science teacher demonstrates the heat capacity of water

WFHS chemistry teacher Martin Palermo demonstrates the specific heat capacity of water involving methane gas bubbles.

William Floyd High School chemistry teacher Martin Palermo recently co-authored an article featured in the Journal of Science Teacher Education, a publication designed for science education professionals to share ways to improve classroom learning, professional development, and teacher recruitment & retention for science teachers. The article, “Physics Teacher Retention, Migration, and Attrition” details the correlation between physics teacher turnover in high schools. This is Mr. Palermo’s fourth published article in a peer-reviewed scientific journal over the past three years.

The study looked at the amount of physics teacher attrition (leaving the profession altogether) and compared it with the migration (securing employment in another school). The study concluded that professional age, school-level socioeconomic status, school locale, and physics course load were the main predictors for attrition; while the main predictors for migration were professional age and school-level socioeconomic status. The research also finds that novice physics teachers in urban schools are particularly vulnerable in terms of attrition. “The results of this study may inform future reforms in physics teacher preparation and induction, with particular attention toward serving the needs of novice teachers and preparing them for the challenges of high-needs academic settings,” concluded Mr. Palermo, in the study.

An award-winning educator who is highly respected in his field, Mr. Palermo has been an educator in the William Floyd School District for the past 16 years. He is a New York State Master Teacher Emeritus, published author and a peer-reviewer for the Journal of Chemical Education. He is a past recipient of the Stony Brook University “40 Under Forty” award and last year was selected to serve as only one of two educators on the New York State re-opening advisory council. Mr. Palermo has two more articles at or near publication in peer-reviewed scientific research journals – one focusing on the study of chemistry teacher turnover in New York State and another examining gender and equity in Advanced Placement chemistry in the United States.

Mr. Palermo is working toward earning a PhD in science education at Stony Brook University and will be defending his thesis next month. He is an alumnus of Stony Brook University with a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry, as well as a Master’s in teaching science.

In addition to Mr. Palermo, co-authors of “Physics Teacher Retention, Migration, and Attrition” include Robert Krakehl of the Institute for STEM Education, Stony Brook University/Manhasset High School and Angela M. Kelly, Department of Physics & Astronomy/Institute for STEM Education, Stony Brook University. Mr. Palermo is also associated with the Institute for STEM Education at Stony Brook University.

The Journal of Science Teacher Education is part of the Association for Science Teacher Education, an organization that promotes leadership and support for professionals involved in the education and development of teachers of science at all levels.

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