Encouraged Collaboration Amongst Teaching Fellows—At Meeting and Beyond

Moorestown, N.J., Aug. 27, 2013 – The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) held its 2013 Summer Meeting in Cherry Hill, N.J., in late July. Over the course of the three-day meeting, approximately 180 KSTF Teaching Fellows—early-career mathematics and science teachers—gathered to engage in activities designed to promote the advancement of their teaching practice.

The purpose of the meeting was fourfold:

  1. to bring together all members of the KSTF community to interact with, learn from and provide critical feedback to each other;

  2. to provide Fellows with resources and time to collaboratively study the challenges and issues associated with reaching all learners;

  3. to provide Fellows with extended time to inquire into their teaching practice, into a specific concept or set of ideas, and into major themes related to science and mathematics education;

  4. and to provide an opportunity for Fellows to practice organizing and leading learning sessions for teachers and other educators in a safe space.

Dr. Nicole Gillespie, KSTF Executive Director, commented, “The KSTF summer meeting is our largest annual event, bringing together hundreds of STEM teachers from across the nation. The meeting provided attendees with an extended opportunity to study various aspects of their own teaching practice and learn with and from each other. It is a privilege to be able support these amazing teachers as they take responsibility for their own professional growth and become agents for meaningful educational reform. Our 2013 Summer Meeting was nothing short of inspirational.”

Meeting participants attended and delivered sessions on a wide range of topics related to teaching and learning, including flipped instruction; practitioner inquiry; computer assisted learning method (CALM); and the connection between self-perception and the quality of student work. Additionally, an ongoing discussion of the book Still Failing at Fairness occurred throughout the meeting. To complement the discussion, the keynote address was delivered by the co-author of the book, Dr. David Sadker.

Ginna Roach, a 2013 Teaching Fellow, said, “I really enjoyed spending time with the members of my cohort and building relationships with them (and meeting fellows from other cohorts, too!). The community at KSTF is wonderful and I look forward to having that community as a source of support as I begin teaching!”

“I came feeling under prepared and stressed. I left feeling confident and energized,” added 2013 Teaching Fellow Michelle Leber.

“I worked harder at summer meeting than I have worked in a long time, and it was exciting to see that work pay off—in deepening understandings, in a presentation that seemed to really reach people, in thinking about what this upcoming year will mean to me,” stated Kirstin Milks, a 2009 Teaching Fellow.