Examining fidelity of program implementation in a STEM-oriented out-of-school setting

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Abstract

In the United States and many other countries there is a growing emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education that is expanding the number of both in-school and out-of-school instructional programs targeting important STEM outcomes. As instructional leaders increasingly train teachers and facilitators to undertake new STEM focused programs, it will become especially important for these leaders to understand the concept of program fidelity, which seeks to examine the alignment between how a program is designed to be implemented and how that program is actually implemented in the field. This article discusses an exploratory study examining program fidelity within the geospatial and robotics technologies for the twenty-first century (GEAR-Tech-21) project, which is an out-of-school program teaching educational robotics and geospatial-related STEM concepts, across more than 20 different states, as funded by the National Science Foundation. The study results identified relationships related to program fidelity that were identifiable across various instructional modules, and associated with specific training and content characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-52
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Technology and Design Education
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2014

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Keywords

  • Fidelity
  • Geospatial
  • Out-of-school
  • Robotics
  • STEM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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