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Appears in:
Pages: 876-883
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

ISSUES PREPARING SECOND-CAREER MATHEMATICS TEACHERS

J. Herrelko

University of Dayton (UNITED STATES)
In the United States, there is an increasing need for highly qualified mathematics teachers. Addressing this shortage, the Woodrow Wilson Foundation offered financial support to United States universities to reform teacher preparation programs that produce science and mathematics teachers. Woodrow Wilson Fellows (WWF) were selected by the Foundation from applicants who had degrees in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Once selected, these WWF proceeded through graduate programs resulting in a master’s degree in education and state licensure in Adolescence to Young Adult (AYA) science or mathematics. The WWF received a stipend to pay tuition and living expenses. Their obligation was to teach in a high needs secondary school for three years,

The WWF for AYA mathematics had 14 fellows over three years. They came from backgrounds in business, technology, military service, and recently graduated with bachelors’ degrees. The average age was late 20s. There were 9 females and 5 males mathematics fellows.
Surveys were conducted by outside evaluators at the start, middle, and end of the program for two purposes: data collection focused on the fellows’ attitudes toward teaching, and for program improvement. We learned the attitudes toward teaching that the fellows brought to the program. Folk pedagogy holds that "I was taught, therefore, I can teach" and this belief was present in each year group. Acquainting these fellows with the new mathematical content requirements for licensure, pedagogical and cognitive teaching methods were totally new and different concepts for these future teachers. The purpose of this study was to determine the primary issues teacher education programs needed to address when preparing those who chose teaching as a second-career.

The survey data found the primary difficulties were in two areas: mathematical standards and how to differentiate lessons. Being able to identify mathematical standards that matched lesson objectives was a real problem for the WWF. Linking the requirements of state legislators to classroom planning was foreign to these pre-service teachers. Learning where to access these standards, how to find these requirements on-line, and how to match them to mathematical lessons was a preparation challenge that was far more time consuming than when working with undergraduate students.
The second difficulty came when attempting to differentiate lesson plans. My methods classes must follow a four tier differentiation model. Each lesson must have objectives and means that address the needs of students who were 1) accelerated, 2) normal, 3) those that need just a bit more help, and 4) those with learning difficulties. The fellows believed this was not challenging all students to the highest levels. They had no answers for how to reach students who did not understand mathematical concepts after teaching a lesson other than to re-teach the concept repeatedly until it was time to move on to the next concept. This approach would leave many students without key understanding of mathematical principles. The WWFs needed research information regarding re-teaching and the difficulties this caused to the cognitive process. Differentiation was a topic of class discussions throughout the methods course.
This study detailed issues faced by one university program when preparing teachers who chose to become educators as their second-career.
@InProceedings{HERRELKO2015ISS,
author = {Herrelko, J.},
title = {ISSUES PREPARING SECOND-CAREER MATHEMATICS TEACHERS},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {876-883}}
TY - CONF
AU - J. Herrelko
TI - ISSUES PREPARING SECOND-CAREER MATHEMATICS TEACHERS
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 876
EP - 883
ER -
J. Herrelko (2015) ISSUES PREPARING SECOND-CAREER MATHEMATICS TEACHERS, ICERI2015 Proceedings, pp. 876-883.
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