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Science teacher professional development through a large-scale, high-school and university partnership David May University System of Maryland.

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Presentation on theme: "Science teacher professional development through a large-scale, high-school and university partnership David May University System of Maryland."— Presentation transcript:

1 Science teacher professional development through a large-scale, high-school and university partnership David May University System of Maryland

2 VIP K-16 Vertically Integrated Partnerships K-16 A National Science Foundation Mathematics and Science Partnership PI’s: Nancy Shapiro and Don Langenberg, University System of Maryland Michael Szesze, Montgomery County Public Schools

3 VIP K-16 Scope and Purpose Partnership: 5 Maryland universities and a large school district. A targeted MSP: Just science, just grades Its scope is large: By 2007, VIP K-16 will involve: 350 high school science teachers who teach over 39,000 MCPS high school students; and 100 college/university faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, and prospective science teachers. Main purpose of VIP K-16: Improve science instruction in Maryland high schools and universities by creating communities of teachers and faculty in which they develop their inquiry pedagogy skills and science content knowledge by learning from each other.

4 K-12 Partner: Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) MCPS serves Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction with 873,341 residents (county size: 497 square miles) 139,000 PreK-12 student enrollments 10,500 PreK-12 teachers 191 schools (29 National Blue Ribbon Schools ) MCPS Student Demographic and Socioeconomic Data: Race/Ethnicity: American Indian 0.3%, African American 21%, Asian American 14%, Hispanic, 17%, White 48% Students Receiving Free and Reduced Price Meals (FARMS): 22% English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL): 10,673 students; international students from over 160 countries

5 Higher Education Partners University System: University System of Maryland (lead partner) Colleges and Universities: Montgomery College (2-year community college; 21,000 students) Towson University (4-year Master’s I University; 17,000 students) University of Maryland, Baltimore County (4-year Doctoral/Research University-Extensive; 11,000 students) University of Maryland, College Park (4-year Doctoral/Research University-Extensive; 33,000 students) Research Institute: University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute

6 Goals Develop a sustainable Professional Learning Community model for high school science teachers, pre-service science teachers, and college/university science faculty. Enrich science teacher knowledge in order to improve instruction to better enable students for success on the Maryland Science High School Assessments (HSAs). Engage college faculty in enriching their teaching and pedagogy in order to improve the quality of undergraduate science courses and increase student retention in the sciences.

7 All 350 high school science teachers are expected to participate; college faculty must be recruited. Different cultures among schools, universities. Geography: Universities are 15, 40, 70 miles away from Montgomery County. Little knowledge of educational research among MSTs, faculty fellows, and project staff. Systemic barriers to changing instructional practices. “Publish or perish.” Challenges

8 Our Program: Learning Communities in Cohort Cycles Cohorts are structured by discipline: Four staggered 2-year cohort cycles will participate over the course of the project: 1)Master Science Teachers and VIP Faculty Fellows, 2)Biology, 3)Matter & Energy and Earth Space Systems, 4)Chemistry and Physics Master Science Teachers (MSTs) and Faculty Fellows: Experienced and/or interested teachers and faculty get paid extra to help envision, design, and implement professional development activities for their colleagues.

9 Our program for the high schools A full range of professional development activities are provided, aimed at the high school teachers: Cohort elements include annual 1-week summer institute, 4 school-year conferences, 3 professional days, curriculum workshops, monthly working seminars, “virtual” online mentoring, practitioner research, Professional Development Plan options, and a Student Inquiry Conference Additional supports include curriculum and assessment development teams, curriculum advisory committees, financial support for instructional materials, involvement of scientists from partner research institutes, and use of USM and Shady Grove Center facilities as training sites Comprehensive project Web site,

10 Partnerships: project activities to strengthen K-16 relationships Undergraduates in high school classrooms: We have created a mentoring/internship program that matches university biology majors with MCPS high school teachers. This project began at UMCP and is being extended to UMBC. High school teachers as science researchers: The ExPERT program* has provided summer internships for MCPS high school teachers in biology research labs at UMBI. The teachers learn how to bring real science inquiry into their instructional practice. (* Extended Professional Experiences in Research for Teachers) Faculty designing science curricula: Our very successful faculty learning community at Towson has created or redesigned six inquiry-based science courses and is sharing them with MCPS teachers. Additional learning communities are being created among Montgomery College science faculty and UMBC biology teaching assistants, in partnership with high school teachers.

11 Expansion of Professional Learning Communities that will continue to support improved student achievement and professional development Adoption of new curriculum/instructional guides and semester exams by the MCPS Board of Education and their integration into the instructional program Development of highly skilled high school science teaching staff with extended content knowledge and increased strategies in best practices of science pedagogy, assessment, and reading/writing in science Establishment of partnerships with research scientists who will continue to serve on curriculum and instructional advisory committees Incorporation of findings and understandings into K-12 teacher preparation programs and undergraduate science courses Increased awareness among science faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate students of the importance of linkages to K-12 schools Increased understanding and utilization by college/university faculty of effective learning-centered pedagogies used in K-12 science education Institutional Change and Project Sustainability


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