June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.840.1 - 15.840.27
Legacy Cycle as a Vehicle for Transference of Research to the Classroom Abstract
As engineers and educators, we seek the most viable methods through which we can translate research into practice. This paper describes how we have used Legacy Cycle modules6 within the scope of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded outreach program, Research Experience for Teachers in Manufacturing for Competitiveness in the US (RETainUS). The six-week RET summer experience immerses high school mathematics and science teachers into the design and processes of engineering research. Teachers conduct their research alongside engineering students (undergraduate and graduate) with supervision from engineering faculty in various disciplines (mechanical, chemical, etc.). Of central importance to the project team is how to foster the translation of that research into practice, specifically into the high school mathematics and science curriculum. This paper explores the viability and flexibility of the Legacy Cycle as a vehicle to (1) train teachers to be researchers, and (2) as a planning and implementation model teachers can use to take engineering concepts and research into their classrooms.
RETainUS is designed so that teachers “become” researchers in the sense that they conduct literature reviews, develop research question(s), design (collaboratively with mentors/peers) their study, and report their results. Initiating teachers into the research process in the first week of the RET experience is key. In this paper, we describe how we use a Legacy Cycle approach to train the teachers in the research process. The inquiry approach inherent in a Legacy Cycle provides teachers the flexibility to research topics and develop their interests, yet the structure of the Cycle keeps the teachers focused and progressing towards the final goal/product: their research question. Using the Legacy Cycle early in the RET experience also showcases how a Cycle unfolds when implemented. This is important since each teacher is expected to develop a Legacy Cycle aligned to state curriculum standards that integrates engineering concepts and research learned as a result of their participation in the project. Their Legacy Cycle then serves as a vehicle through which their research is translated into the classroom.
This paper addresses how we have used the Legacy Cycle model to achieve project goals. We highlight the unique features of a Legacy Cycle approach and how those features contribute to the successful initiation of teachers into the research process, and to the successful translation of research into practice. Examples of the generated Legacy Cycles from the first year of the RETainUS program will be presented and distinctive features of these examples will be used to further explain the use and impact of the Legacy Cycle as a vehicle for transference of research into the classroom.
Legacy Cycle as a Vehicle for Transference of Research to the Classroom
Several national reports have emphasized the critical need for increased attention to developing a mathematically and technically competent workforce.11,12 Many agree that high-quality mathematics and science education in the K–12 period is absolutely necessary to achieve the goal of creating a mathematically and scientifically literate public. Multitudes of initiatives exist to support K–12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. In
Anthony, H., & Geist, M., & Pardue, S., & Abdelrahman, M., & Thurber, E. (2010, June), Legacy Cycle As A Vehicle For Transference Of Research To The Classroom Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16091
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