Fostering the development of secondary science and mathematics teachers in the Cornell Teacher Education Program
CALS Impact Statement
My work involves helping students who have majored in, or are majoring in, a science or mathematics related field to devleop the skills, attitudes and abilities to become strong teachers who are able to ensure that their own pupils will learn science and mathematics content deeply and well. The students in the Cornell Teacher Education program are academically able, and have had years of being successful in schools. As future teachers they need to learn how to work well with youngsters who are less successful to ensure that they learn to their fullest potential. Since teachers continue to develop over their course of their careers, my work seeks to foster the commitment to being a lifelong learner.
Numerous national reports and international comparisons indicate that middle school and high school students in the U.S. do not understand science and mathematics in ways that will allow them to use these sources of knowledge in meaningful ways; in ways that will enable them to make informed decisions. One way to address this weakness is to ensure that future teachers are prepared with deep knowledge of content and the abilities to work with the range of learners in schools today.
Initial and culminating courses in the Cornell Teacher education program have been modified to stimulate the development of its students. The Cornell teacher education program itself has been modified based on findings. We are also developing new approaches to tracking our graduates and determining their successes.
Graduates of the Cornell Teacher Education program are now teaching across the U.S., from Colorado to Connecticut. Most of our graduates are working in schools in New York state, and affecting the lives of all of their pupils.