Building on the success of the exemplary teacher education program at Mills College, the primary investigators' experience with Teacher Residency Programs at a national level, the new and talented Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) mathematics and science district leaders, the exemplary urban-focused STEM teacher professional development offerings of the Lawrence Hall of Science, and the talents of the faculty in Division of Natural Sciences, Mills College plans to develop a program adapted to the unique context and needs of Oakland, California, which is experiencing a shortage of high quality mathematics and science teachers in middle and high schools. The grant period focuses on the design of a program and an implementation plan to admit (over a five year period) to the Oakland Teacher Residency Program (OTR) 150 teachers who will obtain their high school or middle school certification. It is also expected that a cadre of at least 15 current teachers of STEM subjects will become highly qualified Master Teachers. The partners (Mills College Division of Natural Science, Lawrence Hall of Science and OUSD) are strengthening their collaborative infrastructure and plan professional development for the Mentor Teachers and new Master?s degree program to sustain the program. The OTR curriculum and professional development programs are being designed to closely align with the particular needs of the participating schools, the District as a whole, the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards. An innovative dual focus on STEM content and classroom support ensures that OTR participants are being prepared for the specific needs of the students in a high-needs urban school district, thus providing a model program for similar university-school district partnerships. It is the intention to have in place a curriculum for a 12-month Master's program, specifically tailored to the issues involved in STEM teaching in an urban, high-needs school district and a rubric for selecting target schools, recruiting materials for Teaching Fellows and Master Teachers, a professional development curriculum for the Master Teachers, a plan for mentoring and support for Teaching Fellows, a data collection and evaluation plan, and a research and publication plan. These model materials are to be disseminated so that other university-school district partnerships may use them to implement a program similar to OTR, thereby providing a much broader impact.

Project Report

was to design a complete plan for the implementation of a STEM intensive urban teacher residency program to serve local secondary schools. This work was undertaken by a partnership among a large high needs urban school district, a small liberal arts college’s Education, Mathematics, and Science units, a science center and a public broadcasting organization. The partnership developed the infrastructure for Oakland Urban Teacher Residency. Specifically, during this planning period we developed: (1) protocols for intra and inter partnership communication; (2) a five year plan for teacher preparation and induction including principles, policies and activities; (3) matching funds for subsequent grant proposals; (4) draft plans for an new Master Degree program tailored for urban teaching of STEM; and (5) a successful proposal to the TF/MTF track of NSF Noyce teacher scholarship program. The intellectual merits of this planning project include?advancement of the knowledge of the design and structure of urban teacher preparation program that bring to bear the intellectual talents of university faculty, public schools and non-profit community resources. These new structures will enhance STEM teacher retention in the highest need schools through intensive many faceted support of teachers through a five year preparation and induction period. The teachers thus supported will possess the capability of productive and equitable interaction with students, families, communities, and other educators. They will exhibit deep competence steeped in an inquiry disposition and commitment to rigorous equitable instruction. Among the broader impacts we anticipate from the further implementation of our designed plans are a cadre of knowledgeable and committed teachers, including those from under-represented groups, who will remain in the Oakland classrooms for at least five years. Further, plan implementation will have a significant positive impact on the mathematics and science teaching in Oakland’s secondary schools and the elementary schools associated with them, resulting in enhanced student achievement, increased STEM teaching expertise, and a more stable teaching force in the OUSD.

National Science Foundation (NSF)
Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE)
Standard Grant (Standard)
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Program Officer
John Haddock
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Mills College
United States
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