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Presenters. Ralph Martin , Director of Special Projects Jeff Connor , Chair, Mathematics Dept. Pam Beam , SciMath Program Leader Lauren Metcalf , Noyce Scholar & SciMath Fellow Al Cote’ , Center Coordinator. SciMath Teaching Fellows Program : A Paradigm for a New Beginning.

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Ralph Martin, Director of Special Projects

Jeff Connor, Chair, Mathematics Dept.

Pam Beam, SciMath Program Leader

Lauren Metcalf, Noyce Scholar & SciMath Fellow

Al Cote’, Center Coordinator

scimath teaching fellows program a paradigm for a new beginning

SciMathTeaching Fellows Program: A Paradigm for a New Beginning

bridges to Noyce

for STEM career changers

for school professionals

and learners

for higher education

funding from
Funding from …
  • U. S. Department of Education and with support from congressional representatives and senators
  • National Science Foundation: Noyce Scholars
  • Ohio University’s Patton College of Education and Human Services
  • South East Ohio Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science (SEOCEMS)

Transform the preparation of STEM educators

  • based on earlier work submitted for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship program …
  • “… develop an innovative, regionally sensitive, content rich, school-embedded, time accelerated program for STEM education teacher preparation.”
  • with an eye toward Noyce Phase II
a 1st step how
A 1st Step - How?

Use collaborative processes to:

  • Design and operate a Pilot: test ideas and processes
  • Evaluate impact & document outcomes
  • Reward risk taking and collaboration
  • Support Fellows and Mentors for success
  • Enrich the lives of school pupils
  • Intensive & Accelerated, 1 year
  • Teach to Inquire to Learn to Teach– an embedded fellowship with mentors and learners
    • Research-based Mentor preparation
    • Re-aligned, synergistic course preparation for Fellows
    • Extensive, strategic field work and applied action research
    • STEM context & modified course work
    • New delivery mechanisms
    • Immersion in to a professional community of learners
    • Evaluation used to inform program innovation & redesign
  • Do No Harm:
    • Add value, enrich pupil learning, support the school’s & Mentor’s missions
    • For Fellows - top level new teacher preparation
    • Continued professional teacher development for all
  • PRAXIS II PLT success
  • Wide scale University program revision
  • Strong professionals added to the pipeline with a history of successes
how does the pilot compare
How does the pilot compare?

10 Peer Programs

  • 14 month average
  • Full Time
  • On-campus, face 2 face
  • PRAXIS II at end
  • 60 credit average (qtr equiv)
  • Moderate field component
  • 60% no financial aid

SciMath Fellows Pilot

  • 12 months
  • Full Time
  • On-campus, face 2 face, in-field
  • PRAXIS II content @ beginning, PLT @ end
  • 75 credits
  • Intensive, extensive field, full year
  • Fellowship and tuition scholarship
scimath fellows noyce scholar
SciMath Fellows & Noyce Scholar

Angonique, Pam, Chandana, DECA teacher, Jen & Lauren

program structure

Program Structure

What drove the program

and how was it designed?

guiding principles and standards
Guiding Principles and Standards
  • Inquiry habits of mind and actions
  • Research base and actions
  • Ohio Standards for the Teaching Profession
  • Academic content standards of the discipline
  • PRAXIS II content and PLT examinations


Fellow &




School &



School &










Requirements for Teaching License


Provide much needed support, guidance and assistance:

  • Involve Fellows in all aspects of being a teacher as related to teaching standards,
  • Add depth to the Fellows’ knowledge of professional practice and subject matter,
  • Assist the Fellows’ professional “habits of mind and practice:” plan, act, observe, reflect
  • Collaborate with and assist faculty with program redesign and improvement
  • School beginning to the end
  • Add value from STEM career
  • Learn via structured skills and behaviors based on standards for the teaching profession
  • Growth toward autonomy
  • Extensive professional internship


From the Faculty Perspective

Dr. Pam Beam

cohort make up
Cohort Make-up

Career Changers

Prior Career Skills that Supported Fellow Success

Family Dynamics of the Fellows

What We Learned

mentor teachers
Mentor Teachers

Mentor Preparation

Placement Match-ups and “Sharing”

What We Learned

teacher education program course changes
Teacher Education Program Course Changes

Spiraled Courses With Shared Assignments

Reading Courses Assignments Aligned With Grade Level and Subject Content

Focus on Reflection and Application

What We Learned

new cohort
New Cohort

Differences and similarities between Cohort 1 and Cohort 2



From the Noyce

Scholar’s perspective

Lauren Metcalf

the checklist
The Checklist

Noyce + SciMath = “all that”

…and more:

  • Mentored experience in the classroom
  • Foundation in educational theory
  • Accelerated program
  • Financial support during transition
  • Full year in the classroom—WOW!
  • Respected program
  • Small cohort
  • and more…
the experience
The Experience…
  • Targeted instruction
  • Availability of counsel from university & field mentors
  • Action research
action research project based learning
Action Research: Project Based Learning
  • Followed PBL model to create unit
  • Compared PBL unit to traditional unit
  • Looked for measures of student engagement & achievement

Buck institute for Education

  • Community cooperation
  • Technology tools
  • Great finished product!
the research plan
The Research Plan

Institute for Democracy in Education & Program Leaders

  • Evaluation through research
  • Creation of special tools, interaction among Mentors, Fellows, Faculty & Evaluators

Fellows & Noyce Scholar

  • Embedded action research
  • Improving teaching and learning
  • Masters Research Project
preliminary findings
Preliminary Findings

Curriculum Improvements


Fellows’ experiences

Institutional procedures

Positive outcomes

curriculum improvements that are needed include
Curriculum improvements that are needed include:
  • Assignments need to be connected to the field
  • Reading curriculum needs to be connected to grade level
  • Masters research project may be too much, given the demands of teaching
  • Next time try front-loaded professional development mentoring
  • Improve balance: too much vs. too little mentoring
  • Mentors should improve communication
  • Mentors should become more aware of what the Fellows are experiencing
fellows experiences
Fellows Experiences
  • A demanding experience with a steep learning curve
  • Strongly connected with the field
  • At times the candidates felt vulnerable
  • More scaffolding and instruction for writing is needed, especially support for international students and others, as well
institutional procedures
Institutional Procedures
  • Support for graduate students: limited options
  • Barriers setting up contracts for Fellows
  • Funding limitations
  • Quirks in sessions considered/not considered as instructional sessions
positive outcomes
Positive Outcomes
  • Longer time to build mentoring relationships and relationships with students
  • Fellows have a higher level of confidence upon completion
  • Fellows are a greater asset to Mentors
  • More opportunities to do creative, less traditional learning activities
  • Mentor believed Fellows had positive impacts on learners
  • Little concern was reported about classroom management
  • Fellows were better able to connect theory to practice
continuing challenges
Continuing Challenges

a.k.a. Some Open Problems

Jeff Connor

new directions
New Directions

Deepen the Connection Between STEM experience and STEM teaching: filling the gaps

  • Career changers come from a wide variety of professional experiences and moments in their lives
  • There may be a disconnect between
    • Their previous life and being a student
    • Work-force norms and educational norms
    • Professional and academic content knowledge and the K-12 curriculum
  • Focus on some content knowledge issues
content knowledge what may need to be bridged
Content knowledge: What may need to be bridged.

Basic content knowledge:

  • Traditional Teacher Preparation Courses: Geometry, Abstract Algebra, Number Theory, Logic & Proof, and Discrete Mathematics.
  • Common Core State Standards: Modeling, Transformational Geometry

Understanding content with a view towards teaching the content:

  • Different than the approach used for a STEM career.
  • Not the normal perspective of content oriented faculty.
  • Requires a fluidity of understanding that allows one to ‘go with’ the student.
  • Potentially difficult to relate advanced concepts to introductory courses (in mathematics).
possible research base
Possible Research Base
  • Reports from Centers and Professional Organizations: Conference Board of Mathematical Sciences (2001), Dana Center, Woodrow Wilson Foundation and Noyce.
  • Journal Articles related to the mathematical preparation of teachers: there does not appear to be that many, especially related to STEM career changers
  • Rubrics from ‘best practice’ lesson plans
  • Philosophical considerations on the epistemology of mathematics and mathematics education.
  • The experience of the SciMath scholars.

However - these tend to skirt the underlying issue of what the curriculum

should focus on with respect to content understanding for teaching.