Teachers in an Interdisciplinary Learning Community: Engaging, Integrating, and Strengthening K-12 Education

  • Hardré P
  • Ling C
  • Shehab R
 et al. 
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Abstract

This study examines the inputs (processes and strategies) and outputs (perceptions, skill development, classroom transfer, disciplinary integration, social networking, and community development) of a yearlong, interdisciplinary teacher learning and development experience. Eleven secondary math and science teachers partnered with an interdisciplinary team of university engineering mentors in a yearlong engineering education and project implementation program. It consisted of a 6-week on-site resident professional development and collaboration experience, with an ongoing support and follow-up including digital systems. Mixed-method, multisource data indicate that teachers engaged with motivations combining personal, intrinsic interest and classroom integration goals. They formed and sustained an active community of learning and practice that supported their success, on-site and through classroom integration, thereby promoting innovations. Teachers reported positive perceptions throughout the program and demonstrated significant, productive trajectories of change-over-time. Teachers learned and transferred task-specific engineering and scientific skills, as well as more general inquiry-based pedagogical strategies to their secondary classrooms.

Author-supplied keywords

  • mixed methods
  • professional development
  • teacher learning

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Authors

  • Patricia L. Hardré

  • Chen Ling

  • Randa L. Shehab

  • Mark A. Nanny

  • Matthias U. Nollert

  • Hazem Refai

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