THE QUANTUM FOR ALL PROJECT: TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT MODEL
The University of Texas at Arlington (UNITED STATES)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 3-5 July, 2023
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:Quantum information science and technology (QIST) bring together two fields that are important internationally to students in K-16. Understanding these two areas is critical as we embrace a new era of technology and prepare a "quantum smart" workforce. The logical venue for exposure to quantum might be a high school physics course, or even a physical science course if a full physics course is not offered. Thus, it is vital to expose K-12 students to quantum concepts that are relevant to everyday experiences with credit card security, phones, computers, and basic technology and to prepare teachers to teach this content. Professional development (PD) for educators typically includes 1-2 weeks of intensive instruction, usually in the summer. Teachers are then expected to remember what they learned and implement it several months after the PD. The model is based on prior research indicating that an educator needs a minimum of 80 hours of PD to become comfortable enough to implement the new instruction in their classroom. However, little research has been done as to how much they actually implement. For the past three years, we have been engaged in a project funded by the US National Science Foundation to build mechanisms (materials and PD strategies) for educating a quantum-ready workforce. Our PD model is based on pedagogical techniques used in classrooms, specifically the components of learn then practice in order to avoid cognitive overload. Instruction is more effective when the learners (teachers or students) are given opportunities to actively engage in the learning process through interaction/collaboration with peers, exploring challenges, and practicing what they have learned. This paper will share the logistics of our new PD new model, challenges, finding from our current research, and implications for future PD in K-16.
Keywords: Quantum, Teacher professional development, STEM.