State Capitol News
1:29 am
Tue December 11, 2007

NAU gets $ for math and science teachers

Phoenix, AZ – Host Intro:

Northern Arizona University is getting 3-point-4
million to help turn out more graduates to teach math
and science. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer
reports.

Most of the money will revamp how would-be teachers are
taught. But some cash will set up a program to let NAU
students who think they might like teaching actually
give it a try, complete with some classroom experience.
Julie Gess-Newsome, director of NAU's Center for
Science Teaching and Learning, said the hands-on
program also will help weed out those who shouldn't be
teaching and would otherwise soon quit.

(In a lot of cases, especially for secondary teachers,
the deciding to become a teacher is often an
afterthought, something they decide their junior or
senior year when they're saying, 'Now what am I going
to do with this degree?' Our intention is to have very
early on the program, understand what teaching is
about, understand the realities of what teach is about,
because it's every different to be on the teaching side
of the table than the student side of the table.)

The goal is to more than double the math and science
teachers NAU is now turning out. That demand will
increase: Just hours before the grant was announced,
the state Board of Education voted to require that
students now in junior high take more math and science
when they get to high school to graduate.

For Arizona Public Radio, this is Howard Fischer.