Improving Student Science Learning through the Argument-Based Strategies and STEM Infused Science Teaching (ASSIST) Teaching Approach

This project will deliver professional development (PD) in STEM to 40 teachers in districts with an identified need to improve STEM teaching and help teachers implement argument-based teaching practices. The PD program will be enhanced through purposeful infusion of mathematical practices, technology, and application of knowledge through engineering challenges. To sustain use of these practices, a collaborative online network of teachers will be established allowing for sharing of resources and facilitating cross-district engagement.

Funding Agency: Iowa Board of Regents - Title IIA, "Improving Teacher Quality State Grant Program"

Funding Amount: $472,271

Years: 2015-2018

Subject/Grade Level: STEM

Graduate Assistant Support: 1 .25FTE fiscal year in Yr. 1; 1 .50FTE fiscal year in Yrs. 2-3

 

Associated Faculty

 

 

Partners

  • University of Iowa
  • Cornell College
  • Area Education Agency 267
  • Waterloo Community School District
  • North Tama Community School Districts
  • Mt. Vernon Community School Districts
  • St. Paul's Lutheran School (Waverly)
  • Cedar Valley Catholic System

 

Additional information

 

Improving Student Science Learning through the Argument-based Strategies and STEM Infused Science Teaching (ASSIST) Approach is a new partnership between the University of Iowa, Cornell College, Area Education Agency 267, the Waterloo, North Tama and Mt. Vernon Community School Districts, St. Paul’s Lutheran School (Waverly) and the Cedar Valley Catholic System. This project will deliver professional development (PD) in STEM to 40 teachers in districts with an identified need to improve STEM teaching and help teachers implement argument-based teaching practices. The PD program will be enhanced through purposeful infusion of mathematical practices, technology, and application of knowledge through engineering challenges. To sustain use of these practices, a collaborative online network of teachers will be established allowing for sharing of resources and facilitating cross-district engagement. Tools to enhance teacher planning and assessment will be developed and refined. This project follows the Iowa Professional Development Model which has successfully guided district-wide implementation of similar teacher practices in previous projects. This project involves training of mentor teachers who will recruit future participants and serve as resources, and continual refinement of PD activities through analysis of program feedback. Evaluation will focus on changes in teachers’ understanding of the characteristics of the approach, changes in teacher practices, level of dissemination, cross-district collaboration, and impact on student performance. Participation of higher education faculty and Area Education Agency (AEA) personnel will help sustain in-service teacher practices beyond the project and promote application of practices from this project to improve pre-service teacher training.