High School Teacher Education

Knowledgeable teachers create successful students. Especially in a field as dynamic as the life sciences, it is important that teachers stay up-to-date on recent advancements and are equipped with the best possible strategies for engaging students with the scientific process.

One of the best ways to learn science is to participate in research. This philosophy is at the core of Columbia University’s and the New York Stem Cell Foundation’s Summer Research Program for Science Teachers. Teachers who participate in this program spend eight weeks during two consecutive summers working in NYSCF’s labs and completing discipline-specific professional development exercises covering topics such as data-driven instruction, science vocabulary, model building, and size and scale.

Stem cell science is listed as a required portion of New York City Schools’ curriculum, but the curriculum does not provide guidance on how to teach it or which subjects within the field should be covered. The stem cell field is very new and quickly evolving, so many teachers could benefit from taking a refresher course in the topic and exploring where it is headed.

The program has also proven to be effective. Studies show that 18% more students of program graduates pass a New York Regents science exam than passed such an exam in the same teacher’s classes in the year prior to the teacher’s entry into the program. Additionally, program graduates are retained in classroom teaching at a 2.7-fold higher rate than comparably experienced non-participating teachers.

Apply for the 2019 program here.