STEP 1 invites students to explore teaching as a career in this 1 credit hour course. Students teach science or math lessons in local elementary classrooms in order to obtain first-hand experience with planning and implementing inquiry-based curriculum. Experienced secondary classroom teachers known as Master Teachers provide students with a first taste of teaching in a diverse yet supportive environment. Most students have little prior experience with student-centered instruction. While TNT recognizes that an excellent lecture can be an effective tool for disseminating information efficiently, TNT students need practice in teaching through the process of guided inquiry. The TNT program uses the term "inquiry" in a manner that reflects state and national science and mathematics standards such as those described in Project 2061, Benchmarks for Science Literacy (1993) and the National Research Council's Inquiry and the National Science Education Standards (1996). Step 1 students gain valuable experience designing and implementing inquiry-based science and mathematics lesson plans. Combined with an introduction to the theory behind inquiry-based instruction, this course provides the scaffold for their future field experience.
An introduction to the theory and practice that is necessary to design and deliver excellent inquiry-based science and mathematics instruction. The elementary classrooms are selected both for diversity of the student body and for quality of the classroom teacher. The TNT instructor/Master Teacher and the elementary mentor teacher emphasize both inquiry and classroom management techniques.