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Alleviating pre-service teachers' STEM anxiety through RAL

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SITE 2016 presentation

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Alleviating pre-service teachers' STEM anxiety through RAL

  1. 1. Alleviating pre-service teachers’ STEM anxiety through the use of Remote Access Laboratories Peter Albion, Wu Ting, Alexander Kist, Lindy Orwin, Andrew Maxwell, Ananda Maiti University of Southern Queensland, Australia
  2. 2. USQ context Established 1967 ◦ Single campus ◦ Distance since 1980s ◦ Print + audio teleconferencing Teacher Education c 1970 ◦ Face-to-face for UG ◦ Distance for PG Now 3 main campuses ◦ Southern Queensland ◦ Global online offerings
  3. 3. Priming the future with STEM education instead of future-proofing we ought to talk about future- priming – building those assets and skills that position us to benefit as best we can from change. Chubb, 2015 http://www.chiefscientist.gov.au/2015/09/speech-technology-and-australias-future-report-launch/ Preparing students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses will improve their understanding of basic scientific and technological knowledge which may develop citizens who have the confidence to engage in open and democratic discussion about Australia’s technological future. Williamson et al., 2015, p. 76 http://www.acola.org.au/PDF/SAF05/SAF05_Report_web_17Sept.pdf
  4. 4. Developing interest in STEM 8000 respondents in US study (Maltese et al., 2014) ◦ Majority hooked in elementary school ◦ Teachers responsible for almost 25% Elementary school STEM is crucial ◦ Science instructional time is declining (Blank, 2013) ◦ Teachers’ low confidence is a key factor (Gillies & Nichols, 2015) Technology (STEM) ◦ New area unfamiliar to teachers ◦ Similar to science and receiving limited attention Study goal ◦ Investigate effect of STEM experiences on PSTs STEM anxiety ◦ Boost confidence and likelihood of teaching STEM
  5. 5. STEM subjects in Australian schools Science Established Technology Newer & less established Engineering Virtually unknown Mathematics Established & prioritised STEM New and not well understood
  6. 6. Australian Technologies curriculum 25 years in the making ◦1989 Australian Education Council (Ministers) ◦ Common and Agreed National Goals for Schooling in Australia ◦ 8 national Key Learning Areas (KLAs) included Technology ◦1994 Technology - A Curriculum Profile for Australian Schools ◦ Independent state syllabi developed ◦2014 Australian Curriculum: Technologies
  7. 7. 2016 Australian Curriculum: Technologies 2 distinct subjects ◦ Design and Technologies ◦ Digital Technologies 2 related strands in each subject ◦ Knowledge and understanding ◦ Processes and production skills Key ideas in the curriculum ◦ Overarching idea: Creating preferred futures ◦ Project management ◦ Thinking – systems, design, computational Written in year level bands Content descriptions and elaborations
  8. 8. Key ideas & technologies subjects http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/structure
  9. 9. Content structure Design and Technologies Digital Technologies Knowledge and understanding Technologies and society • the use, development and impact of technologies in people’s lives Technologies contexts • technologies and design across a range of technologies contexts Digital systems • the components of digital systems: hardware, software and networks and their use Representation of data • how data are represented and structured symbolically Processes and production skills Creating designed solutions by: • Investigating • generating • Producing • Evaluating • collaborating and managing Collecting, managing and analysing data Creating digital solutions by: • Defining • Designing • Implementing • Evaluating • collaborating and managinghttp://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/technologies/structure
  10. 10. Challenges of STEM teaching STEM (Technologies) is new in schools Science education is widely researched & similar US study of 800 to 1200 teachers (Blank, 2013) ◦ Class time for science declined over 20 years – 3.0 h/w to 2.3 h/w ◦ Wide variation between localities ◦ Positive relationship between time and achievement Australian study (Fitzgerald et al., 2013) ◦ Noted reluctance of teachers & < 3% of instructional time (1 h/w) Queensland study (Albion & Spence, 2013) ◦ 212 primary teachers ◦ ~75% spend less than 1 h/w
  11. 11. Understanding the challenges Factors limiting science teaching include ◦ Limited content knowledge ◦ Low confidence or self-efficacy ◦ Lack of equipment ◦ Crowded curriculum Produces decline in later science study ◦ (Gillies & Nichols, 2015) Self-efficacy for science teaching ◦ Related to time spent on science ◦ Related to student science achievement Netherlands study (van Aalderen-Smeets et al., 2012) ◦ Linked teacher attitudes to enjoyment and anxiety
  12. 12. STEM anxiety Teachers’ subject anxiety affects learners PSTs have science anxiety (Lewis, 2015) ◦ Begins early as elementary school Limited research about STEM anxiety ◦ Technology anxiety usually = ICT ◦ Science anxiety research suggests similar effect for STEM PANAS (Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule) ◦ Self report Likert scale using 20 mood state adjectives ◦ PA ~ enthusiasm, alertness ◦ NA ~ anxiety ◦ Demonstrated reliability & efficient administration
  13. 13. Preparing PSTs for STEM Australian Curriculum: Technologies ◦ Design and Technologies – Engineering ◦ Digital Technologies – Technology USQ program includes specific course ◦ EDP4130 Technology curriculum and pedagogy ◦ 2014 & 2015 offers included RALfie activities ◦ Remote Access Laboratories for fun, innovation and education
  14. 14. RALfie Remote Access Laboratories (RAL) ◦ Internet access to experiments for remote students ◦ Mostly universities but some success in schools Typically centrally provided ◦ Client-server model ◦ Effective for data collection, less for skills and collaboration ◦ Making experiments is also important ◦ Students prefer hands-on experience RALfie = Peer-to-Peer (P2P) RAL ◦ Modified router ‘phones’ home securely ◦ Registers experiment on network Suitable for non-techie teachers & students
  15. 15. Focus & method Doctoral study of effects of RALfie with PSTs ◦ Paper reports affective states data using PANAS Intact classes on campus and online Mixed methods ◦ Online questionnaire pre- & post- ◦ Modified STEBI, PANAS, open questions ◦ 122 pre-test, 47 post-test, 36 fully matched ◦ Interviews post-experience
  16. 16. RALfie intervention Hands-on Remote Non-user Total PA 3 29 4 36 NA 4 29 5 38 Maker events ◦ Hands on construction & connection ◦ 22 attended 2 x 2 h sessions User activities ◦ Remote access to experiments ◦ Pendulum activity ◦ Gearbox activity
  17. 17. Pendulum activity
  18. 18. Gearbox activity
  19. 19. PANAS pre-post results
  20. 20. PA and NA changes vs time spent
  21. 21. Selected respondents’ comments Pendulum Gearbox A+ … I found the activity very interesting. It took me a while to work it out though. I found it hard to identify which gear was which … could be improved … with clearer labelling. B+ The first time the ball fell off the pendulum. I found it difficult to read the measure behind the pendulum. … I gave up on it after a while. I successfully completed the activity. However, found some of the instructions not practical … We have an extensive collection of technic LEGO so I ended up finding gears the same size and counting the teeth which I converted to fractions then angles. C- Difficulty was experienced - E- This activity caused my browser to crash - multiple times … This experiment loaded well and I was able to engage the gears. I see benefits using this activity when teaching. F+ It was challenging to complete due to the difference in learning required to navigate the experiment. It was easy to navigate following engagement in previous experiments. G+ Takes way too long to set up, took 5 minutes to get back to the top Difficult to figure out the ratios…There needs to be some way of knowing if you got it right H+ Did not work. Unable to access Unable to access. Did not work. I- The ball dropped and it didn't work. It worked well for the first couple of minutes before it froze and stopped working.
  22. 22. What does it mean? PSTs need preparation to teach STEM ◦ Knowledge and skills ◦ Increased self-efficacy and decreased anxiety RAL may have a role ◦ PSTs studying online ◦ Teachers in remote locations Results demonstrated ◦ Potential for decreased anxiety ◦ Need for resolution of technical issues Pedagogical needs ◦ Clear connection to curriculum ◦ Modelling classroom approaches
  23. 23. Contact Peter.Albion@usq.edu.au

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