Texas Middle School Math, Science Teachers Get iSMART

Free, Online iSMART Program Looking for Applicants for Fall Start

When math and science lessons come together, teachers learn more about content and instruction, and children learn more about both subjects. Now middle school math and science teachers in Texas are urged to apply for a free online master's program at the University of Houston designed to help teachers integrate the two disciplines.

The Integrated Science, Math and Reflective Teaching, or iSMART, program is designed to improve science and math instruction by presenting opportunities to incorporate the two subjects and to develop the leadership skills of teachers who will collaborate with their online classmates.

"We are now accepting applications for this unique and free online program, which will begin in the fall," said Jennifer Chauvot, assistant professor of math education and one of the curriculum developers for iSMART. "Candidates will be selected through a competitive process. We're encouraging middle school math and science teachers from across the state of Texas, who represent urban, suburban and rural school districts, to apply for and to take advantage of this great opportunity."

The first classes are slated to begin in fall 2010. There will be a two-day orientation in the summer.

In an online environment, the iSMART program presents teaching models for integrating the subjects, engages teachers in activities to develop curriculum they later can incorporate into their class instruction, and encourages them to learn from each other so that they can be leaders on their campuses.

The free program is funded by a $3 million grant by the Greater Texas Foundation, which supports educational efforts that encourage quality teaching, learning and achievement. Funds will support four cohorts of 25 students for the next six years.

Interested teachers in Texas may apply online at http://www.coe.uh.edu/mycoe/cuin/math/ismart.cfm.