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Educators in Industry: An Exploratory Study to Determine how Teacher Externships Influence K-12 Classroom Practices ARTICLE

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Journal of STEM Education Volume 19, Number 1, ISSN 1557-5284 Publisher: Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Engineering Education (LITEE)

Abstract

This exploratory study investigates the impacts of industry-based externships for K-12 teachers, and reports teachers\u2019 perspectives on how these experiences influenced K-12 classroom practices. The program of focus in this research study is the Educators in Industry: K-12 Externship Program. For four weeks in the summer, teacher-participants are placed at a company whose primary focus is engineering, continuous improvement, manufacturing, or other design or process-oriented activities. Participation in the program also involves completing an accompanying 2-credit university course in the summer, and a 1-credit follow-up course in the fall. In this qualitative research study, transcripts from individual interviews with teacher-participants were analyzed using a grounded theory approach. Results from this study provide empirical evidence that teachers who participated in an industry-based externship program demonstrated an increased understanding of the fundamental importance of skills for problem solving, collaboration, and communication in today\u2019s workplace environments, and expressed commitment to creating classroom opportunities for students to develop these skills through active learning in relationship to authentic, \u201creal world\u201d contexts.

Citation

Bowen, B. & Shume, T. (2018). Educators in Industry: An Exploratory Study to Determine how Teacher Externships Influence K-12 Classroom Practices. Journal of STEM Education, 19(1),. Laboratory for Innovative Technology in Engineering Education (LITEE). Retrieved April 27, 2018 from .

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