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Math and science teacher education to benefit from $2 million, five-year grant
Friday, December 09, 2011

“Math and science for ALL students” is how Cynthia Jonsson describes the primary goal of a newly funded, five-year, $2 million project award to SUNY Fredonia. Project MAST2ER (Mathematics And Science Teacher Training in Educational Resources) was one of 42 U.S. Department of Education grants funded recently through the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA).

MAST2ER is a collaborative effort between SUNY Fredonia and Dunkirk and Jamestown city school districts. Ms. Jonsson, project director of MAST2ER, will oversee implementation of grant activities that work at removing the barriers to instructional success for newly qualified mathematics and science teachers. Dr. Barbara Mallette authored Project MAST2ER; she shares leadership of Project MAST2ER with Science Education Partnership Director Holly Lawson.

The project funds will be utilized to strengthen mathematics and science teacher education programs on the SUNY Fredonia campus through infusing evidence-based practices and data-based decision making that informs instruction, particularly instruction of English learners (ELs). Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) will serve as the core of all teacher candidate trainings. SIOP is recognized as the most widely accepted approach for addressing the instructional needs of ELs in the nation and is grounded in second language acquisition theory. Content area teachers with SIOP experience in Dunkirk and Jamestown schools will be recruited to serve as MAST2ER mentors to Fredonia mathematics and science teacher candidates. The teachers will be involved in both advanced SIOP and mentoring professional development sessions.

Unique to the project is the use of live stream and digitally captured lessons of mentor teachers as they implement SIOP elements and evidence-based practices in their classrooms with English learners and as they use data-based decision making regarding instruction to English learners. Mentor teacher lessons will capture clear demonstrations of evidence-based practices and will serve as visual representations of material covered in training sessions to Fredonia teacher candidates. The live demonstrations represent the most progressive use of portable cameras and live feed from area classrooms via distance learning in the teacher preparations programs at SUNY Fredonia. MAST2ER staff will compile captured lessons in a Repository of Effective Practices that will be distributed widely electronically to partner districts, teacher education programs, and teacher candidates.

Project Director Jonsson is assisted by Karene Gora as administrative assistant, Korrin Mundo and Raisa Portman as program coordinators, and Dr. Daniel Webb of Catalyst Research as project evaluator. In addition, Jean Michielli-Pendl will serve as implementation coach and Douglas Pendl is the project’s technology coordinator. The Pendls, SUNY Fredonia alumni, bring experience with using live streamed teacher lessons with undergraduate teacher candidates to the project. Dr. Keary Howard and Dr. Kathleen Lesniak are involved in Project MAST2ER as curriculum consultants for mathematics education and science education.

Training for the initial teacher candidate cohort is scheduled in January 2012. MAST2ER staff will monitor teacher candidate use of SIOP elements within their field experiences and within course assignments. Professional development for mentor teachers will begin in Spring 2012.

For more information about Project MAST2ER, contact Ms. Jonsson at (716) 673-4725.

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