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October 24, 2013 at 2:23 PM
Do elementary school students learn math and science skills better when they’re taught by teachers who specialize in math and science?
Determining that is the aim of a new study being conducted over the next three years by faculty members at Western Washington University.
Traditionally, most elementary school teachers are required to teach all subjects to their students, but they often lack a strong foundation in math or science subjects. Western has been awarded a $449,957 National Science Foundation grant to study different ways that math and science are taught by specialists — teachers who specialize in math or science content.
There are several different models for using specialists in math or science in elementary schools. In one model, a science teacher moves between different classrooms to teach science. In another model, a team of teachers provides math or science instruction to rotating groups of students.
About the authors
Katherine Long has been a reporter for The Seattle Times since 1990, focusing for the past three years on higher ed, with stories that have ranged from the complexities of prepaid tuition programs to nontraditional ways to earn a degree.
Claudia Rowe joined The Seattle Times’ reporting staff in 2013. She has written about education for The New York Times and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, among other publications.
Mike Siegel has been a news photographer at the Seattle Times since 1987. His photography was used in a series titled "Methadone and the Politics of Pain," which won a Pulitzer Prize in 2012 for investigative reporting.
Janet Horne Henderson is The Times’ education editor. She has directed award-winning stories and projects examining race, immigration, religion and health, in addition to education
Caitlin Moran is community engagement editor for Education Lab. Her role is to help foster constructive dialogue online and in person
Read extended bios.
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