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Spring 2010 - Dr. Ralph Putnam, March 22

Center for Science and Mathematics Education Research
Colloquia & Seminar Series

Presents

Dr. Ralph Putnam, Senior Program Officer, Research
Knowles Science Teaching Foundation

Date:  Monday, March 22, 2010
Time:  3:00-4:00 P.M. (Light refreshments will be available at 2:45  p.m.)
Location:  137 Bennett Hall

Content Needs of Beginning Science and Mathematics Teachers

Beginning high-school mathematics and science teachers are usually assumed to have solid subject-matter content knowledge as they enter teaching.  They typically have, after all, degrees in mathematics or science.  Most efforts to support beginning teachers—through mentoring, induction programs, and the like—thus focus primarily on classroom management and other issues that are not content specific.  I will report on an NSF-funded study of beginning mathematics and science teachers that suggests they do have a range of content-specific needs.  For example, teachers may find themselves teaching about domains and topics to which they themselves have had little exposure, or teaching topics that they last studied themselves in middle school or high school.  We have also found that beginning teachers often turn to the Internet for support—for brushing up on mathematics or science content and for getting ideas and resources for teaching.  There has been little research, however, on how teachers locate and evaluate content-specific resources or how they draw on those resources for their own learning and to support their teaching. I will present a framework developed from our research for beginning teachers’ use of the Web to support their own learning and their teaching of mathematics and science.

 


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