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STEM in Elementary School Education: Evaluating a STEM and Augmented Reality Professional Development Workshop for Educators

Bookhamer, Ryan (2022) STEM in Elementary School Education: Evaluating a STEM and Augmented Reality Professional Development Workshop for Educators. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The purpose of this study was to analyze modes of professional development that prepare educators to deliver STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based instruction at the elementary school level through the integration of technology. The study demonstrates the complexity and advantages of STEM centered learning which utilize technologies such as augmented reality. Developed from the study are the next steps and recommendations for designing professional development and STEM programming originating from the research outcomes.
The problem of practice for this research study focuses on existing instructional pedagogies at the elementary school level which have a dearth of integrated technologies to support and engage students in Science and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based learning. The insufficient utilization of technologies to teach STEM skills and concepts is guided by three questions addressing the teachers’ perceptions of STEM education, and the professional development workshops ability to provide educators the understanding, and structures to introduce STEM centered learning by means of augmented reality integration. The supporting data was captured in questionnaires, observations, and discussion groups that verified the themes and findings. Elementary school science and math educators from the third and fourth grades participated in a series of STEM and Augmented Reality workshops designed to promote STEM literacy, identification, and application with technologies.
The results of the study indicate that the professional development workshops and team planning effectively prepared the educators to integrate augmented reality tools into STEM centered learning, raised student engagement, and in turn, promoted a positive learning environment. Both the qualitative and quantitative data indicate a change in the organizations ability to infuse technology integration. The study identifies the general trend in the mean average scores that indicated an increase in the educators understanding, comfort, and integration of augmented reality tools within STEM based education. The positive results yielded from the study establish a prerequisite for future research, professional development, and technology integration that supports a culture of learning.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Bookhamer, RyanRYB25@pitt.eduRYB25
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMcclure, Maureen
Committee MemberOhu, Ikechukwu
Committee MemberQuigley, Cassie
Date: 2 September 2022
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 May 2022
Approval Date: 2 September 2022
Submission Date: 5 August 2022
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 114
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: STEM
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2022 18:22
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2022 18:22


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