A part of the SERC Teacher Professional Development Program Collection
Photo courtesy of the SMATE program.
Western Washington University: Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education (SMATE)
Program URL: http://www.smate.wwu.edu/smate/
What was the impetus for the program?
Since the 1930's, faculty at Western Washington University have been active in science education; in particular, the concept of incorporating scientists in the science education program. When a need arose in the mid-1990's for a building to house the new science lecture halls and the Learning Resource Center, the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education facility was built. This facility houses the Science Education Program (which is the SMATE program), the Learning Resource Center, and a number of classrooms for science education courses, as well as professional development activities for teachers.
How is the program structured?
Who is involved?
Two faculty from each of the content departments (Geosciences, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Education) hold half-time appointments in the SMATE program. These faculty have split teaching loads, teaching half-time in their respective departments and half-time through the SMATE program. "SMATE faculty members, active researchers in their respective science disciplines, teach all of the science education courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, including the elementary and secondary science methods courses, supervise the science experiences for all preservice teachers, and supervise all secondary science student teachers. SMATE faculty members work closely with the Woodring College of Education and the regional schools."
Preservice teachers at Western Washington University do all of their science training and advising through the SMATE program. Western Washington University is the largest producer of new teachers in the state of Washington, including teachers of mathematics, science and technology. Each year, over 500 students receive their initial teaching certificates from Western Washington University.(Quotes and summarized text above is from the full NCOSP grant proposal (word download).)
How is the program maintained and funded?
References and Notes:
- Dr. Susan DeBari wrote an essay about this program and other science education programs at Western Washington University as part of her participation in the SERC Developing the Earth Science Teacher Workforce Workshop.
- Major funding for the NCOSP program is provided through a five year (2003-2008) grant from the National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership Grant #0315060. The full grant text is available from NCOSP.