Facilitating teachers’ development of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology content knowledge

Abstract

As nanoscale science, engineering, and technology (NSET) becomes more integrated into precollege science curricula, it is crucial for teachers to develop coherent understandings of science principles (e.g., the structure of matter, size and scale, forces and interactions, and size-dependent properties) that allow them to coordinate these understandings from the macro- to the nanoscale. Furthermore, as teachers acquire new NSET content knowledge through professional learning opportunities, it is incumbent upon NSET educators to understand their developing content knowledge. To this end, we report results from a study in which we used a pre-/post-/delayed-posttest design to examine the change in 24 secondary (grades 7–12) science teachers’ NSET content knowledge as a result of their participation in a year-long professional development program that consisted of a 2-week intensive course and academic year follow-up activities. Participants showed significant gains from pretest to posttest and significant gains on the delayed test compared to the pretest. We also present trends that emerged in teachers’ open-ended responses that provided deeper insight into teachers’ NSET content knowledge. Finally, we discuss issues related to the assessment of teachers’ NSET content knowledge as well as the design of NSET professional development for teachers.

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Journal + Issues

Nanotechnology Reviews (NTREV) is a bimonthly, peer-reviewed journal that is dedicated in general to Nanoscience and Nanotechnology covering: Synthesis and Fabrication; Characterization; Materials and Surfaces; Computation and Theoretical Aspects; Biology and Biotechnology; Medicine; Energy. NTREV addresses scientists as well as engineers.

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