Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership
Founded in 2000, the Kenan Fellows Program for Teacher Leadership addresses the critical need for high-quality professional development for educators, and is the largest STEM-focused teacher leadership program in North Carolina.
Approximately 25-50 outstanding K–12 teachers from across the state are selected annually for this year-long program. Key components are a three-week summer internship with a mentor in a research or applied STEM setting, and 80 hours of professional development that builds leadership capacity and promotes curricular design bridging STEM at work with STEM at school.
Since 2013-14, The FIRE Team has worked closely with the Kenan Fellows Program to design, execute, and re-design ongoing, annual evaluations of the program. This evaluation is guided by a participant-oriented evaluation approach, wherein KFP staff are closely involved in planning and also implementing the evaluation. These evaluations have produced valuable findings about teacher leadership development, connections between schools and industry, and the development of master teachers in STEM content and practices.
Following the push to improve science literacy and implement science education programs in the 1970s, organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF) and American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) have worked fervently to develop programs aimed at reforming science education and increasing science literacy among America’s students. The emergence of teacher-scientist partnerships in K-12 classrooms has proven influential in broadening teachers’ content knowledge, understanding of scientific inquiry, and increasing teachers’ confidence in their abilities to teach science. Unfortunately, research exploring how these partnerships impact teachers’ identities, in general, and teachers’ self-efficacy, pedagogical practices, and identities as scientists, more specifically, has remained limited.
Malinda Musacchia Faber
Laura Catharine Rosof