Creating a Community of NASA STEM Educators – A Community of Practice for Educator Professional Development

“ How might educators sustain and extend their NASA EPDC professional development experience?”  This is a question that Deepika Sangam, Goddard EPDC specialist, has begun to explore through the use of the Professional Learning Educator Assessment Survey (PLEAS – 2).  Although this work is in the initial stages, preliminary findings suggest that one possibility of extending the NASA EPDC professional development experience could be through existing Communities of Practice (CoP) using readily available technology.  From results of the PLEAS – 2 survey she learned that 87% of the educators surveyed already belong to either a formal (70%) or informal (62%) CoP.  Dr. Sangam strongly believes that a CoP provides a compelling infrastructure for development of STEM expertise of these teachers post-PD. She asserts, “When managed effectively, it (CoP) will empower teachers to become competent and confident in their abilities to teach STEM.’

Deepika Sangam, Ph. D.
Educator Professional Development Specialist, NASA STEM EPDC
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center