However, because these teachers already have earned bachelors degrees, some states will not permit them to receive continuing education credits by enrolling in undergraduate courses. Graduate-level courses could be seen as a solution; however, as currently offered, they may not provide teachers with the kind of education and professional development that would best serve their needs. The integrated programs that partnerships could develop and offer to experienced teachers might address the problem not only by offering appropriate courses to teachers but also by assuaging official concerns about whether the credits they would obtain would reflect appropriate academic levels of study.
Teachers in the partnership districts also could engage in research projects in their disciplines by working with college faculty who are involved with the partnership or with undergraduate or graduate students who are engaged in disciplinary or interdisciplinary research. Teachers also could have increased opportunities to undertake research related to the improvement of science, mathematics, or technology education. For example, the partnership could arrange for undergraduate students to work with children in the partnership schools and also establish ways for teachers to share scientific equipment, computing facilities and software, mathematical manipulatives, and other resources owned by the higher education partners. In some cases, college faculty also could benefit by using equipment, such as mathematical manipulatives, that may be more commonly found in the K-12 schools in the partnership. A portion of the funding dedicated to the partnership would need to be set aside to provide teacher participants in this research from both the K-12 and higher education partner institutions with sufficient time to plan, work with undergraduate or graduate students, and evaluate the efficacy of their work.
Clearly, as outlined above, new approaches to and sources of funding would be needed for this model of teacher education. Such funds could be realized from several sources, including those normally set aside by school districts for inservice training of teachers, although, in some school districts, the amount of funds set aside might need to be increased, in recognition of the importance of professional development. Support could be sought from locally based businesses and industries that have publicly acknowledged the importance of science, mathematics, and technology education and possibly even funded such improvements in the past. Support also could be sought from state and federal agencies through existing grant programs (e.g., the