An Innovative Approach to Earth Science Teacher Preparation: Uniting Science, Informal Science Education, and Schools to Raise Student Achievement

The American Museum of Natural History in New York City, in partnership with New York University, and in collaboration with five high-needs schools, is developing, implementing, and researching a five-year pilot Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program in Earth Science. The program is delivered by the Museum's scientific and education teams and its evaluation covers aspects of the program from recruitment to first year of teaching.

Project Email: 
Award Number: 
1119444
Funding Period: 
Thursday, September 1, 2011 to Thursday, August 31, 2017
Project Evaluator: 
David Silvernail, Center for Education and Policy, University of Southern Maine
Full Description: 

The American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), in collaboration with New York University's Institute for Education and Social Policy and the University of Southern Maine Center for Evaluation and Policy, will develop and evaluate a new teacher education program model to prepare science teachers through a partnership between a world class science museum and high need schools in metropolitan New York City (NYC). This innovative pilot residency model was approved by the New York State (NYS) Board of Regents as part of the state’s Race To The Top award. The program will prepare a total of 50 candidates in two cohorts (2012 and 2013) to earn a Board of Regents-awarded Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree with a specialization in Earth Science for grades 7-12. The program focuses on Earth Science both because it is one of the greatest areas of science teacher shortages in urban areas and because AMNH has the ability to leverage the required scientific and educational resources in Earth Science and allied disciplines, including paleontology and astrophysics.

The proposed 15-month, 36-credit residency program is followed by two additional years of mentoring for new teachers. In addition to a full academic year of residency in high-needs public schools, teacher candidates will undertake two AMNH-based clinical summer residencies; a Museum Teaching Residency prior to entering their host schools, and a Museum Science Residency prior to entering the teaching profession. All courses will be taught by teams of doctoral-level educators and scientists.

The project’s research and evaluation components will examine the factors and outcomes of a program offered through a science museum working with the formal teacher preparation system in high need schools. Formative and summative evaluations will document all aspects of the program. In light of the NYS requirement that the pilot program be implemented in high-need, low-performing schools, this project has the potential to engage, motivate and improve the Earth Science achievement and interest in STEM careers of thousands of students from traditionally underrepresented populations including English language learners, special education students, and racial minority groups. In addition, this project will gather meaningful data on the role science museums can play in preparing well-qualified Earth Science teachers. The research component will examine the impact of this new teacher preparation model on student achievement in metropolitan NYC schools. More specifically, this project asks, "How do Earth Science students taught by first year AMNH MAT Earth Science teachers perform academically in comparison with students taught by first year Earth Science teachers not prepared in the AMNH program?.”

Posts

Title Type Post date
Master of Arts in Teaching Program at the American Museum of Natural History Poster 01/18/2018 - 12:40pm
Investigating science teaching core practices in high-needs urban settings Poster 01/18/2018 - 12:34pm
Master of Arts in Teaching Program at the Museum Resource 01/12/2018 - 11:46am
MAT Graduates Reflect on Pioneering Program Resource 01/12/2018 - 11:20am
Teaching Science Teachers Resource 01/11/2018 - 5:15pm
The Missing Ingredient in Science Teacher Preparation: The Role of the Senior Specialist Resource 01/05/2018 - 6:42pm
Supporting Mentor Teachers in the Assessment of and Inquiry into High-Leverage Science Teaching Practices Resource 01/05/2018 - 6:20pm
How can museums help teachers with the NGSS? Resource 01/05/2018 - 6:11pm
Preparing new science teachers for high-need schools Resource 01/05/2018 - 5:56pm
A balancing act in third space: Graduate-level earth science in an urban teacher-residency program Resource 01/05/2018 - 5:40pm
Informal science institutions and learning to teach: An examination of identity, agency, and affordances Resource 01/05/2018 - 5:28pm
Breaking Dichotomies: Learning to Be a Teacher of Science in Formal and Informal Settings Resource 01/05/2018 - 5:08pm
An Innovative Approach to Earth Science Teacher Preparation: Uniting Science, Informal Science Education, and Schools to Raise Student Achievement Poster 05/25/2016 - 9:45am
An Innovative Approach to Earth Science Teacher Preparation: Uniting Science, Informal Science Education, and Schools to Raise Student Achievement Resource 03/25/2016 - 10:27am
An Innovative Approach to Earth Science Teacher Preparation: Uniting Science, Informal Science Education, and Schools to Raise Student Achievement Poster 08/04/2014 - 5:13pm
An Innovative Approach to Earth Science Teacher Preparation: Uniting Science Education, and Schools to Raise Student Achievement Poster 06/18/2012 - 11:28am