Abstract

In order for the United States to regain its global standing in science and engineering, educational and governmental organizations have started to re-emphasize science, technology, engineering, and math content in k-12 classrooms.While some preliminary research has been conducted on student and teacher perceptions related to engineering, there has been little research conducted related to teachers<'> beliefs about the importance of engineering content in their classrooms and relatively few studies have investigated elementary teachers teaching engineering self-efficacy. Current studies have investigated the impact of professional development on teachers teaching engineering self-efficacy but these studies were conducted with limited sample sizes, for relatively short professional development timeframes, with a restricted sample and these studies did not include the implementation component of professional development. Research is needed to not only determine elementary teachers<'> beliefs about the importance of engineering content in their classrooms, but to also investigate if these teachers<'> levels of confidence (teaching engineering self-efficacy) can be increased by exposure to STEM-related professional development and the implementation of engineering activities in their classrooms. The research question in this study was to determine if scored responses from a pre-survey taken by teachers participating in an engineering-related professional development would differ from scored responses on two subsequent post-surveys following the professional development and following implementation on the teachers<'> beliefs about the importance of teaching engineering content at the elementary level and the teachers<'> confidence in the ability to teach engineering concepts at the elementary school level.While the teachers in this study generally had positive beliefs about the importance of teaching engineering at the elementary level, an investigation of the individual nine beliefs items from the survey indicated that they are less likely to consider engineering part of the basics and that it should be taught more frequently. One of the major conclusions from this study was that teachers<'> teaching engineering self-efficacy can be significantly strengthened through participation in a week-long professional development series. Furthermore, while not statistically significant, the implementation of these activities into their classroom can also help improve teachers<'> confidence in their ability to teach engineering-related activities.

Degree

MS

College and Department

Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering and Technology; Technology

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2017-12-01

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd9668

Keywords

elementary STEM education, STEM, engineering education, beliefs, self-efficacy

Language

english

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