California State University, Stanislaus and the Turlock and Ceres unified school districts have been awarded a grant by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation to expand practice-based training for new K-8 teachers in implementing the state’s math and science standards.
Stanislaus State’s teacher education programs have a long history of working with nearby school districts to prepare new teachers. Many of Stan State’s teacher education courses are taught at local school sites, where candidates are provided opportunities to apply pedagogical content knowledge in supervised settings, including tutoring and other learning activities. This method has dramatically enhanced the candidates’ professional development because they are able to practice specific skills immediately after they are introduced. Stanislaus State is among 11 California State University (CSU) campuses earning S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation grants.
“Preparing skilled teachers who can work with diverse student population is critical to the mission of the university,” said Oddmund Myhre, Stanislaus State Dean of the College of Education, Kinesiology and Social Work. “Our long-term goal is to prepare highly qualified new teachers for schools throughout the region, and together, we can achieve our ambitious plan.”
The grant will fund activities that will elevate new teachers’ abilities to teach mathematics and science to highly diverse student populations. A particular focus for the initiative is to develop clinical placements, where teacher candidates can practice prioritized knowledge and develop instructional skills through professional learning activities focused on mathematics, science content and pedagogy under the mentorship of expert teachers.
Investments made by the S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation will expand the CSU’s New Generation of Educators Initiative (NGEI), an initiative focused on preparing highly qualified math and science teachers for the elementary and middle grades — the formative years in the educational pipeline that lay a foundation for students’ long-term success and college and career readiness.
“We applaud Stanislaus State and the Turlock and Ceres school districts for this bold effort that will benefit students across the entire region for decades to come,” said Loren Blanchard, CSU executive vice chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs.
For more information on the NGEI, visit http://teachingcommons.cdl.edu/CSUNewGen/.