New STEM PD program targets admins

New initiative helps school leaders adjust to changes in STEM instruction based on the NGSS

STEM-nstaWith a $500,000 commitment from Chevron, the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) has launched a new initiative to support school administrators as they work to strengthen teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.

The Chevron-supported NSTA Administrators Initiative will include face-to-face professional development opportunities, coupled with a suite of resources developed especially for school and district leaders that will build knowledge and understanding of science and engineering practices, a key component of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

The program is geared for principals and vice principals as well as district leaders who provide instructional coaching for teachers.

“Teachers across the country are making important shifts in their instruction based on what research tells us about how students learn,” said Juliana Texley, NSTA President. “It’s critical that administrators understand these changes and can work together with teachers to support high-quality instruction in STEM subjects. We are pleased to have the support of Chevron to work with administrators on this effort.”

Next page: Details about the STEM partnership

This partnership between NSTA and Chevron will help administrators see and experience high-quality instruction based on the science and engineering practices and will enhance their understanding of effective professional learning so they can better support teachers as they grow in their profession and make important changes in their teaching.

It also will connect them to research, tools, and resources to help them recognize and support effective instruction, and provide strategies for building a shared leadership capacity to support STEM instruction.

“Teachers and administrators play a crucial role in preparing students to become tomorrow’s innovators, and the NSTA’s ability to reach science educators across the country is unmatched. Through this commitment, we look forward to supporting the implementation of high-quality, research-based instruction to prepare and inspire the next generation of leaders,” said Blair Blackwell, Manager of Education and Corporate Programs at Chevron.

Administrators, especially principals, welcome the opportunity to learn more about the NGSS and find ways to better support STEM instruction in their schools.
According to Lucretia M. Page, a principal at Arcola Intermediate School in Eagleville, Pa., “teachers are in the forefront of providing STEM instruction and the NSTA administrator program will provide principals with a deeper understanding of how to best serve our teachers with the tools they need.”

NSTA will kick off the initiative with a face-to-face workshop for administrators in conjunction with a broader effort to engage district teams at the NSTA National Conference in Chicago. On Thursday, March 12, administrators will participate in a four-hour workshop, Teaming Up for STEM: NSTA District Administrator Workshop, where they will explore effective instruction based on the practices, participate in hands-on activities, view videos showcasing instruction, and hear from national leaders, including NASA astronaut Leland Melvin.

In the coming months, NSTA will offer additional opportunities for professional development. For more information about the Chevron-supported NSTA Administrators Initiative, or to learn how to register for the March 12 District Administrator Workshop, click here.

Material from a press release was used in this report.

Laura Ascione

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