Project Profile

Artificial Intelligence Curriculum and K-12 Teacher Agency: Barriers and Opportunities


AI-powered tools have the potential to transform education, both in formal and informal settings. The immense potential for AI to address challenges in education has created an urgent need to characterize how K-12 education may leverage these powerful tools safely, ethically, and equitably. While the AI in education landscape is changing drastically and rapidly, little is known about K-12 educators' engagement with AI and how newly developed tools and curriculum will be received and integrated into classrooms. K-12 teachers are critical stakeholders whose understanding, opinions, and willingness to engage with AI tools will be important factors in the success of AI in K-12 education. Without fundamentally understanding K-12 teacher opinions and agency related to AI in education, there is risk of making investments in tools, training, and curricula that simply do not meet the needs or address the concerns of the teachers who will implement them. This project addresses this knowledge gap by collecting survey data from a national sample of K-12 teachers to guide the development of AI tools and curriculum. This proposal was received in response to the Dear Colleague Letter (DCL): Rapidly Accelerating Research on Artificial Intelligence in K-12 Education in Formal and Informal Settings (NSF 23-097), and funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which supports projects that build understandings of practices, program elements, contexts processes contributing to increasing students' knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers.

Researchers will develop and refine a survey to be distributed to approximately 1,000 K-12 teachers nationally. The project investigates the overall research question: How do K-12 teachers perceive AI education and its impacts on the workforce? The project leverages an ecological agency model to develop the survey about AI tool and curriculum adoption. The survey will include both quantitative measures and open-response questions and will be refined through cognitive interviews and reviewed by an expert panel to ensure clarity and completeness. Research results will be disseminated in scholarly publications, as well as through venues that will reach educational practitioners and the public at large. The project results will have the potential to directly impact AI curriculum and tool development for K-12 education.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.


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Principal Investigator(s)


Award Number
Project Duration
2023 - 2024
Regents of the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
Project Status