Staff Members Explored Types of Learning Opportunities Needed to Sustain Beginning Math and Science Teachers

Moorestown, N.J., Nov. 13, 2013 – The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) today announced the publication of a new article written by KSTF Director of Research and Evaluation Jodie Galosy and Executive Director Nicole Gillespie. Published by The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, “Community, Inquiry, Leadership: Exploring Early Career Opportunities That Support STEM Teacher Growth and Sustainability” discusses the results of a mixed-methods study of the experiences of early-career mathematics and science teachers selected to participate in the KSTF Teaching Fellowship program. The article is part of a special issue of this peer-reviewed publication, entitled Successful Strategies for Supporting Learning and Professional Development for Secondary Educators.

The article provides evidence that beginning mathematics and science teachers need a combination of three mutually reinforcing learning opportunities for growth and sustainability: content-rich professional community, pedagogical inquiry, and leadership from the classroom. Aimed to identify the contributions of KSTF to teacher development and commitment to teaching, the authors examined the results of annual surveys completed by KSTF Teaching Fellows and Senior Fellows, as well as artifacts from KSTF activities. The authors concluded that professional capital is increased through the various professional development opportunities offered to KSTF Teaching Fellows, leading to an enhanced sense of professional worth and a belief that teaching science and mathematics is “complex, challenging intellectual work.”