STEM Teacher Enhancement Project

In the fall of 2010, the Wheelock College Aspire Institute launched STEP (STEM Teacher Enhancement Project) to significantly improve math and science instruction among elementary (Gr. 1-5) teachers. Over the past two years, STEP has developed and is now offering high-quality, online math and science in-service courses to elementary teachers in the Boston region and beyond. The STEP project drew on the expertise of Wheelock math, science, and education faculty, leading STEM education experts and current educators to support this work.   

STEP emerged from a 10-month, Aspire Institute-led strategic planning project, involving Boston-area teacher education programs, STEM community partners, and school districts. The project's strategic report highlighted the urgent need to improve the math and scientific background knowledge and instructional skill of K-5 educators in order for them to effectively teach these subjects to all students. The report also cited the importance of focusing on STEM subjects in the early grades to ensure foundation knowledge and skills and to foster long-term interest and higher-level study in STEM disciplines as students advance to middle school, high school, and post-secondary education settings.

STEP has developed the following:

• 12-credit course sequence (4 courses) in graduate-level math content and pedagogy
• 12-credit course sequence (4 courses) in graduate-level science content and pedagogy
• Advanced coursework needed for state educator professional licensure and for obtaining status as elementary math specialists or elementary science specialists.
• Alignment with current and emerging state and national standards

About the STEP Courses

Wheelock's STEM education courses are offered fully online, allowing you to take a class from anywhere with an Internet connection. These are college-level, rigorous courses. For one course, you should expect to commit about 15 hours per week over the condensed eight-week period. Each course is designed to be a collaborative "online community," where you interact frequently with both the instructor and other class members through chat rooms and discussion forums. There will be required assignments and weekly deadlines, rather than a self-paced course approach. Wheelock provides a mandatory "Getting started in Moodle" training to ensure that you are comfortable with the online technology before beginning your class.

On October 5, 2012, these courses became the first fully online course clusters approved by the state department in combination with a  master's degree, to advance the following initial licenses:  Early Childhood Teacher of Students with and without Disabilities PreK-2; Elementary Teacher 1-6; Teacher of Students with Moderate Disabilities PreK-8; Mathematics 1-6 or General Science 1-6 (as appropriate to the 12 credits completed and for the teacher's initial license).

Summer 2013

Summer Session I: EDU 634 Teaching and Learning Elementary Science - Registration closed
Summer Session II: EDU 630 Inquiry into Life Science - Registration closed
Summer Session II: EDU 632 Teaching and Learning Physical Science - Registration closed
Summer Session II: EDU 624 Numbers and Operations - Registration closed

Check back for details about new course offerings.

Testimonials

"I look at everything around me differently because of this course.  It has opened my eyes so that now I can help my own children be more aware of science all around them each day." - STEP Participant, Summer 2012

"I have taken several online courses in the past and have to say the quality of the two instructors and the setup of the courses are impeccable." - STEP Participant, Summer 2012

"As a learner, I would definitely recommend this course [Teaching and Learning Elementary Science] to any teachers who have little confidence in teaching science. It is the best money I've ever spent. The course is convenient and fun! I am extremely satisfied with the overall experience." -STEP Participant, Fall 2012

Click here to read more testimonials from past students.


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