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Standards Mapped Graduate Education and Mentoring


A uniquely integrated Partnership between Florida Atlantic University and The Broward County School District, the nation's fifth largest fully-accredited school district, proposes an Institute for Standards Mapped Graduate Education and Mentoring for Middle Grade Math Teachers for a 5 year period. The partnership builds upon a highly successful working relationship and existing institutional cooperation. The dedicated team of researchers, administrators, and teachers provides a strong foundation for the success of the new program.

The Institute creates and delivers a unique curriculum for graduate-level middle grade teacher education as an extension of the MST (Master in Science in Teaching) degree program of the FAU Dept. of Mathematical Sciences. Ongoing development of the multidisciplinary curriculum by faculty and teacher leaders is based on a new concept mapping approach and includes technology and science integration. Major components of the program include a sequence of special evening MST classes for teachers presented in Broward County, intensive Summer Institutes with Student Camp, Biannual weekend Pedagogy Conferences and Follow-Up Meetings, and an online community. The program significantly raises the performance of participating teachers and correspondingly the standardized test scores of their students.

Over its duration the Institute creates a hierarchical community of teacher leaders and mentors including more than 50% of all middle grade math teachers with over 20% receiving advanced graduate credit. The testing ground is nearly 500 middle grade mathematics classrooms in Broward County.

The intellectual merit lies in the ambitious goal of the proposal to eliminate the many crucial gaps in content and pedagogy between the university-level approach to a teacher's math and science preparation and the daily requirements of a diverse standards-driven classroom. Intellectual content advancement of the teachers is integrated and mapped to curriculum standards and their classroom realization and driven by the content and pedagogy of the Florida Sunshine State Standards and the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics standards.

The broader impacts of a successful Institute are a viable model for institutional change and standards mapped graduate education for all science and math teachers: enhanced levels of teacher intellectual achievement in classes relevant to their classrooms, teacher appreciation of higher level multidisciplinary connections and technology enrichments, and university faculty understanding and awareness of district standards and pedagogy.