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EDFN A348: STEAM in the Context of Alaska/Information Literacy

Conclusions and Future Directions

After reviewing the student generated artifacts we recognize the need for the following formative activities and assessments:

1.    A pre-test to ascertain the students’ initial competencies and critical thinking skills related to information literacy related to the identification and evaluation of resources such as dissertation, trade magazines, research articles, and credible web resources. The students who participated in this pilot course completed the science methods course the prior semester. Consequently, we were able to compare their previous work (Unit plans) with the plans they submitted for this course, but that may not be the case or future students in this class. It will be more appropriate to ascertain the students’ initial competencies through a pretest.

2.    A midterm information session to discuss more sources related to the students’ specific projects as well as to address any issues related to student progress.

3.    An additional Collaborate or face to face session using the Critical Friends framework (Burke, Marx, & Berry, 2010) designed to promote student interaction and foster the development of professional interactions focused on analyzing curriculum derived from internet resources.

4.    A post-test and reflection to evaluate the students’ growth throughout the semester and to obtain students’ perspective on their perceived competencies

In conclusion, this pilot project offered new insights on preservice teacher learning associated with the content knowledge and skills related to information literacy. After implementing and analyzing the assessment measures created by students during this course we will incorporate the refinements and continue to collect feedback from the students. At present time we are planning to offer this course to a group of para-professionals and inservice teachers from rural Alaska.

The second iteration of this course will be aimed specifically to the needs of a curriculum team from an Alaska Native language immersion school. As we work collaboratively with the teachers they will utilize the skills learned in this course to create and or enhance K-3 grade STEAM units based on subsistence practices. Our goal is to better align the course with the 2017 University of Alaska Strategic Plan (2007) to better serve the needs of students throughout Alaska. One final refinement that is worth considering is the inclusion of information literacy development in the K-8 unit plan. In other words; a greater level of alignment between what the students learned in this course regarding information literacy skills and the inclusion of these skills in thier grade level units.

References:

Burke, W., Marx, G. E., & Berry, J. E. (2010). Maintaining, reframing, and disrupting traditional expectations and outcomes for professional development       with critical friends groups. The Teacher Educator46(1), 32-52.

Santau, A. O., Maerten-Rivera, J. L., Bovis, S., & Orend, J. (2014). A mile wide or an inch deep? Improving elementary preservice teachers’ science                content knowledge within the context of a science methods course. Journal of Science Teacher Education25(8), 953-976.

University of Alaska Anchorage. (2007). UAA 2017: Strategic plan, final reference copy. Anchorage, Alaska: University of Alaska Anchorage.

 

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Jennifer McKay
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