i-STEM Summer Institute: An Integrated Approach to Teacher Professional Development in STEM
Keywords: STEM, Teacher professional development, content knowledge
AbstractThe importance of STEM education to societal developments provides justification for assuring K12 teachers are prepared to teach the related content. Inservice teacher professional development is critical to achieving the goal of enhanced student knowledge of STEM. Combining the need for increased capacity to teach STEM and the extant literature on teacher development, we created a four-day residential summer institute for 230 grade 49 teachers. The institute was designed to enhance the participants content knowledge, use of inquiry for instruction, and efficacy for teaching STEM. A combination of content strands, plenary sessions, field trips and planning time were augmented by the provision of the resources necessary to implement the curriculum the participants learned. Pre- and post-test results of the participants comfort, pedagogical discontentment, inquiry implementation, perceived efficacy, and content knowledge in the context of STEM revealed significant changes (p < 01). In addition, pre- and post-test results indicate the participants perceptions and conceptions of STEM achieved substantial gains. Our report provides the details, outcomes, and potential implications for STEM education.
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