Six middle and high-school science, math, and vocational teachers from the Greater Boston area will be on campus for the 1992-93 school year through the new MIT Teacher Fellows Program.
"The goal of the program is to help these frontline workers, in collaboration with MIT faculty, to develop innovative approaches to math and science teaching and enhance their professional expertise so that they can become effective agents of change in the schools to which they will return," said Professor Jeanne Bamberger of music and theater arts, one of seven professors and staff who developed the program through the MIT Council on Primary and Secondary Education.
To that end each Fellow will be paired with an MIT faculty mentor in his or her field. Together they will identify areas of mutual research interest, select MIT courses the Fellow will take, and develop curricular projects relevant to the Fellow's classroom teaching.
Each Fellow will identify two goals: a personal goal towards developing their understanding of some aspect of science/math content or the process of learning and teaching, and a curricular goal towards developing new materials for the classroom.
The core of the program will be three closely linked seminars. One, to meet weekly, will include presentations and discussions on recent developments in math/science education such as new approaches to curriculum design, testing, and integration of technology into the classroom. The seminar will also be a forum for Fellows to present their ongoing work.
The other seminars are actually courses MIT students will take in the new Teacher Certification Program. Fellows will collaborate with MIprofessors in teaching the courses. Introduction to Issues in Teaching and Learning will be offered this semester; a Teaching Practicum will be offered next spring. In addition, each Fellow will serve as a mentor for one or more undergraduates in the new Certification Program.
There will also be a follow-up to the Teacher Fellows Program once Fellows have ended their stay at MIT. This will include an electronic network, a yearly seminar, and visits from faculty mentors to Fellows' classrooms.
This year's Teacher Fellows are Douglas McGlathery (mathematics) and John Samp (physics) from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School, Carol Reid (anatomy and physiology) from Madison Park Vocational High School in Boston, Carol Airasian (science and reading) from Phillis Wheatley Middle School in Boston, Betty Jane Busiek (biology) from Lincoln Sudbury Regional High School in Sudbury, and James Amara (chemistry and technology) from Minuteman Regional Technical High School in Lexington.
MIT faculty and staff involved in developing the program include Professor Bamberger; Professor Susan Carey of brain and cognitive sciences; Alan Lazarus, a senior research scientist in physics; Professor Richard Held of brain and cognitive sciences; Associate Professor Louis Bucciarelli of the School of Engineering; Assistant Professor Roger Brooks of physics; and J.J. Pitts, associate dean for student affairs and director of the Office of Minority Education.
Each teacher's salary will be fully paid while at MIT. The program is funded through a grant from the federal Dwight D. Eisenhower Math and Science Education Program, administered by the Massachusetts Higher Education Coordinating Council, and through a gift from the MIT Class of '52. Betty Jane Busiek and James Amara are sponsored by their school districts.
A version of this article appeared in the September 2, 1992 issue of MIT Tech Talk (Volume 37, Number 4).