An Innovative Integrated STEM Program for PreK-6 Teachers

Citation
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Lottero-Perdue, P.S., Haines, S., Bamberger, H., & Miranda, R.J. (2018). An innovative integrated STEM program for preK-6 teachers. Innovations in Science Teacher Education, 3(2). Retrieved from https://innovations.theaste.org/an-innovative-integrated-stem-program-for-prek-6-teachers/

by Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Towson University; Sarah Haines, Towson University; Honi J. Bamberger, Towson University; & Rommel J. Miranda, Towson University

Abstract

In this article, we describe an innovative, 6-course, 18-credit post-baccalaureate certificate (PBC) program for pre-kindergarten through grade six teachers (PreK-6) in Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (iSTEM) Instructional Leadership. Here, the acronym, “iSTEM,” refers to education that not only addresses each of the S, T, E and M subjects, but also emphasizes the connections among them. We collaboratively contributed to the development of the program, and teach courses within it. The program graduated its pilot cohort of teachers in 2015, is running its second cohort, and is recruiting for a third. The article summarizes the program’s origins and integration approach and key aspects of program design. Those key aspects include: make-up of the program team; a deliberate course sequence; decrease in structure (and increase in more open-ended, student-centered learning approaches) over time in the program; and movement in the program from growth as an iSTEM teacher towards growth as iSTEM teacher leader. Each of the courses is described in greater detail, followed by a discussion of program assessment and evaluation. The article concludes with our reflections about the program’s challenges and successes thus far.

Innovations Journal articles, beyond each issue's featured article, are included with ASTE membership. If your membership is current please login at the upper right.

Become a member or renew your membership

References

Berkowitz, A., Ford, M., & Brewer, C. (2005). A framework for integrating ecological literacy, civics literacy, and environmental citizenship in environmental education. In E. A. Johnson & M. J. Mappin (Eds.). Environmental education and advocacy (pp. 227-266). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Blake, R., Frederick, J.A., Haines, S.A., & Colby Lee, S. (2010). Inside-Out: Teaching environmental science inside and outside the elementary/middle school classroom. Arlington, VA: National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) Press.

Buck Institute for Education (BIE). (2011). PBL in the Elementary Grades: Step-by-Step Guidance, Tools & Tips for Standards-focused K-5 Projects. Project Based Learning Toolkit Series. Novato, CA: BIE.

Coyle, K. (2005). Environmental literacy in America: What ten years of NEETF/Roper research and related studies say about environmental literacy in the U.S. Washington, DC: The National Environmental Education and Training Foundation.

Cunningham, C. M., & Carlsen, W. S. (2014). Teaching engineering practices. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 25, 197-210.

Cunningham, C. M., & Lachapelle, C. P. (2014). Designing engineering experiences to engage all students. In S. Purzer, J. Strobel & M.E. Cardella (Eds.), Engineering in pre-college settings: Synthesizing research, policy, and practices, (pp. 117-142). West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press.

Dufour, R. (2004, May). What is a “Professional Learning Community?” Educational Leadership, 61(8), 6-11.

EiE. (2011). Thinking inside the box: Designing plant packages. Boston, MA: National Center for Technological Literacy.

Erdogan, M. (2009). Fifth grade students’ environmental literacy and the factors affecting students’ environmentally responsible behaviors. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey.

Gess-Newsome, J. & Lederman, N. (Eds.) (1999). Examining pedagogical content knowledge. Science and Technology Library Series. Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Haines, S.A. (2006). Outdoor classrooms: Planning makes perfect. Science and Children, 43(8), 44-48.

Instructional Leader STEM (Grades PreK-6), COMAR 13A.12.02.29. (2015). http://mdrules.elaws.us/comar/13a.12.02.29

Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K. A. (2006). Active learning: Cooperation in the college classroom. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Company.

Kamkwamba, W. & Mealer, B. (2016). The boy who harnessed the wind (Young Readers Edition). New York, NY: Puffin Books.

Kitagawa, L. (2016, January). Made for the shade: A creative task engages kindergarteners in building protective structures for UV-sensitive lizards. Science and Children, 53(5), 34-40.

Learning Forward. (2011). Standards for Professional Learning.  Oxford, OH:  Author.

Lester, H. & Munsinger, L. (ill.) (2008). Tacky the penguin. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Lottero-Perdue, P.S. (2017). Engineering design into science classrooms. In Settlage, J., Southerland, S., Smetana, L., & Lottero-Perdue, P.S. Teaching Science to Every Child: Using Culture as a Starting Point. (Third Edition). (pp. 207-266). New York, NY: Routledge.

Reeves, D. B. (2010). Transforming Professional Development into Student Results. Alexandria, VA:  ASCD.

Schulman, I. S. (1987). Learning to teach. American Association of Higher Education, 40, 1-5.

Suskie, L. (2009). Assessing student learning: A common sense guide (2nd ed). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE). (2012). Maryland STEM Standards of Practice. Retrieved October 12, 2017 from: http://mdk12.msde.maryland.gov/instruction/academies/MarylandStateSTEMStandardsofPractice.pdf

MSDE. (2007). Maryland State Technology Literacy Standards for Students. Retrieved October 12, 2017 from: http://mdk12.msde.maryland.gov/instruction/curriculum/technology_literacy/vsc_technology_literacy_standards.pdf

National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and National Research Council (NRC). (2009). Engineering in K-12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/12635.

NAE and NRC. (2014). STEM Integration in K-12 Education: Status, Prospects, and an Agenda for Research. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/18612.

National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. (2013, February). Focus Issue: Mathematics Teaching in a STEM Context, Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, 18(6).

National Governors Association Center (NGAC) for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). (2010). Common Core State Standards. Washington, DC: NGAC and CCSSO. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Lead States. (2013). Next Generation Science Standards: For states, by states. Washington, DC: National Academies Press. Retrieved from www.nextgenscience.org/next-generation-science-standards

Park, L.S. (2010). A Long Walk to Water. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Reimers, J.E., Farmer, C.L., and Klein-Gardner, S.G. (2015). An introduction to the standards for preparation and professional development for teachers of engineering. Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 5(1), Article 5, pp. 40-60.

Rothstein, D. & Santana, L. (2011). Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask their Own Questions. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Vasquez, JA., Sneider, C. & Comer, M. (2013). STEM lesson essentials: Integrating Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Portsmouth, NH: Heinemann.

The Watercourse/Project WET International Foundation and the Council for Environmental Education. (1995).  Project WET: Water Education for Teachers, Curriculum and Activity Guide. Bozeman, MT.: The Watercourse/Project WET International Foundation and the Council for Environmental Education.