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By Leah Poffenberger
In 2018, the American Association for Employment in Education found that the shortage of physics, chemistry, and math teachers was in the top five areas of concern. The Get the Facts Out (GFO) program (getthefactsout.org) is hoping to change that, by reframing the conversation around teaching as a profession and increasing teacher recruitment levels.
GFO hopes to dispel misinformation about teaching and encourage science majors who have an interest in teaching to enroll in teacher certification programs. To do this, GFO provides faculty with research-based and user-tested materials designed to offer accurate and positive information about teaching. Now, GFO is launching inaugural qualitative study sites to track the project’s success by implementing, testing, and providing feedback on materials developed by the GFO team.
Six institutions have signed on to be research study sites: Brigham Young University; California State University, Long Beach; Chicago State University; Colorado School of Mines; University of Wisconsin, La Crosse; and West Virginia University.
The Research Study Sites will collect information on implementation of GFO content to help drive the development of more effective positive messaging about careers in teaching. Each site will test GFO materials and workshops, administer surveys to students and faculty, and provide enrollment numbers in their certification programs to GFO leadership. With their research, the Study Sites will contribute to honing GFO materials to help students visualize a career in teaching and combat the shortage of qualified science teachers in the United States.
The GFO project is jointly led by the Colorado School of Mines, APS, the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Physics Teachers, and the Association of Mathematics Teacher Educators, and is supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation.
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Editor: David Voss
Staff Science Writer: Leah Poffenberger
Contributing Correspondents: Sophia Chen, Alaina G. Levine