1. Temple Walkowiak
  2. https://ced.ncsu.edu/people/tawalkow/
  3. Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
  4. Project ATOMS
  5. https://projectatoms.wordpress.ncsu.edu/
  6. North Carolina State University
  1. Sarah Carrier
  2. https://ced.ncsu.edu/people/sjcarrie/
  3. Associate Professor, Science Education
  4. Project ATOMS
  5. https://projectatoms.wordpress.ncsu.edu/
  6. North Carolina State University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Temple Walkowiak

    Temple Walkowiak

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 07:17 a.m.

    Welcome to Project ATOMS: Accomplished Elementary Teachers of Mathematics and Science.  Thank you for taking the time to watch our video and learn about our project.  What interests you about the development of teachers during the preservice and early years of teaching, particularly as it relates to mathematics and science?  When evaluating teacher preparation programs, what measurable outcomes have you examined or would you examine?  We look forward to your comments, questions, and feedback.  Thank you!   

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 03:06 p.m.

    While I have taught in teacher preparation programs, most of my recent experience has been working with practicing upper elementary and middle school teachers (science). In our recent work (teaching about energy in elementary school) we've measured energy content knowledge and attitudinal shifts, e.g., confidence helping students learn about energy, shifting the role of the teacher in an inquiry based classroom, etc.  We've found that the closer the preparation is to the content teachers will actually teach, the more successful the shift. I would guess this would be harder in teacher prep programs where you don't know what curriculum they'll end up having to use! 

    You have some data now! I'm really eager to hear what you are discovering about what really counts in a teacher development program. Of course I care about math but a particular interest of mine is preparation for teaching inquiry based science lessons. I'm curious to learn if (and how) you present 3 stranded science teaching as described in the NGSS. 

    Too many questions! Can you see I'm really curious! Pick your favorite! 

    Sally

     

  • Icon for: Sarah Carrier

    Sarah Carrier

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:15 a.m.

    Sally,

    Thank you for your interest in our research. Our experiences align with yours as we too find that the closer alignment with science content that the teachers will teach, the stronger they internalize the content and practices. We are fortunate to have a close relationship with our field-placement schools, and we have a person whose role is dedicated to field placements, developing and nurturing close relationships between our program and local partner schools. We also have close relationships with our field supervisors and we meet regularly to discuss students' progress in the program.

    Our state was a "lead state" for NGSS but unfortunately we have not yet adopted NGSS. We do introduce NGSS along with our state standards and our pre-service teachers compare and contrast the two so they are introduced to the strands of NGSS. Our students have interdisciplinary project assignments in both of their science methods courses and we work closely with their engineering course professor on projects as well.  Our students are able to dig deeply into the standards and follow topics across grades K-6 during their methods coursework. 

    We hope we have answered your questions and appreciate your contributions to our discussion.

    Sarah and Temple

  • Icon for: Margo Murphy

    Margo Murphy

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 05:12 a.m.

    Preservice is a key to making shifts in the entire system.  Yet, as you mention, there is a lot of variability in the programs that preservice teachers experience.  As Sally mentions,  a teacher can have really strong preservice training and then enter into a school that has a pretty rigid curriculum.  This leads me to be really interested in how you followed up with the teachers in the different cohorts once they entered the classroom?  Did you play a mentoring/ support role or was it to simply collect data of what was happening in their classroom?  Were teachers placed in specific schools or in whatever school they were hired to?  

    I think that the educational system has to do a better job of using science practices to understand and support the most effective teaching and learning possible AND to better disseminate findings so all teacher prep programs can be more effective at preparing teachers..  Your project seems to be strongly aligned using a scientific approach to support teacher learning.  I am curious what your next steps are for broader impact?  

  • Icon for: Temple Walkowiak

    Temple Walkowiak

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:03 a.m.

    Hi Margo!  Great questions, and we appreciate your curiosity about our project.  

    "This leads me to be really interested in how you followed up with the teachers in the different cohorts once they entered the classroom?"  Of the four cohorts that we followed in the study, three of them entered their teaching careers during the study.  For the first two cohorts to enter their careers, we followed up with them at the end of their first year of teaching.  We gave them surveys about their knowledge and beliefs, and we provided training for them on how to log about their instruction using logs that our team developed (the Instructional Practices Log in Mathematics [IPL-M] and the Instructional Practices Log in Science [IPL-S]).  Then, they logged about their instruction over the course of their second year of teaching.  We followed up with them again at the end of their second year of teaching, once again giving them surveys on their knowledge and beliefs.  Among the third cohort, we had 19 case study participants (of 56 total) who we followed during the program, and we were able to follow 16 of those 19 into their first year of teaching.  We collected in-depth data using both interviews and lesson observations to learn about their development as a teacher.  During the first year of teaching, we visited their classroom on multiple occasions, observed them teach three math and three science lessons, and conducted follow-up post-lesson interviews.  We also interviewed them three additional times (beginning, middle, end of year) to better understand their school context, challenges they were facing, successes, etc.  

    "Did you play a mentoring/ support role or was it to simply collect data of what was happening in their classroom?"  We did not play a formal mentoring/support role.  However, we recognized that simply the fact that we were there, to still feel so connected to their university preparation program, to talk out loud about lessons -- these things were a form of support.  In our interviews, we asked them their perception of how being a case study participant had influenced them as a teacher.  So, we collected data on this, although it was minimal and not the focus of the study.  

    "Were teachers placed in specific schools or in whatever school they were hired to?"  The teachers were in schools where they were hired -- so it was wherever they got a job.  

    "I am curious what your next steps are for broader impact?"  I really appreciate this question because we're thinking hard about broader impact beyond the research articles that we have written or are writing for publication in journals.  We've presented at conferences like AMTE (Association for Mathematics Teacher Educators), AACTE, etc. about our work along the way, but we have been thinking carefully about next steps beyond that, too.  As we write the "key" papers for publication, we are working to operationalize (or make as tangible as possible) the nuances and inner workings of the program courses.  When these papers are published, we know we can work with public relations in our university to develop a complementary "brief" about the paper that can be circulated via social media professional networks, but we welcome any suggestions you may have, too, about broad dissemination of our work.  In the coming months, faculty in the STEM-focused teacher preparation program faculty will work to write/create a brief report (that will result in a "glossy" publication) to be shared with policymakers and interested teacher preparation programs.  The report will highlight the key features/characteristics of the program.  

    Thank you again, Margo! 

     

     
    1
    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Margo Murphy
  • Icon for: GLORIA Queiroz

    GLORIA Queiroz

    Researcher
    May 15, 2018 | 10:56 a.m.

    I'm physics teaching de research

  • Icon for: Jonathan Margolin

    Jonathan Margolin

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 11:15 a.m.

    Given the well-documented challenges that elementary teachers face in teaching math and science, your program certainly addresses a pressing need! I am wondering--could you say more about the program itself? I understand that the pre-service teachers complete more math/science-focused content and methods courses. Is there more to it than that--were these courses designed for this program, or are you providing access to courses that already exist?

  • Icon for: Sarah Carrier

    Sarah Carrier

    Co-Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 11:23 a.m.

    Jonathan,

    Thank you for your questions about our program design. The program was launched in 2007 as a STEM-focused elementary education undergraduate teacher preparation program. The design required students to take additional science and mathematics content courses in Freshman and Sophomore years than is traditional as well as a design course. This includes required calculus and physics courses. Our two methods courses for mathematics and two for science during their Junior and Senor years were designed with the first to focus on grades K-2 and the second grades 3-5. The field placement experiences during the semesters also aligned with those respective grade level ranges. To answer your question, some of their base content courses already existed and we have been able to design others to directly support the needs of our pre-service teachers.

    Thank you for your interest in our research and program.

    Sarah and Temple

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 11:03 a.m.

    I like the 4 year view: preparation for teaching and induction into the profession. My own learning curve (science content and pedagogy) was steepest during my first two years in the classroom than at any other time in a long career! You've collected lots of data: have you found some key factors that contribute a teacher's success teaching STEM in the first 2 years of teaching? 

    Sally

     

  • Icon for: Temple Walkowiak

    Temple Walkowiak

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 12:36 p.m.

    Hi Sally, Thank you for your question.  I would be curious to hear how you would define "success," but I will respond by drawing on both our case study data and the larger quantitative data set.  First, from our case study data, although a small sample, we have evidence of contextual factors (school culture, colleagues' practices) influencing a teacher's instruction in science and math.  Of course, this is not surprising.  Second, from our comparative quantitative data set, we have evidence that teachers who graduated from the STEM-focused program utilized more discourse (and higher quality discourse) during math instruction.  As an identified outcome of the program, it seems the explicit focus on discourse (and practicing it both in math methods courses and in the field) has an impact on post-program math instructional practices during the beginning of their careers.  

  • Icon for: Sally Crissman

    Sally Crissman

    Facilitator
    May 21, 2018 | 04:12 p.m.

    The data on discourse is so heartening! The experience of meaning making through group discussion in your methods course and in the field is, I believe, very important. The discussion skills (participant and facilitator) are transferable from one subject to another although in my experience this sometimes has to be pointed out! 

    I am delighted to hear about your model, both the increased science/math course content and focus on first few years in the field!

    Sally

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.