Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
Teachers should adopt effective pedagogical approaches in order to maximize student learning. The beliefs of teachers about instructional practice are an important construct in determining what and how they teach. This is especially important in light of recent reform efforts at the K-12 level to integrate engineering design into science curricula. Investigation into the area of engineering design-based STEM integration is necessary, as teachers are unfamiliar with engineering and are being asked to incorporate engineering into their teaching mid-career.
This study investigates the change in teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning in upper elementary and middle school science classrooms. This study is guided by the following research question: How do teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning change through participation in a long-term professional development in engineering design-based STEM integration?
Using a multi-case study design, six teachers were studied while they developed and implemented engineering design-based STEM integration units over a period of three years. Semistructured interviews were conducted with the teachers prior to the professional development project and after three years of participation in the project. Pre and post interviews were coded using a rubric that classifies beliefs on a scale from instructor-centered to student-centered.
Over the course of the three-year study, the beliefs of all six teachers shifted towards a more student-centered view of teaching. The teachers indicated that they were able to emphasize teamwork, real-world practice, problem-solving skills, communication, active learning, formative assessment through notebooking, and the discipline of engineering through the use of engineering practices. Their views of effective engineering instruction were also changed and they emphasized more of an integrated approach of teaching engineering and science in post interviews.
This study provides evidence that long-term professional development can help change teachers perceptions of engineering and provide the background needed to help teachers believe they can integrate engineering meaningfully in their classrooms. Engineering integration can help both experienced and beginning teachers change their beliefs toward a student centered view of instruction.
Moore, T. J., & Guzey, S. S., & Johnston, A. C., & Akarsu, M., & Odom, P. W., & Aranda, M. L., & Lie, R. (2018, June), Engineering Design Professional Development as a Mechanism for Changing Science Teachers' Beliefs (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30408
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