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Educating Teachers of Science, Mathematics, and Technology: New Practices for the New Millenium
tors from local colleges and universities, individual school staff, and parents. It also includes scientists and mathematicians outside of academe, who can bring their understanding and everyday applications of science and mathematics concepts and skills to K-12 teaching and learning improvement.
The approaches taken by PDSs, the vast body of literature that is reported and analyzed here, and the many examples of effective teacher education programs and policies and practices of other professions in the United States reviewed for this report by the CSMTP led committee members to develop a vision for a new type of partnership for teacher education. In the committee’s vision (articulated in Chapter 6), the various communities involved with specific aspects of teacher education work much more closely together toward common goals. The current separation of programs to educate prospective and practicing teachers lessens considerably to the point of becoming a seamless continuum. Institutions that collaborate in these partnerships re-examine and, in some cases, redefine their roles in teacher education. The ultimate goal of the partnerships under the committee’s vision is to offer teachers ongoing opportunities to improve their understanding of the subjects they teach, the ways they teach, and their standing as professionals.
It was in this regard, then, that the committee took particular note of the partnerships between medical schools and their teaching hospitals that involve collaboration between teaching and clinical faculty in the education of new generations of physicians. The committee emphasizes that the primary goal of any partnership arrangement would be to improve teacher education in ways that contribute to enhanced student learning and achievement.
In reflecting on its findings and conclusions, the CSMTP established the following six guiding principles on which further action to improve K-12 teacher education in science, mathematics, and technology should be based:
The improvement of teacher education and teaching in science, mathematics, and technology should be viewed as a top national priority.
Teacher education in science, mathematics, and technology must become a career-long process. High-quality professional development programs that include intellectual growth as well as the upgrading of teachers’ knowledge and skills must be expected and essential features in the careers of all teachers.
Through changes in the rewards for, incentives for, and expectations of teachers, teaching as a profession must be upgraded in status and