The University of Notre Dame has launched an effort designed to improve the skills of science, technology, engineering and math teachers. The Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows Program focuses on recruitment and development strategies for elementary and secondary educators. October 8, 2014
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Excellence in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is critical for the nation's continued social and economic well-being and security. In order to foster growth in these disciplines, the University of Notre Dame's Center for STEM Education is launching the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows Program.
Study after study has shown that, more than any other factor within the control of schools, instructional practice best predicts successful student achievement. In addition, while teaching practice remains the single most important factor in a child's academic development, maintaining a qualified and effective teaching force remains challenging. National studies indicate that nearly half of new teachers leave the profession within their first five years. A disproportionate number of these teachers focus their teaching on the STEM disciplines and often leave the profession for more lucrative financial opportunities in the private sector.
Notre Dame's Center for STEM Education plans to develop targeted strategies to address this dual challenge. First, the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows program will develop strategies to recruit ambitious early-career STEM educators to participate in an innovative and comprehensive professional formation program to enhance their teaching skills. Second, over time, the program aims to develop a national corps of professional educators who are committed to long-term and continuing and rigorous formation in instructional leadership in STEM disciplines.
“The importance of the STEM disciplines for the future of our children and our country cannot be overstated, and the Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows program is enabling Notre Dame to work toward dramatically increasing the quality of instruction for tens of thousands of students,” Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., Hackett Family Director of the Institute for Educational Initiatives, said.
“We know that nothing impacts student learning more than great teaching, and there is no more important area in which we can help the youth of our country than in providing them a rigorous and engaging STEM learning experience,” Director of Notre Dame’s Center for STEM Education Matt Kloser said. “This program is committed to measuring the impact of its efforts, improving the program based on data and keeping teachers engaged in a supportive and mission-driven network of STEM teachers.”
The Trustey Family STEM Teaching Fellows program will help the Institute for Educational Initiatives continue to develop hundreds of STEM educators who will serve a critical and growing need in elementary and secondary schools across the country with a particular focus on Catholic schools. It is the most recent initiative of Notre Dame's Center for STEM Education, which, through research and the translation of research into practice, seeks to increase student interest and learning in the STEM disciplines.
Source: The University of Notre Dame