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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
anyone can do, nor is it primarily “teaching as telling.” Rather, these developments must compel those who educate prospective and currently practicing teachers to redesign their programs to meet the needs of teachers in this new educational environment (Goodlad, 1994; Darling-Hammond, 1997).
ORIGINS OF THE STUDY
As part of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Research Council (NRC) commissioned in 1998 the Committee on Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation (CSMTP).5 This study committee has undertaken a series of projects and activities to examine ways to improve the education of teachers of science, mathematics, and technology for grades K-12. The Executive Committee of the NRC’s Governing Board approved the following Statement of Task to define the nature and scope of the committee’s purview and responsibilities:
The [study committee] will identify critical issues emerging from existing practices and policies for teacher preparation. The project report will synthesize existing research relevant to teacher preparation in science, mathematics, and technology. The process will include collecting and summarizing comprehensive recommendations that have been developed by professional societies for science, mathematics, and technology teacher preparation. These three components of the project report will be interwoven, so that the resulting report provides an analysis of the ways in which research, recommendations from professional societies, and practice might be integrated to improve the teacher preparation process in mathematics, science, and technology. (1998)
In response, this report of the committee explores the landscape of teacher education in general, and then focuses on issues that can be seen as specific or unique to the teaching of science, mathematics, and technology. It synthesizes and builds on the research literature and current calls for reform of K-16 science and mathematics education as well as on more general principles of effective teacher education that are derived from analysis of actual classroom practice. Research about what is
As noted throughout this report, this study undertaken by the members of the Committee on Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation has led to the conclusion that teacher preparation (which often is equated with the education of prospective teachers, or preservice education) cannot be addressed adequately by itself. Instead, teacher preparation must be viewed as a component of a much more integrated approach to improving the education of teachers at all stages of their careers. Thus, while the study committee was designated as the Committee on Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation, this report stresses teacher education in its entirety rather than separating teacher preparation from professional development (also known as inservice education).