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Changing Careers: Science Teaching via Alternative Certification

Changing Careers: Science Teaching via Alternative Certification

Friday, March 2, 2007

The New York Academy of Sciences

Presented By

Presented by the Science Education Section


Organizer and Moderator: Fernand Brunschwig, Empire State College

Speakers: Marion Zachowski, NYC Department of Education; Brian C. Baldwin, SUNY-Empire State College; Eleanor Miele, Brooklyn College; Mark Hesse, The High School for Math Science and Engineering at CCNY; Roberta Whitehorne, Turtle Hook Middle School; Cheryl E. Balsamo, New York Harbor School

Are you interested in recent developments in teacher education? Would you like to know more about how science and math teachers are being prepared? Are you considering a career change? Do you think you'd like to teach science or math? If so, this session is for you!

This session will review the various alternative pathways to teacher certification in science and mathematics. Availability of these newer alternative pathways has stimulated significant innovation in teacher education, and a variety of academic programs are now contributing to the supply of new science and mathematics teachers. Several of these programs will be described with attention to nuances of design, strategy and technique. Discussion will focus on the practicality and viability of these programs, as well as the details about how they work, requirements for entrance and what is required for success. Panelists will also explore possibilities for improvement and increased effectiveness in alternative certification programs. Topics of particular interest also include use of modern science teaching equipment and technology, safety in classroom, showmanship and classroom management in addition to content mastery, up-to-date science content knowledge and teaching approach, current standards and curricula, availability of science equipment in schools, teaching outside primary field, cultural issues, role of accented English and languages other than English, children's spoken language and slang.

Fernand Brunschwig

Fernand Brunschwig earned a Bachelor's degree in physics at Harvard in 1964 and an MAT in Science Teaching in 1965. After 3 years teaching in American schools in Switzerland and Italy, he enrolled at UC, Berkeley, where he received an MA in Physics and (with Robert Karplus) a PhD in Science Education.

Brunschwig joined Empire State College of SUNY in 1972 as a member of the founding faculty at the Long Island Center. He taught science, math and technology; chaired the committee for the initial accreditation of the College in 1975; and initiated and served as the Director of the College's New York Telephone (now Verizon) Corporate College Program. Brunschwig studied computer science at CCNY, receiving a Master's degree in that field in 1987.

Brunschwig has two children, 21 and 23, both of whom attended the NYC public schools K-12, and he was very active in the schools, including founding a "science teaching assistant" program, service as Parent's Association President at Crossroads Middle School, membership on the Board of the Center for Collaborative Education, and volunteer Coordinator of the District 3 Middle School Network on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

Brunschwig edited and published the 2nd Edition of Robert Karplus' innovative and long-out-of-print textbook, Introductory Physics: A Model Approach, in 2003. His latest endeavors include the development, founding and implementation of the Empire State College Master of Arts in Teaching Program. He continues to teach in the MAT Program, which will produce its first graduates this June, and he has developed a new course for non-science undergraduates at Purchase College, SUNY, "Physics of Sound and Light."

Brian C. Baldwin

Brian Baldwin is an Assistant Professor of Math and Science Education at SUNY-Empire State College, and President of B C Baldwin & Associates, an educational consulting firm based in New York City. He also holds courtesy appointments as an Adjunct Assistant Professor at both Columbia University – Teachers College, and Hofstra University.

He teaches courses in math and science pedagogy, technology integration and e-Portfolio development at E