New teachers entering classrooms from teacher preparation programs are inadequately prepared to handle the demands of educating today's youth, as the country confronts teacher shortages in historic numbers, particularly in the fields of science and mathematics. The research underscores the pressing need for adequately prepared teachers in today's classrooms, particularly in addressing teacher shortages, which have been historically significant, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields such as science and mathematics. To address these issues, the University of Texas at Austin introduced the UTeach program in 1997 with the aim of improving the quantity and quality of secondary mathematics, science, and computer science educators. This study explores UTeach students' STEM pathways and what motivates UTeach students to choose specific STEM pathways. This evaluation can provide insights into how to attract more individuals to become STEM educators. The study assesses the extent to which the UTeach program aligns with best practices in STEM teacher preparation. Alignment is crucial for ensuring that future teachers receive the necessary training to excel in their roles. Additionally, it examines how UTeach graduates fare in real school settings as this is vital in determining the effectiveness of the UTeach program in preparing teachers for the challenges and demands of the classroom. The research identifies barriers that impede the certification of mathematics and science teachers. Understanding these challenges can help in developing strategies to encourage more individuals to pursue teaching in these critical fields. One of the key features of UTeach is the streamlined four-year degree plan, where students take courses in their major alongside teacher preparation classes, ultimately graduating as certified mathematics and science teachers. The implications for degree plan adjustments are significant, as they aim to facilitate the attainment of STEM degrees and integrated education degrees as this can help bridge the gap between teacher preparation and actual classroom teaching, leading to more qualified and competent STEM educators.
Date of publication
Howard Veazy, Chanel, "THE UTEACH PROGRAM: MINIMIZING THE DISCONNECT BETWEEN TEACHER PREPARATION PROGRAMS AND TEACHING ACTUALIZED" (2023). Education Theses and Dissertations. Paper 19.