Anticipated Results

We expect to see significant, measurable results in addressing each of our project goals. The summer workshops will train a total of 80 college faculty in the new pedagogical approaches, enabling them to create or modify approximately 74 courses. (Some faculty in the teams wlll serve as resources and will not develop their own courses.) A larger group of college faculty will be affected by the seminars and workshops comprising the internal dissemination efforts.

After completion of the summative evaluation of the new courses, we will describe them and the evaluation results in publications, and in talks and workshops at national and regional meetings. One focus of our analysis and description of the courses is how changing the learning environment in science and math classrooms leads to students being more interested in learning and, consequently, in teaching science and math. Our program will result in the reform of approximately 74 courses in 5 disciplines and in 8 quite different colleges. The total annual enrollment in those courses will be in the thousands since large introductory courses will be modified. The number of science and math majors exposed to teaching experiences will also be large, 100 or more annually.

Findings about getting students interested in learning and teaching from this extraordinarily rich base will be transferable to a wide range of institutions. The evaluation will also help us understand which kinds of activities with schools and children draw college students into teaching careers. Educators will be interested to know whether any of these exposures is especially effective or if it is the variety of interactions with children that increases the population of college students interested in teaching. We are especially interested in the contributions made by the mentor teachers and the workshops for the participating students.

We expect to see a change in the cultures of the eight participating colleges. By changing science and mathematics courses and programs so that they are more welcoming to prospective teachers, they will be more welcoming to all undergraduates. The result would be that science and mathematics will be seen as worthwhile majors for all undergraduates. This will help us to reach "the second tier" (Tobias, 1990).

The project will have its greatest impact on the preservice education of elementary teachers and of secondary science and math teachers. The elementary teachers will have a sounder base in these disciplines, and will be prepared to teach them using the pedagogical methods incorporated into the new courses. Science and math majors who become secondary teachers will have profited from experiencing the new pedagogies. The improved pedagogy and the recruiting efforts will produce significant increases in the number of women and minorities entering science and math teaching; CETP scholarships will allow 40 minority students to complete science and math teaching programs. The project will also improve the teaching of science and math in Western Massachusetts, since teachers who participate in the curriculum development committees and as mentors for undergraduates will increase their content and pedagogical knowledge. The use of educational technology in its many forms is a central part of STEMTEC. The infusion of educational technology into the new and revised courses as well as the educational technology courses will be adaptable to other campuses. Intelligent tutoring systems will be developed by STEMTEC and made available for national distribution.

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Created June 2000
Author: STEMTEC Webmaster