The Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators (PRISE) will build lasting synergies among institutions of higher education and other STEM education stakeholders in the Philadelphia region that will strengthen all aspects of the STEM teacher pathway: engagement, recruitment, preparation, induction, and ongoing professional development and growth throughout a teacher’s career in ways that no individual organization would be able to achieve alone.
We envision a diverse, highly effective STEM teacher workforce that creates exceptional and equitable learning opportunities which promote student success in STEM.
PRISE Values and Beliefs:
- Because we value teachers (Pre-K – 20) as life-long learners, we believe that PRNP should address issues impacting both pre-service teachers and in-service teachers.
- Because we value reflection on practice, we believe that professional development should be intentional, based on identified content and pedagogical content knowledge needs of teachers and presented in a cohesive and logical progression.
- Because we see teacher development as evolving, we believe that teachers should have opportunities to develop leadership skills.
Teacher Identity Learning to become a teacher is a complex process, as is the process entailed in developing a teacher identity. Some current research examines the relational aspect of identity, where identity is described as being continually formed and reformed through the ways in which we internalize the environment, negotiate interaction and externalize ourselves to others. The self is thought of as something which develops over time in the process of social experience and activity (Knowles, 1990).
- Because we value the development of teacher identity, and we view teacher identity as relational and emerging from social experience, we support the following ideas that foster identity development:
- Teachers developing cultural proficiency so that they are able to develop essential connections with their students, families, and communities.
- Teachers participating in collaborative practice in order to support identity development around content, pedagogy, and pedagogical content knowledge
- Teachers engaging in lifelong learning in order to support professional role identity development and commitment.
- Teachers receiving ongoing support and mentoring in order to foster a sense of efficacy.
- Teachers taking on leadership and mentoring roles when ready, in order to support sense of purpose, achievement of goals, and possibilities for action.
Effective STEM Instruction
- Because we value effective instruction, we believe that teachers should have strong content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge of the subjects they are required to teach:
- Orientation to teaching subject matter
- Knowledge of Students’ Understanding
- Knowledge of Curriculum
- Knowledge of instructional strategies
- Knowledge of Assessment of Students Learning of Subject
- Because we recognize that core STEM practices are critical to effective teaching, we believe that instruction should be grounded in a deep understanding and thoughtful implementation of:
- Education for Sustainability Standards
- The Framework for K-12 Science Education
- Next Generation Science Standards
- Standards for Technological Literacy
- NCTM Standards for Mathematical Practice
- Because we value the communities in which our students live, we believe that STEM educators should be supported to learn about and work with their communities in order to design curriculum and real-world learning approaches that support sustainability, community development and positive social change.
- Because we recognize both the value and power of collaboration, PRISE will pursue regional collaborative partnerships that positively impact STEM education.
PRISE Statement on systemic racism in the United States and violence against Asian Americans
The Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators stands with and supports the Asian-American community. We decry the increasing hate and violence against Asian Americans here in Philadelphia and across the United States, including the recent murders in Atlanta. Our best hope as a country is that all people in America will experience safety, peace and the absence of fear as we live and work together. As an organization focused on developing and supporting excellence in teachers, we will continue to strive in our efforts to promote culturally relevant teaching in which the differences of people and the rich cultures that make up the uniqueness of our country are valued.
We condemn the murders of Daunte Wright, Walter Wallace, Jr, and George Floyd and stand against the institutional and systemic racism in our country of which their murders are only the latest example. We recognize the immeasurable pain and loss that these tragedies have caused. As an organization emanating from the mission of the National Science Foundation Noyce Program to serve students in high-need schools, we are committed to supporting excellence in STEM teacher education for the benefit of all children. We value the communities in which our students live and are committed to working with other like-minded organizations to support students, families and educators in bringing about the positive social change that we want to see in the world.
In August, we started our own internal exploration of racism in our midst through facilitated Conversations on Racism. We have affirmed our commitment to culturally relevant teaching and education for sustainability as it relates to social justice in our society and communities and have taken actions to ensure that future programs that we run will have equity and social justice as their foundation. We will be providing opportunities for STEM educators to convene and share their thoughts for next steps as we thoughtfully consider additional actions we can take as an organization.
For those looking for information on making positive change, we have compiled a Resource List to which we welcome additional input from others. You can find it here.
Below are a few highlights from that list:
Waking up White, Debby Irving
For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood, Christopher Emdin
How to be Anti-Racist, Ibram X. Kendi
https://www.instagram.com/tcplaneteer/ – Site devoted to socio-scientific issues and environmental/social justice education, moderated by Noyce Scholar/Teacher Tasnim Aziz