Teacher Professional Development and Pedagogy

Designing and Implementing an Elementary Science After School Field Experience

Field experiences provide an important opportunity for preservice teachers to observe and practice science instruction. Too often, insufficient time is allotted for elementary science instruction in the formal classroom. This paper outlines the opportunities and lessons learned from an after school field experience where preservice elementary teachers worked in two-person teams with a classroom mentor teacher at local elementary schools and community centers to deliver two science lessons per week during an elementary science methods course.

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Educational Leadership and Planning for Digital Manufacturing in Schools

Desktop manufacturing systems such as 3D printers and computer-controlled die cutters have recently become affordable in schools. Because this technology is evolving rapidly, considerable experimentation is occurring as teachers explore opportunities to enhance learning across a range of content areas. Central coordination and planning can facilitate effective use of digital manufacturing technologies in schools.

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Technologies to Support Engineering Education

This entry describes technologies that support engineering education, such as 3D printing, computer-assisted design, electromechanical systems and instrumentation, and control systems. Engineering education is one of four disciplines within STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education. While science and mathematics are commonly regarded as core subjects in schools, engineering has had a less prominent role in K–12 education. However, engineering is increasingly used to teach science in context.

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Computing with a Community Focus: Outcomes from an App Inventor Summer Camp for Middle School Students

This paper describes the design and evaluation of a one-week App Inventor summer camp for middle school students with an explicit focus on addressing local community needs. The community focus of the camp was designed to appeal to a broad range of students. We conducted an in-depth interview study to examine its impact on students' attitudes and perceptions, and supplemented this with results from project evaluation. Our results indicate that students had positive experiences in learning and creating real apps for solving community problems.

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Alignment of Hands-on STEM Engagement Activities with Positive STEM Dispositions in Secondary School Students

 This study examines positive dispositions reported by middle school and high school students participating in programs that feature STEM-related activities. Middle school students participating in school-to-home hands-on energy monitoring activities are compared to middle school and high school students in a different project taking part in activities such as an after-school robotics program. Both groups are compared and contrasted with a third group of high school students admitted at the eleventh grade to an academy of mathematics and science.
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Validation of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale for K-12 Teachers: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach

Background: Teacher self-efficacy has received attention because of its direct relationship with teachers’ classroom behaviors. Since engineering has been increasingly introduced in K-12 (precollege) education, development of an instrument to measure teachers’ self-efficacy in the context of teaching engineering has been needed.

Purpose (Hypothesis): This study reports the development and validation of the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale (TESS) for K-12 teachers.

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Teacher Efficacy and Attitudes toward STEM (T-STEM) Survey

Each of the five Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Elementary Teacher Efficacy and Attitudes toward STEM Surveys (T-STEM) contains six scales (sets of surveys items that most confidently describe a single characteristic of the survey-taker when the responses to these items are calculated as a single result). The first scale is called the Personal STEM Teaching Efficacy Belief Scale (PSTEBS) and consists of Likert-scale questions which ask the respondent about their confidence in their teaching skills.

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What Makes for Powerful Classrooms, and How Can We Support Teachers in Creating Them? A Story of Research and Practice, Productively Intertwined

This article and my career as an educational researcher are grounded in two fundamental assumptions: (a) that research and practice can and should live in productive synergy, with each enhancing the other, and (b) that research focused on teaching and learning in a particular discipline can, if carefully framed, yield insights that have implications across a broad spectrum of disciplines. This article begins by describing in brief two bodies of work that exemplify these two fundamental assumptions.

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Measuring the Mathematical Quality of Instruction

In this article, we describe a framework and instrument for measuring the mathematical quality of mathematics instruction. In describing this framework, we argue for the separation of the mathematical quality of instruction (MQI), such as the absence of mathematical errors and the presence of sound mathematical reasoning, from pedagogical method.

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Views of Nature of Science Questionnaire: Toward Valid and Meaningful Assessment of Learners’ Conceptions of Nature of Science

Helping students develop informed views of nature of science (NOS) has been and continues to be a central goal for kindergarten through Grade 12 (K–12) science education. Since the early 1960s, major efforts have been undertaken to enhance K–12 students and science teachers’ NOS views. However, the crucial component of assessing learners’ NOS views remains an issue in research on NOS.
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