June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.1256.1 - 14.1256.11
The TECT Workshop: Raising High School Teachers and Guidance Counselor Self-Efficacy in Counseling Students about Engineering Careers and Majors Introduction
The United States faces a serious shortage of scientists, engineers, technologists, and mathematicians because high school students, especially those from underrepresented groups, are increasingly losing interest in these subjects . Reversing this trend requires promoting science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects and professions in a more socially relevant, real-world context and recognition of the differences in learning styles and self-efficacy between males, females and minorities [2, 3, 4]. As STEM teachers and school guidance counselors are a primary catalysts for introducing students to engineering and technology subjects and careers, the Teaching Engineering to Counselors and Teachers (TECT) professional development workshop has been developed by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNC-Charlotte) to strengthen the way in which high school teachers and counselors approach the integration of engineering based materials into their courses and counseling.
The TECT workshop, a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded proof-of-concept project, incorporates the well-established STEM model of hands-on problem-based learning to improve student learning and comprehension. To reinforce this approach, the TECT workshop makes use of existing engineering related student summer camps to conduct concurrent teacher and counselor in-service education and promote best practices that reach across the diversity of student learning styles and interests. In the TECT workshops, the teachers and counselors interact with students in the summer camps, learn new engineering and pedagogical content, and participate in teaching selected summer camp activities.
To date, three TECT workshops have been held that have included a total of 29 STEM teachers and 15 guidance counselors from 24 local area high schools. This paper first presents the framework for the project and discusses some of the innovative materials and content developed. Finally, the paper concludes with some of the results and findings that demonstrate the workshop’s potential to significantly increase participants’ self-efficacy in counseling students about engineering careers and majors.
The Challenge: Bridging the Engineering Awareness Gap
According to Thomas L. Friedman, in The World is Flat: A Brief History of the 21st Century, America now imports foreigners to do the scientific work that its citizens no longer want to do or even know how to do . Nearly one in five scientists and engineers in the United States is an immigrant, and 57 percent of doctoral candidates in engineering are foreigners . In 2004, women only comprised 10% of the tenured/tenure-track faculty in U.S. engineering colleges, minorities only 5.3% .
In addition, the NSF report Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering: 2000 states that, although some progress has been made at all levels of education and employment, women are still less likely to choose careers in science and engineering .
Gehrig, B., & Abrams, L., & Bosley, D., & Conrad, J., & Kuyath, S. (2009, June), The Tect Workshop: Raising High School Teachers’ And Guidance Counselors’ Self Efficacy In Counseling Students About Engineering Careers And Majors Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5048
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