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Improving In-Service Science and Mathematics Teachers’ Engineering and Technology Content and Pedagogical Knowledge (Evaluation)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37306

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12

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Paper Authors

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Emel Cevik Texas A&M University

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Bugrahan Yalvac Texas A&M University

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Bugrahan Yalvac is an associate professor of science and engineering education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University, College Station. He received his Ph.D. in science education at the Pennsylvania State University in 2005. Prior to his current position, he worked as a learning scientist for the VaNTH Engineering Research Center at Northwestern University for three years. Yalvac’s research is in STEM education, 21st century skills, and design and evaluation of learning environments informed by the How People Learn framework.

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Michael D. Johnson Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5328-8763

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Dr. Michael D. Johnson is a professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. He also serves as Associate Dean for Inclusion and Faculty Success in the College of Engineering. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M, he was a senior product development engineer at the 3M Corporate Research Laboratory in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University and his S.M. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on engineering education; design tools; specifically, the cost modeling and analysis of product development and manufacturing systems; and computer-aided design methodology.

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Mathew Kuttolamadom Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3627-4885

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Dr. Mathew Kuttolamadom is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution and the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Clemson University’s Int'l Center for Automotive Research. His professional experience is in the automotive industry including at the Ford Motor Company. At TAMU, he teaches Mechanics, Manufacturing and Mechanical Design to his students. His research thrusts include bioinspired functionally-graded composites, additive/subtractive manufacturing processes, laser surface texturing, tribology, visuo-haptic VR/AR interfaces and engineering education.

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Jay R. Porter Texas A&M University

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Jay R. Porter joined the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University in 1998 and is currently the Associate Dean for Engineering at Texas A&M University - Galveston. He received the BS degree in electrical engineering (1987), the MS degree in physics (1989), and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. His areas of interest in research and education include product development, analog/RF electronics, instrumentation, and entrepreneurship.

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Jennifer Whitfield Texas A&M University

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Dr. Jennifer Whitfield received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics Education in 2017. Her M.S. and B.A are both in Mathematics. She joined the Mathematics Department at Texas A&M University as a Senior Lecturer in 2001. Dr. Whitfield has taught 13 different undergraduate and three graduate mathematics courses. She helped develop the Personalized Precalculus Program, has overseen the operations of the Math Placement Exam, is the Associate Director of the Center for Technology Mediated Instruction, Director of aggieTEACH, and has been instrumental in developing online math courses. Dr. Whitfield's research focuses on secondary mathematics teacher preparation and the effects of scholarships for high school science and math teachers. She has received over $2.2 million in external funding from the National Science Foundation and over $3.6 million in funding from other state, university, or private agencies. Dr. Whitfield has co-authored two peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and is the co-editor of a book. She has chaired six masters' committees and served on four others. Dr. Whitfield has received ten awards including the Distinguished Ph.D. Honor Graduate in 2017, Texas A&M Chancellor's Academy of Teacher Educators Award in 2014, and was an A&M Fish Camp Namesake in 2013.

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Abstract

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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