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Title: WIP: Initial Investigation of Effective Teacher Professional Development Among Experienced and Non-experienced Engineering Teachers
The Bureau of Statistics identified an urgent demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professionals in the coming years. In order to meet this demand, the number of students graduating with STEM degrees in the United States needs to increase by 34% annually [1]. Engineering for US All (E4USA): A National Pilot Program for High School Engineering Course and Database is a NSF-funded first-of-its-kind initiative designed to address this national need. The E4USA project aims to make engineering more inclusive and accessible to underrepresented minorities, while increasing racial, ethnic, and gender representation in higher education and the workforce. The “for us all” mission of E4USA encompasses both students and educators. The demand for engineering educators has increased, but relying on practicing engineers to switch careers and enter teacher preparation programs has been insufficient [2, 3, 4]. This has led schools to turn to educators with limited training in engineering, which could potentially have a significant national impact on student engineering education [5, 6, 7]. Part of the E4USA pilot year mission has been to welcome educators with varying degrees of experience in industry and teaching. Paramount to E4USA was the construction of professional development (PD) experiences and a community more » of practice that would prepare and support teachers with varying degrees of engineering training instruction as they implemented the yearlong course. The perspectives of four out of nine educators were examined during a weeklong, intensive E4USA PD. Two of four educators were considered ‘novices’; one with a background in music and the other in history. The remaining two educators were deemed ‘veterans’ with a total of 15 years of experience as engineers and more than 20 years as engineering educators. Data sources consist of focus groups, surveys, and artifacts created during the PD (e.g., educators’ responses to reflection prompts and letters written to welcome the next cohort). Focus group data is currently being analyzed using inductive coding and the constant comparative method in order to identify emergent themes that speak to the past experience or inexperience of educators with engineering. Artifacts were used to: 1) Triangulate the findings generated from the analysis of focus group, and 2) Further understand how the veteran educators supported the novice educators. We will also use quantitative survey data to examine descriptive statistics, observed score bivariate correlations, and differences in mean scores across novices and veterans to further examine potential common and unique experiences for these educators. The results aim to highlight how the inclusion of educators with a broad spectrum of past experiences with engineering and engineering education can increase educators’ empathy towards students who may be equally hesitant about engineering. The findings from this study are expected to result in implications for how PD and a community of practice may be developed to allow for reciprocal support and mentoring. Results will inform future efforts of E4USA and aim to change the structure of high school engineering education nationwide. « less
Authors:
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Award ID(s):
1849430
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10175379
Journal Name:
2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Experience
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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