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Attracting PhDs to K-12 Education: A Demonstration Program for Science, Mathematics, and Technology
considering a demonstration program to recruit PhDs in science, mathematics, and engineering to work in K-12 education including:
needs in the K-12 system that might be addressed by such a program;
specific K-12 education careers that might be open to program participants;
what further preparation PhDs would need for successful careers in K-12 education;
recruitment of local program providers and of Ph.D. applicants; and
potential sources of funding for various components of the program.
The agenda and participant list for the workshop are in Appendix B.
In addition to the valuable information gained at the workshop, the committee used various sources of data and information in its work, including the national consensus standards for K-12 science, mathematics, and technology education; previous NRC reports on issues of teacher supply and the improvement of science, mathematics, and technology education in grades K-12; and the general research literature on K-12 education, graduate education, and postdoctoral experiences. It also relied heavily on the results of the Phase I part of the project. Nevertheless, designing a demonstration program like the one proposed in this report involves many factors for which the empirical research base is only suggestive. Thus, the committee also relied on the experiences of its members and other experts in relevant organizations, along with the contributions of the workshop participants. In this respect, it is similar to a recent report that lays out the design for a new approach to education research (NRC, 1999d).
Chapter 2 of this report discusses the need for qualified teachers and improved teacher-support structures in the nation’s schools, focusing on science, mathematics, and technology subjects. Chapter 3 presents information on young PhDs’ interest and retention in K-12 education. Chapter 4 then presents the committee’s proposal for a national demonstration program to attract and retain PhDs in K-12 education.