Wednesday, December 4, 2013

PBL Institute Announced--- June 16-20, 2014

Greetings My Friend,

I am bringing you exciting news! After years of requests, Think Forward Project Based Learning has now expanded and will be conducting the first "Think Forward PBL Summit @ Manor New Tech" this summer. We will be offering 3 strands for practitioners and leaders alike. This Summit is not your ordinary sit and get. Put on your scuba gear because we are going deeper.  All participants will be deep diving into PBL, creating, authoring and presenting a project at the end of the 4 days.

If you have ever felt the need to really learn the processes of PBL from practitioners who have lived 100% PBL over the last 7 years (averaging 50-100+ projects each), want to take your knowledge of PBL deeper, or are a leader wanting to figure out how to create structures for PBL success, this is for you.

The attached flyer has hyperlinks for more information and registration. We look forward to seeing you this summer.


Steven Zipkes, M.Ed.   
Manor New Technology High
 Distinguished Educator

Monday, July 8, 2013

MASEE Graduate, Mr. Bobby Garcia, Takes Robotics Team to Win After Win--and Learning About Robotics All the Way

Mr. Bobby Garcia (far left) with Robotics team and
special guest- Manor New Tech HS-- May 9, 2013

Here is a story about Mr. Bobby Garcia by Christine Benson of the College of Education's Communications office at The University of Texas at Austin and his robotics team at Manor New Tech High School in Manor, TX. Mr. Garica is a graduate of the MASEE program that is offered at the College of Education from within the STEM Education Program. MASEE is funded primarily via the "UTeach Engineering" grant from the National Science Foundation of which I am a Co-Principal Investigator. To date, the MASEE program has graduated 30 in-service teachers with at least another 20 in the pipeline. -Dr. Petrosino 

Bobby Garcia, a graduate of the College of Education’s Master of Arts in STEM Education - Engineering (MASEE) program, is inspiring students at Manor New Tech High School to win. Garcia is lead mentor for the school’s robotics team and under his tutelage Team TEXplosion has garnered local, state and national awards.

Earlier this year, the team won at the FIRST Lone Star Regional Robotics Competition in Houston, which qualified them for the FIRST Championship Robotics Competition in St. Louis, MO, in April. In  the past they’ve also traveled to farflung spots like Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City to compete.

The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions are among the most prestigious high school tech tournaments in the country and often are hailed as the World Cup of Technology and a “varsity sport of the mind.” They’re open to high school students who are interested in science and technology and, in addition to building tech knowledge, aim to boost students’ social and  leadership skills.

“This past school year, I convinced my school administration to allow me to offer a course for our FIRST Robotics Competition group,” said Garcia, who has taught at Manor New Tech since it opened in 2007, “and I helped create and run a course for our junior varsity FIRST Technical Challenge. I wouldn’t have had the confidence to teach either of those courses last had it not been for my experience in the MASEE program.” —Christine Benson, College of Education Communications Assistant

Monday, May 13, 2013

Petrosino Interview on NPR About STEM Education and Job Creation

President Obama visits Bobby Garcia's Robotics Class

at Manor New Tech HS, Manor, TX

Recently, I was interviewed by Kate McGee of KUT News, and NPR affiliate concerning STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education and STEM careers. The interview coincided with a visit to Austin by President Obama to Manor New Tech High School, a school that I have been involved with since its formation in 2007 and centers on Project Based Instruction and meaningful disciplinary knowledge and is part of the New Tech Network of schools across the nation. Manor New Tech is a public non-charter school. 

You can read and listen to the flu article and the piece that ran on the radio by clicking here: As Obama's High School Visit Nears, Education Advocates Question Emphasis on STEM

The core of the interview centered on the value of a STEM education but also indicated that it may not be a panacea for all that is effecting our troubled economy. I would encourage you to read the full article and to listen to the broadcast. 

I will also post more about the President's visit to Manor New Tech High School in Manor, TX

-Dr. Petrosino 
President Obama's visit to Manor New Tech comes
 as the White House, the private sector and some education advocates
continue to emphasize the importance of STEM education – science,
technology, engineering and math). But some say there may be too much
emphasis on STEM programs.

“It’s one thing to understand physics; it’s another thing to understand why some concepts in physics are difficult for students to understand,” says Anthony Petrosino with the UTeach program. “We put leverage on both of those.”STEM programs have gained popularity in recent years as a way to address a perceived lack of qualified candidates for tech jobs.  

Petrosino says the more people know about science, math and technology, the better. But he doesn’t think STEM will fill all high-tech openings.

“There’s some colleagues at Rutgers, Harvard saying, ‘You know, we’re graduating at the college level a number of STEM grads, but they’re not getting the types of jobs, benefits, incomes we may expect,’” he says. “We always want to be carful not be caught up in the frenzy.”

Picture: Provided by Mr. Bobby Garcia, Manor New Tech HS, Manor, TX. President Obama visiting Robotics Class-- Thursday, May 9, 2013

Friday, May 3, 2013

Instruction for Discovery Learning: Levels of Implementation Exhibited by a Sample of Algebra I Teachers

Hoffman, Shannah
The University of Texas at Austin

Master of Arts

Math Education
Document Information

May 2013


discovery learning; inquiry-based learning; project-based instruction; teacher orientation; mathematics education; student surveys; classroom observation; school culture

One type of instruction that is of particular interest in STEM education is instruction that actively engages students in inquiry and discovery. The author develops an operational definition of instruction for discovery learning (IDL) that adopts some of the fundamental commonalities among many reform-oriented instructional frameworks such as inquiry-based and project-based instruction. Four teachers—who received their bachelor’s degree in mathematics and teacher certification from the same undergraduate teacher-preparation program—and their Algebra I classes were observed with the focus on how particular features of IDL were being implemented in their classrooms. To gain further perspective on classroom practices and interactions, student surveys were administered to a total of 142 students and each teacher was interviewed. The student surveys focused on student orientations toward IDL, attitudes toward mathematics, and their perspective of IDL implementation in their class. Student survey data was analyzed through ANOVA, post hoc tests were used to identify significant pair-wise differences between teachers for which the ANOVA identified significance, and a factor analysis was used to evaluate the component loadings for the survey questions. The surveys revealed significant differences between perceived activities in the classes (p<0.05), but did not show very significant differences between student orientations toward IDL. All four teachers expressed familiarity with and commitment to reform-oriented frameworks such as inquiry-based and project-based instruction, and certainly experienced inquiry-based learning as students themselves in their undergraduate program. However, only one teacher—the one teaching in a New Tech high school that was structured on the framework of project-based instruction (PBI)—showed consistent differences in both student perspectives of IDL and observed implementation of IDL. The author discusses the levels at which these teachers implemented IDL, the differences among student perceptions across the classes, teacher orientations toward mathematics and learning, and the importance of a supportive school culture and administration in order to fully implement IDL and influence both student and teacher orientations toward reform-oriented pedagogy.

Petrosino, Anthony (chair)

Daniels, Mark

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Position Announcement: Engineering Education (Open Rank- University of Texas at Austin's College of Education)

The following position is available at The University of Texas at Austin. This is an open rank position in Engineering Education and the position is offered from the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Any specific questions on the position to be directed to Dr. Jill Marshall ( who is the co-Chair of the faculty search along with Dr. Susan Empson ( Other information for applicants can be viewed at the end of the ad. To be clear, I am NOT on the Search Committee for this position. -Dr. Petrosino

Job Type: Tenured/Tenure Track

Job Rank: Rank Open

Job ID: (0) 10010400001

College: Education

College URL:

Department/Unit: Curriculum and Instruction

Department/Unit URL:

Closing Date: Until Filled

Field of Specialization: Engineering Education

Job Description:

The Department of Curriculum and Instruction at The University of Texas at Austin invites applications for a tenure-track Assistant Professor position, or a tenured Associate or Full Professor position with a specialization in Engineering Education (K-16) beginning in Fall 2013. The rank depends upon the candidate's qualifications. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: • A doctorate in Engineering Education, Learning Sciences, or related field • Demonstrated excellence or potential for excellence in research and teaching DESIRABLE QUALIFICATIONS: • Funded or externally fundable research program • Teaching Experience (K-12) Any programmatic research agenda in STEM education will be considered but preference will be given to those that complement and extend existing faculty's expertise and focus on access to quality STEM curriculum and instruction for populations historically underserved by the education system. Successful candidates will be expected to teach undergraduate courses in our teacher certification programs and graduate courses in our STEM Education graduate programs (including research methods courses in the department of Curriculum and Instruction). Above all, we seek a talented, productive scholar to join a faculty committed to innovative and socially responsive research and teaching in graduate and undergraduate programs in STEM Education with strong ties to the College of Natural Sciences and the Cockrell School of Engineering, over 50 full-time graduate students, two nationally recognized teacher certification programs, including UTeach (7-12) and the Laptop Initiative for Future Educators (K-6), and a location in a diverse, rapidly growing, urban setting. This position offers a unique combination of opportunities for interdisciplinary inquiry, design-based research, program development, and impact on schools. The department of Curriculum and Instruction has a strong commitment to issues of equity in education, effective and innovative learning technology, and field-based teacher education.

Applicant Instructions:

Please submit a cover letter addressing the required and preferred qualifications, a curriculum vitae, a statement of teaching philosophy and research interests, and three letters of recommendation to: ATTN: STEM EDUCATION SEARCH/Engineering Education 1912 Speedway, Stop D5700 The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712-1293 USA. Electronic submissions should be sent c/o Ann Ford []. Review of applications will begin November 15, 2012. Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled.