- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 1852697
- First Name Jay
- Last Name Fogleman
- Discipline STEM Education (general)
Theresa Deeney, Nicole Hersey
The number of U.S. student STEM graduates in higher education is 20% compared to Malaysia (40%), India (34%), United Arab Emirates, Germany, Belarus, and South Korea (30%) according to a Unesco Institute for Statistics report (World Economic Forum, 2022). Two factors that contribute to the low performance of U.S. students in the sciences are fewer credentialed STEM teachers and the high percentage of STEM teacher attrition. Students who participate in informal education internships experience positive outcomes after working with children (Anderson et al., 2006; Borgerding, 2015; Wallace, 2013). Yet, while many programs across the country offer this summer internship experience little is known about how such programs lead to more STEM teachers (Worsham, 2014).
The purpose of this project was to explore how our interns’ summer experiences influenced their interests in teaching.
We used a design based research (DBR) approach to study our summer internship program. A design based research approach uses an iterative methodology of interventions to study people in real world context to inform learning theory (Brown, 1992). Using an iterative approach this DBR study centered on the students’ experiences in informal learning environments and the pedagogies that impact them. To accomplish this the interns were provided with assigned readings and opportunities to reflect on their experiences during each summer’s iteration.
Results suggest participants’ were hesitant to self-identify as acting as teachers to the children yet they valued the attributes of effective teachers as an integral part of their role at their internship sites.
Future research is needed on effective recruitment strategies to attract STEM majors to a teaching career in high-need schools.