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Valued Defiance - Teachers' Views on STEM and Students

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 20

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Johannes Strobel University of Missouri

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¬¬¬Dr. Johannes Strobel is Full Professor, Information Science & Learning Technologies at the University of Missouri where he leads a maker initiative and conducts research in engineering education. His research focuses on engineering learning through hands-on activities; defiance, empathy, care and worldviews in engineering. Dr. Strobel has been PI, Co-PI and key personnel of grants totaling $30MM in the USA and Canada. He co-authored 160 papers and co-edited four books. Dr. Strobel is co-lead designer of Hands-on Standards STEM in Action™—a set of learning modules for preK-5th grades - in use in 35 countries and selected as finalist for two international awards. Dr. Strobel received the 2018 Science Educator of the Year Award from the Academy of Science - St. Louis and the 2018 STEM Excellence Award from the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), and served as an Invited Member on the National Academy of Engineering Committee for Implementing Engineering in K-12. Dr. Strobel founded the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), has served on the board of IEEE Transactions in Education, and currently serves as Associate Editor for the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education and on the board for the ASEAN Journal of Engineering Education.

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Alexander Franz Koch University of Teacher Education, Fribourg, Switzerland Orcid 16x16

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Alexander F. Koch ia an accociated professor for media and ICT instruction at the University of Teacher Education Fribourg, CH; Co-ordinator of L-Tech; Associate at the Center for Research on Teaching/Learning supported by Digital Technologies (C·R·E/A·TE); Scientific adviser Journal of Technical Education (JoTEd)
- Post-doc at the School for Information Science and Learning Technologies, University of Missouri, USA (2018-2019).
- Post-Doc at the Center for Science and Technology Education, University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (2016-2018)
- Dr. phil. at the University of Basel in eductional science (2016)

Main reserach areas: Digitalization and technology education, STEM 4.1; wellbeing, motivation, beliefs

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Hao He University of Missouri-Columbia Orcid 16x16

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Mr. Hao He is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the School of Information Science and Learning Technologies, at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research interests include game-based and VR-enabled learning, online/hybrid learning, creativity and problem-solving ability in STEM education, and meta-studies to Educational Technology programs. He received his B.A. in English Language and Literature from Zhejiang University City College in China, 2008, and then worked as an English teacher and an educational project manager for seven years. In 2015, he came to the University of Missouri to study educational technology and received his M.Ed. in 2017. He started his doctoral study in the same year. During his master’s and doctoral studies, he worked as a research assistant in the Information Experience Lab and conducted user experience evaluations and usability studies. He also contributed to multiple research projects covering online learning, creativity in engineering education, game-based learning, and virtual reality learning environment.

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In western societies, we value innovation, creativity, “outside the box thinking”, “pushing boundaries”, “challenging paradigms” and “coming up with new solutions” - particularly in STEM education (Hart Research Associates, 2015). And yet when we see these behaviors in our young learners, we try to shut it down (Ripley, 2016). Many teachers, for example, value compliant originality and conforming behavior over independent thinking (Beghetto, 2010). Kids will defy; the ones who can make productive use of it will become successful and productive members of society. Negative classroom management styles like suspension are often used due to what the teacher interprets as misbehavior (c.f. Lewis et al., 2008). Unfortunately, a large number of students, who are defiant and don’t have the tools to adept, do disengage, lose interest and drop out of school. To further the problem, negative disciplinary actions in an US-context are immoderately applied to non-white children, especially African Americans and Hispanics (Losen et al., 2015; Blomberg, 2003; Townsend, 2000). In the US, students of color and underrepresented minorities (URMs) are disproportionately more likely to be suspended and labeled “troublemakers” by their teachers, and thus suffer negative outcomes; In this context, school and teacher variables have been widely neglected in research (Fenning & Rose, 2007; Tajalli & Garba, 2014; Townsend, 2000). But if one wants to increase general wellbeing of students and teachers and generate an engaged and positive emotional atmosphere, URMs participation in schooling and STEM in particular, research needs to better understand the nature of these disparities. When and why are students believed “troublemakers” by teachers, how is a “troublemaker” defined from a teacher and a student perspective, how does the “troublemaker“ status and teachers’ consequent reaction and behavior impact students and how to positively integrate “troublemakers” into schooling? This paper's research focuses on teachers' views on troublemakers with the following questions: What are teacher beliefs about “troublemaker” students’ potential achievement in STEM fields? How situational are teachers’ subjective theories of troublemaking behavior and troublemakers? What is the teachers’ existing range of interpreting troublemaking behavior? What are situational factors that shape the view of teacher on a student’s behavior in STEM instruction? Research has been conducted using individual teacher individuals. Analysis followed a phenomenographic methodology by primarily focusing on the different views teachers carry about defiance and phenomenological research exploring the commonalities of teachers views on defiance. In addition, the research team used a comparative case approach comparing teachers' views on STEM and engineering and on attributes of defiance. Results indicate that teachers hold very common and shared conceptions of troublemakers, that their beliefs are fairly strong and that there is a discrepancy about valued attributes of STEM and attributes of troublemakers. Implications are discussed.

Strobel, J., & Koch, A. F., & He, H. (2020, June), Valued Defiance - Teachers' Views on STEM and Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35484

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