Principal Author: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jessica Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University; Clement Gomes, Teachers College, Columbia University; Stefania Macaluso, Teachers College, Columbia University; Denise Mahfood; Darcy Ronan, Teachers College, Columbia University; Saroja R.. Barnes, American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE)
Teacher education has been challenged by increasing attacks and criticisms in local, national and global spheres. With the advent of national education reform, there is opportunity for highly engaged discussions on the impact of reform on several areas, such assessment in teacher education, teacher professional development, and student learning, and within specific content areas, such as science. Specifically, teacher education programs nationally are expected to implement edTPA formerly known as the Teacher Performance Assessment. The purpose of this symposium is to present findings of our experience in preparing for the implementation of edTPA in our secondary science education program for a spring 2013 pilot with ten teacher candidates. This symposium highlights approaches that we took to include edTPA in our institution and program, and to assist our teacher candidates in going through the process. We use the communities of practice framework to understand our process of implementation. Therefore, the opportunity to learn about implementation of edTPA within a community of practice allowed us to reflect on our individual and collective experiences. As overarching goals of this symposium, we will discuss the implementation process on three levels: first, from the perspective of the program coordinator; second, from the perspective of two instructors who led the pilot; and third, from the perspective of seven teacher candidates who were participants in the science pilot.
Principal Author: Christine Moseley, University of Texas at San AntonioAbstract:
Co-Authors: Molina Walters, Arizona State University; Christa Dillabaugh, Amazon Rainforest Workshops
The Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest is a 9-day cross-curricular professional development workshop for educators offering the opportunity to explore one of the world’s most important natural resources – the Amazon rainforest of Peru. Participants have access to all levels of the rainforest, including the rainforest canopy via one of the world’s most extensive canopy walkways. The Educator Academy in the Amazon Rainforest is designed to engage participants in hands-on investigations, citizen science research projects, and inquiry-based learning activities designed to deepen understanding of the rainforest ecosystem and its global importance. In addition, participants will explore how rainforest concepts relate to 21st century instructional models such as 5E lesson design, inquiry-based exploration, STEM education, and other innovate instructional tools such as Project Learning Tree, GLOBE, and Project Noah. This field experience also incorporates the themes of cultural exchange, service learning, and sustainability in order to provide participants with cross curricular learning experiences to inspire classroom instruction and deepen their student’s understanding of the complexities global environmental issues. Participants are eligible for up to 50 professional development hours endorsed by Arizona State University. In addition, participants may apply for 2 semester hours of graduate credit from Widener University.
Principal Author: hiya M. Almazroa, Princess Noura UniveristyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Saeed M. Alshamrani, Excellence Research Center for Science and Mathematics / King Saud University
Professional development is one significant mechanism for maintaining a high standard in science teaching. we intent to provide guidance stems from best practices as highlighted in the relevant literature and analysis of the status of science education in the country.
The paper consists of three main components. The first component reviews what has been published over the past decade which provides a base of knowledge about the characteristics of effective professional development in science.
The second component, depicts the status of professional development in Saudi Arabia, and where we have yet to improve. It draws on available data and efforts, surrounding professional development.
The paper ends with the third component, which attempts to identify the various challenges coming ahead regarding the professional development. Based on these three components, we propose recommendations for advancing science teacher professional development in Saudi
Principal Author: Peter A.. Daempfle, SUNY (State University of New York) College of Technology at DelhiAbstract:
The importance of the development of an instructional strategy to improve scientific literacy is stressed by the Benchmarks for Science Literacy and the National Science Education Standards for science education. A part of scientific literacy is an ability to engage in scientific reasoning. Through presenting science myths associated with human Anatomy and Physiology principles, students confronted their misconceptions about health science and demonstrated improved reasoning abilities in health care scenarios. Interesting scenarios will be presented in the roundtable discussion to demonstrate the reasoning change experienced by students. Examples include the role of coconut oil in diets, safety of Pacific fish after Fukushima, the benefits of diabetes as a sugar-sparing mechanism, vitamin C and the common cold, and the relationship between High Fructose Corn syrup and the obesity epidemic. In the study, each of these scenarios was incorporated into instruction within a post-secondary Anatomy and Physiology course. A pre-/post-test control group design was used to determine treatment effects. An assessment instrument using a typology of reasoning scheme was used to grade responses to ill structured questions. Assessment of the reasoning included rating of summative essays for the course assessment. Results showed statistically significant improvement in reasoning ability in experimental groups compared to the control over the course of one semester. Ultimately, links to STEM retention are made between reasoning improvements us of myth-busting case studies among first-year college Anatomy and Physiology students. The effect of improved reasoning on affective outcomes is also explored by the research design.
Principal Author: Debra J.. Stork, University of DubuqueAbstract:
Co-Authors: Janelle M.. Bailey, Temple University; J. Richard. Pomeroy, Univeristy of California, Davis
Results of a qualitative study of the impact that Faculty Institutes for NASA Earth and Space Science Education (FINESSE) had on the teaching practices of college of education/science education faculty gathered over a 5-year time span will be shared. Underprepared faculty who are charged with working with pre-service teachers or potential pre-service teachers often use a lecture-centered form of teaching that is incompatible with how future teachers are expected to teach science. The institutes were driven by the idea that there are very limited professional development opportunities for science education faculty to develop new pedagogy or to update and improve their understanding of space science; much less have access to current resources available for use in the classroom (Waller et al., 2004). FINESSE team members incorporated data-rich inquiry activities into the institute, including backwards-faded-scaffolding activities, jigsaw activities, and collaborative inquiry activities. Institutes included discussions on the nature of inquiry and on assessment, presentations by Earth and space science researchers on their current research, and opportunities for the participants to design implementation plans and activities of their own. Although results were mixed, there was indication that this format of professional development is effective and implications for future institutes will be discussed.
Principal Author: Janet Carlson, BSCSAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie Gess-Newsome, Oregon State University - Cascades
During this experiential session, participants will have an opportunity to explore the components of the web-based modules and provide formative feedback about the design of the interface. The purpose of the exploration of the components is to consider how they might use them in their settings to engage others in richer conversations about PCK and PCK research. The purpose of the formative feedback part of the session will be to improve the PCK Summit dissemination site so that more faculty are able to use it.
There are six web-based modules that are organized around key questions from the Summit. The design of each module includes an exploration of each question set, followed by a deeper explanation phase supported by use of video clips from the Summit, PPT slides, and readings. Each module concludes with an application phase in which participants consider what the implications are for their work.
The six modules are organized around these key questions:
What is the role and relationship of content knowledge in pedagogical content knowledge? Is there the possibility of a unified model of PCK in terms of the role and relationship of content knowledge?
What is the role and relationship of personal orientations or beliefs to PCK? What are the common elements and key differences of the various conceptions of PCK?
What are the possibilities of a unified model of PCK given the range of views of the nature PCK? Is PCK canonical or a form of professional/collective knowledge, personal or both? Is PCK transformative or integrative, or does this distinction have a developmental aspect to it?
How do different conceptions of PCK shape the methods devised for assessing PCK? What do the different means of assessing PCK have in common?
How do we develop robust, well-designed instruments for assessing PCK? What criteria might be used to comprehensively judge various instrumentation?
What do we know from the results of years of PCK research? What don’t we know? What should we be studying next? What should we consider abandoning?
Principal Author: Vanashri Nargund-Joshi, New Jersey City UniversityAbstract:
Over two-thirds of countries in Asia, Africa, and Europe have developed policies on the use of the mother tongue for teaching science in the lower levels of their education system. In spite of this policy thrust, the educational system of many of these countries has not responded fully to the demands of such a policy. Because studies, which analyze the effects of use of English language in teaching science at early stages with students whose native language is not English, are scant, we remain in the dark as to how address this complex issue. The study was conducted in a public, primary school in the urban setting of Western India and involved 2 teachers. Qualitative data were collected from primary science classrooms where the mother tongue is expected to be used as a medium of instruction. Mismatch between policy and practice was found in these two teachers’ science classrooms. Among other things, it was found that both teachers’ believed English as “language of knowledge” and best opportunities can be presented to the students through teaching science in English. During classroom observations, it was observed that teachers’ preferred activities such as small classroom demonstrations, textbook reading and giving notes to the students to overcome their struggled with explaining science concepts in English language. The implications of the findings for future policy considerations and future research to inform policy are drawn.
Principal Author: Carol L.. Stuessy, Texas A&M UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cheryl A.. Peterson, Texas A&M University; Jennifer LeBlanc, Texas A&M University; Gokhan Ozturk, Texas A&M University; Baki Cavazoglu, Texas A&M University; Abbie Perkins, Texas A&M University
Experienced science teachers may feel like novices when orchestrating an unfamiliar complex learning environment requiring additional expenditures in time, resources, and energy. The context for the four papers in this paper set is the complex inquiry-based PlantingScience (PS) learning environment used to answer questions about the value of moving from an acquisition to a participation model for teaching science. The papers in this set provide evidence supporting the implementation of the complex learning environment (LE) of PS, even though orchestration of all the components of the student centered environment can be overwhelming upon first encounter. Paper 1 provides details of perspectives from teachers and scientist mentors supporting the PS LE as a very worthwhile activity for students in terms of its emphasis on knowledge application and generation, reflective practice, and productive participation in science. Paper 2 provides evidence that expectations for the successful completion of a complex task, such as that required in the PS authentic inquiry classroom environment, are best accomplished when coupled with aspects of complexity in the design and enactment of the LE. Paper 3 provides support for the engagements of scientists in students' scientific inquiry experiences as additional resources enhancing students' abilities to think and act like scientists. Scientists reinforce motivational factors, provide social connectivity within the student collaborative inquiry group (SCIG) as a recognized member of the group, and focus students' attention on their developing scientific proficiencies. And finally, Paper 4 provides a "look inside" one teacher's middle school classroom as she orchestrates an environment of novice inquiry learners leading to her students' successful inquiry performance. This teacher provides evidence that orchestration "can be done," while the other three papers provide support our claim that complex learning environments should be done. The PS LE provides students in small SCIGs with experiences enhancing their abilities to learn
Principal Author: Deborah L. Hanuscin, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Somnath Sinha, University of Missouri; Nilay Muslu, University of Missouri; Jaimie Foulk, University of Missouri
Curriculum materials play a key role in improving science education; however, curricula alone will not lead to enhanced student learning. Factors such as students’ opportunity to learn and the way in which teachers present science content can influence student learning. Therefore, attention to teachers’ fidelity of implementation of new curricula is an important consideration in evaluating impacts on student learning. As part of an NSF-funded Math and Science Partnership, thirty-seven school districts throughout a Midwestern state were engaged in the implementation of a year-long course in freshman physics. It is often assumed that a high level of implementation fidelity is desirable; however, given the program’s curriculum was newly developed we were interested in whether fidelity to the curriculum was associated with student gains in achievement. We conducted a mixed methods study of a purposeful sample of teachers with varying levels of student gains in content knowledge. We used a Table of Contents Inventory and CoRes and PaPeRs to capture teachers’ adherence and/or modifications to the curriculum and to examine the underlying reasoning and knowledge that shaped their implementation.
Principal Author: Karen M. Bengtson, College of St.Benedict/St. John's UniversityAbstract:
The College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University have established an Integrative Science (IS) curriculum to help students think like scientists by focusing on student learning and critical thinking skills in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) disciplines. After a three year development and piloting process, the 2012-2013 school year marked the first year of the full Integrative Science curriculum. The two semester course provides the required natural science content for elementary education majors, and focuses on providing contexts for exploring and learning science, implementing inquiry-based research experiences, and integrating multiple science disciplines to understand natural processes and cycles. As part of the assessment and analysis of the course, students completed pre and post course surveys focusing on their attitudes towards science, and guided journal entries focusing on describing science as an interdisciplinary study. Lastly, a focused pre/post unit assessment on the understanding of how scientists use multiple science disciplines to explore natural processes, such as photosynthesis, is used to highlight the changes in student descriptions and attitude.
Foundations for the study will be presented including descriptions of the course and common assessment tools used in the study. Findings will be discussed focusing on comparisons of student explanations of science, their attitude towards science, using their understanding of a unit on photosynthesis before and after learning, the integration of concepts from multiple disciplines in the explanations, as well as the misconceptions that were present, and if and how they changed after instruction. Implications of the findings for the future teaching of science content to elementary education majors, such as photosynthesis and other natural processes, will be presented.
Principal Author: Jill (Alice) Black, Missouri State UniversityAbstract:
While implementation of new science and Common Core standards provides a challenge to all schools, this is especially true of very poor, isolated rural districts where little science has traditionally been taught and very few parents have attended college or held professional jobs such as those in engineering, which is now stressed in the NGSS.
This 3-year project is providing professional development in hands-on inquiry-and field-based methods to 30-37 K-4 early elementary teachers from the West Plains Service Area (WPSA), an isolated, disadvantaged wooded Ozarks area along the Missouri-Arkansas border. The project is a collaboration between two university colleges and various agencies, with 10-12 school districts participating per year. The program consists of an intensive two-week summer institute with follow-up activities throughout the school year that address eight goals, primary among them increased teacher and student understanding of physical, Earth, and biological science content that leads to an understanding of environmental concepts and to engineering thinking at the K-4 level. All activities are related to the NGSS and CCSS. Many field experiences are included, as are data competencies. Science instructional supplies are provided for teachers, who also receive three hours of university credit/year.
Attendees will be presented information and images about the project, including activities, challenges, and tentative results. The first year of the project has just ended, and first results indicate a 200-300% increase in Earth science content understanding on the externally-scored DTAMS test, and similar increases in pedagogical knowledge.
To the science teacher education community, this presentation contributes an example of a current working model of collaborative professional development that incorporates our new standards in a disadvantaged area.
Those who will be interested in this presentation include those involved in professional development, those involved in preservice science teacher education (both content and methods cou
Principal Author: Marco Nava, Los Angeles Unified School DistrictAbstract:
Co-Authors: Imelda L. . Nava, UCLA
This inquiry process addresses the need for culturally relevant and responsive pedagogy in science education through the use of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Through culturally relevant inquiry based projects, students learn Common Core State Standards (CCSS) content and are engaged in 21st Century Student Outcomes (Wagner, 2008). The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has identified these student outcomes as: 1) mastery of core content areas and global awareness, 2) creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration, 3) information, media and technology skills, 4) life and career skills including respect for cultural diversity (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009). Support structures provided by schools to help ensure student success have been identified as 21st century: 1) standards, curriculum and instruction inclusive of community resources, 2) assessments, 3) professional development, and 4) learning environment. Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core Standards (CCSS) that include the many 21st century skills (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009). Educators will need to adjust their pedagogical practice to meet the needs of these new standards and assessments. Students come to school with a wealth of cultural knowledge and when teachers include that knowledge in daily instruction they not only validate their students’ home culture, they empower their students to succeed beyond the classroom walls (Gay, 2000).
Principal Author: Anthony W.. Bartley, Lakehead UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wayne S. Melville, Lakehead University
The NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation (2003, 2011) provides a strong technical perspective towards the structure of pre-service programs in science teacher education. While the Standards document provides a necessary foundation for program content, it is not sufficient to guide science teacher preparation in the 21st Century: by this we mean as 21st Century Teachers for 21st Century Students. Our courses are set in strong constructivist perspectives, where scaffolding supported inquiry teaching supplants direct instruction: we are working to help pre-service teachers construct their own understanding of what it is both to learn and teach science. The six themes of these NSTA Standards: Content Knowledge, Content Pedagogy, Learning Environments, Safety, Impact on Student Learning, and Professional Knowledge and Skills, are integrated into the courses. Analysis of prior educational experiences of our pre-service teachers has shown a major focus on teaching science through lecture and prescriptive lab-work. Few have encountered open inquiry, even in university courses. They have thrived in an environment where 21st Century Learning has not been conducive to success. Now they will have to teach using 21st Century Pedagogy. Cesiunas, (2012) describes 21st Century Pedagogy as:
• building technological, information and media fluencies
• developing thinking skills
• making use of project based learning
• using problem solving as a teaching tool
• using 21st Century assessments in a timely, appropriate and detailed feedback and reflection
• it is collaborative in nature and uses enabling and empowering technologies
• it fosters contextual learning bridging the disciplines and curriculum areas
In order to achieve this, a 21st Century Teacher (Cesiunas) will become The Adaptor, The Visionary, The Collaborator, The Risk Taker, The Learner, The Communicator, The Model, and The Leader. Integration of the Standards and 21st Century perspectives has led to significant changes in every aspect of teaching: we shall discuss our progress!
Principal Author: Donna L. . Ross, San Diego StateAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith Houle Vaughn, San Diego State
Teachers’ professional attending (PA) to student thinking forms the basis for our research and professional development for 32 secondary science and math teachers. We define professional attending as teachers noticing of student thinking, framing or sense making of those ideas and the instructional decisions that emerge. Teachers’ noticing has emerged within the mathematics education community as a focus of research. It attempts to document and explain what teachers pay attention to within the context of the classroom. As teachers and students interact within the complex classroom environment, teachers must choose where and for how long to focus their attention and what to ignore (Sherin, Jacobs, & Philipp, 2011). Recent work in cognitive and learning sciences describes the construct of "framing" as understanding what is happening in the moment (Russ and Luna, 2013). It is within this context that the teacher's beliefs and knowledge become important. Ultimately, of course, the interplay of these factors guide the actions within the classroom.
From a professional development perspective, if we can unpack the PA, we can understand how to support teachers in creating a classroom environment to enhance science learning. In this session, we describe our model for professional development to develop teachers’ PA to student thinking. We specifically support teachers’ noticing of student ideas; framing or making sense of these ideas; and the instructional decisions teachers’ make in response to student ideas. The teachers engage in the professional development over five years, working in both structured formal professional development and smaller learning communities to examine and improve their practice through the frame of PA. We are also simultaneously using this structure to research how teachers’ PA (e.g noticing, framing and instructional decisions) develops over time and in response to professional development focused on this topic. The session will also include a discussion of our ongoing efforts to develop science PA instruments.
Principal Author: Imelda L.. Nava, UCLAAbstract:
I examine the enactment of assessment practices by pre-service science teachers within the context of an urban teacher residency program with diversified support structures. The study focuses on three data streams that include, 1) Science classroom observation data using a Science Classroom Observation Rubric (SCOR), 2) Assessment Logs, and 3) an Assessment Assignment. The classroom observation data is based on content rigor that includes quality of the assessment task, how students engage in the task and how pre-service teachers use formative assessments. Further, the Assessment Logs focus on both formative and summative assessments. Finally, the Assessment Assignment is complex in that it has pre-service teachers describe the assessment task, implement the task, analyze student work and interview students to better understand their learning. Preliminary data suggests strengths in incorporating literacy into assessment tasks as well as attempts to integrate relevancy. Greater alignment to the common core by incorporating complex text types, accessing scientific reasoning and actualizing student justifications should be considered. While pre-service teachers demonstrated creativity in some of their assessment design and implementation, greater integration of science practices as defined by the NGSS is suggested. These data streams will be further analyzed to determine how they support the enactment of assessment practices by pre-service teachers and how these structures can better align to the Common Core and Next Generation Science Standards.
Principal Author: Ibrahim H.. Yeter, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
The World MOON Project purposes to bring a new innovation in teaching science with an inquiry perspective. The project emphasizes and supports the national and international STEM education providing 21st Century Skills by including dozen of teachers and hundreds of students in this collaboration. The project includes early American adolescent students from 4th to 8th grades. This is an ongoing study, but it will have a big impact on teaching science by showing and implanting the 21st Century Skills on students. This study shows the importance of scientific inquiry and methodology by conducting an analytical case methodology. Overall, the World MOON Project is not only about the MOON; it is about the More Observation Of Nature (MOON). Therefore, the importance of this project will not only help to improve the students’ skills and observation in science education; it will also bring a new methodical and enjoyable perspective in science teaching to the students while they study.
Principal Author: HYONYONG LEE, Kyungpook National UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kyungsuk PARK, Kyungpook National University; Bohyun SEO, Kyungpook National University; Byungyeol PARK, Kyungpook National University; Jaedon JEON, Kyungpook National University
Within the literature the increased interest and positive attitude toward STEM may be more important than students’ academic achievement. This study investigated the effects of the STEM education program which was developed based on the engineering design and scientific inquiry on students’ attitude toward STEM. This study involved 83 middle school students from two middle schools at one of metropolitans in South Korea. The Student Attitude toward STEM developed by Mahoney (2009) was translated, pilot-tested, and used to examine students’ attitude toward STEM. One group t-test was conducted to measure the effects of three STEM programs: air cannon, laser router game, and catapult. The three STEM programs were developed on the basis of literature review and the findings of teachers and educators’ perceptions and needs analysis. Each program was composed of four major steps: Analysis, Design, Building, and Assessment. Differences in self-reported students’ awareness and interest in STEM between before and after the treatment were statistically significant at 95% confidence level. Differences in self-reported students’ ability and value of STEM between before and after the treatment were statistically significant at 99% confidence level. Students showed more positive attitude toward STEM as a result of experiencing STEM program. This developed three STEM programs can be utilized to enhance students’ understandings on science and mathematics and interest in STEM field careers.
Principal Author: Brian Foley, CSUNAbstract:
Co-Authors: John R. Reveles, CSUN; Norman Herr, CSUN; Marty Tippens, Woodbury College; Matthew d'Alessio, CSUN; Lorain Lundquist, CSUN; Kelly Castillo, CSUN; Virginia O. Vandergon, CSUN
Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS) is an ongoing research project designed to train science teachers in how to use online collaboration tools with their students. For the past four years, faculty from the Colleges of Education and Science and Math at Cal State Northridge (CSUN) have worked with pre-service and in-service science teachers on how to use tools such as Google Docs to enable students to share data and ideas online. As more and more schools invest in technology for classroom use, teachers need to learn how to take advantage of these tools. Instead of using technology to have students watch videos or read websites, CSCS teaching methods engage students in hands-on science, pooling data, analysis and interpretation. CSCS provides teachers with techniques to help meet the demands of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through the use of collaborative inquiry and formative assessment. Online tools support English Language learners and promote science literacy skills by engaging students in writing and giving feedback to their peers.
This paper set will discuss the CSCS pedagogy and teacher professional development methods and subsequent science teaching practices as seen in the findings from the project so far. We present four papers discussing: (a) CSCS pedagogy designed to address the NGSS, (b) how collaboration and data pooling promote student’s metacognition, (c) the evolution of the preservice science methods course and (d) the use of clinical teaching experiences for professional development method to help teachers learn both the technology and pedagogy of CSCS. These papers stem from our experiences teachers in the urban schools of North Los Angeles including dozens of pre-service teachers and over 70 in-service science teachers who have participated in CSCS summer workshops. We have collected data on their participation in the workshop as well as their teaching practice back in the classroom. The analysis of this data has led us to explore new professional development methods from clinical teaching to MOOCs.
Principal Author: Ibrahim H.. Yeter, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
One of the main purposes of the education is to prepare students to apply their knowledge and skills that they learn to experience it throughout the life. In order to apply the knowledge, they need to gain the right information and know how to use it. Since technology and science are strongly combined together, innovation in Nano technology in STEM education will take a very important consideration in the future classroom environment. This information will make students to be independent learners where they will be integrated naturally and well concentrated students in their careers. Students’ integration, interests, and communications are very important tools for students learning in science education. This study is an ongoing research, so as a methodology section, the study’s data will be collected through a survey and the participants will be randomly selected from 4th-8th grade students.
Principal Author: Frederick W. Freking, University of Southern CaliforniaAbstract:
In this era of accountability and data-driven decision-making, teacher education programs must design assessments that can be serve as gate keepers to our K-12 science classrooms and reflective tools for program improvement and candidate development. Towards this end, this presentation will share a series of program assessments that are used by candidates to reflect on their own development and the teacher education program to determine candidate readiness for the science classroom. This presentation will also compare performance on program-embedded assessments to the Science EdTPA.
Principal Author: Abdi-Rizak M. Warfa, Metropolitan State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gill H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Jamie L.. Schneider, University of Wisconsin River Falls; James Nyachwaya, North Dakota State University
In this paper, we examine the nature of teacher-initiated discourses during student-teacher encounters in a POGIL environment and how such discourses influence students’ understanding of the particulate nature of matter. In particular, we studied the effects of teacher’s practical moves in developing students’ representational fluency with respect to the dissolution process of chemical compounds in water.
Principal Author: Frederick L. . Nelson, California State University, FresnoAbstract:
For many decades the outreach demonstration has been a popular mode of sharing science concepts with the public. While numerous characterizations of these programs have appeared in science education literature, research regarding the impact of conducting demonstrations on preservice teachers’ beliefs and thinking is not well articulated. In this study, the physics outreach demonstration is used as a stimulus for the development of reflection by preservice teachers, who consider their ideas about effective science teaching and learning through a structured process of teacher theorizing. Preliminary findings indicate a wide variety of complexity present in preservice teachers’ reflections. Some preservice teachers described their aspirations for teaching through a technical orientation, emphasizing content knowledge and effective practices, while others espoused more personalistic concerns about their own health. Still others focused on outcomes of a more critical nature, focusing on empowering underprivileged children through learning. This study will be of interest to science teacher education faculty and physics faculty involved with science teacher education. The inclusion of outreach experiences such as are described in this study provide a meaningful method for examining preservice teachers’ thinking and beliefs. It also illustrates a process of engaging preservice teachers in reflective practice at an earlier, rather than later stage of their professional education.
Principal Author: Ray Price, University of IllinoisAbstract:
Co-Authors: Anita Martin, University of Ilinois
Entrepreneurial Leadership in STEM Teaching and learning (EnLiST) is a five year five million dollar MSP grant that funds transformative opportunities for students in K-12 STEM education and considers how the high innovators (entrepreneurial teacher leaders) functions in public education and the skills and mindsets that are associated with their reasoning.
At a time when STEM education is receiving much attention and teachers are asked to make major shifts in teaching pedagogies and content within a traditional system, it is even more important that descriptions of entrepreneurial teacher leaders stake a claim in the science education and teacher change literature. While entrepreneurship is ill-defined even in business and the social entrepreneurship literature, it remains unseen on the K-12 public educational landscape. This study puts forth one of the first definitions of entrepreneurial teacher leaders and a theoretical framework that describe how entrepreneurial teachers differ from their colleagues. Discussions center on what entrepreneurial teachers do, how they act, and the kinds of reasoning they undertake in order to provide better opportunities for students to engage in transformative STEM learning environments in grades K through twelve in US public schools.
Principal Author: Peggy D.. Ward, University of ArkansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cathy Wissehr, University of Arkansas; Michael Wavering, University of Arkansas
Effective science teaching is the result of a combination of many factors, including teachers’ science content knowledge and use of effective pedagogy, otherwise known as pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Based on a review of the literature, this presentation will attempt to show how teachers’ PCK impacts students’ attitudes and motivation toward engaging in the scientific process and learning science content.
Shulman (1986), recognizing that teachers have a special and unique knowledge, gave utterance to a revolutionary concept called pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). However, as it was originally described by Shulman, PCK doesn’t address the affective nature of teaching and learning. This presentation contends, that PCK also includes affective elements of excellent teaching and will attempt to identify from relevant literature those studies that either overtly or tacitly identify PCK with the affective domain.
Principal Author: Soon Chun Lee, Universtiy of Nebraska, LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gwen C.. Nugent, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; Gina M. . Kunz, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
The need for science teachers to improve their capacity and efficacy in secondary science teaching has demanded professional development (PD) to help teachers successfully integrate science inquiry knowledge and skills into effective classroom practices. However, studies have reported that teacher inquiry knowledge is lacking and that use of specific inquiry teaching strategies is also lacking in their classrooms. This lack of inquiry knowledge and experience likely puts a barrier for inquiry-based teaching and serious limitations on teachers’ ability to plan and implement lessons. One of the most obvious reasons science teachers do not retain and transfer the knowledge and skills is the lack of continuing support for them to incorporate changes in their classroom practices. In order to implement changes in a sustained manner, teachers need effective self-reflective practices with follow-up assistance from an instructional coach. Research has shown that if the professional development includes coaching or peer-coaching in transferring reform into the classrooms, successful implementation reaches 85% of the time (15% without coaching).
The purpose of this study is to identify key aspects of follow-up PD and peer-coaching practice to retain and improve teachers’ skills in inquiry-based instruction over a PD that the same teachers attended. This study will expand PD for rural science teachers by providing skills needed to (a) translate traditional, “cookbook” science labs into guided inquiry lessons in a three-day summer workshop and (b) engage in peer coaching to support implementation of those lessons. For the short term, this study will provide the skills necessary for 16 Nebraska rural science teachers to increase their proficiency and efficacy to improve approximately 1,000 students’ science content knowledge and inquiry skills in Nebraska rural areas. For the long term, this distance-based peer coaching model will be incorporating into existing state or national educational structures (e.g., metropolitan or rural school districts).
Principal Author: Tamara J. Moore, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristina M. Tank, University of Minnesota
As we look to the future prosperity of our country, there is a rising need to be better preparing our students for the complex and multidisciplinary problems that they will face in the future, and we can help to address this need by improving students’ learning, motivation and experiences in STEM. In order to motivate more students to pursue careers in STEM fields, children’s exposure to engineering should begin at the elementary level. However, as state and national documents call for engineering to be integrated into science instruction there is a need for more lessons that facilitate this integration. However, time and resources are one of the many challenges for doing this meaningfully. Furthermore, when looking at the current structure of STEM learning in K-12 classrooms, these disciplines are often taught in a siloed manner as single subjects instead of in the multidisciplinary manner in which they are often used in the real-world. This suggests the need for new models of STEM learning that highlight the interconnectedness of STEM disciplines by attending to the specific content as well as the overarching ideas.
This hands-on session will present elementary STEM integration units that use engineering and literacy as contexts for this new model of integrated STEM learning. STEM trade books and set the real-world context for an engineering design challenge while also integrating mathematics and science content throughout the unit. Participants will interact with the fifth grade unit that focuses on nature-inspired design and be a part of an interactive discussion about how these modules could be implemented in elementary classrooms and methods courses.
Principal Author: Ellen Barnett, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nicholas Linke, University of Missouri; Patricia Friedrichsen, University of Missouri
Evolution is a unifying biological theory emphasized in national science education documents that promote scientific literacy (National Research Council, 1996, 2011). However, evolution education has been fraught with controversy (Aguillard, 1999), and teachers may need professional development to effectively teach this topic (Donnelly & Boone, 2007). This survey research investigated secondary biology teachers’ professional development needs for teaching evolution. Teachers reported the following: (a) a lack of resources and parental/community support were obstacles to teaching evolution;,(b) they were not familiar with available evolution curriculum resources, and (c) they desired professional development for a variety of evolution related topics including evolution simulations and ways to address common student misconceptions. The implications of these findings for science teacher educators, professional development providers and science education researchers are discussed.
Principal Author: Elizabeth B. Lewis, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Robbie McCarty; Aaron A. Musson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Understanding what makes a highly-qualified science teacher requires careful research on teacher education programs. To produce highly-qualified teachers we developed a 14-month Master of Arts program for science majors and professionals to quickly enter the workforce. We reviewed three programs of study for as many cohorts. The course sequence and program of study was adjusted from year-to-year based upon course instructor and PST feedback (and departmental priorities). PSTs were encouraged and prompted to be reflective throughout the MAst program, e.g., both Cohort 1 and 2 PSTs were required to complete and present a teaching action research project during their final semester, and Cohort 2 was also required to assemble an online teaching portfolio. The external evaluator found that the department of teacher education and especially the program director designed and implemented a strong teacher education program that aligned actions to the current body of research on teacher education. Courses and practical work of the MAst program were rigorous and highly rewarding for students. While the courses in the program generally worked well, the sequencing of some courses caused a disconnection in the concept development. Cohort 1 students felt overwhelmed with the amount of work in the spring semester with the added responsibility of developing and implementing a high quality teacher action research project. With readjustment of Cohort 2’s schedule to improve the flow and “front-load” the program of study provided more time for revision and mentoring. This led to less stressful, more consistently, high-quality capstone projects (e.g., teacher action research projects). Despite being student teachers in other teachers’ classrooms, they engaged in action research at the end of the program that facilitated reflection on their emergent teaching practices. The program will continue to be responsive with the addition of longitudinal information as MAst graduates enter the induction phase and provide multi-year, retrospective views of the program’s effectiveness.
Principal Author: Nate Carnes, University of South CarolinaAbstract:
In this elementary science methods course, teacher candidates explore learning theories, content, standards, instructional strategies, assessment practices, teaching as a data driven practice and classroom management methods that are appropriate for grades 2-6. There are opportunities for candidates to experience, discuss, and critique various issues that are related to science teaching and learning. There is an expectation that the acquired knowledge should form the basis for integrating theory into practice within an elementary classroom. The syllabus content draws expectations contained within reform documents that include the Association for Childhood International (ACEI) and the Education Testing Services (ETS) Praxis II Series. As a result, there is a focus on strategies that engage elementary preservice teachers as active learners to address and resolve cultural myths and naïve perceptions they bring. The presentation consists of sharing the course syllabus, samples of completed assignments, and excerpts of candidates’ perspectives on how their professional knowledge of elementary science teaching and learning has grown over the semester.
Principal Author: Vanessa D. Dodo Seriki, University of Houston-Clear LakeAbstract:
Teaching science in meaningful and culturally relevant ways to all learners is of great importance as 21st Century classrooms become more diverse. This study sought to examine meaningful ways of engaging science teachers, as a community of learners, in the development of an understanding of race, culture, and class through the use of culturally relevant pedagogy (Ladson-Billings, 1994/1995b). The provenance for this study emerged from a study (Dodo Seriki, 2011) that found that science teachers, who have been prepared to use culturally relevant pedagogy have a difficult time integrating CRP with science content. Thus, the researcher designed an on-going series of professional development sessions that addresses issues of race, culture, and class in the context of science teaching and learning. This roundtable discussion will highlight the design of the professional development series and preliminary data.
Principal Author: Anita M.. Martin, University of IllinoisAbstract:
Engineering design principles will be taught in K-12 classrooms yet little research is available about the views of teachers and students related to the work/nature of engineering (NOE). Few studies have examined the present situation of 6th through 12th grade students’ conceptions of what is the work/nature of engineering, so that researchers can begin to measure the effects of engineering education on students understanding of engineering principles and general attitudes about engineering. This mixed methods study analyzed 61 middle school students and 32 high school teachers’ views on NOE utilizing a 4 question constructed response instrument. Results found naïve views about NOE by both students and teachers. A broad range of conceptual understanding of the iterative process was revealed in student responses ranging from a naïve view where engineers build and test a product (with no mention of the iterative process) to responses that delineate the following processes: inventing, designing (using models), construction (prototypes), test and retest (using prototypes and computer data analysis), and eventually ways to determine task completion. Data analysis from high school science teachers and K-8 teachers revealed a similar set of ideas about NOE and many of the same naïve conceptions as their K-12 student counterparts. The most prevalent naïve conceptions by high school teachers was that the iterative process by engineers is done primarily through manual trial and error, not by computer generated prototypes and/or statistical analysis. The impact of the teaching of the engineering design principles in in K-12 science education has major implications and within each school district, the teaching of these principles may be handled differently. Research centered on views of NOE will be necessary for effective preservice and inservice education on the engineering design principles described in NGSS.
Principal Author: Isha DeCoito, York UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniella DiLucia, York University
The benefits of technology integration do not occur by diffusion simply because the technology is available. Moreover, technology cannot be effective in the classroom without teachers who are knowledgeable about both the technology itself and its implementation to meet educational goals. Accomplishing changes associated with the integration of technology in the overall learning environment will require teacher training in teacher education programs. This mixed-methods study addressed the development of teacher candidates’ digital competencies as they explored the integration of digital literacies in a science methods course. The focus is on the assignments which incorporated digital literacies on a variety of levels as teacher candidates developed digital case studies exploring socioscientific issues; scientific timelines to teach about the nature of science; and biology/chemistry/physics resource websites focusing on multimedia interactive activities. Data included questionnaires, open-ended survey questions, interviews, and course work. Findings indicate that teacher candidates experienced: 1) enhanced technological literacy in terms of learning about technology, software programs, and equipment; 2) membership in a community of learners; 3) the process of knowledge construction, translation, and dissemination; 4) self-directed learning; 5) personalized learning pedagogy; and 6) heightened self-efficacy. The inclusion of digital literacies offered teacher candidates comprehensive and flexible resources in terms of design and accessibility; organized, professional and aesthetically pleasing outcomes; innovative means to differentiate instruction; and a repertoire of digital teaching/learning tools. Teacher candidates also reported affective outcomes including enhanced motivation, engagement, confidence, interest, and pride in their experiences with digital literacies in the science methods course.
Principal Author: Timothy A. Laubach, University of OklahomaAbstract:
A 2013 ASTE International Meeting presentation provided an introspective discussion of the events, individuals, and works that influenced the thinking of current science education pioneers.
The focus of this paper is to review the professional career of John W. “Jack” Renner (1924-1991), former NSTA Associate Executive Secretary (1959-1962) and recipient of the NSTA Robert H. Carleton Award for National Leadership in the Field of Science Education (1989) and NARST Past President (1979-1980) and winner of the NARST Distinguished Contributions to Science Education Through Research Award (1988). In 1989, Renner was referred to as the foremost pioneer into an entire area of research and its implications for the science classroom. His research in the applications of developmental theory and its implications for the classroom was a major thrust of Renner’s career. As a result of his theory base, Renner made significant contributions to the studies of learning and teaching and in science education. In one of his final manuscripts, Renner wrote a brief guest editorial for JRST (1990) where he implored readers to “develop a long-term research program, based on what seems to be sound theory and be willing to adapt your position as research indicates.” For this study, a historiographical research approach was utilized to understand how Renner developed his theoretical framework and applied it to his professional endeavors in science education. A brief overview of his academic career and writings and the evolution of his educational theory base will be provided and its corresponding influence on previous, current, and future science teaching and learning.
Principal Author: Christine D. Tippett, University of OttawaAbstract:
This study investigated ways to assess concept maps (CMs) created by preservice science teachers. CMs are frequently touted as a research based tool for constructing and communicating understanding of science concepts. Although CMs have been shown to facilitate learning, they are underused, possibly because of the difficulty in assessing CMs. Documented assessment of preservice science teachers’ CMs is limited, though increasing. This mixed methods case study focuses on the assessment of six CMs that were collaboratively created as preservice teachers reviewed for an exam. The CMs served as a basis for examining six assessment methods selected from the science education literature. 1) Novak and Gowin’s (1984) original assessment scheme, the basis of many of the quantitative variants that can be found in the literature, yields a score based on number of propositions, levels of hierarchy, and crosslinks. 2) Rye and Rubba (2002) scored CMs for concepts and structure using an expert CM (ECM) as a referent. 3) Greene, Lubin, Slater, and Walden (2013) found seven characteristics that contributed to meaningful CM scores: nodes, links, width, chunks, hierarchy, cross links, and accuracy of propositions. 4) Majidi (2012) considered the representational form of examples included in CMs and also assessed for connectedness. 5) Borda, Burgess, Plog, DeKalb, and Luce assessed CMs quantitatively for concepts and qualitatively for structure. 6) Kinchin and Hay (2000) proposed that level of complexity was the crucial characteristic in assessment of CMs, regardless of the validity of the links, and proposed a qualitative scheme to allow quick identification of level of complexity. The study is still in progress, with preliminary results suggesting that while several assessment schemes yield fairly accurate results, some schemes are too time consuming to be considered efficient. Preservice science teachers’ use of CMs is a growing area of interest, and while CMs appear to have potential for formative and summative assessment, there is no single best method for assessing CMs.
Principal Author: Mia Dubosarsky, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)Abstract:
The release of the Next Generation Science Standards points to the fact that engineering practices are becoming part of the science curriculum; Still, many elementary school teachers find it hard to add engineering to their busy schedules. Engineering should not be a stand-alone subject, or a unit within the science curriculum. Rather, engineering practices could enhance and deepen students’ level of understanding of any subject matter when incorporated to science, literacy, or social studies lesson. The context-based nature of engineering allows students and teachers from diverse populations to engage in design challenges without feeling that they lack some relevant prior experiences.
The Engineering the Story workshop provides attendees with a balance of content and skills, allowing them to experience the program firsthand as participants and later discuss it as educators. First, the format of the program is presented, depicting the different steps of the engineering design process and how this process was applied to children’s books by different groups of teachers. Then, participants work in small groups and follow the process with a given book. Participants identify a problem; define criteria for success as well as constraints; brainstorm solutions and compare them to the defined criteria. Finally, groups design a prototype of the solution and present it to the large group. The workshop concludes with a discussion on possible modifications and adaptations that are required in order to deliver this program to diverse teacher/student populations. Limitations of the program (time, recyclable materials, and storage space) are discussed.
Principal Author: Regina E.. Toolin, University of VermontAbstract:
Co-Authors: Beth White, University of Vermont
At the University of Vermont (UVM) the need to recruit and educate STEM teachers is particularly critical when one considers the fact that prior to 2009 less than 20% of UVM’s secondary education graduates majored in science and math education and earned licensure in secondary education. Over the past 4 years, UVM’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program has attempted to address this deficiency by recruiting, educating, and mentoring 16 Noyce scholars who are committed to teaching math and science in high need schools. In this presentation, we build on the data and results presented previously and highlight some of the successes and challenges of the program since 2009 with a specific focus on two questions related to recruitment and program efficacy: Is the program doing what it said it would do? How important and effective is the coursework, fieldwork and the Noyce Mentoring Program for preservice teacher learning and development?
Principal Author: Raghda Daftedar, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Global interconnectedness, conventionally known as globalization, has become a prominent feature of the contemporary world. With this increased interconnectedness, we are witnessing the growth of world-class educational institutions, presenting models of best practices that should essentially be modeled for effective teaching. Science education in particular requires pre-service teachers to embody certain epistemologies and practices that afford the immersion in authentic science learning. This might present a challenge however for international student teachers who have experienced science learning and/or teaching in a different way.
As student teachers grapple with reformulating their former teacher and cultural identities, tension between old and new perceptions, ontological, as well as epistemological stances present a process of evolution that might be all too difficult to complete, especially with an understanding that the indigenization of nuanced epistemology of science education might just be a challenge when they return to their home countries.
This paper presents a pilot case study highlighting the experience of an Egyptian student teacher completing her final semester in an elementary inclusive masters program. As she makes sense of a course on science teaching methodologies, dissonance between her perceptions of what good teaching looks like verses pedagogical practices presented in class, presents urgent questions for both the science and international comparative education communities – the urgent need to analyze how borrowed policies are indigenized on the micro-level, that of the teacher.
Principal Author: Maria S.. Rivera Maulucci, Barnard College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Teachers’ self-efficacy has been shown to have a positive impact on student outcomes including students’ achievement and self-efficacy in science. This methods study explores the impact of a science teacher professional development seminar on inservice and preservice teachers’ science teaching self-efficacy. Drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, the study shows that inservice and preservice teachers’ enthusiasm for teaching science, confidence in their science teaching, and confidence in using places like the museum as a resource for science teaching increased, whereas their confidence in their science content knowledge decreased. Analysis of qualitative data shows that teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs are complex and related to personal and contextual factors, such as challenges in their teaching placements and their developing awareness of the complexity of the components that contribute to effective science teaching.
Principal Author: Heather L. Miller, The Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mandy M. Smith, The Ohio State University; Kathy C. Trundle, The Ohio State University; Sally Hobson, Hilliard City Schools; Katherine Mollohan, The Ohio State University; Margilee P. Hilson, Columbus Public Schools; Larry Krissek, The Ohio State University
This study describes children’s understandings of the properties and uses of rocks and soils. Second and third grade children in a multiage classroom participated in the research study (n=23). Data were collected using the Earth Materials Questionnaire and analyzed through the constant comparative method. Results indicated that pre-instruction the children included a large number of non-scientific responses in their description of properties of rocks and soil. Specifically, pre-instruction all 23 children (100%) included non-scientific conceptions. Most students included color (52%) as properties of rocks, which is scientifically accurate, but many also mentioned size (52%), shape (43%), weight (30%), and formation (4%), which are not useful to scientists in describing hand samples of rocks. Some children confused properties of rocks with properties of minerals, with 17% including hardness as a property of rocks. The results for properties of soils were similar to rocks. Pre-instruction, nineteen students (83%) gave non-scientific responses for properties of soils. While they included some scientifically useful properties like texture (48%), color (43%), and composition (26%), they also included properties that were not useful to scientists in describing soil (e.g., wet/dryness, smell of sample). Gains were made in the number of children who included scientific concepts of both rocks and soils in their post-instruction responses. Post-instruction, only one child (4%) failed to mention any scientific properties of rocks and only three children (13%) included no scientific properties of soils in their descriptions. Also, post-instruction, the most common scientific answers for rocks were color (78%) and layering (57%). While many children included size among their properties of rocks, only one (4%) student included shape and three students (13%) included weight. Children showed an increase or maintained their understandings of scientifically useful properties of soils; texture (48%), color (70%) and composition (39%) after instruction.
Principal Author: Stephen L. Thompson, University of South CarolionaAbstract:
Learn about instructional activities designed to enhance learners' plant-related conceptions and science educators' plant-related teaching abilities. A key feature of the activities will be the opportunity to gain experience with an easy to use, reliable sensor that measures atmospheric gas levels (the Gastec Pump System). Participants will be exposed to several activities that demonstrate carbon dioxide and oxygen cycling. Additionally, participants will learn innovative methods for teaching plant-related concepts to K-12 students (such as the use of historical plant study summaries that reveal how scientists determined that plant matter is not primarily derived from soil or water). Researchers have lamented that little attention has been paid to teacher understanding of plant-related processes and their interrelationships. Because little attention has traditionally been paid to teacher understanding of key interrelated plant processes, science educators need to help teachers/preservice teachers better understand key plant processes and how they are interrelated. Science educators also need to help teachers/preservice teachers develop strategies for teaching related concepts to students. This session is designed to address both of these issues.
Principal Author: Mandy McCormick Smith, The Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kathy Cabe Trundle, The Ohio State University
This experiential presentation focuses on a theoretical preschool science instructional model. This presentation will inform and engage participants in the three-part, play-based cycle: Hearts-On, Hands-On, Minds-On learning. Participants will experience the instructional model just as young children would during a science lesson using magnets. Key components of the experience will include the importance of play in the Prek setting and provide examples of data representation and drawing conclusions with young children. Participants in the session will engage with materials duribng a model lesson on magnets through this preschool learning cycle.
Principal Author: Michelle Cook, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alex T.. Chow, Clemson University; Juang-Horng Chong, Clemson University
Rapid population growth and urban development have altered the forest landscape in our state, deteriorating our natural resources. These changes have caused a decline in firefly distribution. Assessment of firefly abundance through counts of bioluminescence flashes provides an indicator of environmental quality that can easily be observed and quantified by the general public and students. In this poster, we will describe the activities associated with our firefly watch program, aimed at promoting scientific inquiry and environmental stewardship through local field research. We will detail how we recruit participants for both local firefly field days as well as a yearly statewide survey. In addition, we will explain how we introduce participants to topics such as the role and value of forest ecosystems, the environmental impact of population growth and urban development, firefly biology, methods for firefly counting and identification, and safety in the field. We will showcase our newly developed iPhone application used for data collection. Finally, we will discuss the impact of our firefly watch project on the 1) scientific knowledge gained by analyzing the data to find relationships among land use patterns, weather patterns, and firefly occurrence and to determine the impacts of urbanization and climate change on forest ecosystems and 2) participants in terms of how their association with this project influenced their understanding of the process of science and their attitudes toward science and the environment. The information shared in this poster could be beneficial to other citizen science research initiatives.
Principal Author: John W.. Tillotson, Syracuse UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: David Slykhuis, James Madison University
Video-based teaching modules that showcase the effective integration of emergent educational technologies can serve as powerful professional development tools for science teacher educators. This session will showcase a video-based module that uses mixed reality demonstrations involving gravity to support students' conceptual understanding. Rapid advances in technology are changing what and how students learn, and provide teachers with unlimited options for supporting student learning in ways never before possible. Teacher educators must provide preservice teachers with meaningful experiences that showcase the effective integration of educational technology so that they develop technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge in their subject area. Video-based teaching cases serve as a powerful curriculum tool to support this endeavor.
Principal Author: James T.. McDonald, Central Michigan UniversityAbstract:
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) were released in April 2013. Teachers will need to adjust to the new standards and learn how to implement them in their classrooms and begin to transition to the new standards in September 2013. This project involved working with teachers in the central Michigan area for one year as they implemented the NGSS. Several focal teachers (volunteers) in the school on serve as case studies on NGSS implementation. This qualitative research project was accomplished through interviews, classroom observations of science lessons, debriefing of lessons, and the team teaching of lessons. As a result, the researcher gained an in-depth perspective of the challenges, adjustments, difficulties, and success stories of teachers implementing the new science standards.
Preliminary results from this research study show that the most difficult aspects of the new standards (based upon the Framework for K-12 Science Education) were how to implement the new science and engineering practices, how to set up the classroom environment so that elementary students could be successful using the practices, and the fact that the new standards no longer separated inquiry from the content portion of the lesson. Teachers also discussed that doing hands-on lesson was no longer enough where students used process skills. Teachers needed to begin with an opening question, and keep referring to that question throughout the lesson. Students now needed to makes claims and offer evidence for those claims (argumentation with evidence) and explain or draw models related to those big ideas (developing and using models).
Principal Author: Shannon Sung, The University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: David Jackson, The University of Georgia
With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), disciplinary core ideas and crosscutting concepts have been identified throughout the document (Achieve, 2013). Among a variety of crosscutting concepts, energy is one that could be integrated into every science discipline drafted in the NGSS. Therefore, it is a natural and perfect candidate for the demonstration of a crucial crosscutting concept to be incorporated into each science teachers’ class. Since it is often treated as an isolated topic introduced in separate disciplines, to better understand preservice teachers’ entry interdisciplinary understanding (IU) of energy, an instrument to assess prospective teachers’ IU was constructed. We are interested in whether preservice teachers’ IU would increase with sequential acquisition of energy topics introduced in a science methods class. The instrument was implemented as an extra credit assignment before and after instruction. A paired-samples t test was conducted to compare the mean differences of nine participants who completed both pre- and post-tests. The results show that there is no significant difference in the students’ percentage of correctness before and after the introduction of energy topics by means of isolated units. 86% of the respondents perceived the instrument to be more difficult than their regular exams. Educational implications for science methods courses, curriculum design, and assessment construction are discussed.
Principal Author: Jenny D. Ingber, Bank Street College of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Frederick Freking, University of Southern California; Anthony Maddox, University of Southern California
As part of a NSF-funded Noyce Project, USC has created an online community of practice to support our Noyce Scholars as they develop their science teaching practice. Our Noyce scholars participate in the USC MAT Program with many additional science teacher candidates. In the MAT Program, all science teacher candidates participate in coursework and fieldwork to develop their science teaching skills, including planning, instruction, and assessment of inquiry-based science. This presentation examines the impact of participation in an online learning community on performance on embedded program assessments, including the EdTPA.
Principal Author: Paul C.. Jablon, Lesley UniversityAbstract:
Although it is seems counterintuitive, a well researched set of programs at an urban university demonstrates that instead of engaging in one project at a time that affects the science preparation of urban elementary teachers and the subsequent science staff development of hundreds, if not thousands, of public elementary school teachers, it is most effective to tackle both simultaneously. It is a highly effective self-sustaining, interdependent support matrix among preservice elementary students, college science and science education faculty, public school teachers and staff developers, and public school students in New York City. Through a series of collaborations of natural science faculty and science education faculty an intensive three science course, two science methods course, and daily public school science teaching experience program was created for all elementary and early childhood major. This would not have been effective or sustainable if simultaneously two school district science directors and superintendents had not collaborated in a district-wide school change project that moved all of their teachers to an inquiry approach to science teaching. Utilizing staff developers to work with teachers in their classrooms, providing three week summer institutes, and supplying teachers with replenished science kits almost a thousand inner city elementary teachers began to engage their students in inquiry-based science. This created a set of 75 exemplary internship classrooms for the preservice teachers who in turn created a rich influx of excitement and admiration for the mentor teachers’ inquiry approaches. Some of these teachers became staff developers for the district, and some became adjunct instructors of elementary science methods courses at the university. This matrix of support structures created a synergy that supported and sustained each of the projects. This matrix was further strengthened by the creation of a Masters Program in Elementary Science and Environmental Education for teachers who wanted to expand upon their summer institute experiences.
Principal Author: Stephen B. Witzig, University of Massachusetts DartmouthAbstract:
Co-Authors: Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut
Reforms in science teaching and learning are at the forefront of science teacher educators’ research and practice. A new framework for K-12 science education was recently released (NRC, 2012) and is shaping new science standards nationwide. In this study, we investigate in what ways secondary science methods students conceptualize a new research-based teaching framework that includes tenants of the learning cycle, scientific practices, and student understanding. We follow the progression of student ideas through multiple methods and characterize students’ science teaching orientations. There is a need for research in this area to provide concrete examples of not only what knowledge future science teachers have for teaching, but also how they conceptualize their knowledge and beliefs for teaching situated in research-based teaching practices. Our qualitative study was guided using narrative methodology to address the following over-arching research question: How do pre-service and early-career in-service teachers’ orientations and practices toward teaching science develop over time while engaged in a science methods course? Our findings indicate that methods students transitioned their thinking and planning from a more teacher centered classroom to a more student centered/teacher guided classroom. We discuss the implications of the findings as well as provide suggestions for future research in this area. Our hope is that our study continues the dialogue about the role we take on as science teacher educators in facilitating science teaching and learning with the next generation of science teachers.
Principal Author: Jerrid W.. Kruse, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michael P.. Clough, Iowa State University; Joanne K.. Olson, Iowa State University; Benjamin C.. Herman, University of South Florida
The first paper of this thematic paper set addresses rationales for teaching and learning about the nature of technology (NOT), and pedagogical practices that promote understanding the NOT (Clough, 2013). While effective NOT instruction has much in common with effective nature of science instruction, students’ strong emotional attachment to their cherished technologies require attention to and implementation of additional instructional strategies that avert students’ immediate rejection of NOT ideas.
The second paper will discuss how aspects of the NOT can help educators make more prudent decisions regarding if, when, and how to use various technologies, discuss strategies to help preservice teachers understand and teach the NOT, and share data regarding the efficacy of the strategies. This paper will further explore preservice teachers application of the NOT to teaching situations.
A third paper addresses issues in the nature of engineering that are absent from the NRC’s Framework for Science Education (NRC, 2012). As written, the Framework portrays a positive perspective of engineering while overlooking several crucial aspects of the nature of engineering. I argue that at least 14 key issues in the nature of engineering should be considered if we are to provide K-12 students with a robust technology education, rather than simply training them to use and love technology.
Media literacy is targeted in a fourth paper. Media literacy is often conceptualized as merely how to use media. Understanding the nature of media is a more comprehensive and important aspect of media literacy. Serious attention to this aspect of media literacy in schools would create a perspective of media and technology useful to civil life (Postman, 1998). This session addresses how I make media literacy a major component of a Communication Skills in the Science Classroom/Reading and Communication in Science Education course.
Principal Author: JinIchi Okumura, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yoshisuke Kumano, Shizuoka University; Tomoki Saito, Shizuoka University
Implementation of informal science education with Univ.
In conjunction with the Shizuoka University Faculty of Science Department of Biological Sciences, we were conducted experiment course “What is gene DNA?” in 2011.2012.
Throughout the experiment course, deepen the understanding of the gene DNA, by experience the actual experiment researchers from real university facilities are doing cutting-edge research. The purpose was also carried out to create an opportunity to researcher training of future with deeper interest, increase the learning motivation of high school for their future. Further, in order to support to increase the ability of problem identification and resolution capabilities proactive enhances presentation capabilities. We conducted the opportunity to look back ,summarize ,and presentation. In additionaly for the purpose of carrier study ,we organized the chance to
school tour and round-table conference of college students and professors.
We carried out the verification of the effect of education in formal education.
As a result, almost students felt fun to the experiment and also felt they could do activities in cooperation with others. In addition, students felt that it is significant for their future to learn the “science and mathematics” .and further more many students feel science will help their understanding the things around their own.
However, some students couldn’t find the problems themselves in the implementation process of the experiment and also less students were able to gather information in order to solve the problem.
Consequently revealed, even though it has joined the course to have desired interest itself and can be implemented in cooperation while enjoying that given in the implementation of the experiment course, the high school students in Japan, they have less ability to find the problems themselves, and also they couldn’t gather the informations for resolution the problems.
Additionally ,introduction of informal education of aggressive teacher is assumed that not only increase the interest in science of students, b
Principal Author: Tomoki SAITO, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jinichi Okumura, Shizuoka University; Yoshisuke Kumano, Shizuoka University
There is a study about possible Japanese STEM trials that will help teachers to make their classes on integrated disciplinary methods. It has already become a topic in Japan that the United States’ STEM education reform is in progress. In the class room, many of teachers struggle how they should apply this educational issue. Also in Japan, the STEM Literacy reward to the needs from society. And many of teachers want to know how they can prepare the materials which make students empowered. How we can integrate the four STEM disciplines into our classes? One of the approaches is “System”. It was often introduced from “Science for all Americans” (1989) to “Next Generation Science Standards” (2013) as the common themes or the crosscutting concepts. In “Science class in schools”, photosynthesis systems are learned as a metaphor of a starch factory. It is help students to understand the interactions between parts of a system and its basic structure. The other class students who study about human body can apply the system models to the every parts understanding and make metaphor of functions that interact between the tissues. This is a method to apply the “system and its models” to the “Life science” domain. On the other hand, students attack to an issue which they can recognize; in the “Time for the integrated learning” which are the special classes have been carried out once a week for all of the academic year. Students learned about such as “Using energy” and make their opinions how to use limited fossil fuels and which products have good energy efficiency. After these lessons, teachers can assess their study as systems. Being different from the science inquiry that contains its purpose inside, STEM practices extract its purpose to their society. For example, in the “Informal science classes”, we provide the students to have a purpose other than the purpose of the scientific inquiry. These lesson plans require the students to make some products in half an hour. The purpose of the engineering practice in this class is to make these products better.
Principal Author: Beth Shiner. Klein, SUNY CortlandAbstract:
Co-Authors: Starlin D. Weaver, Salisbury University
STEM pioneer, Dr. George William Jeffers (1897-1995), was a science teacher educator and biologist at Longwood College (now Longwood University) from 1926 through 1968. He was a scholar in his own right (fellow of the AAAS), well known in his field of biology (directing the Chesapeake Bay Fisheries Commission from 1943-45), and active in science and science education organizations (a founding member of NABT, charter member of NSTA, and founder of the Virginia Junior Academy of Science). In addition, he was a strong advocate for teacher’s colleges and expanded definitions of scholarship. Despite all of his respect from colleagues and his work in the national arena to better science education, he felt his most important contribution was the time and inspiration he gave his students.
Principal Author: Kimberly A. Haverkos, Thomas More CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Manish Sharma, Thomas More College; Chris Lorentz, Thomas More College
This presentation will share the results of a three year Toyota USA Foundation grant project titled Thomas More College STEM Initiative (TSI) that connected classroom STEM teachers with STEM faculty both during the school year and during a summer learning academy. While the grant included a student aspect in terms of a summer STEM camp, the TSI Institute, this presentation will focus on the teacher focused data that was collected. The summer TSI (teacher) Academies were structured to help teachers build stronger content knowledge bases as well as build in key pedagogy and technology aspects needed to implement that content into their high school classrooms. Additionally, teachers were supported throughout the school year by the STEM faculty in implementing STEM content for their students in a way that built a strong “hands-on, minds-on” perspective towards STEM. The strong relationships that developed between the faculty and the teachers, and the teachers themselves, have led to a strong learning community that actively seeks out ways to bridge the disconnect between students and STEM at both the high school and the college level. These continuing educational experiences are key to retaining teachers who are knowledgeable about their content area and pedagogy and who are engaged not only in their students’ learning, but their own learning as well. Preliminary results indicate that the TSI has had a positive effect on the teachers who participated in the grant and that it has helped build sustainable relationships between teachers and faculty members in order to improve high school science curricula for students. The results demonstrate a possible model for developing and maintaining learning communities that include multiple stakeholders in science/STEM education--STEM faculty, Education faculty, STEM teachers, and students--through the fostering of STEM content knowledge, pedagogy, technology, and professional development through continuing relationships between faculty and teachers.
Principal Author: Richard P.. Hechter, University of ManitobaAbstract:
Physics education research reveals that students have difficulty with the inherent mathematics that comprises the natural language of physics. The apparent disconnect between student understanding and application of mathematics within physics is not that students do not know how to do the math, but rather it is identifying what to do with the mathematics. In an effort to address this disconnect, the goals of this study were: (1) to determine the position of inservice physics teachers’ problem solving warrants on a ‘thinking like a physicist’ continuum between the novice and expert physicists; and (2) to determine the perspectives of inservice teachers in using multiple modes of representation of physics phenomena towards enhanced student learning relative to their physics teaching orientation and problem solving. Theoretically grounded in epistemological framing (Collins & Ferguson, 1993; diSessa, 1993; Sherin, 2001; Bing & Redish, 2008), and multiple modes of representation (Bruner, 1966; Gilbert & Treagust, 2008) this study conducted qualitative interviews and problem-solving sessions with inservice physics teachers (n=20). Data was analyzed through discourse analysis and qualitative approaches.
After placing inservice teachers on the continuum, findings indicate a significant tension exists between teachers and students when a teachers’ problem solving pedagogy, and preferred mode of representation of concepts is in disequilibrium from a students’ epistemological framework and learning approach. Findings indicate inservice teachers’ abilities to relieve this tension vary. Results suggest that physics teaching orientation was the primary factor impacting this ability. Findings further indicate that physics teachers who are positioned closer to the ‘expert’ end of the “thinking like a physicist” continuum tend to be more efficacious in providing alternative mode of representation.
Implications of this study will impact preservice and inservice physics teacher education as it relates to use and role of mathematics in teaching and learning physics.
Principal Author: Wendy M. Frazier, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rebecca K. Fox, George Mason University; Mollianne G. Logerwell, George Mason University
In this study we share the sustained effects of a professional development program for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and World Language (WL) teachers participating in a teacher exchange program operating in Far East Russia and the United States as part of a larger initiative to internationalize our university, including its preservice and inservice teacher education efforts. Twenty Russian and 18 US inservice teachers participated in the study. Of these, all twenty Russian teachers and five US teachers traveled to the partnering country for field experience in participants’ schools along with professional development that was designed and led by local university faculty, teachers, and school administrators in each partnering country. The program targets STEM and WL teachers to encourage an integrated approach to science and language learning. Data were collected through electronic surveys, direct observations, electronic portfolios, focus group interviews, social networking sites, and email correspondence. Data highlight the positive impact of the project on teachers’ knowledge of how instruction in science and language can be integrated to enhance elementary and secondary students’ inquiry-based science learning and as a means of communicating scientific findings to a variety of audiences from local to international contexts. Data also illuminate the importance of using available technologies to develop a social network of support focused on a mutual exchange of ideas in order to sustain the effects of professional development support long after funding has ended. Implications for internationalizing preservice and inservice science teacher education are considered in the context of limited funding when physical travel is not possible.
Principal Author: Cynthia C. M. . Deaton, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Benjamin E. Deaton, Anderson University; Diana Ivankovic, Anderson University
The purpose of this paper is to: (a) describe the implementation of the mobile learning activity, stop-motion videos, to support students understanding of cell processes and (b) present research findings about students’ use of iPads and development of the stop-motion videos during their introductory biology course. Data indicated that students used the devices extensively to access, seek, and share information related to cell processes, which led to their increased familiarity of using the iPad to support their learning. Data from pre and posttests on cellular processes supports students’ beliefs that they had a stronger understanding of mitosis after the stop-motion video activity. Using the iPads and apps enriched students’ learning experiences by providing them with a creative way to demonstrate their understanding of content, enhanced their communication skills and provided them with an alternative means for gathering and sharing supplementary resources.
Principal Author: Logan M. Leslie, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Educators should be concerned about understanding the messages that video games are sending our students, since this form of entertainment is an increasingly common part of their lives. In this presentation I examine how Portal 2 makes contributions to player understandings of what science is through analysis of both the game itself and related works created by fans of the game. I have identified three areas of particular interest in this regard: science and nature as a dichotomous relationship, science as puzzle solving, and science as something that needs to be policed. While this study focuses on the particulars of a specific video game, Portal 2, the study has broader implications, which can be useful even to those members of the science education community who do not find this particular game, or video games in general, interesting. This game provides an example of how to present more than one ‘correct’ answer to a scientific concept, as in question of science as puzzle solving. The second broader implication is the importance of considering the additional impacts of media utilized in the classroom. While much recent research focuses primarily on how games are able to teach particular concepts, such as momentum, these games also include broader implications which cannot be easily separated from their content area. My analysis of Portal 2 and related works created by fans of the game contributes to our understanding of these implications, which science educators often ignore or simply do not recognize.
Principal Author: Ilman Anwari, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kumano Yoshisuke, Shizuoka University; Ratnaningsih Eko. Sardjono, Indonesia University of Education; Wiwi Siswaningsih, Indonesia University of Education
Most of students can solve the familiar and simple tasks. In order to solve the complex problems, students require initial knowledge, intellectual ability, and metacognitive skill. In some references suggest that metacognition independent partly of intelligence, but intelligence has big role of metacognition. Besides that, the knowledge needed to solve problem in a complex domain such as chemistry or biology is composed of many principles, examples, technical details, generalizations, heuristics, and other pieces of relevant information. This study is to investigate whether initial knowledge has influence to metacognitive strategy on specific problem (in this study is chemistry). The participants are 32 undergraduate students second years and 30 students third years of chemistry department, and they were divided into 7 groups each year level . The problem has been adapted from IMMEX-hazmat software that developed by University of California professor. It is adapted into experiment in lab and the information were translated in Indonesia language. Accuracy of answer, nonparametric Mann Whitney test, Strategy Performance Thinking (SPT) category, and investigation of strategies conducted to analysis the data. Second years students and third years students have knowledge and experience learning in chemistry different based on curriculum, certainly, third years student have been achieving many knowledge and experience in chemistry. According to Mann Whitney test, the results showed that third years undergraduate students have good score in metacognitive skills than second years undergraduate students.Therefore,experience learning and knowledge has influence to metacognitive strategy and the one important thing in education is knowledge. Because knowledge as fuel to other skills in education.
Principal Author: Irma Rahma. Suwarma, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yoshisuke Kumano, Shizuoka University; Ilman Anwari, Shizuoka University
The educational result depends on students, teachers and the system. These factors play an important role in educational transformation. Teachers play an important role in developing new methods or models of learning to improve educational quality, In creating new method in learning, it is essential to learn more about student metacognition and multiple intelligence profile. Metacognition is a tool to improve one’s cognitive capabilities, where most of students have cognitive capabilities in knowledge and comprehension. On the other hand, multiple intelligence theory proposed that every students at least have seven intelligence that can be developed by the environment. This intelligence profile is needed to decide learning strategy. Veenman (2003) argued metacognitive skill have much role than intelligence skills. Based on this opinion, I would like to study the correlation of them. Samples of this study are 43 undergraduate science students in Faculty of Education Shizuoka University. Logical mathematical intelligence score are collected using multiple intelligence questionnaire that developed by McKenzie and translated into japanese. Metacognition score of students are collected using evaluation instruments that adapted from IMMEX-Hazmat materials that were applied to simulation cards translated into Japanese versions. Data were analysed statistically using correlation product moment Spearman. The result show that there is small correlation between metacognition and logical mathematical score.
Principal Author: Yvonne Franco, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elaine Cerrato Fisher, University of South Florida; Jeni Davis, University of South Florida
This bounded case study examined elementary preservice teachers’ (PSTs) self-development while they took an introductory science methods course. Our objective was to gain an understanding of how elementary PSTs conceptualized their response to “What is Science?” The study was grounded in the position of scholarship from both science and teacher education. The first aspect of learning was drawn from Abell (2008) who proposed a model for the development of knowledge for teaching science teachers. This model situated our work as teacher educators preparing future science teachers. The next area of scholarship was centered on the relationship between teacher identity and practices. McComas (1996) addressed the common misconceptions held by students and asserted that “only by clearing away the mist of half-truths and revealing science in its full light…will learners become enamored of the true pageant of science and be able fairly to judge its processes and products” (p. 196). The third facet of learning evolved from both the literature on teacher education and our desire to contribute to the research-based design of future teacher preparation of PSTs as they evolved into science educators.
This study employed a qualitative design for data collection as well as principles of grounded theory for analysis. Based on Appleton’s (1997) ‘A View of Learning’ model, we analyzed our data to identify salient themes in relation to the learners’ shift in conceptualization. Trends identified included teaching connections, positive and negative memories of science, and personal values. Throughout our investigation we witnessed an evolving progression of learners’ novice response to ‘What is Science?’ to their ability to reexamine the critical nature of the role of the teacher. The conceptual position of the learner according to the model indicated the PSTs approached teaching with different ideas and from different perspectives; the actual pathway followed by the individual was dependent upon the social context in which the learning encounter occurred (Abell et al., 2010)
Principal Author: Lucy Kulbago, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Aziz Alamri, Kent State University; Rajlakshmi Ghosh, Kent State University; Bridget K.. Mulvey, Kent State University
The purpose of this study is to examine the perceived benefits of the Science Olympiad program from the perspective of currently involved students, coaches, teachers, parents, and administrators that attended two competitions in Ohio. This qualitative study used a semi-structured interview format to examine the perceptions of 28 people involved with Science Olympiad, which included 9 middle school students (1 female, 8 male), 7 high school students (5 female, 2 male), 2 parents of participating students, 6 parent or adult coaches, 2 teachers and head coaches, and 2 administrators. All study participants are associated with one of the 50 schools that participated in one of two invitational Science Olympiad competitions in Ohio during the 2012-2013 school year. Interviews were transcribed and independently coded using analytic induction by at least two different researchers. Emerging codes were discussed and then the full data set was reexamined for confirming and disconfirming evidence by the four authors. Any differences were resolved through discussion. While looking for patterns and connections between the codes, three overarching categories emerged: competition, cooperation, and individual. These three categories helped to shape a conceptual model that begins to describe the Science Olympiad Experience and show how the interplay between competition and cooperation provides for positive engagements with science and engineering for the students and adult supporters. This model is framed by the Theory of Social Interdependence which is based on the understanding that social interdependence “exists when individuals share common goals and each individual’s outcomes are affected by the actions of the others” (Johnson & Johnson, 1989). Implications of the Science Olympiad program are shown to include the areas of college major and career choice, talent development for the gifted student, improved 21st century skills, inquiry instruction in the classroom, and preparation for students’ future. Suggestions for future research will be discussed.
Principal Author: Ian C. Binns, UNC CharlotteAbstract:
Science education is under attack in the United States. Two states, Louisiana and Tennessee, have what are called “academic freedom” laws that encourage teachers to include anti-science information in their classrooms. This legislation can be directly tied to earlier attempts such as creation science. The laws use language that any science educator and teacher would support, such as: “promotes critical thinking” and “logical analysis.” Additionally, proponents of these laws always refer to the importance of students understanding the “strengths and weaknesses” of scientific theories, “including, but not limited to, evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.” This session will focus on this type of legislation and hopes to inform the ASTE membership on how they can defend the integrity of science education in their states if the time comes.
Principal Author: Michael J. Sizemore, Texas Tech UniversotAbstract:
Global collaborative science have the potential to provide relevant and engaging instruction to science students as they cooperate with other students from across the globe. These projects require a close coordination between cooperating students and teachers. Aspects of this coordination include methods of communication, methods of sharing data, scheduling concerns, and a multitude of other factors. The identification of and the methods to address issues that can complicate these factors is imperative Teachers who wish to engage in global science collaborations must identify potential issues that may hamper their efforts and address them to the greatest extent possible. Teachers must also be flexible enough to overcome the inevitable unseen challenges that will arise as they allow their students to collaborate internationally. This session will describe the experiences of students, teachers and a curriculum coordinator involved in a global collaborative science project. It will describe student learning outcomes, teachers' impressions of global collaboration, the obstacles they faced, and the means by which those obstacles were overcome.
Principal Author: Ibrahim H.. Yeter, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dr. Walter S.. Smith, Texas Tech University; Dr. Kimberly Livengood, Angelo State University
The purpose of the study is to investigate how the states standards align with the CMPA-R lunar phases questions in the World MOON Project. Today the National Science Teachers Association (2008) has taken the position that the study of aerospace concepts “offers a relevant context for the learning and integration of core content knowledge, makes numerous multidisciplinary and multicultural connections, and directly addresses content standards in many subject areas.” Both the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996), the Benchmarks from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, 1993), the Framework for the Next Generation Science Standards from the National Research Council (NRC, 2012), and all of America’s 50 states have stated science teaching standards that incorporate the study of celestial bodies, including an understanding of lunar phases. Since standards about lunar phases have been in place from states and national organizations for as long as 20 years, we investigated (1) the relative weight given by the states to early adolescent students’ learning various ideas about lunar phases and (2) early adolescent students’ mastery of these standards. The sample of this study consisted of 1958 American students aged 10-14 and chi-square analysis was conducted.
Principal Author: Angela M. Kelly, Stony Brook UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Keith Sheppard, Stony Brook University
The American Institute of Physics [AIP] has shared positive news regarding the uptick in physics participation among U.S. high school students. Recently, AIP reported that 37% of U.S. high school seniors have taken physics before graduating, an increase of 20 percentage points over the past thirty years. The increase in physics students has been attributed to a number of factors, including more rigorous college entrance requirements, the expansion of differentiated physics options, more stringent state graduation requirements, and an increase in participation of females and underrepresented students. This is a significant trend since research has suggested physics coursetaking is an important credential for students who choose to pursue STEM disciplines in college.
This study explores how physics education is structured in New York State, as a means for examining related policy implications. We will present publicly available data on access to physics in urban, suburban and rural areas, as well as geographical patterns in teacher certification for those assigned to physics courses. We will look at the role of standardized assessments in driving physics-related curricular frameworks in secondary schools. What are students expected to learn about physics in 9-12 classrooms, and how are students and teachers held accountable for learning basic physics principles? We will explore how physics standardized scores and Advanced Placement Physics participation relate to socioeconomic status and other measures of resource allocation. Finally, we propose policy solutions for improving the accessibility, quality and status of 9-12 physics education.
Principal Author: Kristina M. Tank, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tamara J. Moore, University of Minnesota; Bhaskar Upadhyay, University of Minnesota
In recent years there has been an increasing emphasis on the integration of multiple disciplines in order to help prepare more students to better address the complex challenges they will face in their 21st century jobs. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Integration has been suggested as an approach that would offer more authentic and meaningful learning experiences, while also modeling the multidisciplinary approach that is necessary for the success of our students in the 21st century workplace. However, there is limited research on STEM integration in the elementary classroom and additional research is needed to better define and explore the effects of this integration for both students and science educators.
Building on the integration research around language and science integration, this research examines how engineering and high quality literature can be used to facilitate STEM learning in elementary classrooms where time and resources are limited. The focus of this study is on four teachers and 110 fifth graders from the same elementary school in an urban district and they were observed while teaching a traditional and an integrated science, engineering and literacy unit. Student learning during the traditional and integrated units were measured through pre/post assessments. Additionally, observation, interview and science notebook data were used to determine the effects of using high quality literature and engineering to support the facilitation of integrated science, engineering and reading instruction.
Principal Author: Lori A. Fulton, University of Hawaii at ManoaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brian Lawton, University of Hawaii at Manoa
The introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) requires new curriculum, with greater focus on the practices of science. One means to develop such curriculum is to begin with learning and teaching progressions, which outline progressively sophisticated teaching and learning over the course of time. Starting with empirically grounded ideas about student learning at the Kindergarten level related to the topic of weather and climate, we created lower and upper anchors of student learning related to the big ideas presented within the NGSS and A Framework for K-12 Science Education. The next step was to create teaching progressions that helped scaffold student learning toward the big ideas. The newly developed curriculum was shared, along with benefits and drawbacks to this process. Finally, participants were encouraged to discuss how the three dimensions – practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas – were woven throughout the curriculum.
Principal Author: Nazan U.. Bautista, Miami UniversityAbstract:
The primary goal of an early childhood education (ECE) science methods course is to support preservice teachers’ (PST) learning to engage students in science as inquiry in the classrooms and help them gain self-efficacy. Field experiences embedded in the methods courses are where educators expect PSTs to apply what they learned and gain self-efficacy. However, traditional field experiences are often limited in time and PSTs are expected to teach the content picked by their cooperating teachers. Teaching science has especially become difficult because of the increased emphasis on English language arts and mathematics in early grade levels. Responding to this challenge, the participants of this study practiced teaching science in a mixed-reality teaching environment, called TeachLivE™ Lab (TLE), in which PSTs walk into a simulated classroom where the room is real but the students are digital avatars. 25 PSTs participated in the study in Spring 2013. Analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data revealed that personal science teaching efficacy, outcome expectancy and efficacy in student engagement and in instructional strategy significantly increased. The increase in their self-efficacy was also related to the increase in their efficacy to engage students in inquiry instruction, in efficacy to develop and implement inquiry-based science instruction, and in efficacy to effectively manage a classroom. Despite the significant increase in their outcome expectancy, having no correlation between STOE scores and TSE domains may be because PSTs were skeptical that the TLE experience was similar to the actual classroom teaching experiences. Through reflecting on their practices, participants became aware of their lack of science knowledge and admitted the importance of knowing the content in-depth and preparation for it before start planning a lesson. They associated this realization with their confidence in their abilities to teach science and claimed that their self-efficacy increased as a result of the virtual teaching experiences.
Principal Author: Georgia W. Hodges, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joseph S.. Oliver, The University of Georgia; Wendell Rogers, University of Georgia; Kyung-A Kwon, University of Georgia; Sara Raven, University of Georgia; Melissa Jurkiewicz, University of Georgia; Shannon Dubois, University of Georgia
During two consecutive academic years, our research team has studied how a group of six high school teachers of introductory biology planned, taught and assessed student learning within a curricular unit on the cell structure and function. The research effort was created in order to examine: (1) the instructional use of a set of computer-based modules in which high school students study cell structure and function through an immersive computer environment that uses a game-type representation of the inner workings of the cell; and (2) the student learning that is associated with the classroom use of these modules. However, in order to examine changes in students’ learning and teachers’ teaching when the modules were used, the research team designed a quasi-experimental study that examined the same teachers’ teaching of the cell unit during the academic year prior to the implementation of modules. This control year was complemented by a study of the six teachers’ implementation of the cell unit with the addition of the computer-based modules in the following academic year. In each year of the study approximately 500 students took part in this research. Our team believed that in order to truly understand how teachers would utilize the modules, we needed to first examine how teachers taught the cell unit without the use of the modules. During the control year, students completed pre- and post-test measures that were validated in prior studies in addition to benchmark assessments created by the county in which we worked. During the treatment year, we utilized the same qualitative and quantitative measures described earlier, while adding measures from the computer-based modules. The teachers incorporated the three computer-based modules into the two-week cell unit. We will highlight findings from the instructional perspective as well as the student learning perspective during this presentation. Collectively, students’ scores improved on standardized measures and teachers plan to utilize modules in the future.
Principal Author: Daniel Z. Meyer, Illinois CollegeAbstract:
“The Scientific Method” has a schizophrenic status. It is ubiquitous in its use and has a taken for granted quality in practice. Yet it is also regarded as a fallacy by science education reformers. In this paper, we aim to explore this odd circumstance. We first lay out the various arguments against “the Scientific Method”. These include the implied uniformity in science practice, the philosophical shortcomings and the conflation of methodology and epistemology. We next we use occurrences of “the Scientific Method” in science teacher practitioner journals to further explore the nature of this myth in actual practice. This includes examining the nature of its use, the appeal of its use, and the nature of support for its use. We outline several problems that have impeded resolution of this problem. There is a community problem, whereby the status of “the Scientific Method” seems to differ wildly in different science education communities. There is a family resemblance problem where both better terms are used without making clear the substantive difference and better substance is attached to “the Scientific Method” which reinforces traditional conceptions. Finally, as reform that requires the elimination of a bad practice rather than modification of an existing practice or adoption of a new practice, this problem may represent a limitation of standards based reform. We end with a further discussion of the reasons for the persistence of the myth, and recommendations for how to better address the problem. In particular, we argue that the wrong argument – that science has multiple methods – has been emphasized. The more fundamental, and perhaps palatable, argument is that it conflates methodology and epistemology.
Principal Author: Kate Baird, IUPUCAbstract:
Co-Authors: Davida Harden, IUPUC
Building on the definition of a Learning Community proposed in Professional Learning Communities by Munday and Stiles, we embrace the following six characteristics: Focus on Learning, Collaborative Culture Focused on Learning, Collective Inquiry, Action Orientation and Experimentation, Continuous Improvement, and Result Orientation for elementary children, pre-service and in-service educators as well as the university faculty. Using this model, we constructed a series of “Communities and Sub-communities” with foci such as Inquiry-Based Science Instruction, The Five Standards for Effective Pedagogy as defined by CREDE, Teaching English as a New Language, the principles of Universal Design for Learning (Rose, Meyer, & Hitchcock, 2006), and the use of multimedia to drive instructional planning.
With Lego WeDo and Mindstorms EV3 as the instructional platform in, student-centered inquiry that meaningfully blends science instruction with deliberate support for content-specific language. By integrating the new science and math concepts with learners’ prior knowledge and experiences from their various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, teachers can maximize language and content learning for all students. This session will be of interest to pre-service teacher educators, professional development providers and classroom teachers of diverse student populations.
Principal Author: Margaret R.. Blanchard, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith W. . Kier, Howard University; Sherry A.. Southerland, Florida State University
The Next Generation Science Standards challenge us to reconsider the place nature of science (NOS) has in the science curriculum. Researchers have recommended the explicit and reflective teaching of the nature of science (NOS), and many research studies have documented positive NOS learning gains when elementary and middle school students engage in science curriculum taught in this manner. Fewer studies have examined the understandings of high school students of NOS or examined reasons for changes in students’ levels of sophistication regarding tenets of the nature of science. This multi-method, year-long study explores the interests and NOS understandings of four high school students in a general high school biology class. The biology instructor incorporated explicit NOS instruction through each topic of biology and included time for reflection. These activities included online investigations, research-based activities to assess NOS understanding, and course readings framed around NOS. We asked: How do four urban high school students understand the processes of science when immersed in a year- long Biology class with sustained explicit-reflective NOS instruction? What are students’ personal epistemologies and how do these and other factors seem to facilitate or hinder understanding of NOS tenets? Data collection included pre and post VNOS data, reflections on NOS activities, a series of personal interviews, and a card sort protocol. Findings indicate that although students’ personal epistemologies (e.g. religion, interest in science, the extent to which science is integrated into their lives) seem connected to their initial ability to understand NOS, their conceptions did not become much more sophisticated. In depth case studies on each of the four students are presented in this manuscript to try to uncover salient influences on their views that worked against (e.g. students’ religious views, lack of interest in science, familiar influences) pro-NOS classroom influences (e.g. teacher, NOS signs on the walls, interactive NOS instruction).
Principal Author: Vanessa A.. Klein, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Science and environmental education (EE) need to be available to all students, it is therefore necessary for preservice SPED teachers to be introduced to science and EE concepts. The intent of this study is to investigate preservice SPED teachers’ views on environmental education within SPED. The participants were recruited from a Science Teaching in Early and Middle Childhood course which the researcher taught in the 2012 Spring Semester. The class contained both undergraduate students (n=14) and graduate students (n=10). The course is required for students enrolled in the special education program at the university. The methods of data collection employed in the study were: qualitative short answer questionnaires, environmental education microteaching, environmental education lesson evaluations, environmental education lesson plans, and reflection writing. All data were collected as coursework which all students enrolled in the course were required to complete. Constant comparative (Charmaz, 2006) analysis methods were used to code and analyze the data.
Almost all of the students thought that they would like to include EE in their teaching practice. Two major themes emerged as to why students wanted to include EE in their teaching practice: (1) EE is important for all students; and (2) EE is beneficial for special needs students. The goal of stewardship shared by outdoor and environmental education is a goal that is important and appropriate for all students. Some research suggests that a close relationship exists between caring for one’s environment and caring for oneself. This is particularly relevant for special needs students who often have low self-esteem and learned helplessness (Wilson, 1994).
Principal Author: Stephen R.. Burgin, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: William J.. McConnell, Old Dominion University; Alonzo M.. Flowers, Old Dominion University
The Biofuels Research Apprenticeship Program at Old Dominion University was developed in partnership with a local school district in an effort to provide underrepresented high school students with an authentic STEM research experience in a professional university setting. The goals of the program were to engage students in authentic research that had the potential to influence their science identities and Nature of Science understandings. Additionally, we sought to engage participants in reflection that might serve to refine their future college and career plans. Implications of our research included the importance of science teacher education programs to prepare teachers who are able to support their students both before and after participation in similar experiences. For example, science teachers played a key role in identifying students who had the potential to succeed in this program.
Principal Author: Deborah L. Carlisle, UMass AmherstAbstract:
This session presents research findings, and shares hands-on activities designed to assist students in their acquisition of spatial reasoning skills. While, this research is focused within the discipline of chemistry it has over-arching significance for other foundational science disciplines. In this session, you will experience how visualization and verbal description improve with the use of hand held manipulatives, and how to aid students in the accurate translation of 3-D structures to 2-D representations. Relatively simple ideas, such as sight-lines and symmetry planes can be reinforced and extended in ways that will enhance students’ ability to visualize and imagine in creative ways.
This study focused on the spatial skill acquisition of a cohort of undergraduate chemistry majors. It compared the taught strategies used in lecture, to the strategies employed by students to problem solve and answer questions. Based on the findings, several spatial reasoning activities have been designed, and are currently being successfully used with 300 undergraduate general chemistry students. The research clearly demonstrates that training facilitates student acquisition of these important skills.
In this hands-on session you will have the opportunity to try activities and participate in discussions, which will focus on how to make connections to your own curriculum.
Principal Author: Charlene L.. Ellingson, University of Minnesota / STEM Education CenterAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mary H.. Hoelscher, University of Minnesota; Gillian H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Janet M.. Dubinsky, University of Minnesota
Discussion around scientific concepts has become increasingly valued in science teaching (Sutherland, McNeill, & Krajcik, 2006). ). “Talk plays a critical role in science learning, not only because of the importance of communicating data, analyses, and ideas, but also because it is fundamental to the development of scientific reasoning skills . . .” (Winokur & Worth, 2006, pp. 44-45). The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) reflect the growing understanding that content must be accompanied by active discourse (National Research Council, 2013). However, if discussion mainly requires students to answer factual questions, many students do not progress in their thinking (Sampson, Enderle & Grooms, 2013). Therefore, discussion around scientific ideas is essential in K-12 classrooms.
Getting students to engage in data analysis is challenging; yet, it is central to all STEM disciplines (NRC, 1996, Winokur & Worth, 2006). Challenges associated with data analysis are often compounded by teaching in a procedural manner. This study shows how CRP helps students navigate between the various modes of academic language and clarify their thinking. The protocol comes out of the dance community, but is widely used across the arts community. It engages students in critical analysis, and transforms the process of analysis into a meaningful experience. The CRP is comprised of five questions:
1. What do you notice?
2. What does it remind you of?
3. How does it make you feel?
4. What questions does it raise for you?
5. What meaning or understanding is intended?
The first four questions are designed to teach students to withhold judgments and inferences, ensuring all students contribute, and gain confidence in their thinking. The final question is where teachers often start, but by delaying that question until ideas and experiences of the class have been shared, students integrate and clarify their thinking. This process leads to deeper levels of analysis necessary to develop evidence-based explanations. This study reports the use of CRP during a neuroscience workshop.
Principal Author: Charlene M.. Czerniak, The University of ToledoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Eugenia Johnson-Whitt, The University of Toledo; Lacey Strickler, The University of Toledo; Amanda Moser, The University of Toledo; Debra Bloomquist, The University of Toledo; Meredith Reinhart, University of Toledo.
Research suggests that systemic change in education requires a broad-based team working together. This paper set presents an overview of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded grant entitled NURTURES (Networking Urban Resources with Teachers and University to enRich Early Childhood Science), which is a partnership that created this complementary, integrated system of science education for grades PK-3 in the Toledo, Ohio area. The goal of NURTURES is to transform the way in which PK-3 science is taught through the development and implementation of a complementary science education learning model that combines inquiry and learning, formal and informal education, teachers and parents, schools and the community, in a comprehensive effort to improve science subject interest and sustained science achievement. This partnership provides summer professional development for Pre school and K-3 teachers, family science activities sent home in backpacks (motivating, educational science activities that are linked to the school’s curriculum), and community science events for parents to attend (emphasizing science and family discourse). This paper set will provide an overview of the program including papers on: 1) the teacher professional development program (our theory of change, program design, and program implementation), family science activities (design and implementation of the family packs sent home from schools to be completed by parents), and community science events (design and implementation of family events at informal science locations). The three papers will summarize the successes and challenges of science professional development for early childhood teachers, family packs for young children and families, and informal science events for young children. We discuss how the professional development, family packs, and informal science events are designed to include core science ideas, science and engineering practices, and crosscutting concepts. Sample syllabi, lesson plans, family pack activities, and community event activities will be distributed.
Principal Author: Aaron A.. Musson, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth B.. Lewis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
As colleges and universities work to produce highly-qualified science teachers who successfully transition from teaching internships into the teaching induction phase, attention must be paid to creating meaningful experiences during preservice internships. A master’s program designed to help practicing scientists or professionals working in a science-related field become science teachers served as the context for this study. A cohort of 14 preservice science teachers were surveyed about their teaching self-efficacy in the areas of classroom management, instructional strategies and student engagement at three times, pre- and post-program and post-first year teaching. Three physical science teachers from this cohort were interviewed in order to explore their perspectives of their teaching as they retrospectively reflected upon their internship experiences and teacher preparation program. Teachers identified specific experiences that either shaped their current teaching practice or provided inspiration for teaching goals for their second year. Preliminary data from an ongoing longitudinal study show gradual increase in quality of inquiry-centered instruction as measured with the EQUIP instrument and field observations.
Principal Author: Tiffany Roby, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid W. Kruse, Drake University
Elementary preservice teachers are typically intimidated by science. This intimidation too often leads them to either not teach science or teach science by following prescriptive curricula that misrepresent how science works and perpetuates misconceptions regarding the nature of science (NOS). To combat these problems, preservice elementary teachers ought to understand ways to teach that accurately model the NOS and draw students’ attention to NOS ideas.
This paper will report on efforts to help preservice elementary teachers develop NOS instructional materials through engagement with the history of science (HOS). After a NOS unit, the preservice teachers were given an assignment to create a historical short story for their chosen grade level. The preservice teachers were told that the story should target both science content and the NOS. Both drafts and final stories were collected as data for this study. Analysis of these stories focused on what aspects of the NOS the preservice teachers included, in what ways those aspects were included, and struggles the preservice teachers had with creating the stories.
Additionally, preservice teachers use of the HOS materials in their student teaching experiences was explored. More specifically, the preservice teachers were asked: (1) whether they used the HOS/NOS materials they created in their science methods course during their student teaching, (2) what factors affected their use of the HOS/NOS materials, and (3) if they used the HOS/NOS materials, what where their experiences?
Principal Author: Angela W. Webb, Louisiana State UniversityAbstract:
As one of the top five areas experiencing teacher shortages (Keller, 2003), the need to produce high-quality science teachers and keep them in the classroom is quite pressing and the successful induction of beginning secondary science teachers is crucial. Across the country, alternative certification programs have served to help fill the need for quality science teachers. In Louisiana, this is no different; however, as a state with no formalized beginning teacher support policies, how will we retain the alternatively licensed beginning science teachers who help alleviate the shortage? Given this, the purpose of this study is to describe alternatively licensed beginning science teachers’ induction supports and the ways they experience such supports. The data collected in this multi-case study will focus on the induction experiences of 15 first-year alternatively licensed secondary science teachers across the southeast portion of the state. Understandings of (1) the induction supports and experiences provided to participants by their alternative certification program and their school district as well as (2) the meanings participants make of those experiences will emerge in this ongoing research study and will be informative on how to best support this special subset of secondary science teachers.
Principal Author: Andy R.. Cavagnetto, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
The success of the Next Generation Science Standards relies significantly on professional learning. What guides the structure and implementation of professional learning? What variables are critical to helping guide teacher change and how do these variables interact? These are difficult questions because of the complexity of the system. Currently, tension exists in the literature among theoretical frameworks that embrace the complexity and context specific nature of teacher learning and research frameworks seeking to advance understanding of causal relationships (Desimone, 2009). This paper seeks to relieve this tension by arguing for a theoretical position that is well established and grew out of an empiricist tradition; yet captures the complex nature of the system – Darwinian evolution. The paper draws parallels among biological systems and the teacher professional learning system, specifically establishing the presence of variation, environmental pressures, and heredity in teacher learning. Three key advantages to using Darwinian evolution are then discussed, (a) Darwinian evolution bridges the gap among traditional positivist research paradigms and context dependent theoretical positions (e.g., situated cognition and complexity theory), (b) Darwinian evolution has significant yet elegant explanatory power, and (c) Darwinian evolution increases accessibility of teacher education research to policymakers, the general public, and scholars in related fields.
Principal Author: Shenell L.T.. Bolden, Morgan State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Catherine Martin-Dunlop, Morgan State University
The purpose of this exploratory study was to examine key stakeholders’ perceptions of the current Baltimore City Public Schools’ (BCPS) sex education curriculum and to gain insight into how they believe the curriculum could be modified to be more effective. A mixed methods approach using qualitative and quantitative data collection consisting of a survey, focus group interview, and individual interviews was conducted to gather information on stakeholders’ perceptions. The stakeholders included: (1) former students who received their sex education courses in the Baltimore City Public School system (BCPS); (2) teachers in BCPS who were affiliated with the sex education curriculum; (3) health care professionals who screened and/or treated East Baltimore City residents for a sexually transmitted disease (STD) and; (4) one policy maker who was responsible for creating sex education curriculum at the national level. Analysis of the quantitative data from former Baltimore City Public School students revealed a general satisfaction with the current sex education curriculum. However, qualitative data from the same group of stakeholders revealed several changes they thought should be implemented into the program in an effort to improve the current curriculum. Findings from the other groups after qualitative analysis of the interviews suggest three major themes in support of curriculum change: (1) a blended curriculum that integrates both the cognitive and affective learning domains; (2) knowledge of prevention of STD’s and pregnancy; and (3) authentic teaching and learning. Results from this study strongly suggest that the Baltimore City Public School system is apathetic to the sexual health needs of students and, therefore, is inadvertently contributing to the high rate of sexually transmitted diseases among young people.
Keywords: Abstinence, Affective domain, Indoctrination, Behavior Modification, Cognitive domain, Sex education curriculum, Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Principal Author: Jennifer A. Smith, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michael P. Clough, Iowa State University
While the science education community has long recognized nature of science (NOS) as an essential component of science education, many secondary science teachers fail to incorporate the use of available NOS and History and Philosophy of Science (HPS) materials into their classroom teaching. Secondary science teachers often express concerns that NOS instruction will interfere with content instruction and consume already limited instructional time. Additionally, many secondary science teachers do not recognize the importance of NOS instruction and may hold similar NOS misconceptions as their students and the public. Monk and Osborne (1997) proposed that many existing materials do not meet the perceived needs of classroom teachers; extensive case studies or historically oriented curricula may be perceived as too time consuming, while decontextualized NOS activities are thought to detract from science content instruction.
Short stories about the development of fundamental science ideas may provide materials that sufficiently meet the perceived needs of secondary teachers; the stories are contextualized within the science content, are relatively short and take little time, and may be used to explicitly draw students’ and teachers’ attention to relevant and accurate NOS ideas. To determine the practicality of using such materials in secondary instruction, this study investigates how thirteen high school biology and chemistry teachers utilized the stories as classroom instruction and factors influencing their implementation of NOS short stories. Preliminary analysis of data collected from classroom observations, teacher interviews, and surveys of teachers’ NOS understanding indicates teachers’ implementation may be impacted by many factors, including: (1) teachers’ NOS understanding and perceived value in teaching NOS, (2) teachers’ perceptions of students’ reading ability, motivation to read, and interest in the stories (3) teachers’ perceptions of the instructional time needed to implement the materials, and (4) teachers’ typical pedagogy.
Principal Author: Sandra L.. Westmoreland, Texas Woman's UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Scott Miller, Sam Houston University; Jennifer D. Mount, Texas State University
In this presentation the authors will introduce the team-based learning (TBL) model of teaching and learning and will discuss three primary components of TBL: how to form teams, how to assess individual and team readiness, and how to create team application exercises. In this presentation we will demonstrate the TBL model, give several examples of implementation in science courses and a science teaching methods course, and report some of the outcomes from the classes in which TBL was implemented, including grades in TBL versus non-TBL sections of the same course and student comments about TBL participation. The authors of this presentation have successfully implemented team-based learning in college science courses including a conceptual physics, astronomy, introductory biology, and a secondary science teaching methods course. Positive changes have been observed and documented as a result of implementing team-based learning into undergraduate science courses including increased grades, better attendance, increased class participation, higher level of thinking, and increased interest in the course. In addition, skills that students developed by working in teams will help students after they graduate and become members of professional teams in the workplace. This presentation links the practices advocated in The Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council 2012) with a teaching and learning model that can be applied to a variety of settings in the college science and science teaching methods classroom. This work will be interesting to methods instructors, educational researchers, and curriculum developers who are interested in changing the way in which content is delivered in science classrooms from lecture-base, teacher-centered to a team-based, student-centered interactive format.
Principal Author: James Minogue, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Locally (and really nationally) many elementary school teachers suffer from the combined effects a lack of interest and/or efficacy in science (Tosun, 2000), thin core content knowledge (Appleton, 2006), an under appreciation for the power of children’s thinking (Harlen, 2001; Michaels, Shouse, & Schweingruber, 2008); lack of science time in their school, a reasoning thin curriculum (Duschl, 2008), haphazard professional development (Wilson, 2013), lack of time to work together on their instruction (Johnson, 2006), and revolving standards (both national and state). These impediments are real and widespread and they have historically undermined science education reform efforts. The elementary science teaching methods syllabus shared in this proposed session (Methods of Teaching Elementary School Science) is designed and delivered to combat these issues, in an attempt to lessen their deleterious impact on science instruction. This syllabus sharing session details the design, delivery, and impact of a condensed elementary science methoods course. The course uses Banilower, Cohen, Pasley, & Weiss’s (2008) Elements of Effective Science Instruction as its backbone. These elements are: eliciting (and using) prior understanding, intellectual engagement, use of evidence, sense making, and classroom environment and motivation. Key measures of effectiveness include the results of a pre-course-post-course assessment. Items included: Suppose a parent wanted to know about the science instruction at your school. Additionally, participants’ work samples (including concept cartoons they created, original drawings explaining their discrepant events, ideas for an integrated unit plan that leverages cross-cutting concepts, and a science education issue-solution paper. Sample artifacts will be included in the presentation. The session may provoke discussion around what really matters in elementary science education methods courses; a timely discussion given recent attention to the worth of teacher education programs (e.g. NCTQ’s Teacher Prep Review report).
Principal Author: Phillip A. Boda, Columbia University: Teachers CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Samia Rahman, Columbia University: Teachers College
This study promotes the idea that the graduate course required for a master's certification program had an influence on the conceptual understandings of the participant, Maria. These findings support that the curriculum and assignments in this course provided significant and sufficient venues for the participant to engage her own conceptual understandings dealing with culture, education, science, and urbanity while also providing an exemplary exploration process of a science education research method that is prospectus to be influential in the complexities of those conceptual constructs as they might manifest in her theories of teaching and learning, along with the practices she employs to meet those understandings.
The presentation provided for the conference also includes a more collaborated conception of these arenas through the co-generative dialogic process and will shed light on how the dialogic process can be used as a reflective entity for participatory action research toward inducing conceptual change for future science teacher-learners. Attendees will also be previewed to the participant’s experience via an in-person questioning session with the participant of this research study (scheduling permitted) and/or a guided explanation of the audio-recorded session that was conducted with the participant at the time of data collection.
Principal Author: James T.. McDonald, Central Michigan UniversityAbstract:
This new course of study, which involved 17 university students from all over the country, examined issues related to the Sargasso Sea. This program took place at the Sea Education Association (SEA) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. The author was the external evaluator for that project and therefore very familiar with the programs of the SEA since he has been a participant in the Sea Experience program for teachers and spent his sabbatical with a group of students for an entire semester at SEA who undertook a course of study on shore and collected data for a science project similar to this new program.
Students had to collect DNA evidence for science projects on a cruise track from St. Croix to Woods Hole with a port stop in Bermuda for a week. The content part of their experience involved taking five courses in Advanced Topics of Biological Oceanography: Biodiversity, Ocean Science and Public Policy, Nautical Science (operating the oceanographic research vessel), Directed Oceanographic Research, and Advanced Ocean Policy Research.
This session will present research findings based upon evidence collected using a mixed method study that used both qualitative and quantitative methods. The findings show that students adjusted their initial thoughts about how science influences public policy and public policy is communicated using scientific evidence. Data was collected using participant interviews, Likert instruments, content tests, student assignment artifacts, and observation of classes, discussions, and background information from instructors. The implications from the study show how elements of public policy can be introduced into science content classes.
Principal Author: Jeni R. Davis, University of South FloridaAbstract:
This study was designed to understand how an exemplary elementary teacher used classroom assessments to inform instructional decisions during the act of science teaching. The conceptual framework for this study was informed by two constructs: (1) teacher decision-making; and (2) classroom assessments. Within the axioms of a naturalistic inquiry, a “bounded system” (Merriam, 2009) case study was used to conceptualize this inquiry: one elementary teacher and her third grade classroom. Guiding this study were two questions: (1) What are the features of classroom assessments that an elementary science teacher attends to when assessing student performance during science class instruction? and (2) How does an elementary science teacher use student performance to make instructional decisions within the everyday complexities of elementary science instruction? This study found three key features of student performance in response to assessments that impacted instructional decision-making: (1) completion of the task; (2) content; and (3) correctness of the student’s performance. Three categories of instructional decisions emerged: (1) decisions of when to respond to a student’s performance; (2) decisions of how to respond to a student’s performance; and (3) curriculum decisions. Findings from this study have implications for research in teacher decision-making using classroom assessments, as well as practical implications for elementary teaching and elementary teacher education.
Principal Author: Miriam Munck, Eastern Oregon UniversityAbstract:
This study investigates how professional development changes elementary teachers’ ability to recognize and understand engineering in the world around them, and develop the same recognition and understanding of engineering in their students. Eighteen elementary teachers participated in a year-long professional development to learn engineering practices and science content through engineering contexts and problems. The professional development modeled pedagogy, and teachers received materials and curriculum needed to teach the engineering units. Engineering contexts included agricultural engineering, civil/structural engineering, chemical engineering and electrical engineering. Science content focused on engineering applications and science standards was taught through the engineering contexts.
Teachers and their students were assessed for changes in their understanding of the work of engineers.
Principal Author: Peter C. Cormas, Providence CollegeAbstract:
The purpose of this study is to illustrate how constructivist approaches and learning processes may be able to reconcile epistemological issues in an integrated math/science methods course. This was done by allowing students to choose and categorize the appropriate approach to solve a problem which had aspects of both math and science. The research questions were: 1) After deriving a formula for balancing the masses of objects, do preservice teachers categorize the problem as one of math or science?; and 2) What reason do preservice teachers give for the categorization of the problem as one of math or science?
Preservice teachers (N=27) were undergraduate elementary/special education majors. The length of the course was 15 weeks, with the first seven weeks devoted to science education and the second seven to math education. During the 15th week of the course, preservice teachers participated in a levers simulation activity. A screen capture of the simulator was presented which showed a fire extinguisher and a garbage can balanced on a lever. The preservice teachers were asked to create a formula or equation which could predict how these items could be balanced if moved. The problem could be solved by looking at the screen capture or experimenting with the simulator.
Research question 1 was answered by tallying responses, and research question 2 was answered with the constant comparison method. After correctly deriving a formula for balancing the masses of objects, 26 out of 27 preservice teachers categorized the problem as one of math because it was associated with “formulas, equations, and numbers.” However, the problem is a physics problem and, therefore, a science problem. Based on the findings of this sample, epistemological issues were not reconciled; preservice teachers did not correctly categorize the appropriate approach used to solve the problem. An implication of this study may be that integrated courses should be more than one semester long or that other types of integration may be able to reconcile epistemological issues.
Principal Author: Joshua A. Ellis, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Justin McFadden, University of Minnesota; Tasneem Anwar, University of Minnesota; Barbara Billington, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
In this presentation, we explore how the Teacher Induction Network (TIN) online mentoring program addresses the challenges of developing online communities, provides subject-specific professional development and promotes reflection on classroom practices for beginning science teachers. In particular the use of video annotation for reflection on classroom practices will be discussed.
TIN is an on-line mentoring program for beginning secondary science and mathematics teachers. TIN incorporates reflective journals, topical discussion threads and professional development inquiries that provide a space for beginning teachers to continue to develop as teachers and reflective practitioners. Until recently, developers of online mentoring programs have used lesson plans as a proxy for direct observations of classroom practice. However, recent developments in video annotation methods and tools make the use of video for examining and improving reflective practices increasingly viable within online environments. Through the strategic development and use of video annotation tools within TIN, our beginning teachers’ reflections on their classroom teaching are linked directly to evidence through video as documentation. The integration of VideoANT into TIN represents a promising practice for teacher educators that promotes the development of reflective practitioners and provides a free and user-friendly on-line platform for sharing and providing feedback on classroom teaching. These three papers represent our consideration of the use of video annotation for reflection on classroom practices, the transformation of beginning science teachers’ reflective practices, and the creation of a classroom culture of trust within an online environment.
Principal Author: Brian Hartman, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: SueAnn I. Bottoms, Oregon State University
Noticing is a practice that has been studied as a way to help preservice teachers learn to pay attention to what is important and to make connections between practice and theory. Noticing has been described as a way to shift preservice teachers (PST’s) to important aspects of classroom interactions. This work-in-progress situates elementary PST in an afterschool science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) program and uses video as a tool to promote reflection and analysis of their developing practice. Specifically, we look at the role of the lesson analysis framework (LAF) in preservice teacher noticing of the practices of science teaching and learning. Preliminary results show that PSTs using the LAF noticed specific events and tied observations to science practices. PSTs who didn’t use the LAF noticed only general aspects of science practices. This result is important to science teacher preparation because it points to the potential of using video reflections to facilitate the development of PSTs ability to reflect upon and learn from their developing practice as teacher of elementary science.
Principal Author: Lynda L. . Jenkins, Dalton State CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Stacey Britton, University of Mississippi; Deborah Tippins, University of Georgia; Elizabeth Pate, University of Texas
Today’s science teachers face different challenges than those encountered by previous generations. These challenges include increased pressures associated with student achievement on standard test scores, greater teacher accountability,and limited creativity all of which may hinder initiative (Guggino and Brint, 2010). Given these challenges, we explore how the next generation of teachers might be prepared to engage their students to lead our nations’ youth to share some of the responsibility for the stewardship of the community and environment, through sense of place, agency and mindfulness within the context of citizen science. For this roundtable discussion each presenter will introduce their current research as it relates to the primary tenets of citizen science. Discussion will then delve deeper into how citizen science might serve as an organizing framework for science educators in both formal and informal settings. The discussion will center around examples from both pre- and in-service science teacher education with special emphasis on how sense of place, agency and mindfulness relate to the inclusion of citizen science in science teacher education.
Principal Author: Leonard Bloch, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
This presentation describes progress in developing the C-PaCK (“Climate Pedagogical Content Knowledge”), an assessment of Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) focused on climate change and the scientific practices embedded in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Measuring PCK has proven difficult in the past, in part because of PCK's complexity and diverse understandings of the concept. The introduction of NGSS would seem to complicate the problem, but the NGSS’s integration of scientific practices and content is reminiscent of PCK's integration of pedagogical and content knowledge, and offers a new framework for understanding and assessing PCK. The presenter will share the C-PaCK, and science teacher educators are invited to use and modify items for their own classroom assessments. Item analysis, content validity and reliability have been investigated as part of the ongoing refinement process, and educational researchers will have the opportunity to learn about developing assessments that integrate content and science practices to measure PCK.
Principal Author: Walid M. Shihabi, University of Oklahoma and Tulsa Community College/ Assistant ProfessorAbstract:
Co-Authors: Edmund A. Marek, University of Oklahoma
Science education standards suggested that children in early elementary school learn the observable phases of the moon and the apparent celestial motion of the sun, stars, and moon throughout the day. This study explores the cultural congruence of specific national elementary education standards focused on the apparent motion of the sun and moon phases with elementary school age American Muslim students’ antecedent knowledge relevant to their religious practices. Understanding any congruence between national education standards and Muslim cultural knowledge will aid in designing culturally responsive and contextually relevant instruction of science knowledge. This instruction utilizes cultural referents, meaningful to the children, to anchor knowledge and to facilitate conceptual understanding. The study included interviews with sixteen children at the end of their early elementary education i.e. fourth grade, at an Islamic private school in the Midwest. Themes emerged on how observing daily prayers and celebrating holy months had impacted their conceptions of the apparent patterns of the sun motion and moon phases prescribed by the science education standards. The themes are as follow (a) Prayer times and sun apparent motion (b) The change in prayer times and the gradual shift in the sun path throughout the year (c) Observing lunar holy months and phases of the moon. The results of the study revealed that cultural practices have constructed pre-conceptions that the students bring to the school and thus have direct effect on their understanding to the pertinent national standards. These pre-conceptions, positive as well as negative, were discussed within the context of cultural influence on antecedent knowledge in the science classroom.
Principal Author: Steven Fletcher, St. Edward's UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: John Tillotson, Syracuse University
Recent budget woes, including the recent federal sequestration that cut 5% of NSF funding across the board have left many researchers on dry land after funding sources have dried up. At the same time, science educators who work at small universities often feel isolated at their institutions and do not always have the support, network, or guidance to write and partner on research related to science teacher development. In conversation about these opportunities, we propose to form an ASTE working group to investigate ways in which researchers from different sized or focused institutions can collaborate together. The initial goals of this work group include an investigation into how best leverage the resources and strengths of different sized and positioned science education programs to collaborate on research into science teaching. General questions will be grouped into four main categories:
1. What are factors to consider when thinking about forming a research partnership
2. What are common funding issues when working with partnering institutions?
3. What are some common strategies for successful cross-institution research collaboratives?
4. What are avenues for finding others interested in the same types of questions or themes?
The goal of this session is to open avenues for other potential research groups to begin to work together on issues of common interest. It is designed for those seeking research partners from different institutions who are interested in funding and science teacher research opportunities.
Principal Author: Kathleen J. Roth, BSCSAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jody Bintz, BSCS; Connie Hvidsten, BSCS
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education calls for turning teacher preparation “upside down” so that preservice teachers’ learning is embedded in practice from the very beginning. Instead of taking courses that are later loosely connected to field experiences, preservice teachers should encounter a “demanding” and integrated curriculum that intertwines practitioner knowledge and academic knowledge from the onset.
What might a “demanding and integrated,” practice-based program look like, and what is the value of such an approach? In this session, we will focus on how the two-year program for beginning elementary teachers, Videocases for Science Teaching Analysis Plus (ViSTA Plus), is addressing these questions, with a particular focus on the question: How might such a practice-based approach transform the typical science methods course?
Participants will interact with the online ViSTA Plus methods course package, which is part of a quasi-experimental study of teacher and student learning from the full ViSTA Plus program (methods course, student teaching, first year of teaching). Instead of being organized around a set of topics typically addressed in methods courses, the ViSTA Plus methods course is organized around videocases in two content areas that provide rich contexts for deepening preservice teachers’ content knowledge as well as their pedagogical content knowledge about how to reveal, support, and challenge student thinking (the Student Thinking Lens) and how to create coherent science content storylines (the Science Content Storyline Lens). The curriculum focuses on in-depth exploration of a few high-leverage teaching practices and does not cover everything typically included in a methods course. The driving question guiding the design of the course and the research study in which it is embedded is: How can we help preservice teachers become “well started beginners” who can demonstrate strong student learning gains right away -- during the student teaching experience and their first year of teaching?
Principal Author: Angela Chapman, University of Texas - Pan AmericanAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Fayez Alshhri, University of South Florida; Dilek Ozalp, University of South Florida; Vanessa Vernaza-Hernandez, University of South Florida
Engaging marginalized student in authentic science experiences is way to narrow the science achievement gap. While there is a large body of evidence showing the merit of authentic science experiences for students, there is little information about whether the student’s viewed their experience as one of authentic science. We sought to determine whether the students participating in the project perceived the experience as one of authentic science. In addition, we sought to understand how this experience affected their learning of science practices and whether the authenticity from the student perspective and their learning of science practices are interconnected.
Data were collected through the use of survey instruments, student journals, interviews, and oral presentations. Data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics as well as the coding of qualitative data. Qualitative data from student interviews support the findings that students believed the experience to be one of authentic science, that they were recognized by professionals as a scientist, and that their research was useful to the research group. In addition, student perceptions about specific research skills were assessed at the beginning and end of the project. Wilcoxon signed rank analysis show a statistically significant increase in students’ perceptions about their abilities to perform research. The data also suggest that the authenticity of the experience was connected to students learning of science practices.
Overall we found the authenticity of the experience influences students learning of science practices. In addition, because all students participating in this study are considered marginalized to some degree with regard to their science education, we offer evidence that marginalized students can benefit from participation in an authentic science experience, and may help to narrow the science achievement gap.
Principal Author: Sharon Dotger, Syracuse UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mary Bearkland, Syracuse University; Patrick Dawes, Syracuse University; Grace Orado, Syracuse University
This study describes how lesson study was used by science teacher educators to investigate the knowledge and practices needed in science teacher education. The presentation will describe our lesson study process, the importance of the public research lesson, our learning about student thinking and the knowledge base for teacher education. The research lesson was designed for preservice elementary teachers in a collegiate physical science course. The research lesson sought to deepen their understanding of electromagnetic induction using scientific argumentation. During the presentation, we will distribute the plan to guide learning and discuss the significance of lesson introductions and post-lesson discussions for public research lesson participants. We will discuss the implications of open research lessons for building a knowledge base for science teacher education and for improving relationships in school/university partnerships.
Principal Author: Scott Townsend, Eastern Kentucky UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Austin M. Hitt, Coastal Carolina University; Jennifer C. Perkins, Eastern Kentucky University
This paper presentation addresses two challenges faced by science teacher educators: (1) the need to improve elementary and middle level teachers’ understandings of the differences and similarities of science and engineering so they can enhance their students’ understanding of these disciplines and (2) the growing need for science educators to provide high quality, accessible and convenient professional development to teachers online. In order to address these challenges the authors created an online course focusing on improving elementary and middle level teachers’ understandings of the engineering practices and the differences and similarities between science and engineering.
The authors created a six-week long, 100% online master’s level professional development course focusing on engineering education. The course content was framed using the eight engineering practices identified in the framework for the Next Generation Science Standards. In addition, the authors based activities and modules on the Engineering Design Process Model, developed by the Museum of Science, Boston. The technological design of the course was based on the guidelines established by the Quality Matters Program, a collaborative, international organization that seeks to ensure the quality of online and hybrid courses through guidelines and rubrics for such course aspects as learning objectives and outcomes, assessment, instructional materials, learner interaction and engagement, course technology, learner support and accessibility. After the initial course design was completed by the authors it was submitted to Quality Matters program reviewers. Based on the feedback from the reviewers adjustments were made and the course was then made available to the students.
The authors will share the following information with session attendees: (1) an overview of the course topics, (2) development of course materials and modules, (3) quality control parameters used for developing the online course, (4) design issues, pro and con, related to the online format and (5) data on the impact of the c
Principal Author: Susan E. Gran, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
The most recent science reform document, A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council [NRC], 2012) promotes teaching science by having students do science, beginning in kindergarten. The Framework states that the goal of the framework "is to ensure that by the end of 12th grade, all students have some appreciation of the beauty and wonder of science; possess sufficient knowledge of science and engineering to engage in public discussions on related issues; are careful consumers of scientific and technological information related to their everyday lives; are able to continue to learn about science outside school; and have the skills to enter careers of their choice, including (but not limited to) careers in science, engineering, and technology." (p.1) Furthermore, classroom science experiences should mirror scientific practice, and thus allow students to construct deeper understanding of science content, foster development of scientific practices, and learn to ask researchable questions (NRC, 2007, 2008, 2012; Roseman & Koppal, 2008; Rutherford, 2005; Wheeler, 2007). To achieve this goal, teachers need to understand the practices of science themselves (NRC, 2012), and recognize that “...teaching content alone is not likely to lead to proficiency in science, nor is engaging in inquiry experiences devoid of meaningful science content” (NRC, 2007, p. 38). In other words, to implement reform-based science successfully, teachers have to value science, understand what it means to learn science in this manner, and know the role they play in how to “promote and support learning” (p. 101). The primary purpose of this study was to identify and analyze inservice elementary teachers’ conceptions of and methods for science teaching. The secondary purpose of this study was to determine what role teachers report professional development plays in helping them construct understanding about science teaching practices. Finally, this study sought to determine what differences exist, if any, between groups of teachers with access to different resources.
Principal Author: Diane W.. Johnson, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Margaret Blanchard, North Carolina State University
Few African American high school students enroll in advanced science courses that could potentially lead to enrollment in college level science courses and the pursuit of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers. Current research findings suggest the level of courses taken during high school can be influential on the students’ preparation for and/or decision to pursue a college education and major, and that interest is a major factor in the selection of college majors. High school course enrollment decisions are often influenced by students’ interest, self-efficacy, how the courses are taught, learning influences, and familial and peer influences. This study involved 62 inner city high school students in the southeastern US. The students participated in surveys and interviews. Research questions guiding this study are: Are there differences in science self-efficacy between African American students in general science courses versus advanced science courses? Are there gender differences in interests of African American students in general versus advanced science courses? Are there different contextual influences between the students in general versus the advanced science courses? The student’s survey results were analyzed quantitatively and interview responses were analyzed for patterns and themes. Study findings indicate few differences in students’ self-efficacy, motivation, and interest. Interview data indicated that the students were greatly influenced by their parents, engagement in class activities, teachers, and career considerations, regardless of the level of the course, but that engagement in school activities was much higher for students in advanced courses. Findings imply that interview methods may be a more fruitful method to understand the reasons for the course choices of African American students.
Principal Author: Katherine Short-Meyerson, University of Wisconsin OshkoshAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susannah Sandrin, Arizona State University; Christopher Edwards, University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh
This presentation will be on our research on the influence of ethnicity (Hispanic, non-Hispanic), child gender, and parent gender on the science interests and attitudes of elementary school-age children and their parents. This is part of a large 3-year research project, funded by an NSF GSE Collaborative Research Grant, which also investigates parent-child interactions while solving hands-on science problems. Gender differences in science interest show up by middle school (Farenga & Joyce, 1999; Jones, Howe & Rua, 2000; Britner & Pajares, 2006) but few studies have examined these differences with elementary students. Our goal is to understand parental influence on elementary students’ science attitudes, while examining potential gender bias and differences in cultural context.
Study participants will be approximately 150 fourth grade boys and girls, as well as their mothers and fathers, from Phoenix, AZ. Mixed methods (quantitative and qualitative approaches) are used. Each parent-child dyad participates in four activities:
(1) The child and parent each complete a science pre-assessment (multiple choice life science and physical science problems from the TIMSS and NAEP).
(2) The child and parent complete a set of hands-on science activities together.
(3) A brief child interview designed to tap interests and attitudes about science.
(4) A parental questionnaire designed to tap the parent’s involvement and role in their child’s interest in science, potential gender-stereotyped views of STEM fields, and demographic information.
We will present our quantitative findings from the science pre-assessment, as well as selected items from the child interview and parental questionnaire. Our aim is to inform educators about gender biases which girls and boys may have for different disciplines of science, how these biases may differ among different ethnic populations, and how parents may influence their children’s attitudes. This will assist teachers in working with students and their families to promote all students’ science interests and attitudes.
Principal Author: Nicole D. Cook, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gabriela C. . Weaver, Purdue University
Research Goes to School (RGS) is an NSF-funded program that seeks to help high school STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) teachers enhance their pedagogical and content knowledge by offering a summer workshop where teachers concurrently learn about problem-based learning (PBL) and cutting edge research on renewable energy. At the workshop, teachers develop curricular units that utilize renewable research concepts as a context for teaching STEM content. As part of the program evaluation an observation study was conducted to investigate how teachers implemented their PBL units with a focus on teachers’ roles, students’ roles, and resource use.
A preliminary analysis of data sources from the first cohort of RGS participants offered mixed results regarding how teachers implemented their PBL units. Specifically, teachers were able to engage students in multi-day investigations and to facilitate student learning and critical thinking through questioning. However they were less able to implement the units in ways that permitted substantive student choice, promoted student reflection, and utilized multiple measures to assess student learning. Additionally, while the teachers were able to incorporate technology as a tool for enhancing student learning, they encountered challenges when it came to letting students interact meaningfully with outside experts. This presentation will share findings from a study of the second cohort of RGS participants and discuss their implications for professional development.
Principal Author: James M. Nyachwaya, North Dakota State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota
This study sought to uncover college students’ conceptual understanding of the particulate nature of matter (PNM) using an open ended drawing tool. Students were asked to first balance three equations of chemical reactions, and then draw particulate representations of those reactions. Our data showed a big gap between students’ ability to balance the three equations (symbolic level understanding) and drawing appropriate particulate representations of the reactions (particulate level understanding). As part of the study, interviews were conducted in order to find out if students understood chemistry concepts underlying the equations of reactions used in the study. Our findings indicate that our participants (students) relied on memorized algorithms and processes while responding to interview questions. We report interview data that shows the specific algorithms and memorized processes that were apparent from the students’ responses to questions during the interviews.
Principal Author: Stephanie B.. Philipp, University of LouisvilleAbstract:
Co-Authors: Thomas R.. Tretter, University of Louisville; Christine V.. Rich, University of Louisville
This presentation shared the results from a study of the student science identity of entry-level undergraduate students in a program implemented to increase student retention in STEM majors. The program used trained and supported undergraduate teaching assistants (UTAs) in recitation sections of the first semester of a large general chemistry course required for STEM majors. With the theoretical foundation of Lave and Wenger’s (1991) Community of Practice and Wheeler, Martin and Suls’ (1997) Proxy Model of Social Comparison, research questions asked how the science identity of students in the UTA recitations compared with those in traditional graduate teaching assistant-led recitation sections and if science identity related to persistence of students to enroll in the next semester of general chemistry. A detailed description of the program implemented and the analysis of data from program participants was given. Results from the study showed that students in UTA-led recitation sections ranked their TAs higher in teaching quality and rapport-building skills than did students in comparison graduate teaching assistant-led recitation sections. Additionally, students in UTA-led recitation sections more strongly agreed with being recognized as science persons and were more likely to enroll in the next semester of general chemistry.
Principal Author: Julie C.. Brown, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kent J.. Crippen, University of Florida
As one of the most influential factors on student learning, teachers are the linchpin for substantial K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education reform. Yet, secondary STEM education teachers often enter the field knowing their subject but not always how to engage students or support their learning. Culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) is one potential solution to improving the STEM performance of underachieving students by “using the[ir] cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles” (Gay, 2010, p.31) to make learning opportunities more equitable and effective. Despite rhetoric advocating for diversity in the STEM workforce, the STEM education field employs limited initiatives explicitly dedicated to incorporating CRP strategies to reach underrepresented students. We present the results of a multiple case study with secondary science and mathematics preservice teachers (PSTs) who were majoring in STEM and enrolled in a course toward their undergraduate minor in education when they completed the Growing Awareness Inventory (GAIn), a structured observation protocol designed to support the use of CRP in their field experiences. Specifically, we share findings about the degree to which the GAIn scaffolded PSTs’ awareness of culturally responsive science and mathematics instruction as well as what influence the GAIn had on their lesson planning. Data illustrated that the GAIn scaffolded both mathematics and science PSTs’ awareness of their students, their own attitudes, and CRP. However, while science and mathematics PSTs did identify resources for CRP when completing the GAIn, these inconsistently translated to their lesson plans. Furthermore, science and mathematics case participants frequently designed lessons with instructional strategies that can be leveraged to CRP (e.g., developing academic vocabularies, eliciting evidence-based claims, student grouping). We share implications for preparing culturally responsive STEM teachers and redesign of the GAIn, thereby building capacity for equitable STEM.
Principal Author: Janice Koch, Hofstra UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yael Wyner, City College of New York/City University of New York
In the activity of daily life, it is easy to miss our dependency on the Earth’s ecology. At the same time that people are living apparently separate from the environment, our impact on the Earth is increasing. This study seeks to understand how teachers bridge this persistent disconnect of daily life from ecology and human impact. Specifically, this study addresses teachers use of a conceptual model for teaching ecology and human impact units that links daily life, human impact and ecological function. Thirty-six ninth grade biology teachers implemented curriculum that was grounded in an explicit conceptual model for teaching the relationship between ecological function, human impact, and daily life. Pre and post implementation, teachers completed questionnaires about their lesson plans for teaching ecology and human impact topics. Content analysis and chi square tests were conducted on questionnaire responses. Findings show that teachers have a greater difficulty integrating daily life and human impact into ecological topics than they do in integrating daily life and ecology into human impact topics. This study also documented the difficulty of applying a conceptual model that overtly connects daily life and human impact to ecological function. Despite this, the implementation of curriculum grounded in an explicit conceptual model for linking daily life, human environmental impact and ecology helped teachers articulate those connections.
Principal Author: Anita Roychoudhury, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nicole Goodwine, Jefferson High School; Andrew Hirsch, Purdue University; Daniel Shepardson, Purdue University
This study showed that in stead of a professional development approach collaboration with classroom teachers such as Author 2 can resulted in modification of existing curricular materials to meet conceptual challenges inherent in teaching a complex concept – greenhouse effect (GHE). Teacher-collaborator’s approach allowed conceptualization of GHE as a loop of absorption, emission, reflection, and re-absorption of infra-red radiation as a part of the Earth’s energy budget. We noted several fundamental facets of scientific practice described in the Framework in Author 2’s work. A core practice of science - attention to model construction through analysis of evidence - was uppermost in her planning and reflections on teaching. In developing the activities, we noted two crucial areas where teachers’ knowledge is useful. One is chunking the complexity of GHE so that students could attend to one or two aspects at a time. Two is a sense of the guidance that needs to be provided to middle school students in learning complex concepts. Students need guidance that is calibrated in terms of what they can do on their own, where they need support, and the kind of support that would be effective.
Principal Author: Yael Wyner, City College of New York/City University of New YorkAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer Doherty, Michigan State; Janice Koch, Hofstra University
The separation of most Americans from natural settings contributes to our nation’s growing estrangement from nature and biodiversity. To immerse people in local plant diversity, educators have turned to mobile handheld devices to make plant identification and recognition simpler and more interactive. Here, in this NSF funded project, we use the Leafsnap app to engage urban middle-school students with the street tree diversity that is just outside their school. In this study we ask, “In what ways can a curricular program that uses the Leafsnap app, improve student learning and appreciation of local biodiversity and the patterns of evolution?” To study this question, we developed curriculum and survey and assessment questions and tested them in the science classrooms of three teachers in a large urban school district in the U.S. The curriculum is designed to help students: 1. Notice local plant diversity 2. Identify local plants 3. Recognize that organisms are a reflection of their evolutionary history (common ancestry). A pre-post test design and interview protocol was utilized. Exploratory interviews were conducted before and after completing the curriculum and additional interviews were conducted using a retrospective interview protocol. The study is ongoing and will expand to include students from the classrooms of 12 teachers. Preliminary findings are that students mostly tend to notice size and shape differences amongst trees, rather than tree characteristics like leaf or fruit or flower structures. Furthermore, students find using these tree characteristics to identify and group trees difficult. However, when asked directly about the characteristics they would use to identify trees, students were more likely after using the curriculum and the Leafsnap app to identify appropriate characteristics for identifying trees. The most surprising finding is that even though students were unfamiliar with the concept of common ancestry prior to using the curriculum, most students were able to understand this concept after using the curriculum.
Principal Author: Amy Moreland, UT Austin - UTeach InstituteAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mary Hobbs, UT Austin - Center for STEM Education
While the primary research objective of this overall research study was the collection of data on what four year olds know and can do in science, this paper addresses the secondary objective of identifying professional development practices that best supported and empowered the teaching of complex STEM concepts to young learners. We used the construct of professional empowerment as the theoretical frame to explore 24 pre-kindergarten teachers’ professional growth over time to investigate the following question: How did the teacher-researchers change in terms of professional empowerment over the course of the three-year project? To explore the research question, 24 teachers completed a 31-question, mixed-modal Teacher Empowerment Survey. To serve as a pre-post qualitative ‘snapshot’ of these teachers’ professional growth, each teacher completed the survey at Year One and at Year Three. For the scope of this paper, we focus our analysis on eight items that specifically correlate to each of the six dimensions of empowerment. The empowerment qualities that these teacher-researchers considered most critical to their own professional narrative involved the professional growth dimension. The preliminary results indicate that certain aspects of teacher empowerment, through long-term professional development, are integral to its success. The selection of this problem supports the notion that understanding the professional empowerment pathways that early childhood teachers have experienced along their career journey – as explicitly explored over 3 years of intensive science professional development – could speak to ASTE science teacher educators and researchers in design, development, and implementation of quality science teacher education, at especially the early childhood education levels. This paper will be of interest to ASTE members who wish to discuss professional development and empowerment of teachers, in-service teacher education programs, and issues related to in-service teacher education reform.
Principal Author: Michael Kamen, Southwestern UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Stephen Marble, Southwestern University
If a single word had to be chosen to describe the goals of science educators during the 30 year period that begun in the late 1950’s, it would have to be inquiry. – DeBoer
Twenty years on, DeBoer’s contention still rings true. Yet Dreon & McDonald (2012) claim that “the current status of inquiry use in the USA does not appear to have changed much (298).” Science educators are not alone in advocating for incorporating Inquiry Pedagogy into classrooms to promote learning. Levstik & Barton (1997) advocate strongly for Historical Inquiry in teaching Social studies while Foster & Padgett (1999) claim that historical inquiry “…equips student with the tools to examine the human experience, to make sense of competing perspectives, to evaluate arguments based on available evidence, and to reach informed decisions. (358). “
Thus, science teacher educators share a goal and a problem with social studies educators: Both support inquiry approaches to teaching as these help students construct content knowledge, develop process skills and engage with critical decision making. Teacher educators in both fields strive to find ways for their students to enter the teaching profession with strong pedagogical inquiry skills. However, developing strong pedagogical inquiry skills requires pre-service teachers observe and practice those skills in schools that have thoughtfully implemented inquiry models, and it is difficult to locate such placements.
This work pulls together a number of research areas to build an innovative multidimensional approach to inquiry pedagogy. It combines a positive school culture, actual teaching experiences, co-teaching , an interdisciplinary approach (science and social studies), and a well-developed reflective professional development model (lesson study). The detailed analysis of preservice teachers’ growth through interaction with specific tasks in a carefully chosen placement reveals critical supports and roadblocks for learning to teach using inquiry approaches
Principal Author: Melissa A. Jurkiewicz, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan Nixon, University of Georgia; Rene Toerien, University of Cape Town; Ann R. Brennan, University of Georgia
Recently, assessment has been a focus of educational research. The National Research Council has labeled formative assessment as a high priority in science education. Although formative assessment has been shown to improve student achievement, it is not commonly implemented in science classrooms. Since experienced teachers struggle to implement formative assessment, it is only logical to conclude that beginning teachers lack the support necessary to implement formative assessment as well. Furthermore, beginning science teachers make up a large portion of the science teacher workforce. Thus, the purpose of this study is to better understand beginning science teachers’ ideas about formative assessment and viable formative assessment practices.
In this qualitative study, we conducted semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and collected lesson artifacts. Our participants included eight beginning secondary science teachers in their preservice, first, second, or third year of teaching. We identified the strategies the beginning science teachers used while implementing formative assessments. Also, we identified three themes while exploring their views on formative assessment: the purposes of formative assessment, the relationship between formative assessment and instruction, and their views on prior knowledge. This study has several implications for science teacher preparation programs.
Principal Author: Trina L. Spencer, Virginia State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Leslie Y. Whiteman, Virginia State University
The purpose of this paper session is to examine the collaborative efforts and initiatives between science content and education faculty members to improve to science teaching for elementary preservice teachers. This relationship developed to address the challenge of a lack of interest and motivation of preservice teachers to teach science.
This topic is connected to the researchers’ NSF funded project on what individual and institutional factors are needed for elementary preservice teachers to become successful science teachers. This project seeks to examine the essential program components that lead to the preparation of highly qualified elementary education preservice teachers with the interest, motivation and confidence to teach science, based on the Engagement, Capacity and Continuity (ECC) Theory. This research represents a joint venture of the School of Engineering, Science, and Technology and the College of Education at Virginia State University (VSU). This research is currently being funded by the National Science Foundation Broadening Participation Grant (2012-2015).
This presentation describes a modification of the science methods course to integrate theory and best instructional practices in the areas of reading, science, and pedagogy by developing coordinated projects across methods courses in elementary education. The rationale is for this modification is that using an area of strength, such as language arts, provides a level of comfort to preservice teachers when undertaking a perceived more difficult subject, such as science. The conference attendees will learn the specific assignments, instructional strategies, assessments, and other activities that were used in this collaboration.
Principal Author: Lori M. Ihrig, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jesse Wilcox, Iowa State University; Joanne K. Olson, Iowa State University; Michael P. Cough, Iowa State University
Effective teaching is immensely difficult, but the more effective the teacher, the more effortless it appears to an observer. Labaree (2004) suggests the perceived ease of teaching stems from the significant number of hours spent observing and closely interacting with teachers—an “apprenticeship of observation” (Lortie, 1975, p. 61). Arguably teacher socialization begins prior to enrollment in a teacher education program (TEP). Moreover, socialization during novice teachers’ first years of teaching can lead to increased teacher retention. However, instead of being socialized into the norms of traditional science instruction through apprentices of observation, or experiences during their first years of teaching, teachers can be socialized into the norms of reform-based science teaching practices promoted by their teacher education program (i.e., viewing teaching an learning in a manner consistent with Project 2021 [AAAS, 1989 & 1993], the National Science Education Standards [NRC, 1996], and contemporary education research [Clough et al., 2009]). For graduates of a reform-based TEP who deeply understand reform-based science teaching, socialization into the profession may present significant challenges when their school norms are incongruent with their TEP. Moreover, no literature describes the role of superordinates (e.g., principals, mentors, veteran colleagues) in the socialization of novice reform-based science teachers. As Grossman, Wineburg, & Woolworth (2001) describe “We have little sense of how teachers form the bonds of community…work through the inevitable conflicts of social relationships…” (p. 943). This 2-year study investigates the role of superordinates in the socialization of a cohort of novice science teachers working implement reform-based science.
Principal Author: Helen Meyer, University of CincinnatiAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lindsay Owens, University of Cincinnati; Lori Cargile, University of Cincinnati; Kathy Koenig, University of Cincinnati
This presentation shares baseline results of secondary science teachers’ conceptions of engineering, teaching engineering and learning engineering within the context of science classrooms. The qualitative study uses a modified version of Hewson and Hewson (1988) Conception of Teaching Science interview protocol to explore in-service teachers’ conceptions of what it means to teach and learn engineering. The Hewson and Hewson protocol uses scenarios of teaching science, these scenarios were modified to focus on multiple aspects of what engineering education potentially includes. The research participants were in-service science teachers who are voluntarily participating in a two year professional development to integrate engineering activities and practices into secondary science instruction. These Conception of Teaching Engineering (CTE) interviews took place during the first six weeks of the first year of the program while the in-service teachers were in engineering courses and working on lessons to integrate engineering into their teaching. The interviews were coded with a focus with on engineering and teaching and learning. The engineering codes included: engineering design aspects, engineering as a career or profession, what engineers do, role of mathematics and science in engineering. The teaching and learning codes included: role of teacher, role of students, role of content, teaching is/requires, learning is/requires and products of teaching. The findings of the analysis are reported in themes that delineate what teachers consider to be engineering, what does and does not count as teaching engineering in classes, and what is required for students to learn engineering.
Principal Author: Matthew Liebelt, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Dilek Ozalp, University of South Florida; Fayez Alshehri, University of South Florida; Vanessa Vernaza-Hernandez, University of South Florida; Angela Chapman, University of Texas Pan American
The Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) specify a set of science practices for all children to learn by the end of 12th grade. In this study we examined an NSF-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates program to uncover which of the NGSS practices the undergraduates report learning, and which are evident in their participation in research groups. We also sought to understand the dissonances between what the undergraduates reported learning and what the students actually did in the research groups. Data were collected through the use of survey instruments, observations of the research groups and student presentations, and document review. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and the coding of qualitative data. We found that the students’ self-reports as well as reports by their faculty and graduate student mentors indicate that they did learn how to engage to some extent in the NGSS practices. Our observations suggest that what they learned was limited, for the most part, to the carrying out the technical aspects of scientific research including making measurements, doing numerical data analysis, and reporting on their results. However, there was little evidence of the ability to ask research questions, to argue from evidence, or to understand the use of models in science. The implication of this is that current science majors do not have the knowledge and skills needed to engage in the science practices as described in the NGSS for high school seniors, and that they are not likely to reach that level even after a 10-week immersion in an active research group. We believe that if this is generally true, then it has consequences for the ability of current science teachers to help their students achieve the NGSS’s lofty goals.
Principal Author: Catherine M. Koehler, Southern Connecticut State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ian C.. Binns, University of North Carolina-Charlotte; Mark Bloom, Dallas Baptist University
The purpose of this study is to develop a strategy to foster change in students’ conceptions of the scientist using mainstream films commonly viewed in secondary science classrooms. It is part of a larger project that investigates how mainstream films portray nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI). The participants in this study were students seeking a teaching licensure in music education. They were chosen because they closely resembled secondary school students as their only exposure to a science curriculum was in high school. Their undergraduate science requirement in this music program required only one science course (mandated by the state certification board). The instructor (one of the researchers) designed this science course to explicitly target content/concepts in science (NOS, astronomy, meteorology, nutrition) that would help develop students’ scientific literacy. Mainstream films (Contact, Twister, SuperSize Me) were used to begin the discussion about science content and were also used as a means to elicit a change in students’ conceptions of a scientist. Class discussion used an explicit/reflective instructional pedagogy throughout the course. Using the methodology developed by Mason et al. (1991) to analyze the DAST in a pre-post design, the results suggests that the use of films can change students’ perceptions of a scientist. The mean pre-course DAST [5.64 out of 11; SD=2.13] indicates that the students’ perceived the classic scientist caricature as noted in the literature. A t-test [t(13)=4.64] after the intervention revealed, (e.g. film presentation and explicit/reflective discussion), the students’ demonstrated a change (p < .001) in their post-DAST scores (M=2.29, SD=1.94). The results suggest that the intervention of films successfully improved students’ perceptions about the scientist. This study provides more evidence that supports the use of mainstream films along with explicit/reflective instruction to improve students’ understandings of NOS, SI, and the characteristics of a scientist.
Principal Author: Rose M.. Pringle, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer Mesa, University of Florida; Leela Kumaran, University of Florida
Educational partnerships between universities and public schools are not new (Astroth, 1991; Zhang, McInerney & Frechtling, 2010) but there is renewed interest in developing partnerships as strategic alliances toward the achievement of the shared goal of improving science teaching and learning. This was the intent of our funded NSF-MSP project - to improve middle school (grades 6-8) science teaching practices and student achievement. Accordingly, we forged a partnership between ten largely rural, underachieving school districts in a southern state; and the local research-intensive university including science disciplinary professors from the College of Liberal Arts and science educators from the College of Education, Center for Pre-collegiate Education and Training, and the K-12 lab school associated with the College of Education.
The partnership aimed to achieve the shared goal by preparing science teacher leaders (STLs) knowledgeable in both science content and reformed pedagogical practices who would then lead their peers in professional development under the oversight of project and district personnel in the implementation of a research-based science curriculum. Nearly two years since the inception of the partnership, STLs nearing the completion of their formal preparation are ready to assume their roles. However, of the eleven school districts in the program, only six initiated partial expansion activities and five did not make any efforts toward expansion. In this research, we examine the districts’ translation of their commitments into action as we answer the following question: What factors impact the fulfillment of school districts’ commitments to a MSP partnership?
This qualitative study was informed by grounded theories adopting the method of constant comparison. Analysis of a range of data sources revealed that while district partners embraced the vision of the project, and recognized that the partnerships would help them achieve their goals of transformative science teaching, a number of factors limited their expansion.
Principal Author: Daniel M.. Alston, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson University
Educational reform and improving teachers’ classroom practices has been a longstanding concern. Since the late 1950’s, science and mathematics education in the United States has seen many educational reform movements have less than intended effects on teacher practice. The goal of these reform movements was to increase student achievement. While teacher practice is not the sole determinant of student performance, it is considered to be one of the most important factors. With this clear line connecting student performance and teacher practice, it is evident that part of the reason that these reform movements are not as successful as they would wish to be is due to their struggle to consistently change the way teachers teach. During these years of reform, inquiry has been a theme found throughout many of these movements as a teaching method which holds the possibility to increase student achievement. While inquiry instruction is seen as a solution to student achievement in the eyes of reformers, this belief is not always shared by educators. Teacher beliefs about a certain practice can be one of the reasons why teachers choose to or choose not to use it in their instruction. With the connection between teacher beliefs and their practices, it is of interest to investigate different methods which can affect teacher beliefs. It is often claimed that professional development programs should focus on changing teachers’ beliefs in order to enable teachers to reform their instruction. This study examines whether and how middle school mathematics and science teachers changed their beliefs toward inquiry-based instruction after one-year of a professional development program. Regarding the statistical preliminary findings from the belief survey, it was evident that both mathematics and science teachers’ beliefs about the use of inquiry during instruction increased, albeit for different factors. Regarding the preliminary qualitative findings, it was also seen by looking at teachers’ definitions and descriptions of inquiry that teachers’ beliefs about inquiry changed.
Principal Author: Meredith L.. McAllister, Butler UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Li-Ling Yang, Roger Williams University; Catherine Pangan, Butler University; Orvil White
Preservice teachers often lack confidence in the teaching of science and social studies. One way to increase their confidence is to expose preservice teachers to models of successful teaching using content integration and/or a given context to learning, namely science and social studies. The science and society issues surrounding the study of plant growth, as well as food and hunger can provide needed context to the learning of science and social studies concepts. Particularly given the recent attention to such phenomena as the ‘slow food’ movement. The learning of key concepts such as locally grown food, the science of growing plants, global community, citizenship, local and world hunger, carbon footprint, childhood nutrition/obesity, and the social justice concerns surrounding these concepts can provide for powerful learning experiences between/among teachers and their students. This poster presentation details a project involving K-8 preservice teachers in an undergraduate combined science and social studies methods course in a collaborative effort to teach and learn about growing food, food distribution, and local/world hunger. In the process, important learning related to science and social studies was achieved, including professional development regarding curriculum analysis. Experiential and service learning components within the project are described with the overall goal of helping preservice teachers understand the choices they make when choosing a commercial curriculum and/or designing their own. Our findings indicate that these students held on to their initial beliefs about the purpose of curricula even after being exposed to Project 2061’s guide to curriculum analysis criteria within classroom activities. This study can inform other elementary science/social studies methods instructors of the importance of helping pre-service teachers expand/broaden how they view and chose to use curriculum materials.
Principal Author: Kayla K. Brauer, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid W. Kruse, Drake University
The nature of technology (NOT) has gained importance in technology education. An entire section (four chapters) of the International Handbook on Technology Education is dedicated to the NOT. Despite this recognition, the extent to which the NOT is included in K-12 education, post-secondary education, and preservice teacher education is unknown. Because much of the current NOT work is being done by scholars in science education (e.g. Waight & Abd-El-Khalick, 2012; Kruse & Wilcox, 2013; DiGironimo, 2011; Olson & Clough, 2001), the ways in which educational technologists think about the NOT is unclear. To shed light on the ways and the extent preservice teachers are engaged with the NOT, this study investigated the NOT within preservice educational technology textbooks. From this analysis, recommendations are made for both educational technology instructors as well as science educators for inclusion of the NOT within their courses.
Once the texts were analyzed regarding each NOT construct identified for this study, the NOT analysis was used to situate each text in Freenberg’s (2009) framework for philosophical positionality toward technology. In this framework, Freenberg (2009) uses beliefs about the autonomous NOT and the value-laden NOT to identify four positionalities: determinist, instrumentalist, substantive, and critical.
Generally, the Educational Technology textbooks did not explicitly discuss aspects of the NOT. When using language related to the NOT, the books overwhelmingly adopted an instrumentalist stance toward technology with some books even demonstrating determinist viewpoints. The books, in general, lacked critical perspectives that would provide more well-rounded technology education and aid future teachers in making more informed decisions regarding technology. The final paper will provide more detail regarding each textbook, its status regarding each NOT idea noted above, and its positionality with respect to Freenberg’s (2009) framework.
Principal Author: Karen E.. Irving, Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christopher Callam, Ohio State University; Lin Ding, Ohio State University; Kathleen Harper, Ohio State University; Andrew Heckler, Ohio State University; Lawrence Krissek, Ohio State University; Bruce Patton, Ohio State University; Judy Ridgway, Ohio State University
Many critics of science teacher preparation have noted the minimal of involvement of faculty in the Arts and Sciences and Engineering in the pedagogical preparation of new teachers. This pilot project demonstrates a template for a graduate science methods class that includes science content experts (five), engineering experts (one) and science pedagogy experts (three) in a co-designed and co-taught course at a research intensive university.
Initiated by the Woodrow Wilson Ohio Teaching Fellows program at ZZZ University, collaboration between faculty in the Arts & Sciences, Engineering, and College of Education & Human Ecology provided the opportunity to design a new Science Methods course for a Master in Education program. The syllabus for a five semester hour course (second of two) was designed to increase preservice science teacher pedagogical content knowledge associated with topics identified by A Framework for K-12 Science Education: Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Core Ideas (NRC, 2011), and the Next Generation Science Standards (NRC, 2013). Instruction was shared by science educators and science and engineering faculty who collaborated on a series of lessons related to their specific expertise. In the pilot year of implementation, nine faculty members taught four or more lessons during the semester. Collaborators included members of the physics faculty (2), chemistry faculty (1), life science faculty (1), engineering faculty (1), geological sciences faculty (1), and science education faculty (3).
The Framework for K-12 Science Education identifies Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices and Crosscutting Concepts as organizing principles. The syllabus designed and implemented for this course is closely aligned with these principles. In particular crosscutting concepts such as energy and matter flow, patterns, models, structure and function, and stability and change were woven into each of the disciplinary focused lessons. Core ideas and science and engineering practices were identified for each of the sequences of lessons.
Principal Author: Stacey A. Britton, University of MississippiAbstract:
The assignments in this elementary science methods course address multiple skill sets while providing opportunity for student interaction and knowledge acquisition. Through activities which often focus on nature and incorporating writing into the science curriculum, the preservice teachers in this course leave with a greater understanding of the science content and how to integrate this knowledge successfully into their diverse elementary classrooms. What will be shared in this presentation are three specific assignments and how they have proven beneficial to the students as well as the professor. The first assignment involves identifying science in children’s literature and determining the most effective way of integrating language arts with science. The second assignment, a science autobiography, is beneficial to both the professor and the preservice teacher in helping illuminate current science knowledge, expectations, and attitude towards learning. The final assignment that will be shared relates extensively to nature, observations, and developing an authentic assessment.
Principal Author: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Danny Alston, Clemson University
The Next Generation Science Standards, NGSS, (Achieve, 2013), developed from A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012), provide rigorous, high expectations for all students that far exceeds the expectations laid forth by its predecessors the National Science Education Standards, NSES, (National Research Council, 1996) and the various state standards derived from NSES. Specifically, past state standards were often filled with expectations that required students to master things at a more basic level (e.g., list, explain, and describe). The NGSS typically contain a much deeper and higher expectation that frequently has students creating models, designing investigations, and providing evidence. As we move forward, a major gap exists between current practice led in most classrooms and mastering these new expectations. This experiential session provides practice and insights into how to transition from prior standards to the NGSS. Specifically, the proposed experiential session will build from the successful tenets of a state conference that was held in Feb. 2013 in South Carolina with the focus on how do we move from the new standards to effective practice. Participants will walk through specific examples of NGSS as they articulate in groups how the new standards vary from prior expectations. Then, in teams, participants will select one performance expectation to develop a learning progression that will build to mastery of the identified expectation (standard). Because the chasm is large between identifying a performance expectation and then clearly detailing the learning progression, the session will scaffold the learning so that participants will walk through the steps necessary to develop and then facilitate such a lesson.
Principal Author: Emily A. Dare, University of Minnesota STEM Education CenterAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joshua A. Ellis, University of Minnesota STEM Education Center; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota STEM Education Center
National reform documents (National Research Council, 2013) are calling for the integration of engineering into K-12 science standards as a mechanism to not only improve the quantity and quality of the STEM workforce but to increase STEM literacy for all. This study investigated the classroom practices and beliefs of high school physical science teachers following an intensive professional development on physics and engineering integration. Classroom observations, interviews, and surveys revealed that while teachers are generally positive about their ability to integrate engineering into their physical science lessons and units, the actual implementation takes the form of standalone engineering design challenges devoid of explicit attention to physics content. Teachers new to incorporating engineering into their physical science classrooms struggled to maintain focus on physics concepts and instead focused on the development of the “soft skills” needed by engineers, such as teamwork and communication, or emphasized problem solving through engineering thinking. Results from this study provide insight on the types of support science teachers may need as classrooms shift from science to STEM.
Principal Author: Matthew J. Miller, Western Washington UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Chris Ohana, Western Washington University; Dan Q.. Hanley, Western Washington University
This paper presentation summarizes how a group of undergraduate regional university faculty has built the Model of Research-based Education for Teachers (MORE for Teachers) program for rigorous and research-based science teacher preparation at the elementary level. First, we discuss the research on 1) a preparation infrastructure that includes rigorous content, focused teaching methods, and integrated field experiences with an emphasis on quality mentoring from cooperating teachers, with 2) a conceptual framework for how people learn science. Next, we describe how our science teacher education program is grounded in these two research-driven strands. The presentation concludes with a description of a research project that includes four overlapping studies. The five-year project is funded by the National Science Foundation to research the impact of 1) content courses designed for prospective preservice teachers 2) science methods courses that are aligned to research-based effective science instruction 3) the role of intentional and science-focused mentoring from cooperating teachers, and 4) the impact of these treatments as candidates begin the first years of their careers.
Principal Author: Kevin Carr, Pacific UniversityAbstract:
How should 21st century STEM teaching candidates be prepared in light of the wide adoption of CCSS and NGSS? How can they enter early careers ready for success, especially in schools and communities that have high levels of poverty and/or ELL student populations? One distinguishing feature of many such communities is the need to focus explicitly on the development of academic literacy, bridging the gap between the everyday language of students and the academic language needed for success in college and STEM careers. This paper illustrates how STEM teaching candidates, mentor teachers, and university science teacher educators worked together to define, create and implement literacy-rich STEM (ELSTEM) activities. It is argued that supporting new STEM teachers to collaboratively implement literacy-rich STEM prepares them to intentionally integrate academic literacy instruction into the STEM curriculum, a critical skill for successfully preparing students for STEM careers and citizenship.
Principal Author: Kyungwoon Seo, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Soonhye Park, University of Iowa
The United States(US) and South Korea are similar in their emphasis on constructivist view of student’ science learning, but differ greatly in terms of students’ achievement level reflected on the international standardized assessment. With a stance that science teachers are critical mediators related to this complex issue, a qualitative study was performed to investigate science teachers in both countries with a constructivist theoretical perspective. The research questions that guided this study were: (1) how teachers in both countries approach toward student’s misconceptions in a classroom setting, and (2) to the extent that there are differences among the teachers from two countries, how best we can interpret the differences. More specifically, this cross-cultural qualitative study explored how the teachers in the US and South Korea perceive and approach towards students’ misconceptions in terms their instructional strategies when teaching photosynthesis in secondary education. Constructed responses of the Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) survey for teaching photosynthesis, collected from 85 US teachers and 38 Korean teachers, were analyzed under the methodological framework of the grounded theory. Two main themes emerged: teacher-centeredness, where the teachers approach the misconception on their own without involvement of the students, and student-centeredness, in which the teachers approach the misconception with consideration of students' own understanding. Teachers’ responses were further analyzed to be on a continuum of the two main themes. Teachers from both countries shared similarity in their overall teacher-centeredness towards students’ misconceptions. However, US teachers showed more student-centeredness compared to Korean teachers, in terms of their instructional strategies towards students’ misconceptions. Interpretations of the results were discussed in terms of the differences in science education context and teacher preparation system.
Keywords: science teacher education, teaching approach, science education, constructivism
Principal Author: Ratna Narayan, University of North Texas , DallasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lori Petty
Science education research has consistently shown that elementary teachers have low science teaching self-efficacy (Erik, 2009) and often avoid teaching science all together (Appleton, 2007). Research has shown that utilizing informal science experiences within teacher preparation programs may be helpful (Katz et al., 2012). This research study examines the perceptions elementary pre service teachers have about informal science education and how participating in informal science education activities impact their science teaching self-efficacy. The research study is set at a university located in a high needs, low socioeconomic area in Texas. Participants are 26 pre-service teachers, largely Hispanic and first generation college goers enrolled in an elementary science methods class. In addition to the informal science activities and reflection offered during the course, participants took a field trip to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science and designed scavenger hunts for their exhibit halls. They participated in a six hour hands-on Project Learning Tree workshop. Data collected included class assignments, individual and focus group interviews that were audiotaped. Pre and post STEBI-B was administered. All interviews were transcribed and coded and during this process, data underwent constant comparison (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) and “theoretical questioning” (Charmaz, 2005, p. 511). Results revealed participants initially described their understanding of informal science education by contrasting it with a formal school experience. Participants felt lack of science content knowledge was the biggest hurdle in preventing them from being effective science teachers. Participating in informal activities increased their science teaching self-efficacy as it enabled them to re-learn the science content, but also gain practical pedagogical knowledge as to how to use informal venues to teach science effectively to elementary students. Our findings inform teacher education programs so appropriate changes can be made to produce highly effective elementary science teachers.
Principal Author: Rebecca Schneider, University of ToledoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kellie Plasman, University of Toledo
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is a construct that can guide our thinking about what teachers know about their subject matter and how to make it accessible to students. Using PCK to design teacher education, however, requires understanding how novices link ideas as they work on tasks intended for their learning. Guided by the idea of developing PCK for novice science teachers, the Licensure And Master’s Program (LAMP) is a new, graduate-level, preservice program grounded simultaneously in theory and classrooms. LAMP interns study and practice science teaching across the K-12 school year. In year three, 13 secondary preservice science teachers completed the program, earning a Master’s degree and Ohio licensure. LAMP interns’ written work focused on developing a theoretical understanding of science teaching was collected throughout the program year. Their plans, teaching video, and analysis of student learning accompanied by written commentaries as well as written descriptions of what they understood about student thinking, teaching science, science curriculum, and themselves as science teachers, were collected four times as interns’ classroom responsibility increased. Components of PCK were used to code data for each intern. Cluster analysis was used to identify groups of PCK components that interns drew on during each learning-to-teach task. Findings identify several clusters of three to four PCK components and indicate that within a particular task, interns pull ideas from across aspects of PCK. This teacher educator’s perspective reorganizes PCK based on how preservice teachers develop and link PCK ideas within the tasks of learning to teach. These descriptions are an initial step in describing PCK in a way that can guide the design of learning experiences for science teachers.
Principal Author: Bridget K.. Mulvey, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rajlakshmi Ghosh, Kent State University; Randy L.. Bell, Oregon State University; Jennifer L.. Chiu, University of Virginia
This study explored 5 elementary special education (SPED) teachers’ nature of science (NOS) and science inquiry instruction. Participants were selected from a larger study of 61 preK-5 teachers of one urban school district. All participants completed a semester-long graduate-level NOS/science inquiry professional development course that was required by the district. The subset of participants for the present study was all SPED teachers who completed the course. Two taught pull-out classes, one taught as a collaborative teacher in an inclusion setting, and two taught a combination of pull-out and inclusion classes.
The purpose of this study is to explore elementary SPED teachers’ NOS and inquiry instruction and their experiences doing so. To better understand teachers’ NOS instruction, participants’ NOS views were evaluated. Data sources per participant included, for NOS views, pre/post modified VNOS-B responses; for NOS/inquiry instruction, five video recordings of attempted NOS and/or inquiry lessons, at least three guided reflections, and a transcribed post-course interview.
Participants’ pre/post-course NOS views were categorized as alternative, transitional, or informed. Participants’ video-recorded instruction/reflections were examined for emerging themes using analytic induction. Major findings were:
1. all improved their NOS views, though 1 participant’s gains were minimal
2. all explicitly taught five or more NOS tenets
3. some initially struggled with differentiating process skills and NOS
4. all taught via inquiry, mostly structured inquiry and some guided inquiry
5. With time participants’ concerns shifted slightly from more logistical
to pedagogical decisions
6. Students’ ideas/actions during inquiry/NOS instruction generally impressed (sometimes also surprised) participants
7. Participants rarely reflected on students’ individual needs.
Substantial changes in their instruction may have temporarily replaced their focus on individual student needs. Even so, participants discovered that their students were more capable than expected.
Principal Author: April D.. Adams, Northeastern State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Saeed Sarani, Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Sophia Sweeney, Northeastern State University; James Hicks, Northeastern State University; Jessica Martin, Northeastern State University
The Northeastern State University (NSU) Chemistry and Physics Academy provides research-based professional development for certified science teachers who want to become certified to teach chemistry and physics. The two-year program focuses on teacher knowledge, teacher practice, and student achievement in chemistry and physics. Goals of the project include:
• Increase the number of highly qualified teachers in Oklahoma who are certified to teach chemistry and physics and thereby increase student achievement.
• Create and sustain a Community of Practice which includes experienced chemistry and physics teachers, program participants, university science faculty, and university science education faculty.
The program recruited 20 science teachers statewide and includes a one-week summer program on the Tahlequah campus of NSU. The program uses the Blackboard learning management system to help to develop a statewide Community of Practice. Participants will conduct outreach activities at the Oklahoma Science Teacher Association annual meeting at the University of Central Oklahoma and at the Northeastern Oklahoma Mathematics and Science Teacher Association annual meeting at NSU. These meetings will provide opportunities for other science teachers to interact with program participants and will provide participants networking opportunities with experienced chemistry and physics teachers. The paper presents the structure of a professional development program, the results and findings from the evaluation of the first-year summer institute, the plans for the next phase of the program based on these findings, and an overview of the Oklahoma Improving Teacher Quality Grant program.
Principal Author: Patricia (Michele) McCurdy, Texas TechAbstract:
Do extreme population differences affect students’ ability to relate with each other in global collaboration partnerships? Do different content outcomes affect collaboration project choices? Do technology and communication choices improve success rates with a 14 hour time zone difference? Happy, Texas has a population of 673 and Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China a population of 6.24 million. Come learn about the challenges and successes in a partnership between middle/high school science students in Happy, Texas and English as Foreign Language students at Zhejiang Gongshang University.
Principal Author: Stephanie J.. Hathcock, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joanna K.. Garner, Old Dominion University; Avi Kaplan, Temple University
Traditional PD offerings do not typically acknowledge and attempt to understand teachers as individuals. Teachers enter the field with a professional identity, including their life experiences, perceptions, knowledge, and beliefs. This professional identity contributes to their individual responses to PD, including their motivations, goals, and actions in relation to the adoption of reformed practices. Thus, science PD that promotes teachers’ professional identities towards effective science teaching will also gain insights into what motivates teachers to take particular actions or make changes in their teaching. The goal of this presentation is to discuss our research involving an emerging model of teacher professional identity applied to a reform-based PD initiative. We will present the case study of one teacher, whose experiences with the PD showcase changes and tensions in his professional identity system that are the impetus for change in his practices.
Principal Author: Mark Guy, University of North DakotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard Hechter, University of Manitoba; Cindy Grabe, University of North Dakota
In an effort to help preservice elementary teachers better integrate modern technology in the context of creatively expressing science concepts as well as learning to teach science, our research reports on an innovative approach connecting science content and pedagogy in an elementary science methods course. Specifically, we report the planning and rationale of using video creation and editing aligned with specific phases of the 5E model of the science teaching and learning. Preservice teachers were assigned to develop, create, and then share with the class a YouTube-style science concept movie that was designed to be used in the appropriate aspect of the 5E teaching sequence for elementary aged students. Preservice teachers chose both the science concept to be explored in their movie and the 5E aspect that is best reflected the movie’s content and style. For this activity, preservice teachers could choose to work alone or in pairs and used a variety of contemporary technology tools (laptops/iPads/smartphones) to create and edit their video suitable. Finished movies were posted to our classroom YouTube channel. Data were collected from three sources: a) responses to pre-movie and post-movie prompts recorded using Google Voice, b) post-movie anonymous written surveys, and c) the submitted science concept movies. Findings suggest that preservice teachers in this study became more knowledgeable of the purpose and appropriate placement of created video within the science teaching and learning sequence for increased efficiency and impact for both teachers and students. Results also indicate that participants found great value in this project from both a practical and theoretical perspective, and look forward to applying this knowledge in their field placements and future classrooms. This research has implications to preservice and inservice science teacher development related to authentic integration of technology into science teaching and learning.
Principal Author: Krista L.. Adams, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie A.. Luft, University of Georgia
Teachers must be aware of how students interpret and understand concepts when selecting an instructional strategy. This research focused on how eight beginning chemistry teachers’ develop a more responsive topic specific (i.e., atomic structure) repertoire by studying the teachers’ knowledge of students’ understandings during the first three years. Beginning science teachers enter the classroom with a limited ability to design responsive lessons to meet the needs of the students. Instead, the beginning teacher relies on trial-and-error to help them survive the first years in the classroom regardless of whether or not the practices represent the most effective strategies for student learning. This study found that initially teachers are focused on finding representations to present the material without considering students' understandings. In the second and third year, teachers begin to delete, modify, and add new representations in light of understandings about students' difficulties and varied approaches to learning. In terms of students' prior knowledge, teachers assume that the student has limited understandings but often do not check for prior understandings. The implication for science education is related to the importance of constructing a beginning repertoire during the preservice program. From this study, the beginning chemistry teachers relied primarily upon colleagues in determining what, when, and how to teach the content during the first year in the classroom with little consideration of the needs of the students. Therefore, if we plan to prepare teachers to respond immediately to student needs, preservice teacher education programs need to address developing this beginning repertoire.
Principal Author: Jee Kyung Suh, University of Iowa Abstract:
Co-Authors: Ying-Chih Chen, University of Minnesota ; Brian Hand, University of Iowa
This study is a critical review of twenty one dissertation studies that formed part of an ongoing research program focused on examining the benefits and nature of Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach in science classroom. Given limitations related to sample sizes, topics, and classroom contexts of individual study, the study is an attempt to make broader generalizations. From our findings, the SWH, an immersion oriented ABI, promoted students’ understanding of science concepts and argumentation by using language and different forms of language (writing and talking) play important roles in immersive ABI by providing scaffolds in science classroom. In particular, written framework within the SWH provides scaffolds to enable students to engage in constructing arguments. Thus, we would suggest that science teachers should use explicit language task as a learning tool to encourage students in communication with scientific ideas through immersive approach. Moreover, the results of this study support pedagogical understandings and skills for questioning and dialogical interaction ABI can be learned through implementation of SWH. Namely, the SWH approach can help teachers promote their understanding of argumentative practice. Although this study focused on thesis studies devoted to the SWH, it may contribute on developing body research with the immersive ABI approach.
Principal Author: Barbara S. Spector, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lois A. Ball, University of South Florida
Our research group has tested interventions in a science methods course required for initial elementary school certification since 1999 (Spector & Barnes). Review of the NGSS in April, 2013 raised the question: “Has anything changed that might facilitate acceptance and compliance with NGSS in the fourteen years since the first in our series of studies investigating preservice teachers’ acceptance of the paradigm shift from reductionist, mechanistic, didactic teaching to holistic, constructivist, inquiry teaching?”
Data were collected via participant observation and analysis of students’ electronic weekly journals, discussion boards, exit memos, products, self-assessments, and one-to-one communication with instructors. Data were triangulated among sources, categories developed by each of the two instructors independently, then compared, merged, member checked with two students, and juxtaposed with our previous studies.
Findings indicated the culture of traditional students, the antithesis of the culture of science, remained the same fourteen years later. (“Culture” encompasses learned attitudes, behaviors, beliefs, and resulting expectations of a delineated group.) It continued to impede the desired paradigm shift. (e.g., criticism [of ideas and products] is offensive and not permitted in a group or class impedes progress to NGSS … Practice 7: Engaging in Argument from Evidence). Features of the current societal context exacerbated resistance to the paradigm shift:
• high stakes testing,
• features of the millennial generation, and
• increased student course load due to economic pressure on the university.
• functioning as a community of practice, and
• inconsistencies in students’ program of study
As in our previous studies, course experiences succeeded in mitigating much science anxiety and changed attitudes about science from negative to positive. However, contrary to earlier studies, when these students were left on their own to choose the way to design an in-depth unit plan, the current students reverted to a didactic approach.
Principal Author: Bryan Wunar, Museum of Science and IndustryAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nicole Kowrach, Museum of Science and Industry
In order to prepare the next generation to actively contribute to a global society that is being shaped by science and technology, the Museum of Science and Industry (MSI) in Chicago, established a new vision which aims to inspire and motivate our children to achieve their full potential in the fields of science, engineering, technology and medicine. To meet the challenge of this vision, MSI has reinvented the role informal learning institutions must play to improve the quality of science education in our communities and to build a scientifically literate citizenry. MSI has developed and launched a long-term strategy that provides a comprehensive suite of science education programs focused at their center on engaging underserved youth in science learning, but also their influencers – the schools, families and communities – who support them.
This paper outlines the components of a comprehensive model for using the resources of informal learning institutions to strengthen science learning both in and out of the school setting. It explores multifaceted program strategies that target teachers, students, community organizations, and families at a community-wide level, using practical and effective approaches that aim to raise interest and participation in science by students during their middle- and high-school years; influence youth to choose careers in science, technology, engineering and medicine; sustain a supportive community climate for science engagement; and facilitate high-quality science teaching and learning in schools.
Principal Author: Stephen A. Bartos, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Norman G. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology
Research on nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI) has indicated that a teacher’s knowledge of each, however well developed, is not sufficient to ensure that these views necessarily manifest themselves in classroom practice (Lederman, 2007). While researchers have examined teachers’ subject matter knowledge structures and their classroom practices (e.g., Gess-Newsome & Lederman, 1993, 1995), what was conspicuously absent from the research on NOS and SI was an examination of teachers’ knowledge structures for NOS and SI, a line of inquiry that may provide insight not afforded by commonly utilized assessments of NOS and SI.
The current investigation inferred participants’ classroom practice knowledge structures for NOS and SI across 15 targeted aspects. These results were then compared to responses communicated through the Knowledge Structures for NOS and SI (KS4NS) questionnaire. The degree of congruence between the two was gauged at the level of included concepts, connections between them, and regarding the presence of more thematic elements.
The results indicate a limited congruence between teachers’ knowledge structures for NOS and SI and those communicated through their classroom practice. While there was a moderate degree of similarity regarding included concepts, there was little to none at the level of connections between aspects, as few explicit instances were evidenced in teachers’ classroom practice.
The necessity of having teachers explicitly reflect on the structure of the subject matter they are learning for teaching is reiterated through the findings of the current study, and the challenges of developing these coherent conceptions are likewise underscored. These implications would appear of paramount concern in light of the highly integrated nature of the Next Generation Science Standards, in general, and the vision of NOS and SI communicated therein, in specific.
Principal Author: Christine R. Lotter, University of South CarolinaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Stephen Thompson, University of South Carolina; Whitney Smiley, University of South Carolina; Tammiee Dickenson, University of South Carolina
This study investigated the impact of a year-long inquiry professional development program on middle school teachers’ self-efficacy and outcome expectancy for teaching science as inquiry. The program began with an intensive two-week summer Institute focused on both inquiry pedagogy and science content with support provided to implement strategies learned during the following academic year. Following the program, teachers had statistically significant increases in their self-efficacy for teaching inquiry in three of five essential features, but not their outcome expectancy. Teachers’ quality of inquiry teaching also increased after the program. The Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI) instrument (Smolleck, Zembal-Saul, & Yoder, 2006) was administered three times (pre-/post-Institute and at the end of the academic year) to teacher participants to gauge their self-efficacy for teaching science as inquiry. Changes between TSI administrations were examined for personal self-efficacy and outcome expectation across five essential features of classroom inquiry. To examine actual practices, classroom observations of the teachers’ inquiry enactments were evaluated using The Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol (Marshall, Smart, & Horton, 2010) before and after the professional development experience. The professional development program which engaged teachers in inquiry instruction as students and provided time for teachers to enact inquiry with enrichment students and receive immediate feedback during group reflection sessions helped to increase the teachers’ efficacy with inquiry instruction. We further investigated the relationship between the teachers’ initial self-efficacy and outcome expectancy scores and their quality of inquiry teaching. We discuss implications for future professional development that will provide teachers with support experiences for continued inquiry teaching growth.
Principal Author: Dale McCurdy, Amarillo CollegeAbstract:
This action research study explores the processes, potential barriers, and potential benefits of global science collaboration in the blended-learning (50% online) classroom. Pre-service K-8 education majors will develop online collaborative partnerships with international students to study and share perspective on selected life science topics. Results of this study will inform future projects in the college classroom and provide experiences to facilitate mentoring of in-service teachers in becoming global science collaborators.
The study is part of a larger project to develop methods of mentoring pre-service and in-service educators in online global collaboration. This project is part of the Texas Tech University Making a Difference (MAD) Science PhD program (PhD in Curriculum and Instruction with Specialization in Science Education). The goal of this project is to develop methods of mentoring pre-service and in-service educators on the use of online global collaboration in the classroom.
The book Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds: Move to Global Collaboration One Step at a Time (Lindsay & Davis, 2013)provides background information and processes for developing global collaboration projects. Previous studies on global collaboration provided background information on developing global collaborative projects (Wilhelm, Smith, Walters, Sherrod, & Mulholland, 2007) (Davey, Smith, & Merrill, 2009). Other resources from Texas Tech University course work such as the Global Collaborative Science Education Continuum identifies various stages or levels of global collaboration.
Principal Author: Suzanne M.. Nesmith, Baylor UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Madelon J.. McCall, Baylor University; John C.. Park, Baylor University
There are few programs or trainings that address the science content deficiencies and resulting science teaching efficacy of in-service elementary science teachers. Goals of this study are: (a) to determine the impact of an in-depth, weeklong science content-focused academy on the science teaching efficacy and beliefs of elementary teachers in a diverse, Title I urban Texas elementary school; and (b) to determine the impact of a follow-up academic year science support and advising experience on the science teaching efficacy and beliefs of said elementary teachers.
Twenty elementary teachers from a single school participated in the science content academy, designed using the requisite state content requirements for K-5 students, and using the information from science testing from the previous year. Besides pre and post testing of science content, the teachers completed the STEBI before the academy began, and on the final afternoon of the 5-day workshop. Fifteen teachers continued teaching at the same school as classroom teachers the following year, and took the STEBI again, ten months after the completion of the summer academy.
There was an immediate increase in each of the two STEBI subscales at the end of the weeklong science content workshop. The 12-item Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy (STOE) subscale average item score increased 0.31 (3.70 to 4.01) and the 13-item Personal Science Teaching Efficacy (PSTE) subscale average score increased 0.36 (3.32 to 3.68).
An analysis of scores from all three STEBI tests for the fifteen teachers who remained as classroom teachers showed mixed results. The significant gain in the PSTE continued, increasing from 43.73 on the pretest to 46.80 on the post-academy test, and again increasing to 50.14 on the post-academic year test. However, after the STOE subscale score increased from 44.13 to 47.90, it scores decreased to 39.60. This represents a shift of nearly one position on the Likert scale, such as changing from “agree” to “uncertain”. External factors are predicted as the cause of the decrease in STOE scores.
Principal Author: Elissa Hozore, Maryland State Department of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Neal , Maryland State Department of Education; George Newberry, Maryland State Department of Education; Kim Gantt, Maryland State Department of Education
Integrated STEM, in the state of Maryland, is viewed as a vehicle for delivery of deep and integrated content instruction. Maryland is the first state in the nation to develop and adopt STEM Standards of Practice for students and teachers, and with a unique focus on STEM integration in the elementary grades, is leading the nation in the development of elementary STEM teacher certification. Engineering is integral to the problem based approach to integrated STEM in Maryland and it provides relevant and engaging contexts to apply content in math, science, technology as well as in other curricular areas.
The presentation will share Maryland’s model for preparing teachers to effectively design and implement STEM-Centric elementary classrooms. Participants will review tools being piloted to assess integrated STEM units and the essential elements to the effective preparation of elementary STEM teachers.
Capacity for statewide implementation of STEM is being developed through annual educator professional development academies and approved teacher preparation programs with a focus on meaningful STEM integration. The STEM Standards of Practice are the framework for the academies and the preparation programs as STEM-Centric learning environments are developed, implemented and assessed. The academies are building school system capacity for full implementation of the Common Core State Standards and integrated STEM education. Twelve institutions of higher education are leading statewide efforts to develop teacher preparation programs in elementary STEM for both in-service and pre-service teachers. These combined efforts ensure that teachers of Maryland’s elementary students have the capacity to integrate STEM into their classrooms.
Principal Author: Barbara Rascoe, Mercer UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Catherine Lange, Buffalo State College; Mary K.. Johnson, Mercer University; Rachel M.. Sauls, Mercer University
This workshop will embrace strategies designed to launch, promote, and enhance science educators’ effectiveness relative to addressing elementary science teachers’ negotiating science content and using science and engineering practices. The issue references that fact that STEM disciplines hold the key to meeting many of humanity’s most pressing and future challenges, yet our elementary science students are frequently not privy to science instruction that allows them to have fundamental knowledge of science and engineering. This workshop will posit how science educators may help future science teachers become science content engineers using problem solving to design products; and using crosscutting concepts, science and engineering practices, the common cores for ELA and mathematics, and expansion with inquiry.
Principal Author: Michael Wavering, University of Arkansas, FayettevilleAbstract:
Co-Authors: Katherine Mangione, Midddle Tennessee State University; Craig McBride, University of Puget Sound
Mangione (2010) completed a doctoral dissertation that looked at preservice teachers’ alternative conceptions in earth science. Some data for this study were a series of eleven interviews, which provide the basis for this study. The authors of this manuscript looked at the relationship between the logical reasoning structures used by the interviewees and the alternative conceptions of earth science concepts. The means to perform this analysis was Piaget's Logic of Meanings (Piaget & Garcia, 1991). This form of analysis previously was used by Wavering (2011) illustrating the reasoning structures of junior high and high school science students regarding two physical science concepts. The reliability of coding reasoning using Logic of Meanings is highly reliable using the coding system developed by Wavering, Mangione, and McBride (2013). Specific alternative earth science conceptions were analyzed using the Logic of Meanings. Eleven preservice teachers were interviewed by Mangione (2010). The transcripts for these interviews were evaluated using Piaget’s Logic of Meanings (Piaget & Garcia, 1991). The results of this analysis revealed that these preservice teachers used logical reasoning structures for their responses to questions regarding earth science concepts, even when they were adhering to alternative conceptions. This finding does not support the belief that scientific understanding of science concepts is necessary for the use of logical reasoning structures, but that logical reasoning structures can be used to support arguments that underlie alternative conceptions of science content.
Principal Author: Molly H.. Weinburgh, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cecilia Silva, Texas Christian University; Kathy H. Smith, Tarleton State University
In light of the New Generation Science Standards and our continued interest in the equity issue of science education for English language learners (ELLs), we address the intensive language requirements needed to fully engage in the practices of science. In this presentation, we examine three of the four aspects of Lemke’s (2004) notion of the hybrid language of science as manifested in the work of 5th and 8th grade ELL students. By learning more about how ELLs are able to express their growing conceptual understanding of science, teacher educators can help pre-service and in-service teachers develop skills and knowledge needed to help students for whom English is not the first language. The three papers originate from a seven-year partnership between an urban school district and a university in which the college professors developed, implemented, and researched a summer school program for ELLs. This research builds on and extends our previous work by examining the changes in (a) natural language, (b) visual representations, and (c) manual/technical skills.
In the first paper, we use data from student journals and audiotapes to document the change in natural language. Interview data from day 2 and 14 are used to examine change in oral language and corresponding science understanding. A ‘what I know’ and ‘what I learned’ entry in student journals provides written data.
The second paper introduces visual representations from the journals and student posters to show growth in understanding and complex thought. Changes in accuracy of drawings and amount of labeling as well as types of visual (graph types, charts, VENN diagrams, pictures) selected by students were analyzed.
The last paper draws from videotape data to demonstrate how the manual/technical skills of the students increase and provide a platform of furthering science understanding. Attempts by the students to assemble stream tables for erosion experiments, set up models of wind turbines, and pipette DNA samples into a gel are analyzed.
Principal Author: Mark H. Newton, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Benjamin C. Herman, University of South Florida; Dana L. Zeidler, University of South Florida
Despite creating an approach that connects with marginalized students and deviates from the positivistic tradition (Bingle & Gaskell, 1994; Aikenhead, 2003; Aikenhead 2005; Pedretti & Nazir, 2010), Science-Technology-Society-Environment fails to develop citizens for the 21st century. By privileging science over other perspectives when addressing environmental issues, STSE promotes a narrow world view and implies that other perspectives are inferior to science. Consequently, students may not develop the ability to consider competing perspectives when making decisions and instead they rely on the false premise that science alone can provide all of the answers. In contrast, the Socioscientific Issues (SSI) framework offers a sociocultural approach that situates students in a web of science, culture and character (Zeidler, Sadler, Simmons & Howes, 2005; Zeidler, in Press).
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the extent to which students’ abilities to take multiple perspectives developed throughout an experiential environmental education course. Five students from a small, public university in the southeastern United States were enrolled in a six-week, immersion experience that examined contentious natural resource issues around Yellowstone National Park. Qualitative methods grounded in a naturalistic inquiry approach with emergent design flexibility (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Maxwell, 2005; Miles & Huberman, 1994) were used to study the participants. Data was triangulated through the use of surveys, group planning meetings, town hall-type discussions, and field notebooks. Findings showed that participants were able to increase the number of perspectives considered when analyzing SSI. Participants also considered perspectives outside of the local community that would be impacted by the SSI. This investigation provides evidence that this type of course could act as a model for science courses as well as science teacher education courses that will develop productive citizens for the 21st century by including valuable perspectives beyond that of science.
Principal Author: Karen Levitt, Duquesne UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sharon Hess, ASSET, Inc.
The challenge of providing on-going relevant professional development for those who provide professional development for others is presented in this paper. Classroom teachers are often identified as lead, or resource, teachers with the goal of providing support and professional development for their colleagues. However, there are very few opportunities for ongoing learning and reflection about effective strategies for professional development for these former classroom teachers in their new roles. The authors make the argument that what is known about effective professional development for classroom teachers can be applied to lead teachers since lead teachers consider themselves teachers first; what changes is their audience. In this case, the “teacher” is the lead/resource teacher and the “students” are classroom teachers. So, when the lead teachers examine their practices in providing effective professional development through teacher inquiry, they can impact the “achievement” (i.e. teaching practices) of the classroom teachers. The use of teacher inquiry is consistent with the literature regarding effective professional development. Specifically, professional development that is intentional, ongoing, and systemic has the potential to impact the practices of classroom teachers. The authors documented the impact of participation in teacher inquiry on the professional growth of lead teachers who assumed roles of leadership both within, and beyond, their districts by providing professional development for classroom teachers.
Principal Author: Valarie L. Akerson, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ingrid S. Weiland, University of Louisville; Vanashri Nargund-Joshi, SUNY Buffalo; Khemawadee Pongsanon, International Olympiad, Thailand
This study explores the development of professional identity as a teacher of Nature of Science (NOS). Our research questions were “How can a teacher develop a professional identity as an elementary teacher of NOS?” Through a researcher log, videotaped lessons, and collection of student work, we were able to track efforts in teaching NOS as part of regular classroom practice. A team of four researchers interpreted the data through the Beijaard et al. (2004) professional identity framework and found that it was not as simple and straightforward to teach NOS as we predicted. Development of professional identity as a teacher of NOS was influenced by contextual factors such as students, administration, and time, as well as personal struggles that were fraught with emotion. Development took place through an interpretation and reinterpretation of self through external factors and others’ perceptions, as well as the influence of sub-identities. However, with persistence NOS can be embedded into practice and a professional identity as a teacher of NOS can develop.
Principal Author: Deborah M.. Henry, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Channa Barrett, Texas Christian University; Katherine Fogelberg, Texas Christian University; Melissa Patterson, Texas Christian University; Hayat Hokayem, Texas Christian University
The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Studies (TIMSS) video clips offer examples of both high quality and highly effective teaching practices which can be compared and contrasted with other less successful science classrooms.
This paper set focuses on analysis of video clips provided by the TIMSS 1999. Video clips were analyzed by comparing U.S. science classes to classes in the Netherlands, Japan, Czech Republic, and Australia. Coding schemes were developed to observe specific variables in the lesson. Variables examined included lesson structure and pacing, visual representations, questions, and teacher versus student discourse. More recently, the National Research Council stated that in the U.S. there are still lingering weaknesses in science classrooms and that fundamental change is necessary (NRC, 2012).
Even though the TIMSS produced a report (TIMSS, 1999), we concentrated on specific videos and constructed relevant, descriptive coding methods that examined the data in a nuanced way. In this session, we will describe the way coding schemes were derived to analyze teaching methods, results of the comparisons, and further implications for teaching in the science classroom. The analysis focused on instructional methods to elucidate what is currently happening in science education and highlight practices that can lead to improved student achievement. We will conclude by offering recommendations for science education and will establish our presentation’s contribution to the science education community.
Practicing teachers, methods instructors and educational researchers would benefit from participating in this session. Teachers can reflect on their own practice after viewing the video clips in conjunction with our results. Method instructors may use these video clips in teaching best practices or in developing strategies to meet objectives. Educational researchers may want to participate in a discussion of how coding schemes are derived and how comparative studies serve as an impetus to transform our thinking about best practices.
Principal Author: Younkyeong Nam, The College at Brockport - State University of New YorkAbstract:
Co-Authors: Peter Veronesi, The College at Brockport - State University of New York; Osman Yasar, The College at Brockport - State University of New York
In this study, first, we present initial results from an NSF funded Robert Noyce Scholarships program at the College at Brockport to help pre-service science and mathematics teachers to improve their computational thinking skills and pedagogical skills of using computational modeling and simulations for teaching secondary science and mathematics. In doing so, we describe a pedagogical approach of teaching computational modeling, based on a decade-long NSF funded Math and Science Partnership (MSP) program at the College which has resulted in a number of credit-bearing courses for pre-service and in-service teachers (Yaşar, 2013).
Our initial findings come from a research and evaluation study of our first and second year implementations of the Noyce program about participants’ satisfactions and perceptions regarding the use of computational modeling and simulation tools for teaching science and mathematics. We report the results separately based on the year one and two. The first year results (2012-2013) indicate that the participants positively perceived the use of computational modeling as an instructional method. They expressed a high confidence of using computational modeling for teaching. The pre-survey from the second year (2013-2014) shows that, while the participants said that they have limited skills of using computational modeling and simulation program, they perceive that computational modeling can be used to help students understand science concepts in various ways, including visualization of small scale systems or science concepts. They also perceived it to have potential for improving critical thinking and problem solving skills, understanding real-world application of mathematics, and so on. While we have not collected post survey data yet, due to the workshop date (July 15-26, 2013), we expect that we will find results similar to the first year program evaluation study results, which the participants agreed on deeper understandings of how to implement computational modeling methods in teaching science and mathematics concepts.
Principal Author: Jose M.. Rios, University of Wasshington, TacomaAbstract:
The purpose of this work was to identify factors that affect inquiry-based science instruction at a local elementary school. Sixteen elementary school teachers, three support staff, and two administrators from a medium-sized elementary school in the Pacific Northwest school district participated in this research project from August 2012 through June 2013. Data sources included interview transcripts, classroom observations, curriculum guides, assessment documents, instructional plans, and transcripts of professional development meetings. Upon examination of all data sources, four critical elements that affected inquiry-based science instruction were identified: training, time, sequence, and materials. With the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards, it is important to discuss issues related to previous standards-based curricula and professional development. In that way, we may be able to avoid repeating history as we begin the process of adopting a new set of science standards.
Principal Author: Dilek Ozalp, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Angela Chapman, University of South Florida; Fayez Alshehri, University of South Florida; Vanessa Vernaza-Hernandez, University of South Florida
The purpose of this study is to report on science teachers’ understandings of science practices and skills as they take part in an National Science Foundation (NSF) funded summer Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program. Our study focuses on how teachers learn to do research by participating in scientific research groups and how these research experiences affect their understandings of science practices and skills. Our data collection period includes summer 2012 and 2013. During summer 2013 there were 12 inservice teachers (11 science, 1 math) and five preservice science teachers in the six-week program. Six professors and six graduate students mentored the teachers. Although the RET was in an engineering department, the research practices used by the faculty are those that the Framework identifies as science, rather than engineering, practices. We interviewed the teachers before the RET program began. The purpose of this interview was to find out teachers’ understandings of science practices and skills before they participated in the RET program. Fourteen of the questions in the interview were adapted from Kardash’s (2000) research skills survey and four questions were developed from NRC (2012) Framework. Data were analyzed using the coding of qualitative data (Miles & Huberman, 1994; Patton, 2002). The data from all the interviews were transcribed first, and then they were coded and the categories were created. Although teachers increased their ability to engage in science practices, our data suggest that at the beginning of the RET program these teachers’ understandings of science practices and skills were incomplete or naïve. If our sample of inservice and preservice teachers is typical, then our findings raise the question as to how science teachers will be able to engage their students in the types of activities that will help them to learn the science practices described in the Framework and the Next Generation Science Standards.
Principal Author: Sara Tolbert, University of ArizonaAbstract:
In this session, findings will be shared from a qualitative study of science teachers’ and indigenous Māori students’ views on what it means to be a culturally responsive teacher. All science teachers were part of the Te Kotahitanga professional development program in Aotearoa New Zealand, which has significantly and positively impacted the achievement and participation of Māori students in secondary schools. Data sources include individual interviews with 5 science teachers of Māori students, and 4 focus group interviews with 2-4 Māori students participating in each focus group. Three key related themes emerged from the analysis of the data: Relationships (caring) are crucial to success with Māori students in secondary science classrooms. Culture is also important but secondary to caring. Pedagogy matters but effective pedagogy cannot be successfully implemented without constant and consistent attention to relationship-building. Another related theme demonstrates that successful science teachers take an agentic position in underserved classrooms. Results indicate that developing positive teacher-student relationships must be a key component of education reforms designed to improve science-learning experiences for indigenous students.
Principal Author: William Medina-Jerez, University of Texas-El PasoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lucia Dura, University of Texas-El Paso; Meredith Abarca; Consuelo Carr Salas, University of Texas-El Paso; Grace Borjas, Cedar Grove Elementary School; Virginia Hill, The House Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP)
This proposal describes a project emerging from an after-school program (La Escuelita Project: Promoting Scientific and Literacy Skills through Culture-Based Activities) implemented last year in a local subsidized housing community. The proposed poster session presents an expanded version of last year’s La Escuelita project; the corn-based multidisciplinary project was piloted with a larger student sample in two housing communities. The purpose of the project was to provide HACEP students with informal learning opportunities for linking school science and the knowledge and practices they bring from home. It also provided HACEP students with informal learning opportunities for linking school science and the knowledge and practices they bring from home.
It is conjectured that by implementing the corn-based multidisciplinary project, participating students will improve their scientific and literacy skills which will be reflected on teacher/school-made and standardized reading tests vis-á-vis their non-participating counterparts. Second, as voiced by teachers and administrators in local schools, the development of effective informal learning programs in the El Paso region is needed as evidenced by poor TAKS scores in math, science, and reading. This claim resonates with similar calls from teachers across the country conveying the need for STEM training (NSTA Reports, 2013). Another need this project will meet is in-service teacher collaboration across grade levels and schools in the YISD. Traditionally the curriculum planning process involves teachers from the same building and grade level working together in lesson planning. By addressing this need, it is expected that learning sequence and student engagement in hands- and minds-on tasks will be brought to the forefront of instructional practices in elementary schools.
Principal Author: Lara Smetana, Loyola University ChicagoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Coleman, Loyola University Chicago
taking a systemic, ecological approach to exploring the relationship between student learning, teachers and school-level organizational aspects of elementary and middle school science education. The purpose of this study is to explore leadership and organizational features at the school level in an effort to characterize how four different Catholic elementary schools organize themselves to support science success.The proposed research adopts Newman, King, and Youngs’ (2000) definition of school capacity as “the collective power of the full staff to improve student achievement schoolwide” (p. 261). It also draws from Spillane’s (2005) theory of distributed leadership, which recognizes that there are multiple sources of influence within a school, and Dimmock’s (2012) framework of leadership as capacity building, which recognizes the influence of a school’s unique context and culture. School profiles created from this study address the various aspects of school science capacity and allow for cross-case analysis. Understandings gleaned from the schools in this study who are working to improve their science programs may offer practical implications for teacher leaders and principals at other schools who similarly seek to make science a priority.
Principal Author: Kimberly Bilica, U Texas at San AntonioAbstract:
As a long-time instructor of secondary methods for middle and high school pre-service teachers, I have yet to find a perfect balance between two aspects of quality science teaching: science instruction and science pedagogy. My aim is to invite the pre-service teachers to grapple with the pedagogical dilemmas that new teachers often face when their beliefs and judgments meet with the demands of instruction.All of my students participate in a plan - teach - reflect cycle in critical friends groups within the university course meeting time. This peer micro-teaching methodology has become the core of of my secondary models course curriculum. For this session, I will provide my curricular overview/syllabus and all materials associated with the peer micro-teaching component to my methods course. I hope to find other science teacher educators who have also struggled to find a balance between instruction and pedagogical experiences for their pre-service student audience -- and to learn about how they’ve found resolutions to the challenge.
Principal Author: Marcie A. Galbreath, University of IdahoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Anne Kern, University of Idaho
This case study examines how non-Native teachers on two neighboring American Indian (AI) reservations in the Inland Northwest incorporate Indigenous Knowledge (IK) and STEM in their classroom instruction. This study is part of a larger project, Back to the Earth (BTTE) that aims to advance the pedagogical understanding of how best to integrate Indigenous Knowledge and STEM using a culturally relevant interdisciplinary approach when teaching American Indian students.
(BTTE) is a three-year National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experience for Teachers and Students project intended to merge Indigenous Knowledge systems with Western science to provide a platform for STEM engagement for AI students. Focus is on a watershed that is shared by two reservations in the Inland Northwest. American Indian youth from the two Tribal communities in grades 4-6 will participate in hands-on activities delivered in workshops held in the classroom and summer camps held on each reservation.
An educational focus on STEM is critically important to the two communities in this study. Both communities share a watershed that has been wrought with quality issues brought on by contamination due to heavy mining, land allotments to agricultural demands, and unregulated recreation in the area. Each reservation has different cultural values, which influence the Indigenous Knowledge understood in the respective communities. Two experienced non-Native teachers, one from each reservation, were selected as participants for this study. Both teachers have more than 5 years experience, neither lives on the reservation, however both actively participates in social activities with their students’ families outside of the school hours. Both teachers are committed to including the most culturally relevant experience for their students, within the context and restrictions of the school policies.
Principal Author: Emma F. Chapman, St. Olaf CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cassie R. Paulsen, St. Olaf College
The Science Alliance, a science educational outreach program started at St. Olaf College, focuses on making science accessible and fun for students and teachers alike. We seek to build relationships between teachers, community members, and college students through a mutually benefitting partnership: teachers will receive relevant support in the classroom, and college students will gain service experience. The Science Alliance receives its name from the inclusion of all different kinds of natural sciences (biology, chemistry, environmental science, physics, psychology) into an alliance. At each grade level, we have designed a specific, relevant curriculum that incorporates existing district and state standards and is easily adaptable to teachers’ specific needs. Through our hands-on, active curriculum, the Science Alliance changes the way we think about science education; instead of having students see science, we do science. Studies show that a hands-on learning environment in the sciences will improve the student’s ability to solve scientific problems and influence the attitude with which they view science in the future (Packard, et al. 1998).
Principal Author: Kevin M. Zak, University of Minnesota DuluthAbstract:
Future science teachers serve a critical role in creating a scientifically literate citizenry. Their knowledge and understanding of the process by which science works, scientific inquiry, is fundamental to this goal of science education. This descriptive research study investigated pre-service secondary science teachers’ conceptual understanding of scientific inquiry using concept maps. Thirty participants constructed concept maps describing the interrelationships among twelve scientific inquiry concepts. The concept maps were analyzed to determine how participants structured, organized, associated, and described the relationships between these concepts. The majority of participants did organize and associate a chain of inquiry concepts with one another into a scientific method series. Participants displayed an overall low number of associations between the twelve inquiry concepts. Of the concept pairs that were associated with one another, there was a lack of consistency in the linking words used to describe the relationship between them. Implications for science educators in the development and design of teaching about inquiry in pre-service teacher education programs and professional development opportunities will be examined. Recommendations for further study into the conceptual understanding of beginning science teachers are also discussed.
Principal Author: Benjamin S.. Kirby, University of North TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Pamela E.. Harrell, University of North Texas; Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas
This presentation focuses on the misconceptions preservice teachers have about the scientific concept of buoyancy and how their knowledge structures about buoyancy are manipulated by an instructional intervention. Identifying misconceptions about buoyancy has been the topic of investigation of other research studies, especially in the realm of how young children understand the observation of floating and sinking, but there is a gap in preservice teachers and how they understand buoyancy. Researchers collected a concept map from participants before and after a lesson on buoyancy that was designed using the 5E Model. This revealed how their cognitive structures, as they relate to understanding buoyancy, were manipulated by exposure to the intervention. A majority of participants did not include concepts or terms in their pre-concept maps that the researchers deemed related to buoyancy (e.g., density of the fluid, opposing forces, and weight) and necessary for expressing an understanding of the concept. This trend was also found in the post-concept maps; however, a statistically significant difference was found between the pre- and post-concept maps in regards to the total number of propositions (accurate and inaccurate) and, more importantly, the number of accurate propositions. Thus, although their understandings prior to the intervention were very weak or non-existent, the instructional intervention had an impact on their knowledge structure and was a formative experience for most. The results informed the conclusion that a need for remediation exists for preservice science teachers as it relates to their understanding of buoyancy and reinforced the importance of accurate instructional interventions. This presentation is important for curriculum designers, science method instructors, science teachers, and educational researchers interested in using concept mapping as an assessment tool. It is the hope that it invigorates preservice education programs to evaluate their programs to ensure the focus on pedagogy and theory is complemented with lessons on content.
Principal Author: Jeong-yoon Jang, The University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Luke Fostvedt, Iowa State University; Brian Hand, The University of Iowa
This study examined the effects of an argument-based inquiry approach known as the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) on student critical thinking skills over the two years. The study was conducted over a two-year period and examined gains in students’ critical thinking. Effect size was used to examine the magnitude of the effect due to either the SWH treatment or the effect of longer exposure to the SWH i.e. two years as opposed to one. The results indicated that as the exposure in years of the SWH increases that critical thinking diminishes. The results imply that the first year of exposure to the SWH is related to the greatest increase in critical thinking. While more exposure is better, it cannot compete with the initial increase in the beginning.
Principal Author: Mary Lightbody, The Ohio State University NewarkAbstract:
Connecting Climate Science and Inquiry in K-5 Classrooms (CCSI) addressed elementary teachers’ understanding of Earth Systems and climate science and enhanced their pedagogical knowledge of inquiry, differentiation, and use of informational text. The year-long program and research is being conducted with 23 elementary teachers by a team of experienced educators, and consists of a 2-week summer institute (with face-to-face and online experiences) in June 2013 and academic year support throughout 2013-14.
Results and findings for our initial research question will be the focus of this poster presentation: To what extent has the CCSI program increased elementary teachers’ science content knowledge of earth systems and climate science?
During the summer institute, which met 6 times over a two week period, teacher content knowledge was assessed through a pre- and post-test. Participants completed daily quizzes covering the essential principle for that day; each quiz included a total of ten multiple choice and short answer items. Participants also completed a daily reflection each day, and participated in an online discussion board between course meetings.
Data analysis is being completed in the remainder of the summer of 2013. Teacher content knowledge gains are being evaluated using statistical methods for the pre- and post-content tests and daily quizzes. More complex content analysis methods to investigate participant learning in online discussions are being used to select and develop an analytical framework and to ensure that we reach a high-level of reliabilities (including inter-rater reliability, test-retest reliability, and parallel-forms reliability) in this effort. The analysis results will be reported to the other members of CCSI project for discussion and interpretation in order to draw conclusion and implications. The poster will allow us to share information about the process and the analytical framework that emerged, and our research findings.
Principal Author: Billy McConnell, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniel Dickerson, Old Dominion University
Students’ out of school interests and pastimes can be powerful tools to teachers when looking for more engaging ways to teach science. This presentation describes an inquiry-based learning opportunity that purposefully blends formal and informal contexts to create a learning environment that resonates with students. Specifically, the lesson is centered on the game Angry Birds and how it can be used to help teach physical science and engineering concepts. Students test ideas within the game by playing it with an educational purpose in the classroom and at home while also interacting with peers and participating in hands-on design activities, all in a concerted effort to address some of the most critical STEM concepts in elementary education.
Principal Author: Samuel R. Wheeler, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Video analysis technology is being shown to be a powerful pedagogical tool in the high school physics classroom. This technology allows the student to visualize and manipulate situation for optimum learning. This pilot study examines the impact of video analysis technology on student interest and attitudes toward physics and on their own learning. The study was conducted on three AP Physics classes in an urban magnet high school for a total of 73 student participants. Students were assigned a project based learning open-ended inquiry activity and were asked to investigate the physics of flight. Participants were free to choose their own concept within the physics of flight to investigate, but they were required to make videos of their experiment and analyze the results with Logger Pro software. Following the conclusion of the activity, students presented their results to the entire class and submitted a written lab report. Participants were interviewed and given a survey in order to understand the impact of the activity on their attitudes and interests in physics. A total of eleven student volunteers were interviewed and 27 students responded to the survey. Among the findings, a strong majority of respondents replied that they learned more through this type of activity and that the activity also made them more interested in physics. In addition, 70% of respondents reported that they learned more than they would have in a traditional lab. In light of the national call for more graduates in STEM degrees, these findings suggest that a more detailed investigation of the impact of video analysis project based learning be conducted.
Principal Author: Rebekah E.. Smith, R & R Educational ConsultingAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard Lamb, Washington State University
Students within the United States struggle to maintain an adequate position within the context of international testing and competitions in STEM subjects. Researchers selected two-hundred and fifty four students for this study, from grades, K, 2 and 5. Student ages range from 5-years old to 12-years old. Grade and age progressions, allow for a pseudo-longitudinal analysis of STEM program intervention effects. Review of quantitative results suggests that there are significant differences in affective and cognitive measures between the control and intervention school. Qualitative results suggest five factors play a significant mediating role in STEM learning.
Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at PembrokeAbstract:
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013) integrates the three important dimensions of science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. In order for science teachers to be able to fulfill the expectations of these new standards they themselves must understand the process of the nature of science and ways to implement these standards in their classrooms. The Foundation of Science Education course focuses on the philosophy or process of science and its application to the teaching of science through readings, meaningful discourse, extensive reflection, science demonstrations and argumentation lessons. These activities are designed to support new learning and understandings. During the course, the students participate and struggle with their own conceptions. Products by the students in the course include reflections on leading philosophical discussions on the processes of science, a nature of science demonstration based on a scientific discovery, a philosophy paper applying the theories of the practices of science, an argumentation lesson taught to peers, and a nature of science unit and lesson plans.
Principal Author: Donna J. Barrett, Georgia State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lisa M.. Martin-Hansen, Georgia State University; Anton S.. Puvirajah, Georgia State University
Elementary teachers’ challenges with teaching science, not just inquiry science, have been well documented in the literature (Appleton, 2007; Davis, 2006; Park Rogers, 2006; Martin-Hansen, 2009). Studies have shown many elementary teachers did not experience reform-based instruction as students and the lack of good models of instruction may lead to a lack of confidence in teaching science and subsequent difficulty enacting reform-based strategies with students (Zembal-Saul, Starr & Krajcik, 1999; Appleton, 2007). Windshitl (2003) asserts that teachers with inquiry experience are more likely to implement inquiry strategies with students and those having no experience with inquiry are less likely to implement inquiry.
A K-5 science endorsement was designed to fill a need of in-service science teacher that includes providing an opportunity to experience reform based practices. The K-5 science endorsement that is the subject of this study is a yearlong professional development for elementary teachers designed to provide opportunities to influence the PCK of elementary teachers through enhancing content knowledge, self-efficacy and knowledge of reform based practices. The endorsement is composed of four courses, life science, earth science, physical science, and pedagogy. Instructors create a supportive environment in which reform practices are modeled and teachers (participants) engage in science content through reform based experiences. Successful candidates are able to “add” a K-5 science field to their teaching certificate. Ninety elementary teachers completed the K-5 science endorsement in 2011-12.
This dissertation study will look at the relationship these experiences have on the instructional practices, self-efficacy and content knowledge of elementary teachers and the interaction of those components. This presentation will present the findings of a retrospective pretest + post survey of self-efficacy given at the end of the school year following the endorsement completion and the results of observation and interviews that look at the implementation
Principal Author: Joan Kiely, Stony Brook UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Angela M. Kelly, Stony Brook University; Kristen La Magna, Stony Brook University; Daniel Moloney, Stony Brook University; David Bynum, Stony Brook University
The Center for Science and Mathematics Education (CESAME) at Stony Brook University has offered half-day, hands-on biotechnology teaching labs (BTLs) to more than 55,000 students since 1992. These laboratories bring 6-12 grade students to the university for hands-on, inquiry-based experiences using scientific equipment not readily available in schools. Over 85% of the school districts on Long Island have taken part in the labs, including all the high-needs schools in the region. More than 5,000 students participate each year. Emphasis is placed on New York State science standards related to experimental design, scientific inquiry, and historical development of scientific ideas. University instructors and pre-service candidates in the Master of Arts in Teaching program prepare and teach the activities. Program goals include reinforcing student understanding of biotechnology, improving students’ feelings of competence in the laboratory, increasing students’ interest in science careers, and strengthening community ties.
We will present data from surveys of students and their teachers, as well as interviews with BTL instructors. Our data have indicated that this program increased student confidence and interest in science. Teachers reported strong correlation between the BTL curricula and school-based course material and are highly satisfied with the program. Program instructors reported that pre-service teachers have refined their skills in pedagogical content knowledge in biotechnology, classroom/laboratory management, ability to assess prior knowledge, and time management. Program instructors also revealed that in-service teachers who accompanied their students have deepened their content knowledge by observing scientists engaging in cutting-edge research techniques. The program was established with support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Stony Brook University. Through additional funding from the Toyota Foundation, we have scaled up the program and developed teaching laboratories in other subjects, including chemistry, physics and Earth science.
Principal Author: Peter M. Meyerson, University of Wisconsin OshkoshAbstract:
Co-Authors: Stacey Skoning, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; John Lemberger, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
This study explores the evolution and effects of an innovative University-based outreach program for K-12 in-service teachers. The Science Teaching through Universal Design and Inquiry (STUDI) program specifically focuses on teaching science content, principles of universal design, and science inquiry as we scaffold teachers beliefs about the ability of their students who have a variety of disabilities to learn science content through inquiry. Teachers are learning to integrate principles of scientific inquiry and Universal Design in their teaching of inclusive science lessons.
To systematically investigate the effects of the STUDI program, a longitudinal mixed methods design is used. In terms of quantitative methodology; Formal quantitative pre and post-assessment measures (i.e., multiple choice, short answer, and Likert scale questions) of learning and satisfaction are administered to both students and teachers during each distinct phase of the program (i.e., the summer teacher institutes, the academic year, etc.). The measures of learning focus on changes in science content knowledge, understanding of the scientific inquiry process, and universal design principles for differentiation that maximize the learning of all students engaged in the inquiry process. The measures of satisfaction focus on changes in attitudes towards science content, scientific inquiry, and the ability of students with disabilities to learn science content through inquiry.
In terms of qualitative methodology, case study methodology is employed. Each year of the study specific elementary, middle, and high school classrooms were selected (typically 2 per academic year) to be sites for micro ethnographies. At these sites field based observations and interviews of teachers and students were conducted as they engaged in the inquiry units the teachers had designed during the summer workshops.
Starting with the end of the first year the quantitative and qualitative data have been reviewed and used to inform and improve the workshop for each of the subsequent years of the study.
Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at PembrokeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Irina Falls, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
The goal of this qualitative 2-year study was to examine the resilience building process in secondary science preservice teachers and its link to perceived teacher success. To achieve the research goal, a resilience framework was established in which a part of the framework included using mobile devices as tools for support. Three means were used to create the resiliency framework. The first focused on stressors and protective factors in the lives of these beginning teachers and provided direction and goals for the research. Second, a case study was developed for each of the five teachers participating in the study. Finally, cross-case analysis was employed to identify similarities and differences and provided insight into issues concerning the resilience process and how the mobile device provided support or was a stressor. Results of this study suggested that the interaction between stressors and protective factors acted as a primary force in the resilience process and stimulated responses to help counteract negative effects of resulting stress. The mobile devices used as a tool was able to provide mainly support for the teachers. From this research, it can be reasoned that resilience can be fostered in preservice science teachers as a means of enforcing perceived teacher success.
Principal Author: Devarati -. Bhattacharya , STEM Education Center, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Engin -. Karahan, STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota,; J -. McClelland , STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota,; Shiyu -. Liu, STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota,; Gillian H.. Roehrig, STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota,
Photo Elicitation Interview (PEI) were used for assessing in-service secondary school teachers’ conceptual understanding about global climate change (GCC). We selected PEI over other instruments like attitude surveys, multiple-choice content assessments and interviews because we believe that evaluating knowledge about GCC requires an understanding of the system as a whole (Papadimitriou, 2004). Since the use of isolated approaches in analyzing what one knows about GCC seems to be incomplete, encouraging participants’ for a discussion using visual representations of GCC, could be one such method where participants’ complete in-depth knowledge about GCC, along with their misconceptions could be elicited. The images used in this PEI approach were obtained from NASA image collection and local climatology websites. Questions associated with these images were developed, aligned with Essential Principles for Climate Literacy (NOAA, 2009) and PEI interviews were conducted with ten teachers following a weeklong, summer professional development workshop. The resulting image- based narratives and discussions between the researcher and the participants were collected, transcribed and subjected to thematic analysis using N-Vivo software (QSR International, 1999-2011)
We found PEIs were able to analyze teachers’ overall understanding of GCC along with eliciting their misconceptions. All ten participants of this study displayed their strongest knowledge towards climate literacy principles 6 and 7 related to the causes and implications in a GCC scenario. There was a general lack of appreciation for feedbacks that occur within the climate system, with almost no mentions of the connection between the greenhouse effect and the hydrological cycle. Teachers also failed to connect that changing climate exacerbates the impact of various land use practices. Several misconceptions that have been previously reported in various studies (Gautier et al., 2006, Grima et al., 2010 and Kempton, 1991) were also revealed in our study. (2038 characters)
Principal Author: Daniel Dickerson, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Craig Stewart, University of Memphis; Angela Eckhoff, Old Dominion University; Stephanie Hathcock, Old Dominion University; Billy McConnell, Old Dominion University
The purpose of this study is to determine whether a pull-out STEM program (STARBASE) makes reading and math scores decrease and examine its impact on urban 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students’ and their parents’ attitudes and perceptions regarding STEM education and careers. We employed a mixed-methods, case study approach that involved two published and one indigenous instrument composed of Likert scales, semantic differential scales, and open-ended items, along with structured interviews. Results indicate that it is possible for reading, math, and social studies scores to be unaffected when implementing a STEM pull-out program, as adjusted trends (for ethnicity and socioeconomic status) are not statistically different from those of non-STARBASE school divisions in the area. Additionally, the Black/White achievement gap, as measured by standardized test scores, was substantially closed over the last decade within STARBASE schools. There were statistically significant negative changes in attitudes as measured pre- and post- STARBASE intervention on the semantic differential scales, but with very small effect sizes (less than 0.5 mean difference on a 7-point scale) and no changes in Likert-type items. Student qualitative responses were overwhelmingly positive. Students wanted more STARBASE time in the regular school year, while parents wanted more STARBASE time after-school and during the summer. Parents also indicated a desire for an enhanced focus on critical thinking, computer/technology skills, and careers. Students, particularly Black students, also wanted an increase in career education opportunities. Implications regarding curricular changes aimed at STEM education and model adoption are addressed.
Principal Author: Robert J. Ceglie, Queens University of Charlotte Abstract:
In this session, the findings from a qualitative study of seven college science faculty members perceptions of what types of qualities, attributes, skills and strategies they have found to be highly supportive of women and minorities entering and navigating STEM disciplines in college. College faculty where recruited from the information requested from a group of women minority women who were majoring in a STEM discipline. These women were asked to nominate faculty who were particularly supportive for their pursuits during their own journeys in navigating a STEM major. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven college science faculty and support staff (Seidman,2006). Findings included strategies such as early experiences in science labs, frequent mentoring with graduate students and/or faculty, dedicated support programs and alternative pathways to degree completion, were described as some of the key themes which college faculty had found beneficial in working with underrepresented college students. This session will provide a discussion of the importance of these findings.
Principal Author: Shannon L.. Dubois, The University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Melissa A. . Jurkiewicz, The University of Georgia; Ann Brennan, The University of Georgia; Ben Campbell, The University of Georgia; Julie A. . Luft, The University of Georgia
While there is growing understanding of early career teacher learning and instruction in the United States, little is known about early career teachers’ approaches to teaching certain concepts. One of the core life science concepts in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2012) is heredity. This qualitative study looks at eight early career biology teachers conceptualizations and enactments of teaching heredity. The data collected consisted of interviews, observations, demographic surveys, and artifacts. Thematic analysis revealed early career teachers are learning about content, students, and resources when teaching heredity. This study suggests that science teacher education and induction programs must continue to assist early career teachers in their learning about heredity content, differentiation strategies, and the critical examination of resources.
Principal Author: Scott A. Sander, Miami UniversityAbstract:
In the current educational era of standardized testing and focus on accountability, teacher preparation programs are coming under fire for their inability to change how our nation’s classrooms operate. Despite promoting student-centered, inquiry-based methods, teacher education programs seem to be a weak intervention in the face of the disproportionate number of hours that preservice teachers (PSTs) have observing and experiencing largely traditional, didactic classrooms.
A research study was completed to investigate how PSTs negotiated contradictory messages between how they have been taught and how they are now being taught to teach science. To supplement the traditional field experiences, the methods course utilized a virtual classroom called TeachLivE™.
The use of TeachLivE™ was initially conceived in order to provide PSTs additional opportunities to practice teaching inquiry-based lessons in a low risk, high feedback environment. As a pedagogical tool alone, TeachLivE™ offers many potential benefits not even available to PSTs in real field experiences. It was only during the first practice session that a second purpose was revealed – as a diagnostic tool for teacher educators.
TeachLivE™ became a window into the thinking of preservice teachers as their actions revealed many of the dominant discourses so pervasive in education. Even though the university methods courses were providing PSTs with an alternative, inquiry-based model of teaching and learning, TeachLivE™ practice sessions saw PSTs revert back to a traditional model of “teacher as knowledge provider”.
Attendees to the session will become active participants in the session based on initial research findings utilizing TeachLivE™. This session will be an opportunity for the teacher education community to dialogue and exchange ideas about the role of TeachLivE™ as an inquiry-based tool that will challenge PSTs to consider the impact of their prior experiences and gain greater awareness of their previously taken-for-granted assumptions about science, teaching and learning.
Principal Author: Carolyn Parker, The Johns Hopkins University School of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Claudia Morrell, National Association for Partnerships in Equity
According to a recent report from Change the Equation, employer demand for skilled science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers is at its highest in many years. Yet the United States is currently ranked twenty-seventh in the world for producing STEM college graduates, and US students’ interest and academic performance in STEM fields remain weak (Change the Equation, 2012).
In response, a nationally recognized non-profit organization, a regional community college, and a large urbanized school district have partnered to deliver a high-quality professional development focused on supporting classroom practices intended to enhance equity in STEM classrooms. We plan to present the professional development that was collaboratively developed. The educators who participate each year customize and implement the strategies and tools in their classrooms. The materials and methods featured in the project include the following practices: 1) delivery of face-to-face and on-line rigorous training content, resources, tools, and strategies focused on micro-messaging, gender, and diversity in STEM; 2) incorporation of continuous educator feedback, peer support, and program revision; 3) building of professional learning communities to engage and support participants; and 4) provision of peer-coaching training to build the network of educator learning and support. The professional development engages educators to create customized strategies unique to their diverse population's needs by making them aware of the implicit biases that we all have and which cause inequities in the classroom. Educators collectively and individually select, develop, and evaluate currently available pedagogical tools, resources, and strategies as applied to their specific programs in order to improve student outcomes. Our presentation should be of interest to science teachers, school administrators, and university faculty.
Principal Author: Richard Lamb, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: David B. Vallett, University of Nevada Las Vegas; Leonard Annetta, George Mason Univeristy
The science education community has entered a new era in assessment. The recognition of the changing face of science competition away from developed nations, such as, England, Canada, France, Germany, and Japan, to the fastest growing economies in the world such as China and India has generated a need for a new framework for assessment of science skills. One possible way to meet this requirements for the changing model of assessment is through real-time (computer adaptive) cognitive diagnostic assessments using 21st Century Skills as a framework. Results of this study identify three underlying cognitive attributes and four tasks responsible for science processing and other related constructs. The authors also explore the implications of this identification for teachers and students for assessment purposes.
Principal Author: Edward G. Lyon, Arizona State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sara Tolbert, University of Arizona
Science education currently faces a critical challenge: how to help elementary students understand core science ideas and the nature of science as well as comprehend, produce, and critique informational texts. In the larger Effective Science Teaching for English Language Learners (ESTELL) project, we redesigned an elementary science methods course and added professional development for cooperating teachers at three California universities to promote the integration of academic language and literacy with inquiry-based science. Out of 380 participating pre-service teachers, we recruited and closely followed nine of them (grades 3-6) as they taught science in their first year of teaching. We gave them a common science unit to teach and administered, among other assessments, a pre-post writing prompt to students to find out whether students of ESTELL-trained teachers improved in their science writing, and whether improvement varied by ELL status, dimension of science writing, or by teacher. On average, students’ science writing gained 1.49 points out of 12 (SD=2.34). This gain was statistically significant and reflects a medium effect (cohen’s d = .698). Descriptively, beginning and intermediate ELLs appeared to improve their science writing more than advanced ELLs and English Only students. However, ANOVA revealed that these differences were not statistically significant, F (3, 172) = 2.573, p =.056. ANOVA revealed no gain differences across science writing dimensions (argument, clarity, use of vocabulary), but did reveal differences by teacher. The findings are important to science teacher education in two ways. Bringing more focused attention to the needs of ELLs in elementary science instruction improves literacy outcomes for all students, including native English speakers and ELLs. Second, by helping elementary teachers learn to use science learning as a meaningful context for promoting students’ writing skills, teachers may be more inclined to actually teach science in elementary classrooms.
Principal Author: Sarah J. Carrier, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Valerie Faulkner, North Carolina State University; Laura Bottomley, North Carolina State University
Preparing effective STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education teachers has become a priority of national economic importance (NRC, 2007) and these goals depend on teachers who understand content and possess effective teaching practices that impact student learning (Ball, 1998; Shulman, 1986). This STEM focused teacher preparation program rigorously prepares future elementary teachers in science, mathematics, and engineering content and aims to blur the rigid boundaries that traditionally separate school subjects. Here we highlight a unified project that spans not only disciplines and courses but also students’ mindsets. This interdisciplinary STEM assignment took place during the pre-service teachers’ (PST) first semester of methods courses, therefore most of the PST had little experience working in classroom settings with children. Many had naïve impressions of teaching, falling back on their experiences as students (Ball, 1988). Further, many of the PST struggled with goals for eliciting rich learning reflections from students, developing deep knowledge of the science concepts of force and motion or sound and rich mathematical understandings of the meanings behind measurement. Children having “fun” or behaving were ultimate goals for many of the PST and the learning curve to additionally focus on rich student learning of content and processes required a self reflective leap. Further, many of the PST struggled with goals for eliciting rich learning reflections from students, developing deep knowledge of the science concepts of force and motion or sound and rich mathematical understandings of the meanings behind measurement. The preparation of final presentations for peers required PST to fully evaluate and reflect on not only student learning but on their own development as teachers and their abilities to facilitate student learning STEM-focused interdisciplinary goals.
Principal Author: Hui-Hui Wang, University of Minnesota/Center for Youth Development and STEM Education CenterAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ying-Chih Chen, University of Minnesota/STEM Education Center; Jia-Ling Lin, University of Minnesota/STEM Education Center
Many scholars advocate strongly the need to create environments where students can talk in order to construct explanations, models, and theories just as scientists use arguments to relate the evidence they select to their claims (e.g., Martin & Hand, 2009). Yore and Treagust (2006) argue both writing and oral play an important role during argumentative processes. Yet, studies in the field of argumentation often treat talking and writing as separate modalities and disjoint their relationships on argumentative processes This study attempts to explore the relationship between oral argument and written argument in the eight-grade science unit of heat and energy. A basic qualitative study design was employed to conduct to understand the relationship between oral and written modes argumentation (Merriam, 1998). The research site is an inner-city middle school with a diverse student population. Two eight-grade classes were chosen to participate in this study. Total 50 students in two classes participated in this project. Class 1 had 29 students, which divided into 8 groups, and class 2 had 21 students, which divided into 6 groups. Data was collected in regards to both oral and written arguments for the entire class. Data included (1) each group of students’ four storyboard, and (2) five lessons of classroom observations.
Our results indicated not only there is a positive relationship between oral and written arguments, but also especially it could be found in the components of scientific language of claim, the relationship between questions and claim, and use multimodal representation. In addition, the students also struggle to provide reasoning why they choose their evidence. Especially in the quality of evidence, students tend to focus on “what is our data”, rather than “why we chose the data” and “how can we interpret our data as evidence to back up our claims”.
Principal Author: Margilee P. Hilson, Columbus City SchoolsAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sally L. Hobson, Hilliard City Schools; Tiffany A. Wild, The Ohio State University
This session will focus on the results of four separate research studies that were conducted during summer science camp experiences specifically developed for students with visual impairments. Data pertaining to changes in conceptual understanding, student inquiry behaviors at the camp, impact of having mentors and/or field-based experts, and overall experiences at the camp will be presented. The curriculum used during the camps will be presented as well as tips on how this type of summer camp experience may be duplicated in classrooms; an important topic since inquiry-based science is mandated in the new Next Generation Science Standards.
Principal Author: Luisa McHugh, Stony Brook UniversityAbstract:
For over a century, numerous articles have been written about integrating mathematics into the science classroom. More recently, in an effort to increase Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education, the government has been offering substantial incentives in STEM teacher training and in the implementation of STEM courses into the schools. However, traditional educational practice places emphasis on separate and discreet subjects.
This research study conducted at a large suburban school district on Long Island, New York examines students’ attitude toward integration and achievement on science assessments in an integrated 8th grade science classroom compared to students in a non-integrated classroom.
The purposes of this study are first, to compare the academic success between students who are taught science lessons with an emphasis on mathematics and those who are taught the same lessons without the mathematics component; second, to determine if there is a positive association with the integration of Mathematics and science within the science classroom.
Using data from an established Math Infused Science Program (MISP) created by a team of faculty at Hofstra University, results indicate that student’s ability to understand the mathematical concepts of graphing were better in the experimental group than the control group. The current research I am conducting is to see if there are similarly statistically significant findings in science achievement in an integrated classroom.
Integration addresses the national standards: National Council of Teachers of Math (NCTM), National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the National Research Council (NRC).
The future educational goals will continue to be a push toward integrating mathematics and science to improve literacy as governed in the Common Core Standards. It remains imperative that in order to reach this goal, teachers need to be highly skilled at integration.
Principal Author: Jennifer Albert, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Margaret Blanchard, North Carolina State University; Meredith Kier, Howard University; Sarah Carrier, North Carolina State University; Grant Gardner, Middle Tennessee State University
Given the importance of technology in today’s society, many teacher professional development efforts incorporate instructional technologies. Following teacher professional development, little is known about how to adequately support teachers in the use of these instructional technologies. Supporting teachers in geographically distant schools is particularly challenging. In this exploratory study, teachers were part of a professional development grant that provided them with new instructional technologies that were modeled to be implemented in their classrooms in reform-based ways. This study analyzes the nature of technical support sessions with teachers in both videoconferencing sessions and face-to-face sessions based on aspects of the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework. Using the CoI framework, transcripts were coded according to three aspects of social presence (affective, interactive & cohesive) and two aspects of teaching presence (pedagogical & technical). While the exchanges in technical support sessions were technical in nature, social talk was also a major component. The overall teaching and social presences were comparable in both the videoconferencing and face-to-face sessions, and all teachers were highly satisfied and felt able to implement the instructional technology they employed in their lesson. This indicates that, teacher technical support sessions involve pedagogical and social support as well as technical support. Findings imply that videoconferencing-based technical support seems to be a viable option, comparable in social and teaching presence, there is a need for pedagogical content knowledge and social skills in the technical support person, and that videoconferencing holds the potential to ‘catch up’ newcomers to the TPD, a common occurrence in high need districts with high teacher turnover.
Principal Author: Kimberly A. Lebak, The Richard Stockton College of New JerseyAbstract:
This proposal introduces a multi-faceted model for improving the science teaching of in-service teachers. The model, built upon the theoretical tenets of teacher reflection, sociocultural theory, and action research provides opportunities for science teachers to use videos of their science teaching to self-reflect, engage in reflective dialogue with peers, and receive targeted feedback from a instructional coach over an academic school year. Case study methodology was used to study the impact of the implementation of the model on one science teacher. The transcriptions of videoed dialogue sessions, the teacher’s reflective journal and final project, and five teaching videos were analyzed as part of the study. As measured by the observation protocol, The Framework for Teaching, the science teacher significantly improved his science teaching practice while participating in the study. Furthermore, gains in the reflective capacity of the science teacher were noted. However, the study also points to the challenges associated with the development of science teaching practice. Sustained, on-going support from multiple stakeholders within the context of teaching was needed for true development to occur.
Principal Author: Jill Nugent, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
This poster will feature monarch butterfly migration programs in the upper elementary classroom and examine how this hands on study and experience can serve to facilitate global science education collaboration.
Principal Author: Dannah L. Schaffer, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lloyd H. Barrow, University of Missouri
The main goal of this research study was to develop and validate a three-tier diagnostic test to determine pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) conceptual knowledge of the water cycle. For a three-tier diagnostic test, the first tier assesses content knowledge; in the second tier, a reason is selected for the content answer; and the third tier allows test-takers to select how confident they are in their answers for the first two tiers. The second goal of this study was to diagnose any alternative conceptions PSTs might have about the water cycle. The Water Cycle Diagnostic Test (WCDT) was developed using the theoretical framework by Treagust (1986, 1988, and 1995), and in similar studies that developed diagnostic tests (e.g., Calean & Subramaniam, 2010; Odom & Barrow, 2007). The final instrument consisted of 15 items along with a demographic survey that examined PSTs’ weather-related experiences that may or may not have affected the PSTs’ understanding of the water cycle. The WCDT was administered to 77 PSTs enrolled in science methods courses. Using exploratory factor analysis, five categories were factored out for the WCDT. Analysis of the PSTs’ responses demonstrated acceptable reliability, difficulty indices, and discrimination indices. In addition, the analysis of the PSTs’ responses revealed 49 potential alternative conceptions and areas where PSTs’ lack of knowledge was revealed from the WCDT.
Principal Author: Lauren Madden, The College of New JerseyAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. Gail. Jones, North Carolina State University; Gina Childers, North Carolina State University
New tools for teaching science education with distance education afford students with a variety of modes of communication. This study examined students’ interactions during a science education distance education course. All interactions that took place with Elluminate Chat, Elluminate Voice, and Moodle learning platforms were recorded, transcribed, and analyzed. Interactions were coded according to the target of the interaction, the content, and the type of interaction (comment or question). Results showed that the different modes of interaction provided distinctly different opportunities for communication and served different purposes with the instruction. Furthermore, there were individual differences in students’ behaviors across the communication modes. The implications of the study for distance education of science teachers is discussed.
Principal Author: Paula A. Magee, Indiana University - IndianapolisAbstract:
Co-Authors: Aimee L. Govett, East Tennessee State University; Debra Hemler, Fairmont State University
This themed paper set session will focus on the development of field experiences that support content knowledge, pedagogical expertise and appreciation for student difference and diversity for elementary pre-service teachers. The three main approaches that we will present and discuss will be: a service learning project, international field experiences, and the learning and teaching of an inquiry-based unit for elementary grade students. Following the 3 15-minute presentations we will engage the audience in a discussion around our and their ideas for maximizing the field components of elementary science education courses [both methods as well as content courses].
Principal Author: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susan Hawkins, Indiana University; Stacy McCormack, Indiana University; Maria Zoretic-Goodwin, Indiana University; Banu Avsar Erumit, Indiana University; Christina Melki, Indiana University; Heidi Wiebke, Indiana University; Mi Yeon Lee, Indiana University
There is some debate in the literature that beginning teachers need to first develop their image of self as teacher before they can begin to focus on student thinking like experienced teachers do. It is this debate that establishes the premise for our study. We side with the view that preservice teachers are capable of learning how to attend to student thinking to inform their practice. We do so since we view this skill not as something that comes only after one develops their image as a teacher, but as a necessary component of the teacher development process. Utilizing a case study approach we reviewed three preservice elementary teaching teams (or cases) to understand the ways in which they respond to students’ comments following an initial probe into students’ scientific reasoning. This approach afforded us the opportunity to examine this issue from the perspective of different grade levels. We coded teacher/student dialogue with respect to how the preservice teachers responded to students’ comments and/or ideas, which they shared in response to an initial question asked by a preservice teacher. Our findings indicate that these preservice teachers could attend to students thinking, but do so mainly during the explain phase and for the purpose of “funneling” them to a specific goal. Also, there tends to be more “attending to” types of questions asked at the higher grade levels indicating perhaps that the preservice teachers are not sure how to frame questions to target young children’s reasoning. Overall, preservice teachers were acknowledging more than they were attending to students’ responses, translating into limited “in the moment” changes to instruction to support students’ scientific reasoning.
Principal Author: M. Gail Jones, NC State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Thomas Andre, Iowa State University; Gina Childers, NC State University; Elysa Corin, NC State University
Why do people engage in extensive, but informal science learning? Science hobbyists learn considerable science and contribute to informal science education through club activities and public presentations, but little research has examined their developmental histories and motivations. We utilized in depth interviews with 107 astronomy and birding hobbyists and examined the development of their science hobby and their outreach to other communities. Results showed the influence of: early science experiences, social needs within the hobby, a desire to provide service to others, and aesthetic response as motivations for participation. The significant role of hobbyists as teacher educators, science learners, and science educators is documented and discussed.
Principal Author: Lisa S. Wood, University of ArkansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cathy Wissehr, University of Arkansas
Increasing the environmental literacy (EL) of students is crucial to ensuring a literate citizenry that is prepared to understand and address complex environmental issues developing globally. This study was undertaken to assess the EL of sixth grade students across Arkansas, compare the findings to the national baseline data published by the National Environmental Literacy Assessment Project (NELA)(McBeth et. al., 2008), and to identify factors at the students, teacher, school, and state levels that are most predictive of EL. When compared to the NELA data, Arkansas students scored significantly lower in the cognitive skills and behavior domains as well as scoring lower in the composite EL scores. In comparing scores within the state based on distinct physiographic boundaries, students from schools located within the Mississippi Delta region scored significantly lower in all domains as well as composite scores, indicating this region is problematic. Significant correlations were found between composite EL scores and student performance of both science and literacy benchmark scores (reported as means for each school). Findings to date suggest there is a need to improve upon environmental education at the middle grade levels in Arkansas.
Principal Author: Tammy D.. Lee, East Caroina UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith W.. Kier, Howard University, Washington, D.C.; Megan L.. Garner, East Carolina University
For the past decade, national leaders have placed emphasis on K-12 students being prepared in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The US depends on K-12 students to be scientifically literate and to have an understanding of science and engineering practices, contributing to a STEM workforce that will keep the US sustainable. One of the challenges in preparing students in STEM is building their understanding of science content at an early age. Research has shown that preservice elementary teachers are not confident teaching science and have difficulty explaining scientific phenomena to students. This implies that preservice elementary teachers are not adequately being prepared in science, suggesting a need for science content courses infused with pedagogical practices unique to distinct subject areas. A physicist practices science differently from a geologist or a biologist, and a single science methods course can not effectively model these different practices. To address this issue, we created a new science concentration for elementary majors at a southeastern state university with courses in physical science, life science, earth systems science, and informal science. At the end of the school year, six students who completed the physical science course volunteered to be interviewed about their experiences in past science courses and in the physical science course. The research question guiding our interview was: How does participation in the elementary science concentration course affect preservice teacher’s perception of themselves as future science teachers? Markus and Nurius’ possible selves theory guided our understandings of how these preservice teachers are beginning to consider a future science teacher self that they hope to enact in their classroom as well as fears that may prevail in future science experiences. We plan to continue following these students and others as they take part in the concentration as a means to reflect on our own instructional practices and to aid preservice teachers to be more confident in teaching science.
Principal Author: Ingrid Weiland, University of LousivlleAbstract:
Research has found that engaging students in science argumentation can promote critical thinking and scientific understandings (Erduran & Jimenez-Aleixandre, 2008). Furthermore, the ability to synthesize and think critically about data in order to provide evidence for a scientific claim supports the development of skills necessary to succeed in the 21st century. This study examined how a claims, evidence, reasoning, rebuttal framework can serve to focus on science practices, as well the 4C’s (critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity) embedded within 21st Century Skills with regard to the content areas of science. This study addresses the following research questions: How do inservice teachers develop an understanding of a Claims, Evidence, Reasoning, Rebuttal (CERR) framework to promote at-risk students’ critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity in science? What are the successes and challenges affiliated with using this framework? Based on the needs identified by the school, an action-research (Patton, 2002) approach was used to examine professional development efforts to support the use of these frameworks in science instruction. Teachers understandings of how to use the frameworks varied, although most found that the CERR framework provides meaningful and context-specific opportunities for students to be creative and collaborate (during investigations) as well as communicate (when discussing CERR and writing about it in their science notebooks). Successes included improved facilitation of CERR with students (e.g., recognizing and following a more coherent storyline of instruction and understanding the difference between data [collected during the investigation] and evidence [used to support claim after patterns in the data have been examined]). Challenges included teachers’ struggles with distinguishing CERR from the scientific method, as well as students’ difficulties communicating their CERR understandings through writing.
Principal Author: Lori Andersen, Kansas State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Juanita Jo. Matkins, The College of William and Mary
Reflective practice of a group of ten graduate preservice secondary science teachers (PSTs) at a public university in Virginia was examined. Since an initial survey of the participants revealed that baseline knowledge of Web 2.0 tools did not include prior blogging experiences, the instructors assisted the PSTs in creating their own blogs. The quality of blog-based, reflective journal entries was assessed each week for ten-weeks using a four level scale. Data analysis revealed that level of reflection remained stable throughout the course duration, and that 68% of preservice teachers’ reflections on their own actions were at the highest two reflective levels, compared to 37% of their reflections on classroom observations of cooperating teachers, indicating that PSTs were more likely to recognize change in their ideas about teaching science when examining their own practice. Methods to scaffold preservice teacher reflective practice are proposed. Recommendations for modifications to methods courses that could promote higher levels of reflective practice are made.
Principal Author: Eun Young Lee, University of North TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas
This presentation addresses how significant factors like gender, race, the number of science courses taken at the university, and science grades attained at high school influence science-teaching efficacy of early childhood pre-service teachers. This study presented is framed by Albert Bandura’s (1977) social learning theory and used the Science Teaching Efficacy Belief Instrument-Preservice Form (STEBI-B) as measurement tool to investigate early childhood pre-service teachers’ science-teaching efficacy. Major findings of this study were as follows: (a) the higher the science grades earned from high school by early childhood pre-service teachers, the more likely they attained high scores in Personal Science Teaching Efficacy (PSTE) (p< .005), and (b) a statistically significant relationship was found between male pre-service teachers and their PSTE (p< .01). However, the gender impact on PSTE requires further study, due to the limitations related to the small sample size of the male group in the current study.
Principal Author: Benjamin C.. Herman, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Much of the general public is uninformed about global warming (GW) and the nature of science (NOS) associated with GW. Furthermore, the perceptions of global warming impacts may be perceived differentially among varied demographic groups. This study addresses these issues by investigating Florida secondary marine science students who have learning experiences with the NOS and climate change to determine how their: 1) beliefs about GW scientific methods and 2) socioeconomic culture are related to the extent they would act to mitigate global warming. To determine this, 595 Global Warming Science Attitudes and Action Surveys (GWSAAS) were randomly distributed to 28 marine science sections across two socioeconomic strata in a large Florida school district. 326 (55%) of the 595 surveys were retained for analysis. Significance testing at p = 0.05 showed that the participants’ views about the methods used to understand GW were significantly related to the extent they would take specific actions to mitigate GW. Specifically, participants who were more aware of the extent scientists employ procedures and ideas from various scientific fields beyond set controlled experiments are significantly more likely to engage in passive to moderately involved actions (e.g. recycling for an hour each week, paying more for fuel) to mitigate GW than participants who were naïve or unsure about these methodological aspects of science. Furthermore, students enrolled in Title 1 schools characterized by lower socioeconomic prosperity were significantly more willing to take on actions, passive in nature to those that would impose significant lifestyle changes (e.g. limiting offspring rates and meat consumption), that mitigate global warming. Implications from these findings include the need for science teachers to be prepared to “read” the socioeconomic/cultural background of their students, and optimally teach about NOS and socioscientific decision making in response to large scale controversial SSIs such as global warming.
Principal Author: John L. Pecore, University of West FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mandy L. Kirchgessner, Temple University; Laura L. Carruth, Georgia State University
Informal learning environments, such as zoos and museums, often host students and teachers for learning opportunities. While there is little known about student learning in such environments, there is even less about how these informal science experiences impact teacher professional development (PD). This paper aims to illustrate the features of a unique collaborative PD between Zoo Atlanta, the Center for Behavioral Neurosciences and Georgia State University, present how the PD experience impacts teacher content, attitudes and classroom lessons, and reflect on the outcomes in light of the PD design. This research suggests that providing an enjoyable and interactive learning environment, access to authentic learning experiences, collaborating with science professionals and support for incorporating challenging content into lessons through co-planning is indeed enough to improve teachers’ science content knowledge and maintain positive attitudes towards science. However, in light of the high level of self-reported satisfaction with the PD and more importantly, the high frequency of lesson plan use in teacher’s classrooms, we propose that the PD had other positive outcomes such as pedagogical knowledge, authentic learning experiences and in making career connections. In light of the Next Generation Science Standards three dimensional framework, future research should focus on how similar partnerships might help K-12 educators better understand the practices of science and engineering. Informal learning centers present a rich opportunity for creating partnerships with science educators and research scientists to advance K-12 educators’ understandings of the vision for the new standards.
Principal Author: Ryan S.. Nixon, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Shannon L.. Dubois, University of Georgia; Melissa A.. Jurkiewicz, University of Georgia; Rene Toerien, University of Cape Town; Benjamin K.. Campbell, University of Georgia; Julie A.. Luft, University of Georgia
How one views teacher knowledge has an influence on the design of teacher education programs, teacher certification policies, and education research. Though many models of teacher knowledge exist, many of them include the idea that teachers must know the content they are to teach. Science knowledge held by a teacher is a necessary precursor for teaching, and it is different than the science knowledge of scientists. Characterizing content knowledge is essential in order to improve teacher education programs.
In order to explore the content knowledge of science teachers, 16 biology and chemistry teachers were interviewed about their science content knowledge for teaching. The interviews were modeled after the mathematical knowledge for teaching instrument by Ball. Interview items align with components of science knowledge for teaching. These components, similar to those in mathematical knowledge for teaching, were common content knowledge, specialized content knowledge, progressional content knowledge, and knowledge of instructional strategies. The responses of the teachers were analyzed to understand these areas and the structure of their content knowledge.
Principal Author: Aracelis J. Scharon, TFAAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniel Z.. Meyer, IIT
This study explores how five novice 10th grade high school chemistry teachers (under 4 years of total teaching experience each) adapted their instructional plans, and the associated contextual factors that influenced their decisions. Teacher instructional decisions and plan adaptations are an area of teacher practice that contributes to a deeper understanding of the role of teacher pedagogical content knowledge and adaptive expertise available during the enactment of a lesson plan. The outcome of this study was the identification of 15 types of instructional plan adaptations (e.g. modify procedures, instructions, add a demo), and 17 relevant contextual factors. Contextual factors (e.g. student prior science knowledge) were categorized by factors that relate to students or the teacher. Adaptations were categorized into three overarching types of adaptations: adapting the activity presented during the lesson, adapting the levels of support to assist students with the lesson plan content, and adapting the content of the lesson plan. For teachers, awareness of the adaptations they make and the decisions for the change is a reflexive process that can support teacher development at both the pre-service and in-service level. These results also represent how the teacher uses adaptations to influence student learning (procedural or conceptual) and their awareness of the adaptation during class. A grounded theory for teacher instructional plan adaptations was then created to explain how teachers were adapting their plans. The grounded theory illustrates how certain combinations of instructional adaptations lead to more procedural learning versus combinations of adaptations that lead to conceptual learning. This study has implications for both research and educational practice. From a research perspective it is important to continue to investigate how teacher instructional decisions and adaptations is shaping student learning and teacher practice.
Principal Author: Kemunto M.. Nyaema, University of IowaAbstract:
The purpose of this study was to understand more about the perceptions middle school science teachers have about argument based inquiry and good science instruction. Asking teachers to describe their ideas and beliefs about teaching would provide insight into what they already know and believe about different methods for teaching. The multiple case study design was used to focus on particular teachers who had been exposed to the elements of argument based inquiry through professional development program base on the Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) approach to find out if there would be a specific area of interest that might arise from their everyday practice in the science classroom.The study was conducted in a fourth and fifth grade science classroom at a rural elementary school in the Midwestern United States. The participants, Mrs. Johnstone and Ms. Sanders (not their real names) were two teachers at who had at least two years teaching experience in Science. Data was collected using participant observation, written reflections and semi-structured interviews with the teachers. The results of the study provide evidence that use of argumentation in the classroom is an idea that is often accepted by teachers but whom always have to strive to overcome the hurdles by students who are still used to the text book oriented laboratory procedures and find it rather laborious to design experiments by themselves. Owing to the successful implementation of the SWH approach to the school, more schools need to develop professional development programs that enable their teachers to be exposed to its elements and use it effectively in carrying out scientific investigation. In addition, teachers also need to be involved in training workshops that assist them to shift their orientation from teacher centeredness to student centeredness when using any form of argument based inquiry approach in the Science classroom.
Principal Author: Teresa J.. Shume, Minnesota State University MoorheadAbstract:
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to describe seven elementary teachers’ conceptions of environmental literacy in relationship to a tall grass prairie restoration project and to explore ways in which the tall grass prairie restoration project for third grade contributed to enhancing educational learning experiences. The research questions were: 1. What are teachers’ conceptions of environmental literacy for third grade students? 2. How does the prairie restoration trip contribute to teachers’ capacity to teach for environmental literacy of third grade students The theoretical frameworks underpinning this study were David Sobel’s (1996) model for developmental progression in children’s relationships with nature, and the North American Environmental Education Association’s (2011) framework for environmental literacy. This study represents a portion of my doctoral dissertation research.
Teachers were invited to participate in this study based on their classes’ involvement in a prairie restoration project located at a local science center during the 2011-12 and/or 2012-13 academic year. Observations took place during both fall and spring field trips to the tall grass prairie, as well as during related science lessons taught in school classrooms. Teacher participants interviews involved the construction of charts using three by five inch cards listing terms generated by participants. Additionally, artifacts such as curricular materials were collected. Data were coded and thematic analysis identified patterns that emerged.
Components of environmental literacy described by teachers included being at ease in the natural environment, appreciation and respect, wonder and curiosity, awareness and interdependence, sense of agency, responsibility and service, and environmental knowledge. Themes emerging from qualitative data analysis resonated with David Sobel’s model of progressive stages in children’s relationships with nature, and resulted in a tool potentially useful for design of elementary curriculum aimed at developing environmental literacy.
Principal Author: Zhe Wang, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Andy Cavagnetto, Washington State University; Clif James, Washington State University
We administered three open-ended questions to 228 Chinese students in Shanghai, China. For the first open-ended question about what they can take from this class that would help them learn science in the future, most of the participants indicated “Content”, which refers to anything related to science principles, theories, facts, etc.). For the second question about the most important idea/skill/thing that scientists use to build understanding, the result demonstrated that the most common answer was “Attitudes”, which refer to interest in science, confidence, love towards life, perseverance curiosity, etc. When asked to answer the third question about what science is, “Content/Things” (Things in the world, everyday usage, textbook knowledge, a course, etc.) was the primary factor in explaining science. In addition, the results suggested that what students characterize science class is remarkably different than scientists.
Principal Author: Maria M. Ferreira, Wayne State UniversityAbstract:
Data on teacher turnover indicate that about 50% of the teachers entering the profession leave during their first 5 years of teaching. High teacher turnover is particularly prevalent in schools serving the neediest students, thereby compounding their lack of access to quality teachers. The clinical-practice model is an alternative approach to teacher preparation, in which theory from coursework is blended with extensive clinical practice in partnering schools under the guidance of teacher mentors. Central to the clinical model is the use of “practice-based” experiences developed through collaborative partnerships between teacher preparation institutions and school districts. The W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Woodrow Wilson Michigan Teaching Fellowship seeks to attract career changers and recent graduates from STEM-related careers and disciplines into the teaching profession through certification programs that use the clinical model. This presentation describes the process a Michigan teacher preparation institution used to develop and implement a clinical-based program to help meet the demand of highly qualified math and science teachers in high need schools.
Principal Author: Jesse L.. Wilcox, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joanne K.. Olson, Iowa State University
Despite the known challenges in educating preservice teachers, research on preservice teacher education programs have largely focused on cognitive outcomes (e.g. self-efficacy, content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge (Rubeck & Enochs, 1991; Czerniak & Schriver, 1994; Roehrig & Luft, 2004)), and inquiry practices (Friedrichsen, 2001; Howes, 2002; Richardson & Liang, 2008), with little attention given to how science methods courses are taught (Lee, 2010), or curriculum materials designed for methods courses. We do not know if curriculum materials and courses are structured in a manner congruent with reform efforts.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the mode of thought (McKeon, 1994) and epistemological perspective present in science methods syllabi and textbooks. 22 elementary science syllabi, 31 secondary science methods syllabi, and 31 textbooks were analyzed.
Our findings indicate the vast majority of books and syllabi tend to have a primary mode of thought of construction, and are oriented towards behaviorist perspectives of learning. Teaching was conveyed by many texts and syllabi as a process of learning discrete skills, to be assembled into a coherent whole by the PST at some point later in the program. Few texts acknowledged the substantial prior knowledge that influences PSTs’ learning. Methods instructors tend to select textbooks congruent with the mode of thought and perspective of learning conveyed in the syllabus. We suggest without aligning course materials and teaching with the ontology and epistemology of reforms-based teaching, we create a difficult situation for preservice teachers to undergo the conceptual change that is required for them to teach in a reforms-based manner.
Principal Author: Julie A. Luft, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ben Campbell, University of Georiga; Shannon Dubois, University of Georgia; Ryan Nixon, University of Georgia; EunJin Bang, Iowa State University
Newly qualified teachers, recent graduates, or beginning teachers have captured the interest of those involved in teacher education. For teacher educators who work primarily with teachers seeking their initial certification or licensure, newly qualified teachers can reveal the impact of their certification process. For teacher educators who work primarily with teachers in the field, the knowledge and skills of a newly qualified teacher are an essential stepping stone to ongoing professional learning. Newly qualified science teachers are a clear link between initial certification and professional development. To better understand this period of time in a teachers career, it is important to examine research pertaining to this group of teachers. This paper is the result of an international review of research on newly qualified teachers. Guiding this review are international standards for teachers, which consist of categories in content knowledge, students learning, assessment, planning and teaching, and professional practice. Empirical articles, form a period of over 30 years, were located, reviewed and analyzed per the different categories associated with the international standards. From this review, it was evident that there is emerging work in the area of early career science teachers. Research pertaining to content knowledge and planning and teaching were among the most plentiful. Research regarding student learning and formative assessment are emerging, as is research on professional practice. One area of research not captured in these categories was -career trajectories and this is covered separately. In general, more research is needed that pertains to early career teachers, and this work will hopefully contribute to our understanding of the continuum of science teacher development. As more research is conducted in the area of newly qualified teachers, there will be a need to specifically connect this research to initial certification and professional development research.
Principal Author: Amber J. Reece, University of Central FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Malcolm B. Butler, University of Central Florida; Kenneth M. Fedorka, University of Central Florida
Online labs have been shown to be as good as, and sometimes better, than traditional labs with respect to student cognitive achievement (Finkelstein et al., 2005; Pyatt & Sims, 2011). However, there are mixed results on student attitudes to online labs (Gilman, 2006; Stuckey-Mickell & Stuckey-Danner, 2007). Most studies have investigated the implementation of simulated labs, but rarely are interactive virtual labs also assessed. This study compares the traditional physical lab to virtual labs in the “Virtual Life” environment and simulated labs in the “Smart Labs” on two different lab exercises covering osmosis and enzymes content.
Student participants were given a pre/post test that covered content specific to the two labs tested in this study as well as general course content. From this test, gain scores were calculated and compared across the groups on the overall test, lab content, and course content. Participants also completed a questionnaire comparing the traditional labs to the two types of online labs across several domains including perception of learning, open-endedness, and usability. Furthermore, student feedback was gathered through open-ended questions about their likes and dislikes of the online labs. These data were compared to the existing literature about student cognitive gains and attitudes toward online labs.
Principal Author: Gillian H. Roehrig, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tamara J. Moore, Purdue University; Selcen Guzey, University of Minnesota
Recent national documents call for improvements in K-12 STEM education to both improve STEM literacy and motivate more students to pursue STEM fields (NRC, 2011). Problems faced by society are complex and multidisciplinary, often requiring an integration of STEM concepts in order to solve them. The integration of STEM disciplines offers students an opportunity to experience learning in a real world multi-disciplinary context. Unfortunately, STEM is currently taught as isolated disciplines and does not reflect the natural interconnectedness of the STEM disciplines which has consequences for student interest and performance, and the development of scientific literacy.
Professional development opportunities for K-12 STEM integration are not common and additionally, existing curricula are not designed with a STEM integration in mind (NAE, 2009). Without systematic curricular development and professional development for science teachers suddenly required to integrate engineering in a STEM integration context, the promise of national STEM education policies will not be realized. NAE (2009) recognizes that integrated STEM education will require changes in teachers’ practice and possibly the structure of the school setting itself. NAE calls for research in STEM integration to both develop and test STEM curricula and approaches to teacher professional development. EngrTeams was designed to address this call to action.
EngrTeams is a NSF Mathematics and Science Partnership involving partners from higher education and K-12 schools. The overarching goal of EngrTeams is to increase learning of science and mathematics (data analysis and measurement), by using an engineering design-based approach to professional development and curricular design. The three papers in this set will address these main strategies for the implementation of STEM integration in K-12 classrooms: professional development, curriculum design, and classroom coaching. Each paper will present the pragmatic structure of these strategies within the broader EngrTeams project, research design, and findings.
Principal Author: Sami Kahn, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dana L. . Zeidler, University of South Florida
Scientific literacy is concerned with the informed citizens’ ability to negotiate scientifically-related societal issues. The suite of useful skills necessary to negotiate these complex issues is referred to as Socioscientific Reasoning (SSR). SSR requires, among other things, perspective-taking abilities in order to consider the multi-faceted nature of these open-ended, debatable socioscientific issues (SSI). Perspective taking supports SSR by enabling understanding of the cognitive and emotional perspectives of others. It is considered a foundational element in human interactions and is studied and promoted in many disciplines. Science teachers must be able to model perspective-taking skills while implementing SSI curriculum in their classes, and also actively promote perspective-taking skills in their students to effectively foster SSR. Although often considered an inevitable product of the progression through human developmental stages, perspective taking has many barriers including resistance to: 1) inhibitory control; 2) cognitive flexibility; and 3) reflection. Identifying instruments and interventions used to assess and overcome these barriers may lead to richer development of perspective taking in SSR for science teachers and their students. In this theoretical paper, perspective taking is deconstructed in order to identify its key components and barriers to its development. A sampling of instruments and interventions used in the humanities, arts, and social sciences to assess and promote perspective taking are then considered. Finally, using the HARTSS model, pedagogical approaches for promoting perspective taking from these other disciplines are translated into socioscientific contexts for use by science teacher educators in order to foster SSR and scientific literacy development in current and future science teachers and their students.
Principal Author: Kimberly H. Lott, Utah State UniversityAbstract:
During science reform efforts in the 1990s, scientific inquiry was recognized as an integral component of the National Science Education Standards (NSES) and the ‘practice’ of science is one of the three dimensions found in the new frameworks for science education. Even though the NSES and the new frameworks for science education are both K-12 initiatives, scientific inquiry was thought to be too abstract for the “concrete” thinkers of the lower elementary. Even though it is now recognized that young children can participate in scientific inquiry, little is still known about how these specific inquiry skills develop across the early elementary years. This study of 18 randomly selected K-2 students were assessed on their scientific inquiry knowledge, specifically doing science, asking science questions, making observations, making inferences, making predictions, conducting scientific research, and designing scientific research. Results of the assessment will be given as well as data analysis to determine if there were differences in scores based on age, gender or reading ability. This study also provides an alternative method of assessing scientific inquiry that is not dependent on reading abilities.
Principal Author: Shiyu Liu, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Anne Loyle-Langholz, University of Minnesota; Devarati Bhattacharya, University of Minnesota
Global climate change (GCC) constitutes an important topic for both science and environmental education. The Next Generation Science Standards have stressed that students should develop the competence in evaluating scientific evidence for GCC and engage in evidence-based argumentation about human impacts on the earth’s climate system. However, previous research shows that students at all grades experience difficulties engaging in productive, evidence-based scientific argumentation (Sampson & Clark, 2008). Therefore, explicit instruction on generating argumentation is needed in K-12 science classrooms.
Teachers play a critical role in educating future generations about issues related to GCC. In order to enhance students’ argumentation skills in the context of GCC, it is important to first understand how teachers construct argumentation. In order for arguments to be considered persuasive and convincing, they must be consistent with the epistemological criteria used by the larger scientific community. Therefore, the present study investigates the nature of in-service teachers’ argumentation skills and the epistemology that guides their argumentation.
Thirteen teachers participated in this study. A written assessment was developed to assess their skills in making arguments, counterarguments and rebuttals when discussing their perspectives on GCC. Our findings show that teachers were able to employ genuine evidence to support their claims, but they often described phenomenon without in-depth discussions about the causal relationships that are necessary for making solid arguments. In addition, the teachers made more valid arguments when asked to support their own perspectives compared to generating counterarguments and rebuttals against alternative beliefs. Although their epistemology does not directly impact the quality of their arguments, teachers who accepted the uncertainty of expert views and acknowledged the co-occurrence of opinions were able to construct more counterarguments and rebuttals.
Principal Author: Celestin Ntemngwa, The University Of GeorgiaAbstract:
It is important for students to participate productively in scientific practice and discourse (Dushl, Schweingruber & Shouse (Eds.), 2007, p. 40). Many researchers argue that it is essential that students learn about the characteristics of scientific knowledge and practice in addition to learning science content. Understanding the characteristics of scientific knowledge will enhance participation in scientific practices. Recently, there has been a lot of emphasis on integrating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM. I developed ways to show how science teachers’ educators and science educators can infuse integrated STEM topics/projects like robotics project into the science classroom in a way that will support students’ effort to participate productively in engineering and scientific practices and discourse, in addition to learning the respective STEM content in middle school and high schools. Using robotics, for example, students can learn about electromagnetic waves using the ultrasonic sensor to do a number of activities, energy and temperature using the temperature sensor and kinematics among other exciting science topics, while having fun with the manipulation of the robot to perform various daily life tasks.
Principal Author: David B. Vallett, University of Nevada Las VegasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard Lamb, Washington State University; Leonard Annetta, George Mason University; Karen Peterman, Peterman Consulting, LLC
As part of a recent NSF-funded project in which secondary students created Serious Educational Games, we examined the traits of the learners that opted to participate in the project and compared them to those that did not participate. We found that although the both sets of students came from the same six classes, and matched in proportions of gender, ethnicity, and age, those students that chose to take part in the project scored higher on several cognitive and affective measures related to STEM fields. These findings suggest that STEM programs using a learner self-selection for recruitment are likely to exclude learners with lower levels of interest and self-efficacy in STEM fields, and that more comprehensive means of participant selection may be required to reach underrepresented or disinterested learners.
Principal Author: Xinying YinAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gayle A. Buck, Indiana University
Science teachers face challenges in using formative assessment to enhance students’ understanding. Especially under the pressure of test-based accountability, many teachers easily fall into “teaching to the test”. One important reason for such challenge is the misalignment between the learning that occurred in formative assessment activities and the learning being tested by tests, namely, the types of knowledge and the representation of knowledge. In this study, a high school chemistry teacher and a university researcher collaborated to explore how to use formative assessment for students’ learning and prepare students for tests by brokering the boundary between formative and summative assessment. On one hand, we modified the end-of-unit tests to better assess students’ conceptual understandings and higher-level thinking, which was addressed by the formative assessment tasks. On the other hand, we used both divergent and convergent formative assessment strategies, particularly the convergent formative assessment to bridge the gap between formative and summative assessment. The different ways of modifying standardized tests and the different forms of formative assessment strategies will be discussed. As well, the teacher’s conceptions about instruction, formative and summative assessment had evolved through this collaborative action research. This study helps us to better understand the relationship between formative and summative assessment. It provides practical implications for science teachers and science teacher educators about how to more effectively use formative assessment for students’ learning and prepare students for testing. It also provides implications for science education policies about how to establish a more coherent and effective accountability system and teacher professional development programs.
Principal Author: Robert P. Williams, Cypress-Fairbanks ISDAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dawn Whitten, Cypress-Fairbanks ISD; Stacy R. Williams, Houston ISD
In this fun and engaging technology session we will examine some of the best and most widely-used free Web 2.0 tools and how to implement them in a differentiated classroom. We will look at Animoto, Prezi, Photostory, Symbaloo, Blabberize, Capzles, Time Toast, Vuvox, Weebly, Glogster, Jing, Poll Everywhere, and many other tools, and then demonstrate examples with choice boards, tiered assignments, RAFTTs, and other differentiated instruction strategies to stimulate interest and engagement for greater information retention for all students. Providing technology options in differentiated strategies promotes student involvement, creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and other 21st century learning skills. Examples and handouts will be provided. Future trends in educational technology, using QR codes, BYOT, and other hot topics may also be included. Bringing your own laptops or other devices is welcomed and encouraged, but not required.
Principal Author: Joel D. Donna, 3Ring - President and CEOAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sarah R. Hick, Hamline University / 3Ring
It is well documented that science teachers struggle to develop standards-based, inquiry-focused instruction and face high turnover rates. 3Ring is a new educational technology non-profit that works to close the achievement gaps in science and to reduce high-quality teacher turnover. 3Ring does this by supporting teacher lesson planning and instruction. 3Ring has developed a tool called Binder that supports beginning teachers in creating free, custom lessons using content developed specifically for new teachers and aligned with the NGSS. The goals of this experiential session are to explore 1) the challenges related to beginning teacher instructional design, 2) ways in which 3Ring aims to help serve beginning teachers in developing research and standards based instructional design, and 3) preliminary field study results and lessons learned from field testing and content development.
Principal Author: Glenn R.. Dolphin, University of CalgaryAbstract:
This investigation explores why a geology instructor implemented only certain aspects of a curricular intervention. It utilizes a promising analytic approach to determine how the instructor structured the context of his teaching, his students, and course content. Results from audio recorded meetings and classroom observations show that Eric (pseudonym) described teaching, learning and the role of knowledge within the context of two different metaphors; the puzzle metaphor and the fieldtrip metaphor.
According to the puzzle metaphor, the instructor gave bits and pieces of a puzzle to students. Students had to connect the pieces into a coherent whole. According to the fieldtrip metaphor, the instructor guided students through a terrain via a predetermined path, pushing students, pulling them along, while also trying to avoid barriers until they covered the required material. The metaphors paralleled each other in terms of the instructor’s understanding of teaching, learning and the nature of knowledge.
Eric had authority as the holder and giver of the knowledge and the fieldtrip leader. He had the responsibility to give the pieces to students and to guide them through the terrain on time without getting them lost. Students, needed to be receptive to the pieces and put them together and interested enough to follow the leader along the path of thinking. Knowledge was constituent pieces of a bigger picture or puzzle and the terrain through which a path ran for the journey of learning. In both cases, understandings were preexisting and planned out. Both of these metaphors belie an objectivist understanding of knowledge. Based on this understanding, it was reasonable for the instructor to direct the class mainly through lecture, in contrast to the student-centered and inquiry-based activities called for by the intervention. It points to the idea that curriculum development needs to happen with the context of the user in mind.
Principal Author: Amanda L. Gonczi, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Randy L. Bell, Oregon State University; Brooke A. Whitworth, Univsersity of Virginia
The purpose of this study is to understand how two different computer simulation professional development programs influenced elementary (grades 4-6) and secondary (7-12) participant use of computer simulations during science instruction. Two cohorts of participants in a state-wide professional development (PD) program received different ExploreLearning™ Gizmo™ training. The Gizmo™ training varied on key elements expected to influence participant use of the computer simulations. The first cohort ‘s Gizmo professional development program primarily introduced participants to available Gizmos™ and demonstrated ExploreLearning™ website use. In addition to the information the first cohort received, the second cohort’s Gizmo™ PD provided content relevant lesson planning time and modeled desired use of Gizmos™ within an inquiry-based lesson.
This study employed a mixed-methods approach. Data sources included Gizmo™-related professional development observations, participant interviews, ExploreLearning™ use surveys, ExploreLearning™ login reports, perceptions surveys, and observations of participants’ science instruction. The study’s qualitative components employed systematic data analysis (Miles & Huberman,1984) and analytic induction (Erickson, 1986). The quantitative component used descriptive statistics and frequency counts of participant use following both Gizmo™-related PD programs.
In addition, the study will explore participants’ response to both Gizmo™-related PD programs and patterns of instructional use. These findings will inform computer simulation related PD programs. Preliminary data analysis indicates a similar percentage of participants used Gizmos™ during science instruction following both Gizmo™ PD programs. Although the second cohort’s Gizmo™ PD included modeling simulation use during inquiry instruction, teachers indicated they did not know how to apply the desired instructional technique to their content area.
Principal Author: Megan L. Garner, East Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tammy D. Lee, East Carolina University; Bonnie Glass , East Carolina University
Research supports the need for reform in science teaching. The inadequate science content knowledge of elementary school teachers is documented and has resulted in poor science instruction at this level. To better prepare pre-service elementary teachers, science education faculty at a state university in the Southeastern United States designed an elementary science concentration. In the fall of 2012, four courses, including Physical Science, Earth Systems Science, Life and Environmental Science and Informal Science, were developed and implemented to address the lack of science content knowledge and to improve pedagogy in these disciplines. Science education faculty recommended that pre-service teachers have the opportunity to build their science content knowledge before entering into the world of teaching science. Thus, students take the four concentration courses prior to taking the required elementary science methods course.
With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) in April 2013 and having one year of implementation of the concentration courses, science education faculty have begun revisions of the concentration. Changes to course structure are based on the results of students’ pre- and posttest scores on the MOSART test to measure content knowledge. Identified areas of weakness are being addressed in the course revisions. Also important in this process has been the realignment of the courses to reflect the NGSS. The courses now emphasize the incorporation of science and engineering practices, science modeling and use of representations, argumentation to promote understanding and the increased use of technology in instruction. This summary includes an explanation of the processes by which the elementary science concentration was developed and is now being revised.
Principal Author: Catherine J. Connolly, University of Nevada, RenoAbstract:
Co-Authors: David T. Crowther, University of Nevada, Reno
Research in academic language acquisition and science learning demonstrates that students learn scientific vocabulary better if they experience the phenomena and use their social language (tier two level vocabulary), prior to being introduced to the tier three, academic vocabulary (Crowther, 2012). This session discusses the results of an experimental, quantitative study where the experimental group learned academic science vocabulary through integration after the phenomenon has been experienced and explained and the control group had all the academic vocabulary frontloaded prior to unit instruction. The purpose of the research is to determine strategies for learning academic language, retention of language, conceptual understanding, and Depth of Knowledge (DOK) levels as related to placement of vocabulary instruction within a learning cycle. The results of the study indicate students who are taught vocabulary by integrating it into the lesson are able to use that language and retain the knowledge significantly better than those taught through frontloading on higher order thinking tasks.
Principal Author: Sarah B. Boesdorfer, University of Northern IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura Asprey, University of Northern Iowa
Research experiences have been one method used to improve science teachers’ knowledge and teaching practice. Previous research has explored research experiences in two different areas, authentic science research experiences and science education research. Authentic science research experiences reported are typically summer research experience in a science laboratory for inservice teachers. Action research projects as part of professional development programs are the main focus of science education research experiences for teachers. However, teachers may also have participated in formal science education research projects as undergraduates. The results of a study of teachers who participated in undergraduate science education research will be presented. A major finding including research skills that translated to skills used during their teaching practice. Research skills included better questioning strategies and data usage. With the current emphasis on teachers using data to make instructional decision, these results are important for informing teacher education.
Principal Author: Dongmei Zhang, The University of Georgia Abstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara A. . Crawford, The University of Georgia; Deborah Tippins, The University of Georgia
The new science education framework and standards have added engineering design to science practices (NRC, 2011; Achieve, 2013). This is a new challenge not only for science teachers, but also for science teacher educators. How to help prospective teachers to prepare for this new task is one of the imperative problems faced by science teacher educators. In this paper, we introduce a qualitative research study which aims to explore prospective elementary teachers’ knowledge and beliefs’ about engineering design. Specifically, we recruited four participants in an elementary methods course. We asked them to do a design activity as a team. Before the activity, participants were asked to complete a pre-survey individually. Then, we videoed the whole design process and made field notes when participants engaged in the design activity. After the design activity, we interviewed participants in pairs. There are three main findings of this study. First, participants had very few, if any, prior learning experience about engineering design. However, they had many past experiences about informal design. Their prior design experiences contributed to not only some accurate understanding, but also some misconceptions about engineering design. In addition, participants had almost no explicit beliefs about engineering design or teaching engineering design due to their lack of engineering design experience. Second, engaging in design activity appeared to be useful in helping prospective elementary teachers develop their knowledge and beliefs about engineering design and teaching engineering design. Finally, in order for a design activity to be an effective way to develop prospective elementary teachers’ knowledge and beliefs about engineering design, teacher educators must carefully plan the design experience and scaffold prospective teachers’ reflection. Implications of these findings for science teacher education are discussed.
Principal Author: Carolyn Parker, The Johns Hopkins University School of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yolanda Abel, The Johns Hopkins University School of Education; Audrey Moshfeghian, The Johns Hopkins University School of Education
Our paper describes large-scale, urban elementary focused STEM initiative that includes the development of an integrated STEM curriculum for grade K-5 with accompanying teacher professional development. Participants in the initiative taught in 22 Title I elementary schools whose administration had agreed to adopt the district-developed integrated STEM curriculum during the upcoming academic school year. Using Desimone’s (2009) Critical Features of Professional Development to frame our analysis, we describe the teachers’ experiences with the professional development. Focus group and survey data were collected and analyzed. We use the data to describe the iteration of the professional development with the implementation of an integrated elementary STEM program. Findings inform the development for an integrated, elementary STEM approach at the elementary level.
Principal Author: Kristin H. WhittenburgAbstract:
This poster presentation will describe a collaborative effort between a high school science class at a small rural school in Texas and an English as a Second Language class in China. Students at each institution used technology to carry out an interactive project during the fall 2013 semester. The discussion includes the progression of the project from inception to completion. Issues addressed include second language acquisition, educational technology, global citizenship, and science content. The project between the American and the Chinese classrooms was facilitated by the author of the poster.
Principal Author: Jan Oakley, Lakehead UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Samantha Suiter, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals/Trident Technical College; Regina Milano, West Haven High School (CT); Justin Goodman, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals/Marymount University
The use of animal dissection as a teaching tool continues to be a source of controversy within the science education community and among the public more generally. Some educators believe that the practice is indispensable. Others favor it but make it optional in the classroom recognizing potential student objections. Some teachers have chosen to fully replace animal dissection in favor of alternative teaching methods on ethical, educational and economical grounds. Legislators and administrators have also created policies in many localities requiring that teachers provide alternatives to dissection to students with moral, ethical and religious objections to harming animals. Further contributing to the debate, systematic educational research has found that the learning outcomes of students using alternatives to dissection are equivalent or superior to their peers who dissect. This roundtable session will promote discussion of student and educator perspectives on animal dissection, non-animal alternatives and associated educational, policy and ethical issues. The discussion will facilitated by a panel of secondary and college science educators, educational researchers and social scientists.
Principal Author: Deborah Tucker, Science Education ConsultantAbstract:
Co-Authors: Grant M. Gardner, Assessment Services, Inc.
This session focuses on hands-on performance assessment and how ASTE members can facilitate deepening understanding of both 1) using this type of assessment in K-12 classrooms, and, 2) pre-service teachers’ understandings of different purposes of assessment. In addition to the NRC Science Assessment Framework (due out summer of 2013), several of the 2012 NSTA Preservice Science Standards addressing not just DCIs, but science practices as well, will be addressed:
2c) Design instruction and assessment strategies that confront and address naïve concepts/preconceptions; 5a) Collect, organize, analyze, and reflect on diagnostic, formative and summative evidence of a change in mental functioning demonstrating that scientific knowledge is gained and/or corrected; 5b) Provide data to show that P-12 students are able to distinguish science from nonscience, understand the evolution and practice of science as a human endeavor, and critically analyze assertions made in the name of science; and, 5c) Engage students in developmentally appropriate inquiries that require them to develop concepts and relationships from their observations, data, and inferences in a scientific manner.
“Standardized testing has a significant influence on science teachers’ instructional and assessment practices in ways that are counter to the learning goals promoted by science education reformists,” (Aydeniz and Southerland, 233). Implications for science teacher educators include placing “ a greater emphasis on pre-service science teachers’ understandings of different purposes of assessment,” (ibid., 254).
With the “ongoing struggle toward developing pre-service teacher competencies with regard to performance assessment” (Paulson, 2010), this session focuses on increasing both understanding and competence. Participants may use the relevant strategies and information presented directly with their beginning teachers.
Principal Author: Ying-Chih Chen, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brian Hand, University of Iowa
The purpose of this study was to investigate how elementary teachers adopt different questioning roles to scaffold dialogical interaction, students’ cognitive responses, and the use of evidence for constructing and critiquing ideas for argumentative practices. The multi-case study was designed as a follow-up study after a four-year professional development project emphasizing an argument-based inquiry approach. Data sources included 18 videos from three early elementary teachers’ classes focusing on whole-class discussion. Data were analyzed through three approaches: (a) modified version of the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (m-RTOP), (b) constant comparative method, and (c) enumerative approach. This study conceptualized four critical roles of teacher questioning---dispenser, moderator, coach, and participant---in light of the ownership of ideas and activities. The findings revealed three salient changes in teachers’ use of questions and the resulting impact on students’ cognitive responses and evidence use: (a) teachers’ m-RTOP scores increased as they persistently implemented an argument-based inquiry approach, (b) in argumentative environments, teachers use multiple roles in establishing patterns of questioning, framing classroom interaction, and scaffolding students’ cognitive thinking, and (c) as teachers’ patterns of questioning changed, the frequency of students’ talk increased and the dialogical interaction between students and teachers became more evidence-based and connected. This study suggests that an essential component of teacher professional development should include the study of teacher roles of questioning for establishing argumentative discourse and that this development should consist of ongoing training with systematic support.
Principal Author: Raoul Amstelveen, Johnson & Wales UniversityAbstract:
During the 2012–13 winter academic term, clickers were implemented into one introductory statistics class and another class was used as the control group. Independent sample t test revealed that attendance in the non-clicker class and attendance in the clicker class did not differ significantly. However, on average, learners had positive perceptions of clickers. Women had more positive perception than men and Whites had more positive perceptions than minorities. Two focused group sessions in the clicker class also revealed that learners enjoyed using clickers, and that they found the clicker technology engaging, interactive, and entertaining.
Principal Author: Eun Ju Lee, University of Missouri, ColumbiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah Hanuscin, University of Missouri, Columbia; Delinda van Garderen, University of Missouri, Columbia
Research demonstrates that a “Learning Cycle” approach can result in greater achievement in science, better retention of concepts, improved attitudes toward science and science learning, improved reasoning ability, and superior process skills than would be the case with more traditional instructional approaches (e.g., see Abraham & Renner, 1986; Beeth & Hewson, 1999; Gerber, Cavallo, & Marek, 2001). Despite the overwhelming evidence supporting the efficacy of a Learning Cycle approach, research shows that teachers’ understanding and use of the Learning Cycle may be poor (Lindgren & Bleicher, 2005) and that teachers fail to grasp this instructional model, even after extensive training (e.g., Settlage, 2000). Our work in a 5-year professional development program suggests that teachers’ difficulties are also related to their ability to recognize a coherent “conceptual storyline” (Ramsey, 1993) within lessons. We noted that even those teachers who could select activities that fit the purpose of each phase of the learning cycle struggled to choose activities that were connected to one another so that there was a logical progression of concepts. In this presentation, we will share examples of teacher-created 5E lessons that illustrate weak and strong conceptual storylines. We will also present the professional development tools we have designed to help elicit teachers’ understanding of the 5E learning cycle model, as well as their ability to recognize a coherent conceptual storyline within a 5E lesson sequence. We hope through our work to develop a new instrument will examine teachers’ ability to distinguish between the quality of lessons based on 1) alignment with the 5E Learning Cycle; 2) accuracy of scientific information; and 3) coherence of the conceptual storyline.
Principal Author: Engin Karahan, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Devarati Bhattacharya, University of Minnesota; Senenge T. Andzenge, University of Minnesota; Justin McFadden, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
River Run is a professional development program striving to provide teachers technologically enriched experiences for teaching local socioscientific issues related to a large local watershed. Five secondary science teachers and one social studies teacher participated in a week-long professional development workshop to investigate different socio-scientific issues related to the watershed and river basin. The workshop focused on improving teachers’ understanding of the science and social components of the issues, in addition to exploring technology affordances in their classrooms.
A focus group and follow-up interview data was collected at the end of each day in order to understand teachers’ opinions and plans for addressing these socioscientific controversies in their classrooms. A focus group interview method was employed for two reasons. First, researchers aimed to investigate how teachers describe and defend their position about local controversial socioscientific issues. Second, focus group interviews provided teachers learning experiences where they brought their expertise to the table and exchanged different perspectives. The follow-up individual interviews were collected to more deeply investigate the points revealed in focus groups.
The data revealed that teachers’ curriculum ideas about socioscientific issues centered around three main perspectives. First, personal connection and experience is important for students to understand socioscientific issues. Second, it is important to use different perspectives and positions on socioscientific issues in order to help students fully understand the nature of the problem. Lastly, both scientific and social aspects of the issue need to be addressed in the curriculum through an interdisciplinary approach. Driven from these perspectives, teachers offered including particular aspects in their socioscientific issue integrated curriculum. Results from this study will help teachers, teacher educators and curriculum designers to explore ways to integrate controversial sociscientific issues into science classrooms.
Principal Author: Judith A. Morrison, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amy Roth-McDuffie, Washington State University; Brian French, Washington State University
Research is needed to identify the STEM school characteristics, such as curriculum and teaching practices, that most clearly link to student outcomes. Examination of learning outcomes only does not provide insights for what contributes to STEM schools’ successes or challenges. The evaluation of STEM schools must move beyond standardized test scores as the main indicator of a school’s impact on student learning (NRC, 2011). The guiding purpose for this study was to develop a rich contextual description of an innovative STEM school focusing on its teaching and learning practices, specifically four critical aspects: problem and inquiry-based learning, motivation, social interactions, and collaboration. This study explored how these aspects of teaching and learning were exemplified in the schools’ classrooms and curricula, described by teachers, and students, as well as their impact on student academic achievement. Over a period of two years, classroom observations, student and teacher interviews, and student surveys were carried out. These data provided evidence for a description of how motivation, social interactions, and collaboration all are fostered at the school in an environment of problem and inquiry based teaching and learning. Student achievements on state standardized tests, grade point average, and End-of Course exams were compared to students not attending the STEM school. We found that the school’s environment of problem and inquiry-based teaching promoted motivation and engagement and fostered students’ learning about and involvement in collaborative teamwork. We found that more students at the school consistently scored at higher levels on mathematics and reading state assessments. The school’s teaching and learning practices will serve as a model for other schools attempting to implement STEM curricula and habits of mind.
Principal Author: Samantha Suiter, MA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)/ Department of Biology, Trident Technical CollegeAbstract:
Alternatives to dissection are increasingly being sought by science educators to reduce teaching expenses, avoid harmful animal use, integrate technology in the classroom and accommodate students opting out of dissection. Peer-reviewed comparative studies have repeatedly shown non-animal teaching methods, such as interactive computer programs, to be equivalent or superior to animal dissection in terms of teaching students basic and advanced biological concepts. Non-animal methods are also less costly, less time-intensive, do not pose health risks to students and create a learning environment that does not risk alienating or upsetting students uncomfortable with animal use.
Because of technological developments, research on the efficacy of non-animal methods and growing student concerns about animal welfare, the National Science Teachers Association, the National Association of Biology Teachers and the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society all advise teachers to offer students alternatives to dissection. The NSTA and HAPS also endorse teachers’ decisions to completely replace dissection with non-animal methods. Many schools and districts around the U.S. no longer use animal dissection. Scores of states, districts, K-12 schools and colleges have policies requiring teachers to provide non-animal learning methods to students wishing to opt out of animal dissection.
This constellation of factors makes it important for science educators at all levels to be familiar with the range of non-animal teaching methods available and their efficacy, whether they are choosing to fully or partially replace animal dissection or need to have alternatives available to students in their courses to fulfill policy requirements.
This interactive session will provide tutorials in two popular virtual dissection software programs and discuss benefits of replacing animal use.
Principal Author: Tina J. Cartwright, Marshall UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie Malmberg, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research; Jonathan Atwood, Virginia Tech
Science educators need to better understand what students know about critical environmental issues like climate change. Confusion between the concepts of weather and climate change need to be better understood as well as the impact of teacher’s professional development on changing student understanding. Researchers compared middle school students’ (n=731) performance on a pre-test at the beginning of the school year with questions relating to climate/weather and the greenhouse effect with that of a post-test given at the end of the school year (n=481) using a chi-square goodness of fit test. Their science teacher facilitated their involvement over the course of the year in the NSF-funded From Learning to Research Project, a subset of The GLOBE Program’s Student Climate Research Campaign. This program requires that the classroom participate in the gathering and examining of data to develop students understanding about climate change through authentic research experiences. Teachers participated in a week long professional development workshop in the summer of 2012 and then returned to their classrooms where students took the pre test at the beginning of the academic year and the post test (with identical questions) at the end of the academic year in 2013. Improvement was not seen in understanding about the greenhouse effect: 68% of students on post test (46% on pre test) incorrectly responded that the greenhouse effect harms our earth. Improvements in understanding were evident in questions regarding the gases associated with the greenhouse effect: 79% (67% on pre test) identified carbon dioxide as the primary greenhouse gas. By in large, students performed better on the assessments at the end of the year than at the beginning.
Principal Author: Annie Arnone, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah Hanuscin, University of Missouri; Somnath Sinha, University of Missouri
To be successful, teachers must not only possess professional knowledge, but be able to apply that knowledge in unique pedagogic situations in different ways to support student learning, that is, they must be ‘thoughtfully adaptive’. Little is known about how to support the development of adaptive expertise among prospective teachers, and this phenomenon has yet to be investigated in terms of its development among teacher educators. We argue that developing thoughtfully adaptive teacher educators is necessary precursor to supporting the development of thoughtfully adaptive teacher candidates. In this collaborative self-study, we examine the emergence of thoughtfully adaptive practices within a novice science teacher educator’s developing pedagogy of teacher education. In our presentation, we will detail the process of collaborative self-study, and will describe our use of critical incidents, illustrating how a critical incident log can be created and analyzed. From our analyses, we will present examples of ‘thoughtfully adaptive’ teaching, using critical incidents to explain the role of personal theories, vision, belonging, and identity in helping shape a novice teacher educators’ practice.
Principal Author: Daniel J. Bergman, Wichita State UniversityAbstract:
Thirty years ago (March 1984), Dr. Michael Leyden wrote the article, “You Graduate More Criminals Than Scientists” in the NSTA’s The Science Teacher journal, in which he provides data comparing the number of students with criminal records versus those who pursue science as a profession. Leyden also discusses five myths of teaching science, encouraging science teachers to reflect about their students and goals. This article has been a useful teaching tool early in the semester of science methods courses. However, questions may arise about the validity of an article and data that are three decades old.
The current study collected survey data from a sample of science teachers (N = 140) to determine the extent to which these myths are present today in the science education community. A majority of science teachers indicated agreement with all five statements:
1: “My students are going to need my course when they get to college.” (90.7% agreement)
2: “My students are going to need my course because most of them won’t go to college, and this could be their last exposure to science.” (52.2% agreement)
3: “Studying science will help my students make logical decisions.” (99.3% agreement)
4: “My course is ‘tough’ because I want to challenge students.” (80.7% agreement)
5: “Science teachers are scientists.” (74.3% agreement)
In nearly every case, there were no significant differences in the views of participants when comparing various subgroups (sex, age, teaching experience, credentials, type of community, professional memberships). In the few cases of significant differences, the effect size was small to moderate.
Discussion includes a comparison of science teachers’ perceptions with data both then (1984) and now, such as graduation and college completion rates, potential pitfalls of believing these myths, and how science educators can use both the original article and data from then and now to teach future teachers and help them develop consideration and efficacy for positively impacting students.
Principal Author: Nancy E.. Hauck, Dixie State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut
The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which sustained teacher professional development in science education affected the classroom instruction of elementary school teachers in third through sixth grade over a 3-year period. The teachers in the study were all elementary endorsed and prepared as generalists in the content areas.
Science reform has led to more content-specific science standards that are difficult for most elementary teachers to address without professional development. Recent studies on improving elementary science instruction suggest the need for professional development to be long term, embedded in teaching practice in the classroom, and rooted in research on how children learn science (NRC, 2007; NRC, 2005; Schneider & Krajcik, 2002; Thorson, 2002). The researcher examined changes in classroom instruction over a 3-year period of teachers who participated in a professional development program designed to meet the elementary science education reform based on recommendations from the National Research Council’s report, Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8 (NRC, 2007).
The data that were analyzed to determine the effects of the professional development came from classroom observations of two sets of teachers, one of which was the control set (n = 20). The other was the experimental set (n =22). Classroom observations were administered one time each year over 3 years of treatment to determine whether sustained professional development in science impacted teacher practices in the classroom.
This study suggested that classroom science instruction did significantly change through sustained professional development intervention. It also suggested that teaching practices improved in the areas of talk and argument, investigation, modeling and representations, alignment with science core concepts, and addressing science misconceptions. Furthermore, findings indicated that teachers who received sustained professional development were more likely to have higher overall effective science instruction scores.
Principal Author: Justin Goodman, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals/Marymount UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jan Oakley, Lakehead University; Regina Milano, West Haven High School
For ethical, educational, economic and environmental reasons, many students and educators are now critical of the use of animal dissection to teach biology. Yet, the practice is still common. The papers included in this session will report original research on teacher and student perspectives on animal dissection, and how the findings might inform classroom teaching practices and educational policy. The session will also include research on how changing public opinion about the treatment of animals has prompted laws and policies allowing students to opt-out of animal dissection and the implications of these ongoing developments on science teacher education.
Principal Author: Sungho Kim, The university of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brian Hand, The university of Iowa
This multiple case study investigated how six female elementary teachers’ argumentation discourse patterns related to students’ discussions in the science classroom. One category of classroom characteristics emerged through the analysis of the teachers’ transcripts and recorded class periods: structure of student talk. Results showed that the differences between the teachers’ discourse patterns were reflected on their modified Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) scores. Students in high RTOP score teachers’ classes with were more likely to provide evidence when discussing a topic than students in mid and low-level RTOP scores teachers’ classes. In high-level classrooms, students used evidence during 58% of the argumentation. In medium and low-level classrooms, students used evidence during 41% of the argumentation. Students in the high-level teachers’ classes challenged, defended, rejected, and supported each other’s idea with evidence more than students in the mid-level and low-level teachers’ classes. In high-level classrooms, students defended their ideas with evidence during 39% of the argumentation, supported others’ ideas with evidence during12% of the argumentation, and rejected others’ ideas with evidence during 7% of the argumentation whereas they defended others’ ideas without evidence during19% of the argumentation, supported others’ ideas without evidence during 18% of the argumentation, and rejected others’ ideas without evidence 5% of the argumentation. In medium and low-level classrooms, students defended their ideas with evidence during 25% of the argumentation, rejected others’ ideas with evidence during 13% of the argumentation, and supported others’ ideas with evidence during 2% of the argumentation whereas they defended others’ ideas without evidence during 17% of the argumentation, supported others’ ideas without evidence during 20% of the argumentation, and rejected others’ ideas without evidence during 23% of the argumentation.
Principal Author: Rachel E. Wilson, Appalachian State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Leslie U.. Bradbury, Appalachian State University
The purpose of this presentation is to explore how a pre-methods service-learning experience with preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) influenced their science learning and science teaching identities. As teacher educators, we have become increasingly concerned about our PSETs’ preparation for teaching science in ways that meet the ambitious expectations for elementary teachers. Identity development for teachers is a way to address teachers’ personal learning experiences on their attitudes towards teaching inquiry-based science. We are interested in how a pre-internship environmental service-learning course influences PSETs’ ideas about science teaching and learning, and how such a course could serve as a meaningful support in the development of positive teaching identities. Our interest in service-learning for PSETs is in the promise that this type of community-based experience holds for getting them to think about science learning as a cultural and contextual process that has relevance for their lives. We recruited elementary education majors from the spring 2013 course. We collected data that would allow us to explore PSETs’ descriptions and interpretations of their past and present experiences with science learning and teaching contexts. Constant-comparative coding techniques were used to identify themes that emerged from the data related to students’ learning and future teaching identities. The implication of this research, therefore, is that in the context of this course, even though the instructor models teaching science in a way that fits with students’ learning identities, students are not incorporating all of the aspects of their learning identities in their narratives of themselves as future.
Principal Author: Ki-Young Lee, Kangwon National University/College of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Patricia D. Morrell, University of Portland/School of Education; Adele Schepige, Western Oregon University/School of Education; Young-Shin Park, Chosun Univesity/College of Education
Teacher quality is a topic of international concern, as an important factor impacting student learning is the quality of instruction (Darling-Hammond, 2000; Feiman-Nemser, 2001). This ties directly to teacher preparation. This study compared the undergraduate secondary science teacher preparation programs from a public and a private institution in South Korea with a national program of study with those of a public and a private institution in the United States, specifically Oregon, each offering its own program.
We looked at each program for structural curricular coherence; that is, how well does the curriculum match the program’s stated goals. Then we looked at curricular balance; that is, how well did the curriculum integrate the theory and practice of teaching, balancing study in university classrooms and fieldwork in schools.
Structural curricular coherence was determined by examining the overarching goals of the institutions’ programs, the organization of the programs of study in terms of meeting those goals, and outside bodies of evidence. It was determined that all universities were in structural coherence for different reasons.
To determine curricular balance, we examined the preparation programs at each of the institutions for the amount of credits taken in the four main areas of the teacher knowledge base; namely, GPK, SMK, PCK, and CK (Carlsen, 1999; Gess-Newsome, 1999; Grossman, 1990; Magnusson et al., 1999; Schulman, 1986,1987). Our findings revealed that similarities and differences. The number of credit hours taken in each category was very similar by country but the application and field component in the US was far greater than in Korea where the focus was heavily on SMK and PCK. We suggest the main reason for these differences lies with licensing and employment differences between the two countries.
While there are a number of limitations to this study, it does raise a number of questions worth exploring when examining any teacher preparation program.
Principal Author: Young Ae Kim, The University of Georgia Abstract:
Co-Authors: Dongmei Zhang, The University of Georgia ; Deborah Tippins, The University of Georgia ; Celestin Ntemngwa, The University of Georgia ; Ji Shen , University of Miami
The Next Generation Science Standards (2013) and the Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) emphasize scientific and engineering practices that are fundamental to understanding principles of design technology. A coherent understanding of design technology requires students to draw on knowledge constructed in multiple disciplinary contexts. In this study, we used case study and design-based research methods to: a) investigate pre-service teachers’ understanding of teaching, learning and design technology through authentic design problem-solving tasks; b) analyze pre-service teachers’ application of interdisciplinary knowledge to design technology tasks, and c) understand how future teachers might engage their students in design technology. This presentation highlights what we learned in the pilot phase of the study as two groups of pre-service teachers engaged in designing a model hand; we then discuss results of the second phase of the study whereby pre-service teachers responded to a design technology case narrative, created and tested models of Earth friendly birdhouses and developed design technology lesson plans. Our findings highlight the different design strategies and processes used by the pre-service teacher groups—what we describe as “decomposing” and “holistic” strategies and processes of “trial and error” and “trades and balances.” Our findings also shed light on pre-service teachers’ prior experiences with design technology and their application of physics, biology and mathematics concepts to the design tasks. Unanticipated findings regarding the marginalization of females and the lack of argumentation in the design technology context have important implications for future research.
Principal Author: Carolyn S.. Wallace, Indiana State UniversityAbstract:
Lack of time for teaching science in traditional classroom placements in the U. S., has led some science teacher educators to provide practice teaching time for elementary education students in informal science settings. The purpose of this study was to explore how the science teaching identities of three case study students developed in an informal, experiential learning context. An ethnographic study with symbolic interactionism as a theoretical framework was used to determine meaning from the participants’ points of view. One case study participant with an initial identity that favored a constructivist approach developed more in-depth CK and PCK, and magnified his original teaching beliefs in inquiry-based approaches. The second case study student began the course with only a vague sense of her own science identity and tended to adopt identity elements similar to those of peers in her group. The third case study student experienced less dissonance between her initial science identity and other possible identities and developed GPK towards meeting all students’ needs. Implications for methods course instructors will be discussed.
Principal Author: Genna C. Robbins, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study reports on findings from research conducted with 9th and 10th grade recent immigrant English language learners (ELLs). All students were members of an inquiry-based science class at a school for ELLs in the Bronx, New York. Data were collected between the fall of 2012 and spring of 2013, covering one academic year. The students responded to a preliminary questionnaire in the first semester of the school year, participated in focus groups and interviews grouped by English proficiency, and responded to a final questionnaire at the close of the school year. The primary question for the study was: How does scientific inquiry facilitate success for English language learners in a high school science classroom? The findings revealed that ELLs perceive inquiry to be beneficial to their understanding of science content. Secondly, students believed inquiry activities reflect what professional scientists do. Thirdly, inquiry allowed students to collaborate, which consequently impacted their comprehension of the subject. Finally, students with low and intermediate English proficiencies perceived a lack of English to be their biggest obstacle to learning science. The findings suggest that inquiry not only enables ELLs to bypass the language barrier when learning scientific content, but the findings also imply that inquiry activities can produce a community of learners in the classroom, which facilitates science learning success. We suggest that English proficiency is not a pre-requisite for learning science content and that curriculum developers, teacher educators, and teachers should utilize inquiry in classrooms regardless of culture and English proficiency levels of immigrant students.
Principal Author: Katie L. Brkich, Georgia Southern UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristen L. Shumbera, Southwood Valley Elementary School
We will share how three elementary school teachers (one fifth grade, one second grade, and one kindergarten) participated in a year-long action research project as continual professional development in a high-poverty school of color. Session participants will learn about both action research overall and our specific project. For our project, we collaborated across grade levels to make science instruction meaningful to our respective students in a grade-appropriate fashion through cross-grade student partnerships. Each week, two classes met and explored a concept together, with the older students guiding the learning of the younger students. After every buddy meeting, we, the three teachers, would have a follow-up meeting to discuss the day’s events and reflect on data collected. Data collected included: student activity and experimentation sheets, teacher observations, student quotations from buddy discussions, and reflection sheets completed by the older students about what they observed and experienced. We want to share with participants the fun and value of action research conducted by classroom teachers and our action research project. We will share how we planned, executed, evaluated, and disseminated our project. We will also share student work samples, photographs of the project in action, and practical suggestions on how teachers can conduct action research in their own schools.
Principal Author: Michael Dias, Kennesaw State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Charles J.. Eick, Auburn University; Laurie B.. Dias, Kennesaw State University
In this paper presentation the editors of the ASTE Monograph “Science Teacher Educators as K-12 Teachers: Practicing What We Teach” look back on 16 ASTE professor narratives of teaching science again to K-12 students. We conducted a cross-case analysis of each chapter from contributing authors in search of commonalities in three areas including (1) why they returned to teaching, (2) challenges and successes they encountered, and (3) collective meaning made from their experiences. Most participants felt a need to return to the classroom to renew practice and credibility as ‘teachers of teachers.’ They collectively found some level of success in bridging former knowledge and experience with new practice in implementing reform-based curriculum and teaching. All of them developed a deeper understanding of the culture of schooling today and new practical knowledge for science teacher education. Editors view professors’ experiences as a renewal process based in the reflective and communal elements of accomplished teachers.
Principal Author: Len Annetta, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard Lamb, Washington State University; David Vallett, University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Rebecca Cheng, George Mason University; Karen Peterman, Karen Peterman Consulting, LLC
Infusing innovative technology in a project-based learning paradigm is not a new approach to science learning. With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards call for inclusion of more engineering design principles, this study reports results from an NSF project in which high school students designed and created education video games. This study sought to understand the nature of the links between affective, cognitive, and inventory measures between groups of high school students who designed and developed SEGs versus a peer group that created a non-technology science project for a service learning requirement. 434 high school students from two mid-Atlantic states participated over three years in the project. Analysis of Variance testing on affective measure of interest (p<0.001) and efficacy (p<0.001); cognitive measures of creativity (p<0.001), spatial visualization (p<0.001), and mental rotation abilities (p<0.001); and inventory measures of STEM career awareness (p<0.003) and 21st century skills (p<0.001) were compared with a peer comparison group. These results suggest that the use of the XXXX model as a means to increase affect, STEM career interest, and STEM skills has matured and is ready for implementation at scale.
Principal Author: Renee' S.. Schwartz, Western Michigan UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cathy Northcutt, Western Michigan University; Gunkut Mesci, Western Michigan University; Susan Stapleton, Western Michigan University
Experiencing Research for Teaching Science [ExpeRTS] is a 13-month program for preservice teachers to engage in authentic scientific research and a community of peers and support structures to develop knowledge and pedagogical abilities that bring authenticity to the science classroom. Our aim is to develop future teachers as confident scientists who are able to translate their experiences into effective inquiry-based science instruction that also addresses nature of science [NOS] and the nature of scientific inquiry [NOSI]. The ExpeRTS model includes: (1) 10-week science research internship; (2) Explicit/reflective NOS/NOSI instruction, inquiry pedagogy, group sessions, and semester course; (3) a middle school teaching practicum. Over the 13-months we track changes in views of NOS, NOSI, orientations and self-efficacy toward inquiry teaching, and abilities to engage students in inquiry-based learning. Surveys and interviews targeting views of NOS, NOSI, and science teaching beliefs were collected in a pre/mid/post program format. Lesson plans, video of classroom teaching, and written reflections were collected. Participants made progressive improvements in understanding all targeted NOS/NOSI aspects. Teaching views shifted from teacher-centered/fact-based to valuing a student-centered/ inquiry-based style. The research experience seemed to impact participants’ confidence in their abilities and identities as scientists, views of inquiry teaching, as well as their beliefs about their abilities as science teachers. However, application of these views did not shift dramatically until participants had the course and teaching practicum, which followed the research experience. The ExpeRTS model addresses needs of preservice teacher education by enhancing teachers’ knowledge and abilities as scientists and practical application of those abilities through inquiry-based science teaching, NOS, and NOSI.
Principal Author: James D.. Ellis, The University of Kansas; Center for Research on LearningAbstract:
Co-Authors: Janis A.. Bulgren, The University of Kansas; Marilyn M.. Ault, The University of Kansas; Jana Craig-Hare, The University of Kansas
This paper reports the results of an quasi-experimental study of a three-year NSF-supported research project, the Evidence Game, to investigate the feasibility of a developing an on-line game, Reason Racer, to support middle-level science teachers in motivating and engaging students in developing the knowledge and abilities of scientific argumentation. Since August 2010, the Evidence Game team has been engaged in an iterative design and development process to develop Reason Racer to provide middle school students and their teachers with practice in Toulmin’s (1984) model of argumentation as applied to science. The goal of the Evidence Game project is to develop and research the effect of a series of sub-games that together will increase middle school science students’ and teachers’ knowledge of and thinking related to scientific argumentation. The areas of argumentation addressed by the games include: understanding a claim, judging the evidence about a claim based on type (fact, opinion, theory, or data) and quality (bias, reliability, or validity), determining the reasoning applied to the claim (authority, analogy, correlation, causation, theory, principle, or generalization, considering rebuttals, and making judgments. The final year of the project we conducted a quasi-experimental study of the efficacy of Reason Racer and accompanying materials. Both students and teachers in both conditions received a pre- and post-test on the ability to assess science claims, at the beginning and end of the 16-week science course. Science experts and project staff developed an original instrument, closely tied to the key components in the evaluation of scientific claims, for this project. The test specifically asks students to evaluate evidence, determine the quality of the evidence, identify the reasoning, determine the quality of the reasoning, and decide whether the claim is supported. The pre- and post-tests were given during the fall of 2012 and analyzed during the spring 2013. The results of the study are reported in this session.
Principal Author: Tyler St. Clair, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lindsay B.. Wheeler, University of Virginia; Jennifer L.. Maeng, University of Virginia
This investigation characterized the experiences of 23 college science educators (3 cohorts) from a mid-Atlantic state enrolled in the Science Education Faculty Academy (SEFA) professional development program, which is one component of a larger federally grant-funded project. Data consisted of responses to pre-/post/follow-up Perceptions surveys and interviews designed to elicit participants’ professional development experiences. Surveys also assessed participants’ understandings and intentions to implement PBL, NOS, and inquiry instruction in methods courses and in-service teacher professional development.
Results indicated participants perceived substantive improvements in their understanding of and proficiency in implementing PBL, NOS, and inquiry instruction. Additional results reflect participants’ perceptions of positive and negative aspects of their respective professional development experiences.
Ultimately, the results of this investigation may inform science teacher preparation and professional development that supports implementation of PBL, NOS, and inquiry instruction by college science educators. Future research will explore the extent to which the interplay between SEFA and other components of the project facilitated the development of a state-wide infrastructure to support reforms-based science instruction.
Principal Author: Meredith W.. Kier, Howard UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Margaret R.. Blanchard, North Carolina State University
There is a shortage of individuals qualified to enter science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields; qualifications that are necessary for sustaining the US economically and technologically. The literature in STEM education and in career development suggests that teachers at the elementary and middle school level make direct connections to STEM careers, encouraging early interest. This study engaged 85 rural 8th grade students from a high poverty district in the southeastern US in a STEM career video intervention. Students participated in STEM career activities once a week for eleven consecutive weeks, during which time they explored STEM career videos featuring primarily minority STEM professionals, and created their own STEM career video. Research questions guiding this study are: What are students’ STEM career interests? In what ways do students’ interests change with a STEM career video intervention? And, how do students explain what influences their career interests? Applying aspects of Lent, Brown, & Hackett’s social cognitive career theory (SCCT), students’ exploration sheets and video planning sheets were coded and analyzed for patterns, as were student responses on a pre and post STEM Career Interest Survey (STEM-CIS). We found that most students initially selected a career to explore based on their current recreational interests. Throughout the intervention, their career interests were influenced by their new knowledge of career outcomes (e.g. salary, education requirements, and connecting their interests to careers. Findings suggest that a STEM career video intervention can help students to gain more sophisticated understandings of careers, that viewing STEM videos featuring minority STEM professionals can motivate students without external rewards, and that with more extensive exposure, students will begin to consider their own skill set when trying on careers.
Principal Author: Todd Campbell, University of ConnecticutAbstract:
Co-Authors: Max Longhurst, Utah State University; Shiang-Kwei Wang, New York Institute of Technology; Hui-Yin Hsu, New York Institute of Technology; Dan Coster, Utah State University
While access to computers, other technologies, and subsequently cyber-enabled resources that could be leveraged for enhancing student learning in science is increasing, generally it has been found that teachers use technology more for administrative purposes or to support traditional instruction (Bell, Maeng, & Binns, 2013). This use of technology, especially to support traditional instruction, sits in opposition to most recent standards documents in science education that call for students involvement in sense-making activities that represent the sensible actions of scientists. Many see technology as potentially powerful resources that are reshaping society and have the potential to do the same in science classrooms. To consider the potentially powerful promise of technology in science classrooms, this research investigates the impact of a professional development focused on teacher PD to enhance teacher and student learning by using information communication and technologies (ICTs) as cognitive tools for engaging students in scientific inquiry. More specifically, these findings revealed positive teacher outcomes with respect to reformed and technology supported instruction and increased ICT and new literacies skills. With respect to student outcomes, the findings revealed positive outcomes with state standardized student achievement data and ICT and new literacies skills surveys as proxies.
Principal Author: Pamela Esprivalo. Harrell, University of North TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas
This presentation reports on the use of concept maps as an assessment tool to assess elementary pre-service teachers’ knowledge about dissolving. Propositions from pre/post concept maps were scored using the total proposition accuracy scoring technique and concepts were classified as scientific or spontaneous using Vygotsky’s theory of concept development. After instruction, statistically significant improvement was shown on a paired sample t-test (t = -4.154, p<.001) and many spontaneous concepts appearing on the pre-concept maps, were either reduced or eliminated. Some spontaneous concepts increased or exhibited only a small reduction after instruction. The frequency of post concept map propositions showing dissolving is a chemical change increased from 10% to 16% after instruction, while propositions that indicate dissolving involves the breakdown of substances, or formation of a mixture were decreased to 10% and 15% respectively. The most common scientific concepts observed included that solute and solvents form solutions (16%); and heat, physical agitation, and concentration affect dissolving rate (28%). These findings suggest weak science content knowledge about dissolving and many pre-service teachers in this study continued to hold the same misconceptions as reported for K-12 students in previous studies (Kikas, 2001; Kind, 2004; Calik & Ayas, 2005).
Principal Author: Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Pamela Esprivalo. Harrell, University of North Texas
This presentation details the findings of a study that investigated the nature of the apprenticeship between preservice teachers and their university-based teacher educator by focusing on the processes, relationships and experiences that formed when preservice teachers and the university-based teacher educator engaged in the transitions between theory and the science methods early field experiences. The presentation will emphasize the educational significance of early field experiences as an important feature of many teacher preparation programs that helps preservice teachers learn how to teach (Author, 2012). Most importantly, the presentation will highlight the nature of the apprenticeship between preservice teachers and their university-based teacher educator by focusing on the processes, relationships and experiences pertaining to the contradictions between theory, (current best practices in science teaching taught in the university-based methods courses) and the authentic practices in early field classrooms that are observed, documented and reflected upon by preservice teachers.
Principal Author: William R.. Veal, College of CharlestonAbstract:
The purpose of this experiential session is to present the new National Science Teachers Association – Standards for Science Teacher Preparation (NSTA-SSTP). The Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) is the new national accreditation organization for programs of education. NSTA collaborates with CAEP to establish content specific standards for the evaluation of science education programs. Recently, NSTA has developed new science teacher education standards that reflect the research base associated with what a new science teacher should know. The new NSTA-SSTP reflect the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for a newly certified teacher must know and be able to do. The standards were developed from national guidelines and the research literature on science education. The session will allow participants to examine good and poorly constructed assessment instruments.
Principal Author: Doug Jones, Lakehead Public SchoolsAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wayne Melville, Lakehead University; Molly Weinburgh, Texas Christian University; Tony Bartley, Lakehead University; Jeremy Peacock, University of Georgia
One of the underlying principles that informs our work is the moral nature of teachers’ work, and how virtues are communicated and developed within departments. In this presentation, we are particularly interested in pursuing the idea that the conduct of the chair is critical in communicating the moral basis of leadership to the teachers in the department, and how that conduct can be shaped through mentoring. Our contention is that chairs have a particular role in shaping the conduct of the department, and in this we draw together our work with three generations of science teachers and two generations of mathematics teachers.
We use data to describe how exemplary department chairs model these virtues in their departments, and the effect of that modeling on professional learning. Fallona (2000) outlines three aspects of a teacher's moral conduct: method, style, and manner. Style relates to conduct that reflects a teacher's personality. Method applies to acts a teacher undertakes with the intention of bringing about change. Manner encompasses those traits and dispositions that reveal a teacher's moral and intellectual character. These aspects of conduct form the methodological framework of our presentation. The participants in our presentation are two science chairs (the elder one of whom acted as a mentor to the other from 1983 to 1999), and the science teachers who have been mentored by the younger chair. By way of confirming our work in science, we have also looked at the work of a mathematics chair and two of her teachers, and found similar patterns of conduct.
Principal Author: Jeremy Peacock, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wayne Melville, Lakehead University
Comparative positioning analysis of interviews with exemplary science department chairs revealed that chairs enacted the following eight leadership capabilities in their efforts to support science teaching and instructional improvement within their departments: negotiating the leadership context; acting as a liaison; influencing curriculum, instruction, and assessment; supporting teachers; maintaining collegial departmental culture; leading through collaboration; supporting instruction through managerial duties; and leading collaboratively. Chairs’ enacted these capabilities in integrated and interdependent ways. Chairs’ leadership practice was constrained by their school contexts, most notably by the chair’s positioning within the school leadership hierarchy and by administrative initiatives driven by general education reforms.
These findings link with earlier work that suggested that there are three crucial considerations for chairs seeking to explicitly connect professional learning in their department to the wider reform efforts in science education. The first of these is the development of the chairs individual disposition to reform-based practice, as this appears to be foundational to the credibility needed to lead departmental reform. The second is an understanding of how to wield power and position in the promotion of reform. The third is the capacity to operate simultaneously and strategically within, and across, both the department and larger science education reforms. This involves downplaying the administrative roles of the chair and foregrounding more inquiry-focused practices as a vehicle to challenge traditional science-teaching practices—the latter being typically dominated by concerns about curriculum ‘coverage’.
Principal Author: Madeline G. Rupp, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brenda M. Capobianco, Purdue University
With the recent push for national and state science standards focusing on engineering practices in the K-12 science classroom, it becomes imperative that teachers develop the pedagogical content knowledge necessary to use the engineering design process in their science classroom. Orientations toward science teaching, a component of pedagogical content knowledge, is a domain of research that characterizes a teachers’ general perspective on the purposes for science instruction and is typically measured by investigating a teacher’s goals and instructional practices. This paper presentation utilizes a case study approach to describe a 6th grade science teacher’s goals and practices when implementing engineering design-based tasks. By examining the teacher’s purposes for instruction and observing the pedagogical methods employed in the elementary classroom, a characterization of the teacher is formed describing her orientations towards science teaching through engineering design. Data were collected through classroom observations, interviews, implementation plans, and written reflections. Results from this study help support the notion that science teaching orientations are context-specific, forming uniquely to the context of science teaching through engineering design.
Principal Author: Chelsey A. Dankenbring, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brenda M. Capobianco, Purdue University
The purpose of this study was to develop and implement open-response items that enable the characterization of elementary school students’ conceptual understandings of the cause of the four seasons after engaging in an engineering design-based task. This study draws from literature on mental models and how students construct mental representations of their scientific understandings. Participants included 50 grade 5 students that completed the Seasons and Shadows design task as a culminating activity to an earth & space science unit. A draw-and-explain task and open response questions were created and implemented to elicit a snapshot of students’ mental models. Qualitative data in the form of students’ written responses and drawings were gathered via these open response items, which required students to apply their knowledge from the design task to a novel situation. Inductive analysis was used to identify and characterize students’ mental models. Results indicated that many students understand the individual science topics associated with the cause of the seasons, yet alternate conceptions still exist as to the relationship between these topics. These results suggest that engineering design can facilitate students’ science conceptual understandings with implications that incorporating the engineering design process into the classroom may promote science learning.
Principal Author: Cheryl A. McLaughlin, University of FloridaAbstract:
In its support of improved science teaching, the new Framework for K-12 Science Education calls for teachers to be supported in implementing inquiry-based science instruction through professional development opportunities that (a) are themselves inquiry-based; (b) occur within the contexts where the teachers' understandings will be used; and (c) support teachers as intellectual reflective practitioners who are sources of change rather than technicians who are targets of change. Middle school science teachers will need opportunities to extend their understanding of concepts they are required to teach in order to create meaningful learning experiences for their students. Additionally, they will need to develop comprehensive understanding of the complex relationships among concepts within and across the discipline as well as the methods of inquiry typically employed by those who contribute to the body of knowledge. One fundamental challenge associated with the expectations for teaching science as required by the new Framework lies in the fact that in-service science teachers will have to teach their subject matter in a manner in which they were not previously exposed to as students. As such, professional development providers are encouraged to align program initiatives with the vision of the framework to ensure that science teachers effectively implement the instruction required for student success. The purpose of this paper is to propose a research-based professional development model designed for middle school science teachers that aligns with the framework's vision for K-12 education. I will also present the hybrid theoretical perspective that guided the development of the model.
Principal Author: Fer Coenders, University of TwenteAbstract:
In September 2013, new science high school curricula based on a context concept approach were introduced in the Netherlands. Students learn concepts starting from an appealing context. This change required teachers to align their pedagogical content knowledge with the new demands. Literature shows that this is long process requiring active teacher participation. Teacher design teams (TDTs) were set up, in which subject teachers from different schools, under the guidance of a subject teacher educator, redesigned innovative student learning material and assessment instruments, enacted these materials in their classes, and discussed the learning outcomes. Participants met monthly for three hours.
Six experienced chemistry teachers, having a master’s degree plus teaching qualification, participated voluntarily. Two lesson series (modules) were redesigned: “Odors” from September to December, then class enacted and the results discussed. “Lactic Acid” from January till May then class enacted and discussed.
This study examined what pedagogical content knowledge these teachers acquired during participation in this TDT, and from what sources. Questionnaires and semi structured interviews were used for data collection.
To arrange the data the Extended Model of Teacher Professional Growth was used. Results are reported in two rounds: a case study showing how one of the teachers professionalized and the sources this learning resulted from. Then cross case results showing what all six teachers learned and their sources.
Results show that all teachers acquired knowledge in all five pedagogical content knowledge domains (orientations, curriculum, instruction, understanding, assessment). Teacher learning proved idiosyncratic and learning occurred in two phases. During the redesign cycle teachers come in contact with new ideas and incorporate some in learning material, this leads to “change sequences”. During class enactment strengths and flaws surface which leads to “growth networks”. The two cycles, redesign and class enactment, were crucial for teacher professional growth.
Principal Author: Rommel Miranda, Towson UniversityAbstract:
This study investigates astronomers’ and urban middle school teachers’ beliefs about the characteristics of effective outreach partnerships in formal science classroom settings. The study also examines the extent to which urban middle school teachers’ beliefs about their students’ science learning characteristics were influenced by their partnership with an astronomer in the classroom. Twelve science teachers and twelve astronomers participating in a grant-funded astronomy outreach program were interviewed before and after participation using semi-structured, in-depth interview techniques. Constant comparative analysis was used to analyze the interview transcripts. The findings suggest that astronomers and educators believe that the characteristics of effective outreach partnerships center on the following three themes: partnership collaboration, astronomer and teacher roles, and astronomer and teacher dispositions. The findings also found that teachers believed that their partnership with astronomers largely influenced their students’ level of motivation and increased their students’ level of questioning. Teachers also believed that their astronomer partner positively enhanced their students’ learning experiences in astronomy by making the subject area more realistic, relevant, and scientifically rigorous. Additionally, the study showed that teachers believed that their partnership with an astronomer positively affected their students’ behaviors and attitudes in middle-achieving and high-achieving urban schools. Moreover, the study revealed that partnering with an astronomer had a relatively minor impact on teachers’ beliefs about their students’ mathematical cognitive ability. The implications of these findings suggest that scientist-educator partnerships may enhance urban middle-school students’ learning experiences, particularly in astronomy, and promote their engagement with science. However, new educational approaches need to be developed and assessed to help bolster students’ understanding of astronomy, especially in low-achieving urban school settings.
Principal Author: Brenda K. Hungerford, Texas Tech UniversityAbstract:
Communication and collaborative problem solving across cultures are skills in high demand, but how can we prepare our students for the global challenges they will face? A case study involving high school physics students in SC and Belize using VPython software is shared. Successes, challenges, and future aims are discussed.
Principal Author: Gary M.. Holliday, The University of AkronAbstract:
Co-Authors: Judith S.. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology; Norman G.. Lederman, Illinois institute of Technology
This study looked at a life science course for elementary and middle school teachers that was offered at and taught by education staff of a large Informal Science Institution (ISI) located in the Midwest. The curriculum, materials, and agendas for the course were developed by education staff and complemented a permanent life science exhibition. The researcher developed a content test based on the course instructional objectives and lessons provided by education staff. In addition, all participating elementary and middle school teachers (n = 62) were asked to complete an evaluation at the end of each day’s session. This included several questions that required participants to reflect upon the content presented throughout the course of the day, focusing on their satisfaction and effectiveness of instruction. Overall, teacher responses on the daily and final evaluations for the courses were extremely positive. However, after participating in the ISI course, teachers’ gains in science content knowledge were actually not as strong as they had perceived. The findings described here are generalizable to all developers of informal science professional development for elementary and middle school teachers that desire to incorporate inquiry, pedagogy, and science content, along with attitudinal objectives, into their teacher learning experiences.
Principal Author: Michele A.. Snyder, University at Albany, SUNYAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alandeom W.. Oliveira, University at Albany, SUNY; Giuliano Reis, University of Ottawa; Daniel O.. Chaize, University at Albany, SUNY
Little research has been conducted on how to effectively address the complex topic of death when teaching life science to children. The present paper addresses this issue by examining how three elementary teachers approach the task of facilitating whole-class discussions about nonhuman death. Our findings reveal the variety of ways in which animal death is cognitively, socioculturally, and morally organized in elementary science discussions. Among the main organizational patterns were two distinct image schemas (SOURCE-PATH-GOAL and CYCLE) and a variety of verbal and visual metaphorical devices when discussing animal death, including euphemisms (“going”, “eating” and “being unlucky”) and graphic symbolism (using arrows to represent death). In one discussion, the killing of a seal by a polar bear was organized linearly as the metaphorical and agential making of a large pile of hamburgers. In another, death in a food chain was organized as a symbolic and agentive type of motion (counterclockwise “going”) around a series of interconnected CYCLE image schemas. And, in the last discussion, death of marine animals was organized as agentless, pollution-related events that shared an underlying disrupted CYCLE image schema. Further, in the first two discussions animal death was presented as natural and morally “good” (i.e., acceptable biological outcomes of life in the wild), whereas in the latter it was organized as unnatural and morally “bad” (i.e., unacceptable loss of natural life whose occurrence students should critically question). This study highlights the centrality of metaphorical structuring to death discussion in elementary science and the need for more careful and reflective consideration to be given to the pedagogical implications of favoring indirect and nonliteral approaches when discussing a topic as complex as death with children.
Principal Author: Andrea C.. Burrows, University of WyomingAbstract:
Co-Authors: Timothy F.. Slater, University of Wyoming; Mike Borowczak, University of Cincinnati
Integrating knowledge about STEM content with knowledge about learning and pedagogy is an important professional development standard. In this interactive session, where activities are experienced and categorized, we present a novel and actionable framework for analyzing and enhancing future teachers level of complexity in integrating knowledge, skills, and attitudes across science, technology, engineering and mathematics–STEM–disciplines. We ask the audience to participate in activities and rank them on the STEM integration scale created by the authors. Recent calls for education reform emphasize the need for the teachers to be cross-trained across disciplines and have the ability to integrate the STEM disciplines as iSTEM. This is a challenge because most teachers have only received training in one, or at most, two disciplines, and no formal training on how to integrate the STEM disciplines cohesively. Teacher educators need to address this gap and offer a means for future teachers to grasp the integrated STEM concept. Thus, in response to blurry vision of integrated STEM, we propose a hierarchical conceptual framework to help guide and assess the preparation of teachers to be able to more fully teach through a more contemporary lens of STEM as a fully integrated domain to serve as a positive force for advancing STEM across educational systems.
Principal Author: David M. Sparks, University of Texas at ArlingtonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gil Naizer, Texas A&M University-Commerce
According to research by the National Science Foundation, the number of female and minority STEM college majors has continued to stay the same or decline in recent years. Although there are many theories to account for their low numbers, one possible cause is the stereotypes students face in the classroom because of their sex, race, or national origin. When students are aware of these stereotypes and it subsequently affects their performance, it is called stereotype threat. Continuous exposure to stereotype threat may cause students to lose interest and avoid subjects that are challenging, particularly in the sciences.
A recent study of African American engineering students sheds light on the needs of minorities and females in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) college majors. Implications for the science classroom will be discussed as well as strategies for reducing stereotype threat faced by females and students of color. Science teachers will be made aware of classroom practices and interactions with their fellow students where stereotype threat can occur. Strategies for recruiting females and students of color into the sciences will also be discussed.
Principal Author: Ronald S. Hermann, Towson UniversityAbstract:
The theory of evolution provides the best explanation for the diversity and interrelatedness of species on earth and has been supported by empirical research across scientific fields. Thus, the theory of evolution is present in national and state standards. However, ambiguous or inconsistent evolution standards may leave the decision to teach or avoid evolution up to individual teachers (Goldsten & Kyzer, 2009). Therefore, it is increasingly important that teachers are aware of the legal issues surrounding the teaching, or avoidance of teaching, evolution. The purpose of this presentation is to provide science teacher educators with a framework for informing pre-service and in-service biology teachers of the legal issues surrounding the teaching of evolution.
Pedagogical approaches to teaching controversial issues like evolution vary greatly. Reiss (1992) reported on three possible instructional approaches, modified from Bridges (1986), for addressing controversial issues in science classrooms: advocacy, affirmative neutrality, and procedural neutrality. Author (2008) extended this framework to include avoidance. Advocacy occurs when the teacher argues for the position he or she holds. Affirmative neutrality occurs when the teacher presents multiple sides of the controversy without revealing which side he or she supports and procedural neutrality occurs when information about the controversy and different points of view are elicited from students and from resource material. I provide a description of the legal issues surrounding each of approach drawing upon past court decisions to inform the audience of the legal boundaries that affect the teaching of evolution in the public school science classroom.
Science teacher educators can use this framework to engage science teachers in a discussion about engaging all students in the learning of evolution and the interaction between science and religion within the legal parameters outlined by past court cases.
Principal Author: Amy Trauth-Nare, Towson UniversityAbstract:
Because personal and professional experiences heavily influence teachers’ enactment of environmental science curricula, attention to preservice teachers’ self-efficacy and beliefs is essential. The purpose of this study was twofold: to determine what influence, if any, an intensive field based life science course with practicum experience had on preservice teachers’ self-efficacy for environmental education, and if so, to determine which aspects of the combined field-based course/practicum experience were most effective in enhancing preservice teachers’ self-efficacy. Data were collected from class documents, written teaching reflections and audio recordings of classroom interactions of 20 middle level preservice teachers. Data analysis revealed four main themes related to self-efficacy: (1) uneven personal experiences with the local landscape and its natural resources, (2) heightened self-efficacy as a result of course participation, (3) realizing the complexities of teaching EE, and (4) changed views of EE and its relevance to content areas beyond science. Findings suggest the need to integrate EE concepts and pedagogy throughout preservice education and to foster greater awareness of the goals of EE through explicit instruction.
Principal Author: Joseph W. Shane, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania Abstract:
Co-Authors: Lee Meadows, The University of Alabama at Birmingham; Ian Binns, University of North Carolina Charlotte
Science and religion are two indisputably profound and durable cultural forces that have a complex history of interaction. Although scientific and religious perspectives are often characterized as in conflict with or mutually exclusive of one another, the actual relationships extend beyond simple dichotomies. In this essay, we argue for helping pre- and in-service science teachers to understand this complex history so that they can respond to issues such as the age and origins of the universe, biological evolution, and climate change in an appropriate manner. We first summarize four approaches to science-religion interactions: (1) the Warfare or Conflict thesis, (2) the Independence approach, (3) the Harmony thesis, and (4) the Complexity model. Historical and contemporary examples of each approach will be provided during the ASTE conference presentation. Given that classroom and community discussions about science and religion are often manifested in ongoing controversies surrounding biological evolution, we next summarize the origins of anti-evolution movements via the rise and persistence of Christian Fundamentalism. Following a brief summary of anti-evolution legal and rhetorical strategies, we describe research indicating disparities between academic scientists and the general public with regards to religious beliefs. We conclude the essay with resources and practical suggestions for how science teacher educators can address interactions between science and religion in their curriculum and outreach. Although we limit this essay to circumstances in the United States, we recognize that these issues extend internationally and we encourage ASTE members from other countries to attend the session to share their perspectives and to contribute to a future JSTE manuscript submission.
Principal Author: Kristin Leigh. Cook, Bellarmine UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gayle Anne. Buck, Indiana University; Ingrid Suzanne. Weiland, University of Louisville
The purpose of this study was to develop a rich understanding of an urban teacher’s experience with implementing place-based instruction on socioscientific issues (SSI) and to use this understanding to improve our professional development practice. To capture the essence of the experience, this participatory action research study was guided by the overall question, “What practical implications for our professional development program emerged as a result of this teachers’ implementation of place-based socioscientific instruction?” This question was approached by investigating the following supporting research questions: (1) What were the strengths and weaknesses of the place-based SSI unit as implemented in an urban classroom? and (2) What were the teachers’ perceptions of the place-based SSI and to what extent her experience in the professional development influenced her instructional practices? Our findings indicate that our professional development opportunity did increase the teacher’s attempts to implement place-based instruction on SSIs; however, the findings also reveal several areas in which we can improve the program in order to assure that future attempts are more successful. For example, our professional development efforts need to focus more on the connecting of teachers to their community, while also supporting the content and integration of standards within place-based SSI development and implementation. Also, these efforts must include a focus on initiating a connection with local stakeholders who may be interested in or contribute to the students’ place-based SSI units. In the full manuscript, we provide the science teacher education community with a complete description of our revised professional development efforts aimed at making place-based instruction on SSIs effective in urban science classrooms.
Principal Author: Alandeom W.. Oliveira, State University of New York at AlbanyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Troy D.. Sadler, University of Missouri; Christina M.. Nash, State University of New York at Albany
This study examines socioscientific intertextuality – how writers juxtapose and connect across multiple texts for collaboratively making sense of socioscientific issues. Our intertextual analysis focuses on teacher and student writing during implementation of two biology cases written by teachers familiar with case-based pedagogy. Student written responses to socioscientific cases are viewed as having varied degrees of socioscientific intertextuality depending upon the extent of student social construction of a variety of intertextual links (e.g., use of similar lexicon across texts, consistent adoption of a particular type of reader-writer positioning across texts, existence of structural similarity between texts). It was found that, though both cases were designed to promote socioscientific intertextuality, only one case successfully achieved this goal. While the successful case prompted students to write socioscientifically (produce texts with a variety of intertextual connections to self, society, science), the other case fostered scientific writing devoid of text-to-self and text-to-society connections (i.e., that lacked personal or societal intertextuality). It is argued that familiarity with the case-based pedagogy does not guarantee socioscientific levels of intertextuality in student engagement with pedagogical texts, and that consideration should be given to the linguistic expertise that teachers need to effectively write SSI cases and position adolescents socioscientifically.
Principal Author: Ataallh Alatoai, Southern Illinois UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Vivien M. Chabalengula, Southern Illinois University; Frackson Mumba, Southern Illinois University
Preparation of pre-service science teachers plays an instrumental role in guaranteeing the success of teacher education. One key aspect requiring attention is the role of science methods courses. Several studies have investigated teachers’ science attitudes, understanding, and teaching confidence (Avery et al, 2012; Murphy et al, 2012). Generally these studies have found that although many teachers have positive attitudes towards science, they have less scientific understanding and less science teaching confidence. However, very few studies have investigated these factors in context of science methods courses, and few have explored these factors holistically. Therefore, purpose of our study was to determine effects of science methods courses on pre-service teachers' science attitudes, understanding and teaching confidence of science. This study is important because teachers with negative science attitudes, misconceptions and less confidence may not teach science effectively. Participants were 62 pre-service teachers enrolled in two science methods courses at a university in Midwestern USA. Data were collected using a survey. Results showed five trends: there were significant differences in science attitudes, understanding and teaching confidence; there were positive and significant correlations among attitude, knowledge and teaching confidence; nearly all participants stated that attitudes would affect their ability to teach; majority claimed they have an understanding of science concepts, though the degree varied from some to good understanding; about half indicated they have concerns that might affect their teaching confidence such as less time allocated to science and lack of conceptual understanding. These results have implications on science teacher preparation.
Principal Author: Adam Alsultan, Southern Illinois University Abstract:
Co-Authors: Vivien M. Chabalengula, Southern Illinois University ; Frackson Mumba, Southern Illinois University
Research on attitudes toward science has received considerable attention in recent decades, partly due to the decreasing interest of young people in pursuing science studies and careers. With respect to pre-service teachers, Van Aalderen-Smeets et al (2011) argue that elementary teachers are not adequately trained in a specific science major so as to gain a strong understanding of scientific concepts. As such they show a generally low level of scientific literacy and tend to have negative attitudes towards science (e.g. Harlen et al, 1997; Palmer, 2004). The topic on teachers’ personal and professional attitudes towards science is important in that if teachers have unfavorable attitudes towards science, they may not teach and relate concepts to real world encounters which may consequently enable their students to apply scientific concepts outside the science classroom setting. This study examined pre-service teachers’ personal and professional attitudes towards science. Participants were 40 pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in introductory and advanced science methods courses at a mid-sized university in Midwestern USA. Data were collected using a survey that had 18 likert scale items. Results showed six trends: nearly half of participants in both courses exhibited a positive agreement with all the statements for personal attitude towards science; majority of participants in both courses agreed positively with all the statements for professional attitude towards science; there were significant differences among the four personal and professional attitude dimensions in both courses which were enjoyment, difficulty, anxiety and relevance; there were no differences between the overall personal and professional attitudes in introductory course, but a significant result was present in advanced course; and there was a positive but weal relationship between personal and professional attitudes in both courses. The implications of these results for pre-service teacher preparation are discussed.
Principal Author: Xavier Fazio, Brock UniversityAbstract:
Requiring students to be scientifically and environmentally literate necessitates them to be equipped to confront complex, ill-structured socioscientific or environmental issues that they will encounter as citizens. One way forward to deal with this challenge is to engage students in authentic, relevant and meaningful learning activities nested in their school communities. A systematic and interpretive scoping review of the current literature is presented showing conceptual orientations of past studies, and research challenges that still need to be addressed. This presentation highlights the growing interest in formal and informal science collaborations with schools from various community partners, and discusses the insufficient attention that has been given to a detailed investigation of the phenomenon as a whole. The overarching themes of the literature about school science-community partnerships: (1) types of science-community partnerships; (2) outcomes/goals of partnerships; (3) implementation strategies. Overwhelmingly, the studies found in this literature review are descriptive empirical studies, and were also single case analyses. The literature review also identified future research requirements with respect to school-community partnerships which include developing a theoretical framework drawn from organizational theory. Researchers in science teacher education and curriculum developers must be attuned to the realities of school-community partnerships, since science teachers have the opportunity to mediate and promote these partnerships. Nevertheless, little practical and theoretical guidance is currently available in this understudied area. This paper presentation will help bring to the fore this important research topic benefitting science teachers.
Principal Author: Angelia Reid-Griffin, UNCW/Watson College of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kelli Slaten, UNCW
The wiki class space provided a learning community in which students were able to build, edit, contribute, and share ideas related to their own instructional practices and resources grounded on the Common Core Standards and NC Standards. We also found that the tool offered a profound exchange of ideas amongst the students, partner teachers and instructors. Wikispaces, was a good fit for our instructional task. Bringing together technology, content standards and leadership qualities we were able to develop a task that enhanced the pre-service students’ pedagogical and teacher leadership skills.
Principal Author: Alec M.. Bodzin, Lehigh UniversityAbstract:
As part of a systemic science education reform initiative, a series of six Web GIS tectonics investigations designed to augment the middle school Earth science curriculum was developed. The curriculum includes educative materials and embedded supports designed to aid teacher development of both tectonics content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge for effective curriculum enactment. These supports were developed to address the need to provide “just in time” professional development experiences to help educate teachers about important tectonics concepts and to support their development of geospatial pedagogical content knowledge to teach with a novel Web-based curriculum. A curriculum implementation study was conducted with twelve grade 8 urban middle level science teachers that implemented the Web GIS investigations with 1,124 students during the 2012-13 school year. Data sources included a student pretest-posttest tectonics measure, 33 classroom observations, a post-implementation survey and a focus group interview. Students’ tectonics content knowledge and geospatial thinking and reasoning applied to tectonics achieved statistically significant gains from pretest to posttest (p < .001) with large effect sizes. Results indicated that the curriculum materials were effective in supporting the science teachers’ professional growth during the curriculum enactment and supported their teaching of the Web GIS investigations. Most teachers perceived that both their tectonics content knowledge and geospatial thinking and reasoning skills were enhanced as a direct result of their use of the curriculum. Teacher understandings of how Web GIS can be used effectively in science classroom instruction to achieve learning goals was also enhanced as a result of their direct interactions with the curriculum materials. This project illustrates a model for designing technology-integrated science curriculum with educative curriculum materials to support the professional growth of teachers when face-to-face professional development time is limited.
Principal Author: Norman E. Herr, California State University, NorthridgeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mike Rivas, California State University, Northridge
Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS) is a methodology that uses collaborative cloud-based resources to engage all learners in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of individual data in the context of whole-class data. CSCS turns hands-on classroom activities into more authentic scientific experiences, engaging students in the science and engineering practices specified in Dimension-1 of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
The CSCS Model emphasizes scientific inquiry in an evidence-rich, collaborative environment that places greater emphases on interpretation, evaluation, and explanation. The CSCS model replaces traditional “cookbook” verification activities in which students work in isolated lab groups, with discovery activities using student-generated procedures working in collaboration with multiple lab groups. The CSCS model provides an opportunity for students to experience how science is actually done by engaging in the scientific and engineering practices advocated in Dimension 1 of the NGSS, namely (1) Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
(2) Developing and using models
(3) Planning and carrying out investigations
(4) Analyzing and interpreting data
(5) Using mathematics and computational thinking
(6) Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
(7) Engaging in argument from evidence
(8) Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.
During this workshop, participants will learn how to engage students in the science and engineering practices mentioned in Dimension-1 of the NGSS using the Computer Supported Collaborative Science (CSCS) approach. Participants will gain experience developing resources that they can use to help their own students master these skills. We will conclude by having participants brainstorm additional ways the CSCS model can be used to help teachers improve student mastery of the Dimension-1 skills of NGSS.
Principal Author: Wardell A. Powell, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dana L. Zeidler, University of South Florida
It is well documented in the literature that secondary school students do have difficulties evaluating evidence when asked to make informed decisions on contentious issues. The primary purpose of this investigation was to design, implement, and evaluate a semester long integrated socioscientific issues high school biology curriculum that was aimed at understanding the relationships between students’ emotive reasoning on their abilities to evaluate evidence. Forty-five 9th grade students from two Biology Honors classes at a Tampa Bay Area High School participated in this study. Qualitative analysis of the data revealed that students used factors such as newly gained knowledge, experience on the topic, scientific knowledge, and emotions to evaluate evidence. Quantitative analysis of the data revealed there was a statistically significant difference in students’ interests in the general topic of the underlined conclusion between students from the treatment and comparison groups (H (1) 4.2684, p = 0.0388). Results also showed a statistically significant difference in how students from the treatment and comparison groups rated their ability to evaluate evidence (H (1) 4.8835, p = 0.0271). Results also showed there was no statistically significant difference between the pre/post test scores on students’ use of emotions to judge the underlined conclusion. This result showed that students from both groups used varied and similar emotions to evaluate evidence. The results from this investigation highlight the need for science teachers to ensure that their classrooms are places where students are given opportunities to engage in practices to enhance their ability to evaluate evidence and make informed decisions. Doing so may help students to develop the evaluative skills that are important in helping them to meaningfully evaluate evidence and make informed decisions on issues that are ill-structured and complex issues.
Principal Author: Carol SC. Johnston, Mount St. Mary's CollegeAbstract:
Pre-service teachers begin science methods courses with many fears about teaching standards-based science. Environmental issues were used to engage candidates in science topics with activities that modeled inquiry teaching strategies with the intent that candidates would incorporate environmental science into their own standards-based lesson plans. This qualitative study asked: How do pre-service elementary teachers respond to environmentally-based science activities? Does the use of environmental activities to model inquiry lessons lead pre-service teachers to be able to incorporate environmental issues into their own standards-based science lesson plans? It was found that the candidates responded well to the course activities, but struggled with using environmental issues in their own lesson plans to teach science concepts. These results indicate that candidates may need more explicit instruction about connecting environmental issues to specific science concepts.
Principal Author: Judith A. Bazler, Monmouth UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meta VanSickle, College of Charleston; Letty Graybill, Monmouth University; Dorothy Varygiannes, Monmouth University; Xavier Cupe, Monmouth University; Kyle Seiverd, Toms River High School
Lessons in today’s classroom are expected to have a technology component. The technology components vary from using the Internet to search for information to storing dta for future analysis. Lessons using hand-held devices including Ipads has a wide range of possibilities. Questions then arise about which apps are most effective. Our research was to design an evaluative process and to use the process to systematically evaluate a list of topics that would be appropriate in a biology and/or mathematics class.
Principal Author: Amanda Glaze, University of AlabamaAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. Jenice Goldston, The University of Alabama
What does it say about classroom learning when a majority of the populace does not believe in evolution? Somewhere between their science and education training and entry into the classroom, something is influencing their decisions about evolution, something that determines what they teach their students. Understanding this process is imperative to preparation of pre-service teachers to accurately represent the nature of science and evolution in the classroom. This study sought to examine the lived experiences of pre-service science teachers as they prepared to enter the classroom as teachers. Interviews were conducted among individuals across levels of acceptance of evolution. These interviews provided insight into the cultural and personal experiences that shape ideas about evolution, teaching evolution, and the nature of science itself among students in a rural teaching college in the Southeastern United States. This data led to creation of a theoretical process model for acceptance and rejection of evolution among pre-service science teachers in the rural South.
Principal Author: Erin E.. Peters-Burton, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Because of their demands as generalists, elementary teachers often have low self-efficacy of teaching science. Highly responsive techniques for professional development must be employed to be effective in this environment. The purpose of this study was to examine self-regulatory learning cycles that elementary teachers experience while engaged in learning about inquiry. Microanalysis of self-regulated learning was used to analyze specific self-regulated learning variables while 14 in-service elementary teachers participated in a professional development experience. Before the professional development, teachers reported a low self-efficacy but high task value and perceived instrumentality for learning about inquiry. As the professional development progressed, teachers learned how to set goals, self-monitor their performance, and adapt their learning strategies. Examining subprocesses involved in learning has potential to pinpoint difficulties and successes, which aids in precise adaptation of professional development experiences for teacher needs
Principal Author: Linda C. Plevyak, University of CincinnatiAbstract:
The focus of inquiry is to ask questions and seek explanations through a careful and systematic method (Abruscato & DeRosa, 2009). Students involved in inquiry will make observations, pose questions, develop investigations, use tools and materials to gather, analyze and interpret data, communicate results, use critical thinking to consider alternative explanations and apply knowledge to new experiences and situations (National Academy of Sciences, 1997). The purpose of this study was to determine if primary and middle school (grades 3-8) math and science teachers’ participation in an inquiry professional development program and the process of implementing inquiry in their classrooms changed their (a) understanding of inquiry and (b) inquiry teaching.
1) Is there a change in teachers’ understanding of inquiry after critical reflection and practice in implementing inquiry-based activities?
2) Is there a change in the teachers’ design and implementation of inquiry-based lessons as a result of participating in a professional development program?
After participating in the PD sessions, practice teaching/reflection experiences as well as one-on-one discussions with either me or senior teachers, four of the five teachers had come to realize their initial conceptions of inquiry were limiting them. During conversations in the later pedagogy sessions, the teachers were promoting the importance of an experience or “phenomena first” approach to get the students interested and thinking about the content. Using the POE as an instructional model, the teachers were lengthening the prediction phase when the students couldn’t articulate a well-defined rationale because of insufficient prior knowledge. The ongoing support provided during and after the PD sessions, practice teaching, reflections and discussions with other teachers provided the teachers with the needed structure to evolve in implementing inquiry instruction.
Principal Author: Kevin D.. Finson, Bradley UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jon E.. Pedersen, University of Nebraska-Lincooln
Beginning at ASTE’s conference in Charleston, SC in 2013, an effort was initiated to begin mapping the academic family tree of the organization’s members. This effort was the direct offshoot of a just-concluded first volume of a broader Pioneers in STEM Education project. The purpose of that project was to recapture, before it is lost, the unique and creative motivations behind the work of notable science educators who helped establish and solidify the field of science education. Such notables included luminaries as Paul de Hart Hurd, Joseph Peil, Fletcher Watson, Ronald Anderson, Joseph Novak, Robert Yager, Patricia Blosser, Rustum Roy, Herbert Their, Jack Renner and many others. Many have made significant contributions to the field, yet generations of professionals do not know the impact these individuals have had on our profession. Unfortunately, we are quickly loosing the history and insights of these pioneering science educators since little has been done over the course of the last few decades to collect these histories from those who lived them. We were able to glean sufficient information to produce one volume of a book about these individuals. However, we acknowledged more involvement by ASTE member was warranted and necessary if we were to be successful in continuing with the project. Subsequently, an invitation was extended to members to provide information about their academic mentors. The results of that compilation of information is to be provided in this presentation.
Principal Author: Mayowa Abolaji, Osun-State College of EducationAbstract:
Abstract: Environmental problems have become a priority on the world political agenda for the last two decades and this is inevitably linked with the general degradation of our environment which calls for ultimate attention. Therefore, this study searched for a better and more involving methods of imparting environmental knowledge to average learner with the view of creating awareness, increasing knowledge as well as changing their attitude positively towards conservation of the environment. The study also investigated the effectiveness of conservation club in creating awareness (among students) about environmental conservation. About 240 Students were randomly selected for data collection using validated instruments (questionnaires). T-test statistics, chi-square and simple percentage were the major statistical tools employed in data analysis. This study revealed that environmental conservation club plays a vital role in creating awareness as well as promoting students understanding of environmental issues to promote positive attitude towards natural environment.
Principal Author: Eva M. Ogens, Ramapo College of New JerseyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Donna Crawley
This study assessed elementary preservice teachers’ confidence levels in teaching mathematics and science prior to and following a one-semester course in methods of teaching math and science. The course focused on using inquiry-based activities in science and manipulatives in math while emphasizing the theory of constructivism. Results indicated a significant increase in confidence for some pedagogical tasks, but not in all areas. This study provides an additional method to assess the efficacy of courses in teacher education and to determine areas in need of improvement.
Data regarding student confidence can provide feedback to a teacher on whether or not educational objectives and goals are being met. It also provides for continuous reflection, assessment, and improvement as the course can be revised each semester. As a new professor, the first author wanted to know if she was delivering a course that would, indeed, teach the methods of how to teach science and math to elementary students. The authors created a 20-item online survey to measure the students’ confidence in teaching science and math using inquiry-based pedagogies. The survey items were written to correspond to the learning goals and objectives of the course. The same survey was administered during the first week of the semester, and during the last week of the semester.
The objectives and goals for the class included, but were not limited to, 1) understanding the nature and importance of inquiry and problem solving in both math and science; 2) being able to plan, develop, and implement inquiry-based science and math lessons that are developmentally appropriate for children in grades K-8; 3) understanding the importance of various learning theories, and being able to apply them to how students learn by developing lessons that appeal to diverse learning styles; 4) being able to utilize children’s literature to integrate language arts literacy and other disciplines when possible into science and/or math lessons.
Principal Author: Angelia Reid-Griffin, UNCW/Secondary EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: William Sterrett, UNCW/Educational Leadership
The concept of project-based learning triggered an interest in the group of middle school teachers and their principal as they began work with an interdisciplinary project that met the needs of their individual classrooms. By connecting university faculty, district instructional leadership, building leadership, and a collaborative team of teachers together in a true group effort, shared ownership becomes the “tie that binds” a powerful team together in enhancing teaching and learning. Both students and teachers benefit. In fact, this powerful collaboration serves as a catalyst for teacher quality in our next generation of schools.
This presentation focuses on the features of the shared collaborative ownership and its role in building positive learning communities. The audience will be provided the opportunity to view presenters insight on future applications of Project Based learning in evaluating districts performances.