Now, every secondary education pre-service teacher will take the course, whether they are in the innovative I-STEP section or any of the traditional program sections.
Two graduate assistants, former classroom teachers who are skilled in technology, now teach the technology strand in both the I-STEP and traditional programs.
I-STEP came into being through the careful deliberation and team efforts of the secondary education faculty at Northern Arizona University.
The I-STEP model grew out of a traditional curricular approach in which students completed a series of education courses as they were finishing their subject majors (e.g., mathematics or history).
I-STEP radically altered the conception of professional preparation.
The students in I-STEP follow a schedule that has them in class on campus for three hours, three days a week, and in public school placements for five hours, once a week.
As indicated above, all I-STEP students spend time in both a high school and in a middle school.
Another central feature of I-STEP is the role of inquiry and problem-based learning in preparing future teachers.
In establishing the I-STEP experience, the faculty deliberately chose to model such reflection for our students.
The I-STEP experience uses problems to anchor larger blocks of understanding for the students (Stepien & Gallagher, 1993).
In its reliance on inquiry and problem-based learning, I-STEP does more than encourage students' reflective dispositions.
I-STEP has a commitment to building a sense of community among the preservice students and faculty.