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Michigan Teacher Excellence Program (MITEP): A Model for Improving Earth Science Education Nationwide


Lead Partner: Michigan Technological University
The MiTEP core partners are Grand Rapids Public Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, and Jackson Public schools. There are many supporting partners including Midwest Nation Parks, Grand Valley State University Geology Department & Western Michigan University Geology Department.

Michigan Teaching Excellence Program (MITEP) is a multi year program of teacher leadership development that empowers urban earth science teachers to lead their schools and districts through the process of systematically improving science teaching and learning. Teachers are at the center of the project as they are critical to the long-term success of school improvement efforts and ultimately the quality of students' science learning. Teachers receive stipends and credit as incentive for participating in the project and testing its approach to reform.

MITEP includes both summer and academic-year components, and uses a variety of on-site, residential, field, distance, and in-service delivery methods. Several featured MiTEP approaches include building inquiry pedagogy skills, learning from Earth Science experts, identifying & addressing common student misconceptions, using Earth Science Literacy Principles Big Ideas to frame instruction, examining the effectiveness of instruction through Lesson Study, promoting leadership skills, urban place-based inquiry and providing Scientists on Call a just-in-time assistance for teacher content questions throughout the school year.

MiTEP is in its third year of implementation and has over 40 teachers participating in 3 cohorts. 15 more teachers will begin in the 2012 summer as the fourth MITEP cohort. In this presentation we have provided more information about three highlighted outcomes of the program: National Park Internships, Teacher-Leaders and Institutional Change.

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