Supporting Faculty to Communicate STEM Research to K-12 Teachers

Thursday 12:40 pm – 1:05 pm PT / 1:40 pm – 2:05 pm MT / 2:40 pm – 3:05 pm CT / 3:40 pm – 4:05 pm ET Online

Kathleen Hill, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus

To advance STEM fields, engaging in science and engineering research requires both a set of practices and the historical accumulation of knowledge (NRC, 2007). The Next Generation Science Standards call for precollege students to learn science and engineering content by engaging in the practices of scientists and engineers (NGSS Lead States, 2013). These requirements are not aligned with the past and current preparation of secondary science teachers in most states (Krajcik et al., 2000; Olson et al., 2015).

While undergraduate research opportunities have increased for STEM majors, formal undergraduate science courses rarely provide future teachers with the opportunity to engage in the practices of STEM researchers and tend to focus on content delivery and strict protocol-driven lab experiences with known outcomes (Sadler & McKinney, 2010). Resultingly, teachers often perceive science research through the lens of the traditional scientific method, in which research is linear, static, and sterile, such that each step is discrete and only occurs when the prior step is complete (Windschitl, 2004).

This poster will present the ways in which the Penn State Center for Science and the Schools uses of the Modeling Authentic STEM Research Model (MASTER Model; Ward, 2016) with teachers to build their understanding of how STEM research is conducted. The MASTER Model is a diagrammatic depiction of a STEM research agenda and can be used at multiple levels, including individual researcher, multiple researchers, and multiple institutions. Comprised of five distinct levels, it provides a holistic view of the many aspects involved in STEM research while depicting the interconnectedness and interdependencies of multiple research activities.
With teachers being expected to incorporate the practices of scientists and engineering into their teaching, faculty can utilize the MASTER Model and leverage their research agenda to increase precollege teachers' understanding of the ways in which experts do their work.

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