NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Teaching and Learning has received a three-year, $2.1 million grant from the New York State Education Department to fund a pilot program aimed at improving teacher preparation and retention in the sciences.Pamela Fraser-Abder, associate professor of science education, is the project’s principal investigator.
The grant comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s “Race to the Top Fund” as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The “Race to the Top Fund” is designed to encourage and reward states that are creating the conditions for education innovation and reform in order to enhance student performance, raise and close achievement gaps, improve high school graduation rates, and bolster preparing for success in college and in the workplace.
Steinhardt’s grant is part of New York State’s Clinically Rich Teacher Preparation Pilot Program, which is aimed at preparing teachers for high needs schools and increasing the retention of these teachers in order to enhance student growth and achievement. The program was created in response to poor retention rates—an estimated 50 percent of new teachers in high-needs schools leave within the first five years.
The grant will fund the Clinically Rich Integrated Science Program (CRISP), part of a graduate curriculum that centers on improving teacher performance and retention in the sciences. CRISP is designed to root teacher education deeply in the daily life of schools struggling to teach students challenged by poverty and special needs, while at the same time connecting both residents and their school-based mentors to the best practices of science and of science education at NYU and throughout the city.
CRISP will include one academic year of clinically rich study and practice, with students earning a master’s degree in science education (biology, chemistry, physics, or earth science) at NYU, and an initial certificate to teach science in grades 7-12 in New York State. In addition, students will take part in a mentored residency at one of three New York City schools in Manhattan’s Lower East Side: the Henry Street School for International Studies (grades 6-12); Middle School 131, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen School; and University Neighborhood High School.
Photo: Pamela Fraser-Abder, associate professor of science education, NYU Steinhardt.