- Year 2019
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852807
- First Name Victor
- Last Name Donnay
- Discipline Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Math, Physics
Augusto Macalalag, Arcadia University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Victor Donnay, Bryn Mawr College, email@example.com; Augusto Macalalag, Arcadia University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rationale “The difference between the educational cost of implementing STEM, in and of itself as an inherently deficit model, and the integration of STEM in a holistic sociocultural model is staggering, not because of any monetary challenges, but because not doing so is destined to produce another generation of uninvolved, unengaged and uninformed citizens.” (Zeidler, 2014) During 2017-18, NSF granted the Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership a one-year capacity building grant to explore the development of teacher leaders in the area of Education for Sustainability (#1660796). The quoted passage above sums up the learning that was taken away from that experience. If we are not educating children for the ability to be involved, engaged and informed citizens, then what are we educating them for? Because this critical need has become very clear, it is our intention to infuse the idea of educating for sustainability into all the programs that we initiate in the future.
This professional development series proposes to provide a hybrid experience for STEM teachers which incorporates research that shows the critical importance of in-depth professional development with the notion that singular conferences can provide an inspirational experience that moves teachers to seek additional growth experiences in order to improve their practice. In addition, this professional development series aims to partner both pre-service and in-service teachers in challenging their thinking to develop non-traditional curriculum units that are both inquiry-based and place-based using the students’.
Socioscientific Issues (SSI) provide a strong framework for engaging students and teachers in meaningful and relevant scientific discourse in the development of functional scientific literacy. The framework, “focuses specifically on empowering students to consider how science-based issues and the decisions made concerning them reflect, in part, the moral principles and qualities of virtue that encompass their own lives, as well as the physical and social world around them” (Zeidler, Sadler, Simmons, and Howes 2005, p. 360). However, SSI is not typically integrated in teaching STEM subjects even when teachers apply the disciplinary core ideas (e.g. physical and life sciences), the science and engineering practices (e.g. developing and using models), and the crosscutting concepts (e.g. cause and effect) based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States 2013).
The overarching goal of these conferences would be to enhance the growth of STEM educators at all levels of their professional trajectory so as to: Design, develop, and share place-based STEM learning experiences through a “holistic sociocultural context”; ositively impact students’ STEM knowledge, skills and self-efficacy; Build a bridge between pre-and in-service teachers; Encourage and develop teacher leadership Based upon seven years of experience planning and implementing teacher professional development, the Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership is excited to design a cohesive, focused professional development series that will bring approximately 100 Noyce pre and inservice secondary STEM teachers and other STEM teachers from the Philadelphia region together to explore Integrating STEM in Everyday Life. Educators will be asked to think intentionally about areas of their students’ lives in which learning STEM concepts would be highly motivating.
PRNP has a unique opportunity to bring together pre-service STEM teachers from institutions of higher education in the Philadelphia region that have not had Noyce programs before and to introduce students and faculty from these institutions to the Noyce network. We will reach out to Cabrini College, Rosemont, Cheney, Chestnut Hill, Holy Family, Lincoln, Villanova, Widener and other institutions that prepare STEM teachers to teach in the Philadelphia area. Engaging approximately 100 pre- and in-service teachers and potentially 10,000 students in STEM placed-based curricular units that utilize the surrounding communities as their “laboratories” exchanges the learning environments from inside the school walls into the community while at the same time brings cultural and community stakeholders into the world of schools. This interchange across the wall of the school buildings opens up new relationships within each community along STEM, cultural, and community lines.