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MITEP Profile

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


Lead Partner: Michigan Technological University

Core Partner: Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS)

Supporting Partners: Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program (GRAPCEP), Midwest National Parks, Cass Technical High School, American Geological Institute, Grand Valley State University Geology Department, Kalamazoo Area Mathematics and Science Center

Michigan Teaching Excellence Program (MITEP) is a multi-year program of teacher leadership development that empowers middle-grade science teachers to lead their schools and districts through the process of systematically improving science teaching and learning. The project uses Earth Systems Science(ESS)content and inquiry-based instructional practices to emphasize themes that unite all sciences and mathematics. MITEP includes both summer and academic-year components, and uses a variety of on-site, residential, field, distance, and in-service delivery methods. Components promote leadership skills, collaboration, urban place-based inquiry, access to cutting-edge data and materials, technology, engagement of diverse learners, study of key scientific concepts that cross disciplinary boundaries, pedagogical innovation. The project will also implement and test lessons and units that challenge students and prepare them for further science study. Teachers receive stipends and credit as incentive for participating in the project and testing its approach to reform.

The project is based on the premise that successful reform depends on the full involvement of teachers who have the skills to lead their colleagues through the process of developing and implementing new instructional approaches. MITEP teacher-leaders and research university faculty are full partners in the process. Teacher-leaders are at the forefront of their schools' and district's efforts to evaluate, design, implement, and test new inquiry-based instructional programs. MITEP teacher-leaders help develop common pacing schedules and course assessments. They assist with planning professional development activities and providing ongoing assistance to colleagues. MITEP teacher-leaders are encouraged to disseminate information about the project through presentations at state and national conferences, to submit papers for publication.

Teacher-led reform is strongly supported by the administration of the core school district partner as an innovative way to generate enthusiasm for curricular and instructional change. To encourage development of leadership skills, school administrators give teacher-leaders progressively increased responsibility for strengthening curriculum, improving instructional strategies, and designing assessments. District administrators are providing the resources required for teachers' success in implementing and coordinating the project by assisting with the selection of teachers with exceptional leadership qualities for participation in MITEP; assisting in the design of professional development activities that meet the needs of teachers and their students; providing flexibility in teachers' schedules; utilizing middle-grade teachers' expertise in the dissemination of information to primary and high-school teachers; recognizing, rewarding, and encouraging teachers who serve as leaders; fostering growth of a teacher network; and creating a district-wide atmosphere that nurtures teacher-led reform efforts.

Site Contributions
10/30/13Michigan Tech and MiTEP: Teacher Development
10/30/13Michigan Tech and MiTEP: Place Based Learning
10/30/13Michigan Tech and MiTEP
09/12/12Perspectives on Deepening Teachers' Science Content Knowledge: The Case of the Michigan Teaching Excellence Program
04/06/12Michigan Teacher Excellence Program (MITEP): A Model for Improving Earth Science Education Nationwide
12/11/11Scientists on call...LIVE!
11/02/11MiTEP Teachers Present Posters at GSA
10/20/11Implementing Long-Term Professional Develop for Urban Earth Science Teachers, Insights from the Michigan Institute For Teacher Excellence Program
10/20/11Discussion of a Keweenaw Geopark
10/20/11For Place-Based Earth Science Learning Opportunities, There's No 'Place' Like Home
10/20/11Keweenaw Boulder Garden Revitalized Kame Terrace On Campus, Used as a Teaching Laboratory
10/20/11Developing Interpretive Materials for Isle Royale National Park - Bringing Geology to the Urban Classroom
10/20/11Using EarthCache to Promote Placed Based Education in Public Schools
10/20/11Using the National Parks as a Way to Engage Students in Urban Schools
10/20/11Awakening the Sleeping Bear! Bringing to Life the Geology, Historical and Cultural Life of Sleeping Bear Dunes to Students and Teachers Everywhere
10/20/11Taking Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Beyond its Borders: Using Technology to Bring Place to the Classroom
10/20/11A Sense of Place at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore - Improving Teachers' Earth Science Literacy = Improving Students' Earth Science Literacy
10/20/11Earth Science Interpretation Efforts as a Geological Intern at Isle Royale National Park
10/20/11Using the National Parks as Way to Engage Diverse Learners in Earth Science Education
10/20/11Teaching Teachers about the Earth - MiTEP's Summer Class Design
10/20/11Geologic Exposures of Isle Royale National Park for the Geologist and the Public
10/10/11Making Science Excellent From the Start
09/20/11MiTEP Teacher Visits the White House
05/17/11MiTEP List of Common Geoscience Misconceptions
03/14/11Earth Science Institute (ESI-2)
03/14/11Earth Science Institute (ESI-1)
05/05/09Grand Rapids Public Schools, Michigan Tech Announce Collaboration
05/05/09Grand Rapids teachers to work with top volcano expert this summer as part of Michigan Tech partnership
05/05/09Michigan Tech To Train GRPS Science Instructors In New Teaching Model
05/05/09Michigan Tech Teaching Excellence Program Receives NSF Grant to Build Earth Science Teaching Model
01/09/09MiTEP Leadership Team
12/24/08MITEP: Bringing Knowledge to Middle Schools in Michigan