- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 1950139
- First Name Carmen M.
- Last Name Bellido
- Discipline Other: Psychology
Juan Lopez Garriga
Carmen M. Bellido, Juan Lopez Garriga, Moises Orengo, Bernadette Delgado
There is an overabundance of great resources for teachers, but neither the amount nor the knowledge that they exist and are available ensure their use effectively in the classroom. Many of Noyce’s scholarship programs offer some form of professional development to strengthen participants’ knowledge, skills, and attitudes using readily available resources designed to be used by teachers. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the strategies employed in delivering such training are based on best-practice research to promote transfer to classroom teaching practice.
How to offer training and professional development to future teachers to promote the transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitudes to their practice in the classroom?
The methodology used was based on the science of organizational training and development. Salas & Cannon-Bowers (2001) state that a comprehensive training strategy has four components. First, it conveys information to the trainees, such as concepts, facts, and information they need to learn. Second, it demonstrates the desired behavior, cognition, and attitudes. Third, it creates an opportunity to practice the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be learned. Fourth, it gives feedback to the trainee on how they are doing with respect to learning and allows for remediation. Most training programs that attempt to build skills should have all these components. However, some reports suggest that information and demonstrations such as workbooks, lectures, and videos remain the strategies of choice in the industry (Patel, 2010).
Following the 4 aforementioned components: 1) NoTeS Scholars received 6 workshops, of which two were on NASA educational materials available at https://www.nasa.gov/stem/foreducators/k-12/index.html during the fall semester of 20201-2022. 2) NoTeS faculty, Dr. Rebeca Orama demonstrated how to present a lesson using the NASA for Educators website. The presented lesson plan and materials were translated from English to Spanish and aligned with the science content standards of the Puerto Rico Education Department. 3) The scholars were asked to use the NASA for Educators page to identify a lesson plan, translate the materials, create presentations, and align it to the science standards by grade and subject. 4) The scholars presented their lessons to their peers for feedback. After that, allowing for changes considering the feedback received, they recorded their presentation of the selected lesson and submitted it to Dr. Orama with a self-evaluation reflecting on their practice. During the second semester, the scholars who took the practicum course were observed spontaneously using other teacher resources from the NASA For Educators page to adapt to their lessons at their schools. The lesson plans and resources for teachers produced by the NoTeS scholars were published on the NoTeS project’s website for the benefit of other teachers. Patel, L. (2010). ASTD State of the industry report 2010. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training & Development.
Salas, E., & Cannon-Bowers, J. A. (2001). The science of training: A decade of progress. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 471–499.
All five NoTeS participants in the 2021-2022 academic year went through this training process with lesson alignment, presentation, peer feedback, and video self-assessment. The lesson plans and resources for teachers adapted by the NoTeS scholars were published on the project’s website for the benefit of other teachers. These lessons were translated into Spanish and aligned with the science standards and expectations of the Puerto Rico Department of Education. (www.uprm.edu/cruise1/proyectos-nasa). This process will be repeated in the next academic year, 2023-2024, with the new cohorts of scholars in their last year of the teacher certification courses.
One important implication is the need to maintain a workforce in education that is active, capable, and better trained. The use of effective training practices produces job retention and better performance. Several studies establish that effective training is key to creating and retaining an effective workforce (Aguinis & Kraiguer, 2009). Successful training is not a one-time event but an iterative process considering the elements leading up to training and important factors after training. Thus, STEM teacher education programs, faculty or administrators, researchers, policy, teacher candidates, and/or teachers should include the proven practices that influence training effectiveness before, during, and after training. After receiving the training, NoTeS participants incorporated educational materials and teacher resources in their practice courses while completing their studies, leading to teacher certification. Our next steps will investigate if they continue using the teacher resources beyond certification completion, incorporating them into their teaching practice. Aguinis, H., & Kraiger, K. (2009). Benefits of training and development for individuals and teams, organizations, and society. Annual Review of Psychology, 60, 451–474.