Denver Teacher Leadership Summit

Perfecting Practice through Problem Based STEM Teaching

STEM Education requires that teachers have the capability to develop learning modules that engage and integrate Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and ELA. The current Problem Based Learning (PBL) Regional Summer School program has led to a decrease in discipline referrals and absence and an increase in passing rates and engagement, as shown by action research. However, it has been in place for ten years needs re-development. The PBL method works but it is a major shift for teachers. Previously, they were expected to implement but not develop a PBL.

The structure of the Regional Summer School program provides a framework for collaboration and professional development. A math and science certified teacher co-teach students. I would like to immerse teachers in writing a problem based learning module that implements the Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards for Math and ELA. Teachers will receive Professional Development on PBL followed by time for collaborative writing and teaching.

According to “Reviewing the evidence on how teacher professional development affects student achievement,” a single event has very little impact on student learning. In this program, sustained support and professional development would begin with module development and continue throughout the time that the teachers are co-teaching. As teachers return to their school districts in the fall, they would have the option to engage in continued support.

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Idea No. 232