材料科学的发展是科技发展的基础,并且具有广泛的社会影响。比如说，材料科学这几年的研究已经进入到开发移动手机上，这种手机是由聚合物，液晶显示器，发光二极管，硅芯片，Ni-Cd电池，电阻器，电容器，扬声器和麦克风，并压制成相当于一副扑克牌的空间大小。就如其它一些技术发展，移动手机已经成为社会独一无二的一部分。然而，大部分的人对与之相关发展的材料科学知之甚少。通过材料科学为学习科学，技术，工程和数学提供丰富背景知识的要求以及提高幼儿到高中教育者材料科学方面知识的必要性是此次提供一个为期四天共计20小时题为“活在一个物质世界”的专业发展课程的主要目的。除了公开参与者幼儿到高中教育者是材料科学的基础，该课程还提供了连接我们每天的生活经历和科学家和工程师工作之间桥梁的一种方式。Abstract摘要Advances in materials science are fundamental to technological developments and have broad societal impacts. For example, years of materials science research has gone into developing cellular phones which are composed of polymer cases, liquid crystal displays, LEDs, silicon chips, Ni-Cd batteries, resistors, capacitors, speakers, and microphones, and compacted into a space equivalent to that of a deck of cards. Like many technological developments, cellular phones have become a ubiquitous part of society, and yet most people know little about the materials science associated with their development. The rich context that materials science provides for learning Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) content and the need to enhance K-12 educators’ knowledge of materials science was the motivation for developing and offering a 20 hour four-day professional development course entitled “Living in a Materials World.” In addition to exposing the participating K-12 educators to the fundamentals of materials science, the course provided a means for bridging our every day experiences and the work of scientists and engineers. “Living in a Materials World” was one of the fifteen STEM content courses offered as part of the Idaho Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (i-STEM) summer institute for upper elementary and middle school teachers. The four-day institute included a 20 hour course and 12-16 hours of plenary sessions, planning, and collaborative sharing. The goal of the i-STEM institute was to enhance the participating educators’ STEM content knowledge, capacity for teaching STEM, comfort and attitudes toward teaching STEM, knowledge of how people learn, and strategies for integrating STEM throughout the curriculum. In addition, the participants received STEM curriculum in materials science and a resource kit composed of STEM materials and equipment, valued at about $300, to support the implementation of curriculum and content learned at the institute with their students.The i-STEM summer institute participants were pre/post tested on their comfort with STEM, perceptions of STEM education, pedagogical discontentment, implementations of inquiry, attitudes toward student learning of STEM, and content knowledge associated with the specific course they took during the institute. The results from our research indicate a significant increase in content knowledge for the Living in a Materials World strand participants (t = 11.36, p < .01) (results were similar in the other courses). As a whole the summer institute participants expressed significant increases in their comfort levels for teaching STEM (t = 10.94, p < .01), inquiry implementation (t = 5.72, p < .01) and efficacy for teaching STEM (t = 6.27, p < .01), and a significant decrease in pedagogical discontentment (t = -6.26, p < .01). Living in a Materials World 活在物质世界Everything is made of something, and the things we manufacture or create are typically made from materials that are readily available and optimal for the product or conditions. Through the work of materials science we continue to refine and discover new materials or new uses for existing materials resulting in the development of new and/or higher performing products. Thus, the science and engineering of materials impacts almost all facets of our lives, and yet, materials science is seldom explored outside of universities and research and development labs. However, the fundamental processes of materials science provide an excellent context for engaging K-12 students and teachers in the exploration of a wide range of STEM concepts. The National Academies’ report on engineering education in K-12 highlights the benefits of engaging K-12 students in engineering education and the inextricable link between engineering and math and science education. Further, the National Academies’ report explores the positive influence of engineering education activities on K-12 students’ math and science achievement, building a case for using engineering education as a context for attaining a wide range of academic goals. The potential for using engineering as a context to enhance K-12 teaching and learning provides justification for exploring instructional approaches and researching their effectiveness. This is particularly true for materials science which may be used to explore concepts of chemistry, earth science, physics, biology, mathematics and engineering, and for which there is a the dearth of empirical studies reporting its effectiveness as a context for teaching and learning. It was with consideration of the National Academies report and the lack of reported empirical research on preparing teachers to teach using materials science as a context for teaching STEM that motivated our research. The need for evidence and models prompted us to develop a 20 hour professional development course for teachers of grades 4-9 that used materials science as the context for teaching a range of STEM topics. The course, Living in a Materials World, was part of the 4 day i-STEM residential summer institute designed to enhance the participating educators’ knowledge and comfort with teaching STEM. To determine the effectiveness of the course, participants were pre and post tested for knowledge of the materials science concepts that were covered. Further, the participants were pre and post tested for comfort levels, conceptions of STEM, perceptions of STEM teaching, and their pedagogical contentment. Our report details the study and outcomes. Prior to exploring our research, we delve into the relevant literature that supports our research. Materials Science in K-12 Education The increasing presence of engineering in the K-12 STEM education has amplified the need to prepare K-12 teachers to teach topics within the domain Initiatives, such as the one reported by Williams have used extant engineering curriculum to guide the continuing education of teachers and prepare them to teach the related concepts. The topics covered in many of the engineering education teacher professional development efforts span the spectrum of engineering . However, for the most part these endeavors have focused on high school teachers or teachers of engineering curriculum. Thus, there is a need to determine if using the context of engineering is effective for preparing a greater diversity of teachers to teach a range of STEM content, enhancing their STEM knowledge, and their perceptions of their STEM pedagogy. Of particular interest, is the effectiveness of using materials science engineering to enhance elementary, middle and junior high teachers’ preparation to teach concepts associated with science and mathematics. In our search of the literature we exposed curriculum or reports of programs that used aspects of materials science for K-12 teacher professional development in engineering (e.g. Norman and colleagues ). However, these reports typically limit the presentation of empirical data that document the effectiveness of the programs at enhancing their participants’ knowledge of engineering, and not necessarily the influence on the teachers’ preparation to teach STEM. Further, in our search of the literature we were unable to locate any investigations that explicitly used materials science to enhance K-8 teacher preparation to teach STEM content. The lack of readily available published investigations reporting empirical data associating professional development using materials science on teacher preparation to teach STEM content provides support for our research. We posited that a well crafted, interactive materials science curriculum would engage the participating teachers in learning the associated concepts and enhance their knowledge and preparation to teach materials science related STEM content and concepts.Our Research 我们的研究The goal of this research project was to develop and implement a professional development course for teachers grade 4-9 focused on enhancing their capacity to teach STEM using the context of materials science, scientific inquiry, and engineering design. We sought to model the processes of inquiry and design for teaching STEM through a series of activities that made explicit an array of STEM disciplines. Further, we intended to increase the participating 4-9 teachers’ knowledge of the engineering associated with materials science and provide them with ideas for using the associated concepts to teach a range of STEM subjects. We used the following research questions to guide our investigation: Did the participants’ knowledge of materials science change from pre-course to post course? Did the participants’ comfort for teaching STEM, the pedagogical discontentment for teaching STEM, and attitude toward teaching STEM change from pre to post course? Did the participants’ perceptions and ideas for using inquiry to teach STEM chance from pre to post course? How did the participants’ evaluate the course? We predicted that the participants would experience significant gains in their materials science and related STEM knowledge, in their comfort for teaching STEM, in their pedagogical contentment, and in their attitudes toward teaching STEM. In addition, we predicted that the participants’ perceptions and ideas for using inquiry as an instructional approach would increase. Finally, we predicted that the interactive nature of the professional development course would lead to positive perceptions of the experience by the participants.Participants 参与者The Living in a Materials World Course相关课程Results结果 Discussion 讨论Conclusion结论 Materials science is an excellent example of an engineering field that requires the understanding and application of content from multiple STEM disciplines. Due to the nature of materials science and its applicability to every day experiences it is an ideal context for enhancing teacher capacity to teach STEM content and making STEM content relevant for their students. Teacher professional development courses in materials science that combine STEM content with activities that engage participants in scientific inquiry and engineering design provide teachers with a model that can be transferred to a range of STEM learning contexts.The empirical evidence gathered in our research project indicates that such a course using materials science as a context for teacher professional development is effective for increasing content knowledge of materials science while enhancing the affective states and teaching perceptions of the participating K-12 educators. The success of our course provides further justification for using materials science for enhancing teacher preparation to teach STEM by increasing their STEM knowledge and excitement for teaching STEM content, and leveraging the benefits of life in a materials world. References 参考文献1 National Academy of Engineering & National Research Council (2009). 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