Longitudinal Analysis of U.S. K-12 STEM Teacher Demographic Trends

Assessing the Longitudinal Impact of Noyce Awards on the Subject Matter Knowledge of Beginning STEM Teachers: A Comparative Study

Active Group Members: Monica Bartoli

Collaborators: Dr. Gene Ray, Dr. Kimberly Linenberger

Funding Sources: National Science Foundation (NSF) #1557292

The research collaborative between Stony Brook University and Kennesaw State University will disaggregate Praxis II test scores over the past twenty years to determine to what extent those institutions receiving Noyce funding have prepared more knowledgeable beginning teachers than those without Noyce awards.

 

We seek to answer fundamental questions regarding our nation’s ability to successfully recruit and prepare highly qualified secondary STEM teachers for positions in public and private schools, as such empirical data is lacking, especially in science.  Our overarching research question that aligns to Noyce research priority #1 (i.e., features that make programs and or pathways effective and attractive for STEM teacher candidates) are as follows: To what extent have Noyce institutions, compared to non-Noyce institutions, prepared more knowledgeable STEM teacher candidates prior to and during Noyce funding cycles as measured by outcomes on Praxis II subject matter knowledge exams given to first time test takers?

 

The list of Noyce awardees from the NSF website will be used to categorize Praxis II test takers coming from Noyce and non-Noyce institutions over the past twenty years. Example questions that will be answered include: Do Noyce institutions prepare more minority STEM teacher candidates compared to non-Noyce institutions? Do women at Noyce institutions outperform women at non-Noyce institutions based on STEM Praxis II content knowledge exams? Do Noyce institutions have a higher number of non-traditional first-time Praxis II test takers compared to their non-Noyce peers? 

Determining the Relationship Between Teacher Characteristics and Student Interest/Performance in STEM

 

Active Group Members: Elle Butler Basner, Maitreyee Kale

Improving student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is crucial for informing policy since performance scales with an increasingly STEM-centered ceconomy. Determining the specific factors that affect student performance in these fields would allows educators and policymakers to better support students in their academic endevours. We hypothesize that specific teacher characteristics (such as experience, content knowledge, in-field degree, and certifcation) affect student achievement in STEM. Using ACT data from the math and science sections as a measure of student performance along with the results of student surveys regarding intended majors and occupations and data sets including HSLS (High School Longitudinal Study of 2009), B & B (Baccalaureate and Beyond), NELS (National Education Longitudinal Study of 1988), and SASS (Schools and Staffing Survey 1993-94), we hope to analyze the relationships between student STEM performance and interest and specific STEM teacher characteristics, respectively. The results of this study can help policymakers and educators improve STEM performance and interest based on the relevant teacher characteristics.

 

Research questions:

  1. Are there correlations between STEM student interest/performance and STEM teacher characteristics based on ACT data and the SASS data set?

  2. Is there variation in these trends over time or among different regions/socioeconomic statuses of schools?

  3. Have national reform efforts affected any of these correlations?

Analysis of Attrition and Mobility of Beginning STEM Teachers

 

Active Group Members: Maitreyee Kale, Elle Butler Basner

Attrition is common among beginning teachers due to dissatisfaction with the students or administration, low pay, lack of opportunities to advance in the field, and more. We hypothesize that these teachers leave the profession for other jobs or move to different schools, creating a shortage of experienced teachers in high-need schools, which results in lower student outcomes learning outcomes may not be achieved with the new teacher, economic impact of hiring a new teacher, and a destabilization of school culture. Our goal is to investigate the demographic factors of both teachers and schools that affect attrition and mobility in beginning STEM teachers, as this is a population that has not been widely studied. By analyzing the Beginning Teachers Longitudinal Study (BTLS), a national survey of beginning teachers, and conducting literature reviews we attempt to better understand the extent to which beginning STEM teachers leave the profession and for what reasons. To evaluate our hypothesis, I will be focusing on factors such as experience, degree, and certification which we will use as a measure of a high-quality teachers. This information can help inform policy decisions that allow the recruitment and retention of a greater number of high-quality teachers.

 

Research questions:

  1. Are highly-qualified teachers leaving the profession at a higher rate than low-quality teachers?

  2. How are race and gender correlated to mobility in STEM teachers?

  3. How does a teacher’s perception of their school environment affect mobility?

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