An Analysis of the Effect of Long-Term Professional Development on Teacher Engineering Self-Efficacy and Its Impact on Classroom Instruction

How R-STEM's NEWT NEET course impacts teachers' self efficacy.

Pre-college  engineering  education  has  gained  traction  in  U.S.  schools  over  the  past  twenty  years.  This  growth is evident with engineering emerging as a crosscutting discipline in the Next Generation Science Standards. How-ever, the scarcity of professional development (PD) for K-12 teachers who want to teach engineering and the few PD op-portunities with the characteristics shown to improve teacher learning, i.e., contact time, long-term support, and follow-up, suggest a need for new and innovative PD offerings for K-12 teachers. We developed a 45-hour graduate course specifically for K-12 teachers to incorporate engineering into their classrooms and evaluated the effect of this long-term PD on K-12 teaching engineering self-efficacy. Additionally, this study looked at how the participants translated the course into their teaching practices. Forty-one in-service teachers participated either in a 2018 or 2019 semester-long course that combined nanotechnology content and Project-Based Learning pedagogy. Pre-post measures using Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale revealed significant gains in both cohort teachers’ self-efficacy. Teachers found the course effective in building their technical skills and providing beneficial PD. This study’s significant positive outcomes indicate that the course analyzed serves as a pre-college engineering education PD model. 

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