Induction and Mentoring

STEM Teachers in Professional Learning Communities: From Good Teachers to Great Teaching

written by Kathleen Fulton and Ted Britton

These two studies place a capstone on a decade of teacher effectiveness research. We now have compelling evidence that when teachers team up with their colleagues they are able to create a culture of success in schools, leading to teaching  improvements and student learning gains. The clear policy and practice implication is that great teaching is a team sport. Performance appraisal, compensation, and incentive systems that focus on individual teacher efforts at the expense of collaborative professional capacity building could seriously undermine our ability to prepare today's students for 21 st century college and career success. Every school needs good teachers--but a school does not become a great place to learn until those teachers have the leadership and support to create a learning culture that is more powerful than even the best of them can sustain on their own.

These findings have significant implications for America's competitiveness in a global innovation economy. Student mastery in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is essential to our economic growth. But America's twenty?year decline in international science and mathematics standings tells us that we have serious challenges to overcome. Countries that persistently rank at the top of international measures of science and mathematics achievement do things differently. A growing number of reports indicates that one of their biggest advantages is in the clear, consistent, and coherent support systems they provide for teachers from preparation through induction to accomplished practice.

Current Models for Evaluating Effectiveness of Teacher Professional Development

sub author: the Council of Chief State School Officers
written by Rolf Blank and Nina de las Alas
supported by the National Science Foundation

In April 2008 CCSSO invited 10 leaders in the field of research and evaluation of teacher professional development to meet with state education program managers and evaluators to present and discuss models for evaluating effects of professional development. Recent developments with state data systems, use of experimental designs in education research, and use of surveys and assessments has provided the tools for improved methods of evaluating professional development. The two-day conference provided an opportunity for leaders from states to learn how they can apply the models in their state programs.

Physics Teaching Web Advisory (Pathway)

written by Dean A. Zollman

Often a physics teacher, particularly one who is new to teaching physics, just needs an experienced colleague to answer a question about teaching, a particular physics topic, or give advice on a good demonstration; maybe the teacher just needs a video clip to illustrate a concept. The Physics Teaching Web Advisory (Pathway) is a state-of-the-art, Web-based digital video database that is providing just this kind of assistance.

Exploritorium Teacher Institute Leadership Program

published by the Exploritorium

The Exploratorium Leadership Program is a two-year training and support program for alumni of the Teacher Institute who take on the responsibilities of mentoring and coaching novice science teachers in the Exploratorium Beginning Teacher Program. The goal of the Leadership Program is to train a group of veteran science teachers to apprentice the novice teachers and induct them into the strategies for teaching science using exploration and inquiry. These veterans can choose to work as mentors or coaches. Another equally important objective of the program is to provide  experienced alumni with opportunities to develop their own leadership skills.

Mentoring Beginning Physics Teachers

written by Drew Isola and Dale Freeland

A presentation on the PhysTEC project and the mentoring of beginning physics teachers. The presentation discusses the problem of teacher attrition and the role of mentoring in solving the attrition problem.

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