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Jay Dubner Columbia University Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

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Quality Science Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement. 2007 AGU Fall Meeting December 11, 2007. Jay Dubner Columbia University Summer Research Program for Science Teachers. Practice What You Teach.

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slide1

Quality Science Teacher Professional Development and Student Achievement

2007 AGU Fall Meeting

December 11, 2007

Jay Dubner

Columbia University

Summer Research Program for Science Teachers

slide2

Practice What You Teach

Columbia’s Summer Research Program for Science Teachers was established in 1990 to contribute to the improvement of science achievement of students by providing New York metropolitan area middle and high school teachers with experiences in the practice of science. Teachers become members of research teams for 2 consecutive summers.

program rationale
Program Rationale
  • Science literacy is crucial for participation in a global workforce, and to ensure the educated citizenry that is the foundation of democracy.1
  • National and international science assessments show that many fewer U.S. students score at “proficient” and above levels than students in other developed countries.2
  • Research shows that teacher expertise is one of the most important factors in raising student achievement.3
  • Effective professional development programs stimulate teachers to work with one another.3

1Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future, National Academy of Sciences Press, 2006.

2Highlights from Trends in International Math & Science Study, National Center for Education Statistics.

3Ohme, P. & Rayford, J., Innovative Program Allows Georgia Teachers to Bring Real-World Work Experiences into the Classroom, The Journal, October 2001

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Program Background

- Founded in 1990 by Samuel C. Silverstein, M.D.

-Program participation open to New York metropolitan area public, private & parochial science teachers

- Recruitment through poster mailings, science education publications (e.g.; NSTA Reports!) and word of mouth

-Program receives 5 to 7 applications for each available Fellowship (90 applications received in 2007)

-4 Review Committees composed of Columbia faculty (who have mentored teachers), staff and program alumni

- ~30 applicants are invited for an interview

- 12 new participants are accepted each summer, joined by 12 returning participants from previous summer (peer coaches)

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Program Summary

  • The No Child Left Behind Act requires teachers to be ‘highly qualified.’ One criteria is subject matter competence. Their research laboratory experience more than satisfies this requirement.
  • - Two Summer Commitment
    • - 8 Weeks immersion in each of two consecutive summers
    • 4 days per week in research lab
    • - Weekly summer seminar series engages teachers in four different types of exercises acknowledged to be important in all types of professional development and especially crucial for science educators
    • Science Content: Informal seminars on broad topics of general interest
    • Science Communication: Teachers describe their research to one another at poster sessions and oral presentations
    • Science Pedagogy: Teachers lead hands-on demonstrations, engage in discusssions of common classroom problems and exchange ideas on solutions that work
    • Peer Coaching: Second-year participants provide guidance and encouragement for first-year participants
  • - Graduate student monthly school visitations
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Carrot at the End of the Stick

  • Stipend - $6,000 each summer
  • Classroom Enhancement Funds - $1,000 following each of the two summers
  • Research Group Funds –Participating labs receive $1,000 in each of the two summers
  • Travel to Professional Conference – Science Education and/or Scientific Society conferences in each of the school years following participation in the program
  • International Program – Following completion of two summers, a minimum of four teachers are selected to participate in an exchange of science teachers with Singapore or a third summer of research in Australia
summer research program 1990 2007
Summer Research Program1990-2007
  • 226 middle and high school science teachers
  • 88% public schools
  • 60% women
  • 45% minorities
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Partnerships

  • - New York Hall of Science -Two Collaborations
    • - Microbiology and Biotechnology Portable Laboratories (NIH funded)
    • Rolling Exhibits (NSF funded)
    • - Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
    • Columbia University’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC)
    • Columbia University’s Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center (NSEC)
  • Singapore Ministry of Education
  • James Cook University, Townsville, Australia
  • Teacher Research Program Community – With the support of an NSF award, the Summer Research Program has assembled a database of teacher research experience programs throughout the United States. The database will be searchable on the soon-to-be revamped RETNetwork.org website
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Evaluation

  • - A unique aspect of Columbia University’s Summer Research Program is its emphasis on evaluation. Evaluation has informed and guided the Program’s evolution from its inception, and enabled it to respond successfully to the changing needs of teachers
    • - The program’s research makes it the first, and to our knowledge, the only science work experience program for teachers to document a positive impact on student achievement and interest in science
    • Regular data collection since the program’s inception evidences its positive impact on student achievement and interest in science
slide10

Student Outcomes Studies

  • 1. Columbia’s Summer Research Program (1993-2007)
    • Collected data from the NYC public high schools, the Program’s largest cohort, with the assistance of the school assistant principals and the NYC Dept. of Ed.’s Division of Assessment & Accountability
  • 2. NSF-supported Multi-site Study (1998-2002)
    • 8 science teacher research programs from around the United States
    • New York, Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Idaho, Washington State, Oregon & California
instruments administered summer research program 1993 2007
Instruments AdministeredSummer Research Program1993 – 2007
  • Pre-program survey
  • Post-program survey
  • Mentor survey
  • Spring implementation survey
instruments administered multi site study 1999 2000
Instruments AdministeredMulti-site Study1999-2000
  • Pre-program survey*
  • Post-program survey*
  • Mentor survey*
  • Student Attitudinal Survey*
  • Student Cognitive Tests
    • Biology & Chemistry
  • *Surveys available at www.SweptStudy.org
  • Revised versions of program and mentor surveys available at www.RETNetwork.org
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Data for 32 Study teachers and 32 Control teachers participating in NSF-sponsored Multi-site Study

1998 – 2002

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Self-reported Changes in Attitudes and Classroom Practices of Study and Control Teachers

(Academic Year Following Program Participation)

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2007 Teacher Survey Data

  • 95% reported increasing hands-on activities in their classrooms and/or new laboratory exercises in response to their experiences at Columbia
  • 95% reported developing new or revised content to lessons and/or labs since participating in Columbia’s Program*
  • *309 lesson plans referencing science standards are on the program’s website: www.ScienceTeacherProgram.org
  • 74% reported introducing new technologies in their classroom instruction (e.g.; chromatography, pipetting, PowerPoint)
  • 68% reported increased requirements for formal written reports and/or oral presentation requirements
  • 67% reported reading scientific journals more frequently
  • 61% reported assuming new leadership roles/responsibilities in their school/district/region
  • 47% reported including lessons on science careers and related job requirements with their students
teacher retention study
Teacher Retention Study

Study conducted with IISME program participants1

1Weisbaum, K. and Huang, D., IISME Teacher Retention and Program Impact Evaluation 1985-2000. Cupertino, CA: Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education, 2001

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Columbia’s Summer Research Program collects quantitative student data from NYC public high schools (1993 was first data set)

- Study Group -- Students in science classes of Program teachers

- Control Group -- Students in science classes of non-participating teachers from the same schools

slide19

New York State Science Regents Exams

45%

NYC Average Pass Rate = 55%

32 Complete Data Sets

nyc economic impact
NYC Economic Impact
  • Regents Diploma – Must pass 5 Regents including 1 Science Exam1
  • NYC spends $12,930 per public school student2
  • Student takes 5 courses/year = $2,586 per course
  • On average, each teacher will teach for 10 more years after participating in the Program
  • 15 more students passing Regents = ~150 students
  • 150 students X $2,586 = $387,900

1 New York State Education Department, New York State Total Public Report Card, 2005

2 The New York Sun, New York Outpacing Other States in School Spending, April 4, 2006

national economic impacts
National Economic Impacts
  • High School dropouts earn $273,000 less over a lifetime than a high school graduate thereby paying less taxes1. At a tax rate of 20%, loss of $54,600 in local and federal revenues.
  • High School graduates are less likely to commit crimes. Increasing HS completion by just 1% of the males would reduce criminal justice system costs by as much as $1.4 billion per year
  • High School graduates receive higher salaries thereby not needing food stamps, housing assistance, etc. Estimated annual savings are $8 billion per year

1 Cantu, R., Texas Labor Market Review, Labor Market Information Department, Texas Workforce Commission, December 2003

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Current Summer Research Program Funding Sources

  • Bay and Paul Foundations
  • Hebrew Technical Institute
  • Mellam Family Foundation
  • National Institutes of Health – SEPA Program
  • National Science Foundation
  • New York Times Company Foundation