The STEM Teacher Leadership Network (STEMTLnet)

An online learning community and network to support and empower STEM teacher leaders and aspiring teacher leaders to effect change related to STEM teaching and learning.

Lead Staff:
Joni Falk
Brian Drayton
Project Staff:
Kim Descoteaux
Kathryn Hobbs
Quang Le

Summary

The STEM Teacher Leadership Network (STEMTLnet) is an interactive learning community and collegial network where STEM teacher leaders and aspiring teacher leaders can share their paths, challenges, strategies, lessons learned, and resources with each other. The professional learning community provides resources, networking tools, and events throughout the year to help members explore topics related to STEM teacher leadership in depth.

STEMTLnet supports multiple teacher leadership communities, including, but not limited to:

  • NSF Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST)
  • NSF Presidential Awardees for Excellence in Science Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM)
  • PIs and recipients of the NSF Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program
  • Teacher leaders developed through multiple NSF Math Science Partnership projects
  • Einstein Fellowship program
  • NSTA/NCTM Ambassadors program
  • Knowles Teaching Fellowship program.

The virtual community also is intended for principals, superintendents, researchers, and policy makers who are interested in supporting and fostering teacher leadership. Aspiring teacher leaders find value in the site’s ability to provide awareness, resources and information on leadership paths, as well as access to those who have gone through these programs. The learning community also supports current and emergent leaders in underserved urban schools and in rural environments, who may lack the opportunity for daily collaboration with other STEM leaders.

While the community is facilitated by an experienced team, the online infrastructure encourages teacher leaders to co-create a learning network for and with each other. Members share and exemplify multiple pathways in which leaders can influence STEM within their districts, impact educational policy and its implementation at the district, state and national level, and engage in research to propel STEM teaching and learning forward. The virtual community enhances the professional development of current teacher leaders, provides continued support for those who have received leadership awards, and offers an outlet for them to give back to others beyond their own districts.

Research Activity

The project’s research will further the understanding of how an interactive, multimedia environment can enhance the effectiveness of a teacher leadership community of practice.

Impact

The STEM Teacher Leadership Network will increase the impact of NSF’s investments in teacher leadership programs, particularly the Presidential Awardee program by providing support for excellent STEM teachers after receiving the PAEMST award. It will bring PAEMST awardees into contact with teacher leaders who have gone through other programs, most notably the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship program.