Posted on: May 23, 2001 at 12:06 PM
My reflection resulted from reading Mark St. John's airplane thoughts.
I found the analogy of the continuous painting of the Golden Gate Bridge
and the call for reform of the infrastructure of continuing professional
development with hard structures to replace "soft money" infusions the
most provocative thoughts of the conference. This may be because I am a
"soft-money" research scientist who must daily face the issues of the
discontinuitie and problems resulting from reliance on soft-money.
I would liekto see us to fill out the analogy of the bridge: what are
the institutional structures, types of personnel, etc. specifically that
are needed to keep painting the bridge?
In our LSC we have attacked one relevant area I have not seen mentioned
by others: that is to revise science education of preservice teachers, of
future science faculty (science graduate students), and courses provided
for continuing education credits for in-service teachers to aligned them
with the new programs in public schools, providing models of inquiry
based science teaching, including exposure to inquiry based kits, as well
as other important advances in the pedagogy of science. And we firmly
believe, students of science at university level courses using inquiry
will also retain better science content knowledge. If teachers coming in
the pipeline are prepared well and have learned how to love, learn and do
science, we hope they become part of the effort to "keep painting the
bridge". (This should all apply to math as well as science).
There must be many other ways than the one we have been working on to
sustain change without soft money. I hope those at NSF and the LSC
community come up with many other programs that build this capacity in