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Science Teachers Profile

University of Pennsylvania Science Teachers Institute: Preparation and Retention of Highly Qualified Science Teachers Through Content Intensive Programs


The University of Pennsylvania (Penn) School of Arts and Sciences Departments of Biology, Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Science, Mathematics, and Physics, in collaboration with the Graduate School of Education (GSE), is establishing the Penn Science Teachers Institute (Penn STI) in a major effort to engage in the development and retention of highly qualified science teachers in middle and secondary grades. The Penn STI, managed through the Department of Chemistry, provides content intensive master degree programs for developing content, pedagogy, and leadership skills for science teachers. This Institute is aimed at the mid-Atlantic region and 20 area schools/districts in the mid-Atlantic region and includes four major components:

1) An 8-science/2-science education course Master of Integrated Science Education degree program designed for current middle level science teachers.
2) An 8-chemistry/2-science education course Master of Chemistry Education degree program designed for current high school science teachers.
3) A resource center supporting participating and graduate teachers as they become teacher leaders and implement classroom reforms in their schools.
4) An Administrator's Science/Math Academy designed for school administrators to become better prepared to create a school environment conducive to improved science teaching and learning.

Up to 100 middle level science teachers and 100 high school science teachers are expected to participate in the degree programs, along with approximately 200 school administrators. The 200 science teachers who graduate from the content intensive programs, supported by their administrators and a university-based resource center, are expected to fundamentally change the teaching and learning of science in middle and secondary level classrooms in the region, benefiting the learning of science by tens of thousands of students yearly.