1. Ellen Meier
  2. https://www.linkedin.com/in/meierellen
  3. Professor of Computing, and Educational Practice
  4. Systemic Transformation of Inquiry Learning Environments for STEM
  5. https://ctsc.tc.columbia.edu/
  6. Teachers College Columbia University
  1. Karen Page
  2. http://ctsc.tc.columbia.edu/about-us/
  3. Associate Director of Professional Development
  4. Systemic Transformation of Inquiry Learning Environments for STEM
  5. https://ctsc.tc.columbia.edu/
  6. Teachers College Columbia University
Public Discussion

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  • Icon for: Karen Page

    Karen Page

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Director of Professional Development
    May 9, 2022 | 04:34 p.m.

    Hello from the team at the Center for Technology and School Change (CTSC). Over the last few years we have worked with hundreds of schools in reimagining STEM teaching and learning. Our work comes to life as part of this year’s feature, demonstrating the importance of supporting teachers in designing and implementing engaging transdisciplinary, equitable, and inquiry-based approaches to instruction.

    Everyone comes to STEM with a different understanding, with a unique perspective.

    What does STEM look like to you? Is it important to have a shared meaning? 

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    Sharon Rosen

    K-12 Teacher
    May 13, 2022 | 01:13 p.m.

    What does STEM look like to me? Well...it looks like students working together on a wide array of issues and topics that are relevant to their lives and can make a difference in their communities...it looks like extended inquiry, observation, experimentation, research, writing, data collection & analysis, problem solving, tinkering, imagining, design thinking, critique, revision, reflection, challenge, struggle, persistence...it looks like students interacting with other students, adults, community members, teachers, designers, artists, experts...it looks like asking questions, sharing ideas, learning from each other, empathizing with & supporting each other...I don't think STEM has to look one particular way or have exactly the same meaning for everyone, but I do think it's important for learning communities to have common understandings and language around this work so that they’re on the same page and pointing in the same direction.

  • Small default profile

    Sharon Rosen

    K-12 Teacher
    May 13, 2022 | 01:13 p.m.

    What does STEM look like to me? Well...it looks like students working together on a wide array of issues and topics that are relevant to their lives and can make a difference in their communities...it looks like extended inquiry, observation, experimentation, research, writing, data collection & analysis, problem solving, tinkering, imagining, design thinking, critique, revision, reflection, challenge, struggle, persistence...it looks like students interacting with other students, adults, community members, teachers, designers, artists, experts...it looks like asking questions, sharing ideas, learning from each other, empathizing with & supporting each other...I don't think STEM has to look one particular way or have exactly the same meaning for everyone, but I do think it's important for learning communities to have common understandings and language around this work so that they’re on the same page and pointing in the same direction.

  • Icon for: Caron Mineo

    Caron Mineo

    Researcher
    May 13, 2022 | 04:26 p.m.

    We couldn't agree more, Sharon. As a researcher on this project, we have shown that the work has a significant effect on how teachers perceive STEM, shifting towards a more transdisciplinary perspective, as you've described here. 

  • Icon for: K. Renae Pullen

    K. Renae Pullen

    Facilitator
    Science Specialist
    May 10, 2022 | 04:43 p.m.

    It's so important that students are given the opportunity to explore science ideas and solve real-world problems that matter to them. LOVED hearing from the kids and seeing those STEM smiles. I'm really interested if (and how) you leveraged teachers of non-STEM subjects in your transdisciplinary approaches.

     
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    Hilary Ferguson
  • Icon for: Karen Page

    Karen Page

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Director of Professional Development
    May 10, 2022 | 05:10 p.m.

    Thanks Ms. Pullen for your comments. The kids really showed what our 3 minutes could not do without them - the love of learning when they are valued, can be creative, and feel the learning is making a difference! Thinking about leveraging teachers of non-STEM subjects is such a good question. In our work with teachers, transdisciplinary STEM project or unit design may have a STEM anchor, but the holistic work still needs research, writing, reading, presenting, an understanding of history and geography, artistic communication, etc and so we do engage whichever disciplines we can to take on parts of the project that bring in standards-aligned activities so that students are not learning in disciplinary silos but are using many or all the disciplines they have during the day or week to delve into the inquiry, solve real-world problems, and develop potential solutions. I'm sure some of my team members will also weigh in, but please let me know if that makes sense!

     
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    K. Renae Pullen
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    Sharon Rosen

    K-12 Teacher
    May 13, 2022 | 11:01 a.m.

    I agree, Karen. As a former ELA teacher and current curriculum specialist working with STEM-themed schools, I've discovered that as our teachers' understanding of transdisciplinary STEM deepens and they develop a common language around this work, we begin to realize that, in a way, we are all STEM teachers. For example, I can imagine an ELA class working on a project like the one shared in this video. Since, for the most part, ELA teachers focus on skills such as reading, writing, speaking, listening, critical thinking, communication, etc., the content can vary. I can imagine rich discussions, interviews, multi-genre reading, data analysis, report writing, debates, and presentations that could take place in connection with this project---and of course there’s the added bonus that the work is relevant and can have a positive impact on the community...and the cats!

     
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    K. Renae Pullen
  • Icon for: Karen Page

    Karen Page

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Director of Professional Development
    May 13, 2022 | 04:22 p.m.

    Thanks for your comments Sharon. I am happy to hear someone who has an ELA lens, and has worked in STEM development, sees how STEM strategies such as experimentation, exploration, trial/error and iteration to name a few, can apply as well for the humanities (and arts etc) when they are brought in under the same project 'umbrella' in a rich inquiry learning environment. This is where real-world connections can be made and meaning-making strengthened when students use all at their finger tips to use what they've learned and build new knowledge in pursuit of problem-solving and sharing with others what matters to them!

     
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    K. Renae Pullen
  • May 11, 2022 | 09:14 a.m.

    Hi I love your project. I would love to learn more about the cross collaboration especially with math. 

  • Icon for: Caron Mineo

    Caron Mineo

    Researcher
    May 11, 2022 | 11:23 a.m.

    Hi Eva! I am a researcher on this initiative. Such a great question regarding the math. Our facilitators co-design the transdisciplinary STEM projects with participating K-8 teaching teams -- inspiration for the work comes from the needs of students, the standards, and the local community. Math can be an excellent entry-point for planning STEM projects. I'm thinking of one middle school team where the analysis of census data was integral to the learning experience and contributed to students perspectives on whether or not their neighborhood had undergone a renaissance. And another elementary team where the teachers taught their fractions unit through a study of music development. That said, mathematics is often underrepresented in STEM projects and limited to accessible topics like measurement. I think our facilitators acknowledge this bias and address this as part of the planning process. Science does not need to be the only entry-point into STEM. It also helps that some of our facilitators have content expertise in math education! What is your experience?

     
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    Hilary Ferguson
  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    Assistant Vice Provost and Director
    May 11, 2022 | 03:54 p.m.

    This is a nice project and video presentation! What metrics are you using to measure impact of your program on students and/or teachers? Are you tracking the extent or depth of students' learning and reasoning after transforming the STEM teaching? Are you planning longitudinal work to determine how it may impact choice of STEM major in college or STEM careers? Thank you! 

  • Icon for: Ellen Meier

    Ellen Meier

    Lead Presenter
    Professor of Computing, and Educational Practice
    May 11, 2022 | 05:22 p.m.

    Thank you for your questions, Ann. Our study is focused on understanding shifts in teachers' STEM pedagogy, including teachers' conceptualization of STEM, their STEM design practices, as well as their STEM instructional practices. We are using a combination of questionnaires, performance tasks, and logs to assess teacher outcomes. We are also piloting a student questionnaire, focused on engagement in STEM. We hope to think critically about how best to measure student learning and reasoning as part of our next study. With regard to the longitudinal work, we would be very interested in looking at how this work extends to success and/or choices made in high school and beyond, as you mentioned. Are you doing some of this work, currently? We are happy to share more on our measures if you are interested. 

     
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    Hilary Ferguson
    Ann Cavallo
  • Icon for: Ann Cavallo

    Ann Cavallo

    Facilitator
    Assistant Vice Provost and Director
    May 15, 2022 | 12:22 p.m.

    Great thank you! We focus on shifts in many of the same metrics you mentioned. We examine possible shifts in their views of inquiry teaching and in using inquiry in teaching, and self-efficacy toward teaching science and mathematics, as examples. Measuring impacts on the students is perfect - glad that is part of your program! Yes we also measure the extent to which teachers maintain the strategies they learned and practiced after teaching a few years, but are looking into doing more of this longitudinal work. Very nice program!

  • Icon for: Theresa Robinson

    Theresa Robinson

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 13, 2022 | 08:14 a.m.

    What a great culturally relevant STEM issue: feral cats for students to investigate. I see how student choice works in your pd model. 

  • Icon for: Karen Page

    Karen Page

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Director of Professional Development
    May 13, 2022 | 09:30 a.m.

    Thanks Theresa! The students are also looking into "vulnerable others" in addition to cats in their community. The inquiry naturally went there with the students pushing to look at other needs that they might be able to help with. The unit is evolving now but the teacher is doing a great job of following student interest but still getting his content and teaching goals in there.

     
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    Theresa Robinson
  • Icon for: Brian Foley

    Brian Foley

    Facilitator
    Professor
    May 14, 2022 | 09:21 p.m.

    As someone who grew up before STEM I was used to the silos of science and math. I am really interested to see how this new generation grows up thinking about these things as connected. 

     
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    Hilary Ferguson
  • Icon for: Karen Page

    Karen Page

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Director of Professional Development
    May 15, 2022 | 08:10 a.m.

    Yes Brian, I am interested in this as well. It is important to consider how silos, drill and practice, and test prep -- out of balance with experiential learning experiences -- can rob us of developing positive learning identities, confidences, and passions. So many of us did not have exposure to STEM areas in our home lives, other than the subject-specific courses we had to take as requirements in formal education. In classrooms connecting authentic learning experiences to real-world issues in the community, bringing in diverse experts and looking at a wide range of approaches to solving problems, in our experience increases the chance of equitable access to STEM, including and empowering a much wider group of young thinkers. 

     
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    Hilary Ferguson
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