The Memorial University/Hibernia STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Project: Teacher Inquiry Program
The Memorial University/Hibernia STEM Project: Teacher Inquiry Program is a five-year research project that examines the impact of teacher inquiry on professional growth. Practicing teachers from across the province are given opportunities to engage in ongoing, self-directed professional development, and are provided with the necessary supports to help ensure their success. Through teacher inquiry, teachers engage in professional learning, focusing on practical problem-solving in the classroom. Teachers define research areas based on professional interests and classroom needs; make decisions about their own professional needs; work collaboratively in school-based teams; and engage in cycles of planning, acting, observing, and reflecting.
Through an analysis of the data (e.g. teacher interview transcripts, survey data, teacher- and student-generated documents, participant observation notes), this research will determine the extent to which participating teachers adopt inquiry-based classroom practices in STEM and what impact this has on their knowledge, skills, and confidence in addressing K-6 curriculum in STEM subjects. By examining how STEM communities of practice develop and change, critical questions are being explored, such as:
In what ways can teacher inquiry help teachers better understand their classroom practice and support student learning?
How can the professional development model being adopted in this program enhance teachers learning and development?
What evidence is there to suggest that students are becoming more interested in and curious about STEM disciplines?