During the past decade, two nationally based organizations have been studying the competencies that should characterize accomplished teachers and teachers who have recently entered the profession. The National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), formed in the late 1980s, established five guiding principles for assessing the competence of experienced teachers (see Table 4-1). With these principles in place, the Council of Chief State School Officers then established the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (INTASC), which developed a parallel set of core standards for novice teachers, as discussed earlier (see Table 3-1). Currently, more than 30 states are members of INTASC, an organization compelled by the premise that “the complex art of teaching requires performance-based standards and assessment strategies that are capable of capturing teachers’ reasoned judgments and that evaluate what they can actually do in authentic teaching situations” (INTASC, 1999).
By establishing expectations for both accomplished and novice teachers, respectively, the recommendations from NBPTS and INTASC offer visions and guidance about how teachers of science and mathematics could be educated. A synthesis of the NBPTS and INTASC recommendations, as well as those of disciplinary societies and related organizations, suggest that teacher education programs in science and mathematics should exhibit the following characteristics:
Be collaborative endeavors developed and conducted by scientists, mathematicians, education faculty, and practicing K-12 teachers with assistance from members of professional organizations and science- and mathematics-rich businesses and industries;
Help prospective teachers to know well, understand deeply, and use effectively and creatively the fundamental content and concepts of the disciplines that they will teach. This includes understanding the disciplines from personal and social perspectives. It also includes being familiar with the disciplines’ history and nature, unifying concepts, and the processes of inquiry and design that practitioners of the disciplines use in discovering and applying new knowledge;
Unify, coordinate, and connect content courses in science, mathematics, or technology with methods courses and field experiences. They also should enhance teachers’ proficiency in teaching over time through continuous experiences that help them address varying student interests and backgrounds;
Teach content through the perspectives and methods of inquiry and prob-