1. Temple Walkowiak
  2. https://ced.ncsu.edu/people/tawalkow/
  3. Associate Professor, Mathematics Education
  5. North Carolina State University
  1. Sarah Carrier
  2. https://ced.ncsu.edu/people/sjcarrie/
  3. Associate Professor, Science Education
  5. North Carolina State University

Project ATOMS

NSF Awards: 1118894

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Undergraduate

The overall goal of Project ATOMS, a longitudinal research study on teacher development, is to examine the impact and outcomes of a STEM-focused elementary teacher preparation program.  To accomplish this goal, there are two primary components of the study.  First, we have investigated how elementary teachers in the STEM-focused program develop in their knowledge, beliefs, and instructional practices during the program and into their first two years of teaching, specifically in mathematics and science.  We followed four cohorts of teacher candidates (n=235) while they were in the program, and a subset were studied during their first two years of teaching.  Results indicate changes over time among the participants with ongoing analyses to identify the factors and pivotal experiences that likely explain these changes.  Second, we have examined how graduates of the STEM-focused teacher preparation program compare in their knowledge (i.e., math, science, pedagogical content), beliefs (i.e., epistemological, efficacy), and instructional practices in mathematics and science to graduates of other elementary teacher preparation programs.  We collected data during the second year of teaching from program graduates and a comparative sample (n=171).  To gather data on teaching practices, we utilized the Instructional Practices Log in Mathematics (IPL-M) and the Instructional Practices Log in Science (IPL-S).  Results of our comparative analyses indicate some statistically significant differences between graduates of the STEM-focused preparation program and graduates of other programs.  The findings provide insights into elementary teacher development during the preservice and novice years and point to implications for elementary teacher preparation programs. 

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