Participation by STEM Faculty in Mathematics and Science Partnership Activities for Teachers
AbstractThis study examines archival data from a federally-funded mathematics and science program (NSF-MSP) where partnerships in the program provided pre-service and in-service education for mathematics and science teachers. Of particular interest in the present study was the breadth of participation by IHE Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) faculty in the activities designed for teachers, and the relationship between the participation of IHE STEM faculty and the participation of all other providers of MSP teacher activities. In this contextualized analysis, researchers examined breadth of participation for each provider in terms of topics (i.e., mathematics, science, technology), levels (i.e., elementary, middle, high), and categories of common teacher activities (i.e., pre-service teacher preparation activities, in-service teacher enhancement activities). It was hypothesized that IHE education faculty and K-12 teachers and leaders would be the providers most involved in the in-service activities for current mathematics and science teachers. It was also anticipated that IHE education faculty would be the providers most involved in pre-service activities for university students in mathematics and science teacher education programs, with IHE STEM faculty serving as the developers and instructors of mathematics and science courses in their STEM departments. Findings indicated that, in terms of the breadth of participation in pre-service and in-service teacher activities among 14 provider groups, IHE STEM faculty participated most broadly across the activities, followed by IHE education faculty and K-12 teachers. Because IHE STEM faculty participation with K-12 teachers was an important goal of the NSF MSP Program, these findings reflect well on the efforts of the partnerships in the program. These results demonstrate that shifts were evident among participants in MSP partnerships, in relation to the typical roles and responsibilities of IHE faculty and K-12 school personnel providing teacher development. The findings are significant because they indicate that, not only did partnerships in the NSF-MSP Program attain the goal of engaging IHE STEM faculty in activities with pre-service and in-service teachers, they engaged IHE STEM faculty across a breadth of teacher activities. The scope of IHE STEM faculty participation included each topic area, all K-12 levels, and various categories of teacher activities. Because teacher development in mathematics and science education is not the primary role of STEM faculty in most IHE disciplinary departments, these findings show the unique nature of STEM faculty participation that was achieved in the NSF-MSP Program.
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