Association of Biology Teachers (1990), the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (1991), the Mathematical Association of America (1991), the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (1994), the National Science Foundation (1996, 1998), the National Research Council (1996a, 1997a,b), the Association for the Education of Teachers of Science (1997), the National Science Teachers Association (1998), the American Institute of Physics (1999), and the Conference Board of the Mathematical Sciences (in preparation).
In recently released teacher education standards, the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC, formed by the Council of Chief State School Officers) has specified that teachers of K-12 science and mathematics need to meet the National Research Council’s standards for science and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics’ standards for mathematics. INTASC has emphasized further that teacher education should focus understanding of content in subject areas and knowing how to apply that understanding in problem-solving and inquiry-based situations in the classroom. More than 30 states now belong to INTASC.
Based on its review of the literature and of the recommendations of professional organizations, the CSMTP has concluded that teacher preparation must be seen in the future as much more continual and seamless than it is today. The college education that leads to initial certification to teach (also known as preservice education) should be viewed as only the first part of a complex, career-long learning process that involves continual intellectual growth both inside and outside the classroom.
Standards for K-12 teaching coupled with increasing demands for improved teacher quality have created unprecedented opportunities for all players in the education community (with input and cooperation from the larger community, including industrial and research scientists and mathematicians) to design and implement new collaborative approaches to teacher education. In fact, over the past 10 years, many institutions have begun to develop such collaboration, often called a Professional Development School (PDS). Through-out the report, the committee has used this term to describe an intentional partnership between a college or university and the K-12 sector for teacher education and the improvement of teaching and learning in the schools. Although the objectives and infrastructures of PDS arrangements can vary widely, the committee found that some PDS models have become living laboratories for observation, experimentation, and extended practice—sites where