Strategic Research Area: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
STEM education research is multidisciplinary research in learning and teaching, specifically for STEM students and professionals. STEM education implementation is the development, execution, and assessment of the learning environment that encourages and supports this specialized education. The primary goal of this thrust is to become the national leader in integrating the research and learning environments for STEM education. In a certain sense, the entire school is the laboratory for this research.
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education: Research Themes
Teaching Methods Research Theme
This theme is devoted to development of strong, new approaches to teaching science and engineering subjects, including new methods of using student-based project activities, basic and applied research projects, and multi-faculty course teaching. Also included in this theme is research into how students learn using the new methods of teaching and how best to assess the outcomes of using new methods.
Teacher Training Theme
Teacher training research involves development and testing of teacher training techniques that formally integrate striving for scholarly teaching into the teaching process. Research also includes assessment of methods for training faculty in developing welcoming learning environments and for developing faculty motivation to participate in new teaching strategies, including the role of tenure, promotion, and annual evaluations in motivation.
Commercialization of effective STEM research involves the implementation of best methods into the general classroom setting beyond the school research environment. It requires identification of appropriate ways to introduce new teaching methods and training programs into the classroom, development of methods to foster an understanding between the researcher and practitioner communities, and an increased faculty and student awareness of the advantages of change.