J. Goodell, S. Koc

Cleveland State University (UNITED STATES)
In 2005, concern over the declining position of the United States in technological enterprises prompted the commissioning of the report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm” (Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century: An Agenda for American Science and Technology, 2007). In it, a teacher preparation program at the University of Texas at Austin (UTeach) was cited as one that should be scaled up across the nation to address the declining population of high school mathematics and science teachers. Cleveland State University is one of more than 45 universities replicating this program as CSUTeach. CSUTeach is a secondary (grades 7-12) mathematics and science teacher licensure program that works in coordination with mathematics and science undergraduate and post-baccalaureate degree programs.

There are a number of interdependent features of this program that are not necessarily new or unique, but when brought together in one package, create a powerful model that has proven very successful. In this session, we will describe the components of the CSUTeach program model, including its focus on project-based instruction (PBI), and outline some of the benefits and challenges experienced in implementation.

CSUTeach ( is the only program in Ohio with a specific focus on PBI, so our graduates are in demand. In 2010, we accepted our first students, in May 2012, 14 candidates completed the program, and all had secured teaching jobs by the end of July. CSUTeach consists of eight education classes that are taken while the candidate is completing their undergraduate degree in mathematics or science. Unlike other programs, only mathematics and science teachers are in these classes, which helps to build strong relationships between the group members. For more information about the program, visit:

In the PBI class, taken near the end of the program, candidates learn about the essential elements of PBI and plan a PBI unit that they will hopefully implement with their own students in the final field experience taken in the following semester.

- Teaching experience early in the program allows candidates to know if teaching is what they really want to do.
- Candidates tend to have a strong sense of community as they are move through the program as a cohort.
- The year-long field experience of Apprentice Teaching 1 and Apprentice Teaching 2 has many benefits for the candidates, mentor teachers and high-school students.
- Faculty in the program get to know the candidates early on and maintain close supervision of the students.
- Faculty visit candidates in schools and develop valuable relationships with schools and teachers.

Challenges include candidates learning about PBI but not being able to implement their PBI unit in their student teaching due to factors such as the focus on testing, rigid curriculum that schools are mandated to follow, school culture, mentor teacher resistance, and candidate resistance. High school students have little experience of PBI except in STEM schools, and even then there is resistance.

CSUTeach faculty must continue to advocate for PBI through interaction with high school teachers until the PBI movement has gained more momentum and is recognized as a pedagogy that that significantly engages and enriches student learning outcomes.