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Topic: FACTS: Presidential Awardees / Maths. and Science
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Jerry P. Becker

Posts: 15,664
Registered: 12/3/04
FACTS: Presidential Awardees / Maths. and Science
Posted: May 5, 1999 1:43 PM
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FACT SHEET ... from The National Science Foundation


PAEMST: Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching


In 1996, Horizon Research, Inc., surveyed 930 past winners of the
Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
(PAEMST), comparing them with a random national sample of 2,065 elementary
math and science teachers. Some of the salient differences listed here
reveal dramatic differences especially in teaching style and professional

PAEMST teachers rely far less than their peers on textbooks in their teaching;

Only 17 percent of Presidential award-winning science teachers and 22
percent of award-winning math teachers of grades 1-6 said they consider
textbooks a "major influence" on what they teach. By contrast, 59 percent
of the national sample of science teachers and 79 percent of math teachers
overall felt that way.

PAEMST teachers are more academically prepared in their subjects;

Among award-winning teachers, more than 40 percent of science and 36
percent of math teachers either hold a degree or a college minor in their
respective fields, compared with only 7 percent of the national sample of

PAEMST teachers devote far more time to lifelong learning and professional

More than 75 percent of award-winning math and science teachers spent at
least 35 hours in in-service education within the past three years,
compared with just 12 percent of the national comparison group. And
awardees were roughly nine times more likely to take part in professional
activities such as attending professional association meetings or teaching
outside workshops or courses for other teachers.

PAEMST teachers feel far more competent in their work than most teachers;

Seventy-two percent of science awardees said they have "strong control" in
setting curricular goals and objectives, compared with 30 percent of their
peers. Strong majorities of math and science awardees also said they have
strong control over selecting instructional material, teaching techniques,
and the pace of lessons.

PAEMST teachers tend to use more advanced classroom tools and techniques;

An overwhelming 93 percent of award-winning math teachers said they were
well aware of the NCTM standards, compared to the national sample's 10
percent. Award-winners indicated they were more inclined than their peers
to integrate math and science with other subjects. They were also much
more likely to endorse the use of computers and calculators, and emphasize
hands-on learning, problem-solving and reasoning over rote exercises or
standardized tests.

Some information about the Presidential Awards:

Presidential Awards for Excellence In Mathematics and Science Teaching

> The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
> (PAEMST) is the nation's highest commendation for K-12 math and science
> teachers. It recognizes a combination of sustained and exemplary work,
> both in, and outside of, the classroom. Each award includes a grant of
> $7,500 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to the recipient's
> school. Awardees use the money at their discretion to promote math and
> science education. They also receive an expense-paid trip to Washington,
> D.C., during which each receives a citation signed by the President.
> Awardees also attend seminars and engage in professional discussions with
> their peers and with national legislators and education policy-makers.
> Each awardee also receives a selection of gifts from private-sector
> contributors to the program.
> Frequently Asked Questions:
> Q. What are the PAEMST selection criteria?
> A. The program is open to practicing public-, private-, and
> parochial-school teachers with a minimum of five years of experience.
> Candidates are then chosen on the basis of their teaching performance,
> their background, and their experience. This includes an evaluation of
> their formal education and continuing educational experience as well as
> professional and other activities related to their teaching. Applicants
> are asked to demonstrate how their teaching enables students to learn
> important math and science processes and concepts and to give examples of
> how they assess student learning. They must also
> provide letters of support for their application from colleagues; current
> or former students; parents of current or former students; or their
> supervisors.
> Q. How are recipients selected?
> A. Awardees are selected from those eligible teachers who have
> completed an application, obtained from NSF or from the science or math
> coordinator at their state education department. Applicants provide
> documentation of their background and evidence of professional success to
> state selection committees of their peers.
> The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) oversees state
> selection procedures in math, and the Council of State Science Supervisors
> (CSSS) oversees those in science.
> The committees choose six math teachers (three elementary, three
> secondary) and six science teachers (three elementary, three secondary).
> These 12 state-level finalists are recognized by the
> national program and in their individual states or political
> jurisdictions. All 12 of these teachers are candidates for the
> presidential award. One science and one math teacher at each level are
> recommended as presidential awardees by a national selection committee of
> distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators. The White House
> makes the official announcement.
> Q. What are the citizenship requirements for nominees?
> A. Applicants must be U.S. citizens who teach in one of the 50 states,
> the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Department of Defense Dependent
> Schools, or the U.S. territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth
> of Northern Marianas, or the Virgin Islands.
> Q. When was PAEMST established?
> A. Former President Ronald Reagan signed into law a measure establishing
> the program in 1983 (P.L. 98-377). The law was amended in 1988 to include
> elementary teachers (P.L. 100-570). The teacher enhancement program of
> NSF's Division of Elementary, Secondary and Informal Education administers
> the program for the White House.
> Q. How many recipients are honored this year?
> A. There are 102 elementary and 106 secondary recipients this year chosen
> from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
> Department of Defense schools, and the U.S. territories.
> For more information, contact: Presidential Award for Excellence in
> Mathematics and Science Teaching, Directorate for Education and Human
> Resources, National Science Foundation, 4201 Wilson
> Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230; tel.: (703) 306-0422;

Media contact:
Lee Herring
703) 306-1070/

Jerry P. Becker
Dept. of Curriculum & Instruction
Southern Illinois University
Carbondale, IL 62901-4610 USA
Fax: (618)453-4244
Phone: (618)453-4241 (office)

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