The Project Learning Partnership for Michigan Initiative [PLP-MI], the author’s sabbatical leave project for the 2008-2009 school year, is a series of outreach activities intended to initiate project-based learning [PBL] in Southeastern Michigan. The focus of the PLP-MI is to support middle and high schools interested in infusing project-based competitions as learning opportunities as part of their regular curricula. The PLP-MI, a collaborative partnership between a regional professional engineering society and the author’s home university, intends to help improve the teaching of science, technology, engineering and mathematics [STEM] in primary and secondary education eventually throughout the state of Michigan. The paper will review the lessons learned from the author’s PLP-MI sabbatical project, in particular, the challenges of attempting to develop collaboration and gain cooperation between the divergent cultures of primary/secondary education and business & industry. The paper will address the inherent strengths and apparent weaknesses of the “educator/engineer partnership” approach in implementing new STEM education programs. The paper will suggest strategies and tactics for initiating changes between divergent professional entities with the intention of building a sustainable cooperative and collaborative partnership.
|Keywords:||Building Organizational Collaborative Culture, Leading Culture Change, Organizational Culture, Project Based Learning|
Assistant Professor, Construction Management, School of Engineering Technology, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan, USA
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