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Ballot measures -10/31/2014, 11:10 AM

Roberts not the answer -10/30/2014, 10:25 AM

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Americans can fix the Senate -10/29/2014, 10:19 AM

A plea to city commissioners -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Having no price tag -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Leiker understands -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Justice doing his job -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

Kansas and Greg Orman -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

'Surplus' KDOT money needed in western KS -10/28/2014, 8:58 AM

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Changing Republicans -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

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Medicare experiment -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

Profile, or die -10/27/2014, 10:02 AM

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Is Roberts on final lap? -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Democrat turned Brownback supporter -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Editor Bradlee; For it All, 'Thank You' -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Davis for governor -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Roberts a changed man -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Time to stay the course -10/26/2014, 4:02 PM

Embarrassing economists -10/24/2014, 9:13 AM

Sherow for House -10/24/2014, 5:07 PM

It can't get crazier (wanna bet?) -10/24/2014, 9:04 AM

Digital distractions -10/23/2014, 10:01 AM

Orman for Senate -10/23/2014, 10:01 AM

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Leiker is the answer -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Sun shining on schools? -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

Airline a great addition -10/22/2014, 5:38 PM

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Needing the past in the future? -10/22/2014, 10:31 AM

In praise of hunting -10/22/2014, 10:30 AM

What is a CID? Will it work for mall? -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Judging importance on the ballot -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Kansas Speaks -10/21/2014, 10:22 AM

Paying for schools -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Joining forces for Orman -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Research before voting -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Davis is moderate? -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

The most important election in your lifetime -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Huelskamp stands out -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Kansas farm interests -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

Keeping unfounded reports from 'going viral' -10/19/2014, 1:21 PM

The age of cynicism -10/18/2014, 9:02 AM

Preventable diseases -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Second term needed -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Kansans deserve better -10/17/2014, 10:28 AM

Officially killing Americans -10/17/2014, 10:27 AM

New era at FHSU -10/16/2014, 10:01 AM

Roberts is right choice -10/16/2014, 10:01 AM

Crumbling Constitution -10/16/2014, 9:52 AM

Redbelly's future -10/16/2014, 9:52 AM

Kansas deserves better -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

Remember to vote on Nov. 4 -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

You almost feel sorry for Sean Groubert -10/15/2014, 10:23 AM

Register to vote -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Living on that 70 percent -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

New bullying problem for schools: parents -10/14/2014, 10:14 AM

Cheerios, marriage equality, the Supreme Court -10/13/2014, 9:49 AM

Wedded bliss -10/12/2014, 5:54 PM

Who is the real fraud? -10/12/2014, 5:08 PM

Teenagers 'make some noise' -10/12/2014, 5:08 PM

Not so private property -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Federal funding -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Teacher indoctrination -10/10/2014, 10:01 AM

Vote Republican -10/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Non-partisan politics -10/9/2014, 9:49 AM

Teen driver safety week Oct. 19 to 25 -10/9/2014, 9:04 AM

FHSU party -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Poverty in America -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Let the women serve -10/9/2014, 10:11 AM

Time for new direction -10/8/2014, 9:49 AM

Improving Kansas economically -10/8/2014, 9:35 AM

Water abusers -10/8/2014, 9:35 AM

Play safe on the farm -10/8/2014, 9:34 AM

Where the money comes from -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

The president's security -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

Marriage equality -10/7/2014, 10:24 AM

The sins of the father are visited -10/6/2014, 9:02 AM

Cannabis in America: The bottom line -10/6/2014, 9:20 AM

A reason to celebrate -10/6/2014, 9:20 AM

Gov. shields wealthy from paying for schools -10/5/2014, 2:07 PM

Passionate protest in defense of civil disorder -10/5/2014, 2:07 PM

October is time for baseball and, of course, film premieres -10/4/2014, 2:16 PM

Alley cleanup -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

Will the West defend itself? -10/3/2014, 10:01 AM

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SPOTLIGHT
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STEM teacher preparation

Published on -5/8/2014, 9:33 AM

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While much discussion of Kansas legislative action on school funding has focused on issues of teacher tenure, another item needing attention is the added language regarding STEM Teaching licensure, coming from Section 7, which includes the following:

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an applicant shall not be required to complete a teacher preparation program prior to licensure as a teacher if ... the applicant has obtained at least a bachelor's degree in the subject matter area of science, technology, engineering, mathematics, finance or accounting."

Evidently, this Section 7 add-on would extend teaching licensure to individuals who have STEM-related backgrounds (science, technology, engineering, math) but no preparation or experience in teaching.

Such a proposal is problematic and dangerous to our quality of education in Kansas. We would not simply give a medical license to someone with a biology degree. We would expect a doctor or medical professional to have extensive preparation and training in the specific skills and principles of medicine, ethics and patient care. In the same way, we must hold our classroom teachers to high expectations of formal preparation and training in the pedagogical skills, professional responsibilities and psychological principles of learning and teaching.

Current teacher licensure requirements include extensive preparation and coursework in both content (e.g. science, math, etc.) and education (pedagogy, psychology and learning, methods, assessment, management, etc.). Extensive research throughout history has found both areas are necessary for effective teaching and successful student learning (e.g. Abell, 2007; Borrowman, 1956, 1965; Gage, 1972; Goodlad, 1990, 1994; Harper, 1939; Ingersoll, Merrill & May, 2012; National Research Council, 2007).

The Kansas State Department of Education requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of content coursework (e.g. science, math) for prospective teachers seeking licensure to teach a particular subject. In most cases, teacher preparation programs in universities and colleges require even more credit hours and coursework in content subjects. For example, Wichita State University requires 43 credit hours of chemistry and related science courses for the Chemistry Education (grades six to 12) licensure program. Students often are within a handful of classes from getting a second degree in straight chemistry content; in some instances, students complete degrees in both science education and science content. In other words, new teachers enter the classroom with more than sufficient preparation in their content field.

If concerns arise about producing enough teachers to fill high-needs classrooms (e.g. STEM areas), there are multiple endeavors here in the state of Kansas that recruit and prepare individuals to become effective educators.

* Wichita State University has one of the leading "alternative licensure" programs in the nation, called Transition to Teaching, in which individuals who already possess a content degree and work experience can be classroom teachers while completing education-related coursework (pedagogical methods, psychology, etc.).

* Pittsburg State University also has an alternative licensure option, in which individuals with a bachelor's degree in a content field can earn a master of arts in teaching along with their teaching license.

* Another alternative program is UKanTeach at the University of Kansas, in which individuals complete both a degree in science or math content and complete a modified teaching certificate program.

Kansas State University offers a graduate certificate program in which individuals already possessing a bachelor's degree in their content area can earn a teaching license in one year.

These are just some examples of the many options in Kansas for preparing teachers with both subject content and teaching skills.

We encourage Kansas leaders and citizens to thoroughly study this issue and seriously consider the ramifications of filling our schools with individuals who have no formal preparation in child psychology, adolescent development, teaching methods and strategies, foundations of education or professional ethics. Such a scenario is not in the best interest of our children and state.

Daniel Bergman is president of the Kansas Association of Teachers of Science.

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