At UCSB, The Gevirtz School offers Noyce courses and scholarships to students pursuing a teaching credential in math or science. The shorthand reflects services in partnership with The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program whose mission is to integrate education and research to support the development of a diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce with cutting-edge capabilities. The program seeks to encourage talented STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 STEM teachers. The theme of this year’s Noyce Summit, the program’s annual convening of researchers and practitioners in Washington D.C. spanning July 10-12, was “The Role of Teacher Preparation and STEM Teacher Retention in High-Need School Districts.”
Dr. Julie Bianchini, Chair of the Department of Education, presented at the conference with recent Teacher Education Program (TEP) Secondary Science teacher graduate, Danika Morgan, and current TEP Secondary Science teacher candidate, Alan Cain. During her time at TEP, Morgan was a CTPSE, or CalTeach Physical Sciences and Engineering, Scholar, and Cain is a current STELLER scholar. They both are Santa Barbara natives returning to teach in the school district that raised them. The team’s project was titled, “The STELLER Program: Learning to Teach Multilingual Learners Through Cycles of Inquiry.” STELLER (STEM Teachers for English Language Learners: Excellence and Retention) scholars focus on ways to effectively teach mathematics and science to English Language Learners (ELLs). In this particular project, researchers and practitioners in schools and districts worked to help pre-service teacher candidates engage in cycles of inquiry around five principles of effective ELL instruction, including safe classrooms, funds of knowledge, rich language opportunities, cognitively demanding work, and academic language demands and supports.
Amongst other Gevirtz presenters at the Summit were CalTeach Director Dr. Karin Lohwasser, speaking on her NSF-funded project, “New Approaches to Support the Clinical Experience of Novice Teachers (NASCENT),” and postdoctoral scholar, Stacey Carpenter, presenting on “Preservice Science Teachers’ Understanding of Principles of Reform-Based Science Instruction for Diverse Learners,” joined by other UC Santa Barbara students, Meghan Macias and Erik Arevalo, and presenting once again, Dr. Julie Bianchini.