Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Teacher Preparation Academies in Texas
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The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to evaluate the effectiveness of 14 Mathematics, Science, Technology Teacher Preparation (MSTTP) Academies located across the state of Texas. The aim of the academies was to increase the number of highly qualified mathematics, science, and technology teachers, while also improving the quality of certified teachers in these areas by focusing on seven established goals. The researcher examined best practices for professional development and teacher preparation utilized by the academies, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, the extent to which the participants perceived the academy had improved their content knowledge and pedagogical skills was examined. Finally, the extent to which the seven goals were associated with participants’ perceived content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge was analyzed. The study used secondary data from a larger evaluation of the MSTTP Academies. A mixed-methods design utilizing triangulation to analyze both quantitative and qualitative data was employed for the study. The results of the current study revealed that the14 MSTTP academies demonstrated the following key strengths: (a) a focus on strengthening content knowledge; (b) a willingness for developing professionally committed teachers; and (c) providing funding for participants. In regard to weaknesses, the degree of program effectiveness revealed that none of the academies had fully implemented all seven goals. All 14 academies, however, struggled to accomplish two of the goals: (a) the integration of the areas of science technology and mathematics; and (b) the infusion of technology into curriculum. Additionally, the findings indicate that participants felt as though the academies had improved their content knowledge and pedagogical skills. The findings also reveal that all academies exhibited three features of effective professional development: (a) a focus on content; (b) active learning opportunities; and (c) intensive and sustained over time. Only one academy exhibited the remaining two features, collective participation and coherence. Finally, the study revealed that only the goal of strengthening content knowledge was a good predictor for participants’ content qualifications, while strengthening content knowledge and strengthening pedagogical skills were good predictors of participants’ pedagogical qualifications. This research study contributes to the to fields of teacher preparation and professional development.
Brown, Danielle Bairrington (2011). Evaluating the Effectiveness of Mathematics, Science, and Technology Teacher Preparation Academies in Texas. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from