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Teachers in Industry: Teaching Transformed through Authentic Work Experience

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre- College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1459.1 - 26.1459.13



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Paper Authors


Bradley Bowen North Dakota State University Orcid 16x16

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Bradley Bowen is an assistant professor at North Dakota State University. He has a duel appointment with the Teacher Education Department and the Department of Construction Management and Engineering. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and received a Master's of Civil Engineering and an Ed.D. in Technology Education from N.C. State University. He specializes in developing and integrating project-based activities into the K-12 classroom that incorporate engineering and STEM learning concepts as well as providing professional development for K-12 teachers.

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Teachers in Industry: Teaching Transformed through Authentic Work Experience (Work in Progress; Strand 2)How can classroom teachers be expected to train the future workforce if they don't know how theworkforce works? In today’s society, there is enormous pressure on classroom teachers toprepare students for what they will face in the future as leaders and members of a globaleconomy. In addition to content knowledge, problem-solving and process knowledge are criticalfor students to be successful in an industry environment. However, many teachers do not receivethe proper training for engaging students in authentic problem-solving activities that teach theskills needed to be successful in such a rapidly changing workforce. As the need for futureSTEM employees increases, it is critical that teachers receive targeted professional developmentto more effectively engage their students in the classroom. This is accomplished by givingteachers the tools and resources to continuously develop their own skills and knowledge inSTEM methods, teaching techniques, and relevant use of engineering-related processes.Therefore, relevant and innovative methods for in-service teacher professional development mustbe designed to meet the changing and growing needs of industry.Teacher externships have been proven to be an effective tool for professional development inSTEM learning, scientific investigation, and engineering design. These programs placeclassroom teachers in an industry-based work experience during the summer months, providingthe opportunity to learn authentic applications of knowledge that is not learned throughtraditional teacher preparation programs or typical professional development activities. Teachersgain valuable first-hand knowledge of how engineering-based companies are using problem-solving processes to solve technological problems. The teachers can then take this knowledgeback to the classroom, making the course content more relevant and engaging for their studentsthrough real-world application of the teacher's experience. When properly designed, researchshows that externship programs change teachers' classroom practices to include more problem-solving processes and STEM teaching techniques.Since 2011, _____ University has been providing K-12 in-service teachers with engineering-focused professional development through the _____ program. This program was created toincrease the teachers’ skills in engineering design and process knowledge, and to create a shift inclassroom teaching. The research described in this study was designed to show how the _____externship program changes teachers’ classroom practices to include more engineering andSTEM-based techniques. Both quantitative and qualitative data have been used to measure theshift in pedagogical practice to include more problem solving processes and STEM teachingtechniques in the classroom. The results of the statistical analysis show significant changes inteaching practices after participation in the externship program. This paper will describe thedetails of the _____ externship program, the research project, and the research findings.

Bowen, B. (2015, June), Teachers in Industry: Teaching Transformed through Authentic Work Experience Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24796

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