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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
options for becoming certified teachers. Advisors would work with their departmental colleagues, faculty in the institution’s school of education, and with local schools involved with a partnership. These advisors either should be suitably compensated for their work or provided with sufficient amounts of released time from other responsibilities to carry out this work. In addition, the quality of advising should be taken into account during personnel decisions. The advisor or advising group also would have primary responsibility for coordinating the campus’ teacher preparation efforts with those of community colleges that are sending large numbers of students to the campus (see Recommendations for the Higher Education Community, Recommendation 3).
Colleges and universities that do not provide formal teacher education programs should recognize that prospective teachers of science, mathematics, and technology also matriculate on their campuses. At a minimum, faculty advisors should be designated in these disciplines. These advisors should learn about the procedures for credentialing in their state, alternative routes to certification, and the challenges and opportunities that K-12 teachers face so that they can offer appropriate advice and guidance to these students.
However, postsecondary faculty in the sciences, mathematics, engineering, and technology should not delegate all responsibility for advising and mentoring future teachers to a specified advisor or advisory committee. Job descriptions for new faculty hires or redefinitions of responsibilities for continuing faculty who teach and advise undergraduate students should include the expectation that applicants have or are willing to acquire the knowledge they will need to help students learn about careers in teaching.
Through their words, actions, and financial support, the highest level administrators should reaffirm or indicate that pre-teaching advisors or advisory committees will be integral components of the institution’s academic and career support programs (ACE, 1999). Again, the CSMTP concurs with the conclusions of others (e.g., ACE, 1999; NRC, 1999h) that teacher education must become a campus-wide priority, not solely the purview of departments or colleges of education. If such commitments cannot be made and sustained, continuation of formal programs for teacher preparation and professional development on those campuses should be called into question.