"Preparing Virginia's K-8 Teachers in Math and Science"
26, 1999 -- More than 200 college faculty members
from around Virginia will gather in Charlottesville, March 5-6,
to discuss the math and science courses needed for the state's new
licensing requirements for K-8 teachers.
with raising the academic expectations for students under the new
and demanding Standards of Learning (SOLs), Virginia lawmakers also
have tightened the state accreditation standards for institutions
of higher learning and created tougher teacher licensing standards
for core courses, including math and science. These new licensing
standards pose challenges to students desiring to be teachers as
well as to faculty members at Virginia's colleges and universities
who are training the next generation of teachers.
Thornton, a professor of physics at the University of Virginia,
who is organizing the conference with U.Va.'s Center for Science,
Mathematics and Engineering Education, believes time is short to
put the needed changes in place by the fall of 2000, when the new
licensing requirements take effect for entering college freshmen.
"The content requirement will be much higher. Teachers will need
much more in-depth knowledge of their subjects than they do now
in order to meet the teacher competencies established by the state
of Virginia," Thornton said. "It is likely that new interdisciplinary
programs and degrees will be needed to train teachers for grades
goal of the conference is to outline the issues and discuss potential
approaches, including highlighting schools that have successful
courses and programs already in place. An agenda for the conference
the University of Virginia, the conference is supported by the Virginia
Department of Education, the Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition,
the Virginia Collaboration for Excellence in the Preparation of
Teachers, and the Eisenhower Regional Consortium for Mathematics
and Science Education at AEL (Appalachian Education Laboratory).
are invited to cover any of the sessions, which are not open to
the public. They are welcome to attend the dinner at Newcomb Hall
Ballroom at 7 p.m. on Friday evening, but are asked to reserve a
seat by calling Stephen Thornton by noon on March 3.
more information, call Stephen Thornton at (804) 924-6808.
Charlotte Crystal, (804) 924-6858.