NevadaTeach master teachers presented at a professional development event on April 28, 2023, organized by the UTeach Institute to share with faculty from other education programs how to incorporate culturally relevant teaching through all levels of a teacher education program. Master teachers from ten universities attended the online event to learn how they can incorporate culturally relevant lessons into their programs.
NevadaTeach master teachers have developed methods of incorporating culturally relevant teaching from their students’ first-year introduction to teaching course to their last semester capstone course, where the preservice teachers are in classrooms teaching for 14 weeks.
Students in the NevadaTeach program are required to take the course NVTC 101 – Step 1: Inquiry Approaches to Teaching, in which they learn how culture shapes the brain’s development. This knowledge is used when teaching math or science lessons in elementary school classrooms.
When NevadaTeach students take the course NVTC 102: Step 2: Inquiry-based Lesson Design, the learners extend their learning on the topic and incorporate it in a middle school classroom, creating lessons that value learners being safe and welcome in the STEM classroom.
The lessons continue when NevadaTeach students take NVTC 201: Classroom Interactions, where preservice teachers are exposed to different methods of teaching, as well as the development of the adolescent mind. This prepares students to go into the high school classroom and implement the practice of culturally relevant teaching through a variety of methods.
Later NevadaTeach capstone courses also further develop and reinforce students’ skills in culturally responsive teaching and build a strong foundation from which they can jump into teaching careers.
Dean Donald Easton-Brooks mentions, “Technology has become a big part of the Reno and Nevada workforce. With this, like many other industries, tech companies are looking for a more diverse and innovative workforce. The growing number of jobs in this industry demands that we have teachers at all levels who can assist in developing young minds to meet the needs of this workforce and the needs of the 21st century. The NevadaTeach program ensures that we are able to educate future teachers who can use a culturally responsive lens while teaching math, science and technology at a quality and attainable level.”
NevadaTeach is a dual-degree program for undergraduate STEM majors at the University. Students with math or science majors can add a degree in secondary education and graduate in four years. NevadaTeach is for students interested in teaching secondary math or science and anyone interested in adding an extra career option to their STEM degree. NevadaTeach gets students into the classroom right from the beginning, with the support of dedicated and experienced Master Teachers, and prepares students to teach effective, inquiry-based lessons.