Report to Commission on Teacher Credentialing
on Progress in
The M.A. and Credential in Science or Mathematics Education
An Experimental Program for the Post-Graduate Preparation
Secondary Teachers of Mathematics and Science
Submitted to the
State of California
Commission on Teacher Credentialing
Graduate School of Education,
University of California, Berkeley
Alan Schoenfeld, Program Director
Barbara White, Program Director
Dan Zimmerlin, Program Coordinator
This Final Report to the Commission on Teacher Credentialing describes the seven year progress of the CTC approved and NSF-funded (Grant TPE 9150028) experimental program in teacher preparation at the University of California at Berkeley called the master’s and Credential in Science or Mathematics Education (MACSME) program. We track the evolution of this program, and the results of the program, from its initial planning, through program development, to its final stable state as a mature, fully-functioning program housed in and supported by the Graduate School of Education at Berkeley. The MACSME experimental program has yielded an on-going program of teacher development.
The need for fundamental reform in the teaching of mathematics and science was documented in a series of reports throughout the 1980’s (e.g. American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1884; McKnight, et al., 1987; National Commission on Excellence in Education, 1983; National Research Council, 1989; National Science Board Commission on Precollege Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, 1982.) We started from the position that those needs were well known and well accepted, and focused our attention on the issue of teacher preparation. Our goal was to create a model program that was "state of the art" in terms of teacher preparation and which would serve as a base for understanding what works and what doesn’t.
We designed a model two-year credential plus master’s program for pre-service secondary school teachers of mathematics and science. In designing this program, we used our best understanding of theory and practice. The design included the following components:
• solid preparation in mathematics and/or science,
• knowledge of, and participation in, state-of-the-art research on teaching and learning, and
• extensive experience in the use of instructional technology.
The design also included opportunities for students:
• to develop knowledge of cognitive processes,
• to integrate subject matter knowledge,
• to gain experience with and knowledge of educational technology, and
• to acquire substantial practical classroom experience.
The two-year program would also feature the active participation of Berkeley’s research faculty in Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (EMST). Pre-service teachers would be integrated into courses taken and projects done by the master’s and doctoral students in our research track, as well as focus on multicultural issues and access. One focus of this report will be to describe the essential features developed in our stage of program planning.
In the fall of 1992, the first students entered the new MACSME program. The program entered a phase of program development, which lasted for several years. This development proceeded on two fronts. The first was to refine the program, modifying it to better achieve the desired outcomes. The second was establishing the program’s role in the School, in the local school community, and the larger educational community. As part of this, establishing the program’s reputation of effectiveness made it a viable choice for prospective students. Program development is a second focus of this report described below.
With much of the program development accomplished, the program has achieved a stable state as a regular part of the Graduate School of Education. We continue, however, to retain our experimental nature, though not experimental status. The Committee on Accreditation (COA) Review of U.C. Berkeley credential programs in April 1999 indicated that MACSME would be recommended to continue as a basic credential program. However, as research into teaching and learning continues as a regular part of the nature of the School, so shall experimentation in teacher preparation. Consequently, program maturity for the MACSME program, described below, is as a CTC approved basic credential program, stable but evolving, and supported by, housed in, and drawing on the resources of the School of Education as an ongoing part of its mission.
And since MACSME has been an experimental program, ongoing effort has been directed at studying the effects of various aspects of the program. Thus another focus of this report will be to report progress on program research. A complete list of the research projects undertaken in MACSME is included and full reports of individual research projects are available upon request.
The Division of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology (EMST), within which the teacher preparation program was to be housed, opened its doors in 1985 as the first graduate research program of its type in the country. EMST was (and continues to be) a program in cognitive science and education with a heavy emphasis on instructional technologies. Since 1985 EMST has built a strong research program focusing on understanding the nature of thinking and learning processes in mathematics and the sciences. The EMST program attracted students with very strong mathematics or science subject matter backgrounds. We offered a broad spectrum of courses in both "basic cognition" and domain-specific cognition -- e.g. courses such as "mathematical thinking and problem solving" and "cognition in physics." Almost all of the EMST faculty were involved in either the development of computer-based instructional programs or studies of their classroom use. And the EMST faculty was involved in the creation of a new School-wide program in multicultural studies in education. In addition EMST had a tradition of strong involvement in teacher preparation and curricular reform, including working with our previous teacher preparation program and contributing to California’s Framework documents in Science and Mathematics.
In accord with its mandate to maintain state-of-the-art experimental programs, EMST embarked on the re-design of its teacher preparation program. The program design exploited the strengths of the faculty, and Berkeley’s existing doctoral and master’s programs. It also exploited its connections with local schools, built and maintained by the previous teacher preparation program. The main principles underlying the design of the program were:
1. Academic research faculty should be involved in all aspects of the program, rather than having students taught by faculty whose sole responsibility is teacher preparation.
2. Pre-service teachers should take courses which provide them with "state of the art" understandings of teaching and learning.
3. Pre-service teachers should not be isolated in separate courses, but should mix freely with other master’s and doctoral students. This mix would benefit both groups, in that (a) the theoretical concerns of the other students should be of interest to those preparing for teaching careers, and (b) the real-world "grounding" of the teachers-to-be should inject an aspect of reality into what might otherwise be ungrounded discussions.
4. Pre-service teachers should have direct experience with current educational research on multiple levels, in course work, in the field, and in ongoing faculty research groups.
5. Extensive experience with research and educational theory must be grounded in experience in actual classrooms and with diverse students.
With these principles in mind we undertook the design of the new teacher preparation program. The new program was to be a combined master’s degree and teaching credential program. It was to accommodate 24 students in two cohorts and incorporate coursework integrated with teaching experience. Coursework would mix the credential students with EMST master’s and doctoral student in a range of offerings including courses on the nature of learning and understanding, courses in domain specific cognition, and courses in curriculum design and instructional technology. With regard to teaching experience, in the first semester prospective teachers would work with students in one on one settings. In the second semester, they would work with small groups of students working collaboratively. In the third semester, the prospective teachers would work with whole class groups. In the final semester, they would continue to practice teaching in whole class settings and would create and evaluate videoportfolios. With this design in mind, specific course plans were developed and, in the fall of 1992, MACSME opened it doors to its first cohort of students. Thus began the years of program development, which we describe in detail.
The first cohort of students entered the MACSME program in the Fall of 1992, at which time MACSME began a period of program development. Development was to proceed in two areas. The first was to refine the program implementation so as to improve successively our performance. The second was to establish the program as a viable entity in the School of Education and the educational community. The two are interrelated. As our performance improved so did we evolve into a viable program.
Program refinement has been accomplished through program evaluation and subsequent revision. The program was evaluated both formatively and summatively. The program was evaluated formatively by program personnel through a series of both formal and informal program meetings. These meetings varied broadly. Some were scheduled meetings of all MACSME students, staff and faculty in which progress was discussed and suggestions gathered. Others were scheduled appointments with program staff and individuals or small groups of concerned students. Others still were essentially meetings in passing in which concerns were raised. Summative evaluation was accomplished through two formal means as well as several informal ones. "Exit Interviews" were established in which graduating students were interviewed about the performance of the program. These have been included in our bi-annual reports since the first cohort graduated in 1994 and the recent Exit Interviews are included here (see below). "First Year Reports," which are written reports by each group of students finishing their first year in the program, gave a voice to continuing students. First year students have been given control over the distribution of their reports, deciding who would read the report. The option of making their reports confidential encouraged candor and students have exercised this option. Consequently these reports have not been included in our Reports. They have been used for program refinement. In recent years, first year students have chosen not to make a report, stating that they had sufficient voice in the program through other avenues including regular access to program staff.
Program revision proceeded from the results of these evaluations, within the constraints of the possible. Revision has included revamping the course plan, hiring staff, improving individual components of the program, and increasing support for student efforts. A major revision of the course plan resulted from the evaluation of the first year of program operation. It was clear from multiple sources of information that the course plan was seriously out of balance. The academic workload was much too heavy in the first semester and there was too little fieldwork. Although other changes have occurred during subsequent years, this first program revision, instigated by program review and guided by our initial design principles, brought us much closer to our objectives. Our current course plan (see below) includes these improvements. Staff was hired to better meet the needs of students in the field and in research. Experienced secondary science teachers were hired to help supervise student teaching and teach methodology. And a lecturer was chosen for his experience in Biological Sciences to help strengthen our research faculty. Individual courses were tailored to better meet the needs of our secondary math and science teachers. (For example, see the section on Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students Mathematics and Science below.) And a major effort was undertaken to support students in their own research. Student teaching in the last semester was abbreviated to allow time for students to conduct their research and write up their projects. Support was given in the form of more careful advising and monitoring, as well as direct support in the case of students working on Video Analysis (see appended reports.) The result was a substantial increase in our M.A. completion rate. Spring 1998, for the first time, 100% of our graduates completed both their credential work and their master’s degree on time. In short, the program has been responsive to feedback and has committed itself to constant improvement.
Establishing the program as a viable entity seems to have developed naturally with the ongoing success of the program. Schools have come to welcome our student teachers and districts actively recruit our graduates. Relationships with other educational groups involved in math and science education have also developed. We have connections with the Lawrence Hall of Science, formerly including the Bay Area Math Project, and the Bay Area Science Project. Our students attend and occasionally present at conferences of the California Math Council, NCTM, NSTA, and AERA. We have also been more successful with recruitment. The first cohort was a group of 9 students, less than our target of 12 per year, but a reasonable start. As the program struggled to develop, enrollment dropped: 5 new students entered in 1993, 6 in 1994, 7 in 1995. Recruitment efforts seemedto do little -- the number of applicants remained fairly constant. But as the program has shown itself to be effective and as the students have expressed more satisfaction with and belief in the program, we have been able to actually enroll more applicants. Fall '97 we exceeded our target by enrolling 13 new students. This last year, 12. We take this to be one measure of our growing viability, that we are becoming established as a program.
With most of the program development accomplished, MACSME has emerged as a fully functioning, stable program. As described above, we are now enrolling a full complement of students. Our students are progressing well to graduation and beyond. Experimentation continues. And the MACSME program has made the transition from being an NSF development project to being a regular part of the School of Education with ongoing support. We describe our current state of program maturity. We begin by describing the current program implementation.
The MACSME (MA and Credential in Science or Mathematics Education) program is a two year combined masters degree and teaching credential program. It is authorized by the State of California's Commission on Teacher Credentialing as an Experimental Teacher Preparation Program. The MACSME course plan (see Table 1) provides an overview of the program. The program's four main aspects (described more fully below) are:
• extensive experience teaching in schools,
• in depth course work on educational theory,
• course work that satisfies all state credential requirements, and
• multiple research experiences.
These four facets of the program are not separable. The research thread, especially, is woven through all the course work and teaching experiences. Still, for the purpose of discussion, we will take them in turn.
Students are actively involved with teaching in the public schools during all four semesters of our program. In the first year, students follow the public school calendar for the year, which is considerably longer than the university's academic year. This allows them direct experience with every aspect of each teaching season, from the confusion of the opening of school through the doldrums of winter to the final challenges of June. This ongoing classroom experience is designed to allow our students to connect theory and research at the University to the reality of schools at each point in the program. In fact, both coursework and research experiences (described below) focus on this.
Further, the extended period in schools allows us to develop our students' teaching skills and responsibilities gradually. In many programs student teachers are essentially thrown into whole-class teaching very early, often just weeks after entering the program. This is essentially a "sink or swim" model of learning to teach. We believe that teaching skill develops slowly and that before teachers are faced with the demands of a whole class, they should focus on individuals and small groups of students. A gradual build-up has been part of the program from its inception, but the form has been refined in response to the students' perceptions of their experiences. This extended immersion allows us to address several issues in students' development. These issues include the need to:
(1) bridge theory and practice at all points in the program.
(2) begin with a knowledge of students as the basis for instruction
(3) become familiar with multiple models of curriculum and instruction
(4) experience diverse educational settings
(5) develop teaching skills over time
(6) allow time to reflect on teaching.
In the first semester, student teachers are given multiple placements, in different schools, during the course of the typical 18-week public school semester. In each class they are expected to work with individuals and small groups, getting to know both a wide range of students but also a diversity of classroom organizations, curricula, and school communities, without the responsibility for managing a whole class. In the second semester, they are placed in a single class for the entire public school semester. They work with a supervising (master) teacher, initially sharing responsibility for the class as the student teacher comes to grips with the complexity of management. Over time, the responsibility shifts. The student teachers take on more and more responsibility until they are able to handle the whole class on their own, including being responsible for classroom administration, instruction, learning environment, and assessment.
In the first semester of the second year, student teachers move to another placement, spending 3-4 hours each morning in their new school. They take on full professional responsibility for one class from the opening day of public school in the fall. For that class, they are the teachers. There they are able to fully experiment with the effects of their own instruction and the learning environment that they create. The rest of their time is spent working with their supervising teacher in at least one other class, tutoring students outside of class, meeting with parents, counselors and administrators as appropriate, and consulting with their department on issues such as curriculum and materials. In the final semester, they move to yet another placement, typically at a different level (middle school vs. high school). In this placement the student teacher shares teaching responsibility with the experienced teacher, initially taking a large part of the active classroom teaching. This continues for roughly 3 months, after which the experienced teacher resumes classroom teaching (thus allowing the student teacher to concentrate on completing his/her master’s project). Each of these experiences is supported by working with a supervising teacher, by peer support in a Supervised Teaching Seminar, and by a campus-based supervisor who is an experienced mathematics or science teacher and who co-teaches the four semester long Teaching Methods course. This model of gradual development of teaching skills in several diverse settings, combined with experimentation and support, is designed to give students a solid base upon which to build their teaching careers.
Course work on Theory
The course work required in the program is designed to give students a solid grounding in educational theory, particularly from the cognitive science perspective. MACSME credential students are mixed into classes with Education master’s and doctoral students, in a range of course offerings, and are held to the same high standards. Courses include a First Year Seminar required of all masters, doctoral and credential students. The emphasis in this course is on developing an understanding of classic and contemporary theories of education and of contemporary research — an understanding we feel is necessary for anyone in the field, whether practitioner, researcher or theorist. Course work also includes courses in domain-specific cognition. Both mathematics-specific and science-specific courses are offered. Far from being "methods" courses, these courses look seriously at what is known and what is being investigated about thinking and learning in the particular domains. Other course work explores the role of technology in education, specifically computational literacy and the consequences of technology on cognition. Still other course work focuses on the sociological aspects of education and on the specifics of teaching diverse populations including cultural and linguistic minority students. While each of these courses focus on theory, most make a serious effort to bridge to practice by requiring specially modified research projects from MACSME students that focus on their pre-service teaching experiences.
Credential Course work
The MACSME program satisfies all of the California State requirements for a clear Single Subject credential in either Science or Mathematics. Some of these requirements, such as course work in technology, are satisfied in innovative ways through courses taken with other master’s and doctoral students (referred to above.) There are a few requirements that are quite specific and are satisfied by course work taken only by credential students. These include courses in comprehensive health, reading instruction, and working with special needs students. While these courses represent a small part of our program, they are nevertheless important in developing a well-rounded future teacher.
What sets MACSME apart from most other programs is the way it integrates research into students' experiences, from the first day of the program to the last. Where other programs may present current research and educational theories second-hand through readings, MACSME students are directly involved in current research on multiple levels.
At the simplest level, credential students are integrated into classes on educational theory. In these courses, students are exposed to our research faculty and their work firsthand. These exposures vary. In the First Year Seminar, the research faculty presents their current work personally so that all students - doctoral, masters and credential - are knowledgeable about their ongoing work. In other classes, research faculty teach the courses, exposing the students to their unique perspectives through their syllabuses, through in-class interactions, and more importantly, by guiding students’ work on course projects.
The course projects form another level at which students are exposed to and engaged in research. Course projects are typically small-scale research projects executed in the student teaching placement. Some of them take the form of case studies. Others explore various aspects of public schooling from school policy structures to student thinking. Still others are small curricular experiments. These projects are designed to serve the students in at least two ways. They serve to connect the theory of the University to the reality of public school. And they serve to initiate pre-service teachers into research as thoughtful, active players. This is the initial engagement of students in the Teacher-Researcher paradigm.
On another level still, each of our credential students is required to participate directly in faculty research each semester. That is, each student is required to join a research faculty member in pursuing the faculty's research agenda. EMST faculty is involved with a broad range of cutting edge research in education, including many classroom-based projects involving technology. Each faculty member holds a (typically) 2-hour weekly research seminar. At these weekly meetings, current progress on the faculty's and graduate students' research is discussed. Literature is reviewed, projects designed, refined and evaluated, and drafts of papers, conference presentations, and dissertations discussed. MACSME students are expected, at minimum, to attend these seminars. They may also be involved in other ways, for example in working sub-groups or in project classrooms. This direct experience in research design and technique is intended to enable the future teachers to carry out classroom studies so as to continually improve their knowledge and teaching.
The MACSME program is in its sixth year of accepting students, including the cohort beginning Fall '97, and has graduated 4 cohorts. The fifth cohort successfully completed its first year in the program and is continuing its second year. All included, 52 students have entered the MACSME program. (We report on the TEA(CH)2EM and TeachMath/Science students separately, below.) Here we report on the progress of the 49 MACSME students.
We begin by way of background to report information as to graduation, job placement and retention. Of the 61 students who have entered the program, 10 are currently in the program, continuing in Fall '99.
2 left (personal)
4 left for industry
12 begin Fall '99
2 left profession
Table 2: Entrance/Graduation Results
Overall, Table 2 is indicative of success. From the seven cohort groups, only two students did not complete the program. That students are generally able to complete the coursework is noteworthy since MACSME students are mixed with doctoral students in most of the courses and are held to those standards. Instructors and supervisors report that MACSME students have performed well in their classes and in their student teaching and are developing the knowledge and expertise that we seek to engender. In large measure, students are able to rise to the demands of an intensive two-year teaching program with strong emphasis on educational theory, taught at a doctoral level, and complete it.
Our graduates' job placement and job retention also indicate success. Four students who completed the program decided not to pursue teaching at this time and are working in the private sector. Only two MACSME graduates have left the profession after teaching for some period. One graduate decided, after teaching a short time, that although she felt prepared for teaching, she was not happy teaching. She decided to pursue another career. The second, taught for two years, but decided he was more interested in other aspects of education and is now the technology director of an educational museum. We have lost contact with two students, one a '95 graduate and one a '96 graduate. In both cases they had been hired in school districts out of the area upon graduation but we have not been able to contact them to verify that they were or were not still teaching. All of our other graduates, 5 having finished their fifth year of teaching, 3 their fourth, 4 their third, and 8 their second, and 9 their first are settling into their careers. We have 12 new graduates that have been offered jobs and plan to begin their careers in Fall '99.
MACSME students have been involved in research on multiple levels. On the simplest level, as mentioned above, students have acquitted themselves quite well in courses on educational theory taught by our research faculty. They have risen to the challenge of the high standards held in doctoral level course work. This includes carrying out the small, classroom-based research projects required for many of these courses.
On another level, MACSME students have fit well into faculty research groups, participating in various ways in ongoing faculty research. Table 3 lists the research groups that students have joined during the last 7 years. Student involvement has taken many forms. At minimum students have attended the weekly research group meetings, done reading, and participated in discussions of various research projects. All students, then, have been exposed to current research methodologies and have been involved in analysis and evaluation. Many have been more active participants, working in research classrooms in different capacities, for example serving as liaison between a class and a research group, video-taping classes, or being an aide/tutor in a research classroom. These students have been in direct contact with the nuts and bolts of research, seeing how it plays out in real classrooms. Five students (so far) have chosen to do their student teaching in research classrooms where experimental curricula and methods were being piloted. They participated in the weekly meetings, but moreover dealt daily with implementing novel curriculum, evaluating and refining it. This level of involvement in the research agenda affords an intimate view of current research practice. Further, as part of the research team, they examine in depth both the effects of the curriculum and their own implementation. This is necessarily reflective practice. While not all students have immersed themselves to this degree, all have participated in reflecting on practice through firsthand involvement in current faculty research.
Several research-oriented collaborations have developed beyond the bounds of what is specifically part of the master’s and credential program. Several students have been hired as Research Assistants to create curriculum and study its effects for faculty research groups. In 1995 one of our students, Jamie Lemone, was awarded an AAAS-Beller Internship for which she received a stipend to develop interdisciplinary curriculum. Lemone, working with Professor Ann Brown, developed a unit on microorganisms and the human body, in the context of different diseases, with links to math, art, social science and language arts. The unit specifically targeted the diverse learning styles of a very diverse, urban classroom. Lemone developed the unit, piloted it in her student teaching placement, and studied its effects. This was then written up as her master’s project. While this is beyond the scope of most other students' work, it reflects the quality of the work we expect to develop from our emphasis on Teacher Research.
Another collaboration took quite a different form. In the spring of 1994, Mark Nelson, another of our students, shared a segment of videotape of his student teaching with his peers and campus-based supervisor in the context of Supervised Teaching Seminar. As it happened, his supervisor, Dan Zimmerlin, had been participating in Alan Schoenfeld's Teacher Model research group, a working subgroup of Schoenfeld's regular research group. From this developed a collaboration between Zimmerlin and Nelson, working with the Teacher Model group, to analyze the segment of teaching. Analysis and model building continued well past Nelson's graduation. Eventually, the results of this analysis were presented at the 1996 AERA conference. "A Detailed Analysis of a Beginning Teacher Teaching a Traditional Lesson" (Zimmerlin and Nelson, 1996) was one of five papers presented at a symposium by the Teacher Model Group from Berkeley. The paper provides a fine-grained analysis of Nelson's on-the-spot decision making as he implemented an algebra lesson. This collaboration has had broad effects. It has contributed to both research and to our pre-service teachers' development. To research, this work contributes further understanding of the teaching process. It also contributes in furthering communication between teachers, researchers and teacher educators. Our students' teacher education is also impacted directly by this collaboration. Nelson was not the only pre-service teacher involved in the work. The Teacher Model Group has had, and continues to have, other members who are MACSME students. They were actively involved in the analysis and discussionthat lead to our current understandings. And as analysis moves ahead on other more complicated teaching segments, MACSME students are there both contributing and learning.
These types of collaborations, while certainly not the norm, are not surprising given the integration of the Teacher/Researcher paradigm throughout the program. These collaborations usually develop into students' masters' projects in which the student looks carefully at his/her own practice, the effects of the research or curriculum project and the interaction between the two. Other students develop independent research projects for their master’s projects, and carry them out in their student teaching classroom. Table 4 lists titles and summaries of the masters' projects completed to date. A scan of the summaries reveals the variety of issues that our students have looked at in depth. These include issues of curriculum design, student thinking, equity and diversity, and technology. Needless to say, each has been actively involved in research methodology, as well as relevant research literature. But more importantly, each has seriously reflected on current teaching practices using the Teacher Researcher paradigm.
Although students have been involved in research on many levels, completion rate of MA projects has been problematic. Only 75% of the first cohort and 80% of the next two cohorts completed their MA projects, and several students required extra time. Only in this past year have 100% of the students completed their MA projects by the end of their fourth semester. We finally consider the program to be functioning well.
We continue to experiment with teacher preparation as we learn more about how students learn, how teachers teach, and how teachers learn to teach. In addition to the upgrading of coursework to reflect current research, three experiments have been undertaken as part of MACSME experimental mission. The first is experimentation with the TEA(CH)2EM program model and its extension to CTF:TeachMath. The second is the Special Study Group on Subject Matter Preparation. The third is experimentation with the use of video analysis in pre-service teacher preparation. Although the use of videotape of teachers has been part of the MACSME program from the beginning, a research project was undertaken in the 1996-97 academic year. The results of this Video Analysis Project are given below as three reports. We summarize these reports (see Program Research), and include the full reports in the appendices. Here we report on the TEA(CH)2EM/CTF:TeachMath and the Special Study Group experiments. We begin with a recapitulation of the TEA(CH)2EM program and then proceed to describe the current efforts.
In February 1993, the College of Chemistry and the Graduate School of Education at Berkeley proposed the TEA(CH)2EM program . It was designed to address the dearth of UC students with degrees in physical science who were pursuing careers in teaching. Designed as a variant on the MACSME experiment, it was a two-year program blending the completion of a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and experience leading to a physical science teaching credential. It planned to accommodate cohorts of 3-5 seniors in the College of Chemistry who are completing BS degrees in chemistry. TEA(CH)2EM would include these students, in their final year of undergraduate study, in courses with EMST master’s and doctoral students, and ease them into supervised science teaching in localschools. In one year of post-baccalaureate study, the second year of the program, TEA(CH)2EM students would complete the work necessary for a teaching credential. The program was approved by the CTC in the Spring and began accepting students in the Fall of 1993.
The TEA(CH)2EM program has been less than fully successful. The number of applications has been very modest, 1-4 each year. Of those, most have been rejected because they were not close enough to graduation; they had too many required courses in chemistry left to take in chemistry to be able to add the TEA(CH)2EM courses. The first year, we accepted 3 students. Two of those decided not to enter the program because they felt that the workload demand to finish their BS in chemistry, which includes research, was too heavy to take on any more work. Thus only one student entered the program in Fall 1993. No students were accepted into the program for Fall 1994. One was accepted for Fall 1995, but again decided the workload was unacceptable. One student was accepted and entered the program in the Fall of 1996. Since then we have had few applicants and none that were qualified for the program.
Only one of the two students who participated in the program, completed it. The first student who entered completed both years of the TEA(CH)2EM program successfully. He opted to stay for a second graduate year to complete his master's degree in education. He then got a job teaching science in his native Korea. The second student who entered the program, though successful in her senior year, chose not to continue in the program for financial reasons. She took a year off to work and is reportedly finishing a standard one-year credential program at SFSU. So while she did not complete the TEA(CH)2EM program, the program did function to start her on her career.
Early in 1996, in a collaboration with the Mathematics Department, the TEA(CH)2EM model was expanded to create similar opportunities for students in the mathematics department to enter teaching as had been tried in the College of Chemistry. As approved by the Commission, this program, named CTF:TeachMath, is essentially the same as its predecessor. Students start the program in the senior year as mathematics undergraduates. As they finish their BA in Mathematics, they begin study in the School of Education and begin teaching experiences. In the second year, they enter the School of Education full-time as graduate students where they finish their study and practice teaching, completing the requirements for a clear California Single Subject Credential in Mathematics. The only major difference between the programs, other than being located in different departments, is that students in the TeachMath program receive stipends from the Community Teaching Fellowship (CTF) Program coordinated through the Office of the President of the University of California. It is intended that the financial support will decrease the need of students to take part-time jobs and enable them to concentrate on their studies and teaching. We are optimistic.
We enrolled 2 students into the first year of the CTF:TeachMath Program (starting Fall '97) and they have both progressed well. Both completed the program this Spring and are applying for their Single Subject (Math) Credentials. Interestingly, they both opted to stay for this next year to complete their Master's degrees. Both plan to enter the teaching profession the following year. Although we only accepted one student for the second year (Fall '98) and she is progressing well. She plans to continue in the graduate year this fall. We attribute the small numbers in Fall '98 to recruiting blunders and do not expect it be a trend. In fact, we had 5 applications for Fall '99. We hope for a TeachMath cohort of 2-3 to enter in Fall '99, pending approval (see below). While these numbers are small, both the Math Department and the School of Education consider this to be an important collaboration that is well worth continuing.
In April 1999, the Commission approved Berkeley's Subject Matter Preparation Program in Mathematics, paving the way for requesting accelerated approval for CTF:TeachMath as a Blended Program of Teacher Preparation. We have written a "letter of intent" and are currently waiting for the Commission's response. We expect to be able to continue the TeachMath program. We will renew our efforts at recruitment, including early recruitment of lower division students and in the local community colleges.
Special Study Group
In June 1994, we proposed a special study of subject matter preparation. We proposed to study the issue of student domain knowledge with a carefully selected group of students who were very well qualified save for the fact that their subject matter competence had not been verified through the standard screening procedures. We would select students whom we believed had sufficient experience in their domains to develop the deeper understandings that come with learning to teach a subject, as well as the examination of student learning in the subject. (Note that our courses in the study of mathematical and scientific knowledge both presume, and help develop, such subject matter understandings). We would then study these students' progress through the program by comparing it with the progress of students who have met the standard subject matter verification requirements — also, of course, assessing their progress through the absolute criteria used to assess all students in the program. In order to conduct the study, we requested that small groups of students who meet the criteria described below be exempted from the requirement that they verify their knowledge of subject matter, either by an approved examination or by completing a subject matter preparation "waiver" program. We did not propose dropping the exam and/or waiver from our regular credential program admissions requirements, but rather to accept selected students for study based on alternative criteria (in addition to those applicants who have satisfied our regular credential program admissions requirements.) We proposed that these selected students, upon successful completion of our experimental credential program, be granted their single subject credential without the need to formally demonstrate their subject matter competency. This proposal was in agreement with the guidelines for Experimental and Alternative Programs of Collegiate Preparation for California Teachers and Other Educators approved by the Commission (p. 2). It was also, as discussed below, philosophically in line with the approach to the certification of teacher competence being developed by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
For selected students who satisfy the following alternative criteria:
1. Applicants will have obtained undergraduate degrees, and perhaps taken additional graduate work, with a minimum GPA of 3.0. The recommended minimum GPA of 3.0, and the exception that follows, are consistent with Berkeley’s graduate admissions policy. The Graduate Division allows, on a case-by-case review basis, the admission of students whose GPAs fall slightly below 3.0 but for whom there are other compelling arguments for admission. We suggest it is appropriate for MACSME policies to be in line with the Graduate Division’s.
2. Applicants will have an academic major in one of the mathematical sciences (statistics, applied math, etc.), physical sciences or life sciences. Other applicants’ transcripts will indicate sufficient background in the subject area to be comparably prepared as applicants with a subject matter major, as determined by a faculty member in the subject area.
3. Applicants will have experience working with youth, study directed toward teaching, or other experiences that recommend them for teaching.
4. Applicants will pass a thorough screening for appropriate background. Applicants' transcripts and letters of recommendation will be examined by committee that includes at least one member of the Academic Senate Faculty with an appointment in mathematics or the sciences. The number of courses in the subject area, the grades in those courses, and the number of courses in education, as well as overall GPA, will be judged on a case by case basis by the committee with regard to whether they provide an adequate background for entering a credential and graduate program. Letters of recommendation will be examined for testaments to the students' intellectual ability and educational experience. Applicants will pass through a multi-step interview process, which includes formal one-on-one interviews and interactive tasks, by an admissions committee made up of program faculty, campus-based supervisors and experienced teachers. Applicants, who are unable to attend an interview in person, will be interviewed by telephone by at least 2 members of the admissions committee. In addition to academic preparation and educational experience, personal characteristics related to teaching (poise, flexibility, tolerance, etc.) and evident commitment to teaching will be judged.
we requested exemption from the requirement that these students verify their subject knowledge through exam or completion of a subject matter preparation "waiver" program In August 1994, the Commission approved the Special Study as an Addendum to the MACSME experiment.
The Special Study has not been fully successful. Each year we have had a small number of people who have met the Alternative Criteria, but who had not verified their subject matter competence. We accepted these students and they progressed though the program. Due to the small numbers and broad individual variation in both the Special Study Group and in the regular admissions group we have not been able to find anything definitive. The fact that they have progressed normally, with some having great success, is suggestive. However, a much larger scale study would be required to answer the questions we raised in our proposal.
Program research has been an ongoing process since the inception of MACSME. The objective of these research projects is principally to advance the objectives of the program and identify creative ways in which we can improve different facets of teacher training. This section provides summaries of eight research reports. These are summaries of interviews with graduating student teachers (2 reports), of follow-up interviews with cohorts one and two years after their graduation (3 reports), of interviews with faculty members, of a report on a course designed to examine issues of teaching and learning in culturally and linguistically diverse communities, and of three research projects involving innovative use of video analysis to study the process of teaching. The full reports are included in the appendices.
1. MACSME Exit Interviews by Daniel Zimmerlin, 1996 (Appendix A)
This study is the third in a series of follow-up interviews with graduates from the MACSME program. Program coordinator Dan Zimmerlin conducted semi-structured interviews with each of the graduating students. The tapes were transcribed and analyzed for patterns of responses and common themes. Students were asked to reflect on their experience in the program and to assess the kinds of activities that contributed most to their development over the course of two years as well as to identify activities they believed were less than satisfactory. The activities of the program include courses and experiences directly related to teaching and courses and research activities designed to provide a theoretical foundation for educational practices.
In general, this cohort of five graduates was more positive in their assessment and indicated much broader support for the various facets of the program than previous graduates. Whereas in previous years graduating students had emphasized teaching experiences as being of foremost importance, these students found many facets of the program to be of equal value. In particular, the combination of theory and practice, research group opportunities and interactions with faculty and doctoral students were all mentioned as having a positive effect on student’s training and development. One student emphasized the need to maintain the integrity of the program. Another student suggested that there was perhaps too much emphasis on cognitive science and computers and not enough focus on social and cultural issues in the first year of the program.
In general, students were positive about course work for both credential and other courses. However, they did single out two credential courses and two disciplinary core courses as not being very useful. The two disciplinary courses were either new or in a transitional phase and subsequent adjustments seemed to yield a more satisfactory result. The scaffolded apprenticeship approach in which students gradually assume increasing levels of teaching responsibility was reported to be generally successful. Students also appreciated having the opportunity to spend a semester visiting multiple placements. Some of the graduates indicated that improvements could be made in defining the role of the teacher in the classroom. Video taping of student teaching was a valued asset for some students, although others found it to be logistically difficult and minimized their involvement.
The relative effectiveness of research groups varied from individual to individual. Most students indicated that they had participated in 3 different groups and felt that they gained substantially from their experiences. The master’s project was seen as valuable as was the integration of credential and doctoral students within the same classes. Only one student expressed dissatisfaction with the research component of the program.
In general, the students’ evaluation of the program was quite positive, substantially more so than the previous graduates. The constructive criticisms provide insights into problem areas that can be targeted for change. This is an encouraging sign given that this is a program in the early stages of maturation.
2. MACSME Exit Interviews by Daniel Zimmerlin, 1997 (Appendix B)
This study is the fourth in a series of interviews with students who have just completed the MACSME teacher-training program. The format and method followed the previous exit interview studies in that the students were interviewed individually by the program coordinator and they were asked questions about experiences contributed most to their development during their two years in the program. The interviews were loosely structured around the activities that MACSME students participate in. The activities can be broadly categorized in three groups including: 1) credential courses, 2) course work on educational theories of teaching and learning, 3) student teaching and related activities.
The responses of this cohort were similar to the previous one (third), although these students expressed an even greater appreciation for all facets of the program. Although they were critical of certain courses and activities, they did not perceive a lack of usefulness for any part of the program as previous cohorts had. Five out of six students suggested that they most valued the four semesters of teaching and the multiple placements. They also appreciated the gradual build-up of teaching responsibility over the course of two years. One student, who had prior teaching experience, favored the coursework on theory more than any other facet of the program. Overall, the students were quite supportive of the model of teacher education that MACSME has implemented.
In general, these students did not distinguish between the value of courses offered as credential requirements and other course work. The students were favorably disposed to their coursework, although individual students did single out different courses for criticism. In addition to the regular courses, most students participated in at least two different research groups. Each student reported that their experiences in these groups were beneficial, although some benefited more than others did. Students particularly valued aspects of research groups that were more directly tied to issues of teaching. For the first time in MACSME’s history, every single student completed their MA project and not surprisingly this group expressed strong support for the process of undertaking such an endeavor. This cohort also appreciated the integration of doctoral and credential students in the same classes. However, some students did note that there is a gap between the theoretical frame embodied in their course work and their practical experiences. The overall enthusiasm evidenced in the students’ comments offer reasons for encouragement, but not complacency in furthering MACSME’s objectives.
3. Perspectives on MACSME: Interviews with Seven MACSME Graduates by Miriam Gamoran Sherin, 1995 (Appendix C)
One of the central objectives of MACSME related research is to evaluate the impact of the innovative program on both current students and the enduring effects on graduate teachers. In particular, we are interested in determining what activities and experiences were most beneficial to teachers in practice and what aspects of the program were found to have contributed least. Towards this end, a series of interviews were conducted by Miriam Gamoran Sherin, a doctoral student in the EMST program. She interviewed seven of the first eight students to complete the MACSME program. The interviews were carried out in the final month of the school year. At the time of the interview, six students had been teaching for one year and a seventh had been teaching for two years. In addition, one of the graduates chose not to pursue a career in teaching for personal reasons after only 6 weeks of teaching.
Two of the seven teachers chose to teach at middle school level, and the other five at the high school. Six of the graduates worked at urban schools and one at a suburban location. In addition, five of the teachers taught in schools that emphasized innovative teaching and the other two taught at more traditional schools.
The results to some extent mirror the findings of the exit interviews carried out with this group (Zimmerlin, 1994). The graduates all agreed that their teaching experiences were the most instrumental facet of the program. They identified the effectiveness of the master teachers as critical in their development. They not only served as role models, but also were valued as mentors for their instructional strategies and classroom management. The graduates also suggested that having the opportunity to work in different classrooms in diverse schools as being of great value in their preparation.
As expressed in the exit interviews, graduates felt that credential courses were least useful. Certain other courses in the EMST program were viewed more favorably, although they were not clearly applicable to teaching practices. Urban Education and the Cognitive Consequences of Technology in Education courses were rated very highly, as was the supervised teaching seminar. Classroom management training was viewed as a need that wasn’t adequately addressed in the program.
The research activities and related masters’ projects received mixed reviews, although five of the subjects suggested that this work had enduring value. During the exit interviews, most students felt that the use of video to study teaching was not especially useful. After a year of teaching, most of the graduates expressed a more positive view in the use of video as a tool to develop teaching skills.
The MACSME graduates believed that their current teaching practices were substantially influenced by their participation in the program. Their approach to teaching was shaped by the research-based curriculum, reform-minded instructional strategies, as well as the use of computers as a learning tool. Certain graduates expressed some concern that the MACSME program provided a vision and philosophy based on a teaching ideal. This ideal differed in important respects from their actual teaching experiences. (See Appendix C for elaboration.)
4. Perspectives on MACSME: Follow-up Interviews with the First Cohort of Graduates after Two Years of Teaching by Natasha M. Speer, 1996 (Appendix D)
The previously discussed study described research investigating the perceived impact of the MACSME program on teaching practices one year after graduation. This research was designed as a follow-up with the same cohort of graduates one-year later--two years after they commenced teaching. This study represents the third in a series of interviews, tracking the progress of graduates and soliciting their opinions concerning (1) how the MACSME program helped prepare them for teaching, and (2) how their teaching practices were shaped by their participation in the program. This latter question is especially significant given the fact that the MACSME program emphasizes innovative teaching and reconciling theory and practice. Four of the seven graduates participated in this study.
The results to a large extent are consistent with the views expressed by the same cohort in the exit interviews and in the one-year follow-up. Teaching experiences were most highly valued, certain courses were deemed more useful and others less, and research activities were of more importance for some of the graduates than the others. There were a few notable changes. There overall assessment of the program was generally more positive than it had been a year earlier. The graduates were more appreciative of the EMST courses. In addition, they had previously expressed some dismay that they did not receive sufficient training in classroom management. At the time of these interviews, most of the teachers recognized that management skills are best learned through the practice of teaching and that a teacher preparation program cannot adequately foster those competencies.
In general, the impact of the MACSME program was more in evidence in the second year of teaching. The graduates indicated that they were more involved in curriculum development and other professional activities at the school and district levels oriented towards improved teaching. They were also seeking out additional research opportunities and were more eager to re-establish contact with the MACSME program. One of the objectives of the MACSME program is to encourage educational innovation and foster leadership. Although these graduates are very early in their respective careers, the results of this study suggest that several of them may be moving in that direction.
5. Perspectives on MACSME: Follow-up Interviews with the Second Cohort of Graduates after One Year of Teaching by Natasha M. Speer, 1996 (Appendix E)
This study represents an ongoing process of evaluating the progress of MACSME graduates and assessing the relative impact of the program on their teaching practices. A series of follow-up interviews were conducted with the second cohort of graduates, who completed the program in May 1995. These interviews wereconducted with four of the five graduates after one year of teaching experience. Three of the four graduates were teaching in high schools and one in middle school, three were working in suburban schools and one in an urban setting. In addition, three taught at schools which could be described as more innovative, and one taught in a more conventional setting.
The views expressed by these graduates closely correspond to the ones they asserted in their exit interviews (Zimmerlin, 1995). In many respects, they resemble the first cohort of graduates in those aspects of the program that they found most valuable and those that were deemed least useful. For example, teaching experience and varied placements were considered to be most beneficial, whereas credential courses were seen to be most lacking in usefulness. However, this group’s overall assessment of their training in the MACSME program was significantly more positive. In general, this cohort found diverse facets of the program as having had an impact on their formation of teachers. For example, they felt that educational research and theory were more closely connected to teaching practices. Although they did not explicitly use such theories in the classroom, they all stated that ideas and ideals embodied in the MACSME program permeated some of their teaching practices. In addition, there was a sense that they could make even better use of related concepts and instructional strategies in the forthcoming years. These results further suggest that the MACSME program appears to be developing strong teacher-leader candidates who reflect the goals and ambitions embodied in the program’s philosophy towards innovation and theoretically-informed teaching practices.
6. Living in MACSME: Faculty Reflections after Five Years of the Experimental Teacher-Training Program by David Kaufman, 1997 (Appendix F)
The MACSME program began as an experimental program in 1992 in the Graduate School of Education. The program has been closely aligned with the EMST and SESAME doctoral programs; in that MACSME students take many of the same courses, jointly participate in research groups, and work with the same faculty members. Nine faculty members were interviewed in June 1997 about their experiences with students from the MACSME program. Eight of these members are affiliated with EMST and another faculty works in Social and Cultural Studies program.
The semi-structured interviews were conducted by David Kaufman, a lecturer affiliated with the EMST and MACSME programs. The following five questions formed the basis of the interview: 1) discuss your associations with students from the MACSME program, 2) how have these students been involved in your research group or research activities, 3) have these students made a substantial or unique contribution to your research, 4) discuss the effects of integrating MACSME students with doctoral students, and 5) how can we more effectively reconcile theory and practice. The faculty’s’ comments were not restricted to these questions and many other issues arose during the course of discussion.
The entire faculty had opportunities to interact with MACSME students in classes they taught, in their respective research groups, and some have also served as advisors for MA projects. Five of the faculty have more direct involvement with MACSME students on an ongoing basis. The students have actively participated in all of the research groups. Certain groups have proven to be more amenable to students interested in issues of teaching and classroom practice. Other groups are more suited to advanced doctoral students. Six of the faculty indicated that MACSME students made substantive or unique contributions to their research endeavors. Several of the interviewees commented that the MACSME students bring a different perspective and knowledge base to the group. Furthermore, their goals are more directly connected to teaching and pedagogy. Several of these students have made instrumental contributions to the development of curricular materials that are used in experimental curricula such as ThinkerTools, KIE, and Boxer. One faculty member commented on how the differences in interest between the MACSME and Ph.D. students allowed for a productive division of labor in simultaneously addressing the more practical and theoretical concerns in advancing his research interests.
All of the faculty members expressed enthusiasm for the integration of MACSME students with doctoral students, although it had been a rather challenging endeavor initially. Several interviewees reported that they had to rework courses to better suit both populations and that necessitated considerable effort on their part. Eight of the nine faculty suggested that having MACSME students in their courses effectively created a balance of theoretical and practical issues well suited to a graduate program in education. All of the faculty members recognized the difficulty of the challenge of better reconciling theory and practice in the preparation of teachers. Several commented on the need to use projects more frequently in course work and others indicated that video could be used more productively. The general sense was that the program had made considerable progress towards better applying theory to practice, as well as, advancing theory through studying educational practice.
7. Teaching Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students Mathematics and Science by Julia M. Aguirre, 1996 (Appendix G).
The demographic composition of American schools is rapidly changing with an ever increasing percentage of ethnic, racial, and linguistic minority students in the classroom. Many of these students are likely to come from impoverished backgrounds, tend to perform poorly in mathematics and sciences courses, and will consequently have limited opportunities for access to higher education and better employment. Conventionally, research investigating innovations from mathematics and science education have been decoupled from research focusing on social and cultural issues. This schism is invariably reflected in course work and teacher preparation.
One of the central goals of the MACSME program is to prepare teachers to work at a high level of competency in culturally and linguistically diverse settings. Towards this objective, MACSME students enrolled in a course designed to critically examine issues of teaching and learning mathematics and science in culturally and linguistically diverse communities. The course was specifically oriented towards exploring equity issues as reflected in research and practice. The intention was to facilitate student’s entries to such diverse communities and to enhance their competencies in addressing such challenges. The course specifically focused on concerns pertaining to learning, teaching, school organization practices (e.g., academic tracking), and reform policies. The instructional format including small and large group discussions as well as some lectures.
One of the assignments required students to conduct a case study of instructional practices via the observation of a culturally and linguistically diverse classroom. The objectives was for students to gain a first-hand look at how such settings work and to gain a better understanding of such environments to inform their own development as teachers.
The course was thought to be challenging and provocative by most students in that it engaged controversial and emotional topics that are not commonly addressed in such an open fashion. In addition, the course raise issues and questions that provoked self-reflections about ones implicit and explicit beliefs, attitudes, and biases. It also stimulated critical self-examination of the impact these beliefs may have on one’s teaching. The one criticism was that students felt that the course did not offer enough in the way of prescriptions to deal with these complex situations in their teaching practices. Of course such solutions are by no means trivial. However, heightened awareness of the challenges involved in teaching in culturally and linguistically diverse communities can facilitate their contributions as agents of change for promoting equity while maintaining standards of excellence in teaching mathematics and science.
8. Towards a Video-Analytic Framework for the Study of Teaching: Three Reports from the Front Lines:
… Seeing Teaching in Video by Jake Disston, 1997 (Appendix H)
… Exemplars of Scientific Thinking and Inquiry by Nathania Chaney Aiello, 1997 (Appendix I)
… Conversational Analysis of the MACSME Video Analysis Class by Staci Richard and Brian Colety, 1997 (Appendix J)
Video is a potentially powerful pedagogical tool for a teacher-training program. It enables teaching interns to observe, critique, and reflect on their own evolving instructional acumen. This medium also allows for the presentation and analyses of exemplary teaching episodes by Master Teachers. Video has played a prominent role in the MACSME program since it’s inception. In particular, students have had an opportunity to view and discuss videos of their own teaching in the Teaching Methods course. The use of video has yielded mixed results as suggested by student comments in their exit interviews. Some students as well as graduates (cohorts) found it to be a useful tool. However, other students found it to be a little intimidating to view and discuss videotapes of their own teaching in front of the class. Others expressed the viewpoint that students were not willing to be critical, at the risk of offending rendering the exercise less productive than it could have been. In addition, the relatively open-ended format of the Teaching Methods Course may not have conducive to structured reviews of teaching.
The productive use of video analysis necessitates a framework in which teachers can make informed judgments of the instructional process. In addition, the reflective evaluation of one’s own teaching demands a climate in which students can speak freely and with mutual respect. This section summarizes three reports pertaining to research involving video groups in which teacher’s tapes were analyzed and discussed. The full reports (Disston, 1997; Chaney Aiello, 1997; and Richard & Colety, 1997) are included in Appendices (H, I & J). I will first briefly outline some of the motivating factors for creating a video group.
The MACSME program is committed to innovative teaching methods that draw extensively on education and cognitive theory. The central ambition is to put theory into practice. As has been detailed in this report, this is achieved through both course work, and the observation and practice of teaching. Although MACSME students are exposed to more teachers and classrooms than most programs, there are limited experiences for observing reform teaching steeped in a "constructivist" or "inquiry-based" curriculum. In addition, during live observation the prospective teachers must focus on salient classroom activities and may consequently miss other significant dimensions of the teaching experience. Viewing of videotapes of teaching provide an effective complement to live observation in that students can be exposed to a much wider range of highly skilled teachers, particularly those who excel at reform-oriented pedagogy. Videotape also affords students the ability to isolate, replay, and analyze teaching events. In addition, the discriminating viewing and discussing of one’s own teaching allows a student to systematically target areas for improvement.
In the Fall semester of 1996, Prof. John Fredericksen designed the research agenda for, and organized as a research group, the MACSME Video Analysis (MVAC) Group. The purpose of the group was threefold: (1) to expose and train students in the use of analytic framework for viewing and scoring videos of teachers; (2) to score videos of teachers using ThinkerTools, an inquiry-based middle school science curriculum, towards the goal of developing a library of exemplary teaching episodes to be used to train future teachers in that method; and (3) to establish a MACSME Video Club in which students can share and discuss tapes of their own teaching. The MVAC Group included 6 first year and 4 second year MACSME students, as well as Prof. Fredericksen, Prof. Barbara White and Program Coordinator Daniel Zimmerlin. The group met once a week for a 2-hour period.
The students underwent a six-week training period in which they gained familiarity with the framework and experience in the process of scoring (Richard & Colety, 1997). There are four stages to scoring, including the process of noting worthy episodes (callouts), integrating evidence and rating performance, writing rationales for their scores, and a process of social moderation in which the group attempts to reach a consensus.
The original analytic/interpretive framework was originally developed for the Video Portfolio Project (Frederiksen et al, 1992; 1997), an experiment using video for the purpose of developing an assessment framework. The VPP was specifically designed so that teachers could send in "Video Portfolios" of their classrooms to be considered for certification by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards. The criteria actually emerged from analyses of the discussion among teachers. The original framework consisted of four criteria including, Pedagogy, Climate, Subject Thinking, and Management.
Frederiksen and colleagues conducted a series of classification experiment with the VPP data in order to assess scoring validity (cf. Disston, 1997). A group of scorers were asked to view a set of brief teaching episodes, using the interpretive framework. They also assigned a quality score on a five point scale from very positive to very negative (valence). The experimenters also sought to explore the interrelationships among the interpretive categories. The raters agreement on category assignment was somewhat variable with stronger agreement on thinking categories and lesser agreement on management issues. In terms of valence, the agreement was considerably higher.
The second goal for the classification experiment was to study the interrelationships among interpretive categories as applied by scorers. The matrix of correlations among scorers and video snippets was subjected to a multidimensional scaling analysis (MDS). MDS allows one to graphically depict the proximity of relationships among categories and to identify conceptual clusters. The results suggest that aspects of thinking, climate and pedagogy formed distinct clusters. This suggests that they were grouped coherently and applied consistently by VPP scorers.
A separate set of semantic analyses were conducted on the teachers’ rationales for their scoring criteria. This analysis largely supported the previous MDS analysis in that the Thinking and Pedagogy criteria were used fairly consistently with the structure of the framework. Climate appeared to consist of two distinct dimensions, including aspects which focus on social support and those that stressed worthwhile student engagement. Worthwhile engagement was added as a fifth criterion to the scoring framework.
The revised VPP framework served as a basis for analyzing a collection of ThinkerTools tapes. ThinkerTools is a middle school physics curriculum developed by Barbara White and John Frederiksen, which makes use of both computer simulations and hands-on laboratory exercises. The curriculum is built around an Inquiry-Cycle (discussed in detail by Chaney Aiello, 1997; and Disston, 1997) and the analysts recognized the need to add Inquiry Thinking as a sixth criterion for scoring videotape segments. The process of scoring the videotape and analysis of the data followed the procedures previously described. The semantic analysis of the students’ scoring rationale was carried out according to the methodology established by the VPP group. Eighty-Seven percent (87%) of the ideas expressed by scorers in their rationales for a criterion could be classified according to the concepts specified in the framework. This makes a compelling case for the fact that the scorers had internalized the categories of the framework in a manner that was consistent with the original design. A more fine-grained analysis of the component criteria of categories such as Pedagogy (e.g., promotes collaboration) suggests that the MACSME group established useful and logical connections between the framework’s criteria, thus producing a coherent characterization of the model of teaching.
A path analysis, based on partial correlations of the scoring rationales, was used to further develop a model of teaching that emerged from the framework. The analyses examined the influences on the category of Thinking, the most central dimension in the framework. The path analyses documented how categories such as Pedagogy and Climate influence Thinking. This teaching model can be used for both descriptive purposes (e.g., characterizing teacher performance) and prescriptive purposes for conveying critical aspects of inquiry teaching.
The results of these analyses on the ThinkerTools (TT) teaching tapes was used to select exemplars to form the basis of a video library (Chaney Aiello, 1997). The video exemplar library is to be used to train instructors in the various facets of effectively implementing the TT curriculum. On the basis of the scoring of seven "prime candidate" tapes of TT teachers, Chaney Aiello identified the positive examples of Subject Thinking. In total, the TT Teaching Exemplar Tapes depicts 15 snippets (short segments) featuring successful execution of the primary activities involved in the TT curriculum (e.g., design, predict, experiment). A manual was developed as a companion to the tape, to facilitate it’s use as a tool for understanding how to effectively teach using the TT curriculum. The manual is included in the report submitted by Chaney Aiello (1997).
The MACSME Video Club was designed to review and discuss tapes of student teaching. The process in which this group evaluated their own tapes differed from how they viewed the ThinkerTools tapes. Each of the four second year students presented and led a discussion of videotapes of their own teaching. Participants filled out callout sheets with comments and suggestions. However, the tapes were not scored. In addition to scoring and discussing videotapes, all participants in the MVAC group were required to write reflective journals about once every three weeks. The journals were used to assess the effect of participating in the MVAC group on their teaching. In addition, when a second year student presented a videotape of their teaching to the group, they recorded their reflections after teaching the lesson and once again after participating in the journal club. Students also completed questionnaires at the end of the semester.
Richards and Colety (1997) analyzed the conversations of participants in the video club in their discussions of the VPP, TT as well as, their own tapes. The objective was to identify the conditions that foster the most productive (i.e., thought provoking and inclusive) and metacognitive discussions. On the basis of this analysis, they could make recommendations about the best way to structure and lead a video club in order to facilitate these activities. The students’ discussions were coded on a wide range of dimensions, including the circumstances in which a conversation was precipitated (e.g., question posed by facilitator), the type of comments (e.g., citing evidence from the tape) and the form of the conversation. The form of the conversation could be characterized by either a "Framework Association", in which the students were using the language of the framework to analyze the tape or Conversation Level, in which the focus was more on general teaching issues. Each unit of conversation was rated in terms of Productivity on a 3-point scale. The discussions were also coded in terms of their metacognitive content.
The results indicate that the framework associated and meta-level were the most productive. The most generative discussions were those that were explicitly guided by the concepts and language embodied in the framework. The presence of the framework provided both a conceptual structure and filter for students to view, selectively focus, interpret, and evaluate the videotapes. This in turn created a structured setting for the discussions. The reflective journals supported the view that the framework provided a valuable lens for understanding and characterizing the process of teaching. The journals also suggested that students perceived that they genuinely benefited from being exposed to a range of different types of teaching. Comments indicate that they developed a more critical and analytic perspective on the process of instruction. Similarly, students felt rather positively about sharing and discussing videotapes of their own teaching, despite some initial trepidation. The three reports provide detailed constructive recommendations concerning the most productive ways to maintain and enhance the use of video groups in the MACSME program.
In October of 1990, the University of California proposed a research and development project in teacher preparation called the M.A. and Credential in Science or Mathematics Education (MACSME) program. This proposed program was to be a two-year credential-plus-master’s degree program for pre-service secondary school teachers in mathematics and science. It was based on the idea that teachers prepared with a combination of substantial subject matter knowledge, knowledge of cognitive processes, knowledge and experience with instructional technology, and extensive practical classroom experience would have sufficient domain and pedagogical knowledge to focus on the "right stuff" and sufficient breadth and experience to be flexible and adaptive both with a range of students and with changing instructional contingencies. This was to be an experimental program. Its goal, as stated in the project proposal, was "to produce science and mathematics teachers who have solid domain and pedagogical knowledge, who have and experimental attitude towards instruction, and who understand the role that technology can play in fostering inquiry and understanding." This was to be achieved first by recruiting to our post-baccalaureate program students with bachelor’s degrees in mathematics or science. We would then introduce these prospective teachers to (1) cognitive science research on the nature of scientific and mathematical understanding, (2) instructional approaches that foster inquiry and problem solving skills, and (3) the role that different assessments can play in fostering such learning and understanding.
The program was designed to be a two year combined master’s and teaching credential program. It would accommodate 24 students in coursework and teaching experiments. The coursework was to mix these credential students with EMST master’s and doctoral students in a range of course in domain specific cognition, courses in curriculum design and instructional technology. Projects in these courses were to be modified to amplify the student’s pre-service teaching experiences, and additional seminars to unify those experiences were to be developed. Through this synthesis of project-based courses and teaching experiments, we hoped to create teachers who have the necessary expertise and experimental attitudes to adapt to and to contribute to reform in science and math education.
By all available measures, we have been successful. The CTC approved experiment has yielded an on-going, stable yet evolving program of teacher preparation and research, supported by the Graduate School of Education. The MACSME program has grown through several stages, from its initial planning through a period of program development into program maturity. The resulting program preserves the original design features. These include an emphasis on state-of-the-art research, the integration of subject matter knowledge, experiences with educational technology, and substantial classroom practice. The implementation has been refined to support these features, including the integration of credential students into classes and research seminars with other master’s and doctoral students, coursework on domain-specific cognition and the gradual build-up of teaching responsibility through experiences with multiple models of instruction.
We now recruit a full complement of students, drawing applicants from prestigious undergraduate institutions across the country; a reassuring testament to our national reputation. And we have developed a stunning graduation rate, with 100% of 1998 students completing both their teaching credentials and their master’s degrees. Further, all these students received multiple job offers resulting in 100% hire rate for this class. (Hire rate overall holds at 92%.) There is evidence that the program has also been successful in preparing teachers for the challenges of their first years teaching. The job retention rate for our graduates has been excellent. Of the 33 graduates that entered the profession, only two had left teaching after up to 5 years of teaching. Two we have lost track of and therefore cannot report on. That is 27 teachers retained out of the 29 graduates from whom we have heard, a stunning 93% retention rate so far. Our graduates can clearly handle the initiation period required to become experienced teachers. As they settle into the profession, we expect to see them develop, taking the leadership roles that will distribute their expertise in the profession beyond their small numbers. There is already some evidence that this has begun as our graduates have started to organize in-service training sessions for their colleagues in their schools and other similar activities. It is yet too early claim long-term success. Only future research will be able to verify the program’s full success.
In short, MACSME experiment has allowed us to develop a new model of teacher preparation at the University of California. This program's ultimate success is witnessed by the faculty of the Graduate School of Education who support this program with their time, effort and expertise, making it an integral part of the on-going mission of the University.