Examining the Impact of Participation in a Collaborative Professional Learning Community with a Focus on Stem Engineering Education

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University of Alabama Libraries

Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) teaching and learning have increasingly become a part of educational practice and pedagogy. Educators, business leaders, and policy-makers seek to get involved with funding and making decisions for STEM initiatives. Stakeholders include those looking forward to preparing students for future jobs not yet imagined. Uncertainty on the definition of STEM and how technology and engineering fit with science and mathematics may create a lack of implementation. Teachers may have formed their own ideas about STEM depending on their school and community culture, as well as prior experiences. For every fact or opinion about STEM teaching and learning, there are just as many questions.What does integrated STEM teaching and learning with a focus on engineering education look like in the primary (K-3) grades for children? How does a teacher of young children balance content in STEM teaching with the other subjects they must teach? Do the core subjects of mathematics and science take priority over technology and engineering? How does a teacher of young children view engineering in their classrooms? Finally, what barriers exist for teachers in planning engineering experiences for their students? Does collaboration through professional learning communities yield positive results in planning lessons? This research study will search for answers to these questions and provide support for teachers to plan and teach engaging lessons, with a focus on engineering design.

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Collective Teacher Efficacy, Elementary education, Engineering Education, Professional Learning Community, STEM