Helgoe Engineering Conference 2008(2)


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Helgoe Engineering Conference 2008(2)

  1. 1. Feedback from Teachers: Hands-on Materials for STEM LEGO Engineering Conference April 4, 2008 Cathy Helgoe Senior Project Manager LEGO Education [email_address]
  2. 2. Context
  3. 3. Questions <ul><li>Extracted from dissertation research on policy, philosophy and choices of teaching practices in the context of increasing pressure on teachers for “accountability” in demonstrating progress on standardized tests. </li></ul><ul><li>Why do teachers use hands-on materials? </li></ul><ul><li>What are they using? </li></ul><ul><li>How frequently do they use them? </li></ul><ul><li>What types of activities are students doing with these materials? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Background <ul><li>Survey of US teachers who have hands-on materials in their classroom, including LEGO science and robotics materials </li></ul><ul><li>PreK-12 represented with middle school as the majority </li></ul><ul><li>Public school teachers </li></ul><ul><li>Sample of 118 respondents </li></ul><ul><li>Are teachers using the materials more or less or the same amount since NCLB? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Feedback from Teachers: Why? <ul><li>Use of hands-on materials has increased. </li></ul><ul><li>Hands-on materials are very important to instructional practice because… </li></ul><ul><li>Students learn better. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Feedback from Teachers: What learning do they see from students? <ul><li>When using hands-on materials, students: </li></ul><ul><li>Refine and improve the quality of work </li></ul><ul><li>Cooperate with one another </li></ul><ul><li>Work harder </li></ul><ul><li>Show more initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Perform as “gifted” students even though they are “average” </li></ul><ul><li>Have a welcome break from other types of lessons </li></ul>
  7. 7. Feedback from Teachers: What type of materials and how frequently? <ul><li>Teachers do not limit themselves to one type of material. </li></ul><ul><li>For ten or more lessons , hands-on materials of these type were used: </li></ul><ul><li>General problem solving materials(46% ) </li></ul><ul><li>Mathematics sets (30%) </li></ul><ul><li>Non-computer games (26%) </li></ul><ul><li>Robotics sets (23%) </li></ul><ul><li>Life science sets (19%) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Feedback from Teachers: What type of materials and how frequently? <ul><li>In one or more lessons , these types of materials are used: </li></ul><ul><li>Role play scenario materials (72%) </li></ul><ul><li>Free building (69%) </li></ul><ul><li>Simple machines (64%) </li></ul><ul><li>Motorized machines (51%) </li></ul>
  9. 9. Feedback from Teachers: What type of activities are students doing? <ul><li>Experiments involving data collection (98%) </li></ul><ul><li>Projects or competitions (96%) </li></ul><ul><li>Creating models to illustrate reports (88%) </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrations about a topic (80%) </li></ul><ul><li>Programming robots in their classwork (53%) </li></ul>
  10. 10. Feedback from Teachers: Influence on changing practices <ul><li>Experience with technology and hands-on materials is the most important factor affecting these teachers’ change of instructional practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Professional development is another important influence on changing practices. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Feedback from Teachers: Influence on changing beliefs <ul><li>These factors influence what teachers do in the classroom...and results also show indicated that these factors influenced changes in what teachers believe about how people learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Teachers became more constructivist in their beliefs about how learning happens… that also influenced their use of hands-on materials. </li></ul>
  12. 12. It’s not just what you use… <ul><li>It becomes a question, therefore, of determining by which methods this social milieu that is school will achieve the best formative results, and if this formation will consist of a simple transmission of knowledge and of rules, or if it presupposes … relationships that are more complex between teacher and student and among the students themselves. </li></ul><ul><li>(Piaget, To Understand is to Invent, p. 55) </li></ul>
  13. 13. Thank you! [email_address]