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About the Science/Mathematics Education Department 

Preparing Secondary Science and Mathematics Teachers

sme-banner-crop In 2007, the School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) established UTeach Dallas within the Department of Science/Mathematics Education (SME). UTeach Dallas is a high-fidelity replication of the nationally lauded original UTeach program at the University of Texas at Austin. Today, UTeach Dallas serves ~350 students and has 113 graduates. UTeach Dallas graduates who are teaching are reaching over 12,240 children this year alone, with thousands more reached since the program began. To date, the retention rate in the classroom is over 90%, with a five-year rate of over 80% for our parent program, far above the national average. UTeach Dallas recruits from among the university’s science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors as early as the freshmen year, offering courses woven into STEM degree plans or a Master of Arts in Teaching degree for STEM degree holders.  In the first two courses, students can try out teaching for free with tuition reimbursements, and throughout their field experiences work in real classrooms ranging from grade 4–12 with Mentor Teachers and their students in local high-needs public schools.

 

Enriching and Enhancing K–12 Science and Mathematics Teachers

The Master of Arts in Teaching  (MAT) programs in Science Education and Mathematics Education provide a STEM-content focused curriculum interwoven with pedagogical best-practices, skill enhancement, and extensive classroom-ready resources for K–12 teaching.  In addition, several programs within SME provide high-quality professional development and support services to local K-12 science and mathematics teachers. UTeach Dallas Induction serves UTeach Dallas and other UTeach program graduates teaching in the local area with New Teacher Kits, one-on-one mentoring, assistance with lessons, resources, and other teaching challenges, and monthly professional development sessions.The UT Dallas Texas Regional Collaborative for Excellence in Teaching (UTD TRC) is part of a state-wide network of programs providing high-quality professional development at 100+ contact hours, classroom technology and teaching materials, MAT tuition assistance, and more at no cost to participants or school partners. The UTD TRC is currently serving 39 full members and 90 additional teachers.  

 

Educational Outreach

SME faculty, staff, students, and graduates are actively engaged in outreach to teachers, K–12 students and the community. In addition to the afore mentioned UTeach Dallas Induction and UTD TRC programs, SME provides workshops at teacher conferences, at schools and other partner-sites, and hosts short-term workshop events on the UT Dallas campus. SME works with local informal institutions such as the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and the Dallas Arboretum, and partners with others at UT Dallas for outreach such as the Science and Engineering Education Center for robotics camps and the UT Dallas-built NASA CINDI Mission Education and Public Outreach. The department also hosts activities and camps for under-served and under-represented populations in STEM such as the Women in Physics Camps, serving ~50 middle and early high school girls each summer. Faculty members write curriculum for free distribution to schools and teachers, run competitions and programs for talented mathematics students, and have designed numerous Science Night exhibits and put on Science Night events in local schools. Teachers participating in any of SME’s programs and alumni have access to an extensive lending library of teaching equipment and other resources. UTeach Dallas interns work in outreach activities both on and off campus, including tutoring high school students and serving as undergraduate Instructional Assistants.

 

School District Partners

SME programs partner with numerous local Independent School Districts (ISDs) including Carrollton-Farmers ISD, Coppell ISD, Dallas ISD, Garland ISD, Murphy ISD, Plano ISD, Richardson ISD, and Sherman ISD, as well as individual schools including charter schools. Most partner schools are economically disadvantaged.

 

The Team

The programs described above are housed in the UT Dallas School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics under Science/Mathematics Education Department Head, Dr. Mary Urquhart. The SME faculty includes a mixture of science and mathematics PhDs with expertise in and a passion for STEM education at all levels, and clinical faculty (Master Teachers) with strong science or mathematics content backgrounds and extensive leadership experience in public schools.