My name is Hui-Hui Wang. Currently I am a Doctoral candidate in Science Education at the University of Minnesota. My research and teaching interests have been fostered by Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) integration professional development programs. As an evaluator, I encounter some struggles that I would like to share with people who are interested in STEM education.
Hot Tip: What do we really want our teachers to learn from a STEM teacher professional development program? For example, engineering design process is the main focus in K-12 STEM education. Engineering design process emphasizes problem solving skills and independent thinking. Therefore, a multiple choice survey is not suitable for assessing a person’s cognitive thinking. An authentic assessment design would be a better way to achieve the assessment goal. However, in a professional development program, an evaluator has certain difficulties to conduct an authentic assessment, because of the time restriction.
Hot Tip: How can we create a better assessment tool to assess teachers’ learning from a STEM professional development program? By nature, STEM education should be treated as an integrated or multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, an assessment tool itself should be able to provide evidence to show knowledge gain from different STEM subjects. Unfortunately, so far, we still lack of an appropriate assessment tool to achieve this goal.
Rad Resource: In our discussion with some professional pre-college engineering educators, we believe that an engineering notebook is a great idea for assessing STEM education. However, we need to be cautious about students’ reading and writing abilities when we use engineering notebook as a major assessment tool.
Today, STEM integration is a nationwide movement. Educators are mobilizing at the national and state level to meet the call to increase students’ interest and achievement in STEM fields. In the mean time, we should also think about how can have an appropriate assessment for STEM education.
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