UMass Amherst Awarded $3M Grant for Teacher Development

AMHERST — The School of Education at UMass Amherst has received a six-year, $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a network that helps train and retain science and math teachers for middle and high schools.

The project addresses the critical need for middle- and high-school science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teachers through collaboration between UMass Amherst educators and researchers from the School of Education and the colleges of Natural Sciences and Engineering, and mathematics and science administrators from regional school districts. The participating schools include the Springfield, Holyoke, and Greenfield public schools and the Mahar Regional School District in Orange.

The Amherst-based Hitchcock Center for the Environment, a nonprofit organization focused on the professional development of teachers and the education of young people in the sciences, is a key partner in this project. The program is designed to encourage talented students and professionals to pursue teaching careers and to develop long-term commitments to teaching students in high-needs secondary schools.

UMass Amherst faculty involved in the grant are Kathleen Davis, Sandra Madden, and Barbara Madeloni, all of the School of Education’s department of Teacher Education and Curriculum Studies; Stephen Schneider, head of the department of Astronomy in the College of Natural Sciences; and Paula Sturdevant Rees, from the Water Resources Research Center and the College of Engineering.

The six-year project supports an engaged community of 20 master teacher fellows — teachers with master’s degrees and demonstrated excellence in teaching currently working in the partner districts — and 20 teaching fellows who are post-baccalaureate students and professionals holding STEM degrees who will earn a teaching credential and teach in a high-needs district.

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