The future of U.S. global competitiveness may hinge on youth’s proficiency in math and science, increasingly the language of tomorrow. Yet current studies show students’ performance lagging behind their international cohorts. In a world where technology will demand such proficiency, the question (and crisis) is where to find the instructors.
“There is a critical shortage of qualified math and science teachers and the key work is qualified,” said Professor Jeff Morgan, chair of the math department and co-director of teachHouston, a four-year program designed to generate qualified math and science teachers who are poised for certification by the time they graduate.
“We need people with passion,” said UH Professor Susan Williams, a math master teacher. “We need people with strong content knowledge and people who understand how to handle a classroom and that’s what teachHouston is about. Creating, generating teachers who know how to do that.”
Students are paired with a mentor teacher in their freshman year, who guides them through lesson plans, classroom management and finally teaching. By graduation, students are eligible for teacher certification in grades 8-12 and placement in area school districts — to meet the challenge for qualified math and science teachers.
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(Audio of classroom courtesy of Freesound)