2015 GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA (1-4 November 2015)

Paper No. 13-8
Presentation Time: 10:15 AM


CORNELISON, Deborah, Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, Arlington, VA 22230 and SVERDRUP, Keith A., National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230, ksverdru@nsf.gov

The need to recruit, prepare and retain high quality teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) areas in our Nation’s schools is well publicized and widely discussed, yet gaps in understanding of the increasingly urgent issue exist. The designation of “high-need” is defined in federal statute and policy relative to local education agencies, schools, and students. Significant resources and effort are focused on improving the education of K-12 students in urban and rural high-need schools by addressing the characteristics and challenges of STEM teacher preparation programs for both educational settings.

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program initiated by an Act of Congress has responded to the need for K-12 STEM teachers in high-need schools since 2002. Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program encourages talented mathematics, science, and engineering undergraduates and STEM professionals to pursue teaching careers, and also prepares Master Teachers. Projects include STEM faculty collaborating with Education faculty, school districts, exemplary teacher preparation programs, professional development for Master Teaching Fellows, and support for new teachers.

Noyce projects design and implement targeted strategies to prepare teachers to effectively facilitate learning in high-need contexts, including rural and urban schools. When comparing urban and rural high-need schools, overlapping issues and related teacher preparation strategies have been identified. However, more research is needed on best practices in future preparation of STEM teachers, particularly for the challenges of teaching in high-need settings.

The presentation will define “high-need”, compare characteristics and challenges of high-need urban and rural schools, provide an overview of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program and its impact on teacher preparation for high-need schools, and highlight research needed on teacher education.