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Developing Engineering Identity in an Introductory Engineering Course: A Multi-Case Analysis

Christine Allison Gray & Ron E. Gray & Martha M. Canipe & Shadow W. J. Armfield & Robin Tuchscherer 

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Abstract: Research in engineering education has identified several factors relevant to the development of students’ identity as engineers. Here we examine the engineering identity of undergraduate engineering students after an introductory engineering course. The specific research question explored here is: “How do engineering students in an introductory engineering course interpret competence, performance, and recognition in relation to their identities as engineers?” We used a modified engineering identity framework to explore the development of engineering identity within the undergraduate engineering context through a multiple case study approach. Six students majoring in engineering participated in the study. The students had divergent perspectives on what it meant to be competent as an engineer. In all cases, students connected both competence and performance as an engineer with persistence. At this introductory stage, self-recognition as an engineering person took center stage for each student. All were able to identify themselves strongly as an engineering person. The findings add to the current understandings about the development of engineering identity, and suggest that engineering identity may be critically important in conversations about the steps faculty may take in working with students to promote increased retention of undergraduate students in engineering.

Keywords: Engineering Identity; Multi-case study; Undergraduate.

Please Cite: Gray, C.A., Gray, R.E., Canipe, M.M., Armfield, S.W.J., & Tuchscherer, R. (2021). Developing engineering identity in an introductory engineering course: A multi-case analysis. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(3), 153-177. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.431

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Gender Influence on Statistics Anxiety among Graduate Students

Mihili L.  Edirisooriya & Thomas J. Lipscomb

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Abstract: The present study was conducted to further explore gender-based differences in the experience of statistics anxiety among graduate students. A sample of 75 graduate students from a mid-sized research university in the southeastern United States were recruited to participate in a survey concerning statistics anxiety. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of covariance and discriminant analysis. Using the Statistics Anxiety Rating Scale, students’ statistics anxiety was measured. After accounting for age, the findings revealed a significant gender difference in statistics anxiety. A significant covariate effect of age indicated that older graduate students reported experiencing higher levels of anxiety as compared to their younger peers. Age accounted for 21% of variance in the combined statistics anxiety subscales. Analysis further revealed that males experienced higher levels of anxiety when seeking statistics help from a fellow student or a professor than did females. Implications for the design of statistics courses are discussed.

Keywords: Age; Gender; Graduate students; Statistics anxiety

Please Cite Edirisooriya, M. L., & Lipscomb T. J. (2020). Gender Influence on Statistics Anxiety among Graduate Students. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 63-74. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.421

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Vol. 4 Iss. 2

STEM practices in Science teacher education curriculum: Perspectives from two secondary school teachers’ colleges in Zimbabwe

Christopher Mutseekwa

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Abstract: This study assessed how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education is integrated in Science Teacher Education curriculum in Zimbabwe. An exploratory mixed methods research design, within the post-positivist paradigm, was used to guide the collection and analysis of data. Data were sourced from 18 Science teacher educators and 108 final year Science student teachers pooled from two secondary school Teachers’ Colleges through a semi-structured questionnaire, follow-up interviews, focusgroups and documents. From the findings, it was evident that although a lot was done to promote STEM literacy in the two colleges, integration of STEM education and practices into the science education curriculum was coincidental rather than planned. Participation in Science exhibitions at local and national level that was common and increased enrolment of teacher candidates in STEM subjects was viewed as major ways to promote the initiative in the Teachers’ Colleges. However, support that targeted a teacher education STEM curriculum and integration/liaison with Engineering and industry was largely found lacking, suggesting the need for practices such as field-trips, work visits and partnerships that foster closer collaboration between colleges, schools, professional scientists and industry.

Keywords: Industry liaison; Integration; STEM curriculum; STEM education; STEM literacy; Professional scientists

Please Cite: Mutseekwa, C. (2021). STEM practices in Science teacher education curriculum: Perspectives from two secondary school teachers’ colleges in Zimbabwe. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 75-92

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.422                 

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Vol. 4 Iss. 2

Constructivism in the Shade of Racial, Ethnic, and Special Needs Diversity Students

George Kaliampos

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Abstract: The last decades the population of learners has dramatically changed in the majority of western societies. Students with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds as well as students that fall into the scope of special education needs have enrolled in schooling without being able to perform competitively in science compared to the mainstream students. A prominent reason, among others, lies on the fact that the cultural origins of these pupils are often not taken into account into the teaching process. It seems that these children are taught science in school without any consideration, from both their teachers and the curriculum, about their diversity background and their unique life experiences that have inevitably affected their way of viewing the natural worldaround them. The present paper aspires to shed light on this issue and act as a call for science education pioneers to expand constructivism theory in order to address student diversity in science classroom.

Keywords: Diversity students; Science education; Special needs.

Please Cite: Kaliampos, G. (2021). Constructivism in the shade of racial, ethnic and special needs diversity students. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 93-105. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.423         

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Vol. 4 Iss. 2

The Mathematical Proficiency Promoted by Mathematical Modelling

Priscila Dias Corrêa

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Abstract: This study aims to investigate the mathematical proficiency promoted by mathematical modelling tasks that require students to get involved in the processes of developing mathematical models, instead of just using known or given models. The research methodology is grounded on design-based research, and the classroom design framework is supported by complexity science underpinnings. The research intervention consists of high-school students, from a grade 11 mathematics course, aiming to solve four different modelling tasks in four distinct moments. Data was collected during the intervention from students’ written mathematical work and audio and video recordings, and from recall interviews after the intervention. Data analysis was conducted based on a model of mathematical proficiency and assisted by interpretive diagrams created for this research purpose. This research study offers insight into mathematics teaching by portraying how mathematical modelling tasks can be integrated into mathematics classes to promote students’ mathematical proficiency. The study discusses observed expressions and behaviours in students’ development of mathematical proficiency and suggests a relationship between mathematical modelling processes and the promotion of mathematical proficiency. The study also reveals that students develop mathematical proficiency, even when they do not come to full resolutions of modelling tasks, which emphasizes the relevance of learning processes, and not only of the products of these processes.

Keywords: Classroom-based research; Complexity science; Design-based research; High-school level; Mathematical modelling; Mathematical proficiency.

Please Cite: Corrêa, P. D. (2021). The mathematical proficiency promoted by mathematical modelling. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 107-131.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.424

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Vol. 4 Iss. 2

The Effects of Instructional Strategies on Preservice Teachers’ Math Anxiety and Achievement

Janelle K. Lorenzen & Thomas J. Lipscomb

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Abstract: The results reported herein represent the quantitative portion of a mixed method investigation that employed a non-equivalent control group design conducted to determine the effects of teaching methods on math anxiety and achievement among preservice elementary teachers enrolled in a mathematics course. Two teaching methods, inquiry-based learning (IBL) and direct instruction (DI), were compared. These results indicated that math anxiety decreased significantly for the IBL group while increasing for the DI group over the course of an academic semester. There was no difference in measured learning outcomes between the two groups. A significant negative correlation between math anxiety and student achievement, however, was found. Qualitative results, discussed in a companion article, contextualize these findings and reveal that the participants attributed varying levels of math anxiety to several factors including course content, teaching methods, assessments, and student behaviors.

Keywords: Math anxiety; Achievement; Preservice teachers; Inquiry-based learning, Direct instruction; Mathematics Education

Please Cite: Lorenzen, J., K.,& Lipscomb, T., J.(2021).The Effects of Instructional Strategies on Preservice Teachers’ Math Anxiety and Achievement. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(2), 133-151. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.425

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Rozgonjuk, D., Kraav, T., Mikkor, K., Roav-Puurand, K., & That, K.  (2020).  Mathematics anxiety among STEM and social sciences students: The roles of mathematics self-efficacy, and deep surface approach to learning.  International Journal of STEM Education, 7. 

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Online First, Vol. 4 Iss. 2

STEM Education and Science Identity Formation

Ellina Chernobilsky

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As the world struggles with the COVID pandemic, one question that keeps coming up in conversations
among educators is how to teach students amid the uncertainty. Specifically, the difficulty is with
teaching subjects that require hands-on learning in order to master the concepts and make them one’s
own. Today, however, I would like to pose a different, more global question: How can we help
students identify with science in a deeper, more meaningful way? How can we help students
develop what is known as science identity?

References

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Henrandez, P.R. et al (2017). Promoting professional identity, motivation, and persistence: Benefits of an informal mentoring program for female undergraduate students. PLoS ONE 12(11): e0187531. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0187531

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Symeonidis, V., & Schwarz, J. F. (2016). Phenomenon-Based Teaching and Learning through the Pedagogical Lenses of Phenomenology: The Recent Curriculum Reform in Finland. Forum Oświatowe, 28(2), 31–47. Retrieved from: http://www.edite.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Phenomenon-based-teaching-and-learning-through-the-pedagogical-lenses-of-phenomenology_The-recent-curriculum-reform-in-Finland.pdf
Online First, Vol. 4 Iss. 1

Engaging Students in Science Using Project Olympiads: A case study in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Senol Dogan & Emrulla Spahiu

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Abstract: Making science enjoyable inspires students to learn more. Out-of-class activities such as science fairs and Olympiads, serve as reasonable informal learning environments that demand attention. The association of students’ involvement in these activities with increased student interest in science followed by the selection of science-related careers, should motivate all in-charge stakeholders. In this work, we analysed the outcomes of the Bosnia Science Olympiad (BSO) as the first national Science Olympiad inBosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), aiming the improvement of science education and bringing different ethnic groups under the umbrella of science, in a post-conflict area. The two-day endeavour held in Sarajevo includes competition in four science-related categories(Environment, Engineering, Have an Idea, Web Design)and social activities.In this work, the comprehensive data, including participants’ gender, their ethnic background, cities, schools, and supervisors, over fiveyears, was analysed.The number ofparticipating high-school students increased from 78 to 143, of supervisors from 21 to 95, and of schools from 7 to 15, reaching a wide demographic acceptance to cover all ethnic regions in BiH. The relationship between gender and the selection of a category, shows bias of male participants towards Web Design (21%) and Engineering (40%), and offemale students towards“Have an Idea”(40%) and Environment (44%) categories. The contribution of BSO choosing a science career, getting socialized without prejudices, and the improvement of students’ self-confidence, were as well addressed. Our work demonstrates a model work to successfully promote science in post-conflict settings.

Keywords: Olympiad; Science; STEM; education; ethnic diversity; Bosnia and Herzegovina

Please Cite: Dogan, S., & Spahiu, E. (2020). Engaging Students in Science Using Project Olympiads: A case study in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(1), 5-22. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.412           

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

How Engineering Technology Students Perceive Mathematics

Meher R. Taleyarkhan, Anne M. Lucietto & Therese M. Azevedo

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Abstract: Engineering Technology (ET) is often combined with that of Engineering. Although Engineering Technology is based on a more hands-on approach and Engineering a theoretical approach, the two majors share a very similar pedagogy in teaching students the same engineering and scientific principles. An observation by an ET professor found that ET students more often than not would eschew the use of mathematical computations and instead provide answers they believe to be correct, without computation or explanation. Leading researchers to delve into possible reasons as to why ET students are reluctant to utilize mathematics. This study utilized in-person interviews with 15 undergraduate participants from a Midwestern University in the United States of America from ET to ascertain how ET students perceive mathematics. The results of the study found that although ET students were stated to not hate mathematics and are open to using mathematics, there was a slight apprehension towards math due to bad math experiences and not being able to connect the conceptual nature of mathematics to the visual and real-life scenarios ET students are used to facing. The results of this study help to lay the foundation for future research studies geared towards further understanding why ET students are apprehensive towards mathematics and ultimately how to help ET students overcome this apprehension.

Keywords: college; engineering technology; mathematics; student

Please Cite: Taleyarkhan. M. R, Lucietto, A. M., & Azevedo, T. M. (2021). How Engineering Technology Students Perceive Mathematics. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(1), 23-43. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.413                

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1

The Relationship Between U.S. High School Science Teacher’s Self-Efficacy, Professional Development, and Use of Technology in Classrooms

Zahrah Hussain Aljuzayri

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Abstract: There have been a limited number of studies that examined the relationship between professional development (PD) and self-efficacy with technology tool use, specifically concerning high school science teachers. The main goal of this quantitative study was to identify any specific correlations between science teacher self-efficacy and the professional development science teachers received for those specific classroom technologies. Participants were comprised of a randomized sample set of high school science teachers throughout 46 different US States. The data was collected by using an online survey via the Qualtrics survey platform. The survey was sent to 3000 science instructors and 104 in total completed it. The results suggest that science teachers’ efficacy was high with course management systems and student wireless or digital devices, but not for social networking/media. There was no significant connection between technological self-efficacy and PD for related technology tools. However, it is possible that science teachers are already highly efficacious in terms of technology, and observational studies are recommended to see when and how teachers actually use technology in their classrooms.

Keywords: professional development; relationship; science teacher’s; self-efficacy; technology tools.

Please Cite: Aljuzayri, Z. (2021). The Relationship Between U.S. High School Science Teacher’s Self-Efficacy, Professional Development, and Use of Technology in Classrooms. Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics and Technology Education, 4(1), 45-62.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.31756/jrsmte.414            

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Vol. 4 Iss. 1