but right from the beginning. State agencies and credentialing agencies can do much to assist in that partnership by asking colleges and universities to involve directly the K-12 community in a much more focused way.
In California we have a program called the "Beginning Teacher Support and Assessment System," in which beginning teachers are supported during the first year or two in the classroom. We see this as the second part of teacher preparation: the training that is needed on the job. These programs are working effectively in the schools in which the K-12 administrators and the higher education institutions have decided to work together to make the changes happen. Based on this collaboration, we are finding that the K-12 community is much more interested and much more able to be involved in undergraduate teacher preparation.
Communication is a critical issue. Credentialing institutions can leverage what beginning teachers know and the ways in which they are taught. But what leverage can be used to benefit existing teachers in the classroom? We hope that mentors for beginning teachers can become catalysts for change in their own locales.
Credentialing agencies can work in this area through the requirements for professional development. In California, 150 clock hours are needed every five years for continued certification. The credentialing agencies can focus those 150 hours in more individual ways. We are not able to now, but in the future we will be able. For now, we have to communicate to the existing teachers the changes that are needed in science instruction.
Corrine Hill, Education Policy Adviser to Utah Governor
You need to get to the governors in your states. At the educational summit in New York on March 26th and 27th, the governors are going to talk about world class standards, assessment, and technology as ways to reform education. But I do not know that all of our governors know what a standard is. Make an appointment with your governor, and explain what standards are about. We are doing a wonderful job, and we are moving ahead. But I urge you to spend some time with your governor. Let him or her know where you are moving in science education and what you need. It is money, and it is legislation. That is what drives policy.
Closing Remarks and Challenge for Next Steps
Virginia Pilato, National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification (NASDTEC)
NASDTEC has a long history of writing and using process standards. NASDTEC now is saying that we cannot, at least for the present, continue developing standards, but its position supports the promotion of performance-based state or
nationally developed standards. Content and teaching standards are being developed by subject area specialists. We need to see their fit; NCATE needs to bring them all together, providing leadership in teacher preparation in this systemic reform. This symposium is about the national organizations coming together, including NASDTEC, NCATE, the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, and INTASC (the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium). This symposium is also about the children. One of the main impressions we have as we wind up these two days together is the picture of children from this morning's video. A little girl told her teacher she sees herself as a scientist. Our long-range goal is for children to say that. This morning we looked at the future.
This symposium succeeded in identifying the need for improvement in teacher preparation and credentialing. Change will require long-term commitment and effort.
Steps in the movement toward this future, according to Dr. Bybee's overheads, begin with purpose, move to policy, from there move to program, and finally end with practice. Dr. Bybee said we are poised at policy and program. Another way to look at this is that we are poised at the implementation phase, the point at which we can bring all of this to life to make the change.
Larry Cuban, who studied the implementation of technology, said that we must find the fit with our routines. Otherwise, the innovation will not be used. We must discover how the National Science Education Standards fit with our reforms, or else our innovation will sit on the shelf. When the fit is found, the Standards can be a tool of our reform. Another person whose work I draw upon is computer scientist Edward Feigenbaum, who says, "We must be champions for our innovations."
We must be champions for the Standards and sometimes we must do so at a personal level. Do not throw the Standards over the wall and hope that the document will be picked up and used. We must reach out to professional development—pre-service and in-service—and to the systems into which the Standards will fit. We must be champions for change and for the use of these Standards. We must look for ways to broker the fit and cheerlead for the Standards. We must promote excitement about the work that has gone on before us.