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A Case Study on How Teachers' Knowledge and Beliefs Influence Their Enactment of the Project Lead The Way Curriculum (Evaluation)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Mary K. Nyaema The University of Illinois at Chicago

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Mary Nyaema is an educational consultant with the University of Illinois at Chicago. She earned a doctoral education degree from University of Iowa. She has two years post doctoral experience in discipline based educational research and has taught high school science and mathematics. Her research interests include STEM Education, active learning, evidence based strategies and problem based learning.

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David G. Rethwisch The University of Iowa

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Dr. Rethwisch is a professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at the University of Iowa. His current research interest is assessing the impact of secondary curricula (particularly problem/project based learning curricula) on student interest and performance in science and mathematics, and on their interest in careers in STEM fields.

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Mark Andrew McDermott

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The purpose of the study aimed at gaining a better understanding of how the intended Project Lead The Way (PLTW) curriculum differs from the enacted curricula. This understanding is important to make the professional development programs more meaningful to the immediate needs of the teacher in the classroom. By identifying, the factors that contribute to any merging differences between the curricula helped fill the gap in research on teacher knowledge and beliefs about the use of science and mathematics content in the PLTW classroom as they enact the curriculum. PLTW is an innovative hands-on pre-engineering curriculum designed for K-12 students based on project and problem-based learning. It tries to combine math and science principles to present engineering concepts to students in a way that tries to keep up with the rapid changes associated with technology in their everyday world. Multiple case sampling was used to select four teachers based on their years of teaching experience as well as background in science and math. They were interviewed about their knowledge and beliefs about project and problem-based learning. In addition, non-participant observations and teacher beliefs questionnaire were used to triangulate the data for more credible results. A fidelity of implementation rubric was also used to determine how well the teachers were implementing the curriculum. Findings of the study show that there were differences in the way teachers chose to enact the curriculum. It is recommended to address the professional development experiences of the teachers and make their beliefs a meaningful part of the training.

Nyaema, M. K., & Rethwisch, D. G., & McDermott , M. A. (2021, July), A Case Study on How Teachers' Knowledge and Beliefs Influence Their Enactment of the Project Lead The Way Curriculum (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36556

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