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Program Overview

The philosophy underlying the design of the MonarchTeach instructional program is that by combining individualized coaching, intensive teaching experiences in secondary classrooms, and relevant STEM content, students' knowledge and skills will develop at an accelerated rate. This approach translates into a curriculum, unique in content and sequence, that allows students to obtain a STEM field degree and secondary teaching certification in 120 to 128 hours.

Program Coordinator & Student Advisor

Lauren Bowers
4132 Education Building
Norfolk, VA 23529

Program Requirements

Freshman and sophomore students may start the first MonarchTeach course, Step 1, any semester after Fall 2013. Step 2, the second course, may be taken any semester after completion of Step 1.

Students should contact their departmental academic advisor to determine how the MonarchTeach courses will be integrated into the schedule of departmental courses.

Sequence of courses, if starting the program as a freshman:

First Year


STEM 101: Step 1 - Elementary School Field Experience


STEM 102: Step 2 - Middle School Field Experience

Second Year


STEM 201: Knowing & Learning


STEM 202: Classroom Interactions

Third Year


SCI 468 W: Research Methods


MATH 375: Functions & Modeling (For Mathematics Majors only)

Fourth Year


STEM 401: Project-Based Instruction High School field experience


STEM 486: Apprentice Teaching/Seminar

STEM 402: Perspectives and History of Science and Mathematics

Students complete the following MonarchTeach courses in order to obtain a Virginia State Licensure in secondary education in their chosen STEM content discipline. (Licensure are available in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Mathematics, Physics, and Technology Education)

MonarchTeach Courses & Descriptions

STEM 101: Step 1 - Inquiry Approaches to Teaching Stem

Allows students to explore teaching as a career. Following an introduction to the theory and practice behind excellent inquiry-based science and mathematics instruction, students teach lessons in elementary classrooms to obtain first-hand experience in planning and implementation.

STEM 102: Step 2 - Inquiry-Based STEM Lesson Design

Allows students to continue developing their lesson planning skills as they become familiar with exemplary middle school science and math curricula. After observing a lesson being taught in a local school district classroom, students work alone or in pairs/trios to plan and teach inquiry-based lessons to 6th, 7th, or 8th graders.

STEM 201: Knowing & Learning in Mathematics and Science

Explores the implications of learning theories on individual learning, social (classroom) learning, and within the context of larger social justice issues. Students conduct clinical interviews to analyze individuals' reasoning about math and science problems.

STEM 202: Classroom Interactions

Provides theoretical and practical frameworks for analyzing different instructional activities, focusing on content development through various classroom interactions. Issues of equity are explored throughout various activities and assignments, including the design, implementation, and analysis of a multi-day high school lesson sequence.

SCI 468: Research Methods in Mathematics & Science

(or BIOL 468W) is a lab course taught by a team of science research faculty. This course focuses on students' understanding of how scientists develop new knowledge. Students design, implement, and document four independent research inquiries. Topics include lab safety, experimental design, statistical analysis, mathematical modeling, peer reviewed literature, and scientific controversies.

MATH 375: Functions & Modeling

For Mathematics Majors only. Taught by a mathematics faculty member with working knowledge of secondary mathematics curricula and grade level expectations. This course emphasizes mathematical content knowledge and connections, as well as lab applications of mathematics topics. Student collaboration, problem solving, and presentation of findings is emphasized.

STEM 401: Project-Based Instruction in STEM Education

Focuses on problem- and project-based curricula and processes. Students develop project-based instructional units and plan, implement, and analyze three-day problem-based teaching experiences in high school classrooms. The course culminates in a day-long high school field experience specific to mathematics or science.

STEM 402: Perspectives and History of Science & Mathematics

Taught by faculty in the history or philosophy of science or mathematics. This course promotes an understanding that science is dynamic and has been shaped by practical needs, social conflicts, and individual personalities. Students prepare lesson plans incorporating historical science and mathematics content.

STEM 486: Apprentice Teaching/Seminar

In the apprentice teaching experience, students engage in 40 hours of classroom observation and on-site planning before assuming full teaching responsibilities in a secondary classroom. The experience, closely supervised by master teachers and university facilitators, promotes collaboration, reflection, and sharing. Students are observed a minimum of 10 times, each time receiving intensive feedback from a trained observer, master teacher, or the cooperating classroom teacher using a standardized MonarchTeach teacher development rubric. Students also attend a weekly seminar. Part of the time in the seminar is spent preparing and submitting a final teaching portfolio aligned with state standards and additional MonarchTeach program requirements.

Throughout their course of study, students are engaged in creating individual portfolios through which they demonstrate specific teaching proficiencies, as well as mastery of content knowledge. Using a Web-based portfolio system, students continually reflect on their experiences and select specific artifacts to support their conclusions about important concepts in secondary STEM education. A passing score on the preliminary version of the portfolio is one of the prerequisites for admission to Apprentice Teaching. There are no exceptions to this requirement. Requirements for the final portfolio, which is completed during the Apprentice Teaching semester, are more extensive, and there is an expectation of greater depth, maturity, and competence at this level as students are preparing to launch their teaching careers.

Student Opportunities


During the summers, MonarchTeach students participate in internships with Nauticus, Horizons Hampton Roads, Virginia Aquarium, Lynnhaven River NOW, Virginia Zoo, NASA/Virginia Space Grant Consortium, and Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation. Some students may be provided with research-based internships customized to fit their interests.

Students who have completed STEM 101 & STEM 102 in the MonarchTeach program will be eligible to apply for internships during the summer. Internships may include part-time hourly employment offered in exchange for participation in educational programs run by local school districts and other organizations. Please contact the program coordinator at monarchteach@odu.edu for more information.


For students officially enrolled in the MonarchTeach program, opportunities to apply for various scholarships or part-time jobs are frequently announced in their courses. These opportunities are made available by the Darden College of Education & Professional Studies, the College of Sciences, and various outside agencies.

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