July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
Teachers play a crucial role in developing the nation’s STEM workforce and boosting the student interest towards the STEM fields. However, there are limited opportunities available for in-service teachers to improve their engineering and technology content knowledge and implement that knowledge effectively in designing integrated STEM learning environments. To increase students’ interest in STEM fields and improve the quality of integrated STEM education, we developed a series of integrated engineering and technology focused teacher professional development (PD) activities.
In this paper, we discuss the effectiveness of a two-week long PD which was a part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) project. This workshop was implemented at a Research 1 University campus in Summer 2019. The project goals were to enhance in-service teachers’ engineering and cutting edge technology content knowledge to help them build confidence to teach engineering concepts using technology, remedy engineering misconceptions, and improve their attitudes toward engineering. Twelve math and science teachers participated and learned the fundamental principles of the engineering design, gained knowledge about the cutting-edge technologies including Internet of things (IoT), additive manufacturing, and computer-aided design (CAD) tools. In addition to improving their engineering and technology content knowledge, the teachers also received training on how to incorporate the engineering and technology content into the existing mathematics and science school curricula. The overarching goal was to encourage teachers to design and offer integrated STEM learning environments.
In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the PD activities, we asked: “After participating in the engineering and technology focused PD activities, what were the participating mathematics and science in-service teachers’ perceptions of the content and skills they gained, the challenges and/or limitations they faced, and recommendations for improvement?”
We designed a teacher questionnaire and administered it after the PD activities. In the questionnaire, participants were asked to compare their before and after perceptions. Our research team conducted observations and took field notes. We designed a semi-structured post-interview protocol and conducted interviews with the teachers at the end of the two-week PD sessions. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim. All teachers (N=12) responded to the pre and post questionnaire and all (N=12) participated in the semi-structured one-one-one interviews. In our analyses we ran descriptive statistics and non-parametric tests for the quantitative data. For the qualitative data, we employed constant comparative method and iteratively searched for the main themes and categories emerged from the analyses. In this paper, we report the study findings and discuss the successful and unsuccessful aspects of the two-week PD session from the perspectives of the participating teachers.
Cevik, E., & Yalvac, B., & Johnson, M. D., & Kuttolamadom, M., & Porter, J. R., & Whitfield, J. (2021, July), Improving In-Service Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Engineering and Technology Content and Pedagogical Knowledge (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37306
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