THE CASE FOR . A HANDS -ON MATH CLASS. INTRODUCING STUDENTS TO SUSTAINABLE CAREERS. Final Defense Presentation Presented to the Faculty of Philadelphia University Master of Science in Sustainable Design by David H. Ross | August 2011. ABSTRACT SUMMARY.
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THE CASE FOR A HANDS-ON MATH CLASS INTRODUCING STUDENTS TO SUSTAINABLE CAREERS Final Defense Presentation Presented to the Faculty of Philadelphia University Master of Science in Sustainable Design by David H. Ross | August 2011
ABSTRACT SUMMARY This research identifies pressing social and economic issues that can be addressed by the creation of a hands-on math class. Students are introduced to sustainable career and technical fields by industry professionals who help math teachers develop coursework.
THESIS STATEMENT An experiential hands-on math class will be an effective means to expose students to career paths in sustainability.
WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY? Bruntland Commission 1987: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainability is also a call to action. http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/10/27/natural-settings-help-brain-fatigue/
WHAT IS SUSTAINABILITY? 2005 United Nations: Decade of education for sustainable development that aims to “challenge us all to adopt new behaviors and practices to secure our future.” Emphasized that education is an indispensable elementfor achieving sustainable development. Credit: Anna-Karin Engberg
“Whenever it is possible, children should learn from real objects, the real world, and the experiences it offers.” - Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi (Bennett 1926) Photo: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Heinrich_Pestalozzi
Vocab Groundwork • CTE: Career and Technical Education • STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Manufacturing • Pedagogy: Process or strategies in teaching
Obstacles • Lack of skilled trade professionals entering the workforce • Negative perception of skilled trades and CTE programs • Decline of Industrial Arts programs • Disconnect between schools and career professions
OBSTACLE 1:Lack of Skilled Trade Professionals Entering the Workforce http://noahpinionblog.blogspot.com/
OBSTACLE: SKILL SHORTAGE Unemployment is historically high at 9% http://centurydirectgroupscamstockwatch.com/
OBSTACLE: SKILL SHORTAGE Great Depression Current Unemployment Rate http://centurydirectgroupscamstockwatch.com/
OBSTACLE: SKILL SHORTAGE Mike Rowetestified before the Senate Commerce Committee in Spring 2011. “Today, there are over 200,000 vacant positions in American manufacturing, 450,000 in trades, transportation, and utilities… The skills gap is real, and it’s getting wider.”
OBSTACLE: SKILL SHORTAGE More than 25 percent of the working population will reach retirement age by 2012, resulting in a potential shortage of nearly 10 million skilled workers. -U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Ratzenberger, 2010) Image: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/24/business/24jobs.html
OBSTACLE 2:Negative Perception of Skilled Trades and CTE Programs worst-jobs.com
OBSTACLE: NEGATIVE PERCEPTION “These career trades have long been lumped together in the mind of the pundit class as ‘blue collar’ and their requiem is intoned” - Matthew Crawford Shop Class As Soulcraft http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/29/books/29book.html
OBSTACLE: NEGATIVE PERCEPTION Mike Rose writes in The Mind At Work: “It is as though in our cultural iconography we are given the muscled arm, sleeve rolled tight against biceps, but no thought bright behind the eye, no image that links hand and brain.” http://mikerosebooks.blogspot.com/
OBSTACLE: NEGATIVE PERCEPTION This negative perception can be mainly attributed to the period of time (1970’s) in which federal legislation shifted its focus on career training for the masses to occupational training and academic achievement with an emphasis on special needs students. (Hayward 1993) Notion became that all students along this track were of an inferior educational capacity, destined for “blue-collar” work. http://www.deha.org/LegisFed.html
OBSTACLE: NEGATIVE PERCEPTION 2010 RIDGID Student Survey: • 54% believe there is a better future working in computers than working in skilled trades. • 37% of young people believe working in an office is more respected than working with your hands. • 25% of young people believe skilled trades jobs are old-fashioned.
OBSTACLE: NEGATIVE PERCEPTION “Skilled labor is becoming one of the few sure paths to a good living” - 2006 Wall Street Journal Example: Experienced Plumber: $65 an hour/ 7hrs a dayWill make $118,000 a year http://www.coastalplumbinginc.com/
OBSTACLE 3:Decline of Industrial Arts Programs http://finewodworking.blogspot.com/
OBSTACLE: DECLINE OF HANDS-ON LEARNING Industrial Arts Courses • Grew out of the manual training movement in the late 1800s • Rested on the belief that all students should learn to work with their hands as well as their minds. (Gallinelli 1979) http://www.digital.butlercenter.org/
OBSTACLE: DECLINE OF HANDS-ON LEARNING 1985 – Articles began to appear: • “The Soaring Technology Revolution” • “Preparing Kids for High-Tech and the Global Future” (Crawford 3) 1980-90s - Many schools began replacing industrial arts with technology education, which emphasizes introducing students to the “high technology” of the information age. (Levesque 67) http://www.flickr.com/photos/hellmutt/3298540791/
OBSTACLE: DECLINE OF HANDS-ON LEARNING Average number of credits earned in introductory technology courses SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics
Obstacle 4: Disconnect Between Schoolsand Career Professions http://worldexam.blogspot.com/
OBSTACLE: CLASSROOM DISCONNECT Contributing factor is the adoption of standardized testing. In 2010, Pennsylvania adopted Common Core State Standards (CCSS) which set national expectations for Math, Science, and English. • CCSS is simply a framework. Current implementations are taught in traditional settings. • Race To The Top initiative rewards millions of dollars for test scores alone.
OBSTACLE: CLASSROOM DISCONNECT “We have a generation of students that can answer questions on standardized tests, know factoids, but they can’t do anything.” -Jim AschwandenExecutive Director of the California Agricultural Teachers Association (Rebuilding Shop Classes in U.S. High Schools 2006) http://www.ct4me.net
OBSTACLE: CLASSROOM DISCONNECT The overall purpose of education is to ensure that the United States has a skilled workforce and engaged citizenry to keep our nation, economy, communities, and families healthy and productive.”(Brand 2008)
Obstacle Summary • Hands-On Math Class Will Address : • Skills shortage – “it’s real, it’s growing” • Stigma attached to skilled trades and STEM • Decline of hands-on learning environment • Disconnect between schools and industry
History of Hands On Education Past leaders of the experiential education: John Dewey Early 1900’s American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer Rudolf Steiner Early 1900’s Austrian philosopher and educator http://blog.study2u.com/285/quotes-on-education/ http://cloverinthecity.com/
HISTORY OF HANDS-ON EDUCATION John Dewey Father of Modern Experiential Education In the 1920’s, Dewey became popular for pointing out that modern traditional education was too concerned with delivering knowledge, and not enough with understanding student’s actual experiences. (Neill 2005)
HISTORY OF HANDS-ON EDUCATION John Dewey Father of Modern Experiential Education • Students need educational experiences that “enable them to become valuable, equal, and responsible members of society”.(Neil) • Theory of Experience • Continuity – learn from every experience • Interaction – how those past experiences interact with present situation
HISTORY OF HANDS-ON EDUCATION Rudolph SteinerCreator of Waldorf Education Schools Believed education should: • be designed to meet the changing needs of a child as they develop physically, mentally, and emotionally. • provide young people the basis on which to develop into free, morally responsible and integrated individuals.(Lewis 2001)
HISTORY OF HANDS-ON EDUCATION Waldorf Schools: • Specific curriculum requirements for history, geography, mathematics, languages, literature, science, and handwork. • Recommended that children be able to concentrate on one subject at a time. • Engage the student so they are enthusiastic about the material being covered.(Lewis 2001)
HISTORY OF HANDS-ON EDUCATION Dewey and Steiner’s theories compliment each other. • Both provide customized student experiences • Helped to shape future experiential education programs
RESEARCH STUDIES • National Research Center for Career and Technical Education (NRCCTE): Math in Career and Technology Education • PURDUE UNIVERSITY:Exploring the Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Water Resources Engineering Module in an Eighth Grade Science Course
RESEARCH STUDIES NRCCTE: Math-in-CTE 2005: Tested a model of curriculum integration to improve CTE student’s mathematical understanding. http://www.nrccte.org/
RESEARCH STUDIES NRCCTE: Math-in-CTE • 1 CTE teacher + 1 math teacher • 10 days workshop to develop curriculum • Taught over 1 semester • Conducted at classroom level • 1 experimental group and 1 control group http://www.nrccte.org/
RESEARCH STUDIES NRCCTE: Math-in-CTE NRCCTE Model: • Based on seven-step pedagogy built on theories of contextual learning and transfer. • Created to guide the development and instruction of math-enhanced CTE lesson plans. • Mathematics taught in CTE courses should arise directly out of occupational content rather than forced into it.
RESEARCH STUDIES NRCCTE: Math-in-CTE 7 Elements of Math-Enhanced Lesson: • Introduce the CTE lesson • Assess students’ math awareness as it relates to the CTE lesson • Work through the math example embedded in the CTE lesson • Work through related, contextual math-in-CTE examples • Work through traditional math examples • Students demonstrate their understanding • Formal assessment
RESEARCH STUDIES After one year exposure, experimental classrooms performed significantly higher on two of three math posttests administered. Building Academic Skills in Context: Testing the Value of Enhanced Math Learning in CTE
RESEARCH STUDIES NRCCTE: Math-in-CTE Takeaway Principles: • Develop and sustain a community of practice. • Begin with the CTE curriculum and not the math curriculum. • Understand that math is an essential workplace skill. • Maximize the math in the CTE curriculum. • Recognize that CTE teachers are teachers of Math-in-CTE and not math teachers.
RESEARCH STUDIES Exploring the Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Water Resources Engineering Module in an Eighth Grade Science Course • 2008 study with 8th graders • Looked at whether participating in engineering design modules helps students learn and retain more information. • Analyze socio-economic status, race, and gender influences.
RESEARCH STUDIES Exploring the Effectiveness of an Interdisciplinary Water Resources Engineering Module in an Eighth Grade Science Course • 126 students in 10 different classes • Racially diverse middle school • Same textbook • 5 classes traditional | 5 classes designed water purification device (up to 10% class time)
RESEARCH STUDIES Graphs representing the changes in student evaluation scores based on classroom (control vs. treatment) showing the differences in gains by the student demographic groups. Study: Hands-on projects may be best way to teach engineering and technology concepts
RESEARCH STUDIES Student who built the purification device had higher scores and a much higher degree of improvement than the traditionally taught students. Study: Hands-on projects may be best way to teach engineering and technology concepts