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Changes in Teacher Self-efficacy Through Engagement in an Engineering Professional Development Partnership

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34272

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34272

Download Count

77

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Paper Authors

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Malle R. Schilling Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Malle Schilling is currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Malle graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. Her research interests include broadening participation in engineering, K-12 STEM education, and engineering identity. She has previously researched engineering camps and their effects on participants' engineering self-efficacy, promotion and tenure policies, and the use of engineering camps as a recruitment tool.

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Tawni Paradise Virginia Tech Department of Engineering Education

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Tawni is a third year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She holds a B.S. and a B.A. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from The University of San Diego in San Diego, CA. Drawing on previous experiences as a mathematics and engineering teacher, her current research interests include studying the disconnect between home and school, with a specific emphasis on prekindergarten students. She continues to pursue these research interests with the support of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program. She previously served as a Student Support and Program Staff for the Center of Enhancement for Engineering Diversity where she taught a seminar for first-year female engineering students and coordinated precollege outreach events. As a researcher, she has previously served as a Graduate Research Assistant on the VT PEERS project studying middle school students regularly engaging in engineering activities. In addition, she dedicates her spare time to exhibiting at the Virginia Tech Science Festival and hosting several sessions for the Kindergarten-to-college (K2C) Initiative.

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Jacob R. Grohs Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Jacob Grohs is an Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with Affiliate Faculty status in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and the Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Engineering Mechanics (BS, MS) and in Educational Psychology (MAEd, PhD).

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Holly M Matusovich Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Holly M. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education. She is current the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs and the former Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. Dr. Matusovich is recognized for her research and practice related to graduate student mentoring. She won the Hokie Supervisor Spotlight Award in 2014, was nominated for a Graduate Advising Award in 2015, and won the 2018 Graduate Student Mentor Award for the College of Engineering. Dr. Matusovich has graduated 10 doctoral students since starting her research program in Spring 2009. Dr. Matusovich co-hosts the Dissertation Institute, a one-week workshop each summer funded by NSF, to help underrepresented students develop the skills and writing habits to complete doctorate degrees in engineering. Across all of her research avenues, Dr. Matusovich has been a PI/Co-PI on 12 funded research projects including the NSF CAREER Award with her share of funding be ingnearly $2.3 million. She has co-authored 2 book chapters, 21 journal publications and more than 70 conference papers. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty, an Outstanding Teacher Award and a Faculty Fellow Award. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Materials Science from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Cheryl Carrico P.E. Cheryl Carrico Consulting, LLC Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6327-842X

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Cheryl Carrico is owner of Cheryl Carrico Consulting, LLC. Her current research focus relates to STEM career pathways (K-12 through early career) and conceptual understanding of core engineering principles. She is currently a Member-at-Large for the Pre-college Division of ASEE. Dr. Carrico's consulting company specializes in research, research evaluations, and industry consulting. Dr. Carrico received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech, Masters of Engineering from North Carolina State University, MBA from King University, and PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Dr. Carrico is a certified project management professional (PMP) and licensed professional engineer (P.E.).

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Holly Larson Lesko

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Holly Larson Lesko is the Program Director for the VT PEERS (Partnering with Educators and Engineering in Rural Schools) program at Virginia Tech. This NSF funded program is housed in the Engineering Education Department and provides contextual, culturally relevant engineering curriculum and support in partnership with educators and local industry in three targeted rural schools systems in Virginia. Ms. Lesko leads the implementation team for VT PEERS and facilitates relationships with the educational and industry partners in the project. Her past research focus on rural and vulnerable community development through art and collaborative narrative praxis and influences her current engagement and practice. She has worked to address policy needs in community at the local level and to seek partners at the state and federal level to address the needs of her home community in central Appalachia and supports work throughout Virginia and the US with storytelling, collaborative facilitation, and grant seeking. Ms. Lesko has worked with communities and organizations in the New River Valley region and across the Commonwealth for the past 27 years and her focus in community development is on creating spaces and processes to enhance new ways of viewing and approaching issues and concepts through inclusive and diverse engagement.

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Gary R. Kirk Dickinson College

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Abstract

K-12 teachers serve a critical role in their students’ development of interest in engineering, especially as engineering content is emphasized in curriculum standards. However, teachers may not be comfortable teaching engineering in their classrooms as it can require a different set of skills from which they are trained. Professional development activities focused on engineering content can help teachers feel more comfortable teaching the subject in their classrooms and can increase their knowledge of engineering and thus their engineering teaching self-efficacy. There are many different types of professional development activities teachers might experience, each one with a set of established best practices.

VT PEERS (Virginia Tech Partnering with Educators and Engineers in Rural Communities) is a program designed to provide recurrent hands-on engineering activities to middle school students in or near rural Appalachia. The project partners middle school teachers, university affiliates, and local industry partners throughout the state region to develop and implement engineering activities that align with state defined standards of learning (SOLs). Throughout this partnership, teachers co-facilitate engineering activities in their classrooms throughout the year with the other partners, and teachers have the opportunity to participate in a two-day collaborative workshop every year. VT PEERS held a workshop during the summer of 2019, after the second year of the partnership, to discuss the successes and challenges experienced throughout the program. Three focus groups, one for each grade level involved (grades 6-8), were held during the summit for teachers and industry partners to discuss their experiences. None of the teachers involved in the partnership have formal training in engineering. The transcripts of these focus groups were the focus of the exploratory qualitative data analyses to answer the following research question: How do middle-school teachers develop teaching engineering self-efficacy through professional development activities? Deductive coding of the focus group transcripts was completed using the four sources of self-efficacy: mastery experience, vicarious experience, verbal persuasion and physiological states. The analysis revealed that vicarious experiences can be particularly valuable to increasing teachers’ teaching engineering self-efficacy. For example, teachers valued the ability to play the role of a student in an engineering lesson and being able to share ideas about teaching engineering lessons with other teachers. This information can be useful to develop engineering-focused professional development activities for teachers. Additionally, as teachers gather information from their teaching engineering vicarious experiences, they can inform their own teaching practices and practice reflective teaching as they teach lessons.

Schilling, M. R., & Paradise, T., & Grohs, J. R., & Matusovich, H. M., & Carrico, C., & Lesko, H. L., & Kirk, G. R. (2020, June), Changes in Teacher Self-efficacy Through Engagement in an Engineering Professional Development Partnership Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34272

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