Our work sought to ascertain how math and science teachers promote the math and science teaching career to the students within their school setting and to determine the factors influencing their action or inaction. Recognizing the effect of a researcher's interaction with respondents, on both the respondent and the research process, we also sought to determine if participation in this study could effect the respondent's decision to promote the teaching career in a new or enhanced way.
Groups of at least 7 certified math
and/or science teachers were awarded a mini-grant, to use at their discretion, as an
incentive for participating in this study. We conducted a nonprobabilstic form of
sampling, purposive sampling, as this project is exploratory in nature and as we were not
looking to create a sampling that was statistically representative of any portion of
teachers locally or nationally. Instead we wanted a broad reflection of perspectives from
teachers in our region and specifically within the MSPGP partnership.
Participants were asked to participate in 3 research activities. First they were to complete a confidential, 60 question survey which was administered by SurveyMonkey. The SurveyMonkey survey has 6 sections: participant profile, scope of actions, challenges and opportunities, beliefs and attitudes, engagement with pre-service teachers and engagement with new teachers.
Second, they were asked to answer 4 questions on a confidential, online Google Group forum. The questions on the Google Group forum were generated from the SurveyMonkey survey in order to flesh out and validate emerging themes. Their participation was confidential. The four questions are paraphrased below:
Lastly, participants attended a feedback discussion with the researchers. The feedback discussions were generated by asking just two questions to the group of participants. Researchers used audio tape and observations to capture their response to the following: 1. As a result of this study do you think or feel differently in regards to promoting the teaching career? 2. As a result of this study do you plan to do anything differently in regards to promoting the teaching career?
Analysis is ongoing. We have coded and themed the qualitative data and are in the process of triangulating qualitative and quantitative data.