A three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant will fund a multi-institution study of how social networks affect teacher education and development.
The team will investigate how social networks of NSF Noyce Scholars (pre-service teachers) and Fellows (in-service teachers) change after participating in Western Regional Noyce Network (WRNN) conferences and workshops and how those networks are sustained over time. It will also examine the topics educators discuss within social networks, the extent to which those networks help them continue to develop their skills, and how Noyce participants serve as a bridge between that community and their local schools.
The study will also focus on the efficacy of different modes of professional development for teachers — face-to-face, online synchronous/asynchronous or a hybrid combination of the two — and explore how WRNN workshops change teachers’ instructional practices.
Adem Ekmekci, director of research and evaluation for the Rice University School Mathematics Project and a clinical assistant professor of mathematics in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences, is a co-principal investigator on the grant for more than $4.2 million. He and postdoctoral researcher Mahtob Aqazade will lead the research effort, while others on the project will organize the WRNN events.
Bryan Rebar, associate director of the University of Oregon’s Center for STEM Careers through Outreach, Research and Education, is the principal investigator on the grant. Other co-principal investigators include Jenefer Husman of Oregon, Stephanie Salomone of the University of Portland and Donna Ross of San Diego State University.
The abstract for the grant is available at https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2230997&HistoricalAwards=false.