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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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Noyce Master Teaching Fellows and SDSU faculty from the 2012-19 cohort. Noyce Master Teaching Fellows and SDSU faculty from the 2012-19 cohort.

$3 Million Grant Aims to Bolster Math, Science Teaching in San Diego County Schools

The National Science Foundation-funded award focuses on urban schools in four districts.
By Michael Klitzing

San Diego State University has received a $3 million National Science Foundation-funded grant to strengthen mathematics and science teaching in high-need, urban schools throughout San Diego County.

Starting in May, SDSU will recruit 20 teachers from the Grossmont, La Mesa-Spring Valley, Santee and Sweetwater school districts to serve as Noyce Master Teaching Fellows (MTFs). Over the course of five years working both at SDSU and at their school sites, fellows will hone their skills as teachers of math and science, provide professional development for colleagues, serve as guide teachers for SDSU student teachers and teach university courses in math and science education.
“This grant will help us grow leaders who will help other teachers,” said Lisa Lamb, Qualcomm Endowed Professor of Mathematics Education in the School of Teacher Education. “There are thousands of teachers and hundreds of thousands of students in the San Diego region, so the more time we spend cultivating that leadership base, the greater the impact that we can have in the region."

Focus on High-Need Schools

The Master Teacher Fellowship Program is part of the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program, created in 2002 to encourage STEM students and professionals to pursue teaching careers. This is SDSU’s second time being funded for the MTF grant; Lamb served as the principal investigator of the previous, 2012-19 iteration.
What’s different this time is the focus on leadership in urban, high-need schools. Fellows will spend three years taking Ed.D. coursework in K-12 Educational Leadership and two years working with SDSU’s National Center for Urban School Transformation (NCUST). Through NCUST, they will develop plans for improving science and math achievement at their school sites.
"It is exciting to work with talented, equity-minded scholars in the School of Teacher Education,” said Joseph F. Johnson, Jr., professor of educational leadership and executive director of NCUST. “Together, we can build the capacity of teacher leaders to promote equity and excellence in their schools."
Collaborative Effort

The MTF project is a cross-disciplinary collaboration between SDSU’s College of Education and College of Sciences. The project team includes Lamb; Johnson; Randolph Philipp, professor of mathematics education; Donna Ross, associate professor of science education; Meredith Houle Vaughn, associate professor of science education; Susan Nickerson, associate professor of mathematics and statistics; and David Pullman, associate professor of physical chemistry.

Of the 20 fellows to be recruited, 10 will be math teachers and 10 will be science teachers. Each of the fellows will spend six weeks working in a lab with College of Sciences researchers.
“We really value this collaboration with College of Sciences faculty,” Lamb said. “We think that's a really important feature.”