Poster Title

STEM majors’ views of the teaching profession: Implications for the recruitment of secondary teachers in Kentucky.

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Biology

Institution

Morehead State University

KY House District #

97

KY Senate District #

25

Department

Dept. of Physics, Earth Science & Space Systems Engineering

Abstract

Kentucky, just like most states, is facing a shortage of secondary school teachers, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The decision to become a teacher is informed by personal experiences, opinions from family, friends or peers, and media reports. For example, discussions about teacher pay, pension reform and school funding have been commonplace in Kentucky TV and newspapers in recent months. The purpose of this study was to describe the perception of 25 STEM majors about teaching as a career. The researchers used a mixed method approach to describe this perception. The quantitative findings emerged from the participants' completion and analysis of a version of the "Factors Influencing Teaching Choice" questionnaire. The qualitative findings emerged from interviews, where participants shared their views about personal and community perceptions about teaching, their experiences interacting with STEM teachers, and their views about teacher certification programs for science majors or graduates, like MSUTeach and a graduate Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The findings of this study can inform efforts to minimize STEM majors’ misconceptions about teaching as a career and to recruit additional pre-service STEM teachers.

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STEM majors’ views of the teaching profession: Implications for the recruitment of secondary teachers in Kentucky.

Kentucky, just like most states, is facing a shortage of secondary school teachers, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. The decision to become a teacher is informed by personal experiences, opinions from family, friends or peers, and media reports. For example, discussions about teacher pay, pension reform and school funding have been commonplace in Kentucky TV and newspapers in recent months. The purpose of this study was to describe the perception of 25 STEM majors about teaching as a career. The researchers used a mixed method approach to describe this perception. The quantitative findings emerged from the participants' completion and analysis of a version of the "Factors Influencing Teaching Choice" questionnaire. The qualitative findings emerged from interviews, where participants shared their views about personal and community perceptions about teaching, their experiences interacting with STEM teachers, and their views about teacher certification programs for science majors or graduates, like MSUTeach and a graduate Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The findings of this study can inform efforts to minimize STEM majors’ misconceptions about teaching as a career and to recruit additional pre-service STEM teachers.