Professional Development Through STEM Integration: How Early Career Math and Science Teachers Respond to Experiencing Integrated STEM Tasks

Rachael Eriksen Brown, Christopher A. Bogiages

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Teachers often struggle to utilize reform-based teaching strategies in their first few years of teaching for many reasons (Ball, Thames & Phelps, Journal of Teacher Education 59, 389–407, 2008; Berlin & White, International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education 8, 97–115, 2010; Frykholm & Glasson, School Science and Mathematics 105, 127–141, 2005; Lederman & Lederman, Science Teacher Education 24, 1237–1240, 2013). An important part of teachers’ learning to implement these pedagogically ambitious strategies is for teachers to experience learning themselves through an immersive experience in the new strategy (Louks-Horsley, Stiles, Mundry, Love & Hewson, Designing professional development for teachers of science and mathematics, 2010). Building on this body of research and a host of recent national education standards documents, this paper explores the various dispositions early career high school science and math teachers from across the USA demonstrate when engaging together as learners in integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) tasks. Embedded within a multi-year professional development program, teachers were engaged in two integrated STEM tasks during two separate professional development experiences. Following the tasks, teachers responded to writing prompts asking them to reflect on their experience during the tasks. Analysis of the reflections about the integrated STEM tasks fell into two broad categories of dispositions: engager and observer. The data suggest various strategies for professional development providers who are interested in providing professional development focused on integrated STEM instruction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-128
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Science and Mathematics Education
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 15 2019

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Professional Development
career
mathematics
engineering
Engineering
teacher
science
Science Education
Teacher Education
disposition
Mathematics Education
experience
education standards
mathematics instruction
Observer
education
Ball
teaching strategy
Berlin
school

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Mathematics(all)

Cite this

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