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University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Training 21st Century Workforce
of Early Childhood Teachers
in STEM Education
through an eLearning Environment
Α. Akritidou, F. Paraskeva, A. Alexiou
Department of Digital Systems, University of Piraeus
Greece
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Our University
The Distance: Greece – New York
 The University of Piraeus was founded in 1938 under the
title of the “School for Industrial Studies”, by the
Industrialists and Tradesmen Association.
 In 1999 was established the Department of Digital Systems
University of Piraeus
ΨDepartment of Digital Systems
Contents






Research gap
Introduction
Literature Review
Method
Results
Conclusions
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
 It is a compelling need for early childhood teachers to be
trained to implement more challenging and technologyoriented methods at teaching including interdisciplinary
approaches in learning.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training programs.
 Τeachers should have access to effective Continuing Professional
Development (CPD) training programs.
CPD
is a lifelong process or
activity based on
approaches, strategies
and techniques that will
contribute to an increase
in skills and knowledge
related to learning and
teaching (HEA, 2009).
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
The Idea: A CPD STEM training program
An eLearning training program is proposed
supporting teachers in exploring
new ideas and enhancing skills related to
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
(STEM Education).
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
The General Aim :
is the implementation
of the STEM methodology (Science, Technology,
Engineering and Mathematics) by the model of Cognitive
Apprenticeship in an eLearning Environment enhancing
collaboration among early childhood teachers.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
This CPD STEM training provides a structured
pathway :
• To develop
• To specialize in knowledge and skills
• To provide high quality programs and services to children.
It is suggested that STEM
education should begin at an
early age when children's
interests, desires and abilities
are taking shape and while
being natural explorers.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
 As for early childhood teachers training in
STEM education:
will improve
will offer benefits
will expand their career opportunities.
 Students and teachers can
work together in classroom
activities that develop
•
•
•
•
students' critical thinking
communication
evaluation
research skills.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
But what is STEM???????
STEM education refers to teaching and
learning in the disciplines of Science of
Technology
of
Mechanics
and
Mathematics. If one breaks this term
down, they can witness that much of
this is already happening in early
childhood programs (Ashbrook, 2010).
www.enterrasolutions.com
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
STEM and Preschool Education
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics
is already happening in preschool activities.
Science may be planting seeds, mixing materials
together to make an experiment, or touching
objects with a magnet to control the attraction.
Technology and computers would be tools.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
STEM and Preschool Education (Examples)
In Mathematics students can measure and
install the correct shapes.
www.kindergartenkindergarten.com
In Engineering children can daily plan and
design structures with little teacher direction.
lbdma.wordpress.com
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
STEM and Preschool Education (The Need)
Early exposure to STEM :
supports children’s overall academic growth
develops early critical thinking and reasoning skills,
enhances later interest in STEM study and careers
(Chesloff, 2012).
Therefore, it is a compelling need to get more early
preschool teachers educated in STEM.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
CPD STEM Training Program : Collaboration
Collaborative
learning is defined as a
situation in which two or
more people learn or
attempt to learn
something together’
(Dillenbourg,1999).
Jigsaw is a strategy that
provides students with an
opportunity to actively help
each other build
comprehension.
Students create learning
groups.
Early childhood teachers should be able to apply collaborative
learning strategies and inquiry-based approaches (such as STEM
methodology) in order to produce effective collaborative
interactions among the learners (Battistich,& Watson, 2003).
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
CPD STEM Training Program : Jigsaw Strategy
Jigsaw Strategy
Each group member is responsible for becoming an "expert" at
one section.
Advantages of jigsaw :
 the encouragement of attention
 participation of each team member in a substantial portion
of an educational activity.
 Team members must work together as a team to achieve a
common goal.
 Each student is dependent on others and no pupil can
succeed if cooperation does not occur (Aroson & Patnoe,
1997).
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
The Method
 This study is an action research.
In this case, the action research used for the development
of in-service early childhood teachers:
 improves teaching.
 develops new learning methods (STEM Methodology).
 enhances collaborative learning.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Research Question
The research question is:
“Can the implementation of the STEM methodology
(Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
be supported by the model of Cognitive
Apprenticeship in an eLearning Environment
providing a means to enhance collaboration among
early childhood teachers?”
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Participants
 The sample of the study consisted of 16 early childhood
teachers 14 females and 2 males who participated
voluntarily.
 Participants assigned to the Experimental Group (N=16)
followed the process of implementing the eLearning
Environment named: ‘apT²STEM’, in order to acquire new
knowledge
(STEM
Methodology)
and
enhance
collaborative learning.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
The eLearning environment
‘apT²STEM’
 An autonomous electronic environment named ‘apT²STEM’, was
designed following the principles of Cognitive Apprenticeship as a
constructivist learning model, combined with the Jigsaw cooperative strategy.
 The eLearning environment named ‘apT²STEM’, is built up in Google
Sites web application.
 Google Sites offered by Google as part of the Google Apps
productivity suite and is a simple and intuitive tool for creating
collaboratively personal and business web sites.
superbwebsitebuilders.com
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
The eLearning environment
‘apT²STEM’
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Cognitive Apprenticeship
Model
Strategy
Jigsaw
Phase1
Activities
Roles
Teacher Oriented Phase
1.1 Presentation of
STEM
1.2 BrainstormingQuestions on STEM
Modeling
Coaching
Jigsaw 1:Group
Composition
Jigsaw 2: Composition
of Expert Groups
apT2STEM
Communication
tool
Synchronous
Collaboration
tool
Individual
1.3 Videos for STEM
Phase 2
Learning
Environment
Individual
Scaffolding
Exploration
Phase 3
Intermediate Phase
Individual
2.1 Creation of 4 Groups
2.2 Synchronous
Discussion
Jigsaw 3: Discussion on
Expert Groups
2.3 Experts study on
Groups
Jigsaw 4: Studying on
Groups
2.4 Groups studying
examples
Jigsaw 5: Experts teach
their Groups
2.5 Discussion
Group
Group
Group
Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics
Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics
Experts
Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics
Student Oriented Phase
Articulation
Reflection
3.1 Implementation of
STEM Methodology in
Action
3.2 Discussion between
learners and tutor
Group
Science
Technology
Engineering
Mathematics
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Research variables
The research variables for the eLearning environment ‘apT²STEM’,
that have been studied were collaboration skills.
Collaboration skills are measured by the assessment rubric R2-COLL. This rubric
contains (7) modules with (7) questions, which are:
M1: Participation through a modern communication tool with discussion and chat
features
M2: Identification of team roles
M3: Respect
M4: Behavior and obedience to rules
M5: Leadership
M6: Consequence
M7: Participation in scenario
morecoding.wordpress.com
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Results
asifpremji.com
For the statistical analysis of the results the statistical package SPSS
(Statistical Package for the Social Sciences was used.
 To assess the internal consistency of the rubric the coefficient
Cronbach alpha, where the index value is 0.843, confirming the
reliability and internal consistency of this tool (rubric R2-COLL),
was employed.
 In order to test the relations between the ordinal variables, we
used Fishers exact test, since our data was not adequate to use
Pearson’s x2-test of independence (the presumptions
performing Pearson’s x2-test were not met:
1. no expected cell frequencies <1 and
2. no more than 20% of the expected cell frequencies < 5
(Apostolakis, M. A. Stamoulis, 2007)
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Results [1/2]
Fisher’s Exact
Test Kendall’s
tau-
M3
M4
M6
5,855a (16),
p= 0,058
4,376a (16),
p= 0,165
-
-
M7
M2
M5
M6
Note:
aFisher’s
b
Exact Test.
Kendall’s tau-b.
c important test in α=0,05
8,959a (16),
p=0,007 c
0,750b (16),
p=0,007c
4,333a (16),
p= 0,096
-
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Results [2/2]
Fisher’s Exact Test
Kendall’s tau-
Participation in skype
Participation in scenario
Contribution to the
socialization of
collaboration activities
3,237a (16) p= 0,694
5,629a (16) p= 0,351
-
-
Reinforcement of
Collaboration
5,435a (16) p= 0,279
5,629a (16) p= 0,351
-
-
Note:
aFisher’s
b
Exact Test.
Kendall’s tau-b.
c important test in α=0,05
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Findings
 Variables
(correlations) of R2-COLL:
 Identification of team roles (M2) does not affect respect(M3).
 Identification of team roles (M2) does not affect good behavior
and obedience (M4).
 Consequence(M6) does not affect participation in scenario(M7).
 The correlation between the variables Leadership (M5) and
Consequence (M6) has been performed.
 It was concluded that there was a positive correlation between
the variables.
 The more the participants were involved and helping others, the
more they were fulfilling their obligations.
 Combinations of variables between the R2-COLL rubric and
specific questions taken from the questionnaire does not affect.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Conclusions
Leadership was the factor that had displayed a great
relation to their consistency to their obligations.
Teachers’ participation in the program through an online
environment enhanced their collaboration and led to
greater respect.
Preschool teachers :
•wouldn’t feel vulnerable or anxious.
•provided help to each other at any time.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Limitations
Not enjoying a personal contact with the administration of the survey and not providing
incentives to participate.
Future Work
Teachers succeed in:
 collaboration
 supporting students to construct world knowledge through
exploration
 experimentation
 taking advantage of children's natural curiosity.
Further research should examine the efficacy of ‘apT²STEM’,
through implementation and evaluation procedures.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
References
[1] Higher Education Academy (HEA) (undated) Individual Recognition Scheme [Online] York: HEA. Available
from: www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/professional/recognition , accessed 20 May 2009.
[2] European Union, “Teachers’ Professional Development,” Europe in international comparison, 2010.
[3] B. Vasilou, X. Charamis, “Teacher attitudes towards new technologies and the role of the teacher coordinator,” 1997.
[4] P. Ashbrook, “Preschool STE,” 2010.
(Available also: http://nstacommunities.org/blog/2010/03/01/preschool-stem/)
[5] California STEM, Learning network.
(Available also: http://cslnet.org/what-is-stem/)
[6] JD. Chesloff, “in Sparking a Child's Interest in Science and Technology,” 2012.
[7] P.Dillenbourg, “What do you mean by collaborative leraning ?”In P. Dillenbourg (Ed) Collaborative-learning: Cognitive and
Computational Approaches. (pp.1-19). Oxford: Elsevier, 1999.
[8] V. Battistich, & M. Watson, “Fostering social development in preschool and the early elementary grades through co-operative
classroom activities,” In R. M. Gillies & A. F. Ashman (Eds.), “Co-operative learning: the social and intellectual outcomes of learning in
groups, “ London; New York: Routledge Falmer, 2003.
[9] E,Aroson & S. Patnoe “The jigsaw classroom: Bilding cooperation in the classroom,” New York, Addison Welsey Longman, Inc, 1997.
(Available also: http://www.etpe.eu/new/custom/pdf/etpe1467.pdf)
[10] H. Gnardellis, “Data Analysis with SPSS 14 for Windows,” Papazisis, Athens, 2006.
[11] M. Tavakol, Reg. Dennick, International Journal of Medical Education, “Making sense of Cronbach’s Alpha,” 2011.
[12] D. Sheskin, “Handbook of Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Procedures,”5th edition, Chapman &Hal/CRC, USA, 2011.
[13] I. Apostolakis, M. A. Stamoulis, “Exercises Computational Statistics in Health,” Issue I, Papazisis, Athens, 2007.
University of Piraeus
Department of Digital Systems
Thank you!
Questions???
Comments
“apT²STEM” training program in the site:
https://sites.google.com/site/stemandkindergarten/
Information On:
http://akrisk.wix.com/akritidoukaterina
A. Akritidou, F. Paraskeva, A. Alexiou
[email protected],[email protected], [email protected]

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