SUNY-Brockport College and Rochester City (SCOLLARCITY) Math and Science Partnership: Integrative Technology Tools for Preservice and Inservice Teacher Education
SCOLLARCITY is a partnership of math, science, and technology; higher education and local school districts; educational institutions and business; and urban-suburban districts. Core partners include SUNY College at Brockport (the largest producer of bachelor's degrees in Rochester), Rochester City School District (third largest in New York state with the lowest achievement scores) and Brighton Central School District (one of the best ranked nationally). Supporting partners are the Shodor Foundation, The Krell Institute, and Texas Instruments.
The primary goal for the partnership is to improve student achievement in math and science in both college and grades 7-12 by creating a multi agency approach for the recruitment and professional development of mathematics and science teachers.
SCOLLARCITY uses a new pedagogy through effective use of technology, math modeling, computer simulations, and visual representations, which allow an integrated approach to math and science teaching while stimulating a layered (inquiry-based) learning for students using hands-on experiments. The new pedagogy is based on a Computational Math, Science, and Technology (CMST) approach, where students and teachers are engaged in fieldwork, laboratory experiments, mathematical modeling, computer simulation and visualization. CMST employs math models to describe physical phenomena, therefore bringing a new perspective about the usefulness of math as a tool in real life. The method is designed to make science and mathematics concepts more easily comprehensible.
The project targets both in-service and pre-service training. More than 50 teachers receive summer training every year. CMST-based lesson plans are developed during summer and implemented in classrooms during fall and spring. Participating teachers receive one-year mentoring help after summer. During the academic year, there is also a team-based project activity to further incorporate CMST into classrooms while bringing tools and motivation directly to grades 7-12 students, under the supervision of participating teachers.
In addition to summer training, mentoring and team project activities, there is a scholarship program that teachers can use to strenghthen their teaching certification credentials.
Courses and curricula at both core partners are being revised to assure an improvement in the quality and quantity of students as well as teachers and faculty.