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Perceptions Of K 12 And Collegiate Stem Teaching Careers By Computing, Engineering, And Science Administrators, Faculty And Advisors

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development for K-12 Teachers

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.947.1 - 15.947.16



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Paper Authors


Donna Llewellyn Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Donna C. Llewellyn is the Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning (CETL)at Georgia Tech. Donna received her B.A. in Mathematics from Swarthmore College, her M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University, and her Ph.D. in Operations Research from Cornell University. After working as a faculty member in the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Georgia Tech, she changed career paths to lead CETL where she works with faculty, instructors, and graduate students to help them teach effectively so that our students can learn.

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Caroline Noyes Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Caroline R. Noyes is the Assistant Director of the Office of Assessment at Georgia Tech. Caroline received her A.B. in Psychology from
Randolph-Macon Woman's College, her M.A. in Student Affairs and Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Georgia. After a faculty career teaching psychology, she changed career paths to focus on assessing student learning and institutional effectiveness.

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Robert DeHaan Emory University

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Dr. Robert L. DeHaan is Senior Science Advisor, Division of Educational Studies, and C. H. Candler Professor of Cell Biology Emeritus at Emory University. DeHaan has published extensively on cellular science and developmental biology of the embryonic heart, as well as on how to improve undergraduate science instruction.
He was Director of CUSE for the National Research Council in Washington, D.C. from 2001 to 2003; in 2009 DeHaan was named a lifetime Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He currently serves Georgia Institute of Technology as External Evaluator for the Tech-to-Teaching project, an NSF-supported Innovation through Institutional Integration (I3) program.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Perceptions of K-12 and Collegiate STEM Teaching Careers by Computing, Engineering, and Science Administrators, Faculty and Advisors Abstract With increasing demand for science and math teachers in middle and high schools, educating students who can fill these positions is critical. In many states, the available Colleges of Education are not currently meeting the demand, leaving a role for other institutions with a strong emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to assist with the production of these teachers. Additionally, with a tight job market for STEM faculty positions, there is a need for research universities to facilitate the preparation of their doctoral students for teaching in higher education (especially for those careers in more teaching-oriented colleges and universities).

This paper describes a research study that employs both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to examine the attitudes of faculty and administrators towards students who pursue teaching-oriented careers. One-on-one interviews conducted with deans of the Colleges of Computing, Engineering, and Sciences, and focus groups with associate deans, school chairs, graduate coordinators, and undergraduate coordinators from those three colleges provided an opportunity to discuss the role of a technological institute in preparing both undergraduate and graduate students in STEM fields for teaching oriented careers. The interviews and focus groups also provided an opportunity for an in-depth discussion of traditional career paths and the perceived institutional barriers and institutional support for students’ interest in teaching careers. Additionally, surveys were used to elicit beliefs of 1) academic advisors of undergraduate students and 2) faculty in the three Colleges who supervise doctoral students concerning the prestige of teaching careers, the characteristics of students pursuing teaching careers, and their perceived level of preparation for advising students about teaching careers.

The results indicate that interest in teaching careers is perceived to be increasing among both graduate and undergraduate students in STEM fields, and that faculty and academic advisors do not feel well prepared for advising students about these kinds of careers. There is also agreement among all constituencies that additional institutional support is needed for both graduate and undergraduate students who are interested in teaching careers. Faculty and administrators have different student characteristics in mind when describing doctoral students who are interested in a teaching-oriented career; however, there is greater agreement between administrators and advisors concerning the characteristics of undergraduates interested in teaching STEM content in middle and high school. Among all participants, there is agreement on the institution’s commitment to providing STEM content and the need for more clearly delineated pathways to teaching careers, but there is also agreement that responsibility for K-12 teaching certification should reside within Colleges of Education. Both the current demand for STEM teachers and the need for a better prepared professoriate require that more institutions begin to think about how they can facilitate student pursuit of STEM teaching careers, even those with no previous experience with teacher preparation. This paper highlights several key issues facing technological institutions as they confront their potential role in providing STEM educators for the state and region. 1

Llewellyn, D., & Noyes, C., & DeHaan, R. (2010, June), Perceptions Of K 12 And Collegiate Stem Teaching Careers By Computing, Engineering, And Science Administrators, Faculty And Advisors Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16297

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