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Abstract

Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in the U.S. is in transition. The recently published A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas as well as the Next Generation Science Standards are responsive to this call and clearly articulate a vision that includes engineering practices as key components. This shift presents significant challenges to school districts owing to a stark lack of research-based engineering-focused instructional materials and corresponding teacher professional development. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of a professional development program on high school STEM teachers’ ability to enact design-based pedagogical practices associated with the pre-selected engineering design curriculum (INSPIRES Engineering in Healthcare: A Heart-Lung System Case Study). Data were generated through evaluation of teacher practice using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP). Findings demonstrated that RTOP scores were statistically significant.

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