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Community and Engagement

Faculty in College of Education’s STEM Education Department Help Teachers in Colombia Improve Teaching Skills Through Professional Development Program

STEM Education Day

Secondary school teachers in Bogotá, Colombia, had the opportunity to improve their STEM education teaching skills and develop practices of teaching STEM in English and bilingual learning environments thanks to professional development provided by faculty in the NC State College of Education’s Department of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education.

The nine-week program allowed about 30 Colombian educators who teach any STEM subject using English as the main language of instruction to engage in a personalized, online professional development program and earn a certification.

The partnership came about when Bogotá’s secretary of education and the Fulbright Commission in Colombia reached out to Michael Bustle, associate vice provost of global initiatives and education and director of the Global Training Initiative at NC State, about a program to provide content and language integrated instruction for public high school STEM teachers.

Bustle reached out to Aaron Clark, Ph.D., head of the College of Education’s Department of STEM Education, who worked with several other faculty members in the department to design the sessions, which ran from March 23 through May 25.

Course topics led by College of Education faculty included:

  • STEM Education Issues, Models and Trends, taught by Clark
  • Inquiry with Technological Tools, taught by Associate Professor Cesar Delgado, Ph.D.
  • Educational Leadership and Change Management, taught by Assistant Teaching Professor Steve Miller, Ph.D.
  • Modeling and Leading Class Discussions, taught by Assistant Professor Erin Krupa, Ph.D. 
  • Quantitative Statistical Literacy, taught by Professor Hollylynne Lee, Ph.D.
  • Engineering Design Process, taught by Associate Professor Cameron Denson, Ph.D.
  • STEM Education: Core Practices and Interdisciplinary Pedagogical Tools, taught by Assistant Professor Robin Anderson, Ph.D.

The educators also engaged in a binational panel discussion on STEM education with College of Education faculty and participated in a final project that allowed teachers to talk about how they would use the lessons learned through the program going forward.

“We hope that this will grow into something that can continue, not just with Colombia, but we want this to continue in other countries,” Clark said. “A lot of countries really want to learn about how we do STEM, and we’re able to present that in all different ways.”