Title: Teaching Teachers Making For Learning
Abstract: Working with classroom teachers requires both an evidence-based understanding of learning and a practical perspective on the realities of standards-based instruction in the era of accountability. If teachers are expected to develop as professionals, they require meaningful and digestible scaffolds that support their development both as content experts and conceptual thinkers. With teacher burn-out at record levels, developing supports for teachers becomes ever more important. This talk shares findings from a quasi-experimental study of over one hundred science teachers examining the impacts and affordances offered science teachers to improve their practice through project based instruction using electronic textiles. Using a faded-scaffold professional development and curricular model, Project STITCH trains science teachers in the use of electronic textiles to teach students core science content as laid out in the Next Generation Science Standards. Mixed methods findings are shared exploring the various areas of impacts that e-textiles affords teachers in improving learning and instruction as part of their professional practice.
Bio: Dr. Colby Tofel-Grehl is an assistant professor at Utah State University and director of the secondary science education program in the School of Teacher Education and Leadership. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in Science Education. Her research is situated between the worlds of science education, technology integration, and classroom interaction. She explores the ways in which novel technologies afford teachers new approaches to improve their classroom instruction through discourse. Currently, she is the principal investigator of Project STITCH, a professional and curriculum development grant funded by the National Science Foundation looking at the implementation of electronic textiles in science classrooms across three states.