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Learning Through Teaching: A Longitudinal Study On The Effects Of Gk 12 Programs On Teaching Fellows

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

College/University Engineering Students K-12 Outreach

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.883.1 - 10.883.12



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Paper Authors

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Russell Faux

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Meredith Knight

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Brian Gravel

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Session 2510

Learning through Teaching: A Longitudinal Study on the Effects of GK-12 Programs on Teaching Fellows

Brian E. Gravel, Christine M. Cunningham, Meredith T. Knight, Russell Faux Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach/ Museum of Science, Boston/ Davis Square Research Associates


In 1999, the National Science Foundation Division of Graduate Education began a new project called the GK-12 program. These grants are awarded to universities to have graduate students and faculty in STEM fields work with teachers, schools, and students to improve STEM education. These grants are also awarded with the mission of educating the future industry and professorial workforce on the culture and importance of K-12 STEM education. Tufts University received its first three-year GK-12 grant in 2000, called “GK-12 Engineering Fellows: A K-12 Resource for Integrating Engineering, Math and Science.” The project was awarded a three-year continuation in 2003 under the name “Tufts Engineering the Next Steps (TENS) GK-12.” These projects developed a cohort of over 20 graduate students from various engineering disciplines (including computer science), who have worked to infuse engineering into existing math and science curricula in K-12 schools.

The model of GK-12 at Tufts University is one of small team work; one Fellow works with 1-3 teachers--the Fellow serves as a technical resource for the teacher and classroom and the teacher serves as an expert about pedagogy and classroom teaching. The Fellow helps to design engineering activities that align with science and math curriculum frameworks for all grades. The Fellow spends a majority of his/her time co-teaching each class and is therefore exposed first hand to the challenges and intricacies of public education.

Evaluation data collected throughout both Tufts GK-12 projects have suggested an apparent trend in how the Fellows’ understanding of teaching and schools changes over the course of their Fellowship. Furthermore, many of the Fellows report improvement in their communication and teaching skills. This paper will investigate further the following hypothesis: Participating in a time-intensive outreach program, where Fellows are teaching science, math, and engineering concepts, helps engineering graduate students to understand public school environments, develop better communication skills, and hone their career plans.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Faux, R., & Knight, M., & Gravel, B., & Cunningham, C. (2005, June), Learning Through Teaching: A Longitudinal Study On The Effects Of Gk 12 Programs On Teaching Fellows Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14854

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