn't teach psychology in secondary school, but could teach in college/university where it is one of the largest majors. Couldn't teach specialized, fun courses. You'd have to teach basic H.S. biology Lack of ability to control the curriculum. Don't have the flexibility to be creative…have to follow the textbook Lose touch with other scientists. Hard to teach when you have 34 students. Problems of public schools: discipline, violence, drugs. Are students interested in learning? Other teachers have lost the passion? Worried that I wouldn't be up to the task given these problems. Kids hate math. UT Austin: Student quality is low, social promotion is prevalent. Students are “grubbing for grades.” Likes math too much to just teach 10th grade algebra. Students are not motivated to do well. The motivation of students is more important than their actual knowledge. Professors said that with a Ph.D “he could do better” than secondary school teaching FHCRC: No respect given to secondary school teachers. Stigma attached to secondary school teaching (by academe). Structured curriculum, no creativity. Lots of time is invested for secondary school teaching. The PhD is over educated to teach secondary school.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION If you leave academe for secondary school teaching you can't reenter into academic science. Secondary schools don't respect the value of a Ph.D. Nobody goes to a major university because they want to teach, but because they want to do research. Change is an uphill battle. What are the obstacles to pursuing a position as a secondary school teacher? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Taking teacher education courses that are “dumbed down” and not rigorous. The administrations in school districts don't want to pay for Ph.D.s when they can hire M.A.s and B.A.s. Note: participants said their own peers would be supportive, but that their professors would not. Duke: Don't know how to obtain a position in a secondary school. School systems want to hire B.A.s and not even M.A.s because they don't have to pay as much. UT Austin: Dealing with the local school bureaucracy is a major problem. Kids are manipulative and teachers are under a constant pressure to defend themselves against the kids. There are feelings that the bureaucracy backs the kids and hinders the teachers. Once you get out of academia you can never come back. Most teaching jobs at colleges are really research jobs with some teaching responsibility. FHCRC: PIs want you to stay in the lab. There is resistance by the PIs for students to have TAs. This makes it tough for graduate students to get any teaching experience. What about teaching gifted students or in magnet schools? Rutgers/UMDNJ: That would be better. Might consider if it was part-time and I could do research part-time. Magnets: positive that the parents and kids would both want Ph.D.s teaching in these schools. Duke: Would be better since there might be more resources. Students at a magnet might be more motivated and thus have the energy to undertake independent research projects. School of Math and Science: these kids don't need their help; the socially responsible thing to do is to teach lower-level students.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION A person who goes for a Ph.D. is usually an idealistic, creative person … teaching at a magnet school would be a cop-out. Magnets: students aren't necessarily at a higher level; magnets are often created to address integration. FHCRC participants were asked what incentives would get them to consider secondary school teaching. Get teaching certificate as a result of supervised teaching. Have teaching count as part of the NIH payback. Get sent to professional meetings. Free subscription to Cell. Include funding for lab expenses as part of salary package (this will let them conduct interesting experiments for the classes). If you really want to attract Ph.D.s to secondary school teaching, let them take two years to try student teaching with a stipulation that if they want it, they will have a guaranteed two-year postdoc, funded by NIH. This means that if they take the risk of leaving research for secondary school teaching and it doesn't work out, they will have an opportunity to get back into research. Would you consider taking such a position for a five-year commitment? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Can't take a period of time off and then get back on the research track. Summer research might not help: Howard Hughes Medical Institute has a program to bring teachers into the labs of Hughes investigators and it takes them the whole summer just to get geared back up again. Duke: If you take two years off to teach, you won't get back on to the research track. UT Austin: If there were no penalties, a two-year postdoc in secondary school teaching would be a good idea. UCSF: Yes. Yes, and include training as part of a post doctoral experience. Yes, and get credentialed as part of process There needs to be a change in faculty attitudes. The term “alternate careers” needs to be changed to careers. More people go into the alternatives than into academics.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Give a masters degree as part of the graduate process – say at the time you are admitted to candidacy – so that people can step out early and still get recognition for what they have done. This is being considered Develop a web site with information about secondary school teaching. The Ph.D. commands respect, we should be able to use it to modify curriculum and decrease classroom size FHCRC: Five years is too long, but would consider two years to try student teaching with a stipulation that if they want it, they will have a guaranteed two-year postdoc funded by NIH. This means that if they take the risk of leaving research secondary school teaching and it doesn't work out, they will have an opportunity to get back into research. For teacher certification, most states require teacher education courses and a passing score on basic skills and/or subject matter examinations. Would you consider secondary school teaching if you could satisfy the teacher education requirement by (see handout)? Rutgers/UMDNJ: One person said that he wouldn't want to take teacher education courses while in grad school on top of everything else and that if he did decide early on in grad school to become a teacher he wouldn't bother to get a Ph.D. Rather, he'd leave with an M.A. Another said that he wouldn't want to take courses while starting a teaching job. That wouldn 't be fair to the students to have an untrained teacher. Duke: One responded that he wouldn't take teacher education courses in grad school; it would tag you as a dropout. Another said he already had teaching experience from five years as a TA. So he didn't see the need for teacher education courses. Another said that in psychology we don't understand how people learn very well. He doubted that education departments really know. The MS/MAT participant said that the adolescent psychology taught in teacher education courses was not very useful; these courses were useful only to the extent that they got you “in the mode” of thinking about how to teach. What was most valuable was time spent in the classroom. Participants would just want to pass an examination. One participant suggested that certification should be granted based on teaching time and a passing score on an exam One person said that instruction in “cooperative discipline” would be helpful, but that this could be taught in a one-week workshop and wouldn't require a full-scale course. Another agreed that they 'd need direction on how to control students. UT Austin: State rules are a major obstacle to getting Ph.D.s into secondary school teaching.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION The group had a very low opinion of college of education departments and courses, especially at large state universities. They believed that education students were the worst of any in higher education. The only acceptable path to certification is option 4 (taking exam without taking extra courses). Option 1 is acceptable only if you make the decision to go into teaching early. UCSF: Only option 1 was acceptable to the students. Exam does not make you a teacher. You must learn how to teach. Good teachers do not do it because they can't do anything else. Taking teaching classes while in grad school is part of core curricula. The SEP experience was good. I did not get support from other teachers, but I didn't need it. SEP experience was great, but I would like to have some child psychology classes and mentoring support. Wants an established, structured program of mentoring. FHCRC: (Many of the focus group members had had some level of involvement in secondary school teaching) It is important to get some course work and student teaching before taking the certification exam. Teaching courses are good for “problems,” but teaching is best learned by doing. An apprenticeship program is needed, (e.g., team teaching for two or three persons in a secondary school accompanied with meetings with a master teacher periodically to work out problems). These mentors and master teachers should be compensated for their work. I would feel much more comfortable with a mentor. The group was worried about “hordes of untrained people ascending upon high schools to teach”. The majority of the group had a problem with teaching without training. What career options would you be willing to consider based on the following salaries for professional positions and your perception of the chances of your obtaining one of these positions? (see state-specific handouts) Rutgers/UMDNJ: The salary data presented did not appear to sway the participants in any way. One person remarked, looking at the data, that it was sad what scientists are paid regardless of the position. Duke: When confronted by the salary data, the participants were unanimous that factors other than salary determined what they wanted to do: (1) flexibility to schedule the day as they wanted, (2) or have a workday that stopped at 6 p.m., (3) be able to publish, and (4) have a job that allowed arrangements such as splitting time teaching secondary school and teaching undergraduates at Duke (as someone now does). UT Austin: The teacher's salaries in Texas are very low. All respondents commented on the low pay. The consensus was that industry pays best.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Teachers are rated by pupils test scores, but the problems start long before the teachers come in contact them. The low salaries reflect Texas' attitudes towards teaching. Other aspects of compensation, besides salary, that might sway participant 's decisions were: loan repayments; being able to work independently of current curriculum development, (e.g., design your own course; make changes in the program), Ph.D. salary differential; and freedom from teacher's unions. UCSF: Thinks starting salaries for secondary school teacher is OK. Postdocs are underpaid. Grad students are cheap labor Salary is a big consideration. Best salaries are in industry. Note: San Francisco is very expensive, the students know this and understand impact of the cost of living on career choice. Six came to the UCSF because they wanted to come the Bay area, while four wanted to come to UCSF specifically. Other factors that would influence career: select a career with time off for family; geography is important, but it limits choices. All received full stipends so loan repayment was not an issue. FHCRC: The salary level for secondary school teaching is better than for a postdoc. Salary becomes more important as the one grows older. Family considerations become very important, and dictate the need for more and stable money. What characteristics of your work environment would be especially important to you in a secondary school teaching position? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Having an ability to do research was important for several participants. Would need to have a connection to the scientific community and have Internet access. Would need to address the issue of tension between Ph.D. teachers and other teachers. Duke participants were asked to comment on the idea of Ph.D.s having the chance to conduct research while they taught secondary school: Time is an issue. You can't be cutting edge, if you don't have the time or the resources, or the grad students to do the lab work. Hard to stay in touch with the scientific community if you're not in research full-time You can't accomplish anything in a summer. Would have a hard time making deadlines for filing conference papers.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION UT Austin: More separation between teachers and syllabus. Curriculum development. UCSF: It would help if there were more respect for teachers. Increase the variety of courses. Time off. Salaries are lower in private schools, but the level of respect is higher. Classroom size is important. A class with 30 kids is scary. Private school may be a way of hiding from reality. Would you consider taking a position with a school district or state department of education in science or mathematics curriculum development? If yes, why? If not, why not? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Note: the participants seemed never to have considered this kind of position before. They seemed to find some appeal to it. Participants had a very positive reaction to the idea—offered by one of their peers—of taking positions as teachers of science teachers (as opposed to becoming science teachers themselves). Duke: One respondent was very enthusiastic about the idea: her dream job would be to teach 9th grade math one year and develop an appropriate 9th grade math curriculum as she went; then move on to 10th grade math and so on until she had developed a full curriculum for grades 9-12. Another, who would not consider secondary school teaching, said he might consider curriculum development as an alternative to undergraduate teaching. The MS/MAT participant said that she is already working in this area. When asked about teacher education (i.e., “training the teachers”) there was interest, but not as much as for curriculum development. Again, the MS/MAT participant who is also working on curriculum development is already doing this. She said, “The most exciting part of teacher training is taking the teachers out and doing a lab that they can take back to their classrooms and use with their students.” The participants at Duke suggested other ways Ph.D.s could help improve science literacy in the United States were to have graduate students satisfy their grad school teaching requirements by teaching in secondary school rather than serving as a TA for undergraduate courses, and work to in museum programs with K-12 students. UT Austin: Had already done that, enjoyed it very much.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Good idea, especially developing experiments for secondary school teachers. Yes, because of the poor preparation of secondary school students, need to increase standards. UCSF: On curriculum development: Yes, interesting Yes, “but it's hard to write magic into a curriculum.” Teaching depends on individual skills. Yes, seriously thought about it – have some similar work through SEP. Curriculum development needs to be integrated with classroom experience or nobody will listen to you Yes, but where do you start. I know so little about secondary school that I would be intimidated. No standards. Could be limited. Curriculum development is fine, but the magic is the interactions with the teachers. On training teachers: Yes, designed experiments in cooperation with secondary school teachers Yes, summer program with partners to teach K-5 teachers. Teach them how to use kits that explain science. Partnership was great – she learned teaching! Long-term (informal) partnership was valuable. FHCRC: I didn't know that this was a career option Curriculum development is good because if effects the most people. They can best use their experience in curriculum development. Ph.D.s are very focused on topics, but they can see beyond their immediate areas of interest. You need some teaching experience to work in curriculum development. Need a three-way team of scientist, educator, and curriculum development administrator to be effective. The group had some problems with the level of secondary school textbooks. They see curriculum development lagging way behind what is happening is science. They believe that if scientists were part of the curriculum development team, the level of science in secondary school classes would be brought up to date. I'd like to work as a teacher trainer, the Hutch as one (University of Minnesota has one), that would be very interesting. The SEP program works too. However, labs are unwilling to accept active involvement in a SEP program. What might be attractive about such a position? Rutgers/UMDNJ: Would have a broader impact than just teaching. Could influence the students without having to be a teacher.

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ATTRACTING SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS PH.D.S TO SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION Would especially like it if it involved teaching the teachers, because science teachers are not in touch with researchers (this was a popular sentiment and option!) Would enjoy looking at how the different pieces of the science curriculum (elementary, middle, and secondary school) fit together. Duke: Have “already been doing it” in the sense that she has designed courses for freshman math. Would enjoy thinking about the subject (mathematics) globally, putting the pieces together. It would be really rewarding to see kids achieve because you've figured out how a subject should be taught. Once you've gotten to the M.A./Ph.D. level, you have skills and interest to make a difference looking at the “big picture.” UT Austin: Already doing it. It's better if it's done collectively, there's an incentive for the teachers. What might be unattractive about such a position? Rutgers/UMDNJ: No negatives mentioned. Duke If you're working in the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, you're far removed from students and teachers. Local school boards often have substantial power: your well-thought-out curriculum might be torn to shreds in implementation. Low tolerance for bureaucracy. Ph.D. training doesn't prepare you for administrative jobs. UT Austin: Dealing with the school bureaucracy is a major problem. It would be difficult dealing with teachers who are a lot older than I am.

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