June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.823.1 - 15.823.13
K-12 Teacher Professional Development Effectively Offered by STEM Faculty from a Research University
As part of an extensive University - K-12 partnership program in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) disciplines, more than 20 faculty members at Clarkson University have developed and taught summer institutes and workshops for area middle and high school teachers. The goals of these interventions are to provide rigorous and state-of-the-art STEM content knowledge, to model effective and active teaching strategies, and to prepare the teachers to bring the new STEM content into their classrooms. The 5-day summer institutes provide rigorous content and hands-on activities for the teachers. The objective of this paper is to describe the development and assessment of the institutes.
The design of the institutes was based on educational research that has documented key features of professional development and careful evaluation of prior professional development activities in the region. The optimal partnership was defined as one where teachers partner with working scientists, mathematicians, and engineers who have sophisticated equipment in laboratory work space, computing facilities and other resources of higher education. During the past two years, approximately 250 individuals attended 22 institutes; some of the teachers attended multiple offerings. The efficacy and impact of these institutes has been assessed through pre- and post content knowledge or capability tests, evaluation forms, and peer-review of lessons developed as an outcome of the institutes. For all institutes, evaluations indicated a statistically significant increase in STEM content knowledge and evaluations were remarkable. The transfer of this knowledge by the teachers into classroom lesson plans and activities, and the peer review of that outcome are on-going.
Clarkson University is committed to supporting and enhancing the quality of public school education in the rural and economically struggling northern region of New York State. The need in this “North Country” for educational assistance is consistent with those identified in several recent analyses of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education in our country. Beginning with the 1995 Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), it has been apparent that the average American 8th grader has lagged behind the world in science and mathematics achievement. 1,2 Concerted national efforts to improve our educational system have made a difference. The recently reported 2007 TIMSS results 3 show substantial improvement in both science and math scores at the 4th and 8th grade levels. There is, however, room for continued improvement: 8th grade scores have not improved as much as 4th grade; scores for boys in science at the 8th grade level are still significantly higher than for girls; and the scores for students from minority populations and students from schools where 50% or more of the students receive free lunches are significantly below the National averages. The results also show that few of our students truly excel in math and science courses. In the 8th grade, only 10% of students in science and 6% in mathematics reach the “TIMSS advanced international benchmark.”
Powers, S., & Brydges, B., & DeWaters, J., & Small, M. M., & Gotham, G., & Turner, P. (2010, June), K 12 Teacher Professional Development Effectively Offered By Stem Faculty From A Research University Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15749
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015