Outline:Project Members and Abstract
Changes and Improvements
Method for Evaluation of the Project
Results and Feedback
Theoretical Perspectives and Discussions
Concluding RemarksOur project involved tremendous amount of quantitative and qualitative data from the actual class settings. The hardest part was to identify students' background and motivational factors toward learning physics. In addition, the pressure from school makes them cheating or rote learning. We had to grasp each one of the aspects instead of merely using a method or setting a rule. We had quite a few discussions with our observation and other evidence to identify the problems. It enabled us to "design" the textbook and curriculum in a better way. Ideas from psychology and sociology have been also important to take into account. The manual is still being revised to have better or more educational contents. Newly coming TAs point out many of the hidden problems to improve the manual instruction more in depth.
Currently, STEM education becomes an issue in the US, such as lower enrollment and low quality of the curriculum. Our project was not directly associated with the improving the STEM education particularly for K-12. However, this result may be worthwhile to extend ideas into K-12 science education or other introductory college subjects. We have improved life- and geological-science students' understanding physical science. There is so called "psychological wall" between other scientists and physics. The wall incurs people's misunderstanding and fear toward physics. This has been caused by lack of efforts on promoting accessibility of physics for other fields. It can be expected that making the wall lower between disciplines would establish a flexible foundation of social intelligence, which is necessary for the future quality of education. We can anticipate there will be more contingencies in the educational curricula such as teaching physics for non-science majors and people who come back to school. What we have done could be a clue to improve any type of educational settings.
It is important to improve STEM education, but the process of establishment and the maintenance are more important to be considered. A rule- or policy-driven scheme often does not lead us to a significant accomplishment. Also, raising only students' scores would cause issues in the other side. It is more effective to establish quality of resources, well-organized management, and proper teacher training in the long run.
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