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Impact of Authentic, Mentored Research Experiences for Teachers on Pedagogy (Fundamental)

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Professional Development for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Elena Nicolescu Veety North Carolina State University

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Elena Veety received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC, in 2011. Her research focused on liquid crystal polarization gratings for tunable optical filters and telecommunications applications. Since 2011, she has been a Teaching Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University.
Currently, she is the Education Director for the NSF Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST).

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James Edward Lamberth III Enloe High School

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James Lamberth received a BA in science education and a BS in chemistry from North Carolina State University in 2005. He currently teaches science at Enloe Magnet High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He is an ASSIST RET (Research Experience for Teachers) fellow, and a Kenan Fellow. He is as an education outreach liaison to the NCSU ASSIST Center.

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Evelyn L. Baldwin Wake STEM Early College High School

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Evelyn Baldwin has a Master of Education degree and a Bachelor of Science In Science Education degree from North Carolina State University. She has been a public school science teacher for twenty-five years in the Wake County Public School System in Raleigh, North Carolina. She is a 2015 Kenan Fellow and a National Board for Professional Teaching certified teacher in Adolescent and Young Adulthood science. She is an Education Outreach Liason with the ASSIST center at NCSU where she works with classroom teachers and students in the summer Research Experience for Teachers Program and the Young Scholars Program. Additionally, Mrs. Baldwin sponsors a Junior Women in Science and Engineering club at Wake STEM Early College High School.

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Research experiences for teachers (RET) programs provide K-12 teachers with valuable professional development opportunities, increase teachers’ self-efficacy and allow them to gain further mastery in their subject. While these programs exist at universities across the country, the exact structures of the programs and the nature of the actual research experience vary broadly.

This paper focuses on understanding how the structure of the research experience can affect teacher outcomes. More specifically, we will compare the research experience and teacher outcomes over four cohorts of teachers within the same Center’s RET program. These four cohorts total 41 middle and high school teachers from various disciplines who completed the 5-week summer program between 2015 and 2018.

All four cohorts received similar training in terms of technical skills, professional skills, and overall exposure to the Center’s research. However, two of the cohorts had the opportunity to engage in an authentic independent research project under the mentorship of one of the Center’s faculty, while the other two cohorts had a broad introduction to a wider variety of research activities and completed a group engineering design project. All four cohorts were required to develop lesson plans for their classrooms based on the research experience.

The individual lesson plans from all four teacher cohorts are analyzed to determine how the teacher’s experience in the program impacted their lesson planning in terms of overall quality, research themes addressed, depth of technical understanding, teaching strategies, etc. Survey and interview data are used in addition to the direct assessment of the lesson plan to determine other potential contributing factors such as the quality of the mentoring relationship and the teacher’s attitudes, perceptions, and self-efficacy before and after the completion of the program. In addition, teachers’ ongoing engagement after completing the program is assessed to discern any long-term impacts on pedagogy.

Veety, E. N., & Lamberth, J. E., & Baldwin, E. L. (2019, June), Impact of Authentic, Mentored Research Experiences for Teachers on Pedagogy (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32923

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