A Survey of State Initiatives

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Hawaii is currently experiencing teacher shortages in the areas of high-school mathematics, science, agriculture, and industrial arts, according to a report produced last year by the state department of education.

At present, the worst shortages are in math and physical sciences, said James H. Nohara, an administrator for certification and development in the department.

The state anticipates a need for 15 math teachers in grades 7 through 12 in 1983-84.

Hawaii, like other states, has experienced a significant decrease in the supply of teachers graduating with degrees in math or science education, and has lost many teachers to higher-paying jobs in business and industry.

The Hawaii department of education has developed a "plan of action" to help the state meet the demand for all types of teachers from 1985-90.

At this stage, the plan consists mostly of stepped-up efforts to inform students about upcoming opportunities in teaching, particularly in the shortage areas, he said.

No funds are currently available for scholarships and fellowships.

To encourage teachers in "overstaffed" areas to retrain to teach in shortage areas, the department urges districts to award paid sabbatical leave to teachers who want to return to school to retrain.

This year's senior class was the first to be required to take two years of both math and science instead of one; the change was made in 1978.

Kathleen Nishimura, a math specialist in the state education department, said the state has a plan for the use of computers in education--approved by the state board of education last year--that includes computer literacy, computer-assisted instruction, and computer-managed instruction.

The Hawaii system offers an "exploratory" computer curriculum for all students in kindergarten through grade 12, a more advanced computer-science curriculum in secondary schools, and a secondary computer curriculum emphasizing vocational applications.

Computer-assisted instruction has been used so far only to teach basic skills, Ms. Nishimura said, but the department is conducting a study next year on ways to expand its uses.

Vol. 02, Issue 39

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