New Grant Supports N.H. Early Childhood STEM Teachers

February 20, 2017

teacher with student

The University of New Hampshire was awarded a $200,000 grant from 100Kin10, the national network that aims to train and retain 100,000 excellent K-12 STEM teachers by 2021. The award will support an online professional development program for pre-K to third grade math teachers in New Hampshire.

“We are so excited for this opportunity to collaborate with the UNH Leitzel Center, the state Department of Education, New Hampshire teachers of mathematics and 100Kin10 to support pre-K to third grade teachers throughout all of New Hampshire in their teaching of mathematics,” says Diane Silva Pimentel, assistant professor of education in UNH’s College of Liberal Arts. “We will work hard to establish a statewide network where teachers and organizations committed to improving mathematics education can engage in vital discussions and learning related to preparing young children to be successful in mathematics. We see this as another step in our long-term commitment to the teachers and students of New Hampshire.”

The three main components of the two-year project are online coursework and professional learning community participation focused on both pedagogy and content, on-site coaching, and a yearly summit that includes professional development and time for teachers across grade levels and school sites to collaborate. The project will be led by Pimentel along with Karen Graham and Sheree Sharpe in mathematics and Brandie Bolduc in education.

“To better prepare all students to solve the world’s most pressing problems, we need to help teachers deliver STEM content in active ways that support their students’ creative use of this knowledge,” said 100Kin10 Executive Director Talia Milgrom-Elcott.

The UNH initiative is one of 10 projects supported by 100Kin10 this year as part of their Early Childhood STEM Learning Challenge, a commitment to encourage the use of design thinking and solutions from outside fields to solve complex problems in STEM education.


Become a STEM Teacher in Rural N.H. Schools

December 19, 2016

students in classroom

Ever thought about becoming a teacher? UNH is recruiting individuals interested in teaching in rural N.H. schools with a background in math or science but who do not yet have a teaching credential for the new Teacher Residency for Rural Education Program (TRRE).

TRRE is a 15-month teacher residency program that prepares high quality teachers in either elementary or secondary education math or science. During their first summer, residents will take graduate coursework, observe in schools, and complete a community-based internship to learn about the resources of the communities in which they will teach. During the academic year, residents will complete a yearlong “residency” alongside an experienced master teacher in an elementary, middle, or high school classroom.

Residents receive a living wage to support their learning while earning a master’s degree and teacher certification. In addition, during the first two years as a new teacher, Residents receive ongoing support and professional development. Residents commit to teach in rural high need N.H. schools for three years following graduation.

The first cohort begins May 2017. An undergraduate degree in either a math or science discipline is recommended but not required. Those with related backgrounds may still be eligible. Students who plan to earn their bachelor’s degrees in May ’17 are eligible.

Interested individuals should contact Leslie Couse (Leslie.Couse@unh.edu) for further information.


UNH Awarded Federal Grant to Get STEM Teachers in Rural N.H. Schools

October 4, 2016

Thanks to a five-year $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the University of New Hampshire will prepare and support 60 highly qualified elementary and secondary math and science teachers for rural, high-need New Hampshire schools beginning this summer.

“We are excited to bring our excellence in teacher preparation to the North Country,” said Leslie Couse, professor of education and department chair in the College of Liberal Arts. “Grant opportunities that focus on rural communities are rare. This grant will provide the means for deep clinical training during a year-long residency, a hallmark of high-quality teacher preparation and allow students to graduate with less debt, while becoming connected to the community.”

The University of New Hampshire Teacher Residency for Rural Education (UNH-TRRE) is a 15-month graduate level program designed to prepare elementary and secondary STEM teachers to teach in rural New Hampshire communities. It will support “residents” in learning, teaching, and living in rural NH communities. During their first summer, residents will take graduate coursework, observe in schools, and complete a community-based internship to learn about the resources of the communities in which they will teach. During the academic year, residents will complete a yearlong “residency” alongside an experienced master teacher in an elementary, middle, or high school classroom.

Residents will receive a living wage stipend and substantial scholarship during the program and will commit to teaching in a rural New Hampshire school for at least three years after graduation. Upon completion of the program, UNH-TRRE will continue to support its graduates during their first two years of teaching.

More.

 


UNH Alumna Honored with Presidential Award for Outstanding Math and Science Teachers

September 28, 2016

Robin Ellwood with dignitaries

Robin Ellwood ’85 ’93G ’13G was among a select group of K-12 teachers nationwide to receive a prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching in Washington D.C. earlier this month. Ellwood is an eighth-grade science teacher at Rye Junior High School in N.H.

The Awards are the highest recognition that K-12 mathematics and science teachers may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States. The awards went to 213 teachers, representing 2 years of nominations.

Awardees receive a certificate signed by the President of the United States, a trip to Washington D.C. to attend a series of recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation.

“The recipients of this award are integral to ensuring our students are equipped with critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are vital to our Nation’s success,” President Obama said in a press release. “As the United States continues to lead the way in the innovation that is shaping our future, these excellent teachers are preparing students from all corners of the country with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills that help keep us on the cutting-edge.”

Ellwood earned a B.A. in zoology, an M.Ed. in secondary education and a Ph.D. in education at UNH. She has been teaching science at Rye Junior High School for 24 years. She strives to inspire student learning through inquiry and project-based opportunities that promote authentic application of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) concepts.

“I am honored and humbled to receive this award and cherish the support from students, colleagues, administrators, community members and family that have made my efforts possible,” said Ellwood. “This award epitomizes what is possible when individuals and groups collaborate to provide authentic opportunities for students that inspire intrinsic motivation.”


Alumna Taylor Planz Wins National Science Teachers Association Award for New Teachers

May 4, 2016

Taylor Planz

UNH alumna Taylor Langkau Planz ’12 ’13G was one of only 25 science teachers nationwide to receive the Maitland P. Simmons Memorial Award for New Teachers from the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) at their annual conference in Nashville, Tenn. last month. NSTA is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning. Their annual awards program honors K–12 teachers, principals, professors and other science education professionals for their outstanding work and achievement in science education.

Planz, who graduated from UNH with a B.A. in earth science in 2012 and an M.A.T. in secondary education in 2013, is now a science teacher at Bennett Middle School in Bennett, Colo.

“My goal in science education is to spark students’ curiosity,” says Planz. “I know that if they are interested in something that they will naturally be more engaged. I try to relate everything we learn back to real life and my students’ backgrounds.”

Learn more.

 


Education Scholar Awarded Fellowship at Harvard’s Safra Center

April 14, 2016

Winston Thompson

Winston Thompson, assistant professor of education, has been invited to be a Fellow-in-Residence at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University for the 2016-17 academic year. This prestigious award will allow Thompson to work on his monograph, Justice in the Balance: Revitalizing Politics and Education.


Leslie Couse Publishes Handbook of Early Childhood Teacher Education

November 30, 2015

book cover

Associate Professor of Education Leslie Couse has co-edited, with Susan L. Recchia, a new book titled, “Handbook of Early Childhood Education,” published by Routledge. The handbook synthesizes both contemporary research and best practices in early childhood teacher education, a unique segment of teacher education defined by its focus on child development, the role of the family, and support for all learners. The first volume of its kind, the handbook provides comprehensive coverage on key topics in the field, including the history of early childhood teacher education programs, models for preparing early childhood educators, pedagogical approaches to supporting diverse learners, and contemporary influences on this quickly expanding area of study.

Couse’s expertise lies in preparing teachers for inclusive early childhood settings through interdisciplinary collaboration with parents, teachers, and service providers. Through community partnerships she researches inclusive teacher education, leadership development for the field of disability, and the use of technology in early education. Chair of the UNH Education Department, Couse is also an adjunct assistant professor of pediatrics at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and project director for the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education funded Early Childhood Special Education Assistive Technology Project.  Couse has served as guest editor for a special issue and is a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education and is a past Governing Board member of the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators.

Available from the publisher and major online retailers.


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