Arts & Sciences is deeply involved in teacher education, both pre-service and professional development. Pre-service teachers develop essential content knowledge by taking up to half of their undergraduate courses in A&S. And as teachers mature and knowledge changes, teachers need ongoing professional development that allows them to update their knowledge and remain intellectually engaged with their disciplines.
And like all UNM colleges, we have an interest in assuring that students arrive here well-prepared. Formal alignment of high school and college curricula and standards can help, but to be effective, it must be supported with a range of opportunities for teachers and administrators to learn about the students, curricula, and constraints on both sides of the secondary-postsecondary divide.
A&S programs that connect us with the teachers and students in P-12 schools include the following:
Teacher Success Council —a collaborative working group bringing together faculty and administrators from A&S and the College of Education to improve teacher education at UNM.
Teachers' Institute — The Teachers' Institute began in 1999 with support from DeWitt Wallace Readers' Digest Foundation as a demonstration site for the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. Pursuing its mission of contributing to K-12 education by improving teachers' access to knowledge, the Institute offers credit-bearing seminars each summer and shorter workshops the year around in a range of liberal arts and fine arts disciplines.
These sessions are on the UNM campus and at other sites that provide hands-on access to learning opportunities for teachers. The college supports the Institute's website at http://www.unm.edu/~abqteach/
SEIS — The Science Education Institute of the Southwest (SEIS) has provided programs in response to the needs of New Mexico 's science teachers since 2005. SEIS, a collaborative effort among the University of New Mexico, Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, and the Albuquerque Public Schools, also involves educators from such programs as the (now defunct) LodeStar Astronomy Center and other local and regional groups significant to science education.
In 2005, responding to the need for science courses enabling middle school science teachers to become highly qualified as mandated by No Child Left Behind legislation, SEIS developed and implemented 5 summer science classes that resulted in more than 15 middle school teachers obtaining highly qualified status. Similarly, in 2006 SEIS developed and implemented 2 summer earth science courses to address the need for this content knowledge in multi-disciplinary science courses.
La Meta is a partnership between the University of New Mexico , Central New Mexico Community College and five public school districts in New Mexico . The goal of the partnership is to improve New Mexico school children's mathematical learning and achievement. Inspired by the work of the Vermont Mathematics Initiative , this partnership was created to bring mathematicians, mathematics educators, public school teachers and administrators together to help more children be successful in mathematics.
Our program has grown and changed over the past three years. Initially, we offered middle grade mathematics teachers opportunities to earn university mathematics credit and to participate in Lesson Study . However, starting in the 2007-2008 school year, mathematicians and mathematics educators from UNM and CNM as well as mentor teachers and content coaches are going to schools to work with middle-grade mathematics teachers during their in-service days. For more information, please visit the La Meta homepage www.math.unm.edu/lameta or contact Kristin Umland , the project director.