April Luehmann, assistant professor of teaching and curriculum at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education, has been awarded a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation Young Scholars Fellowship. The two-year fellowship, totaling $110,000 for her project "Supporting Change Through Teacher Preparation: A Study of Implementing Reform," will look at the challenges novice science teachers encounter and identify components of teacher preparation programs and support systems that help them become effective science teachers.
As a fellow, Luehmann will examine the impact of the Get Real! Science program on Warner graduates, who have moved on to teach high school science, and look at the caliber of teachers the program has produced and the factors that have contributed to the outcome. Get Real! Science was developed by Luehmann as a teacher preparation program designed to engage students in real science as a means to develop a rich understanding of abstract concepts and ideas. The goal of Get Real! is to prepare new science teachers to use reform-based practices to achieve greater science literacy for all students.
Thirty Warner graduates currently teaching high school science will participate in the new study, which will identify the extent to which each graduate is committed and able to use teaching practices recommended by researchers and professional organizations, as identified in the National Science Education Standards, and how their science content knowledge, experiences in the Get Real! Science program, and the context of their first teaching experiences have impacted them.
"The innovative practices of Get Real! Science were designed to help Warner graduate students to grow into successful, effective science educators who are able to nurture their students' deep understanding of science," said Luehmann. "By studying the impact of Get Real!, we hope to lay down the foundation for future research that informs the quality of science teaching and ultimately improves learning for all high school students."
A member of the Warner School faculty since 2002, Luehmann is a science educator teaching in the science teacher preparation and doctoral programs. She earned her master's and doctoral degrees, both in science education and industrial and operations engineering, from the University of Michigan. Her research as a science educator has focused on using technology to support the work and development of secondary science teachers, engaging students in rich out-of-school learning contexts to complement school-based science, and developing innovative teacher education programs with special consideration of the unique context of urban settings.
The Warner School is committed to bridging research and practice to promote change that will lead to greater excellence and equity in education. Through ongoing research and partnerships with local schools and community agencies, the Warner School faculty will continue to look for new ways to improve education, create new initiatives, and help shape the future of education. To learn more about the Warner School, visit www.rochester.edu/warner.
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation (KSTF) was established in 1999 to enhance the quality of high school science and mathematics teaching. The foundation is dedicated to supporting individuals and programs designed to encourage and sustain young scientists as they dedicate their lives to teaching young people to becoming leaders in the field of education. The foundation also supports efforts that provide insight into how to best prepare high school science and mathematics teachers. KSTF awarded the first Young Scholars Fellowships in 2005, and continues to award up to three Young Scholars Fellowships per annual funding cycle. The Young Scholars Fellowship seeks to support early career scholars engaged in critical research in education. To learn more about the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, visit www.kstf.org.
About the Warner School of Education
Founded in 1958, the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education offers master's and doctoral degree programs in teaching and curriculum, school leadership, higher education, counseling, human development, and educational policy. The Warner School of Education offers a new accelerated option for its Ed.D. programs that allows eligible students to earn a doctorate in education in as few as three years part time while holding a professional job in the same field. The Warner School of Education is recognized both regionally and nationally for its tradition of preparing practitioners and researchers to become leaders and agents of change in schools, universities, and community agencies; generating and disseminating research; and actively participating in education reform.