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Teacher-Improvement Projects Funded

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The U.S. Education Department's fund for the improvement of postsecondary education has awarded grants to several higher-education institutions for projects to improve teaching in the nation's schools.

Many of the awards were made in June, but because of staff cutbacks at the fund, some of the institutions were not notified until this month, a spokesman said.

Teacher Training and Schools

This year, with the attention afforded to elementary and secondary education nationwide, the fund received about 150 grant proposals for programs that involve teacher-training and schools--about five times the number usually submitted dealing with those areas, according to Diana Hayman, a program officer for the postsecondary fund. The agency awarded "more than the usual number" of grants to school-related projects partly in response to the number and quality of those applications this year, according to Ms. Hayman.

From 2,300 applications, the fund selected 75 postsecondary instituto receive a total of $11.4 million. Included were five awards for the development of preservice or teacher-retraining programs:

A $99,000 grant to Long Island University's Brooklyn Center to expand its program to retrain humanities, social-science, and elementary-school teachers to teach mathematics in junior- and senior-high schools. The grant will also enable the university to develop model programs for retraining teachers in physics and chemistry and to distribute information on the teacher-retraining programs to four other universities.

An award of $98,600 to Westchester State College in New York to retrain retired scientists and engineers to teach mathematics and science in public schools.

A $55,000 award to Michigan State University for the development of tests to reveal students' misapprehensions about scientific concepts. The results are to be used to shape the preservice training of pro-spective science teachers.

A grant of $82,000 to the Indiana University Foundation in Bloomington to incorporate international education into 13 liberal-arts and methodology courses for prospective teachers.

A grant of $83,700 to the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship in Princeton, N.J., to conduct summer institutes for college faculty involved in preservice training.

All the grants may be renewed for a second year if recipients demonstrate that their projects have been successful, according to Ms. Hayman.

The postsecondary fund, which was established in 1973 to support innovative programs in colleges and universities, is now printing preliminary application forms s competitive grants. The closing date for the receipt of the preliminary applications is likely to be in early January, according to Ms. Hayman.

To obtain more information, contact the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education, 7th and D Sts., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20201.--sr

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