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“Teachers in the Workforce” Grant Intervention: Effective Professional Development for STEAM Integration and Career Standards Implementation

Favo, Catherine Flattery (2022) “Teachers in the Workforce” Grant Intervention: Effective Professional Development for STEAM Integration and Career Standards Implementation. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, often referred to as STEM, have been the cornerstone for American success through innovation and entrepreneurialism. Concerns for economic prosperity and national security, as well as a concern for creating a technological and scientifically literate society, have created tremendous support for STEM education at the federal, state, and local levels. Despite this trend, jobs in STEM fields continue to go unfilled and are disproportionately underrepresented by minoritized groups. Recently, STEM has been expanded to STEAM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math), presumably to widen the appeal of STEM subjects by including an emphasis on the arts and creative expression (Herro & Quigley, 2019; Johnson, 2014). STEAM is a transdisciplinary approach that applies academic concepts to a consideration of real-world issues as a catalyst to teach academic concepts, communications skills, and critical thinking while building soft skills such as cooperation, adaptability, and creativity. A rising tide among educators and other stakeholders is building momentum for the changes in methods, materials, and instructional practices required for STEAM pedagogy to take root. Ultimately, this practice must be implemented at the micro-level, in classrooms with teachers and students. How can schools prepare educators to make this change? This study will investigate the effectiveness of a professional development intervention to support teachers as they develop lesson plans that integrate STEAM pedagogy and career readiness, focusing on the process skills required for success in a changing work environment. The study was conducted in a small suburban school district. A small group of K-12 teachers participated in a virtual professional learning experience that included interactions with professionals working in STEAM fields. Changes in understanding, attitudes, and feelings of efficacy were analyzed through a mixed-methods approach and reported using quantitative and qualitative data to inform future PD experiences within the district. The study found that although teachers reported a change in their sense of efficacy, this change was not reflected in their lesson planning documents. Data indicated the need for more support, such as samples, testimonials, and collaborative experiences, for classroom teachers to successfully develop STEAM-based curriculum units.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Favo, Catherine Flatterycff6@pitt.eduCFF6
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairQuigley, Cassiecquigley@pitt.educquigley
Committee MemberBoulder, Tinukwatboulder@pitt.edutboulder
Committee MemberMroziak,
Date: 10 January 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 16 June 2021
Approval Date: 10 January 2022
Submission Date: 2 December 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 150
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Instruction and Learning
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: STEAM, Curriculum Design, Implementation, Professional development
Date Deposited: 10 Jan 2022 18:18
Last Modified: 10 Jan 2022 18:18


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