Portland State University. Department of Educational Leadership and Policy
Dannelle D. Stevens
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Curriculum and Instruction
Curriculum & Instruction
1 online resource (xi, 209 pages)
Engineering -- Study and teaching (Elementary), Elementary school teachers -- Training of -- Attitudes, Self-efficacy, Teacher effectiveness
Currently, STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) is a popular buzz word in P -12 education as it represents a means to advance American competitiveness in the global economy. Proponents of the engineering component of STEM advocate additional benefits in teaching engineering, such as its capacity to engage students in collaboration, and to apply critical thinking, systems thinking, negotiation, and communication skills to solve real-life contextual problems. Establishing a strong foundation of engineering knowledge at a young age will provide students with internal motivation as it taps into their curiosity toward how things work, and it also prepares them for secondary science courses. Successful STEM education is often constrained by elementary teachers' low perception of self-efficacy to teach science and engineering. Elementary teachers with low self-efficacy in science are more likely to spend less instructional time teaching science, which suggests that teachers with little to no training in engineering might avoid teaching this topic. Therefore, the purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine the effects of engineering professional development on elementary (K-6) teachers' content and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and perceptions of self-efficacy to teach engineering, and (b) to identify and explain sources influencing self-efficacy. Professional development was conducted in a metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest. Results revealed that after the engineering professional development, teachers experienced statistically significant gains in content, PCK, and self-efficacy to teach engineering. Increases in self-efficacy were mainly attributed to mastery experiences and cultivation of a growth mindset by embracing the engineering design process.
Webb, Donna Louise, "Engineering Professional Development: Elementary Teachers' Self-efficacy and Sources of Self-efficacy" (2015). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 2337.