. "The Continuum of Teacher Education in Science, Mathematics, and Technology: Problems and Issues." Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millennium. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2000.
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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
they necessarily reflect state standards based in whole or in part on these national standards. In addition, teacher licensing examinations typically do not assess whether prospective teachers have become adept at planning and implementing the kinds of active pedagogies (e.g., inquiry, discourse) called for in national as well as some state science and mathematics standards.
• Current rewards, incentives, and school environments are not adequate to attract large numbers of the best students to teaching or to encourage them to remain in the profession beyond the first few years of teaching. These problems are exacerbated in science and mathematics, where teacher shortages already exist in many parts of the United States and are expected to grow worse over the next decade. The lack of teachers with adequate content knowledge and pedagogical skills for teaching science and mathematics is especially acute in small rural and inner city schools, where science or mathematics departments may consist of only one or two individuals and a given teacher may be required to teach several different subject areas every day (U.S. Department of Education, 1997a; Asimov, 1999; Shields et al., 1999; Public Agenda, 2000).
• Professional development for continuing teachers (inservice education) too often consists of a patchwork of courses, curricula, and programs and may do little to enhance teachers’ content knowledge or the techniques and skills they need to teach science and mathematics effectively. The quality, coherence, and usefulness of professional development programs for improving the quality of teaching and student learning vary considerably. While all states mandate a minimum level of preparation in content and pedagogy for preservice teachers, there are few specific requirements for inservice education. In most states, the regulations that do exist for inservice education mandate only that teachers obtain some number of post-baccalaureate credits or a master’s degree within some period of time after being hired and then to earn additional credits every few years thereafter. Content areas typically are not specified.
• Against increasing expectations for performance, teachers are not sufficiently supported in professional development. In addition, they often have to undertake additional professional development on their own time and at their own expense. Expectations for professional competence, performance, and accountability for teachers are increasing. These higher expectations are exemplified by the standards set forth by the