1. Janelle Johnson
  2. Associate Professor-STEM Education
  3. Inclusive STEM Teaching Preparation at an Urban Commuter University
  4. https://msudenver.edu/ustem/
  5. Metropolitan State University of Denver
  1. Hsiu-Ping Liu
  2. Professor
  3. Inclusive STEM Teaching Preparation at an Urban Commuter University
  4. https://msudenver.edu/ustem/
  5. Metropolitan State University of Denver
  1. Katherine Shorten
  2. Student Success Professional
  3. Inclusive STEM Teaching Preparation at an Urban Commuter University
  4. https://msudenver.edu/ustem/
  5. Metropolitan State University of Denver
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Josias Gomez

    Josias Gomez

    Graduate Doctoral Research
    May 11, 2021 | 10:16 a.m.

    It is great to see you are preparing inquiry-based STEM teachers for jobs in schools that need it the most. Have you been able to collect data on the impact these new teachers are causing in their respective schools (i.e. graduation and retention rates, students' grades and feedback)? It may still be too early for data collection.

    Also, what materials and/or mentoring curriculum do you use to facilitate inquiry-based teacher training?

    Thanks for your time, and well done.

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 11:03 a.m.

    Hello Josias, what a great question! We don't as of yet...would this be of interest to you? 

    We don't have a mentoring curriculum per se. We do encourage near peers to cross content areas, and we ask them to reflect with a tool we've developed called "focal students." These are students in each teacher's class who the teacher may have struggled to engage in STEM subjects for any number of reasons. Our goal is to draw those particular students' needs into the teacher's focus so they can build in appropriate differentiation moving forward.

    We would genuinely love to be in touch. Feel free to email me at jjohn428@msudenver.edu.

    Thanks and great luck with your studies!

  • Icon for: Josias Gomez

    Josias Gomez

    Graduate Doctoral Research
    May 11, 2021 | 02:18 p.m.

    Thanks Janelle for your response, I am curious about the outcomes of your peer mentoring program overtime at the preparatory level because this will consequently impact students success in college.

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 04:42 p.m.

    Absolutely! 

  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 11:11 a.m.

    Welcome to our video and thanks for visiting! We would love to hear about any of your mentoring efforts, and what you have found to be most effective. We have realized that our Scholars and Teachers themselves are by far our best resource, and so we tried to build a structure to support community building among the group. 

  • Icon for: Katherine Shorten

    Katherine Shorten

    Co-Presenter
    Student Success Professional
    May 11, 2021 | 02:34 p.m.

    Thank you for stopping by our video. The near-peer mentoring has truly helped with retention and we would be interested to hear how others have implemented mentoring within their program

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Anne Kern

    Anne Kern

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 06:57 p.m.

    Hello Near Peer Mentoring Team,

    The concept of "Near-Peer" mentoring is intriguing! I am curious how this is different than say a methods "practicum? Additionally, I am trying to determine where the  "mentoring" program comes in? 

    I see lots of potentials for such a model in building a cohort of new teachers.

    Best,

    Anne

     

     

     

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 07:37 p.m.

    Hi Anne, I love that you are asking about that. So the students' practicum experiences are field placements with experienced mentor teachers. While there is certainly great value in that, we find that our preservice teachers tend to struggle with their own self-efficacy and that they can sometimes feel alone in that struggle. By intentionally supporting connections between novice teachers who are at similar places in their trajectories, it allows them to feel less isolated. They can share strategies, struggles, worries, fears, etc. It helps both near peers feel that they are part of a larger community and that they have support, and we see those aspects as serving the mentoring function. 

    Love the question, and we are happy to keep chatting!

  • May 13, 2021 | 11:29 a.m.

    I was likewise thinking about the differences between observing more and less experienced teachers. I wonder if it feels safer to ask questions of a near-peer-- why did you choose to do X or Y? -- than of someone who is framed as "expert" ; whose strategies may be more cemented in their minds or decisions taken longer ago.  In this way it could help to avoid the problem (known in the literature) that student teaching often makes new teachers more conservative, using less of what they learned in their teacher ed program, as they imitate their student teacher mentor. It would seem that interacting with multiple near-peers - not just one - would help here too.

    thanks for this work!

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 13, 2021 | 12:06 p.m.

    I LOVE where you are going with this, Sandra. We see so many of our preservice folks feeling debilitatingly anxious about their content knowledge especially. We have found that they do feel safer talking through those fears with a near peer. And they do interact with multiple near peers, but that is an interesting question to look at in our research...how does the number and nature of the near peer interactions shape their self-efficacy as teachers? Want to take on a side gig and help us look at this? : )

  • Icon for: Kelly Costner

    Kelly Costner

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2021 | 03:26 p.m.

    I really like the near-peer aspect of your project.  We've been working to develop our network of 10+ years of Noyce alumni and bring our newest scholars into the fold each year, but haven't formalized in this way.  You've inspired me to bring this up to our team--I think it will be our next undertaking.  Thanks so much!  And we may eventually get in touch about some ways to collaborate, too.

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 18, 2021 | 04:19 p.m.

    Hi Kelly,

    Please feel free to reach out...we'd love to collaborate. 

    Janelle

  • Icon for: Joseph Esquibel

    Joseph Esquibel

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 09:56 p.m.

    This is a great project. I really like your model of having different disciplines observe a class session. I think this would be really helpful for our program. Our project, QB@CC, works to have math and biology faculty work to create a ready-to-use modules in either discipline that teaches both types of content. We've found that addressing the math and biology discipline differences (language, equations, examples, how graphs are described) is extremely important to create a cohesive module. We have mainly relied on bridging this gap by having our faculty work via zoom in small groups of math and biology faculty when creating modules. I think observing how the same module is used in different class types by different faculty would be extremely helpful. 

     
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    Janelle Johnson
    Katherine Shorten
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 12, 2021 | 01:08 a.m.

    Hi Joseph, it sounds like you all are doing some exciting work! We are definitely still wrestling with how to best support cross-disciplinary connections since our structures for teacher licensure and instruction are so siloed. We have begun exploring lesson study as a means of digging into spaces where cross-disciplinary teaching and learning is happening. Certainly happy to talk more about this

  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    Assistant Vice Provost and Director, CRTLE
    May 12, 2021 | 01:31 a.m.

    Nice presentation! Near-peer mentoring is very impactful for Scholars - we have the same in our Noyce program at my university. In our program the Near peer mentors are also graduates of our program so they know the teacher preparation program our Scholars are engaged in. Do you do the same in your program or are the Near peer mentors from different teacher prep programs? Also we have group mentor sessions (via Teams or Zoom these days) where we all meet together and discuss various teaching topics as a group. Have you collected any formal feedback yet on the impact of your Near peer mentor program? How many observations/visits do Scholars conduct with their Near peer mentors per semester? Do the Scholars teach or just observe and consult with their Near peer mentor? What kinds of topics do you find your Scholars learn most about from the experience (e.g., we find they pick up a lot of administrative-type skills and classroom management).

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Katherine Shorten

    Katherine Shorten

    Co-Presenter
    Student Success Professional
    May 12, 2021 | 12:28 p.m.

    Thanks for your question Ann,

    Yes our mentors all come from our program. We utilize Scholars in their student teaching semester and also early career Noyce teachers. This mentorship is above and beyond any practicum requirements that students complete so there isn't any teaching. The scholar gets to observe a lesson or class period and then afterwards they debrief with the teacher and ask any questions that they have about teaching tecniques and choices made during the lesson. We find that the benefit isn't limited to the scholar, both the teacher and scholar are building self-efficacy through this process.

    Katherine

     
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    Ann Cavallo
    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    Assistant Vice Provost and Director, CRTLE
    May 14, 2021 | 11:26 a.m.

    Yes, we find the mentors often borrow ideas from the mentees! It is great collaboration and serves to revitalize teaching all around. Thank you!

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Jan Smith

    Jan Smith

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 10:46 a.m.

    You mention the impact this program has on retention; do you have research/data on this?  This seems like a great program; I think the pre-service teachers can relate more to novice teachers and see themselves as successful when observing.  Do they have any other interactions outside of the classroom?  I wonder if some informal more social gatherings could help further that relationship and create more of a support system. 

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 12, 2021 | 11:47 a.m.

    Hi Jan, we have qualitative data on the teachers' sense of community and reduction of anxiety. And yes to your interactions question. We have a Student Success Professional, Katherine Shorten, who designs the programming. We have social hours, professional development, recognition ceremonies, etc. They are all certainly pieces of the puzzle.

  • Icon for: Elizabeth Allan

    Elizabeth Allan

    Facilitator
    Professor; Secondary Science Education Program Coordinator
    May 13, 2021 | 08:56 p.m.

    Any collaboration that provides high quality training for preservice teachers and retains new inservice teachers is a great project.  I am interested in how the three have worked together and has it had an impact on the master teacher's teaching? 

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 17, 2021 | 12:41 p.m.

    Hi Elizabeth,

    So both folks involved in the mentoring are near peers. The host wouldn't be categorized as a master teacher. Preservice teachers are placed with master teachers for their official field placements so we view this practice as a complement to the field placements. Please let me know if this clarified or if I misunderstood your question. : )

  • Icon for: Katherine Shorten

    Katherine Shorten

    Co-Presenter
    Student Success Professional
    May 17, 2021 | 02:17 p.m.

    Hi Elizabeth,

    We feel that a benefit of this model is that the host teacher is NOT a master teacher. They are just a few steps past the Scholar and are still quite familiar with the potential questions and stressors that Scholar could be dealing with.

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: John Coleman

    John Coleman

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 18, 2021 | 06:50 p.m.

    Our pre-service teachers, as well as STEM majors in general, had very positive survey feedback on their experience with near-peer mentors. Mentees found them relatable, and valued their guidance.  What kind of feedback did you get from your pre-service teachers?

     
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    Janelle Johnson
  • Icon for: Janelle Johnson

    Janelle Johnson

    Lead Presenter
    Associate Professor-STEM Education
    May 18, 2021 | 07:04 p.m.

    The video just gives a tiny glimpse at the kind of positive feedback we've gotten about the near peer mentoring. They report feeling a lot of relief in making the connection with others since they realize they are not alone in their worries. They enjoy the experience and once they get started, choose to conduct visits beyond any required number. The "host" near peers have reported similar outcomes and are enthused about hosting more visits. It's a nice low stakes way to discuss what's happening in their classrooms and the challenges they face as new teachers.

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