The Philadelphia Regional Institute for STEM Educators was awarded a $300,000, two-year grant from the National Science Foundation in 2014 to develop a best practice, research-based New Teacher Support Program. This exciting program generated a variety of resources and opportunities for involvement for middle and high school STEM educators, institutions of higher education STEM and Education faculty; community organizations and businesses; school district administrators and others who are interested in supporting new STEM teachers and making the Philadelphia area a regional leader in STEM education. The goal of the program was to honor the investment of the Noyce Scholarship and support teachers so that they would remain in the profession.
In 2018 with the awarding of the PRNP-S Scholarship program, PRISE once again had a chance to implement a new teacher support program with the goal of retaining STEM teachers over time. The content focus of this program was on education for sustainability, particularly on the idea of embedding and embracing multiple perspectives in practice. A framework was developed that allowed for the development of this approach over time, This particular focus on multiple perspectives was based on the Cloud Institute for Sustainability Education Standard H and the Performance Indicators _Embedding and Embracing Multiple Perspectives in the STEM Classroom Handout
“The perspectives, life experiences, and cultures of others, as well as our own. Students will know, understand, value, and draw from multiple perspectives in order to co-create with diverse stakeholders shared and evolving visions and actions in the service of a healthy and sustainable future locally and globally.” Cloud Institute
Those awarded the PRNP-Scholarship received three years of support that included:
- monthly cohort-based professional learning community sessions
- one on one mentoring and pairing with a school-based collaborator
- the opportunity to build their social/professional network
- access to human and material resources of PRISE
To date, the success rate for retention of the program over the past three years is around 87%, above the national average.
PRISE Retention Workgroup members have developed a conceptual framework to explain the various components of the program and how they all work together to retain teachers.
Workgroup members are in the process, after doing an extensive literature review, of designing a research methodology that will help answer the question: What interventions successfully retain STEM classroom teachers?
Goal of Inquiry:
- To develop a research-based, best practice, induction model for new and novice teachers that will support them and retain them as teachers
- To develop a model that PRISE can implement as a fee for service offering
- To develop a program that universities can rely on as meeting their obligation to the state to support new teachers
PRISE hopes/expectations for model