Michigan Teaching Excellence Program (MiTEP) is a multi year program of teacher leadership development that empowers urban earth science teachers to lead their schools and districts through the process of systematically improving science teaching and learning. Teachers are at the center of the project, as they are critical to the long-term success of school improvement efforts. Teachers receive stipends and credit for participating in the project over a 3-year period and for testing its approach to science education reform.
MiTEP includes both summer and academic-year components, and uses a variety of on-site, residential, field, distance, and in-service delivery methods. Several featured MiTEP approaches include building inquiry pedagogy skills, learning from Earth Science experts, identifying and addressing common student misconceptions, using Earth Science Literacy Principles Big Ideas to frame instruction, examining the effectiveness of instruction through Lesson Study, promoting leadership skills, urban place-based inquiry and providing Scientists-on-Call, a just-in-time assistance for teacher content questions throughout the school year.
The MiTEP core partners are Michigan Technological University, Grand Rapids Area Pre-College Engineering Program (GRAPCEP), and Grand Rapids Public Schools. Supporting partners are Jackson Public Schools, Kalamazoo Public Schools, American Geosciences Institute, Grand Valley State University, and Midwestern National Parks.
MiTEP is in its 4th year of implementation and has over 40 teachers participating in 4 cohorts. In addition to participating in the Earth Systems Institutes and pedagogy days, teachers also have the option to intern in a Midwest national park in the final year of the program. MiTEP aims to produce great Teacher-Leaders and invoke Institutional Change in both university and school districts alike.