STEM Can Lead The Way: Rethinking Teacher Preparation and Policy
Tory Read, Founder & Principal
Tory Read Studio
Topic: How to produce and support great
K-12 STEM teachers, so we create STEMliterate citizens and STEM-capable workers
• Data: 30 interviews Teachers, superintendents, faculty, deans, p
rofessional development providers, ELL
experts, test designers, policy
• Year: 2012
• Objective: To catalyze vision, planning and
Education in math or science,
using engineering design approaches
and technology tools, delivered
through a combination of handson, student-centered, inquiry-based
projects and direct instruction.
Teacher Preparation –undergraduate + 1
Induction – first 2 years on the job
Professional Learning – ongoing over
course of career
• Use reason and inquiry to solve
• Gather and analyze evidence.
• Construct arguments, engage in
debate and critique the reasoning of
• Use appropriate tools strategically.
• Collaborate and communicate.
• Adhere to a rigorous set of practices.
• STEM jobs grew 3x as fast as non-STEM jobs
• STEM occupations are projected to grow 17%
from 2008-2018, compared to 8% for non-STEM
• Wages in STEM fields are 27-60% higher than in
non-STEM fields, depending on education level
• Workers in STEM fields have significantly lower
unemployment rates than workers in non-STEM
• US 15-year-olds ranked 36th in mathematics,
28th in science and 24th in reading behind other
nations on the 2012 PISA.
• Only 35% of US 8th graders are proficient in
mathematics and just 36% are proficient in
reading, according to the 2012 NAEP.
• Math literacy at age 4 is predictive of both math
and reading proficiency in third grade, but most
children birth-4 are in a chaotic hodge-podge of
child care and early education settings.
• We have an inadequate supply of math and
science teachers across all of K-12.
• Most K-8 teachers are underprepared in math
and science, and many of them fear these two
• It is difficult to attract math and science majors to
teach in K-8 because they can make better
• Few early childhood educators are comfortable
teaching numeracy and math.
• Is coherent, progressive and follows a teacher
from college through career.
• Features close, sleeves-rolled-up partnerships
between districts and teacher training
programs. Faculty and K-12 teachers
collaborate to design the teacher training
• Integrates content, pedagogy and clinical
practice, so teachers learn what to teach and
how to teach it by teaching real students in
• Features faculty that use technology fluently.
• Explicitly includes STEM subjects all along the
• Starts early, during undergraduate coursework.
• Features faculty working directly with classroom
teachers to co-design the clinical practice experience.
• Supports specially trained mentor teachers to oversee
and co-teach with teachers-in-training.
• Occurs in schools where principals and host teachers
explicitly agree to allow teachers-in-training to practice
what they are learning in their courses.
• Includes reflective practice, in which teachers-in-training
learn to use data to evaluate themselves and their peers.
• Trains and deploys teachers-in-training in cohorts to
enable peer-to-peer learning and communities of
• Teacher training experiences are typically discreet,
disconnected and repetitive.
• K-8 teachers need more math and science training
– more content, more practice.
• Clinical practice experiences are often too short,
inadequately supervised and have little time for
• Faculty members control what they teach, so
faculty who teach teachers need to drink the koolaid and change what they teach and how they
• Many faculty members are disconnected from K-12
realities, and tenure evaluation systems privilege
academic research over fieldwork, which
discourages faculty from spending more time in K-
• Transform a chaotic system of discreet training experiences
into a coherent, aligned and logical system of continuous and
• Increase capacity of teacher training institutions, school
districts and county offices of education in math and science.
• Increase the depth of math and science courses for teachersin-training.
• Organize teachers into professional learning teams and
• Create a career ladder with associated pay increases, and
build a system that awards and renews teachers credentials
based on demonstrated competencies.
• Train faculty and teachers to be fluent in technology and use it
• The CTC recently changed the structure of
teacher training to allow more integration of
content and pedagogy.
• The new K-12 content standards in math, ELA
and science create space and demand for great
• Planning and implementing the Local Control
Funding Formula creates opportunities to inject
STEM into district culture and practice.
• CTC is starting to revise teacher preparation and
induction program standards.
• Revise teacher preparation and induction program
standards to include strong partnerships between
teacher preparation programs and districts.
• Strengthen math and science for all multi-subject
• Award and renew teacher credentials based on
• Streamline the paperwork for accreditation renewal and
sanction and close programs that are not doing a good
• Require teacher training programs to track and report on
how their graduates perform in the classroom, including
• Establish a P-3 teaching credential with a
strong early math component.
• Create a ladder of credentials for teachers,
awarded as they reach increased
competency levels over time.
• Link each step on the credential ladder to
increases in compensation.
• Enlist interested teacher prep faculty and K-12
math and science teachers to lead the
• Reward faculty for making changes in their
• Encourage teacher prep faculty to spend time in
• Train teacher prep faculty to fluently incorporate
technology into their teaching practice.
• Expand the range of clinical practice settings to
• Revamp staffing structures to
accommodate and compensate mentor
teachers, master teachers and math and
• Increase the amount of time for science in
• Allocate time for teachers to work and learn
• Allow students to use technology in the
• Require that elementary school principals
• Pay for experts to analyze funding streams se we
can re-allocate existing resources to revamped
• Build the evidence base. Pay for evaluations and
case studies, and convene workshops to gather
the evidence on what works in what contexts.
• Support best-practice partnerships between
teacher training programs and districts.
• Support efforts to develop systems for measuring
teacher quality and tying it back to teacher
training programs, so programs can engage in
continuous improvement based on data.
• Provide teacher candidates in math and science
with opportunities for hands-on experience in real
laboratories and industry settings.
In your group, discuss the following
• Which recommendations are most important?
• What is your role?
• What can you do to improve teacher training?