WVU aims to build pipeline of mathematics teachers
Courtesy of WVU Today
West Virginia University’s College of Education and Human Services and Center for Excellence in STEM Education are set to implement a new project that will promote the support and development of mathematics teachers in West Virginia.
The one-year project, “Mountaineer Mathematics Master Teachers: A Networked Improvement Community Building Capacity for Mathematics Teacher Leadership in West Virginia,” will be funded by a $75,000 grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.
The project will lead to a more robust talent pipeline of secondary math teachers, more teachers who will take on leadership roles in and out of the classroom and more students who seek STEM degrees and career paths. Ultimately, the project will help develop a new master’s degree program in secondary mathematics education.
“The need to increase the numbers of highly qualified mathematics and science teachers is a state-wide concern in West Virginia and a University-wide mission at WVU,” said Gay Stewart, WVUCE-STEM director and co-principal investigator on the grant. “With nearly one in every 18 West Virginia classrooms led by an individual who is not a certified teacher, according to the West Virginia Board of Education, it is critical we recruit, secure and retain secondary teachers who can take on leadership roles statewide.”
WVU will partner with Pocahontas County Schools, represented by WVU alumnus and Pocahontas County Schools math coach, co-principal investigator, Joanna Burt-Kinderman. The West Virginia Department of Education and the American Institutes for Research will also contribute to this project, which will bring key stakeholders together to develop a vision and plan of action.
“As researchers here at WVU, we bring expertise that is integral to the success of this work while also recognizing the expertise of the other partners, including education leaders and practitioners across the state,” said Matthew Campbell, assistant professor of mathematics education at CEHS and principal investigator on the grant. “Viewing our role as researchers and educators here at WVU in this way can be a model to inform how we look to engage with stakeholders across the state around important issues.”
Owing to its collaborative, statewide approach, this project also aligns with West Virginia Forward, a statewide movement to build new partnerships in order to advance the state’s economic future.
“West Virginia Forward identifies STEM education as essential to a dynamic workforce to prepare for the jobs of the future,” said Joyce McConnell, provost and vice president for academic affairs at WVU. “By bringing together some of the brightest minds across West Virginia to help build a talented mathematics teacher pipeline, bolster teacher development and improve institutional and organizational structures, we open doors to greater opportunities for both STEM teachers and STEM students at all levels. There is no question that this exciting project will help us move West Virginia forward.”
By identifying innovative solutions, unique regional assets and development opportunities, West Virginia Forward efforts aim to advance West Virginia’s workforce, business climate, educational opportunities, community development, diverse industry sectors, cybersecurity, entrepreneurship and infrastructure, to name a few.