June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.845.1 - 11.845.22
Investigating Outcomes for GK-12 Teacher Partners and GK-12 Summer Institute Participants Abstract
The NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program at the University of South Carolina includes two programs for K-12 Teachers: the Teacher Partner Program and the Summer Institute for Teachers. Both programs focus on incorporating engineering related activities into K-12 classrooms, but through different methods. To determine the long-term effects of each program, a follow-up survey was conducted in the Fall of 2005 on all teachers that had participated in either program during the previous four years. Both groups reported long-term benefit due to participation, and although there are slight differences between them, group responses were largely similar. This paper discusses the long-term benefits that were identified and discusses the similarities and differences that were found.
The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program1 provides fellowships to graduate students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines that enable them to enhance STEM instruction in K-12 schools. The program seeks to improve communication, teaching and team building skills skills for the Fellows, provide professional development opportunities for K-12 teachers, and enrich the learning for K-12 students. Because the program has the unique ability to positively benefit three groups of participants (graduate fellows, teacher participants, and K-12 students), it desirable that the benefit to all three groups be evaluated.
Research focus and attention on engineering-situated GK-12 programs has primarily been on the short and long term benefit to the graduate fellows2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and the benefit to the K-12 students.8, 9, 10 Fewer studies have been conducted on the teacher participants, 11, 12. This paper contributes an evaluation of what teachers perceive to be the long-term affects of participating in the University of South Carolina’s GK-12 program. Two components of this program engage teachers: the Teacher Partner Program and the GK-12 Institute for Teachers.
The Teacher Partner Program has been in place since the 2001-2002 academic years. The program consists of assigning a graduate level engineering student, called a GK-12 Fellow, to a K-12 teacher’s classroom for one full school year. GK-12 Fellows enroll in a one-hour graduate course that focuses on teaching strategies for two semesters, work in the assigned K-12 classroom ten hours per week, spend one hour per week planning with their assigned teacher (Teacher Partner), and spend five hours per week in preparing activities for the classroom. The intent is to give engineering students, with plans of entering into industry or academia, exposure to hands-on teaching. The Teacher Partners are likewise provided with a full year of exposure to a fresh perspective that is highly knowledgeable in their field. At the end of the year, the Fellow has gained valuable teaching skills and the K-12 students were provided exposure to real-world connections to the state’s teaching standards. Feedback obtained from the Teacher Partners through surveys and interviews at the end of each year has been positive.
Thompson, S., & Lyons, J., & Caicedo, A. (2006, June), Investigating Outcomes For Gk 12 Teacher Partners And Gk 12 Summer Institute Participants Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/237
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