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Improving Integrated STEM Education: The Design and Development of a K-12 STEM Observation Protocol (STEM-OP) (RTP)

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Conference

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

32

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37307

Download Count

103

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Paper Authors

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Emily Anna Dare Florida International University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6247-8486

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Dr. Emily Dare is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Florida International University. Dr. Dare's research interests focus on K-12 STEM education. In particular, she is interested in supporting science teachers’ pedagogy while also exploring their beliefs about teaching and learning. As science classrooms shift towards integrated STEM approaches that include engineering design as a central component, this is especially critical. Additionally, Dr. Dare has a passion for working with K-12 students to understand how changes in classroom instruction towards these integrated STEM approaches impact their attitudes towards and beliefs about STEM fields. In particular, she examines methods that positively impact girls, which may increase the number of women pursuing careers in STEM-related fields where they are currently underrepresented.

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Benny Mart Reblando Hiwatig University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0225-8630

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Benny is a PhD candidate in the STEM Education program at the University of Minnesota. He earned his bachelor's degree in Secondary Education and took master's coursework in Chemistry Education in the Philippines, where he also taught high school chemistry. He is currently involved in a research project that aims to develop an observation protocol for STEM lessons and relevant training materials that are directed at improving the quality of STEM instruction in K-12 spaces. His primary research interests include assessment of student learning in STEM contexts, exploration of how integrated STEM is enacted in the secondary level (especially in chemistry classes), and assessment and promotion of students' conceptual understanding of chemical concepts.

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Khomson Keratithamkul University of Minnesota

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Khomson Keratithamkul is a PhD candidate in the STEM Education program at the University of Minnesota. His research interests primarily revolve around K-12 STEM education. He is interested in using integrated STEM curriculum as a vehicle for students to acquire necessary skills and knowledge to function in the 21st century. Khomson is also passionate about learning and incorporating different cultural stories, experiences, and narratives into STEM classrooms to encourage more cultural awareness among students and teachers.

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Joshua Alexander Ellis Florida International University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6575-811X

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Dr. Joshua Ellis is an Assistant Professor of Science Education at Florida International University. His scholarly interests include facilitating the promotion of model-based and engineering-integrated science instruction through STEM integration. He also explores the design and creation of dynamic, student-centered online learning environments for educators.

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Gillian Roehrig University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6943-7820

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Dr. Roehrig is a professor of STEM Education at the University of Minnesota. Her research explores issues of professional development for K-12 science teachers, with a focus on beginning teachers and implementation of integrated STEM learning environments. She has received over $30 million in federal and state grants and published over 80 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. She is a former board member of the National Association of Research in Science Teaching and past president of the Association for Science Teacher Education.

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Elizabeth A. Ring-Whalen St. Catherine University

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Elizabeth A. Ring-Whalen is an Assistant Professor of Education at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction - STEM Education from the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on STEM education and what this looks like in PreK-12 classrooms and explores teachers’ beliefs of integrated STEM as well as how these beliefs influence teachers’ practices and student achievement in the classroom. Alongside this research, she has worked to explore the attitudes and beliefs teachers hold about cultural diversity and teaching culturally diverse students. Past and current projects include designing and teaching undergraduate and graduate-level coursework intended to help teachers develop effective science teaching practices and culturally relevant pedagogy for their classrooms, mentoring pre-service science teachers, working with in-service science teachers to develop and implement integrated STEM curricula, leading STEM integration professional development for in-service science teachers, working with administration and teachers to develop STEM programming in their schools, and developing a K-12 STEM observation protocol that can be used in a variety of educational contexts through an online platform.

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Mark Rouleau Michigan Technological University

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Quantitative data analyst and research design specialists for educational assessment.

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Farah Faruqi University of Minnesota Twin cities

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Corbin Rice

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Preethi Titu Kennesaw State University

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Preethi Titu is an Assistant professor of Science Education at Kennesaw State University, Georgia. She has a background in teaching at higher education settings as well as K-12 schools and her work focuses on both pre-service and in-service teachers to meaningfully integrate STEM pedagogy into classroom practice. She earned her PhD in STEM Education from the University of Minnesota. Her doctoral dissertation focused on "Understanding Teacher Professional Identity Development", where she explored Secondary Science Teacher beliefs and practices through reflective practice. Her research interests have focused broadly on issues of understanding (i) how teachers' beliefs impact their classroom practice, (ii) teachers' conception of STEM and (iii) teachers' attitudes toward culturally diverse students. Additionally, she is passionate about working to help prepare culturally responsive science and math educators.

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Feng Li Florida International University

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Feng Li has a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with a specialization in STEM Education. His research interests include integrated STEM education in K-12 settings.

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Jeanna R. Wieselmann Southern Methodist University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1004-1191

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Dr. Jeanna R. Wieselmann is an Assistant Professor of STEM Education at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX. Her research focuses on equity in STEM and has explored student participation patterns in small group STEM activities. She studies STEM schools, integrated STEM curriculum development, and teacher professional development to support equitable teaching practices.

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Elizabeth A Crotty University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire

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Elizabeth Crotty taught K-12 mathematics and science for many years before completing her PhD. She earned her PhD in STEM Education and K-12 Principal and Administrative license from the University of Minnesota. Elizabeth is an Assistant Professor of STEM Education at the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire.

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Abstract

Integrated approaches to teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (commonly referred to as STEM education) in K-12 classrooms have resulted in a growing number of teachers incorporating engineering in their science classrooms. Such changes are a result of shifts in science standards to include engineering as evidenced by the Next Generation Science Standards. To date, 20 states and the District of Columbia have adopted the NGSS and another 24 have adopted standards based on the Framework for K-12 Science Education. Despite the increased presence of engineering and integrated STEM education in K-12 education, there are several concerns to consider. One concern is the limited availability of observation instruments appropriate for instruction where multiple STEM disciplines are present and integrated with one another. Addressing this concern requires the development of a new observation instrument, designed with integrated STEM instruction in mind. An instrument such as this has implications for both research and practice. For example, research using this instrument could help educators compare integrated STEM instruction across grade bands. Additionally, this tool could be useful in the preparation of pre-service teachers and professional development of in-service teachers new to integrated STEM education and formative learning through professional learning communities or classroom coaching.

The work presented here describes in detail the development of an integrated STEM observation instrument - the STEM Observation Protocol (STEM-OP) - that can be used for both research and practice. Over a period of approximately 18-months, a team of STEM educators and educational researchers developed a 10-item integrated STEM observation instrument for use in K-12 science and engineering classrooms. The process of developing the STEM-OP began with establishing a conceptual framework, drawing on the integrated STEM research literature, national standards documents, and frameworks for both K-12 engineering education and integrated STEM education.

As part of the instrument development process, the project team had access to over 2000 classroom videos where integrated STEM education took place. Initial analysis of a selection of these videos helped the project team write a preliminary draft instrument consisting of 79 items. Through several rounds of revisions, including the construction of detailed scoring levels of the items and collapsing of items that significantly overlapped, and piloting of the instrument for usability, items were added, edited, and/or removed for various reasons. These reasons included issues concerning the intricacy of the observed phenomenon or the item not being specific to integrated STEM education (e.g., questioning). In its final form, the STEM-OP consists of 10 items, each comprising four descriptive levels. Each item is also accompanied by a set of user guidelines, which have been refined by the project team as a result of piloting the instrument and reviewed by external experts in the field. The instrument has shown to be reliable with the project team and further validation is underway. The STEM-OP will be of use to a wide variety of educators and educational researchers looking to understand the implementation of integrated STEM education in K-12 science and engineering classrooms.

Dare, E. A., & Hiwatig, B. M. R., & Keratithamkul, K., & Ellis, J. A., & Roehrig, G., & Ring-Whalen, E. A., & Rouleau, M., & Faruqi, F., & Rice, C., & Titu, P., & Li, F., & Wieselmann, J. R., & Crotty, E. A. (2021, July), Improving Integrated STEM Education: The Design and Development of a K-12 STEM Observation Protocol (STEM-OP) (RTP) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37307

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