You will be working on two projects related to STEM education. The goal of the first project is to understand the experiences of undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields at UVA using qualitative methods. The second project examines changes in K-8 teachers' content knowledge and practices and student achievement after they participate in professional development designed to support them in teaching science through problem-based learning.
You will be asked to (1) collect and analyze student and teacher data (e.g. survey responses, interview data, focus group data, student and teacher assessments, unit/lesson plans, observations of professional development), (2) review relevant educational literature, (3) participate in research team meetings, and (4) possibly contribute to scholarly writing (e.g. sections of articles for journals, grant proposals, conference proposals).
You should be professional, punctual, responsible, and possess a natural curiosity for learning about K-16 STEM education. It is also important that you be meticulous with data. You will learn the rest of the skills as you work on the project.
Through working on these projects, it is my hope that you will learn:
1) the fundamentals of rigorous social science research;
2) the importance of assessment in improving K-16 STEM teaching and learning,
3) contextual influences on studentsâ€™ persistence in STEM,
4) strategies that educators can use to help teachers improve their teaching.