Penn to Host International Research Forum of Nine APEC Members to Improve Math, Science Teacher Preparation

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820October 20, 2008

PHILADELPHIA — The University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education will host delegations of senior education researchers and policy makers from nine members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum on Oct. 26-27 to plan an international study on secondary-school math- and science-teacher preparation.

Educators and education researchers from the U.S., Korea, Russia, China, Thailand, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore aim to launch a study focused on improving teacher education as well as supports for teachers during the early years of their professional practice.

“Understanding how our APEC partners prepare, assist and reward teachers in science and math is important to educational improvement in the U.S. and worldwide.” Andrew Porter, Penn GSE dean, said. “We have much to learn from one another. For example, in Japan and China, teachers observe their peers and comment on their performances to develop a broad understanding of which techniques are most effective in the classroom, just by observing other good teachers. What’s particularly interesting about this study is that countries like Russia, China and the U.S. will be studying teacher preparation together -– nothing like this has been done before in a serious way.

The U.S. delegation to this meeting, operating under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Education, includes the president of Teachers College at Columbia University, the deans of the education schools at Penn and Michigan State University and educational researchers from those schools plus Harvard University and the National Science Foundation.

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