STEM Goes Rural Webpage

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Research

Research will be conducted to help answer the following:

  • What is the impact of the project on P-12 learning?
  • What is the impact of the project on teacher retention in high need districts?
  • What is the impact of the project on policy?
  • Do engineering units improve math skills?
  • Can technology enhance P-12 STEM learning and STEM teacher retention in rural schools?
  • What is the impact of major teacher education projects?

Faculty Research

Development of Woodrow Wilson Fellows' Concepts about the Nature of
Knowledge

Dr. Ala Samarapungavan, Dr. Aman Yadav, and Mauricio Herron
Educational Psychology, Department of Educational Studies
Purdue University

Educational researchers have noted that neither knowledge of disciplinary content nor knowledge of pedagogical practices is individually sufficient for good teaching. Instead what is needed is the development of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (Shulman, 1986), which integrates a teacher's understanding of disciplinary content with a knowledge of the ways in which students can best learn such content, and the use of pedagogical practices that will facilitate student learning of disciplinary content. This research project will examine Woodrow Wilson preservice teachers' concepts about the nature of knowledge and knowing in the discipline that they are preparing to teach, as well as their understanding about appropriate pedagogical practices in their disciplines. These concepts will be mapped to the performance standards mandated by the state for teacher preparation programs. The development and mastery of these concepts related to pedagogical content knowledge is considered critical to achieving proficiency in teaching.

Projected Outcomes of STEM Goes Rural

  • Increased science learning by secondary science students in targeted rural schools, as measured by achievement tests and performance rubrics.
  • Hiring and retention of 80% of program fellows in rural, secondary school STEM teaching for three years following graduation.
  • A robust model for enhancing secondary STEM education in rural schools through PBL, design-thinking, collaboration, and technology.
  • Presentation and/or publication of 3-5 scholarly products per year, beginning with year 3 of the project.