Discovering the Needs Assessment of Qualified STEM Teachers for the High-Need Schools in South Texas

Jeong Yang

Abstract


Concerns are arising in the United States that a majority of secondary school students fail to achieve mathematics and science proficiency due to teachers who lack adequate knowledge of the subjects. The concerns over shortages of mathematics and science teachers have also reached new heights. In Texas, the high school mathematics and science are teaching areas that have persisted among the most critical shortage areas. The needs assessment Student/Teacher surveys were conducted in the spring and fall semesters of 2013 to collect important information for decision making in preparing highly qualified STEM teachers for high-need school districts in South Texas.

About 72% of student participants from the Student survey indicated that they would like to teach STEM subjects (31% of them like to teach Computer Science). 56.25% of the STEM students indicated that they were interested in becoming a teacher and nearly 100% of them were willing to teach in high-need schools and they needed financial assistance to complete the educator preparation program.

About 50% of teacher participants from the Teacher survey thought that the funding designated for K-12 STEM education was insufficient. 40% of them also believed that K-8 STEM education was inadequate and professional development for STEM teachers was insufficient. Teacher participants would like universities to provide training or professional development for teachers such as the implementation of vertical curriculum alignment and the establishment of partnerships between universities and school districts.

Keywords


Science; Technology; Engineering; Mathematics; Computer Science; Physics; South Texas

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JSTEM. ISSN: 1557-5284