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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
These types of expectations of teachers must be coupled, however, with the district’s willingness to provide experienced teachers with time during their work hours and throughout the school year. The kinds of partnership or collaborations envisioned by the CSMTP here could ease the district’s burden in this regard. For example, qualified student teachers who have been mentored closely through the partnership might be able to provide the needed classroom coverage.
The CSMTP recognizes that implementation of this recommendation might be difficult for school districts not located near colleges or universities. However, the use of distance learning and other types of information technologies would allow teachers from locations that are geographically removed from the partnership to participate in these kinds of courses (e.g., Ariza et al., 2000).
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL AND DISCIPLINARY ORGANIZATIONS
1. Organizations that represent institutions of higher education should assist their members in establishing programs to help new teachers. For example, databases of information about new teachers would be developed and shared among member institutions so that colleges and universities could be notified when a newly certified teacher was moving to their area to teach. Those colleges and universities could then plan and offer welcoming and support activities, such as opportunities for continued professional and intellectual growth. Models for this kind of support for new teachers are described elsewhere in this report.
2. Professional disciplinary societies in science, mathematics, and engineering, higher education organizations, government at all levels, and business and industry should become more engaged partners (as opposed to advisors or overseers) in efforts to improve teacher education.
3. Professional disciplinary societies in science, mathematics, and engineering, and higher education organizations also should work together to align their policies and recommendations for improving teacher education in science, mathematics, and engineering. In addition to the societies that serve the professional needs of teachers, many disciplinary research organizations have become more interested in improving science and mathematics education in grades K-12. A number of these organizations are beginning to focus on how they can become more involved with improving teacher education. Profes-