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Diana V. Lambdin
Associate Dean for Teacher Education

Jim Davis
Chair of the Department of Mathematics

Nicole Roales
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Wednesday, September 6, 2006

NSF Noyce $499,987 grant to support mathematics teacher education

Recipients will teach in high-need schools

Sept. 6, 2006

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana schools in need of qualified math teachers will benefit from a grant of nearly $500,000 awarded to Indiana University Bloomington by the National Science Foundation's Robert Noyce Scholarship Program.

The Indiana University School of Education and the Department of Mathematics in IUB's College of Arts and Sciences partnered on writing the Noyce grant to create scholarships for 33 students -- both undergraduate and graduate -- over the next four years. Students who receive the money must commit to teaching mathematics two years for each year the scholarship is received. Teaching must be done in high-need school districts and completed within six years of finishing the program at IU.

"The NSF Noyce grant is a prestigious award that will do much to enhance our ability to prepare teachers in one of the key STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) areas," said Gerardo Gonzalez, university dean of the IU School of Education. "This is a high priority for the university, the nation and the state."

The Noyce scholarships tap undergraduates in the Department of Mathematics who are interested in extending their mathematical training and honing their teaching skills through IUB's undergraduate secondary teacher certification program. In addition, the Noyce grant provides stipends to students who already have degrees in mathematics to support their studies through the graduate-level Secondary Transition to Teaching Program.

"We'd like to encourage Indiana's elite mathematics students to teach and increase the number of people who are becoming math teachers," said Diana Lambdin, professor of mathematics education and the Martha Lea and Bill Armstrong Chair in Teacher Education. Lambdin also is the principal investigator for the grant.

"This fits nicely with the life sciences initiative in the state, which will require a population that is well-informed and well-educated in math and science. In order to have a better educated population, you must have excellent math and science teachers. This scholarship program will increase the number of qualified math teachers and bring them to high-need schools that often are not successful in teacher recruitment," Lambdin said.

The Noyce scholars program -- dubbed "Deepening the Pool" -- will broaden and extend the diversity and number of students IU prepares as secondary teachers of mathematics and will assist these highly-qualified individuals in finding teaching positions in high-need schools.

Jim Davis, chairman of the Department of Mathematics, is excited about the Noyce scholarships and other ongoing efforts that involve mathematics and education.

"This important scholarship program is the result of true collaboration between the Department of Mathematics and the School of Education," he said. "The scholarships and the many recruitment activities supported by this NSF grant will enhance our ability to encourage our best math students to consider teaching as a career."

The Secondary Undergraduate Program is a four-year traditional program in which students majoring in mathematics can concurrently pursue teacher certification by taking education courses and doing field work in schools. The program culminates with a semester of full-time student teaching. Noyce scholarships that cover the final two years of undergraduate study will be offered to six undergraduates in fall 2007 and six more in fall 2008. Only students majoring in mathematics in the IUB Department of Mathematics will be eligible for the Noyce scholarships.

The Secondary Transition to Teaching Program (ST-to-T) is a full-time, graduate-level certification program through which college graduates with undergraduate math majors (or equivalent) can become mathematics teachers. The program involves 12 months of education study coupled with intense work in school classrooms. The Noyce grant will support up to seven ST-to-T students per year in each of the next three years, beginning in fall 2007. Only students who have already completed a bachelor's degree in mathematics (or the equivalent) will be eligible for Noyce support.

The Noyce Scholars Program project team includes co-principal investigators Kent Orr, who is professor of mathematics in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Anderson Norton, an assistant professor of mathematics education in the School of Education. They bring extensive experience with all aspects of mathematics teacher education, including student recruitment, mathematics content preparation, instruction in pedagogy, field-based experiences, and evaluation and assessment.

Last year, the IU School of Education's Transition to Teaching (T2T) program on the campus of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis received $486,000 through the Robert Noyce Scholarship grants awarded by the National Science Foundation. The NSF grant funded scholarships worth $8,000 for 50 people who already have degrees in mathematics or science and want to become certified to teach. The recipients must commit to teaching for at least two years in a high-need middle school or high school.

Lambdin can be reached at 812-856-8581 and Davis can be reached at 812-855-5069 and