Teacher Preparation

John Stewart, University of Arkansas

There continues to be a dramatic shortage of physical science teachers with subject specific training and certification. One of the primary reasons for this shortage is the fact that 40% of teachers leave the profession by their fifth year of teaching. If this situation alone could be addressed, much of the shortage would be alleviated. Since the decision to leave the teaching profession happens after a student graduates, the problem of retention offers different challenges for teacher preparation programs than the problem of graduating more qualified teachers. In this issue, David Grosnick and James Watson will describe features of Ball State’s program that has achieved a remarkable 100% retention rate over the last eight years. The article provides a model for using a Teacher-in-Residence to manage outreach and networking for new science teachers. Laura Lising and Cody Sandifer will discuss mentoring in the early science education program at Towson University.

The possibilities offered by improved retention are immense. If you have a teacher mentoring, networking, or retention program that is showing particular promise, please contact me at johns@uark.edu.