Faculty in the College Education are partnering with faculty in the Colleges of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences, Agriculture and Life Sciences, and Architecture, Arts, and Humanities through a campus-wide STEAM network to conduct innovative research.
Some of our current projects include:
Over the last two years, Drs. Quigley and Herro have worked with 43 middle school math, science and technology teachers to integrate project-based learning and STEAM units in their classrooms. Teachers participate in a sequence of courses aimed at increasing their conceptual understanding of STEAM, creating STEAM units, and reflecting on STEAM practices in their classroom. This Bosch funded effort has yielded the first longitudinal study of STEAM teaching practices directly in classrooms.
The purpose of this project is to increase middle school teachers’ ability to implement STEAM-based teaching strategies across the curriculum in science, math, English, and Social Studies in Spartanburg 6. These STEAM teaching strategies are based on the SCALE model, which demonstrate increased student engagement and increased content understanding. Our objectives include:
Early research and work by faculty in Clemson University’s College of Education has yielded a model for researchers, teachers, and community members to understand components of effective STEAM teaching. STEAM Classroom Assessment of Learning Experiences (SCALE) will assist school districts in defining, planning, implementing and assessing quality STEAM teaching. The SCALE model includes instructional approaches, assessment strategies, subject-matter alignment and discipline integration procedures. From the SCALE model, we have developed a teacher observation tool, which will support teachers in understanding which practices that they are implementing effectively and which practices that they need to work on successful implementation.
Clemson faculty are working with researchers from the Educational Testing Service, and the National Center for Research on Evaluations, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST), and Arizona State University to develop, test, and iteratively refine a measurement tool for the assessment of collaboration practices, among elementary and middle school students working in STEAM project-based learning units. This MacArthur Funded project has yielded a measure tool and teaching protocol currently being beta-tested in classrooms.
Research shows that teacher attitudes are critically important when trying to get teachers to implement new practices. Therefore, Clemson University faculty, led by Dr. Jamil, developed an attitudinal survey to determine teachers’ beliefs about STEAM Education and is currently being piloted with teachers across the state. The results of this pilot will inform the measurement tool and ultimately produce a survey that will allow researchers to determine, which teacher beliefs are important for implementing STEAM education. This survey will allow researchers to tailor their professional development to the specific teacher attitudes, which will increase the effectiveness of changing teacher practice.
Clemson University’s College of Education has partnered a new state-of-the-art STEAM middle school in Greenville, South Carolina. With a focus on STEAM education, classrooms are arranged in learning pods to foster trans-disciplinary teaching and learning. For example, typical learning pods include a science, math, social studies, and English-language arts teacher sharing a common area. This school-university partnership, under the direction of Dr. Rosenblith, has offered reciprocal learning via job embedded support and research opportunities. Thus far Drs. Herro and Quigley has served in the semester-long role of faculty-in-residence. Drs. Wilder and Leonard are working with teachers and students during the 2015-16 academic year.