GSE Professors Receive Grants for Innovative Programs

Posted: July 31, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Emily Moscato

Two Graduate School of Education (GSE) professors received a combined total of $129,655 in grants for professional development programs from the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. The Math Bridges Project, a program designed to educate and support mathematics teachers, and the New Science Teacher Support Program, created to help new science teachers as they enter the classroom setting, were among the 27 programs that SCHEV awarded nearly $1.3 million in grants this year.

The Math Bridges Project, otherwise known as the Math Bridges Concepts and Connections in K8 Standards, is headed by Patricia Moyer-Packenham. It was designed to “recruit teachers at multiple levels to help promote mathematics dialogue between the different grade levels,” says Moyer-Packenham.

Sixty teachers from Loudoun County were recruited for this program. They will be trained not only to further their teaching skills in mathematics, but also to spread what they’ve learned to other teachers through the lessons they will create. Moyer-Packenham expects exponential growth in the number of trained teachers in the county as teachers continue to disseminate information to their peers.

The National Science Teacher Support Network (NSTSN), headed by Donna Sterling, begins on Aug. 12 with a one-week training session and continues through the fall semester. The goal is to help provisionally licensed science teachers succeed at teaching by teaming each with a coach and a mentor. The coach is a master classroom teacher who co-teaches and helps with lesson plans, and the mentor is a separate classroom teacher within the same school. In addition, George Mason professors from the College of Arts and Sciences will be available to assist with lesson content as academic mentors if needed.

As NSTSN is implemented throughout the Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William County Public Schools, Sterling expects more science teachers to become fully licensed and remain in schools, thus reducing science teacher shortages.

Each participant will receive three graduate credits. For more information, visit the Math Bridges Project and NSTSN web sites.

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