Kean University Awarded $375K Math and Science Partnership Grant from NJDOE
UNION, N.J. –– The New Jersey Department of Education (NJDOE) has awarded Kean University a $375,690 Math and Science Partnership (MSP) grant to provide cutting-edge professional development for 30 middle school and high school science teachers from the Elizabeth and Franklin Township public school districts. Fifteen educators from each district will participate in a two-week summer institute as well as four professional development days during the academic year. This is the second MSP grant for Kean, totaling approximately $2.4 million in funding since 2010.
“Kean MSP focuses specifically on getting science teachers ready to help their districts and their students prepare for the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS),” said Kean MSP’s project director Brian C. Baldwin, Ed.D., of Mendham Township, assistant professor in Kean’s New Jersey Center for Science, Technology and Mathematics. “For science teachers, this is a change that will require re-learning content in ways that are perhaps radically different from before. Their instruction must mirror the NGSS mandates for student learning.”
The three-fold purpose of Kean MSP is aligned with the NJDOE grant’s goals to improve the academic achievement of students by enhancing the content knowledge and teaching skills of classroom teachers. First, the project provides opportunities for teachers to learn science content in hands-on ways similar to, and often the same as, they will ask their students to learn the material. Next, Kean MSP will allow teachers to learn and practice different science teaching methods for this kind of learning. Lastly, the initiative prepares educators to become ambassadors in their own schools and districts for teachers who did not participate in Kean MSP.
The summer 2016 program is the first phase of a two-year project. The second year of Kean MSP will feature a two-week workshop specifically geared toward elementary school teachers and issues related to implementing NGSS at the elementary level. The academic years following each of the summer workshops will include follow-up with the participating teachers to help them implement new curricula, lessons and leadership skills in their schools and classrooms.
“My hope is that Kean MSP will strengthen the implementation of these standards, and students will begin to show greater scientific literacy, critical thinking and understanding by getting away from more traditional ‘rote’ science to a level of understanding that goes well beyond mere definitions of scientific vocabulary to help them become more informed individuals in these fields, in their communities and in the world,” said Baldwin.
For more information or to keep up with Kean’s MSP initiatives, please visit www.keanmsp.org, follow @kean_msp on Twitter using hashtag #KeanMSP, watch the informational video or call 908-845-KEAN (5326).
ABOUT KEAN UNIVERSITY
Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, with a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers and is a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment serving nearly 15,000 students. The University's six undergraduate colleges offer 50 undergraduate degrees over a full range of academic subjects. The Nathan Weiss Graduate College offers four doctorate degree programs and more than 60 options for graduate study leading to master's degrees, professional diplomas or certifications. With campuses in Union and Toms River, New Jersey, and Wenzhou, China, Kean University furthers its mission by providing an affordable, accessible and world-class education. Visit www.kean.edu.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 20, 2016