June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
The goal of this research is to assess the effectiveness of an integrated STEM education model. The study is being conducted under a three-year NSF-ITEST funded project (award #1513248), Teachers and Researchers Advancing Integrated Lessons in STEM (TRAILS). This research incorporates engineering design as a STEM subject integrator and scientific inquiry to provide an authentic learning context for promoting 21st century skills and connections in STEM learning. In addition, the study seeks to assess effective strategies to increase STEM self-efficacy within science (biology or physics) and engineering technology education (ETE) teachers, and advance students’ learning of STEM content at schools in rural settings. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the TRAILS model, researchers developed and adopted various measures and instruments. Data collection for the study includes utilizing the following: a) instruments measuring STEM lesson content knowledge (knowledge tests), b) attitudinal perceptions of teachers and students (pre/posttest surveys and delayed posttest surveys), c) rubrics for assessing 21st century skills in project based learning, d) classroom observations, and e) student knowledge transfer problems. This variety of quantitative and qualitative data collection provides opportunities for triangulating data and analysis to ensure rigorous evaluation of TRAILS goals and outcomes. The quasi-experimental research design implements an experimental group in which teachers participate in professional development, an online community of practice, and implement integrated STEM lessons. A comparison group of teachers also participate in the data collection process but do not participate in professional development or any of the activities of the experimental group in cohort one. The research design including instruments utilized, the methods for assessing 21st century learning skills, classroom observation, and knowledge transfer problems, will be described, including preliminary analysis procedures.
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