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Comments from Alan Tucker: PowerPoint Presentation
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Comments from Alan Tucker:

Comments from Alan Tucker:

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  1. Comments from Alan Tucker: The Missing Piece in RTTT: STEM-Content Professional Development for Teachers 1. STEM teachers at all levels need extensive in-service training in STEM subjects, because pre-service college training is largely inadequate, especially for elementary teachers. • In college, future teachers are preoccupied with their own grades as students; many future elementary teachers struggle to pass their STEM college courses. • Teachers in high-performing countries say they only develop the deep STEM knowledge needed to teach well through in-service professional development (e.g., see Liping Ma’s book). 2. Existing modes of in-service professional development, such as professional development days in school districts or courses teachers take for step raises, rarely have any subject matter content (STEM or otherwise). • Content-based professional development in schools is very complicated since many different sessions are needed for different subjects and different grade bands; it is much easier to have a single theme such as handling disruptive students. • Once a teacher is fully licensed, there are typically no subject matter requirements governing additional courses taken for step raises.

  2. RTTT needs to explicitly require STEM-content professional development for teachers of STEM subjects on a continuing basis. • Current RTTT language about higher education’s role in improving STEM education in schools is limited: “to prepare and assist teachers integrating STEM content across grades and disciplines, in promoting effective and relevant instruction, and in offering applied learning opportunities for students.“ The word ‘prepare’ here is normally interpreted to refer to pre-service training. Continuing, in-service training needs to be explicit. • Professional development is a major component of a teacher’s professional weekly duties in high-performing countries. Further, elementary teachers in high-performing countries have much deeper STEM knowledge when they start teaching. STEM-content professional development start to reduce this gap. • States should require that most courses taken by teachers for step raises should deepen subject matter knowledge in STEM and other fields. • In-service STEM training efforts in NSF’s Math Science Technology Partnership provide a foundation for such professional development.

  3. Value of Professional development in MSTPs The following data from the ongoing Program Evaluation of the MSTP document the impact of professional development on student learning. While other MSTP activities may also impact student learning, professional development for teachers is the heart of most MSTPs. CORRELATION BETWEEN TEACHER PARTICIPATION IN MSPTs ACTIVITIES ACROSS THE FIRST THREE YEARS (2003-04 – 2005-06) AND STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AT THE END OF YEAR 2005-06. Cor. Coeff (r) No. of Schools No. of Students Mathematics Elementary .093 498 110,000 Middle .149 293 230,500 High .241 286 162,300 An r-value over .05 is statistically significant. {Source: K-12 District and Partnership Projects Surveys, MSP-MIS (Wave 3), Sept- Nov 2007.}