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An Interdisciplinary Approach to Professional Development for Math, Science, and Technology Teachers

Abstract

This article describes findings and evolution of a teacher training program based on a partnership of knowledge domains (technology, content, and pedagogy), teaching staff (college faculty and school teachers), educational institutions (colleges and K-12), and local communities (urban and suburban). Within 5 years, more than 180 teachers from 15 secondary schools attended a 3-tier summer institute and followup activities. Summer trainees were offered stipends, laptop computers, advanced graphing calculators, smart boards, LCD projectors, mentorship, and technical support during the academic year. While teachers were initially frustrated to learn outside their subject areas, they all completed the initial workshop and more than half returned in subsequent years for advance and expert level training. External evaluators collected data and conducted longitudinal analysis of performance indicators for teaching quality and student learning. Teachers reported increased level of student engagement in and comprehension of mathematics and science topics. Graduation rates and student achievement scores in partnering school districts increased noticeably during the initiative. Comparison of target and control groups showed that treatment students consistently outperformed non-treatment students.

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