Morgan State University’s School of Education and Urban Studies (SEUS) has been awarded two grants totaling $260,000 to support teacher development and STEM instruction. The first grant, in the amount of $140,000, was awarded by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC) and will be used to fund new research on ways to improve teacher quality in a high-need school system while also increasing teachers’ STEM literacy. A second grant of $120,000 was awarded by the Texas State University-sponsored Minority Serving Institution Teacher Education Network (MSI TEN) to support culturally responsive teaching in STEM. Christian Anderson, Ed.D., an associate professor in SEUS’s Department of Teacher Education and Professional Development (TEPD), serves as principal investigator for the research being conducted under both grants.
Under the MHEC grant, Dr. Anderson will work alongside Dr. Kevin Peters, director of the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Education, and Dr. Simone Gibson, a reading specialist for TEPD, on an 18-month project titled, “Teaching STEM Through the Use of Literature Circles: Collaboration, Inquiry, and Discussion.” The project’s objective is to enable teachers, specifically those assigned to Baltimore City Public Schools, to apply proven instructional strategies to increase student achievement in STEM, while also enhancing the enthusiasm of teachers and students about teaching and learning STEM topics. Participants in the project will have the opportunity to receive professional development from literacy specialists, scientists, engineers and mathematics and science educators, as well as opportunities for educational visits to NASA and Morgan’s PEARL.
Working with Dr. M. Monique McMillian, associate professor for TEPD, Dr. Anderson will use the three-year MSI TEN grant to create professional development modules called “badges” that promote culturally responsive teaching in STEM. When completed, these badges will be used to support both in-service and pre-service teachers, who will then be able to deliver impactful STEM content using instructional strategies that support students of color and other multicultural groups.