Portland State University. Center for Science Education
Date of Award
Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.) in General Science
1 online resource (v, 73 pages)
Adult college students -- United States -- Case studies, Mentoring in education -- United States -- Case studies, Science -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States, Technology -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States, Engineering -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States, Mathematics -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States
In the U.S., about 7,000 high school students drop out each school day, representing a loss of talent and ability. Concurrently, there are a decreasing number of enrolled students taking science-related courses at the high school and college levels. Adults, who return to obtain their General Educational Development (GED) certification, are an untapped resource that could be steered toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. In this case study, 15 GED students were shown a STEM video, and then peer mentored by 8 CLA (Clinical Laboratory Assistant) students, in a student-centered laboratory experience. Individual interviews of the GED students prior to and after the treatment were used to assess STEM attitudes. Additionally, the CLA peer mentors were given self-assessments regarding their level of self-efficacy. The most marked difference in the pre- and post-treatment data was with the male GED students. Initially, only 2 of the 7 had definite career goals, 5 with undefined career goals, with 4 showing no interest in STEM. After the treatment, 6 exhibited interest in pursuing STEM education or employment. The female GED students' interest remained unchanged, resulting in the male and female students showing equivalent interest in STEM post-treatment. The CLA peer mentors showed an increase in self-efficacy using Bandura's four sources of self-efficacy in social cognition (1997). The preliminary results of this study suggest that interest in STEM education and STEM careers can be generated with peer mentored learning. (Contains 1 figure and 8 tables.)
DeTurk, Patricia Marie, "Lighting the Fire: How Peer-Mentoring Helps Adult Learners Increase Their Interest in STEM Careers: A Case Study at the Community College Level" (2013). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 1095.