Principal Author: Abdulmonem Alghamdi, Akron UniversityAbstract:
As replication of the same study in Australia (2008) and India (2010) and Oman (2012) this study will be conducted for Saudi secondary school students to examine Saudi Arabian high school students’ views about climate change and global warming. An attempt to address part of this problem the researcher has gotten a permission from (Ambusaidi, 2012) to use his instrument in previous research with Omani students to employ a survey instrument focusing on specific environmental behaviors, and beliefs about the possible effects of these particular actions on the amelioration of one major environmental problem which is global warming.
Principal Author: Regina E.. Toolin, University of VermontAbstract:
CREST is a five-day professional development program for teachers in GEAR UP affiliated schools conducted at the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory and the ECHO Science Center located on Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont. As part of the program, eleven middle and high school teachers participated in ongoing research about invasive species (i.e. zebra and quagga mussels) and algal blooms with UVM researchers and teacher educators. Coupled with these research experiences were opportunities for teachers to reflect upon ways to integrate project-based, proficiency-based, and place-based experiences into their STEM teaching practice. Teachers also learned about the natural history and indigenous cultures of the Champlain Basin as well effective methods for implementing the CREST “touchstones” or guiding principles into their classrooms. Overall, teachers were satisfied with their experience and shared that the program met their professional goals and expectations. Program evaluation results revealed that teachers felt that their pedagogical skills and content knowledge were enhanced by the CREST experience with strong indications about place-based education and research pertaining to Lake Champlain.
Principal Author: Anne P. Gatling, Merrimack CollegeAbstract:
This presentation highlights the design and theory behind an elementary science methods course incorporating a field experience component in a low-income urban elementary school. This course utilizes investigative and collaborative work where pre-service teachers have an opportunity to identify the scientific misconceptions and understandings that they, and the elementary students they teach, hold.
As a part of this program, teacher candidates through interviews identify their students’ misconceptions about science concepts that then guide both their student and their own subsequent learning. At four different meetings preservice teachers work as pairs to teach groups of four to five students in grades three and five. Their instruction is supported by continual visits from the university based teacher educator. The concepts investigated are primarily in the physical and chemical disciplines. These subjects include, light, sound, energy, force and motion, three states of matter, magnetism and other state mandated concepts.
Drawing upon the Understanding by Design model (Wiggins & McTighe, 2005) for unit development and using the information acquired on misconception interviews, the pre-service teachers analyze the student misconception interview results and review the related Massachusetts NGSS supported STE (Science, Technology, Engineering) standards to develop a performance based engineering design project and related supporting lessons.
Pre-service teachers document and reflect upon the changes in student understanding by examining student work, videos and pictures of the investigations taken with smartphones, collaborative group discussions from each lesson and the final engineering design project. They reflect not only on their student learning but also their own development as teachers and create and edit a video of the experience. Course syllabus and assignments will be shared. Participants in the audience will be encouraged to share their ideas to improve the quality of field experiences for our elementary preservice teachers.
Principal Author: Yoshisuke Kumano, Shizuoka UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Masakazu Goto, National Research Institution of Educational Policy
This study examined scientific processes in the science portion of the Course of Study of Japan. Also, a comparative study of scientific processes in the US and Japan was conducted among Japanese models, BSCS models, Yager’s model, NGSS models, and other models. In particular, the study focused on the W-type problem-solving model developed in 2009 in comparison with other models. Results suggest that when science lessons approximate the activities of scientists, the W-type problem solving model is one of the most appropriate model. Long-term scientific inquiry by students can also be conducted using the W-type problem-solving model. However, we should develop simpler models such as the US models in everyday science lessons. Thus, the W-type problem-solving model describes important issues for the revision of Japan’s Course of Study in the next framework.
This study not only reveals that Japanese elementary and middle school science curricula are strongly affected by the scientific literacy developed in OECD/PISA studies, but also reviews scientific processes in science education, especially in the US, focusing on the history of BSCS in terms of scientific processes (2006) and the National Science Education Standards published in December, 1995. Furthermore, the NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards) developed in April 2013 specify new frameworks and models in all areas of science and engineering. In this paper, up-to-date models of scientific processes are discussed through a comparison of how science has been taught according to core documents of two countries. Also, we investigate the emerging needs of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, and compare these with the new W-shaped model recently developed by Goto and Kobayashi (2009). Our principal purpose is to clarify the scientific process model for future settings.
This study has examined the scientific processes in the science portion of the Course of Study of Japan. Also, a comparative study of scientific processes in the US was conducted of Japanese models, the BS
Principal Author: SueAnn I.. Bottoms, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kathryn M. Ciechanowski, Oregon State University
This study examined five cohorts of preservice teacher’s reflections about their developing practice as they collaboratively engaged in iterative cycles of enactment in an afterschool STEM program as part of their elementary science methods course. Data sources included, collaborative work completed on Google Docs, video and video analysis of teaching, and individual weekly reflections. Cultural historical activity theory was used to address the questions of interest for this study: 1) How is PST’s learning shaped by linking theory and practice by engaging with children in an afterschool STEM program? 2) How do PST’s guided and dialogic reflections promote learning about children, content, and diversity? 3) How does work in intellectual communities of practice enhance PSTs’ critical thinking and consciousness about teaching and learning? Initial findings suggest that collaborative engagement in a learning community and scaffolded reflections in these iterative facilitated their sense-making about science teaching and learning. Implications suggest that teacher educators must create contexts that support these developing ideas of critically conscious teaching and learning.
Principal Author: Ann M.L.. Cavallo, The University of Texas at ArlingtonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gregory Hale, The University of Texas at Arlington; Ramon Lopez, The University of Texas at Arlington; David Sparks, The University of Texas at Arlington
The National Science Foundation (NSF) Robert Noyce Scholarship Program for Science and Mathematics Teachers recruits and prepares middle school science/mathematics and high school mathematics, life science, chemistry, and physics teachers highly qualified to teach in the US, with particular preparation for teaching in economically disadvantaged school districts. This paper presents research on the NSF Robert Noyce Scholarship Program at UT Arlington. The Noyce program recruits and awards scholarships to science and mathematics majors seeking teacher certification, and is a collaborative program among the College of Education and Health Professions, College of Science, and urban area partner school districts. The NSF Noyce program has a concerted design to promote self-efficacy, understanding of the content and nature of science/mathematics, and constructivist teaching practices. Impacts of the program on pre-service science and mathematics teachers are of particular interest in this research due to the severe shortage of these teachers in the US; which are profound in our partner urban school districts. This study focused on the following research purposes: 1) to examine possible shifts in self-efficacy toward teaching science, views of nature of science/mathematics, and primary teaching philosophy and practices from beginning to end of the program, and 2) to investigate relationships among self-efficacy toward teaching science, views of nature of science/mathematics, and primary teaching philosophy and practices at the beginning and end of the program. Results indicated positive significant shifts in self-efficacy and in nature of science/mathematics, and significant increases in teachers’ use of constructivist teaching practices including using inquiry-based models, problem-solving and logical reasoning strategies. Specific and unique patterns in these shifts and relationships were found according to discipline and certification level. Lessons learned within the context of the research findings are described.
Principal Author: Imelda L. Nava, UCLAAbstract:
Co-Authors: Imelda L.. Nava, UCLA
This study provides insights into how a teacher education program has bridged theory and practice tied to science discourse. As a program, we have developed broad umbrella practices including content rigor, content discourse, equitable access to content and classroom ecology that define our teaching framework and are theoretically aligned to principles of equity and justice. For this paper, I focus on science discourse because of its high leverage potential in fostering diversified student participation, developing language and communication skills, as well as critical thinking when synthesizing peer contributions, content, and evidence. The study includes various modes of data collection including classroom observations, a discourse assignment and instructional logs. Preliminary data suggest a positive support of discourse enactment in k-12 classroom practice. The bridging of theory and practice is often a monumental feat for beginning teachers. Providing a vision of equity based teaching and structures that might support the development and analysis of practices through a theoretical framework congruent with equity and justice is critical. We apply an inquiry stance to current innovations in research and practice that in turn create a community of learners. Practice is not devoid of theory and having pre-service teachers analyze their actions and how they leverage student learning is necessary to developing critical transformative educators and critical thinkers in urban schools.
Principal Author: Brant G.. Miller, University of IdahoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joel D.. Donna, Winona State University; Sarah R.. Hick, Hamline University
TEPTs are an approach to engaging and assessing middle school students in authentic NGSS aligned performance expectations that leverage appropriate technologies. Students participating in the TEPT collaborated on an engineering design challenge using technologies that supported and enhanced their ability to successfully complete the challenge and to apply knowledge. The engineering design challenge specific to this study was a scenario where students would design and test a water purification system that would effectively raise the temperature of water to a sterilization temperature. Students used a variety of technologies to successfully meet the challenge. For example, students used Google Drive as a collaborative tool for design and data collection. Additionally, students used a tablet technology that had embedded and add-on scientific probe technology (e.g. temperature probe) that allowed for data collection over time. And finally, students used a cloud-based video editing tool (i.e. http://www.wevideo.com/) to communicate their solutions to the engineering design challenge. Preliminary finds show that students valued the experience of designing and testing the water purification systems and using the various technologies. Future work designing, developing, implementing, and researching TEPTs through Design Based Implementation Research will produce a valuable evidenced based approach to meeting NGSS standards.
Principal Author: Richard P.. Hechter, University of ManitobaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elliot Macdonald, West Kildonan Collegiate
This interactive session will highlight through words and images the salient aspects of the Chasing Aurora Project, a STEM-based project partnering the University of Manitoba with northern community and rural schools, teachers, and diverse array of students living in the Canadian province of Manitoba. The Chasing Aurora project centered on developing authentic astronomy-themed curriculum and resources emanating from the wonder and awe of the aurora borealis, which is regularly seen in the back yards of these communities and schools. Punctuated with stunning images of the northern lights aligning with excerpts from the new curricular materials developed throughout the project, this session will capture our efforts towards making science curriculum both geographically and culturally relevant for the teachers to teach, students to learn, and the overall learning experience. Designed for science educators and science teacher educators, this session will detail how the Chasing Aurora resources were developed, introduced, and then used for learning within current k-12 classrooms with diverse and modern student populations. It is our vision that coupling meaningful and authentic science found in nature, like the aurora borealis, with focused pedagogical frameworks that embrace diversity can positively contribute to enhancing the teaching and learning of science.
Principal Author: Brant G.. Miller, University of IdahoAbstract:
Co-Authors: R. Justin. Hougham, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Adventure: Mississippi River (AMR) represents the kickoff to an annual education series that is based on a source to sea expedition down the Mississippi River. AMR blended real-life adventure with technology to reach students both locally and beyond the Mississippi River watershed. AMR sought to inspire students to experience an adventure in their local environment, understand the potential environmental impacts of their actions, and engage the rich history and diversity of species along the Mississippi River and its immense watershed. The curriculum was designed around the research-based Adventure Learning approach and was delivered direct to classrooms via the latest cloud-based technologies, enhanced with cultural and community connections. The online environment developed for AMR supported student interactions, and collaboration with the Adventure: Mississippi River community (students, adventurers, scientists and the public). The route the expedition team traveled was conducted by paddle and rowboat down the Mississippi River from the headwaters at Lake Itasca (MN) to the terminus at the Gulf of Mexico.
Principal Author: Max L.. Longhurst, Utah State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut; Daniel C.. Coster, Utah State University
The underlying premise of professional development (PD) is that if science teachers are better prepared, that preparation will translate to improved instructional delivery resulting in an increased student learning outcomes. In fact, this link between what a teacher does and what a student learns is the purpose for all formal programs of teacher education both pre-service and in-service. The increasing emphasis on instructional reform continues to drive the need for realizing the potential of professional learning. Our work is focused on providing PD for practicing teachers that incorporate new literacies and technology within a frame of reformed teaching practice.
Those attending this presentation will gain insight into the details of this PD, our research instrumentation, and analyses along with ongoing research findings of this funded project. One specific example will be data from an examination of the appropriation of professional learning as a result of this project. Determining why teachers implement new pedagogical practices from PD opportunities with such extreme variability is needed.
Principal Author: William Medina-Jerez, University of Texas at El PasoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lucia Dura, University of Texas at El Paso; Meredith Abarca, University of Texas at El Paso; Consuelo Salas, University of Texas at El Paso; Marisela Lopez, Ysleta Independent School District - El Paso, TX; Virginia Hill, The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP); Sonia Legarretta, The Housing Authority of the City of El Paso (HACEP)
The border city of El Paso, Texas (74% Hispanic) ranks consistently low in studies of literacy. While literacy is highly complex and involves the intersection of countless internal and external factors, much of the blame falls on standardized testing and under-emphasized literacy development at home. While literacy is highly complex and involves the intersection of countless internal and external factors, much of the blame falls on standardized testing and under-emphasized literacy development at home. Further, bilingualism often is seen as an incomplete version of two standard languages (Horner & Matsuda, 2010).
Such an outlook prompts us to ask:
How is it that conversations in bilingual communities like ours center largely on deficits? What would happen if we re-wrote the script of our literacy story? How might we see science and other school subjects through a cultural lens? Would we see changes in the ways our students perceive themselves? Would we see changes in their educational outcomes?
In this poster presentation, we will present key insights from the design, implementation, and assessment of the after school program, 'The Escuelita Project.'
Principal Author: Kerry Ruef, The Private Eye ProjectAbstract:
In this session educators will experience an easy, literacy-rich, hands-on method for powering-up close observation, inquiry by analogy, writing, art and theorizing for students K-12 as they explore patterns, change of scale, form and function, and systems — four of the NGSS Crosscutting Concepts. This interdisciplinary method is featured in a unique graduate-level course partnership involving Portland State University, the Portland Metro STEM Center, and The Private Eye Project.
The Private Eye develops the habits of mind essential to scientist, writer and artist: looking closely, thinking by analogy, changing scale and theorizing. The method begins with inexpensive jeweler's loupes (magnification tools) to heighten observation and pattern recognition, followed by critical thinking and the development of theory. Connections to art and literature are developed.
Participants will discover that peering through a jeweler's loupe into a flower’s trumpet, a seedpod’s cave or a bug's eye gives a wallop of wonder as it breaks stereotypes and clichés. Oohs and aahs give way to "bones-for-poems, bones-for-stories, essays, journals," when paired with the first of The Private Eye's simple questions: “What else does it remind me of? What else? What else? What else?” A student chooses his/her favorite lines to expand or incorporate into a piece of writing. But this literacy step is also the beginning of exploring the characteristics and properties of things and developing comparative, analogical thinking. How is a spider web like a bridge? How is a dandelion like an umbrella?
The second, third and fourth questions in the process lead students into theorizing and the making of inferences, into design and critique. The final Private Eye Question helps students understand the form-function link in nature: “If ‘it’ reminds me of _____, I wonder if it might function or work like that in some way?”
Participants will receive a “world-in-a-bag” containing a jeweler’s loupe and specimens and lessons to make theory come to life.
Principal Author: Diane W. Johnson, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Margaret Blanchard, North Carolina State University
The percentage of African American high school students enrolled in advanced science courses is substantially lower than that of white and Asian students. Studies have found that African American students who are enrolled in advanced science courses tend to have high self-efficacy, a high level of motivation, and familial support. This exploratory, qualitative study focuses on twelve African American males enrolled in advanced science courses at a predominantly African American (83.7%) urban high school. Guided by expectancy value theory, study participants were observed in their science classrooms weekly, interviewed in depth, and developed a presentation to share with students enrolled in a freshman science course. These research questions were assessed: How do African American male students in advanced science courses describe the relative costs and value/benefits of this choice? What social factors do African American male students perceive as influencing their academic course choices and future goals? How do African American males in advanced science courses identify with science? The males in this study predominantly enjoy science, strongly relate courses as preparing them for college and future jobs, and downplay the workload. Predominant social influences are their teachers, parents and family members, and many of the students are driven to change negative perceptions of Black males in society and to be the man in the family. All but three (83%) of the males in this study can imagine themselves in science careers, and have career intentions in science. All but one of the students saw themselves as being successful in college and in their future careers. Students related their curiosity, intelligence, interest in science, ability to solve problems, critical thinking skills, and enjoying the hands on nature of science as characteristics that related to being a scientist and identifying with science careers.
Principal Author: Nurcan Keles, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brian Hand, University of Iowa
The purpose of the study was to explore and explain each level of teachers’ discourse analysis when teachers taught with argument based inquiry classroom. The grounded theory qualitative design was used in this study to show the patterns in questioning of teachers from different implementation levels. Three teachers’ classroom were examined one each low, medium, and high level of the implantations. The results indicated that the RTOP was not enough to explain teachers’ implementation levels so more discourse analysis was necessary to explain and promote to teach with argument based inquiry
Principal Author: Joel D. Donna, Winona State University / 3RingAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sarah R. Hick, Hamline University / 3Ring
It is well documented that science teachers struggle to develop standards-based, inquiry-focused instruction (Davis, Petish, & Smithey, 2006). Teachers face many challenges in creating research-based lessons and units due to limited pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) (Lee, Brown, Luft, & Roehrig, 2007) and inadequate curricular resources (Hubisz, 2003; Kesidou & Roseman, 2002). We designed an on-line, educative curricular resource called Binder for secondary science teachers that supports them in building content understanding and then assembling comprehensive, NGSS-aligned learning experiences for their students. We piloted our curricular materials on the topic of convection with three science specialists teaching 160 sixth graders in three diverse urban schools. We sought answers to the questions 1) What do teachers and their students find valuable about 3Ring’s approach to curricular design and support? 2) What do teachers and students find missing or not valuable about the 3Ring approach, and 3) Do students learn content through 3Ring curricular and pedagogical approaches? Findings show that students overwhelmingly found the curriculum to be “fun” and really valued being able to conduct experiments themselves. Teachers found the curriculum enjoyable to teach and much more engaging for students than their usual teaching. They valued the rigor of the curriculum with its focus on learning through experiments and higher order thinking. They also valued the flexibility of the curriculum, the video support, the opportunities to uncover student misconceptions through discussion, and the ability to learn new pedagogical practices through use of the curriculum. Student assessment data indicates that student performance is influenced by the specific learning activities that students participated in and that “heat rises” is a durable misconception.
Principal Author: Ora Tanner, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yiping Lou, University of South Florida; Ping Wang, University of South Florida; Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Denise Davis, University of South Florida; Lucille Moon-Michel, University of South Florida; Glenn Smith, University of South Florida; Molly Trendell. Nation, University of South Florida
In an attempt to address poor K–12 science and mathematics instruction which currently exists in the United States (National Academies, 2007), the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) calls for student learning to be experiential, incorporate reading, writing and mathematics, encourages students to form explanations using crosscutting concepts in addition to core disciplinary ideas, and apply science and engineering practices (NRC, 2013). Game-based learning (GBL) has the potential to support the three-dimensional learning called for in the NGSS (Boyle, Connolly, & Hainey, 2011). This study examines how high school students interact with a scenario-based educational game, Water Gauge Warrior, designed to teach the engineering design cycle and climate change science concepts. Three main game features are investigated: the use of role play, integrated quizzes, and a narrative storyline. Fifty-one students at two district high schools in a southeastern state participated in a pilot study. Data was collected through classroom observations and an online survey using a five-point Likert scale to gather student perception regarding the game design features, learning of the science content and engineering practices, and satisfaction. The results from the first iteration of the game show that the students liked playing the game (mean=3.43), found the inclusion of a game made learning the topic more interesting (mean=3.69), and felt that it helped them learn about the engineering design cycle (mean=3.45). This presentation will consist of looking at the development of a serious game, considerations in the implementation of game-based learning in the science classroom such as sequencing with other materials, physical environment for playing the game, the teacher’s role, and analysis of the quantitative and qualitative data which provided insight into student perceptions of learning with an educational game.
Principal Author: Julie L.. Lambert, Florida Atlantic UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Robert E.. Bleicher, California State University Channel Islands
Findings of this study suggest that scientific argumentation can play an effective role in the preparation of science educators. This research examined changes in future teachers’ knowledge and perceptions about climate change in an innovative undergraduate-level elementary science methods course. The students’ (preservice teachers’) understanding of fundamental concepts (e.g., the difference between weather and climate, causes of recent global warming, etc.) increased significantly. Their perceptions about climate change became more aligned to those of climate scientists. A key assignment was to develop and present an evidence-based scientific argument based on an adaptation of Toulmin’s argumentation model (1958). The students were assigned a typical question and claim of climate skeptics and asked to conduct research on the scientific findings to prepare a counter-argument (rebuttal). Questions focused on extreme weather events, temperature patterns/trends, causes of climate change, observed and projected impacts, and mitigation strategies. The students indicated that the integration of scientific argumentation was the most effective strategy for increasing their understanding and perceptions about climate change.
Principal Author: Nathan Carnes, University of South CarolinaAbstract:
The success of impacting middle level teacher candidates’ knowledge and abilities to teach science relies significantly on a knowledge and application of middle level education research. Middle level proponents argue that middle school students are unique in the way they develop and learn and that schools are staffed with classroom teachers who have little or no knowledge of young adolescents or of other factors that lead to effective education at this level. Teacher preparation programs, state departments of certification, and the education profession must share the blame for this dilemma. Therefore, a deeper understanding of the middle school terrain is important to science teacher educators and researchers alike. Additionally, a deeper understanding of middle level philosophy opens new frontiers to science education research.
The intent of this position paper is to stimulate discussion among science teacher educators who are interested about the preparation of middle school science teachers. Mertens, Flowers, & Mulhall (2005) and White, Dever, & Jones (2013) indicated a paucity of research on how middle level teacher graduates implement middle school tenets exists. A search of the ERIC Academic Search databases suggest that attention to middle level ideals with regard to science education is even less. This vexation is further magnified by the many instances in which preparation to teach middle level science is blended within an elementary/middle or a middle/high school science methods course. Sun Tzu, a Chinese warlord, stated, "if you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt…" (Clavell, 1983). The application of these words of wisdom is not intended to characterize our teacher candidates or their future students as enemies. The application is if we know our candidates and their future students, the academic successes for which we strive will be certainly attainable.
Principal Author: Jingjing Ma, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tanya Warren, International Newcomer Academy
This study investigates a high school science teacher’s teaching practice of using scaffolding with English language learners (ELLs) in a sheltered instruction classroom. The research process involves collaborative endeavors from a university researcher and the teacher of this classroom. Six indicators are identified from empirical data for promoting meaningful science instruction for ELLs. These indicators are scientific knowledge base, English language emphasis, student thinking, discourse, assessment, and differentiated instruction. The authors will describe these six indicators and elaborate with multiple examples from the perspectives of both the researcher and the teacher. This study will contribute to a better understanding of using scaffolding to promote meaningful science instruction for ELLs and shed light on how to provide more effective support for science teacher learning in order to promote ELLs science content and English language acquisition.
Principal Author: Ellen K. Ebert, Office of the Superintendent of Public InstructionAbstract:
The student demographics in the US have been shifting quickly over the past decade with implications for science education especially with the adoption of the NGSS. This paper focuses on a study which used the Relevance of Science Education (ROSE) survey (Sjoberg & Schreiner, 2004) to examine topics of interest and perspectives of secondary science students in a large southwestern US school district. A situated learning perspective was used to frame the project. Research questions focused on (a) perceptions students have about themselves and their science classroom and how these beliefs may influence their participation in the community of practice of science; (b) consideration of how a future science classroom framed by the NGSS might foster students’ beliefs and perceptions about science education and their legitimate peripheral participation in the community of practice of science; and (c) reflecting on their school science interests and perspectives, what could be inferred about students’ identities as future scientists. Data were collected from 515 second year science students in May 2012 using a web-based survey. Data were disaggregated by gender and ethnicity, analyzed descriptively, and by statistical comparison between groups. Findings for Research Question 1 indicated that boys and girls showed statistically significant differences in scientific topics of interest. There were no statistical differences between ethnic groups. Research Question 2 findings indicated that participants reported an increase in their interest when they deemed the context of the content to be personally relevant. Research Question 3 findings showed that participants did not see themselves as youthful scientists or as becoming scientists. Participants value the importance of science in their lives and think all students should take science, but they do not aspire to careers in science. This paper will discuss potential future work.
Principal Author: Xinying Yin, California State University-San BernardinoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Catherine Spencer, California State University-San Bernardino
With the recent release of the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Next Generation Science Standards that call for more and deeper connections among the STEM subjects as well as increased emphasis on application of math and science practice and concepts, the idea of integrated STEM in math and science curriculum and teaching has been elevated. However, currently little is known about how to implement integrated STEM education and how to help teachers to do so. Teacher educators who traditionally work in math or science education field also lack the understanding of and experience with integrated STEM education. Therefore, there is a need for science and math teacher educators to enhance their understanding of integrated STEM education as well as how to facilitate K-12 teachers’ development in this domain. In this study, a science and a math teacher educator conducted a collaborative self-study while co-teaching an integrated STEM methods course to improve their practice and understanding of teaching integrated STEM, as well as how to facilitate K-12 teachers’ development in this domain. Some of the major findings include our elaborated understandings about engineering, technology and the relationships among the STEM disciplines, multiple ways of integrating STEM, and the advantages of teaching integrated STEM for teachers. As well, not only our collaboration contributed to students’ learning about integrated STEM education, but also modeled for students how collaborative teamwork can be successful. The engineering design activities, the use of different instructional models and extended period of collaboration in creating an integrated STEM unit were crucial in facilitating teachers’ expertise of integrated STEM education. The challenges encountered and implications for teacher professional development of integrated STEM education will be discussed.
Principal Author: Richard L. Sanchez, University of WyomingAbstract:
Recent calls for education reform emphasize the importance of increasing STEM exposure to students so as to increase undergraduate enrollments in the STEM fields of study. In rural settings, students’ exposure to apply scientific and engineering concepts are limited in the classroom. Therefore informal learning settings are offered as an opportunity for students to experience these STEM concepts. This study looks at informal learning settings to determine the effect they have on student attitudes towards science and engineering. Specifically, this mixed methods study analyzes data gathered from observing, interviewing and surveying middle school students who participated in a First LEGO League (FLL) robotics competition in a mid-western state. The data analysis was conducted through a constructivist’s and phenomenological lens to answer the question if informal learning settings like FLL affect student attitudes towards science and engineering. Preliminary findings indicate students are susceptible to vocabulary changes as well as application of some engineering concepts but attitudes towards engineering remained unchanged. Initial analysis indicates this might be due to the fact students who participate in the FLL program already having a higher degree of attitude towards engineering. Thus far, the analysis of attitudes towards science has proven null. The data for the study is still being gathered and analyzed with all analysis being completed by the end of 2014.
Principal Author: Briana Pobiner, Smithsonian Institution (National Museum of Natural History)Abstract:
Co-Authors: Constance Bertka, Science and Society Resources; Paul Beardsley, Cal Poly Pomona; Bill Watson, Diocene of Camden Office of Catholic Schools
The Smithsonian’s Human Origins Program’s NSF-funded “Teaching Evolution through Human Examples” project has developed (1) a set of 4 curriculum supplements for AP Biology that use human examples to teach evolutionary principles (Adaptation to Altitude, Malaria, Human Skin Color, and What Does It Mean To Be Human?/Phylogeny), and (2) a Cultural and Religious Sensitivity (CRS) Teacher Strategies Resource that includes background materials and two in-class activities to help increase teacher comfort and confidence in teaching evolution and student willingness to engage the topic.. Project goals are to increase teacher understanding of and confidence in teaching evolution, and to increase student understanding of and interest in evolution. Preliminary results indicate that the curriculum supplements increase students’ understanding of core concepts of evolution and decrease cognitive biases against understanding evolution, and may help decrease misconceptions about evolution. Additionally, results from field testing the Teacher Strategies Resource and focus group discussions with students who experienced the resource lessons are encouraging: the majority of students welcomed an acknowledgement of cultural and religious concerns with the topic of evolution. Several students described the approach as “comforting”. The majority of teachers who tested the lessons also indicated a willingness to use the lessons again in the future as written or with modification.
Principal Author: Austin M.. Hitt, Coastal Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sharon L.. Gilman, Coastal Carolina University
Natural selection is Charles Darwin’s most original and significant contribution to evolutionary biology. Basically his theory states that because organisms produce too many offspring for the available resources, at some point in their lives all offspring will engage in a struggle for existence. Those offspring possessing traits that enhance their ability to obtain resources and survive will be more likely to reproduce and pass their traits onto the next generation. Over many generations if enough changes accrue a new species can form.
With the emergence of the field of genetics in the early 1900’s it became necessary to modify Darwin’s original theory in order to accurately reflect the role of the gene in evolution. Components of Darwin’s theory, which were unknowns to him, are now explained at the molecular level. For example, the variation within populations is produced through random mutations of genes.
Darwin’s version of the theory of evolution by natural selection is relatively intuitive because all parts of the theory are based on concrete observable phenomena. In contrast, the modern synthesis theory straddles two distinct levels of understanding, the observable macroscopic world of organisms and the invisible molecular world of the genes.
This macroscopic/ molecular dichotomy presents potential issues for science educators. Specifically, the challenges are (1) determining how students integrate the macroscopic and molecular levels into their personal models of evolution, (2) identifying potential barriers to forming a cohesive and accurate model for evolution.
The research in this presentation addresses the first challenge through an exploratory investigation of junior and senior level biology majors’ understandings of evolutionary theory. Specifically, the students’ perceptions of the connections between the concepts of evolution, natural selection, speciation and extinction were investigated and discussed.
Principal Author: Kyungwoon Seo, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jee Kyung Suh, University of Iowa; Soonhye Park, University of Iowa
Shulman (1986) initially defined pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), as having two basic features: first, knowledge of how subject matter can be represented; and second, understanding of students' conceptions and learning difficulties with that subject matter. Since first suggested by Shulman (1986), many researchers have attempted to provide theoretical frameworks and models to articulate nature and constructs of PCK. While many scholars have elaborated and refined Shulman's initial idea, PCK is still a concept that has no universal definition. This study arose from this very issue and aimed to examine the convergences and divergences of PCK conceptualization in the literature by addressing general patterns or trends emerging from the critical analysis of empirical studies. Through multiple rounds of screening process, 81 peer-reviewed articles published between 1986 and 2014 were located within the field of science education that examined PCK and were analyzed. The central question of the review concerned how the authors used PCK model and framework to conceptualize PCK and how they used the concept of PCK to examine practical issues in science education. More specifically, the classification and evaluation of the current research presented in this review paper considered: research questions/purpose/PCK support, definition of PCK (e.g. type of PCK model, and the relationship between PCK and SMK), and characteristics of PCK (e.g., topic specific vs. domain-specific vs. general PCK, idiosyncrasy vs. common, and etc.). Critical review of PCK empirical studies identified critical gaps and ill-defined areas of PCK construct that have important implications for future PCK studies and science teacher education community.
Principal Author: Traci L. Carter, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michelle P. Cook, Clemson University
This study examines the relationship between a two-week professional development course about inquiry-based learning and high school biology teachers’ use of inquiry and their beliefs about inquiry, self-efficacy, and expectancy outcomes. The attitudes of these teachers’ students towards science and inquiry are also examined.
Principal Author: John W.. Tillotson, Syracuse UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Erica A.. Layow, Syracuse University
To address the nation’s need for well-trained STEM teachers, the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Scholarship Program has provided millions of dollars of federal grant support to colleges and universities across the US enabling teacher education programs to recruit, prepare, and mentor outstanding STEM teachers who then fulfill a service obligation by teaching in a high-needs school following graduation. Given the unique focus and mission of the NSF Noyce Scholars Program, this model of professional development offers a rich opportunity to investigate the impact of these specialized learning experiences on the evolving beliefs and classroom practices of beginning secondary science teachers. This information can support the growing number of efforts to develop an empirical understanding of the role preservice programs play in shaping science teacher development early in their professional careers. This conference presentation will focus on the Noyce professional development model developed at a major research university in the northeast United States and the impact of these experiences on 25 secondary science teachers who completed the preservice program from 2009-2014. A mixed-methods research design was used to gather survey data, interview data, and classroom performance data to answer our research questions about how the Noyce professional development program experiences shaped beginning science teachers’ ideas about effective teaching and learning, their sense of efficacy to teach, and their attitudes about teaching science in a high-needs school setting. To adequately measure the effectiveness of the Noyce Scholars Program experiences on our STEM teachers in the project, we used established research protocols and data collection instruments from a previous NSF-sponsored research study focused on science teacher development. Results suggest the Noyce Scholars viewed their preparation experiences favorably in spite of the initial disconnect between their idealistic teacher beliefs and traditional classroom practices.
Principal Author: SoonChun Lee, Wichita State UniversityAbstract:
As literature in teacher education has reported, it is very difficult to achieve sustainable shifts in instructional practice due to a number of issues, including teachers’ unfamiliarity with how to practice change, their inadequate preparation, or lack of understanding of what the required change entails. Embedded professional development (PD) supported by an instructional “coach” is a promising strategy for addressing the need for teacher changes in science education. The rise of web-based video conferencing technology enabled distance-based instructional coaching (DBIC) to facilitate almost all of the features of school-based coaching, including classroom observation, synchronous video-conference coaching, and sharing necessary materials. The present study draws on empirical data from a specific case of teacher Kara who participated in two larger studies for the two consecutive years. With an in-depth analysis of a single case, this paper first describes how the teacher implemented what she learned from PD without instructional coaching, with coaching, and after coaching. The Vygotsky Space model was applied to analyze an empirical case that we describe in detail, using data from interviews as well as observational and archival data. The results showed how teachers’ changes initiated from a PD program can be effectively sustained by the distance-based instructional coaching that was effective as much as a school-based instructional coaching. In addition, the results showed that the teacher’s changes did not seem to move beyond appropriation process effectively until the teacher received the instructional coaching. However, transformation process seemed to obviously occur during the coaching that provided her with various reflective opportunities. This transformation has appeared to have a significant impact on her students’ achievement test scores in the second year of implementation. By implementing a distance-based (peer) instructional coaching model, science instructional coaching experiences can continue without the ongoing need for a school-based coach.
Principal Author: Michael Giamellaro, Oregon State University- CascadesAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie Gess-Newsome, Oregon State University- Cascades; Debbie Siegel, Oregon State University- Cascades; Natalie Dollar, Oregon State University- Cascades; Margaret Prevenas, Oregon State University- Cascades; Brad Kudlac, Culver School District; Stefanie Garber, Culver School District; Jodi Baxter, Culver School District
Following a preparatory year, a rural and underserved school district is implementing a project-based STEM approach to curriculum at all grade levels and inclusive of all students. Preparing teachers and the community for the task represents a considerable challenge. The initiative is supported by a local university that is providing professional development and evaluation that is looped back to stakeholders to improve the developing model. Teachers are also being given supports of extra planning time, resources for peer feedback, travel to model schools and conferences, university coursework, and access to a full time STEM Coach. The inception year of this project is likely to present the greatest challenges for the community as they define and implement what rural, STEM, Project-based learning should look like. The perspectives on the successes and barriers over the year are likely to vary from person to person. This interactive discussion presents roundtables highlighting the perspectives of numerous stakeholders (e.g. teachers, researchers, administrators, STEM Coach) midway through their first year of implementation to identify innovations and barriers that might be useful as an exportable model.
Principal Author: Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tobias Irish, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies; Cornelia Harris, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
National and international scientific and education groups recognize the need for a scientifically literate citizenry that can apply science to important environmental issues in order to make sound decisions and create policies that protect ecosystems. However, the arguments they encounter often have weak scientific reasoning, limited supporting evidence and many types of bias. Both the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core Standards address this need through an emphasis on practices such as constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence, and evaluating information. However, studies in both science and mathematics education have shown that students often struggle with data exploration skills related to these practices.
The professional development opportunities provided by the Data Explorations in Ecology Project (DEEP) were designed to help teachers develop their understanding of, and ability to implement, a refined set of lesson modules designed to engage students in data exploration processes. Teachers reported that as a result of the professional development and support provided by this project, they felt substantially more confident in their own data exploration skills and their ability to introduce those skills to students. They also reported having greater comfort in finding, interpreting, and using data sets in their teaching, and that they would continue to use the DEEP modules and principles in their teaching. Factors that were identified as affordances for teachers in these respects include their participation in the PLC, their involvement in the development of the units, the instructional resources provided by DEEP, and the opportunity to engage in data exploration activities themselves. In terms of constraints, all of the teachers felt that time was the greatest barrier to more frequent and comprehensive implementation of data exploration activities. Some of the teachers also mentioned that their own lack of data exploration skills prevented them from engaging students in these types of investigations.
Principal Author: Jeffrey R. Peake, University of KentuckyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeffery S. Townsend, Eastern Kentucky University
Energy is an overarching concept in science teaching that serves as a common strand throughout the sciences. During their undergraduate training, however, teachers are often taught in disconnected courses focusing on specific content areas pertaining to each course. This may cause teachers to form misconceptions about energy, potentially conceptualizing it as an incoherent and fragmented entity.
This presentation will share the development and results of a hybrid, MA-level course that promoted the implementation of energy as a unifying concept in elementary and middle school. Course participants (inservice teachers) attended onsite, face-to-face meetings for hands-on, inquiry-based interactions focusing on energy content and effective pedagogy. The onsite meetings were supplemented by weekly online modules, allowing them to continue participating offsite each week between the six class sessions. Each module involved professional development videos from Annenberg Media, short textbook and supplemental readings, a content quiz, and a discussion board forum.
Prior to the first class meeting, all participants were given the Energy Concept Inventory (ECI) as a pretest. The course sequence followed several important concepts relating to energy such as types, transfer, conservation, force, work, cycles, efficiency, and flow (including life/ecological) within and between systems, along with issues pertaining to natural resources and their uses. Concepts pertaining to NGSS energy content in grades 4-8 were especially highlighted throughout the course. Posttest scores using the 30-item ECI showed an increase in test scores for all thirteen participants ranging from 27-80% with an average increase of 45%. The posttest also showed an average increase in scores for each individual test item ranging from 23.1-84.6% with an average increase of 43% per item. We will present the design, implementation, and results of this hybrid course along with related materials that provide ASTE members with multiple documents and resources from the course for their own use.
Principal Author: Robin E.. Fleshman, Columbia University/Teachers CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore. Mensah, Columbia Unversity/Teachers College
Statistics show that an alarming percentage of African American, Latino, and American Indian students are not prepared for mathematics and science at the college level. Even worse, of the African American and Latino students who graduate from high school and enter college, less than half earn a bachelor’s degree six years later. To combat this persistent low pace, college preparatory programs over the years have emerged and some have shown positive effects for its participants of color. Through the theoretical framework of transformative learning theory and cultural immersion, this study explores the experiences of 11th and 12th grade African American and Latino inner-city high school students in a two-year college preparatory program. Mezirow’s transformative learning theory has evolved from its original focus on adult learning to include college student learning; however, there is little research which focuses on high school students, in particular, African American and Latino students. To explore this population, 29 students completed a survey, semi-structured group interview was conducted with four of the 12th grade participants to explore more deeply their experiences in and perspectives of themselves and the preparatory program. The program included a four-week summer immersion component. Findings suggest that students participating in this two-year college preparatory program at various points had positive transformative experiences and achieved some goals of the program.
Principal Author: Donna L.. Ross, San Diego State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith H. Vaughn, San Diego State University
Teachers in this project are engaged in a five-year teacher leader program with a focus on improving teaching practice through developing teachers’ professional noticing and their ability to attend to student thinking. We have found that these experienced, thoughtful teachers are struggling to make sense of the explanation and argumentation (NGSS SEP 6 & 7) practices. Osborne & Patterson (2012) recently highlighted their concern that these two terms have been confounded. As the teachers in our project initially wrestled with the two scientific practices, they formed their own definitions of explanation and argumentation. Nearly all of the teachers initially indicated that they thought it was easy to distinguish between the two. Their working definitions fell into three general categories. The defining feature of most of the teachers’ work included the idea that engaging in scientific arguments required two perspectives or competing claims, whereas explanation needed only one claim. The idea of counterclaims was important in the working definitions of more than half of the teachers. Applying their definitions, however, proved to be much harder than the teachers expected. As they tried to select evidence of the two practices in their classroom, they found it difficult to separate the explanations from the arguments. Teachers did shared viewing of video clips from their own classrooms. Often, clips that had been selected to represent one of the two practices prompted discussion indicating they actually represented the other practice, or in some cases neither practice. Our work on these two practices will continue during our next summer institute. These are experienced, expert secondary science teachers who are very thoughtful about their practice. We have an explicit focus in the program on student thinking and teacher noticing. The challenges these teachers experience with implementation of the Practices into their middle and high school classes will likely be magnified for novice teachers.
Principal Author: Donna J.. Barrett, Georgia State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Anton S.. Puvirajah, Georgia State University; Lisa M.. Martin-Hansen, California State University Long Beach
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).
The scope of this parallel, convergent mixed study was to explore the influence of a K-5 science endorsement on the dimensions of professional knowledge of elementary science teachers. The theoretical framework for the study is Social Cognitive Theory (Bandura, 1997).
A K-5 science endorsement is a unique type of professional development (PD) for inservice elementary teachers interested in adding a K-5 science field to their existing teaching certificates through approved programs offered by universities, school districts and state agencies. The K-5 science endorsement in this study requires 200 contact hours of course and field work that includes multiple opportunities to develop, teach, and reflect on lessons. The number of contact hours is significant in light of a report that found that 65% percent of elementary teachers reported they spent less than six hours in the last three years on PD in science with only 4% reporting spending more than 35 hours (Banilower et al., 2013).
Fifty-four elementary teachers who completed a K-5 science endorsement participated in this study. These teachers were from six cohorts of the endorsement offered within various school districts and taught by different instructors. The quantitative data collected included three content pre/post assessments of science content and a retrospective pre/post self-efficacy and background survey. The qualitative data included observations, interviews, and a portfolio review of six participants leading to a cross-case analysis that explored the dimensions of professional kno
Principal Author: David E. Long, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susan Poland, George Mason University; Andrew Keck, George Mason University
Science education, like all education, deals in the work of improvement. Teachers often take part in professional development activities that permit advanced training in new and novel techniques that have arrived since the time of their original training and/or certification. Schools, at the same time, respond to multiple constituents with variable visions for the purpose of schooling. Reform efforts, as Tyack and Cuban (1995) have shown, often make their impact and quickly dissipate due to competing interests, programs, lack of long-term buy in to systemic change, and a myriad of other factors. Within a large, federally funded professional development program for elementary school teachers, advanced training in reform-based science pedagogy such as problem based learning, inquiry science, hands-on science, and the nature of science are taught and practiced. Teachers return to their schools and with the support of an instructional coach, practice their new skills. After one year, both support and funding go away. This paper reports the findings of a ‘check-in’ with teachers two years after their training was completed to document a teacher and/or a school’s ability to sustain their innovations after the out of schools supports are removed. Preliminary findings show that teachers are unable to maintain the level of pedagogical modification from the professional development implementation. Instead teachers are forced to modify or discard most aspects though teachers would like to integrate many of the concepts learned in the professional development program, outside circumstances frequently impair the teachers’ abilities to fully integrate these concepts into their science instruction.
Principal Author: April A. Nelms, University of North GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dennis W. Sunal, University of Alabama; Cynthia V. Sunal, University of Alabama
This study was conducted using qualitative methodologies, specifically phenomenological research, to investigate what contributes to the development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) of physics and physical science teachers who participate in a content-specific continuous professional development program. There were five participants in this study. The researcher conducted participant observations and interviews, rated participants degree of reformed teaching practices using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol, surveyed participants' self-efficacy beliefs using the Science Teacher Efficacy Belief Instrument "A," and rated participants'' level of PCK using the PCK Rubrics. All data were analyzed, and a composite description of what contributes to physics and physical science teachers' PCK development through a continuous professional development program emerged. A theory also emerged from the participants' experiences pertaining to how teachers' assimilate new conditions into their existing teaching schema, how conditions change teachers' perceptions of their practice, and outcomes of teachers' new ideas towards their practice. This study contributed to the literature by suggesting emergent themes and a theory on the development of physics and physical science teachers' PCK. PCK development is theorized to be a spiral process incorporating new conditions into the spiral as teachers employ new science content knowledge and pedagogical practices in their individual classroom contexts.
Principal Author: Tugba Keser, Trakya University / University of Massachusetts AmherstAbstract:
The purpose of this case study was to provide benefit to preservice and inservice science teachers, who have an interest in applying computer representations in their scientific argumentation-based instructions, by examining how the use of a computer representation supported students’ arguments in scientific argumentation-based classrooms. In particular, this study investigated how the quality of 11th grade students’ arguments changed over time in scientific argumentation when they constructed and defended their arguments using the “Gas Properties” simulation. For this purpose, four focus group students from four classrooms were selected as volunteer participants in two Western Massachusetts High Schools. Using “Gas Properties” simulation students discussed a central question the teachers posed with three alternative theoretical accounts of the relationship between the pressures of Helium and air balloons in space. For the fine-grained analysis of the quality of focus group students’ arguments in pair and classroom discussions, I used the modified versions of coding scheme for argument structure from McNeill and Krajcik (2007)’ s categorical aggregation and of analytical framework for the quality of arguments from Osborne et al. (2004a)’ s and Erduran et al. (2004)’ s analytical framework. The results depicted that in pair discussions, argumentation was a way of participants’ collectively supporting a scientific claim based on evidence from the computer simulation and trying to agree on conclusions drawn from these evidence. Therefore, only two focus groups generated the highest quality of arguments with the waxing and waning amount of consensus over time. On the other hand, in classroom discussions focus group students tried to win their opponents over to their points of view and to weaken opposing views with evidence using the computer simulation. This condition led four focus groups to address to all dependent and independent variables of their investigations and produce the highest quality of arguments.
Principal Author: Kathryn T. Watkins, University of New MexicoAbstract:
Science and literacy education may be uniquely suited for integration in order to support the development of science content knowledge and skills in literacy. Elementary teachers find less and less time for teaching science in the classroom day. Most of the focus in the classroom must be on literacy and mathematics. Using science texts that are engaging and informational allow children in the classroom to engage in discourse that allows them to use evidence. Theoretically, the conversion of the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts with the Next Generation of Science Standards allows for a space for students to “building a strong base of knowledge through content rich texts, reading, writing and speaking grounded in evidence, reason abstractly and quantitatively, construction viable arguments and critiquing the reasoning of other and engaging in argument from evidence” (Cheuk, 2012).
This investigation explores what pre-service teachers will do with a lesson in their elementary science methods course that is designed to model integration of literacy strategies and science inquiry. The findings from this work with students over several years indicated that students went on to use the suggestion related to teaching science in a literacy block. Approximately fifty percent of the students were able to develop a lesson using a text or to use the lesson I had taught to them in the class in their own classroom practice. In their descriptions, pre-service teachers described the lessons as engaging. Several noted that the format was familiar to students because they were often read to but the extension activities of choosing groups of animals for an ecosystem was a shift from the normal activities but that the students mostly participated and did well. The bridge to support the beginnings of that leap from pedagogical content knowledge to practice can be science activities that integrate and support teacher and student learning while engaging practices that are tried and true in most teachers’ classrooms.
Principal Author: Maria M. Ferreira, Wayne State UniversityAbstract:
Teachers entering the profession are often inadequately prepared to meet the needs of students in high-need urban areas, and many of them leave the profession in high numbers. The development of clinical training or “urban teacher residency” models (UTRs) has been proposed as a means to adequately prepare teachers for high-need urban schools. These programs recruit talented professionals into the teaching profession and combine extensive preparation in relevant coursework with a full-year residency in a partnering urban school district. Whereas in traditional teacher certification programs field experiences are usually allocated to the last semester before certification, in this this model clinical experiences are an integral component of the program and focus on exposing pre-student teachers to the complexities of teaching by learning alongside an experienced teacher mentor. Another area central to the clinical model is the blending of coursework with clinical experiences, also referred to as developing a “hybrid” or “third space.” This presentation describes an institution’s efforts to bridge the gap between theory and practice in a teacher certification program using the clinical model. Results from student course evaluations indicate that the integration of clinical experiences in coursework was perceived as one of the most valuable aspect of the program’s course activities.
Principal Author: Starlin D. Weaver, Salisbury UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Beth Klein, SUNY Cortland
This poster will highlight the life of Dr. Ephraim Laurence Palmer. Dr. Palmer made significant contributions to the fields of conservation and environmental education. He also was a science teacher educator pioneer. His passion in life was preparing teachers to help children learn to love the space in which they live. Dr. Palmer made significant scholarly contributions. He published more than 700 articles and five books. His most notable publication is the “Field Book of Natural History.” This book was revised by H. Seymour Fowler in 1975. He was the author of the Cornell Rural School Leaflets for 33 years. Palmer wrote 115 special articles for Nature, the international weekly journal of science and Natural History magazine. For 27 years Palmer operated a weekly radio show for teachers and schools that dealt primarily with conservation. In 1950, he won a national award for this show. He made 6 Encyclopedia Britannica films and two Eastman Teaching Films and a National Wildlife Federation film. He also produced two filmstrip series on conservation.
Principal Author: James Kisiel, California State University, Long BeachAbstract:
More and more, the push for STEM education reform is reaching into the tradition-laden halls of the university, where new instructional approaches and tools are being introduced in an effort to improve student success rates. Such approaches move well beyond the traditional chalk-filled blackboard lecture and represent a shift from teacher-centered to student-centered instruction (NRC, 2012.)
Physics faculty members at a large urban public master’s university in southern California developed Social Homework (SHW)—a Facebook-like discussion tool designed to 1) encourage legitimate group work among students in a large lecture classroom 2) support meaningful student learning by encouraging in-depth discussions of key problems (rather than Internet-copied solutions) and 3) help students develop confidence in their ability to solve problems and apply physics to their daily lives. Developers wished to support active learning, in which students must identify, sort, and correctly apply new information for meaningful learning to occur (NRC, 2000.)
To better understand the adoption and implementation of the Social Homework tool, a series of interviews with faculty members who used (or considered using) the tool was conducted. Several questions guided this investigation, including
1. What rationale did science and math faculty use to direct their implementation of the Social Homework tool?
2. How did implementation of the tool vary among faculty members?
3. What concerns or challenges did faculty encounter as they incorporated SHW into their classroom.
Findings suggest that implementation of the SHW tool and perceived challenges were dependent on instructor perspective (improved student learning vs. improved faculty teaching) and rationale for course improvement. Data also suggest that faculty have a variety of ideas as to why this tool would contribute to student success. Overall, the case study points to the complexities of introducing science instruction reform efforts at the university level.
Principal Author: Jeffery S. Townsend, Eastern Kentucky UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer C. Perkins, Eastern Kentucky University
This presentation will focus on two aspects of an online course introducing elementary and middle school graduate-level teachers to grades K-8. First, the presenters will share the course contents, sequence, design and supporting documents. The session, however, will primarily focus on features of the course that allowed it to be chosen for a 2014 Blackboard Catalyst Award for Exemplary Course. In addition, the course was further chosen from the pool of awardees as a Directors Choice for Courses with Distinction. Blackboard is a web-based learning management system that serves as a tool for which many universities subscribe that allows professors to create an environment in which they can post course information, necessary documents, virtual learning environments, and many other things by using discussion boards, online tests and quizzes, homework and assignment submissions, and a host of other features. It is often used as a supplement for onsite and hybrid courses. Many other universities use web-based learning environments, such as Prometheus, Moodle, Sakai, among others, that serve similar functions.
More and more universities are requiring professors to create online courses that serve as a convenience to students as well as recruiting a more far-reaching audience than can be targeted by onsite courses alone. The presenters will share their initial reservations regarding the creation of a science education course in an online-only environment in addition to ways they tried to overcome any obstacles. As more and more jobs are posted on the ASTE website and listserv, a larger number prefer candidates who have experience in designing online or hybrid courses for virtual learning environments. The experiences and practical tips shared by the presenters will provide ideas regarding the implementation of various types of basic software that will support other aspects of their own courses. Specific examples will be used from the course itself. Bb reviewers’ comments for course improvements will be shared with attendees.
Principal Author: Christine Lotter, University of South CarolinaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cory Fuller, University of South Carolina
In this paper we explore middle school science teachers’ learning of inquiry-based instructional strategies through reflection on practice-teaching sessions during a summer enrichment program with middle level students. The reflection sessions were part of a larger year-long inquiry professional development program in which teachers learned science content and inquiry pedagogy. The program included a two-week summer institute in which teachers participated in science content sessions, practice-teaching to middle level students, and small group facilitated reflection sessions on their teaching. For this study, data collection focused on teachers’ recorded dialogue during the facilitator run reflection sessions, the teachers’ daily written reflections, a final written reflection, and a written reflection on a videotaped teaching session. We investigated the teachers’ reflection levels, the themes teachers’ focused on during their reflection sessions, and the influence of the facilitator on the teachers’ reflection levels. Teachers were found to reflect at various reflection levels from simple description to a more sophisticated focus on how to improve student learning with facilitator guidance. Recurrent themes point to the importance of providing situated learning environments, such as the practice-teaching with immediate reflection in this professional development program, for teachers to have time to practice new instructional strategies and gain insight from peers and science educators on how to handle student learning issues.
Principal Author: Julie Alexander, University of Missouri/ Doctoral StudentAbstract:
A gap between research and practice exists. Educators feel researchers are far removed from the classroom to suggest practical improvements to classroom practice. I explored the following research question from the classroom teacher’s perspective: “What are the perceptions of teachers toward research articles and how do they read and unpack them?"
In this study, I will provide comparative data on classroom teacher’s perceptions of a research article, and one taken from NARST’s Research Matters; articles that were written with the idea that they would be useful to teachers, less cumbersome to read and written in simpler language. The articles focused on modeling, an important strand in the Next Generation Science Standards.
Themes that emerged through discussion of the articles after reading them were: Inability to focus long enough to read the research article, daunting language in the article skepticism about the author’s teaching credibility, misconceptions about the topic that emerged through reading and discussion, the need for professional development and collaboration to implement the ideas shared in the research, and lack of administrative support.
The article from Research Matters was favored over the initial research article because of the ease of reading, shorter length and clear instructions to follow which would be less stressful especially for newer teachers. This was construed as an instructional support which could improve teaching confidence for those unfamiliar with the concept of modeling; this confidence would manifest itself in improved instructional practice.
This study is important because it discusses the inaccessibility of research to classroom teachers. If research determines best practices, but teachers have no time to read it or lack professional development or administrative support in implementation, then best practices will not be used to teach students.
Principal Author: Nicola C.. Barber, University of UtahAbstract:
Co-Authors: Louisa A.. Stark, University of Utah; Jo Ellen Roseman, AAAS Project 2061; Martin Fernandez, AAAS Project 2061
The Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards call for curricula that integrate disciplinary core ideas, science practices and crosscutting concepts. However, there are very few models for high school biology curriculum materials—and associated, closely-aligned assessment tasks—that address all three of these dimensions. To address this issue, the Genetic Science Learning Center (GSLC) at the University of Utah and AAAS Project 2061 have collaborated on a project in which the GSLC has developed curriculum materials and Project 2061 has developed associated assessment items.
The six lessons on natural selection, which are designed for grades 9-10, integrate (a) the Life Science Disciplinary Core Ideas of Biological Evolution and concepts from Heredity needed to understand evolution, (b) the Science Practices of Analyzing and Interpreting Data, Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking, and Engaging in Argument from Evidence, and (c) the Crosscutting Concepts of Patterns, and Cause and Effect. Throughout the lessons and assessment tasks students work with skill-level-appropriate data from published scientific research. Through our development process we have learned a number of lessons about utilizing published scientific data in high school curricula that will be shared during the session.
The natural selection lessons have undergone several iterations of revision and pilot testing in 10 teacher’s classrooms across the country with diverse student demographics. In the largest study, students (n=308) showed significant learning gains from pre-test to post-test (t=4.265, p<0.001). Additionally, student ability measured via Rasch modeling also reflected improvement (t=9.289, p<0.001). On the post-enactment survey teachers reported that although the materials were quite different from their typical natural selection lessons they would use the materials again. Taken together, these data show that our approach holds preliminary evidence of promise for increasing students’ understanding of natural selection.
Principal Author: Jeremy P.. Lake, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara S.. Spector, University of South Florida
The National Research Council (NRC, 2009) published the report, Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits indicating informal science educators (ISEs) needed long-term professional development opportunities. In essence, the document challenged the science teacher education enterprise to develop and supply the necessary education for ISE providers to enhance their effectiveness educating the public and to work more effectively with formal teachers K-16 to attain the goals of the National Science Education Standards (NRC, 1996) and currently the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013). Falk et. al. (2007), reporting on how the population at large learns science suggests that “potentially a more holistic approach to science education, one that better integrates school, work and leisure time learning experiences…could be a more robust approach to long-term gains in public understanding of science”(pg.10). Thus science teacher educators responding to the challenge of the desired professional development for ISEs can expedite gains in science literacy for all. Providing such long-term professional development for ISEs forges alliances between science teacher educators and ISEs helping teachers in schools provide their students habits for life-long science learning and encouraging use of community resources in teaching K-12 science.
We report a case study of one experienced ISE’s journey completing an online graduate certificate specifically designed to provide professional development for ISEs consistent with the 2009 NRC Report. The case is part of a larger emergent design study conducted to evaluate the implementation of the certificate program. The report chronicles how this participant made sense of program materials, turned theory into practice, and enhanced her career in a variety of ways. A model emerged identifying factors influencing program performance and seamlessly merging personal, professional and academic realms of her life for a rich and meaningful learning experience.
Principal Author: Brendan E. Callahan, Kennesaw State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michelle L. Dean, Kennesaw State University; Michael Dias, Kennesaw State University; Jennifer K. Frisch, Kennesaw State University; David Rosengrant, Kennesaw State University
This roundtable session details the recent revision of the undergraduate science teacher education programs at Kennesaw State University (KSU). The issue generating this presentation is the need to improve science teacher education in response to the linguistic, pedagogical and science literacy needs of an increasingly diverse adolescent population in U.S. schools as well as changing accreditation standards. The consolidation of KSU with Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU) added to the challenge and opportunity of our revision.
Foundational ideas from the theoretical and conceptual framework that guided this program revision flow from broad dimensions of sociocultural constructivism to specific aspects of effective reflection and pedagogical content knowledge development through experiential learning. The KSU faculty found that the UTeach model offered at SPSU provides an effective application of these principles.
Some of the core principles of the UTeach program include the use of master teachers, an introduction to teaching sequence designed to recruit and immerse students in the teaching experience, and a specific sequence of courses that are all focused on science teaching and learning. However, the UTeach base curriculum did not completely meet the needs of our science education students, especially when compared to the national accrediting bodies. We specifically highlighted technology, inclusive education, and work with English Language Learners as areas needing additional focus.
Ultimately, the process of consolidation provided an opportunity to reexamine how we prepare undergraduate science education students. This consolidation also occurs at a time when education programs are being asked to reevaluate their programs in response to new accrediting pressures. Our model shows why and how one successful education program decided to make a large change by adopting the UTeach model, and also the modifications needed in order to more fully prepare our students to become the next generation of teachers.
Principal Author: Elisebeth S. Boyer, The Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Since the passage of NCLB time allocated to science instruction at the elementary level has decreased. This study provides data indicating that the drop may be more precipitous than originally thought. Participants indicated they teach science multiple times per week by incorporating science content into other subjects. This indicates they do not fully understand what counts as science and what it means to teach science at the elementary level. Even with their skewed understanding of science instruction participants still discussed a general lack of time to teach science with increasing pressures on student reading and math achievement as called for by their states’ accountability policies. Most respondents did not believe their classroom science instruction fulfilled the goals of the NGSS but that they believed the goals were being met in later grades. What is missing from the responses is the acknowledgment that without a foundational understanding of what science is at the elementary level students cannot be expected to apply advanced scientific reasoning in the upper grades.
Principal Author: Jennifer A. Reid-Smith, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michael P. Clough, Iowa State University; Joanne K. Olson, Iowa State University
The poster presents results of a study exploring the use of historical short stories as nature of science (NOS) instruction in thirteen secondary science classes. The stories focus on the development of science ideas and include statements and questions to draw students’ and teachers’ attention to key NOS ideas and misconceptions. The study uses mixed methods to examine teachers’ implementation of the stories, factors influencing teachers’ implementation, the impact on students’ NOS understanding, students’ interest in the stories and factors correlated with their interest.
Study findings indicate teachers’ implementation decisions were influenced by their NOS understanding, curricula, time constraints, perceptions of student ability and resistance, and goals for students. Teachers implementing stories at a high-level of effectiveness were more likely to make instructional decisions to mitigate constraints from the school environment and students.
High-level implementers frequently referred to their learning goals for students as a rationale for implementing the stories even when facing constraints. Teachers implementing at a low-level of effectiveness were more likely to express that constraints inhibited effective implementation. Teachers at all levels of implementation expressed concern regarding the length of the stories and time required to fully implement the stories. Additionally, teachers at all levels of implementation expressed a desire for additional resources regarding effective story implementation and reading strategies.
The study provides evidence that the stories can be used to improve students’ NOS understanding. However, under what conditions the stories are effective is still unclear. Students reported finding the stories more interesting than textbook readings and many students enjoyed learning about scientists and the development of science idea. Students’ interest in the stories is correlated with their attitudes towards reading, views of effective science learning, attributions of academic success, and interest in a science-related career
Principal Author: Aaron A.. Musson, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Lewis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Jia Liu, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
As teacher education programs, professional development specialists and those who support beginning teachers work to produce and retain effective teachers who successfully grow through their early careers, attention should be paid to the discourse practices beginning teachers bring from their preparation programs to employ in their classrooms. A case composed of four first- and second-year physical science teachers whose teaching assignments included chemistry were investigated to determine the discourse practices these teachers use, and to measure the extent to which their discourse practices aligned with inquiry-oriented discourse practices. Teacher subject matter knowledge (SMK) was assessed using in-field coursework, GPA and retained misconceptions and compared to the observed discourse practices and alignment with inquiry-oriented practices. Typical first-year teacher discourse practices ranged from low-level recall questions and teacher monologues to open-ended follow-up questions which required justification of answers and whole-class discussions. One second year teacher exhibited growth in the use of in-class discussions of lab results and coached students in scientific discourse practices. While a small sample size limits an analysis of SMK and inquiry practices, a successful second-year teacher with extensive SMK consistently used teacher-centered and pre-inquiry discourse practices.
Principal Author: Jane Leeth, Indiana University - IndianapolisAbstract:
Co-Authors: Paula A. Magee, Indiana University - Indianapolis
This proposal describes two non-traditional activities that have been developed and incorporated into an elementary science methods course. The activities are non-traditional (not writing a paper) and they were intentionally developed to promote discussions and thinking around socio-cultural issues in science for preservice elementary teachers (PSETs). In addition to making the science relevant to real world actions the activities specifically target controversial issues such as gender discrimination and racism. The non-traditional assignments include Invitations that encourage students to think about the cultural connections and implications for science, and Reading adult non-fiction texts and completing non-traditional literature roles as weekly homework. This is an important issue for the science education community as it offers another way to engage PSETs in moving beyond science as a set of hands-on activities that are disconnected to the struggles that people face every day.
Principal Author: Seema Rivera, University at AlbanyAbstract:
Eliciting understanding of the NOS may be difficult at the elementary-school level because students are still developing as readers and writers. This study looks at how read-alouds may be used to elicit those NOS views through discourse analysis. Many students have their first exposure to the process of science in elementary school through read-alouds. Substantial literature has shown the benefits of reading aloud to young children, such as teachers scaffolding students’ understanding of the content during the read-aloud. A multisite naturalistic case-study method was used in this study to conduct an investigation of the NOS views of teachers and students, the trade book NOS portrayal, and the read-aloud experience. This study will contribute to the area of elementary science education by investigating the science read-aloud and how teachers and students with known NOS views make meaning of the NOS in trade books. Results showed that teachers using personal pronouns, such as you, gave the implicit message to students that they were involved in science. Another part of discourse related to using personal pronouns is the types of questions teachers used with their students. Using closed-ended questions gives the impression that science is looking for one “right” answer. Teachers or books used in the read-alodus also hedged in these cases, giving the impression science is tentative. The study showed that many of the NOS aspects are conceptually appropriate and relevant to elementary students, however, also show that the student version of the VNOS may
be too simplistic in understanding students’ NOS views.
Principal Author: Megan E. Ehlers, Sarasota High SchoolAbstract:
Co-Authors: Barbara S.. Spector, University of South Florida
Three challenges in current secondary school science classrooms are (a) meaningful integration of technology, (b) integration of reading and writing in content courses, and (c) differentiation of instruction to meet individual student needs in courses. This is an exploratory study of a high school marine science course in which a teacher added communication with her students via asynchronous electronic journals.
This research study took place in an urban, K-12 school. Asynchronous online journaling in a high school marine science course was used as a method to integrate technology, increase opportunities for reading and writing, and differentiate instruction by creating more opportunities for interactions between each student and the teacher. This interaction was intended to enable the teacher to understand how students were constructing knowledge and their understanding of each science topic.
Online journals also provided students with opportunities to write and read using internet sources of their choice to augment in-class materials supplied by the teacher. These resources were used to make meaning of their current understandings and acquire new information. The journaling process was a constantly evolving and dynamic conversation between each student and the teacher, which at times mirrored tutoring. Online journals increased interaction with students, creating a closer relationship and an environment for creative discourse and differentiation.
This exploratory qualitative case study examined the nature of the interactions between a teacher and her students in electronic journals. Data included journal postings from all students and the teacher throughout the semester, as well as the teacher’s personal journal. The initial research question was, “What was going on in the dialogue journals?” One of the emergent questions was “What were benefits to the students and to the teacher?
Principal Author: Jose M.. Rios, University of Washington, TacomaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Eileen Ebert, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction; Gilda Wheeler, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aims at improving K-12 science education for all students and providing a strong foundation for those students who wish to pursue careers in STEM fields. As part of the NGSS adoption process in Washington State, an equity review was required to determine the accessibility of the standards to all students. Educators and stakeholders were convened to explore effective classroom, school, home, and community-based supports for implementing the NGSS. Participants were divided into teams and using “current research and their own personal experiences were able to describe specific strategies for implementing the NGSS to support diverse student populations” (NGSS Bias and Sensitivity Process Report, 2013. p.1). This state-level work represents the grounding basis for authentic efforts around the science classroom experience and readily dovetails with teacher preparation. Participants noted that many effective strategies from the home, community, school or classroom are often “simple in nature, but profound in their impact such as reaching out to tribal elders to encourage their grandchildren and other students to persevere, learn, apply, think, and grow in their confidence and knowledge (NGSS Bias and Sensitivity Process Report, 2013, p.3). In the midst of science reform efforts, we must not forget that all students can learn science and should have the opportunity to become scientifically literate. The strength of the science standards is the commitment for educators to understand that science is a discipline that must be taught to every student in every school. Furthermore, the visions of both the state and national standards have served to validate our belief that science is an ongoing process that requires students be able to construct their own knowledge. During this presentation, participants will review the tool used for this equity review process, the findings of this committee, discuss ways in which to connect the findings to teacher preservice education and identify future work.
Principal Author: Stephen Thompson L. Thompson, University of South CarolinaAbstract:
Guiding science reform documents highlight modeling as a scientific practice that middle level students should understand and utilize to explain their thinking. These same documents emphasize that middle level students should understand plant processes and how matter is cycled between the air and soil. Because science teachers play a key role in developing students’ conceptions of scientific knowledge and practices, this study examined middle school science teachers’ conceptions of plant functions and scientific modeling, and changes in related conceptions as a result of participation in a modeling-based professional development initiative. Participants (N=42) completed a series of guided inquiry activities designed to 1) enhance their understanding of plant functions and 2) their understanding of scientific modeling. At three points over the professional development period (pre-, mid-, and post-experience), participants created models (drawings with explanations) to explain and support their predictions about the fate of a healthy plant sealed in a jar. A subset of participants (N=21) took part in interviews centered on their understandings of plant functions and modeling in science. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods were used to determine participants’ conceptions of three plant processes (transpiration, photosynthesis and cellular respiration) and scientific modeling. The paper and presentation will highlight participants’ understanding of individual plant processes and their inter-related nature of these targeted plant processes. For example, the presentation will examine participants’ conceptions of transpiration and its relationship to cellular respiration and photosynthesis in plants, and describe how related conceptions changed over time. The paper and presentation will also discuss the evolution of participants’ understanding of scientific modeling. Key findings discussed here will include participants’ evolving ideas about the role of explanation in scientific modeling.
Principal Author: Katherine A.. Mangione, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Angelique M.. Troelstrup, Middle Tennessee State University
This study investigated the ecological misconceptions of biology majors before and after instruction in a large lecture and lab enhanced ecology course. Misconceptions are defined as inaccurate explanations of phenomena constructed by students (D’Avanzo, 2003). It is not that students are not learning or have a lack of knowledge, instead they have developed incorrect interpretations or alternative conceptions (Munson, 1994). The purpose of this study was to explore which misconceptions biology majors have at the beginning of an ecology course, but more importantly, which misconceptions they retain after taking an in depth course in general ecology. In order to address conceptual change, it is important to understand what happens as a result of instruction in general. A pre and post-test assessment developed by Stamp, Armstrong, & Biger (2006) was given to students in a large lecture ecology course accompanied by simulation and field laboratories. Only students who completed the pre and post survey were included in the final analysis which resulted in a sample of 53 students. The survey consisted of Likert scale items in which students chose between strongly agree, agree, don’t know, disagree, or strongly disagree between pairs of conceptions and misconceptions. Students revealed several misconceptions at the beginning of the course. Wilcoxon Rank-Sum test revealed mixed results. Most questions indicated no significant changes from the beginning of the semester compared to the end of the semester indicating instruction alone does not address ecological misconceptions. This study emphasizes the need for a valid, in depth assessment that would allow instructors to identify students ecological misconceptions at the beginning of the course and develop their teaching strategies to towards conceptual change.
Principal Author: Rebekah E.. Lamb, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard L.. Lamb, Washington State University; Kaylan B.. Petrie, 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 cross sectional 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: Joshua A. Ellis, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Samuel J. Polizzi, Kennesaw State University; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Gregory T. Rushton, Kennesaw State University
This presentation outlines a comparison study that investigates the impact of Teachers as Leaders roles on interactions within a Venture/Vexation activity in the Teacher Induction Network (TIN), an online program for new STEM teachers. TIN is currently in its eighth year of operation and has served over 160 teachers during its existence. TIN has been continually developed through design-based research strategies, the purpose of which is to improve the ways in which teachers interact in an online induction environment. This study explores data from the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 academic years in order to answer the question: What is the impact of Teachers as Leaders roles on the frequency of teacher interactions, group cohesion, and depth of reflection in the Venture/Vexation activity?
The study includes quantitative, visual, and qualitative analysis, rendered through a sequential multi-phase approach. Phase I identified no statistically significant effect of Teachers as Leaders roles on the frequency of group interactions. Phase II revealed higher incidences of non-presenter-centric network patterns and group cohesion as a result of Teachers as Leaders roles. Phase III indicated an increase in higher-level depth of commentary following the introduction of Teachers as Leaders roles. These findings are of particular relevance to STEM instructors of online or hybrid courses who wish to promote critical thinking, reflective commentary, and community-oriented practice among their participants. Persons who wish to learn more about the evolving design of TIN, the situation of the Venture/Vexation activity in our online environment, and the impact of Teachers as Leaders roles among beginning science teachers are encouraged to attend.
Principal Author: Patricia Bills, Northern Kentucky UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Madhura Kulkarni, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics; Reeda Hart, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics; Carrie Holloway, Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics
Science education researchers have shown that elementary teachers find it difficult to enact inquiry based science for a variety of reasons, including lack of science content knowledge, little experience with inquiry-based instruction, and pressures to focus on other subjects. Reforms in science education—especially through implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—may make teaching science even more daunting for teachers. Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Integrative Natural Science and Mathematics (CINSAM) has launched a new professional development project called the Next Generation STEM Classroom Project (ngSC) to help northern Kentucky teachers better meet the challenges of these reforms and implement best practices.
The ngSC employs a model that includes sustained, embedded visits from master teachers employed by CINSAM. The first part of the visit is the “Fishbowl”, where a group of participating educators from across a district observe the master teacher teach a STEM lesson to an existing classroom of students in that district. Then, the teachers meet without students for the “RECAP”, which stands for Reflection and Exploration of Content, Alignment, and Pedagogy. The teachers and curriculum specialists attending are then responsible for taking the lessons back to their schools to share with their students and the teachers that did not get to attend.
In this paper, we use the construct of "professional vision"—the results of teachers' opportunities to think about how they might incorporate new practices—as both a grounding principle for this work as well as a construct that we use for analysis of teacher learning through the ngSC. We also share findings from surveys administered at the end of every session and the school year. Overall, participants rated the ngSC—especially the Fishbowl—very highly and indicated a considerable need to additional training in science education, especially as related to the NGSS.
Principal Author: Kaylan B.. Petrie, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard L. Lamb, Washington State University; David B.. Vallett, University of Nevada Las Vegas; Leonard A.. Annetta, George Mason University; Rebecca Cheng, George Mason University
Attention and focus on P-12 STEM education has increased in recent years. Many efforts are underway to promote STEM course selection specifically in engineering and computer science across the nation. In the push to develop these programs and pathways to STEM career selection educational researchers and curriculum developers often, overlook student individual difference as contributing to content knowledge acquisition and development of critical skills as they develop curriculum and work with preservice teachers in the university setting. The purpose of this presentation is to examine the effectiveness of the use of SEGs in a 9-12 science classroom and examine underlying moderating variables of individual difference predicting increased outcomes related to 21st Century Skills and Science Content acquisition. Targeted subjects consist of 585 students enrolled full-time traditional high school science program at the grade 9-12 levels. Results of the mean comparison between the comparison and intervention (SEG Play and Design) groups illustrate a statistically significant difference between each group on the gain score related to Science Content with the intervention group scoring higher. Seeking to promote 21st Century Skill integration and science content acquisition in the science classroom though SEG play can provide disciplinary convergence through underlying cognitive attributes.
Principal Author: Sophia J.. Sweeney, Northeastern State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: April D.. Adams, Northeastern State University; Jim L.. Hicks, Northeastern State University; Jessica Martin, Northeastern State University
Two distinct assessment techniques were used to determine in-service teachers’ changes in chemistry and physics content knowledge over a two-year professional development opportunity. The goal of the teacher academy was to increase the number of certified chemistry and physics teachers in the state. Participants created separate physics and chemistry concept maps and completed selected response content exams for each subject pre and post five days of instruction. Participants’ scores on the content exams increased significantly for chemistry but not physics. Similarly, Hierarchical Structure Scores, a measure of concept map complexity, increased significantly for chemistry only. However, the total number of concepts, representing breadth of knowledge about the subject, increased significantly for both content areas. The assessments each provided important, but distinctly different information about participants’ changes in content knowledge. The concept maps revealed the breadth, depth, complexity and relationship between chemistry and physics concepts, but did not provide any information about participants’ ability to make predictions, interpret data, or (in the case of the chemistry content exam) make calculations, important information yielded by the content exams. The use of multiple, varied assessment techniques allows learners to demonstrate their knowledge in various ways and increases the accuracy of the conclusions about the learning that occurred.
Principal Author: Douglas Jones, Lakehead SchoolsAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sanya Sidhu, Lakehead University; Anthony W. Bartley, Lakehead University; Wayne S. Melville, Lakehead University
In a report entitled “Principles and Big Ideas of Science Education” Harlen (2010) and her co-authors ask “what differences in pedagogy would be associated with working with big ideas in mind?” and “what difference would it make to have the overall goals of learning science identified in terms of development towards big ideas?” These questions have guided this research which reports upon how a how a “Big Ideas” approach supports teaching and learning through inquiry in a 9th grade science course in Northern Ontario. This project is set in the context of the Biology strand for the 9th grade Ontario Science curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2008). Its theme is ecosystems and the curriculum developers enunciated two big ideas in the document:
• Ecosystems are dynamic and have the ability to respond to change, within limits, while maintaining their ecological balance.
• People have the responsibility to regulate their impact on the sustainability of ecosystems in order to preserve them for future generations. (p. 47)
Using a series of case studies, the class will take examine interactions of
1. Wolves and Elk in Yellowstone National Park;
2. Wolves and Moose in Isle Royal National Park.
These will be followed by a series of individual presentation to solidify learning, and then a change to an aquatic case, Caribbean Coral Reefs, which sets up the culminating activity to examine the impact of Canadian and International fishing fleets on the Grand Banks Cod Fishery.
Broad assessment strategies with assessment “for”, “as” and “of” learning are a significant feature of this approach.
In seeking to answer Harlen’s questions we shall provide evidence from a classroom that has immersed itself in a “big ideas” approach. As well as the descriptive analyses, the poster presentation will include samples of student work and short video episodes.
Principal Author: Susan K.. Stratton, SUNY CortlandAbstract:
Gardens of the Future: What Can Preservice Science Teachers Learn from Permaculture Inspired Innovations? Presentation will provide guiding principles of permaculture as they are used in contemporary children’s garden and connect those ideas to the living systems that they are based upon. Preservice teachers’ initial experience and understandings of gardening as a vehicle for learning science ideas are assessed before and after a series of visits to local children’s garden. After the visits, teacher candidates’ knowledge and ideas about using gardens for science education are reassessed. Findings describe the areas of greatest interest and understanding about garden uses and permaculture are discussed. Instruments used to assess teacher candidates will be shared. This presentation will provide resources and ideas for additional approaches to consider with preservice teacher candidates and children’s gardens.
Principal Author: Allison Antink Meyer, Illinois State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan Brown, Illinois State University
Due to their professional experiences in science careers as well as in science classrooms, much may be learned from the exploration of second career science teachers’ classroom practices and perceptions. Existing studies of this group of teachers have generally focused on their transition from science practitioner to educator (Powell, 1994, 1997). This investigation excluded novice science teachers who may still be grappling with the transition into teaching. The participants of interest were those who: 1) completed certification post-baccalaureate, 2) possessed a bachelors or terminal degree in a science or engineering discipline, 3) who had at least two years of full time professional experience in a science or engineering field (a benchmark used in other, related studies) and 4) who have completed at least three years of full time classroom teaching. Two research questions guided this investigation.
1) What relationships exist between second career science teachers’ STEM backgrounds and their interpretations of the science and engineering practices in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (NGSS Lead States, 2013; NRC, 2011)?
2) What are the potential relationships between second career science teachers’ science and engineering backgrounds and their classroom practices related to the science and engineering practices?
The preliminary findings indicate that participants viewed the practices as general in nature and lacking in the type of nuance that informs experiences reflective of their fields. They also partially corroborate with Powell’s (1997) findings which showed that teachers’ who transition to education after science and engineering careers are also found to conform to traditional modes of instruction and departmental expectations. Such was the case for the participants in this study who did not receive formal instruction through teacher education programs. Where identities as scientists and teachers were more intertwined, classroom instruction was found to align more with accepted conceptions of scientific inquiry and student centered science.
Principal Author: Richard L. Lamb, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: David Vallett B. Vallett, Univeristy of Nevada Las Vegas; Leonard A.. Annetta, George Mason University; Kaylan B. Petrie, Washington State University; Rebecca Cheng, George Mason University
Attention and focus on P-12 STEM education has increased in recent years. Many efforts are underway to promote STEM career selection specifically in engineering and computer science across the nation. In the push to develop these programs and pathways to STEM career selection, educational researchers and curriculum developers often overlook student characteristics contributing to career selection as they develop curriculum and work with preservice teachers. The purpose of this presentation is to examine underlying profile combinations of latent traits that mediate student STEM career selection while designing and playing a Serious Educational Games. The research question addressed in this study is; what student profile is most likely to select STEM careers when engaged in science learning using a Serious Educational Game (SEG). The methods used within this study combine a number of quantitative analyses including Logistic Regression and Latent Class Profile Analysis. The purpose in the use of these methods is to develop a profile of students in a high school science classroom using a virtual learning environment in the form of a SEG and examine the effects of this profile combination of traits on student career selection as evidenced by Holland Scores on the Career Key test. Chi-square for the logistic regression models are statistically significant, thus indicating that MENTAL ROTATION, ATTITUDE, and 21st CENTURY SKILLS do predict STEM career selection when moderated using a SEG learning environment.
Principal Author: James M.. Nyachwaya, North Dakota State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Merry Gillaspie, Wartburg College
This study looked at representations in general chemistry textbooks to determine elements of the representations likely to enhance or hinder learning of associated concepts. We adapted the Graphical Analysis Protocol (GAP) to look at the proportion of each representation used, the function of each representation, the physical integration of representations with associated text, the presence and nature of captions and labels, whether representations were indexed, and the number of representations that required conceptual integration on a given page. Results indicate that symbolic representations were most prevalent. While most representations served a representational function, about 15% were decorative. While about 80% of representations were directly integrated with text, some of the remaining representations were separated by a whole page from associated text. While most pages had 2 representations that required integration with text or other representations, some pages had as many as 6 representations requiring integration to understand a concept.
Principal Author: John L. Pecore, University of West FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura L. Carruth, Georgia State University
Brain Camp for Kids: Neuroscience in Action! was a week-long full-day interactive summer camp designed to introduce middle school aged children to neuroscience in an exciting manner by making learning about the nervous system informative and increasing student confidence in learning about science. The stated outcomes for the camp included: to demonstrate sufficient depth of knowledge for students in both neuroscience and basic science, to set high student-learning standards for all participants, and to increase student interest and excitement about science and neuroscience. Camp events included dissecting sheep brains and cow eyes, conducting sensory system experiments, exploring how relaxation and meditation affect the brain, and learning about brain nutrition and health, brain diseases and disorders, and learning and memory. Brain Art activities were incorporated into each camp including making paper mache brains and ‘beady neurons’. We conducted the camp per summer for six years with two sessions during the third year of the camp. An average of 24 students participated in each camp for a total of 168 participants. Three camps had an 85% or higher enrollment of students underrepresented in science. All summer camp attendees completed pre- and post-student content and attitude surveys to assess neuroscience content knowledge and attitudes toward science. In addtion, camp attendees completed a post enjoyment of camp events survey. The pre- and post- content knowledge assessment included 37 multiple choice type questions related to the various neuroscience concepts while the attitude survey consisted of a five-point lickert scale to rate 32 statements. The post surveys included a list of the weeks events for students to rank order in terms of favorite learning experiences. The majority of campers indicated that the camp events increased their interest in learning about the brain and science in general. Further analysis of the data is being conducted to determine the relationship, if any, between student content knoweldge, attitude and enjoyment.
Principal Author: Vanashri Nargund-Joshi, New Jersey City UniversityAbstract:
There are increasing number of English Language Learners and few teachers specially trained to work with them, especially in sciences. This study aims to develop preservice teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), which is defined as the knowledge developed by teachers to help others learn specific content. A state-led effort of Next Generation Science Standards promotes science and engineering practices at all grade levels and for ALL students in the United States. This research project will challenge PSTs views and possible misconceptions about teaching in ELL classrooms via structured reflections and will support their learning through different activities that build their repertoire to address the needs of ELL. This qualitative research study will generate case studies allowing me to compare PSTs’ PCK development to teach science to ELL. It will also allow me to develop in-depth understanding of reasons behind similarities and differences in teachers’ PCK development for teaching science to ELL.
Principal Author: Sybil S.. Kelley, Portland State University/Educational Leadership & PolicyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Emily Saxton, Portland State University; Dilafruz R.. Williams, Portland State University
Participants at this Roundtable will be engaged in a discussion about Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and challenges associated with articulating and measuring topic-specific PCK. This roundtable session will provide participants with an opportunity to learn about the STEM Common Measurement System of the Portland Metro STEM Partnership, and discuss the process of developing a PCK measurement strategy for the partnership. To begin this session, the research team will share the Partnership’s efforts to develop PCK measurement tools (rubric, scenarios, and other embedded course assessments), particularly focusing on the development process from Summer, 2013 to Summer, 2014. Furthermore, the environmental science scenarios and embedded discussions that emerged from a garden-based STEM will be highlighted as examples of this work. Following this brief overview presentation, participants will be invited to share their experiences and insights, and to discuss questions related to PCK as a construct and as specifically related to environmental sciences. Collectively, the goal of this session will be to gain a deeper, shared understanding of PCK and how to measure it in practice.
Principal Author: James C. Marr, Washington State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Garrett Honke, Binghamton University; Michelle Tao, Binghamton University; Nolan Conaway, Binghamton University; John D. Patterson, Binghamton University; Kenneth Kurtz, Binghamton University; Andy R. Cavagnetto, Washington State University
Understanding students’ conceptions of science is an essential part of teaching science (Driver, 1989., Driver, et.al., 1994). This project, using a semi-structured interview process, explored the thinking of ten seventh grade students who were given a task targeting the evolutionary concept of variation may give an advantage. Variation is a key principle in evolution, but students often have naive or un-scientific understanding of both variation and evolution (Demastes 1995, Anderson 2002, Ferrari 1998). Since evolution plays a central role in the understanding of all of biology, non-scientific conceptions of evolution can make it more difficult for students to understand biology.
In this study, students’ understanding of an evolutionary principle that is part of natural selection is explored via a semi-structured interview using a think-aloud protocol. Students were instructed to perform a card sort task based on the evolutionary principle variation can give a species an advantage. The sort task was followed by several assessment questions. The interviewer asked the students to share their thinking as they completed the given tasks.
The interviews with students ranged from a student who exhibited robust learning by demonstrating out of domain transfer, to several students who used non-scientific principles to explain their thinking. Alternate principles used by students to answer questions about variation had a variety of sources. Students used their experiences in junior high social situations, participation in sports teams, and family interactions as frameworks to draw upon in answer questions about the target principle of variation.
This study supports the idea that the social and scientific positioning of evolution is particularly problematic for the teacher who is trying to teach evolutionary principles (Bishop and Anderson, 1990, Sinatra et.al., 2003). When learning about evolution, there are competing student conceptions that provide robust and satisfactory explanations regarding the diversity and function of life on our planet.
Principal Author: Sarah B.. Boesdorfer, University of Northern IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Scott Greenhalgh, University of Northern Iowa
With the incorporation of engineering practices and design in NGSS, in-service science teachers need course work and professional development on these topics. We, a science educator and technology educator, created a graduate course, Engineering Design for the K-12 Science Classroom, to begin to address this need for engineering content for in-service teachers. The overall goal of this course is to provide teachers with an understanding of engineering design and how it may be included within the context of a science classroom through small projects, small changes to experiments, and/or the use of different and distinct vocabulary. We use activities designed for a secondary science classroom which require the teachers to use engineering practices as the student and then access the activities as the teacher. In this syllabus sharing session, we will discuss the details of this course and teachers responses to the course. Overall, the teachers have increased their knowledge of engineering practices, their confidence in teaching engineering, have used engineering practices in their classes following the course, and plan to incorporate more activities in future academic years.
Principal Author: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University - BloomingtonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Stacy McCormack, Indiana University - Bloomington
For many elementary preservice teachers the most recent experiences with learning science are the content courses required for their programs, which are frequently taught by instructors with limited, if any, experience in connecting learning about the content to teaching the content. This leaves preservice teachers to integrate these bases of knowledge for themselves. The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of redesigning an electricity unit devised to foster the integration of these two knowledge bases. Elements of the redesign included: a) reorganizing the order of the content presented to model coherency for teaching about circuits and electricity, b) showing interviews conducted with 4th grade students on simple circuits, and c) including a lesson planning activity that afforded application of content learned to teaching the content. Various data sources were gathered from 51 consenting participants. Of the 31 for whom we had completed data sets for on the content assessment, 94% showed an increase pre to post. Based on two clicker questions asked following a viewing of a post-interview with elementary students, 19 of the 36 consenting students present and who completed both questions answered both questions correctly. These questions focused on identifying and comparing students’ explanations of how a simple circuit works and assessing for accuracy. From our analysis of 19 final team lab reports, 11 identified the need to reorganize the order of the lessons and their suggestions for how to do this mirrored how the content was presented in the course. Also, their explanations for reordering included needing to provide students with an understanding first of electron movement (i.e., static electricity) and the types of materials that allow for this movement (i.e., conductors and insulators) within simple circuits before moving to more complex understandings of differences between series and parallel circuits. Implications for science content courses and instructional partnerships between methods and content courses will be discussed.
Principal Author: Greer M.. Richardson, La Salle UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Victor J.. Donnay, Bryn Mawr; Sheila Rao. Vaidya, Drexel University
This narrative case study will explore the collaborative processes used to implement a multi-institutional enterprise entitled the Philadelphia Regional Noyce Partnership. Six area colleges and universities and one non-profit organization, that comprise the partnership, have a range of Noyce-funded STEM programs focused on pre-service, in-service and master teacher development. The partnership has endeavored to build synergies and share resources with the goal of strengthening all aspects of the STEM teacher career pipeline in their region. Over the three years of the project, the partners have established working relationships that both enhance the partnership and strengthen each Noyce program, with a forward focus on enacting systemic change in teacher quality and retention in high-need districts. The presentation will discuss the use of a distributed leadership model to achieve the goals of the program. In addition, the paper will offer a critical analysis of the challenges and opportunities that the partners have experienced as they conducted collaborative work across diverse institutions. The presentation will provide a list of action items that other institutions can use to form similar partnership-oriented approaches to STEM teacher development at their home institutions.
Principal Author: Sara E.. Mitchell, Syneren Technologies & NASA Goddard Space Flight CenterAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sarah Eyermann, Syneren Technologies & NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Explosions, collisions, births, and deaths - the Universe presents astronomers with an abundance of puzzles to analyze. The Space Forensics project takes students in formal and informal education settings through astronomy problem-solving narratives that parallel crime scene forensics. Each standards-aligned Space Forensics case fuses STEM and literacy, using mystery narratives and hands-on activities to take students through the process of scientific problem-solving. This approach tells the story of "doing science" and meets educators' needs for resources that encourage reading, writing, and speaking outside of the English Language Arts classroom.
Our initial batch of cases introduces the "forensics" of supernova remnants, supermassive black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and more. Each of these cases was created collaboratively by a team that includes several NASA astrophysics education and outreach specialists, a professional science writer, a consulting astrophysicist-turned-forensic scientist, NASA scientists, consulting classroom educators, and an external evaluator to rigorously assess the curriculum, workshops, and other project elements. Beyond these classroom resources, we also brought aboard an outside developer to create an engaging online game to make these cases and activities available to wider audiences, challenging armchair crime-solvers to explore the mysteries of the universe.
The Space Forensics project allows teachers, students, and the public to engage in the science of NASA's astrophysics missions and interact with authentic data, imagery, and problem-solving techniques used by NASA scientists. Our goal is to enrich audience understanding of how astrophysics is done in the "real world" – the collaborative, empirical, inquiry-based human endeavor performed by women and men over centuries of recorded history. We intend Space Forensics to be a flexible, adaptable resource for formal and informal educators, and to serve as a model for others seeking to fuse STEM and storytelling.
Principal Author: Jennifer C.. Parrish, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kim C.. Sadler, Middle Tennessee State University; Stephen A.. Bartos, Middle Tennessee State University
Classroom teachers make the assumption that students will develop informed understandings of scientific inquiry simply by participating in inquiry-based activities. The current study examined changes in 5th grade students’ understandings about scientific inquiry using the Views About Science Inquiry Instrument (VASI) developed by Lederman et al. (2014). The classroom teacher and researchers facilitated student learning by explicitly teaching the process of scientific inquiry using the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) framework to guide students’ ability to write scientific explanations during a six-week unit on soils. The unit culminated with an open-ended inquiry investigation where groups of 3 – 5 students worked cooperatively to answer an original, student-generated testable question. Since very few teachers have used the VASI questionnaire, a major focus of this study was how the VASI was used as a tool to instigate teacher self-reflection on how her own classroom practice impacted students’ understanding of inquiry. The VASI questionnaire was administered in a pre- and post-survey design and the researcher interviewed the teacher to discuss changes in student VASI responses for high, medium, and low ability students. Results from this exploratory study showed some changes in students’ understanding of scientific inquiry and indicated that low and mid-level students regressed more than high-level students in their understanding of inquiry. This teacher saw the VASI questionnaire as a very useful tool that she will incorporate in professional development opportunities for her teams of elementary teachers in the coming school year to improve teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for teaching about scientific inquiry. The VASI holds promise to help K-12 science educators to both assess student understandings of scientific inquiry and inform teaching practices as well as guide educational leaders when designing and implementing professional development.
Principal Author: Kathryn A. Arnone, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Zandra de Araujo, University of Missouri; Deborah Hanuscin, University of Missouri
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) was introduced by Shulman (1986) as a fundamental component of the knowledge base for teaching. According to Shulman, PCK is what makes possible the transformation of disciplinary content into forms that are accessible and attainable by students. PCK is a highly complex construct (Baxter & Lederman, 1999), and there are several challenges in assessing teacher PCK, as highlighted by researchers attending the recent PCK Summit sponsored by BSCS. These include developing valid and reliable instruments to assess PCK as well as practical tools for conducting large-scale assessment of teachers’ PCK. Several approaches have been utilized by researchers, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. These have included paper-and-pencil surveys, observation rubrics, teachers’ responses to teaching scenarios, and interviews. Since PCK “is constituted by what a teacher knows, what a teacher does, and the reasons for the teacher’s actions” (Baxter & Lederman, 1999, p. 158), no single instrument may be able to fully assess PCK.
The NSF QuEST project investigates the impact of a professional development program on elementary teachers’ PCK. We focus on one cohort of 3rd grade teachers (n=34) who participated in the first year of the program. Classroom observations of teachers’ instruction was not possible due to a variety of factors, including geographic dispersion of teachers, time-frames in which teachers taught the targeted unit, and the fact that new curriculum standards meant some teachers had not previously taught this topic. Given these challenges, we combined two existing data collection techniques to create a three-part data collection process to help us capture robust information about teachers’ PCK for magnetism. These included the Lesson Preparation Method (Valk & Broekman, 1999) and the Content Representation tool (CoRe) (Loughran et al., 2004). In this paper and presentation, we will share our data collection tools, discuss the pros and cons of our approach, and what we were able to learn about elementary teachers’ PCK.
Principal Author: Scott Ashmann, The University of Wisconsin-Green BayAbstract:
Co-Authors: Craig Berg, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Raymond Scolavino, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Michael Clough, Iowa State University
Throughout their careers, science teachers are observed, not only by students, but also by methods instructors, cooperating teachers, university supervisors, school administrators, and others. To assist a teacher in enhancing their teaching practice, objective, valid, and reliable data can be useful. We have developed an iPad application for this purpose that consists of four components – pre-observation data, data gathered during the observation of a science lesson, post-observation data, and data analysis and reporting. Our presentation includes a discussion of (1) the challenges we are attempting to address through the development of this iPad application, (2) the variety of uses for the application, (3) the “nuts and bolts” of using the application, and (4) limitations of the application. We will also discuss the kinds of data analysis that can be performed, results from using the app with student teachers, and research related to such.
Principal Author: Stephen R.. Burgin, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brandon M.. Butler, Old Dominion University; William J.. McConnell, Old Dominion University
In this presentation we will share an innovative idea for engaging preservice elementary teachers in multidisciplinary lesson planning around socioscientific issues (SSI) that involved co-planning and co-instruction by science and social studies educators in methods courses. Additionally, we will report on the relationship between the preservice teachers’ personal negotiation strategies related to an SSI and the ways in which they felt about and approached multidisciplinary elementary lesson planning. We also will compare initial lesson plans with plans students revised following our co-instruction. Implications include the potential benefits of multidisciplinary collaboration of elementary teacher educators when it comes to helping preservice teachers plan for the teaching of socially relevant science topics of a controversial nature.
Principal Author: Margaret R.. Blanchard, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Catherine E.. LePrevost, North Carolina State University; Dell Tolin, North Carolina State University; Kristie S.. Gutierrez, North Carolina State University
This research is a mixed-methods, 3-year study investigating the effects of science and mathematics teacher professional development (PD) on teachers in 2 middle schools in neighboring rural, low-income districts in a southeastern U.S. state. The 21 teachers experienced 2-3 years of an inquiry-based, technology-infused teacher PD program supported by monthly online sessions. We investigated teachers’ beliefs and practices before and throughout the intervention. We collected state end-of-grade assessment data for mathematics (grades 6-8) and science (grade 8) and tracked 2300 students, approximately half of whom were taught by at least one of these teachers over the 3 years of the project. The research questions examined for this study are: What are the impacts of a technology-infused math and science intervention on teacher beliefs and practices?; Do the mathematics and science assessment scores of students in project teachers’ classrooms differ from those of students who are not in project teachers’ classrooms, and does the number of project teachers matter?; Does teaching with instructional technologies as promoted in the PD disproportionately improve the achievement of students who are African American?; What do teachers’ reflections indicate about changes about their classrooms? We found that there were significant increases in both the teachers’ reform-based teaching beliefs and comfort in using new technologies, although the RTOP data indicated that most instruction was teacher-centered. Students who had more project teachers scored significantly higher on mathematics and science assessments; this effect was significant for African American but not Caucasian students. Additionally, students, particularly African American students, with more years of project teachers scored significantly better on assessments, with the most impressive gains for students with project teachers over 3 years. Teachers’ reflections indicate that their use of technologies was transformative and that students had positive affective responses to using the instructional tools.
Principal Author: Craig Berg, The University of Wisconsin-MilwaukeeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Raymond Scolavino, The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
TeachLivE TLE is a virtual teaching simulation, used in our science teacher preparation program to assess for, and develop, specific teaching skills. During this session the participants will see how it works, hear how it is used in our program, and the evidence indicating it changes teaching. Also get the opportunity to try it out by teaching or talking to five avatar students.
*Experience how it works: First, we will demonstrate a real-time TeachLivE session, using a floating/sinking activity with the avatar students to model the Explore phase of a 5 E’s lesson. Participants will see how the avatar students respond to questions, ask the teacher questions, interact with other students, and misbehave in class. This will be followed by questions from the audience about operating parameters and what is needed to use TeachLivE at their university.
* Hear how it is used in our program: At UWM, we use the virtual teaching simulation in various classes from basic introduction to teaching, up through the two semester sequence of science methods courses, and in relationship to the classroom management course. This will provide the audience with a sense of possibilities and how this tool aids in teaching skill development, and aids in preparation for emerging certification assessments such as edTPA.
* Evidence indicating it changes teaching: The Gates Foundation has become a national sponsor for research arising primarily from the University of Central Florida, the TeachLivE TLE development site. Their research indicates that four 10 minute sessions with TeachLivE can alter a specific teaching skill that translates into a clinical setting with real students in a regular classroom. Our work at UWM indicates TeachLivE has benefit at beginning and advanced levels of pre-service teacher preparation.
* The opportunity to experience TeachLivE TLE: Finally, the last segment of the session is open for audience members to experience what it is like to teach avatar students, so we will rotate people through short interactive sessions with the avatars.
Principal Author: Dr. David M.. Sparks, University of Texas at ArlingtonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dr. Lee-Ann Snell-Burke, University of Texas at Arlington; Dr. Ann Cavallo, University of Texas at Arlington; Dr. Ramon Lopez, University of Texas at Arlington; Dr. Karen Allmond, University of Texas at Arlington; Erin Gonzales, University of Texas at Arlington; Dr. Greg Hale, University of Texas at Arlington
In his 2011 State of the Union Address, President Barrack Obama stated the following: “We want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science and technology and engineering and math. In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation, if you want to make a difference in the life of a child, become a teacher. Your country needs you.” The UTeach program, which began at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997, is one of the leading models by which to answer this challenge of preparing large numbers of math and science teachers across the nation.
The University of Texas at Arlington Colleges of Education and Health Professions and College of Science received funds to become a UTeach Cohort 2 replication site in 2010. UTeach Arlington began with 89 students, one of the largest starts for a UTeach replication site. The program graduated 21 science and math teachers in the Spring of 2014 and anticipate graduating approximately 10 more in the Fall of 2014. Before starting the UTeach program, the University of Texas at Arlington graduated approximately five secondary math and science teachers per year.
With many successes comes many challenges as well. This workshop will give advice to universities that are in the process of completing their first cycle in the program, new replication sites looking for tips, ideas for outreach, and advice for other universities considering a UTeach-style model for their science and mathematics teacher preparation. After discussing the features of UTeach Arlington, each representative will discuss their experiences with the program, including curriculum, field experiences, advising, degree plans, course structure, and administrative challenges. The workshop will end by answering questions from the audience related to UTeach Arlington.
Principal Author: Teresa J.. Shume, Minnesota State University MoorheadAbstract:
This qualitative case study described the pedagogical value of a tall grass prairie restoration project integrated into third grade curriculum. Students participated in all-day field trips in fall and spring to study tall grass prairie at a regional science center. Native prairie plant seeds were collected during part of the fall field trip, grown in classrooms, and transplanted during part of the spring field trip. Further, prairie-related science lessons were taught during the academic year. Focusing on seven teacher-participants, data sources included field trip observations, classroom science lesson observations, teacher interviews, and artifacts such as curricular materials. Through ongoing thematic analysis, data codes were aggregated into categories that produced themes and finally a principal assertion that stated the pedagogical value of the prairie restoration project and its related curriculum both included and exceeded learning outcomes captured in state science standards. The prairie restoration project and related curriculum addressed several state science standards, particularly life science standards related to plants and animals. Further, this environmental education project served as a scaffolding for cross-disciplinary curriculum integration, supported the development of scientific thinking, offered powerful life experience for children, and made abstract concepts more accessible through concrete connections with classroom learning, field trip experiences, and students’ daily lives. This study resulted in seven recommendations for teacher educators, including ones pertaining to curriculum integration, emotional connections to local bioregions, teacher preparation about nature of science, and the value of service-oriented environmental education projects that contribute to environmental literacy. This study demonstrated that an environmental education project can not only address several state science standards, but can offer valuable pedagogical outcomes beyond ones typically captured in state science standards.
Principal Author: Deborah L. Hanson, Hanover CollegeAbstract:
This study examines the influence of a four- year professional development (PD) program to assist elementary teachers to shift their current teaching practices to be more reform-based. To help teachers buy-into this process, an approach integrating language arts and science was adopted. A PD program was offered on a yearly basis with a week-long summer institute followed by 5 school year workshops. Six teachers voluntarily participated in the yearly program continuously for three to four years receiving only a small stipend (reduced part way through the program) and professional growth points. The study investigates changes in practice without a large systemic change present and area where science instruction was reduced by NCLB pressures. This program investigates what motivates a teacher to remain engaged in this PD program and resulting changes in their teaching practices. Science Teaching Self-Efficacy was measured at various times to see the role of the teacher belief systems-changes from no science towards inquiry-based science. Data from year four of the program from classroom observations, and information collected from the STEBI, surveys and questionnaires indicate the teachers were able to incorporate more reform-based strategies and journaling into their science teaching. Personal science teaching self-efficacy increased throughout the PD program, but external contextual factors played an important role in the amount of science teaching that occurred. Although the amount of change varied from teacher to teacher, reflections on key factors influencing these changes include extended length of time participating in the PD program, integration of language arts, and a format resembling a community of practice. This community of teachers from multiple schools indicated that the enthusiasm, friendships of people excited about science, resources and multiple forms of support were influential in changing practices and motivated teachers to repeatedly participate in this PD program.
Principal Author: Tina J. Cartwright, Marshall UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Suzanne Smith, Marshall University; Brittan Hallar, Research For Action
Preparing elementary preservice teachers to teach science is a difficult task for a number of reasons. In order to address these challenges, one university provided two field experiences options with their elementary science methods course. Elementary preservice teachers could choose between two field experiences: one where they taught afterschool science for approximately eight weeks or the traditional classroom field experience where they observed 15 lessons and taught just one lesson. Are there benefits of an afterschool field experience beyond what a normal observation field experience can give for elementary science? We followed preservice teachers from both types of field experiences (N=16) into student teaching and found overlapping themes with a few differences related to classroom management and more time teaching. We then analyzed the qualitative data of the first cohort of afterschool methods preservice teachers to go through student teaching and found that this experience did positively impact their views of what science is and how to teach it. They, also, reported feeling much more confident in teaching science, and we observed many of them adding science content to the classroom. After publishing those results, we then analyzed the data of the traditional field experience preservice teachers to see if the same challenges and benefits emerged from the data as they did in the other cohort. After coding and categorizing the data, we found many overlapping themes. Most (n=6) of the traditional methods cohort, however, did express a desire for more time teaching before student teaching, whereas only 2 of the afterschool group expressed such a desire. We, also, noted that while both cohorts demonstrated and expressed increased confidence in teaching science, there was a difference in the degree of implementation. Classroom management issues appeared to be a challenge for the regular methods cohort more than for the afterschool cohort. This study points to the merit of institutional transformation and adoption of more afterschool field experiences.
Principal Author: Tom Tretter, University of LouisvilleAbstract:
Co-Authors: Yuliya Ardasheva, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Judy Morrison, Washington State University Tri-Cities
The mastery of the language of science is particularly daunting for newcomer (newly arrived) English learners (EL). Because long-term student interest and learning of science may be strongly influenced by early attitudes towards school science, the purpose of this study was to explore the efficacy of three interrelated strands of teacher-delivered instructional supports on a target population of middle school newcomer EL science attitudes. The three instructional support strands implemented over course of half a school year were grounded in evidence supporting the importance of visually rich science instruction combined with integrating science and language instruction. All three strands of instructional support – planetarium visualizations, comic & trade books for reading, and structured vocabulary instruction – incorporated rich visual elements and integrate science and language instruction seamlessly. A mixed methods, quasi-experimental single group design captured quantitative aspects of impact on student attitudes and student judgments of quality and usefulness of the experiences. Qualitative data included interviews with the teacher, interviews with selected EL students, and ongoing weekly classroom observations. Results showed an increase in science attitudes (Cohen’s d effect size = 0.43) after and 8-week science unit delivered with the 3 strands of visually-rich instructional supports, which was maintained for the second 8-week unit. Similarly, student judgments of the overall quality of the experiences began high and went higher with more experiences (Cohen’s d > 0.50 for 3 of 4 quality indicators). Interviews and Observation data results were consistent with documenting positive impacts of the learning experiences. This study offers science teachers and science teacher-educators pragmatic instructional approaches that can be implemented without undue lessening of curriculum coverage (because of greater student retention and less time spent reviewing) and offers evidence of positive impacts on newcomer EL middle school students.
Principal Author: Mike Borowczak, Erebus LabsAbstract:
Co-Authors: Andrea C.. Burrows, University of Wyoming
The authors gave an open-response survey to a group of early career engineers working on an educational product and asked their perceptions regarding partnerships with educators. Constructivism was the theoretical framework used, and the research question for this project was “What are the perceptions of early career engineers regarding possible teacher partners?.” This question was timely as many schools and industries are promoting partnerships with engineers. This was a qualitative study based on the open-response survey answers of early career engineers. Four early career engineers completed the survey about partnerships/education. There were 12 questions and all of the questions were analyzed and coded for themes based on stated answers. No assumptions were made from the survey answers, and follow up interviews are set for the Fall 2014, as analysis is ongoing. Early results indicate that the early career engineers have misconceptions about the roles and skill sets of the engineer/teacher groups. Overall, the amount of time spent with the teacher was a key element; the engineers did not feel that they were in a partnership with the teachers while building the educational product, and they didn’t expect to be in a partnership with the teachers when the product was used in the classroom – even if they were a part of the product introduction and use. For context, the second author conducted a partnership study in 2010-2011 in an effort to answer the need, or a gap in the literature, based on Clifford and Millar’s (2008) call for new partnership research. The findings show that perceptions of partnerships and partnership actions are often not aligned (Burrows, 2011). Businesses, education, medical units, and non-governmental agencies continue to promote partnerships (Burrows, 2011; Mullinix, 2001; NSF, 2002; Stevens, 1999). Exploring early career engineering partnership perspectives can foster an approach to setting-up and maintaining these partnerships. Clear partnership insights could permeate all aspects of partnership initiation and interactions.
Principal Author: Nathan Dolenc, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia; Vivien M. Chabalengula, University of Virginia
Current US science education standards recommend the use of inquiry-based science teaching strategy by teachers in order to achieve scientific literacy among all students (National Research Council [NRC], 1996). However, several issues concerning inquiry-based instruction have emerged such as what classroom inquiry is and how science teachers should implement inquiry-based instruction. The purpose of this study was to investigate high science teachers’ conceptions of inquiry and propose ways in which Inquiry-based science education in our country can be improved, particularly in teacher preparation. This study was guided by two research questions: What are high school science teachers’ conceptions of inquiry? To what extent are their views of inquiry in the scenarios, and lesson narratives consistent with the five features of inquiry outlined in the US National Science Education Standards (NSES)? A sample comprised 12 in-service high school science teachers. Data was collected using a modified survey originally developed by Kang et al (2008). The survey has ten short teaching scenarios representative of inquiry activities and open-ended task that required teachers to write a narrative describing an ideal inquiry science lesson. Data was analyzed using the five essential features of inquiry framework stated in the NSES (NRC, 2000, p24–27): engaging in scientifically oriented questions (EQ), giving priority to evidence (EV), formulating explanations based on evidence (EX), evaluating explanations in connection with scientific knowledge (EK), and communicating explanations (EC). Results show that science teachers conceived inquiry as putting more priority on involving learners in gathering evidence and engaging students in questions that can make them explain the evidence. Unfortunately, these science teachers do not strongly believe that learners should go further to communicate and justifies explanations and connect their explanations to scientific knowledge. Teachers didn’t have sound understanding of the other essential features of inquiry instruction.
Principal Author: Andrea C.. Burrows, University of WyomingAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jason M.. Katzmann, University of Wyoming
This study characterizes the edTPA (pre-service teacher testing) successes and challenges for ~50 pre-service science teachers at the University of Wyoming. The presenters reviewed data from 2 years of Science Methods’ pre-service teacher edTPA test completion and scoring, and found patterns of success and areas of challenge for science pre-service teachers. The research questions for this project were “What are the edTPA successes and challenges for pre-service science teachers at UW?” and “What strategies can be implemented to advance the edTPA successes and improve the challenge areas for UW pre-service science teachers?.” A positivist framework was employed using ANOVA testing. All 15 edTPA rubrics were analyzed and patterns were found in regards to pre-service teacher preparation/understanding. The authors examined the overall mean scores on the 15 edTPA rubrics for a quantitative analysis. They determined whether any of the 15 rubrics were significantly different from the overall mean. Overall, preliminary findings indicate that when comparing means on each of the 15 rubrics to the overall mean, three significant differences were found (p=0.95) with rubrics #5 (Planning Assessments to Monitor and Support Student Learning), #9 (Subject-Specific Pedagogy: Analyzing Data), and #13 (Student use of Feedback). The overall mean score was a 2.56, and the range was 1.9 to 3.2. For context, in a previous large study, findings show that teachers’ abilities to support student achievement appear to depend substantially on the level of preparation for teaching certification (Darling-Hammond, Holtzman, Gatlin, & Heilig, 2005). Another study shows that teacher subject matter preparation, pedagogical preparation, clinical experiences (e.g. student teaching), and state and university standards matter for quality teacher preparation as well (Wilson, Floden, & Ferrini-Mundy, 2001). Since teacher preparation is vital for successful students, examining edTPA components for areas of strength and weakness will allow for improved pre-service teacher certification programs.
Principal Author: Stephanie J.. Hathcock, Oklahoma State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joanna Garner, Old Dominion University; Avi Kaplan, Temple University; Daniel Dickerson, Old Dominion University; Petros Katsioloudis, Old Dominion University
Although science teachers regularly participate in PD experiences involving reform-based practices, even our best teachers struggle to change their teaching practices to coincide with these pedagogies, and when they do change, it occurs at differential rates. The aim of this study was to better understand teachers’ self-systems by analyzing their experiences in a PD institute program through the lens of professional identity. This multiple case study involved five high school science teachers participating in a summer PD initiative. Data were collected through interviews, written reflections and exploration and commitment cards. Data were analyzed using the Theoretical Model of Professional Identity (Kaplan, et al., 2012), which highlights the dynamic interplay of teachers’ self-perceptions, beliefs, purposes, and practices. The model of professional identity served to capture teachers’ experience of the PD, including tensions that arose as they began to explore portions of their professional identity. This emergent model can provide a conceptual tool for future use as well as guide evaluating and designing PD experiences for teachers.
Principal Author: Vanessa Klein, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sara Raven, Kent State University; Bahadir Namdar, University of Georgia
Engaging students in argumentation through the use of evidence has been identified as an important core practice in science education. Socioscientific issues (SSIs) can be used as tools to promote argumentation, as they are relevant to learners’ lives, promote scientific literacy, and can help to engage students in participating in evidence-based reasoning. Although these topics are heavily studied within the field, understanding how learners’ beliefs, and the beliefs of their peers, affect their argument construction is little understood. Using this reasoning, we focused the purpose of this study on investigating how learners construct arguments for specific perspectives on socioscientific issues in various critical friend pair formations. In addition, we investigated how personal beliefs about particular socioscientific issues can impact learners’ argumentation of socioscientific issues with their peers. As such, we sought to answer the following research questions: What kind of arguments do students make when their critical friend has a similar versus an opposing student belief about a socioscientific issue? What patterns exist? How do students revise their arguments when they are exposed to evidence either opposing or supporting their initial belief and/or assigned position? Will students adopt evidence to support their belief or evidence to support their assigned position?
We focused on a population of 15 preservice science teachers taking a middle grades science methods course at a large Midwestern public research university. Data collection included a presurvey on students’ beliefs prior to the unit, a written reading response, several iterations of written arguments, discussions between critical friends, and whole class discussions. In our analysis, we found that learners were not able to use evidential reasoning to support their beliefs prior to the unit. However, using the claim-evidence-reasoning framework and critical friend pairings provided learners with opportunities to synthesize more focused arguments, regardless of their initial beliefs.
Principal Author: Sara Raven, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Vanessa Klein, Kent State University; Bahadir Namdar, University of Georgia
Engaging students in argumentation through the use of evidence has been identified as an important core practice in science education. Socioscientific issues (SSIs) can be used as tools to promote argumentation, as they are relevant to learners’ lives, promote scientific literacy, and can help to engage students in participating in evidence-based reasoning. Although these topics are heavily studied within the field, understanding how learners’ beliefs, and the beliefs of their peers, affect their argument construction is little understood. Using this reasoning, we focused the purpose of this study on investigating how learners construct arguments for specific perspectives on socioscientific issues in various critical friend pair formations. In addition, we investigated how personal beliefs about particular socioscientific issues can impact learners’ argumentation of socioscientific issues with their peers. As such, we sought to answer the following research questions: What kind of arguments do students make when their critical friend has a similar versus an opposing student belief about a socioscientific issue? What patterns exist? How do students revise their arguments when they are exposed to evidence either opposing or supporting their initial belief and/or assigned position? Will students adopt evidence to support their belief or evidence to support their assigned position?
We focused on a population of 15 preservice science teachers taking a middle grades science methods course at a large Midwestern public research university. Data collection included a presurvey on students’ beliefs prior to the unit, a written reading response, several iterations of written arguments, discussions between critical friends, and whole class discussions. In our analysis, we found that learners were not able to use evidential reasoning to support their beliefs prior to the unit. However, using the claim-evidence-reasoning framework and critical friend pairings provided learners with opportunities to synthesize more focused arguments, regardless of their initial beliefs.
Principal Author: Robert E. Bleicher, California State University Channel IslandsAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie L.. Lambert, Florida Atlantic University
This study examined content knowledge and views about climate change of 33 high school science teachers and their 1050 students who participated in lessons developed in a NASA-funded professional learning project. The teachers participated in a seven-day climate change summer institute and received in-classroom follow-up support throughout the school year. Teacher data sources included a background survey (undergraduate majors, number of years teaching science), science teaching self-efficacy (STEBI-A) scores, Climate Science Inventory of Knowledge (CSIK), and Six-America’s Views on Climate Change. Student data included journal entries, and pre-post measures using the CSIK and Six-Americas instruments. T-tests and ANOVA showed that both students and their teachers increased in climate science knowledge. While teachers’ views about climate change were more aligned to climate scientists’ views, their students’ views did not change significantly. Teachers also increased in their science teaching self-efficacy and those with higher self-efficacy demonstrated higher climate change science knowledge.
Principal Author: Bridget K.. Mulvey, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christopher A.. Rates, University of Virginia; David F.. Feldon, Utah State University
For almost 20 years science standards have stressed the importance of learning about the functioning of ecosystems (NRC, 1996; 2012) yet these systems are difficult to understand due to their complex interactions and multiple components. This presentation will describe an ecosystem simulation, research into its use to support student ecosystem understanding, as well as upcoming curriculum design steps.
The research investigated changes in 32 high school environmental science students’ understandings of the Chesapeake Bay watershed after use of an agent-based, participatory simulation called the UVA Bay Game. The Bay Game provides an opportunity for students to interact with a virtual Chesapeake Bay watershed ecosystem, the largest estuary in the United States by taking the role of stakeholders within the system. Computer simulations can offer visualizations and experiences above and beyond those available during hands-on fieldwork (vanJoolingen et al., 2007; Winn et al., 2005). In this study students took the roles of and made decisions for stakeholders in the bay by becoming agents themselves. Participants’ pre/post essay responses about the functioning of the bay (blinded for pre/post condition) were scored by raters, and Wilcoxon statistical test results indicated a statistically significant gain (critical value = 0.05) for the trade-offs/balance criterion (Z=3.529, p<0.001) (r=0.44, medium effect size). This criterion increased from students often attributing human roles in the system as simply good or bad to almost all participants discussing competing goals for human actors. Many participants saw environmental needs and goals in a broader socio-economic context post-game play. Future curriculum design efforts will be outlined. Results have implications for agent-based simulation use as well as environmental education integration into methods courses.
Principal Author: Sandra L. Westmoreland, Texas Woman's UniversityAbstract:
The Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC 2012) emphasizes the teaching of Scientific Practices as one of the three key dimensions of science education. In order for pre-service teachers to be competent and confident in using these Scientific Practices, they must have had personal experiences in their own college science classes in using them. College science teachers should incorporate the use of the Scientific Practices in their courses both as a way of engaging all students and also as a means of modeling “best teaching practices” for their students, some of whom will be the future K-12 science teachers.
One method for implementing the Practices of Science in the college science classroom is through the use of Team-Based Learning (TBL) (Metyoer, et al. 2014). The TBL model is designed to enable students to reach a higher level of learning. “The primary objective in TBL is to go beyond simply covering content and focusing on ensuring that students have the opportunity to practice using course content to solve problems” (Michaelsen, Knight, and Fink 2004; Sweet and Michaelsen 2012). This is accomplished through formation of permanent, strategically formed teams that engage in a cycle of learning including several phases. Team-Based learning has been successfully implemented in medical and health sciences programs to help develop problem solving skills as well as leadership, teamwork, and communication (Parmelee, et al. 2009).
The purpose of this ongoing research concerns the implementation of elements of Team-Based Learning (TBL) in a large introductory lecture course for biology majors (including all pre-service science teachers), The Principles of Biology. Our three hypotheses for this IRB-approved study were that 1.) TBL would not change students’ content knowledge as compared to prior semesters without TBL; 2.) Students would have a more positive attitude about teamwork after experiencing TBL; and 3.) TBL would have a positive effect on students’ thinking skills.
Principal Author: Ryan M. Walker, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cathy Wissehr, University of Arkansas; Lisa Wood, University of Arkansas; Jen Jones, The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont
Stakeholders’ perceptions of the delivered curriculum at a residential environmental learning center inform connections to classroom instruction. Structured interview protocols were used for each group including: school administrators, classroom teachers, education leadership teams and naturalist instructors. Students completed an open-ended questionnaire. These data were coded using a reductionist approach to identify main themes. Administrators and Staff identified that developing an appreciation for learning and discovery was an desired outcome. Although this was confirmed by a significant number of students that identified this construct as the most meaningful aspect of the experience, Teachers did not share this level of support. Students would like to have additional time for science investigations. This component of the experience also identified as causing the students cognitive dissidence, possibly due to lack of experience with science inquiry, and not experiencing the entire process. These results indicate that participant teachers may underestimate the influence of conducting science investigations in the out of doors. By involving all stakeholders, researchers have identified aspects of the formal/informal relationship that encourage an enthusiasm for learning.
Principal Author: Hui-Hui Wang, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Engin Karahan, University of Minnesota
Engineering education is gaining a foothold in K-12 schools. Many states now include engineering concepts and practices in their standards, and the recently released Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) uplift engineering to a core area of study (NGSS Lead States, 2013). In the NGSS, it is rightly recognized that reasoning and argument are needed in engineering to identify the best solution to a design problem (NGSS Lead States, 2013, Appendix p.62). By using an engineering design project-based statewide contest, designing and building a Rube Goldberg machine (RGM), this study aims to explore in what ways youth work together to construct and apply cognitive domain 21st century competencies. We particularly explore how youth use evidence-based argument to identify the best solution to a problem. Our research question is: In what ways do youth use evidence-based argument to identify the best solution to a problem in each stage of an engineering design project?
This study is a qualitative study. It consists of multiple case studies that involve five youth, one teen coach, two adult volunteers and one 4-H program coordinator (PC). The researchers follow a team from the beginning to the end of their journey to participate in a statewide contest. Youth in this study have not been intentionally trained to use evidence-based argument when either speaking or writing. Therefore, when youth produce arguments to identify the solutions for problems, the arguments occur naturally. The researchers document how the team designs and builds its RGM and how individual team member interacts with other team members to identify the best solution to a problem.
Principal Author: Julie Haun-Frank, Michigan Department of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Vanessa L. Wyss, Ferris State University
Along the path to becoming a STEM professional, students have to negotiate many spaces/places to continue along a sequence of coursework from elementary school, high school, to introductory college-level courses, to advanced courses and finally the workplace. The probability for women to leave is higher than for men. We present interview data from women who have persisted in STEM fields. We begin to develop an understanding about the factors associated with those women who have persisted to the graduate level and beyond in Physics and Chemistry fields.Analysis indicates a strong relationship between critical factors for STEM persistence. Neither of these factors alone can account for persistence in STEM. The complicated interplay of these factors contributes to the development of identity for women in STEM, and while the experience of every woman in STEM is unique, some of the interplay between these two factors appears to be consistent regardless of background.
Principal Author: Matthew Weinstein, University of Washington-TacomaAbstract:
This paper lays out a teaching certificate program we have created at our university to try to shift the framing of STEM towards ends of social justice, away from individual entrepreneurialism and global capitalism. I (the author) coordinate have designed this program with a team of science and math education faculty. The logic of our program tries to go beyond the current STEM zeitgeist. We try to move, beyond “STEAM”, for instance. While many programs have added arts to the mix in the form of STEAM, what results is a compromised conception of arts rather than a revised STEM: arts is reduced to a question of design. Our approach is to add a more insoluble element, one that forces the other letters of STEM to be reimagined towards ends of social justice. This insoluble element for us is “democracy” (hence STEAMD). As Harvey notes, democracy is problematic for neoliberalism (2005). We frame democracy as a perpetual struggle for the inclusion of marginalized and oppressed subjects within the decision making small and large that shape lives. Democracy in this is not an accomplished state, but commitment to certain kinds of analyses and a certain kind of activism. The program develops STEAMD teachers through a year curriculum. The paper looks at seven program dimensions:
1) STEM as a language of power
2) An analysis of neoliberalism, colonialism, and capitalism
3) Analysis of science and math as cultural systems
4) The history of STEM and marginal populations
5) STEAMD curriculum development
6) Model teachers /steaching
7) Model scientists
The paper explores how the program engages in these seven tasks through readings, assignments, discussions, and reflections.
The paper concludes with the program’s limits and problems. We discuss the impact of the edTPA, the students own emotional, political, and intellectual commitments and projects, the varied interests of our faculty, and the changing commitments of our university—our university being governed by an increasingly neoliberal vision since the economic crisis of the 2008.
Principal Author: Cindi Smith-Walters, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Heather L. Barker, Middle Tennessee State University
Improving pre-service teachers’ attitudes and self-efficacy toward science is an important goal for any effective teacher preparation program. Science anxiety and self-efficacy beliefs can impact an elementary teacher’s willingness to devote time to teaching science topics, and their subsequent choices in planning and implementing instruction (Westerback & Long, 1990). Those who have more anxiety tended to maintain a traditional teacher-directed approach, while those with less anxiety were more likely to use reform-oriented strategies such as open-ended inquiry (Czerniak & Shriver, 1994; Lumpe, Haney, & Czerniak, 1998). One proven way to impact beliefs and self-efficacy is by boosting content knowledge. Research shows that when teachers feel confident in their own knowledge, they have less anxiety and are more confident in their ability to teach science (Bursal, 2012; Druva & Anderson, 1983; Wenner, 1993).
In an effort to boost content knowledge and positively impact pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy in teaching science, over 20 years ago our university implemented a content-based life science course. Recent quantitative survey results from the course revealed that the pre-service teachers experienced a statistically significant growth in their general attitudes toward science, their attitudes toward teaching science, and self-efficacy with respect to understanding and teaching specific middle school level life science content.
In this presentation, targeted toward faculty in science teacher preparation, we will share the current course syllabi and explain specifically how Bloom’s Taxonomy, situated learning, active learning techniques, and non-traditional curriculum materials are used to promote science content learning, positive attitudes, and self-efficacy. Quantitative data and student quotations will be shared to support the effectiveness of the current instructional approach. Participants will come away with new ideas they can implement in their own classroom or validation for similar strategies they may already be using.
Principal Author: Renee S.. Schwartz, Georgia State UniversityAbstract:
Scientists must decide when to submit their work for review by the scientific community. This decision-making involves the recognition and ultimate reasoning of anomalous data, or those data that do not fit with expectations or current theory. Despite the role of anomalies in science practices, little research has explored how individuals understand anomalies and the justification of knowledge.This study explores (1) scientists’ and preservice science teachers’ ideas of how scientists know when to make their results public (needs for justification), (2) scientists’ and preservice teachers’ ideas of how scientists deal with anomalous data; and (3) how preservice teachers think students deal with anomalous data. Results indicate discrepancies between scientists and preservice teachers regarding the needs and process of justifying scientific knowledge; as well as how anomalies are handled and the role they play within science practices. Preservice teachers tend to consider anomalies as mistakes, while scientists recognize their potential for driving theory change. Preservice teachers think anomalies in the classroom are mistakes, and that students either ignore or change date to fit expectations. Addressing anomalies is a normal part of science practice and integral to justification of science knowledge. The discrepancies in preservice teachers’ and scientists’ ideas are significant when considering the need for teachers to address science practices in their classrooms.
Principal Author: Sarah J. Watt, Miami UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nazan U. Bautista, Miami UNiversity
This study was exploratory in nature and examined attitudes of students with disabilities and those who are at-risk of failing school toward, and their interest in, science and science instruction when participating in either traditional or place-based structured inquiry science instruction. Twenty 8th graders who were identified as “students with disability” or “at-risk of failing school” and enrolled in one of the sections of T-town Middle School Connections (TMSC) Program were invited to participate in the study. The students in the second section were identified as the control group to be able to clearly determine the effect of the place-based structured inquiry instruction on participants’ attitude toward and interest in science. The results of this study reveal that place-based structured inquiry instruction does make a difference in the struggling learners’ attitudes toward science and science instruction. However, it seems that improving their interest in science takes longer and requires more engagement of students in this type of science instruction. Study has implications for science teacher educators, special education faculty, and education researchers.
Principal Author: Mark H. Newton, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Benjamin Herman, University of South Florida; Dana 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 implies that conceptual change is a completely rational process and disregards affective and sociocultural influences as well as emotions. 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’ experienced conceptual change throughout an experiential environmental education course with SSI instruction embedded. 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 students considered emotional, sociocultural, and affect domains when analyzing 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: Mark D.. Guy, University of North DakotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard P.. Hechter, University of Manitoba
This paper is a continuation of a research study presented at the 2014 ASTE Conference of our effort to help pre-service elementary teachers learn to teach science within the context of envisioning and creating their own science content videos. Our research reports on an innovative approach of using technology tools to connect science content and pedagogy in an elementary science methods course. Specifically, we report the planning and rationale of using pre-service teachers’ original science videos aligned with specific phases of the 5E instructional model as well as scientific practices articulated by the Next Generation Science Standards.
Pre-service teachers determined the science concepts to be explored in their movie and the specific 5E phase (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) that best reflected the movie’s content and purpose. During the first phase of this project, pre-service teachers could choose to work alone or in pairs while in phase two, the teachers worked in pairs within a group of six. In both phases, they used a variety of contemporary technology tools (laptops/iPads/smartphones) to create and edit their video suitable. Finished movies were posted to our course 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 pre-service teachers became more knowledgeable of the appropriate placement of created video within a 5E science teaching and learning sequence for increased 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 future classrooms. Implications include authentic integration of technology to promote science teaching and learning. Issues related to some disparities among the participants in terms of the value of ‘freedom’ will also be presented and discussed.
Principal Author: Melissa A. Jurkiewicz, University of NevadaAbstract:
The purpose of this study is to conduct an in-depth examination of three high school biology teachers' enactments and views of formative assessment. In this qualitative study, I conducted classroom observations and recorded detailed field notes during the teachers' implementations of the cell unit. Also, I conducted three interviews with each teacher participant. In order to analyze the data, I used the constant comparison method, and for an analytical framework, I applied Dylan Wiliam's five strategies for the effective implementation of formative assessment. In the findings, I detailed the teachers' enactments of each of the five effective strategies for the implementation of formative assessment. Also, I described each of the teachers' views of formative assessment as they relate to the defining characteristics of formative assessment. This study has implications for science teacher preparation programs and professional development opportunities.
Principal Author: Angela W. Webb, Louisiana State UniversityAbstract:
Nationwide, alternative certification programs serve to address the need for quality science teachers. In Louisiana, this is no different; however, as a state with no mandated teacher support policies, how will Louisiana support and retain the newly hired alternatively licensed science teachers who help alleviate the shortage? Given this, the purpose of this study is to describe newly hired alternatively licensed science teachers’ induction supports and the ways they experience such supports. The data collected in this longitudinal, multi-case study will focus on the induction experiences of newly hired alternatively licensed 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 inform how to best support this unique subset of science teachers. Particularly, the role of alternative certification programs in induction will be explored.
Principal Author: Rajlakshmi Ghosh, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lisa A. Borgerding, Kent State University
This study explored how 16 K-8 preservice special education (PS-SPED) teachers defined and characterized scientific inquiry. Participants were graduate and undergraduate special education (SPED) majors selected from an inquiry-based science teaching methods course. In the course, students were taught various science teaching methods including inquiry. Each participant taught two science lessons (one exclusively using inquiry), were video recorded and they were encouraged to watch the videos and write reflection papers. Each participant appeared for a post course interview where they elaborated their understandings, views and plans for scientific inquiry in detail. Qualitative analysis of data from interview transcripts, course completion questionnaires, teaching videos, lesson plans, reflection papers and planning commentaries inform this research. Key findings include that:
1. Studied PS-SPED teachers defined inquiry as an interactive teaching method.
2. Inquiry was characterized by a learning-by-doing approach; the direct experience support learning in their students.
3. Questioning was a prominent feature that characterized science inquiry.
4. Teachers played a supporting role in an inquiry based classroom with SPED students.
5. Studied PS-SPED teachers were sensitive about learners’ special needs when it came to practice of inquiry in a SPED classroom.
Findings add to the comprehensive picture of inquiry as perceived by PS-SPED teachers, a community whose science inquiry experiences have remained largely unexplored. Implications for such findings are discussed with reference to both science education and special education contexts.
Principal Author: GREGORY T. RUSHTON, KENNESAW STATE UNIVERSITYAbstract:
Co-Authors: BRETT A. CRISWELL, UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY
Through a five-year, NSF supported professional development program that seeks to recruit, prepare and retain STEM professionals in secondary science careers, we are studying how the formation of their professional identity influences their dispositions towards implementing reform-based practices and their decision to remain in the K12 profession. We have been developing intentional experiences during the pre-service and induction phases using Gee’s identity framework and Goodwin’s notion of professional vision as the lenses through which we see the teachers’ development as competent and active members of the teaching community of practice. Herein we describe the theory base for our study, the research methods for studying the teachers’ identity formation and progress, and the nature of the professional development experiences that we hope will positively impact their views of using research-based practices in their classrooms and their choice with respect towards remaining in the career for an extended period of time.
Principal Author: Hyunju Lee, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida
This paper reports the current status of analysis and preliminary findings of the study about students’ learning at exhibits at a federally funded science center. The study was conducted with 1,000 elementary and secondary school students who visited the science education center, which is located at a cutting edge physics research center seeking for gravitational waves. The study examined students’ understanding of the scientific concepts of light, waves, and gravity when engaged in free-choice exploration of ten hands-on science exhibits. Most of the students recognized broad, yet simple scientific concepts represented in the exhibits, however their understanding was superficial and was fragile. When the purpose of an exhibit and the values of variables were clearly given and easily recognizable, students came to a better understanding of what the exhibit presents, and a few students developed sound conceptual understanding.
Principal Author: Heather L. Barker, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cindi Smith-Walters, Middle Tennessee State University
Argumentation has been described as the heart of the discipline of science (Kuhn, 2009). Argumentative discourse is an instructional approach in which students engage in discussion for the purpose of reasoned argumentation around science concepts in order to promote deliberation, inquiry, and learning (Felton, Garcia-Mila, & Gilabert, 2009; Meiland, 1989). The use of argumentative discourse within a classroom encourages collaboration and communication and highlights the socially constructed aspect of science (Newton, Driver & Osborne, 1999), thought to be critical for improving students’ scientific literacy and understanding the nature of science (Driver, Newton, & Osborne, 2000). In argumentative discourse, students engage more with the content as they draw conclusions from evidence and critically evaluate others’ alternative explanations (Duschl, Schweingruber, & Shouse, 2007). Cross and colleagues (2008) suggested this strategy should be used with pre-service teachers in order to deepen their science understanding, encourage confidence with the pertinent content, reduce alternative conceptions, and halt the process of passing on misinformation to a new generation of students.
Unfortunately, argumentative discourse does not usually occur naturally in the traditional classroom, nor is it always easy to facilitate. In this presentation, we will share research-based best practices and specific strategies for incorporating effective argumentative discourse instruction into pre-service teachers’ science methods or content courses. Participants will come away with practical ideas for mindfully implementing argumentative discourse in their own teacher preparation courses. Many instructors already use class discussion in their instruction. However, argumentative discourse, when implemented with fidelity, is much more than discussion. This presentation will help science teacher educators better support the development of effective scientific argumentation in their classrooms, leading to a richer and more transformative learning experience for their students.
Principal Author: David C.. Owens, Middle Tennessee State UniversityAbstract:
The Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Science Teaching (PCKST) framework has been advanced as a means for preparing teachers to be more successful facilitators of science learning. PCKST directs teachers towards creating proper learning environments, understanding curricular goals, and planning for instruction that first identifies student and teacher misconceptions before directing instructional strategies and assessments at refining them. Some of the tenets of the PCKST have been addressed by the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which orients science teachers towards practice-based learning by integrating content and application and focusing instruction on the construction of explanations, rather than providing content and associated inquiry in isolation. NGSS also clarifies science curricula by outlining performance expectations and creating a coherent progression both within and across grades. Unfortunately, the NGSS does not address teachers’ knowledge of student learners, and fails to recognize that both students and teachers carry alternate conceptions into the classroom. These misconceptions are not easily relinquished, and cannot simply be replaced by new knowledge. Rather, existing knowledge must be refined and integrated with new information before any grasp of new standards can be achieved. The NGSS has offers little in the way of instructional strategies that might help teachers move away from the traditional passive lecture, and towards classroom measures that address misconceptions and engage students in active understanding of content and practice across integrated concepts. This session will introduce science teachers and science teacher educators to a strategy for defining student misconceptions prior to engagement in any NGSS standard in the classroom, and prompt the development of an instructional approach that first helps students recognize their own misconceptions as inadequate before making refinements that result in the deeper understandings sought after by the NGSS.
Principal Author: Stephen C.. Scogin, Hope CollegeAbstract:
Science teachers often struggle finding ways to motivate students in classroom learning. This presentation reveals field-based strategies and actions that have successfully motivated and engaged high school science learners in PlantingScience, an innovative inquiry-based curriculum developed by the Botanical Society of America.
This paper focuses particularly on the strategies and actions of science teachers and their contributions toward the motivation of students. This research is part of a larger research agenda investigating the PS program from 2007 to the present. Four data sources were included in this study: a stakeholders’ focus group of teachers, scientists, and curriculum developers; extended classroom observations of PS implementation in two distinctly different regional classrooms in the U.S.; interviews with PS teachers; and online scientist-student dialogues. Grounded theory (Glaser & Strauss, 1967; Strauss & Corbin, 1990) was used to analyze the data and uncover the contributions of science teachers to student motivation.
While engaged in PS, science teachers used several different strategies and actions to promote student motivation and engagement in the classroom. Specifically, science teachers turned responsibility for learning over to the students, challenged students to go deeper in their studies, encouraged students, and provided the necessary supports for students to be successful (i.e., provided scaffolding). As a result of science teachers’ efforts (in conjunction with mentor efforts), students often responded with deeper engagement and more motivation. Specifically, student outcomes observed included increased positivity, willingness to take projects deeper, more respect for scientists and plants, better understanding of scientific concepts and procedures, greater understanding of the nature of science (NOS), and commitment to collaboration.
Principal Author: Lori A. Fulton, University of Hawaii at ManoaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Seungoh Paek, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Science notebooks have become fixtures in elementary classrooms, as a place to record data during an investigation and for students to synthesize their thinking. With the influx of tablet devices in elementary classrooms, the notebook has the potential to move from a traditional composition book to a digital format. This study examined 10 fourth and 10 fifth graders (20 total) use of a composition style notebook and a digital science notebook. For this study, Notability, an application developed by Ginger Lab, served as the digital science notebook. The teacher and students were first introduced to science notebooks in the fall of 2013, incorporating a paper-based notebook into their daily science lessons. In the spring of 2014, the class switched from using a paper notebook to a digital science notebook. As part of this research, the teacher taught two observation-based lessons using materials with which students were familiar, one in the fall and one in the spring. Notebooks were collected and a content analysis was conducted to determine the elements students used in the two formats. Findings indicated there was a higher incidence of drawing and writing in the paper-based notebook and use of photos in the digital notebook. While the higher incidence of photos may not be surprising, the lower incidence of drawing and writing in the digital notebook was unexpected, as the application was chosen for the ability to include these recording strategies. Such findings could be the result of the functionality of the notebook format, experience or comfort level with the notebook formats, teacher direction, and/or time allotted to the activity. While digital notebooks offer different opportunities for recording, such as photographs and audio and video recording, as well as traditional methods, such as drawing and writing, the benefits and drawbacks of a digital science notebook are not fully understood. Further research is needed to realize the impact a move to digital science notebooks could have on student learning of science practices and concepts.
Principal Author: Ryan M. Walker, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Avery Ezell, Mississippi State University
Alternatives to traditional teaching practice and assessment provide researchers an opportunity to explore student learning and motivation. The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont (GSMIT) developed a program to promote student-centered inquiry through the use of media and technology-driven instruction. School groups participating in this program produced music videos parodying popular songs, which deliver accurate scientific information regarding a concept(s) that can be directly tied to a group’s classroom learning objectives. Grounded theory methodology was used to identify initial areas of impact for stakeholders participating in this pilot study. Results include an increase of intrinsic motivation and science content knowledge for participant students. Additional outcomes for teachers, connections to schools and communities, and the potential use of these open source resources are discussed.
Principal Author: Rachel A. Luther, University of Southern MississippiAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michael P. Mueller, University of Alaska, Anchorage; Stacey A. Britton, University of Mississippi; Kimberly Haverkos, Thomas More College
This paper set explores informal education and science teacher preparation from three distinct perspectives: moral/ethical concerns; expanding integrated STEM; and pragmatic science teacher preparation. Paper one, TITLE, explores the moral and ethical consequences of informal education. Paper two, Historical Spaces and STEM Education, explores the ways in which an interdisciplinary approach to STEM education that begins in the historical past can create opportunities for critical thinking, communication, creativity, and collaboration around STEM issues. The educative experiences of pre-service teachers at historical locations will be discussed. The third paper, Night at the Museum, explores the results of a research project that explores pre-service teachers' ideas and concerns around informal science education field trips. Pragmatic concerns arose for pre-service teachers from their involvement in multi-day field trip experiences. This braided discourse provides avenues of critical inquiry around the benefits and obstacles of informal education for 21st century science teacher preparation.
Principal Author: Larry Horvath, San Francisco State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Erica Brownstein, The Ohio State University; Andrea Whittaker, Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning and Equity
The presenters will share their experiences implementing edTPA with pre-service science teachers in middle and secondary settings. Topics for further discussion include edTPA alignment with the NGSS, support for science credential candidates completing edTPA, and potential challenges and opportunities as implementation continues. One presenter is science education faculty and science methods instructor at a large public university in California. In the spring of 2014, his cohort of middle and secondary science credential candidates successfully participated in a statewide pilot of edTPA - all passing. He has been involved in the development and implementation of the science specific Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT) and the science specific edTPA (built on the PACT framework) since 2002. A second presenter works for an institution that has been involved in edTPA development for four years. This spring, all secondary science candidates at this institution completed edTPA with a mean rubric score of 3.46 in the spring of 2014, up from a mean rubric score of 3.28 during the last national scoring.
Principal Author: Jennifer S. Coble, University of North Carolina at Chapel HillAbstract:
My paper describes evolving models of a summer internship implemented over four years to support future teachers’ NOS understandings. Specifically, the internship involved future science teachers as both researchers and curriculum developers. The first two summers of the internship focused on developing curriculum that would help high school students understand the research narratives of the research laboratories where the future teachers were engaged in first-hand research. Despite our best efforts to produce learning modules that were appropriate for high school students, our data suggested that the gap between research laboratories and high school science classrooms is too great to be spanned. The final internship model focused on designing curriculum for undergraduate science courses offered by the science departments at our university, the same science courses the students in my science teacher education program are required to take. This final internship model resulted in many beneficial outcomes over and above the development of deeper NOS understandings among the pre-service teachers who served as interns. Specifically, it allowed the pre-service teachers to be assets to the university and to work as change agents in the science departments. I believe this model of utilizing pre-service teachers as developers of NOS-focused curricula for undergraduate science courses represents an exciting best practice that can be implemented in a variety of ways in addition to an internship model.
Principal Author: Jianlan Wang, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Argumentation is a critical skill for science learners. Yet, the dissemination of argumentation in schools is not satisfying. Researchers have made great efforts in promoting argumentation practices in science classes. Unfortunately, these efforts have limited and short-term effects. There seems to be incompatibility between authentic argumentation of scientists and school contexts. In this case study, I investigated this issue from the perspective of adapting authentic argumentation into existing science classroom culture. I went beyond understanding the input and output of argumentation. I treated argumentation as a process of linguistically social interaction and gauged the behaviors of the participants within. This study took place in a high school physics classroom for 6 months, from October 2013 to March 2014. The participants were one experienced physics teacher and 24 students. With the method of positioning, I tried to understand how the physics class, especially the teacher, perceived argumentation practices. I analyzed the shift of the teacher's position from normal class settings to that leveraged by argumentation interventions. I also discussed both the positive and negative impacts of the teacher on the students' argumentation. After summarizing the common patterns of argumentation popping out throughout the project, I constructed a model of argumentation with which I compared authentic argumentation between scientists with argumentation in school settings. The main differences were two-fold: the goal of argumentation and the academic background of arguers. Finally, I suggested a school-friendly pattern of argumentation as an approach to adapting authentic argumentation into school settings.
Principal Author: Frackson Mumba, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Asiana Banda, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Vivien M. Chabalengula, University of Virginia; Nathan Dolenc, University of Virginia
Research studies on inquiry-based instruction in inclusive science classrooms have mainly focused on elementary and middle school levels (Magnusen, 1997; Mastropieri, Scruggs, & Graetz, 2005). Little is known about inquiry-based instruction in high school inclusive science classrooms. In particular, there is a dearth of research on general education science teachers’ perceived benefits and challenges of inquiry in high school inclusive science classrooms. Yet, inclusive science classes have become the norm in high schools, fulfilling the instructional needs of students with mild disabilities. The success of effective inquiry instruction in inclusive science classes will largely depend on what science teachers view as the benefits and challenges of inquiry in such classes. This study, therefore, explored high school chemistry teachers’ perceived benefits and challenges of inquiry-based instruction in inclusive chemistry classes. The study further sought to establish the participant chemistry teachers’ knowledge of inclusive teaching. This study was guided by the following research questions: What do chemistry teachers know about teaching in inclusive classrooms? What do high school chemistry teachers perceive to be the benefits of inquiry instruction in inclusive chemistry classrooms? What do high school chemistry teachers perceive to be the challenges of inquiry instruction in inclusive chemistry classrooms? A sample of 61 chemistry teachers in different school districts across the United States participated in this study. Data were collected using a questionnaire. Results show that most teachers had no training in inclusive teaching, lacked knowledge of chemistry teaching in inclusive classes, and had moderate confidence in teaching chemistry in inclusive classes. While most teachers acknowledged that inquiry instruction in inclusive chemistry classes has several benefits and challenges to students, many believed there were more challenges to them than to their students Results have implications on science teaching and learning and teacher education.
Principal Author: Karl G. Jung, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
For many students, the language used in schools can be challenging as it differs from the language they experience outside of school. This language of instruction has come to be known as academic language (Anstrom et al., 2010). Students must learn to use language in these new ways, often without support from teachers, who see language so transparently that they fail to provide supports or discuss it explicitly with their students (Schleppegrell, 2012). The education teacher performance assessment (edTPA), which has become a part of the teacher licensure process in many states, asks teacher candidates to focus on academic language for two of the fifteen rubrics. This qualitative study works to investigate one elementary education teacher candidate’s experiences in writing academic language objectives, and in supporting students in using academic language during science instruction. The work looks to build on current understandings of academic language and science content instruction and provide a picture of how one teacher candidate was supporting her elementary students’ academic language development.
Principal Author: Suzanne M. Nesmith, Baylor UniversityAbstract:
This study investigated the impact of a multi-phase conceptual change instructional approach on elementary preservice teachers’ understanding of science content and pedagogy. Participants in the study were eleven elementary preservice teachers enrolled in a senior level science seminar course designed expressly for incorporation within an international teaching experience. The program included a series of ten weekly seminar meetings prior to departure for the international experience and a series of four weekly seminar meetings during the preservice teachers’ participation in the teaching experience. During the pre-departure seminars, the preservice teachers were involved in specifically designed experiences that addressed the concept of the cause of seasons and incorporated components of inquiry-based instruction, conceptual change, and learning progression. The on-site seminars included mentoring experiences designed to provide the preservice teachers with support as they implemented seminar content and pedagogy within elementary classrooms. Analysis of the preservice teachers’ pre-seminar, post-seminar, and post-teaching overall test results revealed increased understanding of the content across the three data points. Additionally, examination of the pre/post test results by sub-topics indicated that the preservice teachers’ understanding of all sub-topics increased from pre-seminar to post-seminar, yet only two of the four sub-topics increased from post-seminar to post-teaching. A focus group interview conducted at the conclusion of the entire experience supported the pre/post content test results and revealed that the approach had a positive impact on the preservice teachers’ understanding of science pedagogy. Based on these findings, implications will be discussed regarding the role of multi-phase instructional experiences on enhancing elementary preservice teachers’ understanding of content and pedagogy as well as their potential use in forging a positive coping strategy for compensating for preservice teachers’ incomplete science knowledge.
Principal Author: Mandy McCormick. Smith, The Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mesut Saçkes, Balikesir University; Kathy Cabe. Trundle, North Carolina State University
This cross-cultural study describes young children’s (ages 48-60 months) observational knowledge of day and night cycles, which is foundational in the development of mental models. The purpose was to compare U.S. and Turkish children’s knowledge to identify similarities predicted by framework theory. Fifty-six children (27 U.S. and 29 Turkish) participated in the study. Children from both cultures were recruited from publicly funded preschools. Slightly more than half of the children were boys (17 U.S. and 12 Turkish) and 44.8% were girls (10 U.S. and 17 Turkish). Semi-structured interviews were individually conducted, recorded digitally, transcribed and analyzed using the constant comparative method. Rasch analysis was used to examine the difficulty level of interview questions and to compute outcome measures for parametric statistics. The performances of U.S. and Turkish children and boys and girls on interview questions were compared using a two-way ANOVA test.
The ANOVA results indicated that there was no statistically significant difference between U.S. and Turkish children (F (1, 52) =0.06, p>0.05) or between boys and girls (F (1, 52) =0.64, p>0.05). Nation by gender interaction also was not statistically significant (F (1, 52) =0. 01, p>0.05). These results suggest that overall performances of U.S. and Turkish children were comparable.
The results demonstrate the observational knowledge of preschoolers from two cultures have great similarities as predicted by the framework theory (Vosniadou & Brewer, 1992; Vosniadou, Vamvakoussi, & Skopeliti, 2008). Findings of the present study suggest that U.S. and Turkish preschoolers are able to make comparable informal observations of the sky.
Principal Author: Nilay Muslu, University of MissouriAbstract:
Co-Authors: Suleyman Cite, University of Missouri; Karen E.L.. King, University of Missouri
The majority of physics teachers in the United States are not sufficiently prepared to teach their subject matter (Hodapp, Hehn, & Hein, 2009). Considering that the number of high school students taking physics class is increasing (Neuschatz, McFarling, & White, 2008), programs aiming to make physics teaching more appealing to undergraduate physics majors can be a solution to meet the growing demand for future physics teachers. Physics teacher educators should take into consideration the factors that lead undergraduates to consider a career in teaching; such factors could influence the design of programs aimed at the recruitment and retention of students seeking physics teacher certification. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore the factors that lead students to pursue physics teaching as their future career. Participants were six undergraduate physics students who were planning to pursue become physics teachers. Data were collected through a teaching efficacy survey (Enochs, & Riggs, 1990), open-ended questions, and semi-structured interviews. Results show that informal teaching experiences, interest and success in physics, feeling self-rewarded by teaching, and the influence of previous physics teachers are the main factors motivating participants to become a physics teacher.
Principal Author: Martina Nieswandt, University of Massachusetts AmherstAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth H.. McEneaney, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Renee Affolter, University of Massachusetts Amherst
This qualitative study examines affective and micro-social dynamics of small group work during inquiry-based laboratory activities that foster or hinder science learning in three 9th grade science classes (N=54) – one environmental science class and two biology classes. In the environmental science class data were collected during a unit on enzymes through videotaped group observations of a series of inquiry-based laboratory activities conducted over a period of three weeks and through follow-up student focus group interviews. In both biology classes data were collected through videotaped group observations of one inquiry activity (“The snail lab”) conducted over three consecutive class periods (each 75 minutes). The activity was part of the unit on photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and was modified in collaboration with the teachers to follow a particular format: question/problem given; open (student-designed) procedure and solution; selection of materials given; and if necessary, prompts for different steps given; e.g., for note taking or argument development.
Results based on data analysis of two randomly chosen groups per class suggest that successful group work and meaningful science learning only takes place when students collectively construct a triple problem solving space as they work on the different inquiry tasks. The group must attend to and develop the “content space” (the problem to be solved), the “relational space” (the challenges based on social interactions within the group), and the “affective space” (the emotional life of the group). In one group, successful group work depended on positive affective, relational and content spaces, while another group was unsuccessful because of the lack of content space and negative relational space. The results point to that all three spaces have to be collectively developed and maintained during the group work. If groups fail to manage any of the three collective spaces, group collaboration is unsuccessful and science learning is minimal.
Principal Author: Shandy Hauk, WestEdAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nissa R. Yestness, Colorado State University; Kitty Roach, University of Northern Colorado; Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute
The work reported here is part of a large project that is developing and researching learning progression frameworks (descriptors and assessments) for three core strands of environmental science: biodiversity, the carbon cycle, and the water cycle. Some teaching practices are more aligned with the developers’ progressions-based assumptions than others. The purpose of the poster is to present one approach to the question: What is a productive model of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for noticing, documenting, and developing teaching strategies aligned to the project’s progression-based materials in environmental science? We offer a model of PCK that has emerged from triangulating what we understand from teacher perceptions (gathered in survey, interview, and teaching documents), researcher perceptions (by way of classroom observation and data analyses) and student perceptions (through survey and focus group interview). The PCK related to two kinds of teaching strategies are the particular focus of the poster: (1) awareness and use of student thinking and (2) supporting student engagement in evidence-based accounts (e.g., sense-making, story-generating) aimed at building a habit of principle-based reasoning about environmental processes. Through presentations of theory and classroom vignettes, poster session participants will learn about some of the intercultural complexities of science discourse and the role of discourse in learning progression-based design and implementation. Participants also will engage in conversations about how the particular teaching strategies are connected to the extended model of PCK and how that connection relates to teacher professional development.
Principal Author: Aaron J.. McKim, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tyson J.. Sorensen, Oregon State University; Jonathan J.. Velez, Oregon State University; Kate G.. Field, Oregon State University; Wanda K.. Crannell, Oregon State University; Larry R.. Curtis, Oregon State University; Penelope L.. Diebel, Oregon State University; Dave L.. Stone, Oregon State University
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore perspectives of underrepresented minority (URM) college students who were enrolled in a science-based minority student program regarding the challenges, support mechanisms, and success they experienced as they pursued a science major. Data were collected from eight students who were part of a URM student support program that provided financial support, peer mentoring, personal advising, faculty mentors, and research projects. Data consisted of in-depth, one-on-one semi-structured interviews, a college newspaper publication profiling the URM student support program that contained student quotes, and biographical sketches written by participants about the program. Primary data analysis was performed using open coding. After the initial coding process, the data were coded for thematic content in which similar codes were grouped into larger themes.
Three themes emerged from the data and were identified as challenges, support, and successful balance. Additionally, a number of sub-themes were identified that help to construct an understanding of the participants’ college experiences. The URM students faced challenges as a result of anxiety from academic rigors, balancing school and life responsibilities, and cultural dynamics. Students identified various support mechanisms that helped them find success. These included social support from peers and academic advisors as well as financial support from the university minority support program. Students expressed feeling successful and a desire to share their success with future generations of students in science.
Principal Author: Emily A. Dare, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lisa Ortmann, University of Minnesota; Tasneem Anwar, University of Minnesota; Joshua A. Ellis, University of Minnesota; Justin McFadden, University of Minnesota; Sousada Chidthachack, University of Minnesota; Tamara J. Moore, Purdue University; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota; S. Selcen Guzey , Purdue University
Recent national documents call for improvements in K-12 STEM education to increase STEM literacy and motivate 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. This 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, not reflecting the natural interconnectedness of these disciplines, which has consequences for student interest, knowledge, and performance. Despite the push to bring STEM to K–12 education, there is a lack of opportunities for teachers to participate in professional development, and existing curricula are not currently designed to support teachers’ integration efforts (NAE, 2009).
EngrTEAMS is an NSF Mathematics and Science Partnership involving partners from higher education and K–12 schools designed to promote K–12 STEM integration. The overarching goal is to increase learning of science and mathematics by using an engineering design-based approach for integrated STEM instruction to guide professional development and curricular design. The paradigm of STEM integration that guides our project involves the merging of the STEM disciplines in order to: 1) deepen student understanding of STEM disciplines, 2) broaden student understanding of STEM disciplines through exposure to socially and culturally relevant STEM contexts, and 3) increase interest in STEM disciplines (Authors, 2012).
EngrTEAMS was designed to support extensive professional development that included teacher-led curriculum development and was supported by instructional coaching throughout the academic year. These four papers discuss professional development that includes instructional coaching, teachers’ experiences with implementing STEM curriculum, teacher and student discourse during an engineering design challenge, and science teachers’ experiences with incorporating math.
Principal Author: Sarah J. PoolerAbstract:
This presentation will overview a Project Lead The Way (PLTW) professional development (PD) program report analyzing data from 59 High School Biomedical Science teachers designed to gain an initial understanding of changes in teacher knowledge and skills and in attitudes and beliefs as a result of two-week Project Lead The Way professional development experience.
As the “nation’s leading STEM program” (PLTW, 2014) including K-12 STEM curricula, PLTW intends to meet the STEM education challenge (Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century, 2007; National Science Board, 2007; National Academy of Sciences, et.al., 2010; National Science Board & National Science Foundation, 2010) by “transforming STEM education in the classroom, both for teachers and students, in order to meet the critical workforce need” (PLTW, 2014).
The presentation will describe the impact of the PLTW PD experience relating to Borko’s (2004) three characteristics of individual teacher change: subject matter knowledge for teaching, understanding of student thinking and instructional practices and teacher self-efficacy (Bandura, 1986) and affective attitudes (Earl & Winkeljohn, 1977).
The presentation will be of interest to in-service STEM/Science PD providers, pre-service instructors, curriculum directors and teachers. It is expected that those in attendance will gain new insights into the impact of Project Lead The Ways’ STEM PD on teachers’ perceptions of their own knowledge and skill for science teaching. These new insights may positively influence the work of Science/STEM PD providers, the decisions of curriculum directors and the practice of teachers. Additionally, insights gained may lead to new research questions to further our collective study of STEM/Science education.
Principal Author: Anne Loyle-Langholz, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Devarati Bhattacharya, University of Minnesota; Gillian H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota
Understanding the meaning of culturally relevant teaching and learning is a complex process mediated by teachers’ individual cultural backgrounds, biases, and experiences. Teachers working within Native American communities, need to consider culturally inclusive instruction, which includes place-based, interdisciplinary, and inquiry approaches. More so, science teachers working in Native American communities can benefit by embracing these practices in order to make deeper connections between indigenous wisdom and western science for their students. We analyzed semi-structured exit interviews, individual teacher reflections, and classroom observations collected during a three-year professional development program, to unearth how teachers describe and connect inquiry, place-based, and interdisciplinary approaches when teaching climate science content. We found that while these teachers agreed that hands-on learning was successful with their students, they felt inhibited in their ability to facilitate and manage inquiry related lessons due to time constraints and behavior management. Most teachers believed that connecting coursework to the “place” or community in which the students live and interact, fostered in-depth understanding and enthusiasm. However, a constant need for new curricula and teaching activities focused in and around their schools was described as major barrier to practicing place-based teaching. Finally, in order to practice interdisciplinary approaches, teachers felt that they needed to develop trust with tribal communities, work along side students and their families and genuinely respect their traditions and practices. Non-Native teachers felt that expressing culture in a way that aligns with both spoken and unspoken history and tradition was a challenge for them, because they were not raised in a community with similar multi-generational cultural norms.
Principal Author: Allyson Rogan-Klyve, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
This poster presentation explores a science methods pedagogy of practice based teacher education. Given the known challenges of preparing teacher candidates to engage in ambitious science teaching practices such as those defined by NGSS, a pedagogy that allows teacher candidates to develop these is skills situated in the actual work of teaching is needed. Using a framework of modeling-based inquiry, teacher candidates in a science methods course are given the opportunity to prepare and rehearse an activity that promotes student-sense making around a big idea in science. During the teacher candidate’s rehearsal, the methods instructor acts as a coach providing in-the-moment feedback and support aimed at improving teaching practices that are likely to enhance student learning. A discussion of the benefits and challenges of implementing coached rehearsals in science methods courses is presented.
Principal Author: Meredith L.. McAllister, Butler UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Bob Holm, Auburn University
Assessment of students’ content knowledge can provide us with a broader perspective on student learning in science courses for non-science majors. Multiple-choice tests have been developed to access students’ prior knowledge and assess learning. In this study, a 21-item version of the Geoscience Concept Inventory (GCI) was used to assess the prior knowledge and learning of students enrolled in an introductory SENCER-based course, Earth Systems Science. Gains (pretest to posttest) among participants (n = 57) averaged 17%; better than gains reported elsewhere that average 4%. Detailed analysis shows that gains occurred on test items related to geologic time, earthquakes, radiometric dating, and tectonics. GCI results suggest that students need multiple opportunities to work with geologic concepts using a variety of instructional strategies, and provide further evidence of the persistence of student prior knowledge in specific topics.
Principal Author: Leslie U. Bradbury, Appalachian State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rachel E.. Wilson, Appalachian State University
One method proposed to reverse the declining emphasis on science at the elementary level is to integrate science with language arts (Saul & Dieckman, 2005). This presentation will describe the initial efforts of two science educators and a second grade teacher (Audrey) to form a community of practice that would enable each of the stakeholders to learn from the expertise of the others as they developed and taught a series of integrated lessons in Audrey’s classroom that were connected to a larger garden project at the school.
Findings indicate that several aspects of the project were a success. All participants in the process felt that the collaboration was a positive experience and indicated that they are planning for its continuation. Audrey was excited by the enthusiasm displayed by her students throughout the lessons. She believed that the activities planned by the authors were meaningful for her students and that they had developed a deeper level of science content knowledge through the experience. While many aspects of the collaboration were successful, Audrey felt that there were improvements that could be made, and that her expertise could be valuable in facilitating these changes.
Both authors also felt that they learned through their participation in the project. Both discussed a deepening understanding of the classroom management issues involved in conducting inquiry-based science lessons with young elementary students. They felt they developed a better conception of what the second grade students were able to be successful with based on their cognitive development and were able to share these lessons with preservice teachers in their methods classes. Finally, both authors reinforced their own beliefs that inquiry-based science teaching integrated with language arts was an appropriate way to structure elementary science lessons. Though the project was seen as generally successful, there are negotiations that will need to occur to enable the partnership to continue in a manner that is fruitful and meaningful for all participants.
Principal Author: Lisa A. Gross, Appalachian State UniversityAbstract:
This study describes the preliminary environmental worldviews and nonformal experiences of 5th grade students prior to their participation in four outdoor learning excursions during the 2010-2011 school year. Students responded to a survey that included 10 items from the New Ecological Paradigm (NEP) Scale for Children, validated by Manoli, Johnson and Dunlap (2007) and 28 items generated from the literature on environmental socialization (ES), an activity-based process described by Bixler and Morris (1998). NEP individual scores (unidimensional model) and three factor scores (multidimensional model) were calculated for each of the 52 students. The resulting scores were then examined in the context of participants’ reported nonformal experiences with nature. Environmental socialization items were utilized to catalogue types and frequencies of childhood activities identified by the participants. While the initial NEP scores were comparable to outcomes reported in similar studies conducted on children, an awareness of identified environmental socialization experiences provides an additional layer of context for explaining the where, when, and how childhood attitudes are developed over time. The resulting typologies have been used to illustrate how attitudes and interests can influence an individual’s participation in outdoor learning activities over time and in multiple nonformal settings. This discussion brings attention to the value of childhood nature experiences in the development of foundational science knowledge, attitudes and interests.
Principal Author: Dina Drits-Esser, University of UtahAbstract:
Co-Authors: Louisa A.. Stark, University of Utah
Professional development experiences for teachers are often fairly short, lasting a week or less. Within this reality, how can professional developers maximize teacher change and growth in a weeklong experience? In the Genetic Science Learning Center’s highly selective and popular summer institute programs, secondary-level biology teachers learn cutting-edge science from researchers, develop student learning goals related to that content, and then collaboratively develop ideas for a widely-used science education website. Recent research on the impact of the Institutes on teachers’ professional learning revealed that teachers experienced change and growth in their classroom practice, increased their understanding of science content and processes, felt valued for their skills, and gained a renewed sense of professionalism. This presentation will describe the Institutes, their impacts on teachers’ growth, and suggestions for applying key elements to other professional development programs.
Principal Author: Krista L. Adams, University of Nebraska-LincolnAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kathy Phillips, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Key to an effective teacher of science is the use of a reformed-based instruction that engages students in learning science. For the pre-service teacher, the preparation program is a time in which to develop a basic repertoire focusing on reform-based strategies. A basic repertoire may include various instructional strategies such as laboratory experiments, demonstrations as well as a growing trend that integrates literature into the science instruction. In contrast to subject specific teaching preparation as in secondary teacher preparation programs, developing the skills to teach all subjects is often overwhelming for individuals preparing to teach younger students. Emphasizing literacy as a tool for learning, which engages learners in rich and varied texts may help elementary education majors understand science. The teacher candidates within this study discussed the process with which they selected various concepts in light of new text genres were introduced. The multiple genre text set included analysis of how content was presented within pourquoi tales (myths), biography, fiction and informational books. The teacher candidates used naive and early understandings of science as a way to engage students in understanding science. However, the teacher candidates were found to hold misconceptions about various tenets within the NOS.
Principal Author: Rose M.. Pringle, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer C.. Mesa, University of West Florida; Natalie S.. King, University of Florida
The current reform in science education calls for the cohesive integration of scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas (National Research Council, 2012; NGSS Lead States, 2013). Reformers hope that students’ proficiency in, and appreciation for science, will increase when science instruction consistently engages them in the practices as they construct their understanding of fundamental ideas over multiple years of schooling. To achieve this integration, teachers, from novices to veterans, will need professional development to develop their understanding of the new requirements, and to adjust their instruction to seamlessly integrate the three dimensions.
The purpose of this study was to describe how a group of practicing middle school science teachers was impacted by involvement in a professional development program that included a formal science education graduate degree, other complementary experiences, and the immersion in a reform-based curriculum that incorporated effective instructional practices as well as the three dimensions outlined in reform documents.
This mixed methods investigation included the collection and analyses of data from classroom observations, pre-post surveys, pre-post content assessment and focus group interviews. Analysis revealed that a combination of content knowledge courses and complementary experiences positively impacted the teachers’ implementation of the reform-based science curriculum. These improvements were described by the teachers and observed during implementation of effective instruction towards promoting conceptual change although some features (intellectual engagement with relevant phenomena) were implemented more skillfully than others. These findings have implications for science educators involved with professional development. The study highlights the positive impact of a model of “high quality” professional development that encompasses opportunities to increase teachers’ content knowledge and pedagogical skills while being immersed in the curriculum being enacted.
Principal Author: Wendy P.. Ruchti, Idaho State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wendy P.. Ruchti, Idaho State Univeristy
Researchers agree that the ability to notice key events in the classroom and interpret those events are important skills as teachers develop a “professional vision” that allows them to be more effective and confident in the classroom (Fernandez, Llinares, & Valls, 2013; van Es & Sherin, 2002). In addition, Mason (2011) noted that “awareness is what enables action” (p.45). Most teacher preparation courses focus on planning for and implementing engaging activities, but not as much time is spent on diagnostic teaching (listening to students, noticing important understandings, and using that information), and, as it is an important component of reform teaching, should be a larger portion of our coursework and professional development (Schoenfeld, 2011). This session will report on the activities and the examination of how and what elementary preservice teachers noticed specifically concerning student understanding and evidence of learning as they taught a unit on composting and a unit on force/motion in a first grade classroom. Additionally, preservice teacher interns attended professional development with their cooperating teachers on collaborative examination of student work. The ability to notice was then measured through video, interviews, and transcriptions of the post observation conferences where student work was examined. Results of this pilot study will be presented as well as ideas about how teacher educators might scaffold the ability to notice and analyze student understanding in preservice teachers.
Principal Author: Kimberly Murie, University of ArkansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura Ring, Fayetteville Public Schools
Anyone who has taught high school has struggled with ways to connect students to the content and make it relevant and pertinent to a teenagers mind. Science in particular seems to be an area where many students lack a desire to learn more. It can be particularly challenging to create excitement about science and potentially about pursuing a career in Science. Many students lose interest in science in high school, the time when they are actually close to making choices about their future. Perhaps this is because the courses that are often required show science as an isolated process with few connections made to a student’s daily life. Providing students a chance to take a course that exposes them to many different branches and potential careers in science not often connected through required courses could potentially help students at this critical stage decide to pursue a career in science. Outdoor education, an integrated science and physical education course could potentially provide just such an opportunity. Students in this combined course learn about science as a part of their lives not as something that seems disconnected. For example, students learn about water quality and then go canoeing to test the water quality of a popular recreational river. By conducting pre and post surveys of student attitudes towards science and science careers, this research and presentation would hope to show a positive impact on student attitudes towards science when the subject is presented in an integrated nature. This presentation would provide research related to student’s opinions about pursuing careers in science, and feelings about science in general. Curriculum developers as well as educational researchers could potentially benefit from this research as well as Environmental Science educators.
Principal Author: Kristin L. Cook, Bellarmine UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Dinkins, Bellarmine University
As educators try to develop a disciplinarily literate citizenry and attempt to underscore the aims of their content-specific curricular standards, they must pay close attention to the intersection of fiction and non-fiction texts with their content area (Fang & Schleppegrell, 2008). The overall goal for this study is to discern affordances of using one medium of text (i.e. popular fiction) to connect aims of science-specific content and process standards in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and critical thinking. Our data indicated pre-service teachers (PSTs) incorporated a range of literacy practices that attempted to address the demands of reading, writing, and communicating in science. PSTs paired popular fiction and nonfiction texts to facilitate collaborative practices focused on comprehending and interpreting science concepts through reading and discussion. PSTs were less successful, however, in utilizing practices to foster written expression of key ideas. Science concepts identified through the popular fiction texts offered potentially rich writing opportunities, but PSTs were unsure of how to scaffold and explicitly teach scientific writing. All PSTs valued writing and found it essential to teaching science; they incorporated writing goals as part of their inquiry project and their online discussions acknowledged that science writing posed unique challenges for students. This understanding, however, did not translate into effective instructional practices for teaching writing. PSTs assigned writing without preparing students to succeed in this task. Findings indicate a need for writing instruction and practice during preparatory science methods.
Principal Author: Kim C. Cherry, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Robert W. Simmons III, Ed.D., Loyola University
The study of equitable education of girls in urban schools has offered many insights in the last few years; this research paper in positioned as an examination of culturally relevant approaches to educating girls in urban school districts. Various research points to the marginalization of girls in science education. Many treat the equitable education of girls in urban schools as an issue of social justice, however, the problem extends beyond the scope of social injustices.
Urban schools have certain characteristics that combine to hamper science education for poor urban children. Students in these schools traditionally have lower grades and higher dropout rates than schools outside urban centers; restricted access to school-based and community-based resources, including great teachers; schooling practices that discriminate against poor students by consistently tracking them into lower-level classes with teacher-centered instruction; and the culture of school conflicts/competes with the culture of home, especially for poor or immigrant students (Barton, 2001).
Urban educators face further problems because they have to attempt to reconcile markedly disparate identities present in students, particularly African-American and Latino children. “Identities, as well as teacher responses to these identities, are shaped by gender, race, and class relations,” (Brickhouse, 2000); therefore, identities are neither single nor stable. For some students, coming to school involves putting on an identity that is far removed from the one assumed at home; learning to participate in school involves a ‘cultural border crossing’ (Aikenhead & Jegede, 1999, Aikenhead, 2001).
This research study will present the ideas of urban girls in science through the lense of K-12 educators.
Principal Author: Tamara J. Moore, Purdue UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristina M. Tank, Iowa State University; Karl Jung, University of Minnesota
Despite the recent emphasis on improving STEM education and increasing the teaching of STEM disciplines in a more connected manner, there remains confusion over what constitutes STEM and STEM integration (NRC, 2009; 2014). This study addresses the need for more research to explore the translation of STEM integration from national policy and research into classroom practice by identifying and characterizing current approaches to STEM integration that are being implemented in elementary classrooms. A multiple case study was employed because it allowed for the in-depth investigation of teacher implementation of STEM integration in a classroom setting. These results shed light on existing approaches that have been used by elementary teachers to integrate STEM into their classroom as well as provide information regarding what lessons can be learned from some of these early adopters in regards to the implementation of integrated STEM curriculum in elementary classrooms.
Principal Author: Gina Childers, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. Gail Jones, North Carolina State University
Remote access technologies enable students to investigate science by utilizing scientific tools and communicating in real-time with scientists and researchers with only a computer and an Internet connection. For the first time in history students can become virtual researchers and collect and share scientific data. Very little is known about how realistic remote investigations are and how immersed the students are in the experience. This study, conducted with high school students (n = 72) and their teachers (n =3), explored the impact of students’ perception of ownership and virtual presence during a remote investigation using a scanning electron microscope. Students were randomly assigned to one of two treatment groups: students able to select their own insect to use during the remote investigation, and students that did not select their own insects to view during the remote investigation. The results of this study showed that students’ in the experimental group reported being more present (less distracted) during the remote investigation than students in the control group, whereas students in the control group reported controlling the technology was easier than the experimental group. Students indicated the remote investigation was very real; however, the teachers of these students were less likely to describe the investigation as being real. Issues of ownership and virtual presence in remote investigations are discussed.
Principal Author: Heather Rudolph, University of Georgia/ Department of Mathematics and Science EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gretchen Perkins, University of Georgia; Young Ae. Kim, University of Georgia; Deborah Tippins, University of Georgia
Eco-mindfulness can be thought of as a set of skills that can be developed and informally practiced by a person with their experiences in, and with, their environment. In the context of an elementary science teacher preparation course, it can be characterized by the sustainable practices a person develops and then teaches to his/her students or the mindful actions that she takes in his/her daily life in his/her environment. In this study, 20 pre-service elementary education teachers in a science teacher preparation course were given a pre- and post-survey to assess their eco-mindfulness over the course of the semester. Five students were interviewed about their conceptions of eco-mindfulness and the photoessay they created while reading Richard Louv’s 2005 book, "The Last Child in the Woods." Students were found to be more self-aware about the role of nature in their lives and had made a shift toward environmental stewardship by the end of the course.
Principal Author: Karen A. Tallman, University of Massachusetts AmherstAbstract:
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida
In this study we examine the participation of six pre- and inservice teachers in a seven-month long journal club in which they learned how to critique and analyze peer-reviewed science education articles in the context of their classrooms. This study also explores how the journal club provided the teachers an opportunity to develop a community of practice that aided their learning. The data sources in our qualitative case study consisted of audio recordings of all the meetings; semi-structured pre- and post- interviews of all the participants; focus groups, and artifacts (e.g. journal articles, reflective paper, e-mail exchanges, and researcher’s field notes). We analyzed the data using the techniques of grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2007). In addition we used some preconceived categories that we created from existing literature on journal clubs and communities of practice (Newswander & Borrego, 2009; Wenger, 1998) and from our previous research (Author One & Author Two, 2012). The journal club incorporated the three characteristics of a community of practice (Wenger, 1998) into its functioning (mutual engagement, joint enterprise, and shared repertoire). The teachers mutually engaged around the joint enterprise of reading, critiquing, and understanding the research studies with the goal of improving practice. The teachers also asked each other analytical questions, which became a shared repertoire of the journal club. These questions helped the teachers critique the research articles and examine what they look like or could look like in their teaching practice. The teachers learned by critiquing the research articles the critical thinking skills needed to analyze a study. Reading, presenting, and discussing research articles with other teachers helped the teachers reflect back on their own practice. Critiquing the research articles as a community helped the teachers learn how to examine data outside the context of the study and connect it to their teaching situation.
Principal Author: Jennifer K. Frisch, Kennesaw State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Brendan Callahan, Kennesaw State University; Neporcha T. Cone, Kennesaw State University; Paula C. Jackson, Kennesaw State University
Although they feel confident in their ability to teach the core ideas of their discipline, our teacher candidates often report that they underestimated the challenges of teaching academic language to diverse groups of learners. In an effort to help our candidates think more creatively about language functions and demands, and to help them gain skill in using technology in an authentic and engaging manner, we have begun to develop a podcast series. Funded in part by an NSF Noyce Scholarship grant, our podcast is called “Telling Biology,” and the premise is scientists, teachers, and students telling stories about biology. These science stories can serve both as engaging introductions to concepts as well as a means of connecting academic language and everyday discourse for English Learners. Teacher candidates help to edit and produce the podcasts and design “Teacher’s Guides” that explicitly connect academic language and disciplinary ideas from the stories. The roundtable presentation will discuss the initial stages of the project, including successes and challenges, and will also share some podcasts and teachers guides. We will also discuss technical aspects and structures of the project.
Principal Author: Michael T. Svec, Furman UniversityAbstract:
Metaphors can provide teacher educators with insight into the beliefs of pre-service teachers. This study examines metaphors of undergraduates in an elementary science methods course near the end of their preparation. Qualitative data were gathered from 10 course sections and 88 participants focusing on the metaphors for students and teaching. Data were compared to graduate students and published studies. Dominate metaphors for students all tended toward the child as passive receiver of knowledge. The pre-service teachers typically saw themselves as artists or gardeners shaping and nurturing children. Few demonstrated metaphors consistent with inquiry, constructivist, or social pedagogies. The discrepancy between the goal of the course and the pre-service teachers provides an instructional challenge. Having identified the beliefs of the pre-service teachers through their metaphors, the science methods course is being adapted to engage the pre-service teachers in explicit reflection and discussion of their metaphors.
Principal Author: Michael Clough, Iowa State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Benjamin Herman, University of South Florida; Joanne Olson, Iowa State University
Natures of science (NOS) research efforts lack a transparent and common method for assessing science teachers’ nature of science (NOS) instructional practices. The lack of transparency is particularly problematic for understanding just what occurred in NOS instructional efforts. The lack of a common method for assessing NOS instructional practices makes difficult comparing studies that investigate teachers’ practices and their impact on students’ NOS understanding.
To promote a more transparent and consistent account of research regarding teachers’ NOS implementation practices, the authors created a Nature of Science Classroom Observation Protocol (NOS-COP) evaluation instrument (Herman, Clough & Olson, 2013a). The NOS-COP is a tool for assessing and reporting NOS implementation based on guidelines (e.g. NOS accuracy, explicit referral to the NOS, and level of NOS contextualization) informed by established science education literature (Abd-El-Khalick & Lederman, 2000; Clough, 2006; Khishfe & Abd-El-Khalick, 2002; Khishfe & Lederman, 2006).
The NOS-COP follows the same format as the Local Systemic Change Classroom Observation Protocol (LSC-COP) (Horizon Research Inc., 2006). The congruency of the NOS-COP with the LSC-COP enables researchers to consider teachers’ NOS implementation and science teaching practices more broadly (Herman, Clough & Olson, 2013b).
Our paper includes the NOS-COP evaluation instrument along with assistance for using the instrument (including exemplars for each coding category) and analyzing and reporting results.
Principal Author: Devarati Bhattacharya, University of Minnesota, MinneapolisAbstract:
Co-Authors: Engin Karahan, STEM Education Center, University of Minnesota,; Gillian 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: Tobias Irish, Cary Institute of Ecosystem StudiesAbstract:
Co-Authors: Carol Rinke, Marist College; Alan Berkowitz, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
In the last decade, research on teacher professional development (PD) reached what was termed a consensus on key features of highly effective programs. However, this vision has recently been challenged by rigorous studies finding little long-term increase in teacher or student knowledge from PD adhering to these key design principles. These high profile and disappointing results have called into question the consensus on effective PD as well as district funds going toward these efforts.
This study addresses this present dilemma in science teacher professional development research by expanding the frame of analysis to include not only the PD program features and outcomes, but also the learners themselves. We sought to understand the ways in which 16 secondary science case study teachers, participating in multi-year, multi-site science PD, incorporated the principles and practices from a series of PD experiences into their individual classrooms. In doing so, we expand current models of science teacher learning by investigating the roles teacher personal characteristics and reasons for engaging in PD play in mediating teachers’ implementation of PD principles and practices in their classrooms.
Our findings indicate a clear connection between teacher characteristics, specifically teachers’ purpose for participating in PD and teachers’ active collaboration, and their implementation of the principles and practices emphasized during the PD experiences. The case study teachers who implemented the principles and practices from the PD most comprehensively across their curriculum tended to come to the PD experience with a general goal of growing professionally and engaged collaboratively in the PD experience. In contrast, those teachers that implemented the principles and practices from the PD in less comprehensive ways were far less likely to demonstrate these tendencies. These findings highlight an important dynamic in teacher professional growth: the role of teachers’ own perspectives and engagement in the learning process.
Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at PembrokeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Patty Stinger-Barnes, The University of Tennessee; Cheryl Hagevik, Environmental Systems Research Institute
The Science Education Studies in Natural graduate science education course focuses on establishing a learning community onsite, with group and individual observational and empirical studies in nature. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) suggest the systematic study of nature as appropriate inquiry-based instruction for K-12 students. The Science Education Studies in Natural Environments situates teachers in an isolated natural setting, thereby stimulating their own study of nature. During the course, the students make extensive collections of specimens, reflect on their relationship with nature by creating photovoice podcasts, use field guides, engage in nature journaling, and plan environmentally-based lessons for their K-12 students. Experiments are designed on site. It should be noted that most of the students who enroll in this course have never conducted an extended scientific study outdoors or even thought about how the components of the environment relate to one another. However, the graduate science education students quickly adapt to the course requirements and most report a positive experience that influences their life and their potential teaching careers. This course is in its twelfth year of being offered. The first seven years the course was taught by Claudia Melear, retired professor from the University of Tennessee. This is the second time the course has been offered through the University of North Carolina at Pembroke during first summer session.
Principal Author: Daniel Z. Meyer, Illinois CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Bradley Perrin, Illinois College
Emphasizing the process, in addition to the content, of science has been a perennial aim of science education reform and research. Until now, however, the two have been kept separate, with little attention to how the details of each connect - or impede - each other. The Next Generation Science Standards deviates from this by explicitly denoting a specific integration of process and content. In this exploratory study, we examine the issue of process and content integration by comparing that of the NGSS and that of a popular middle grades science curriculum. We found both commonalities and significant variations in the integration of each. This confirms some previous understandings, such as the challenge of engaging students in question forming. But it also raises some questions, such as would a broader emphasis on applied sciences be more relevant to life sciences than engineering?
Principal Author: Daniel M. Alston, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson University
For decades, educational reformers have encouraged more constructivist style classrooms. However, these reform movements have consistently come and gone without fully attaining the intended impact on student achievement. Since reformers understand that teacher practice is one of the key determinants to student achievement, it is clear that part of the reason reform movements aren’t completely successful is because of the struggle to effectively change teacher practice. Research supports the idea that PD aids in teacher growth and change for some but not all. A number of variables including individual differences across teachers’ goals, beliefs, attitudes, values, and perceptions could impact the efficacy of PD programs. This study utilizes a sequential explanatory mixed method design to investigate specific individual differences in science teachers’ values. In doing this, we intend to better understand if and how science teachers’ values impact how they perceive situations that occur in inquiry-based classrooms. Participants include middle school science teachers who have been engaged in at least one year of PD designed to increase the quality and quantity of their inquiry instruction. We feel that the findings from this study will begin to inform researchers of the complex relationship between goals, values, and perceptions and thus the choice that teachers make to engage in inquiry-based behavior. This knowledge will better enable researchers to realize the importance of paying attention to how teachers interpret information regarding inquiry-based instruction when they develop PD. With a better understanding of the connection between person variables such as goals and values and teacher perceptions, we can begin to better understand why certain teachers choose to enact inquiry-based behavior following a PD and others do not.
Principal Author: Kathleen G. Sparrow, PhD, Florida International UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: George E. O'Brien, PhD, Florida International University; Jennifer Morales, MS, Florida International University; Jaeson Clayborn, MS, Florida International University
In this paper, we describe sustainability education content and pedagogy that utilizes University-based places and resources, elementary school experiences, and model curriculum from national environmental and science education organizations for K-6 pre-service teacherss. The curriculum and teaching were framed and guided by the nine themes of sustainability literacy (Nolet 2009). We investigated the influence of targeted school-based experiences and the role of teachers’ guidance and mentoring upon pre-service teacher self-efficacy, dispositions, and content knowledge. Viewing through the lens of a socio-cultural perspective, and utilizing a mixed methods approach to the study of the problem, the results inform science educators working in similar settings. The multidimensional perspective on the topic of including sustainability in teacher preparation can be used to enhance current sustainability and science education programs, while also providing insight to the development of new programs and strategies. The example used in this study includes 100 participants in a 16 week semester.
Principal Author: Yael Wyner, City College of New York/ City University of New YorkAbstract:
Co-Authors: Erica Blatt, College of Staten Island/City University of New York; Janice Koch, Hofstra University
With the understanding that teachers share their environmental world-view with their students, this interactive paper session explores how pre-service and in-service teachers and students connect their daily lives to environmental issues and ecological function.
In order to better understand this topic, we interviewed urban pre-service and in-service elementary and secondary science teachers (N=20) and urban high school students (N=20) to ask the question: How do urban teachers and students understand the relationship between their daily life activities and ecosystem function? Preliminary coding of interview responses shows that students and teachers are more successful at connecting daily life to environmental issues than they are at connecting daily life to the ecological concepts assessed, the carbon cycle, water cycle, nitrogen cycle, and food webs. Furthermore, when interviewees connected ecological concepts to daily life, they had an easier time explaining why the ecological concept is important for daily life than explaining how the daily life activity affects the ecological function (e.g. they may explain why the water cycle is important for the food people eat, but do not consider the ways in which the food people eat affects the water cycle). Other patterns that emerged are that the majority of interviewees were unsure of the nitrogen cycle and that students and teachers most clearly understood the water cycle and food webs, even though misconceptions still exist. In this session, we will use our findings as a starting point for further discussion about this topic.
Principal Author: Ryan S.. Nixon, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Benjamin K.. Campbell, University of Georgia; Julie A.. Luft, University of Georgia
In many countries, there is a shortage of chemistry teachers. As a result of this shortage, many teachers are teaching chemistry without a degree in chemistry. This out-of-field phenomenon is especially prevalent among beginning teachers. This study focuses on beginning chemistry teachers with the intent of understanding their content knowledge for teaching science. Participants include six chemistry teachers, three of whom have degrees in chemistry and three of whom do not. Teachers were interviewed regarding their knowledge of chemical equilibrium, both in a general context and in the context of teaching. These interviews were analyzed for the ideas drawn upon to answer these questions. Results indicate that teachers with degrees in chemistry responded with rich, specific chemistry ideas, providing detailed examples and primarily drawing on ideas from the discipline of chemistry. Teachers who did not have degrees in chemistry provided incorrect chemistry ideas and relied on ideas from biology and general teaching in order to respond to these questions. Implications for future research and science teacher educators will be discussed.
Principal Author: Channa N. Barrett, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jingjing Ma, Texas Christian University
Learning progressions are cutting edge topics within the science education community. There is extensive research about learning progressions depicting a derived pathway on how students understand the multi-disciplined concept energy. However, there is no research using the population of pre-service science teachers.
This study reports on our work of developing a learning progression focusing on how preservice elementary teachers form their ideas about the concept energy. Energy is a major concept in all science disciplines and is essential in deeply understanding the conservation of energy. Thirty-four university students who enrolled in a science content course for preservice elementary teachers participated in a study where they were given surveys of scenarios about energy; 15 of them were interviewed and asked for reasoning of their answers. We identified common misconceptions from teachers’ statements from six specific scenarios. Two researchers independently and collaboratively coded both survey and interview data using four reiterative cycles. Our findings include descriptions of preservice elementary teachers’ ideas about energy interpreted with five indicators and an evolutionary learning progression presented and illustrated with empirical examples from interviews. Additionally, we discuss our future research to increase the sample size the sample, grade levels of participants, and the content of assessment for developing the learning progression.
Principal Author: Julie A. Luft, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kathy A. Hill, Bethany College; Ryan S. Nixon, University of Georgia; Ben Campbell, University of Georgia; Shannon L.. Dubois, University of Virginia
Two events are impacting science teacher education: the release of the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2012) and the national focus on teacher quality (Darling-Hammond, et al., 2011). Caught in the confluence of these two events, science teachers will need to have sound content knowledge to meet these standards and as they are evaluated by student achievement scores. Unfortunately, it is not clear what counts as sound science content knowledge, nor is there agreement about what constitutes content knowledge that can lead to sound instructional practice.
Some views of content knowledge are based on metrics that involve content courses completed, subject matter assessments, or other competency assessments. Outside of these assessments, there are different descriptions of what counts as content knowledge. Schwab (1978) discusses content knowledge as consisting of substantive structures and syntactical structures. Another discussion of teacher content knowledge consists of content knowledge as composed of declarative, procedural, and conditional statements (e.g., Saderholm, Ronau, Brown, & Collins, 2010). A topic that has a strong presence in the science teacher education field is pedagogical content knowledge (PCK). Work in this area has been primarily descriptive (e.g., Kind, 2009; Van Driel & Berry, 2010), but it has implications for how teachers are supported in building their content knowledge for teaching.
While these areas offer useful characterizations of content knowledge, there is a need to conceptualize content knowledge differently (National Research Council, 2011). We will explore two different approaches. One approach uses a Science Knowledge for Teaching framework, which draws upon the work on Ball, Thames, and Phelps (2008). The other approach illustrates content knowledge through different representational approaches. These approaches hold different benefits and opportunities to science teacher educators as they work with new and experienced science teachers.
Principal Author: Yerum Chun, Seoul National University of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Donghoon Shin, Seoul National University of Education; Jeong-A Kweon, Seoul National University of Education
Classification is a key factor in human cognition; it can be said that human beings progressively realize the world by finding out tendencies via classification. In order to enhance capacity in classification, those who study science education have included classification in developing science curricula as a key factor since 1960s. In this study, we analyzed eye-movement of elementary school students in performing biology classification tasks based on cognitive styles.
Participants in the study were 40 individuals, 23 have analysis cognitive style, 17 have wholistic cognitive style. The participants were classified by the results of CSA(Cognitive Style Analysis test). Their eye movements data like as fixation time, fixation duration, and saccades were collected while they were solving the classification problem. The collected data was analyzed by the experts of the science education and eye movement measurement.
SMI’s Eye Tracker was used to collect eye movement data while the Begaze software analyzed the task performing process and eye movements.
The findings of this study are twofold. First, there is a significant difference in students’ scan sequences by students’ cognitive style. Wholistic Group spent little time on scanning details but focused on the whole shape. On the other hand, Analytic Group concentrated on the details and particulars. They checked one by one, after that they scanned whole objets.
Second, the process of the classification is different by students’ cognitive style. WG classified the objects through scanning the all objects, examining object by object, comparing all-around and establishing a criterion. AG classified the objects through examining object by object, comparing the objects of details, comparing all-around, and establishing a criterion.
In sum, this study revealed the processes of classification thought of learners with wholistic cognitive style and ones with analytic cognitive style, and that discussions focusing on results can be extended to be process-centered.
Principal Author: Yeram Kim, Seoul National University of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Sunmi Choi, Seoul National University of Education; Donghoon Shin, Seoul National University of Education
This study aimed to develop a program to enhance student’s observing and inferring skills and evaluate the effectiveness of it. The basic science process skills are essential skills to acquire integrated science process skills. A program to enhance student’s observing and inferring skills were developed and thirty students in 5th and 6th grade from South Korea participated. The program is composed of ten steps: five steps for observing skill and five steps for inferring skill. To assess the effectiveness of the program, three assessment tools were used before and after the application of program. Participants took test of science process skills, interviewed after test and the eye movement during observing and inferring problem solving process was tracked. Participants were categorized according to the evaluation. Successful achievers were group A and unsuccessful achievers were group B. Eye movement data before the application of program showed some meaningful differences between groups. Eye movement of group A changed as the characteristics of problem changed whereas the eye moveiment of group B stuck to same tendency regardless of problems. Also as the difficulty of problem arose, group B’s average problem solving time was dramatically decreased since they give up to solve it. When reading the question for the first time, remarkable difference was found. Even though group A spent less time on reading question part, they focused longer on keywords longer. It means that unsuccessful problem solvers experience difficulty in understanding the question and have unproductive cognitive process. The program was designed as an observing and inferring immersion program: ten steps and five operational activities. After the application of the program, test of science process skill, interview and eye movement tracking followed. Not only the TSPS score of group B increased, their attitude toward science changed in positive direction. Also the change of eye movement suggested that invisible change in cognitive process took place.
Principal Author: Theresa A. Cullen, University of OklahomaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Valarie L. Akerson, Indiana University
In 2003 to 2006 sixteen K-6 teachers participated in a Nature of Science (NOS) professional development that included 2 intensive weeks each summer including instruction on inquiry and NOS teaching techniques and one day a month during the school year. Teachers not only incorporated NOS techniques in their teaching but also engaged in action research projects to evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies for their students. For more information on the format of the professional development please refer to our other published studies (Authors 2007; 2009; 2010a, 2010b)
One of the greatest challenges in professional development research with teachers is the inability to investigate whether long-term changes took place. Often when grant funds are spent, the interactions end, and follow up becomes nearly impossible. This group was unique that it formed a community of practice with the researchers and participants (Authors 2009) and participants remained in touch with researchers long after the grant had ended via social media and community interactions. The researchers followed up with participants 8 years later to see if they were still including nature of science in their science teaching program.
As part of the follow up all teachers were invited to participate in an on-line survey and to follow up with interviews. Nine teachers filled out the online survey which included the VNOS-D2 (Views of Nature of Science) and five completed in-depth interviews. We found that they were still including NOS in their teaching, continued to struggle with misconceptions, and struggled to keep science in the elementary curriculum.
Principal Author: Karen L.. Cloud, University of WyomingAbstract:
A basic knowledge of science established in elementary school is necessary to provide a foundation for middle and high school science, and for life in general. Unfortunately, most elementary teachers are generalists, teaching all subjects, therefore they often do not have a depth of science knowledge. This lack of knowledge leads to poor self-confidence in elementary school teachers and creates a low motivation to teach the complexities of science (Moore & Watson, 1999; Pratt, 2007). In addition, elementary school teachers tend to be anxious about teaching science (Wilkins, 2010). These difficulties combined with a heavily scheduled school day where language arts and math command nearly half of the instructional time, and meager science resources and materials create a daunting impediment to teaching the required science curriculum (Haney & Lumpe, 2002; Milner, Sondergard, Demir, Johnson, & Czerniak, 2011).
Principal Author: Emily H. van Zee, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah Roberts-Harris, University of New Mexico
In redesigning a physics course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers, I considered the following general issue: How can I engage students in learning about the science underlying discussions of global climate change? In particular, I pondered: what do I want my students to learn about global climate change? Why? What relevant science concepts and practices would be accessible for the students I teach? Given those instructional goals, how could I create a coherent story line that includes global climate change as an integral component of the course? What evidence could I gather to document the students’ learning? What explorations could I design to foster that learning?
This was a form of practitioner research in which I documented and interpreted my own teaching practices and students’ learning during the current version of the physics course (Spring 2014, n=17). We focused upon the physics underlying two aspects of global climate change: the greenhouse effect and rising sea levels. Data sources included video recordings of each class session, copies of students’ work such as the ‘textbooks’ they wrote for each unit, their postings on an electronic bulletin board, and responses to questionnaires about the course as well as their responses on homework, midterm, and final. I developed narrative interpretations of these data to create a case study that other instructors may find helpful in designing ways to engage their students in learning about global climate change. The case study presents examples of students writing their own textbooks about their explorations of the physics underlying the greenhouse effect and rising sea levels through activities in class, discussions with friends and/or family members, reflections on university, state, national, and international websites about global climate change, consideration of social impacts, and review of educational policies such as recommendations relevant to global climate change in the Next Generation Science Standards.
Principal Author: Mehmet Dulger, University of Nevada Las VegasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Hasan Deniz, University of Nevada Las Vegas
The purpose of this paper was to assess the validity of multiple-choice questions in measuring fourth graders’ ability to interpret graphs about motion and temperature. We administered 6 multiple-choice questions about motion and temperature to 28 fourth grade students after they learn how to create and interpret graphs using motion and temperature concepts. We also interviewed all 28 students and asked them to explain their answers. We found that there can be a mismatch between students’ multiple-choice answer selection and their explanations for their multiple-choice answers.
Principal Author: Aidin Amirshokoohi, DeSales UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mahsa Kazempour, Penn State Berks
The Science, Technology, Society (STS) effort, which promotes the teaching of science in its social context, encourages students to 1) value science and technology while recognizing their power and limitations, 2) recognize that science, technology, and society are interconnected, and 3) participate in responsible decision making as citizens (Bybee, 1993). Before an STS curriculum can be developed and implemented effectively, teachers’ beliefs must be compatible with the goals of the STS curriculum. The purpose of this mixed method study is to examine the above-mentioned predictions about the relationship between various environmental education (EE) and STS components. The presentation will focus specifically on the relationship between elementary pre-service teachers’ levels of environmental literacy and views toward STS instruction before and upon completing an STS-oriented science methods course. The findings indicated significant correlation between pre-service teachers’ initial environmental literacy and views toward STS issues and STS instruction as assessed through the two instruments. The correlation between the initial views toward STS issues and views toward STS instruction was high indicating a greater relationship between these two variables. Post environmental literacy, views toward STS issues, and views toward STS instruction were significantly correlated. The interview data about students’ knowledge of environmental and STS issues, perceived skills in analyzing and resolving such issues, views toward such issues, willingness to take action to resolve such issues, and their attitude toward and willingness to utilize an STS-based framework for their instruction corroborated with the correlation findings discussed above. This study would be valuable to the science educators who will ultimately bear the responsibility of preparing pre-service teachers in the implementation of an STS oriented instruction through influencing their views and beliefs toward STS issues and instruction and their level of environmental literacy.
Principal Author: Rommel Miranda, Towson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Julie Damico, Towson University
This study investigates the extent to which teachers’ beliefs about reformed science teaching and learning and classroom practices concerning inquiry-based instruction changes following participation in a large mid-Atlantic university’s year-long RET-PLC professional development program. More specifically, it examines how having secondary science teachers experience an authentic research learning environment as novice scientists and participating in professional learning community meetings that focus on translating research experiences to inquiry-based lessons in the classroom might facilitate changes in their beliefs about reformed science teaching and classroom practices concerning inquiry-based instruction. Quantitative methods were used to explore this study’s research questions. Data was collected using the Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and Learning (BARSTL) survey instrument and the Reformed Teacher Observation Protocol (RTOP). Supported with NASA funding, twelve tenured secondary science teachers participated in a large mid-Atlantic university’s RET-PLC professional development program. The implications of this study’s findings suggest that RET programs that incorporate a professional learning community component can help to shift teachers’ initial beliefs about reformed science teaching and learning and classroom practices concerning inquiry-based instruction, and help them to increase the level of inquiry in their science lessons. Another implication of this study’s findings is that teacher professional development models need to be developed to help teachers effectively plan more time for students to conduct inquiry-based activities, to communicate findings based on evidence, and to develop questions to investigate themselves. Moreover, the findings of this study can help to inform science teacher education and professional development programs in creating more fruitful experiences for these professionals, and help them to align their beliefs and practice more toward the constructivist visions of current reform efforts.
Principal Author: William J.. McConnell, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniel D. Dickerson, Old Dominion University; Petros Katsioloudis, Old Dominion University
“If you can draw it, you can create it.” That is a powerful statement for middle school students bounding with creativity, yet it aptly describes the capabilities of a 3D printer. This experiential session integrates engineering design, technology and science content through a life science lesson directly linked to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and structured around the 5E Learning Cycle. More specifically, in this model integrative STEM lesson students investigate the functions of four specific structural features of the goblin shark in order to predict characteristics of their environment. Then students use computer assisted drawing software to design a fish that has successfully adapted to an altered environment millions of years from now. Through the use of TinkerCad, MakerWare, and a 3D printer, we print the designs, which serve as representations of science learning and as catalysts for scientific explanation and argument within and across collaborative groups. The integration of science, design, and technology in this lesson provides a powerful venue for problem solving, creativity, and building scientific content knowledge.
Principal Author: Jenny D. Ingber, Bank Street Graduate School of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mona Freidin, firstname.lastname@example.org; JoEllen Schuleman, New York City Department of Education
This syllabus share highlights the first of a 4-part professional development course series. This initial course focuses on science content learning within a scientist’s field of research. It is co-taught by a scientist and a science educator. Teachers are positioned as learners gaining insight into content that goes beyond what they are expected to teach in their own classes. The course is framed to provide teachers with an inquiry-oriented learning experience of their own where they can in-turn transfer the approaches used to their classroom practice. This transfer is supported in the latter 3 parts of the professional development course series. While the course content changes depending on the scientist co-teacher, an example is provided of a year the course was taught through the study of a degenerative disease, X-linked Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMTX1) disease. The course introduces CMTX1 and supports teachers in learning big ideas in biology relating to anatomy, cell biology, genetics, and neuroscience through the study of this disease. Teachers are taken through the big questions that can be investigated in relation to CMTX1 and the various methods used to find more information about the disease. The teachers’ experiences and reports of their own learning are shared in the form of blogs and within surveys taken throughout the program. ASTE members who are scientists, interested in collaborations with scientists, and/or educators who engage in the development of PD programs will be particularly interested in this syllabus share.
Principal Author: Paula A. Magee, Indiana University - IndianapolisAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tina Cartwright, Marshall University; Deb Hemler, Fairmont State University; Aimee Govett, East Tennessee State University
Developing field experiences that support preservice teachers (PSTs) to excel in science teaching is a complex endeavor. Science teachers at all levels need to have deep understandings of science content and science pedagogy including effectively using inquiry teaching and learning, designing activities, assessing student knowledge and attending to appropriate standards in the field. For PSTs the process of learning how to teach science is further complicated by their documented resistance to teaching in ways that are different from what they themselves experienced. Because PSTs’ experiences were often teacher-centered, memorization-focused and lacking in connection to the real world work of scientists, an approach that advocates for inquiry and student centered teaching can be difficult for PSTs to embrace, let alone do. While there is no magic bullet for science teacher preparation, a program that positions the field experiences as critical is more likely to prepare effective teachers We share in this themed paper set session four different programs’ efforts to design and implement field experiences that support PSTs to develop the skills and competencies necessary to be strong science teachers. Our efforts pull from four different institutions, three focusing on elementary science teacher preparation and one on secondary science teacher preparation. While the elementary and secondary programs have some different challenges, there are lessons to be learned that are applicable to all programs.
Principal Author: Jacqueline T. McDonnough, Virginia Commonwealth UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Molly M. Madden, Virginia Commonwealth University
Preparing secondary science and mathematics (math) teachers has always presented challenges. Specifically, we are challenged with finding sufficient numbers of candidates with the appropriate undergraduate majors who desire to be science teachers. Additionally, once they have completed teacher preparation programs we are then confronted with the challenge of retaining them in those classrooms. Ingersoll (2007) noted that 40 – 50% of new teachers leave the profession within 5 years and identified several contributory factors.
To meet these critical needs among our graduated cohort of Noyce Scholars, we created a Professional Teacher Learning Community (PTLC) induction program which addressed the specific needs of our Noyce scholars, all of whom are required to be employed in high needs schools.
This Noyce program was developed to increase the number and retention of highly effective, diverse secondary science and math teachers in high-need districts in a Mid-Atlantic metropolitan area. All MT secondary math and science program completers are eligible to participate in the monthly induction program. As of May 2014, 35 scholars have completed the MT program and 22 have been eligible for induction support. On average, 7 novice teachers attend and participate in each monthly induction meeting, with 17 of the 22 teachers having attended at least once.
During this session, presenters will discuss the importance of induction programs for beginning teachers in urban school settings. The presenters will facilitate a descriptive consultancy protocol, in which you will learn about a successful problem-solving procedure. Participants are encouraged to provide examples of real classroom problems so that this protocol can help move the issue toward a creative and focused solution. Induction programs can be utilized with teachers across multiple grade levels and content areas. Variations to the protocol illustrated and additional protocols can be adjusted to meet the needs of all novice teachers. This presentation is supported by NSF DUE 9034552.
Principal Author: Sharon Dotger, Syracuse UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jessica Whisher-Hehl, Syracuse University
Teacher education is emphasizing high-leverage practices for novice teachers. This paper explains how high-leverage practices have been infused in an elementary science methods course. It explains two important alterations in the design of the course and how these alterations came to exist over the course of four semesters. Specifically, the alterations involve live lesson demonstrations by the course professor in elementary classrooms with all pre-service methods students in attendance. The second alteration infuses the principles and practices of lesson study in a 5-lesson unit designed and delivered by a group of pre-service students to their peers. In the paper, we detail the iterations of these course alterations and support the claims of effectiveness with evidence from student work in the course.
Principal Author: Denise M. BresslerAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University
We need an educational system that prepares students for working in the Information Age, not the Industrial Age (Reigeluth, 1994). James Paul Gee, a preeminent scholar on games and learning, has argued that while school has set aside some of the best learning principles, games have embraced and incorporated them (Gee, 2007). Mobile science learning games show promise for promoting scientific practices, collaborative problem solving, and high engagement—when designed appropriately. Mobile augmented reality (AR) games have achieved this goal most effectively through the use of interdependent, differentiated roles. This experiential session will provide the opportunity to not only play a portion of the collaborative game but also to learn about the research study and classroom implementation. First, participants in this experiential session will play the mobile AR game called School Scene Investigators: The Case of the Mystery Powder, a forensic science mystery game designed to promote Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) through collaborative problem solving and game-based learning. The game is played with iOS devices and quick-response (QR) codes. Second, participants will learn about the research results that supports the use of mobile AR games for science education. Using an open-ended instrument designed to measure next generation scientific practices and a self-report flow survey, research with this game empirically assessed flow and learner’s scientific practices. In comparison to a control group, game players had significantly higher levels of flow and scientific practices. Research results with the urban middle school students also suggested that the game design model promote successful collaboration amongst players.
Principal Author: Tiffany Roby, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jerrid W.. Kruse, Drake University; Colin Seebach, Drake University; Neal Patel, 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 action research study took place over three consecutive semesters. The goal of the study was to improve the NOS instructional practices of preservice elementary teachers (PSETs). Data sources included: lesson artifacts, videotaped lessons delivered by PSETs, and interview-based reflections of PSETs. The elementary science methods course in which the study took place was modified after each semester to account for insights gained along the way and ongoing data collection/analysis provided insight into the efficacy of course modifications. Results suggest that PSETs can meaningfully plan for NOS instruction but struggle to use student thinking in the act of teaching about NOS. Some course strategies designed to help PSETs react to and use student thinking will be discussed.
Principal Author: Ki-Young Lee, Kangwon National UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Seungho Maeng, Seoul National University; Young-Shin Park, Chosun University; Hyungsoo Kim, Kyungpook National University
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is intrinsically domain/topic-specific knowledge for teachers’ expertise. Based on this idea about PCK, this study investigated in-service science teachers’ topic-specific PCK on astronomy contents in terms of teacher knowledge and science practices. We observed four middle school science teachers’ classes for eighth graders, and took the videos of the classes. The topics of the classes were constellation, annual parallax and the distance of stars, and the expansion of the universe. We also examined the teachers’ pedagogical thinking through video stimulated recall interviews. In addition, we developed a protocol to analyze the levels of participant teachers’ PCK and the characteristics revealed in their classes on each topic. Results of the study showed that the participant teachers’ level of PCK varied across the topics of classes and the sub-components of PCK. We also identified teaching orientations play a key role in shaping overall characteristics of their PCK. Moreover, astronomical thinking, which was identified as spatial thinking and systems thinking, as the specific practices to astronomy contents was not appropriately embedded into the core concepts in their instructions We discussed the implications about a progression of teachers’ PCK in terms of their professional development.
Principal Author: Shiyu Liu, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Frances Lawrenz
Global climate change (GCC) is a pressing issue to address in both science and environmental education. Despite ongoing educational efforts, students at all levels still experience difficulties in reasoning scientifically about multiple perspectives on GCC. This grounded theory study aimed to develop a comprehensive model that captures the cognitive processes involved in reasoning about climate issues and potential variables that may affect such reasoning. Twenty-six undergraduate students participated in this study. Constant comparative analysis of data from interviews and written assessments revealed that students were mostly drawn to the surface features of evidence on GCC rather than its scientific meanings and values. While prior knowledge may not directly affect the complexity of students’ evidence evaluation, it contributed to their level of self-efficacy when discussing about climate issues and thus how they approached contradicting arguments. Furthermore, even though all participating students acknowledged the relative correctness of competing perspectives about GCC, they predominantly favored arguments that supported their own beliefs with weak scientific reasoning about the opposing arguments.
The present study contributes to current discussions on the essence of reasoning when one is faced with multiple perspectives regarding GCC. This grounded theory not only captures the cognitive processes when students evaluated competing evidence and arguments, but the relationship between scientific reasoning, epistemological understandings, and personal beliefs. From a holistic perspective, this work lays a foundation for future endeavors in curriculum design as environmental educators attempt to facilitate scientific reasoning in climate change education. Furthermore, this research constitutes our first steps in bridging cognitive research with science and environmental education. Researchers in the community of science teacher education may find it informative as they promote teachers’ scientific reasoning and argumentation in professional development.
Principal Author: Vecihi S. Zambak, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniel M. Alston, Clemson University; Jeff C. Marshall, Clemson University; Andrew M. Tyminski, Clemson University
For so many years,changing beliefs was considered to be prerequisite for changing practices. However, research on professional development indicated the relationship in the other direction as well. In this study, we investigated the influence of a one-year professional development program that emphasized training of middle school in-service teachers to implement inquiry-based instruction on their behavioral and affective changes, and their students’ achievement. Secondly, we tested Guskey’s model of Staff Development and the relationships among teachers’ behavioral and affective change and student achievement. As in Guskey’s Model, findings from this study indicated the necessity of evidence of student achievement as a method for teachers to change their practices. Teacher Change Model emerging from our data could not indicate any links between variables in general for teacher change, but mostly on their sub-constructs.
Principal Author: Danielle K. Ross, Northern Arizona UniversityAbstract:
Teachers face many challenges as we move forward into the age of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (Achieve, 2013). In order to meet these goals, teachers must provide students with opportunities to engage in science and engineering practices and learn core ideas of these disciplines. The purpose of this study was twofold: (1) to operationalize pedagogical design capacity (PDC) (Brown, 2009) specifically with respect to planning science task-based discussion lessons; (2) to examine a teacher preparation program that supports developing PDC with respect to planning these lessons. It investigated pre-service teachers’ planning practices by assessing their selection and/or design of high-demand tasks and their use of the Five Practices Model (Smith & Stein, 2011) when planning for a whole class discussion. The study also examined uptake of task and lesson design strategies from coursework by analyzing changes in pre-service teachers’ planning practices over the course of the teacher preparation year.
Analyses showed a significant difference between baseline lesson plan scores and Instructional Performance scores. These findings suggest the patterns and changes were directly linked to the teacher preparation program. The mean increase in Instructional Performance scores during the course of the teacher preparation year further supports the effect of the teacher preparation coursework.
In examining pre-service teachers’ developing PDC for designing task-based discussions, there are clear developmental trajectories that emerge over time. Pre-service teachers with high PDC continually integrated the ambitious planning practices they learned in their coursework. In contrast, pre-service teachers with low PDC appeared to appropriate the vocabulary and language they learned in coursework, but did not integrate these practices at a high level. This study suggests that pre-service teachers who receive intensive instruction on ambitious planning practices for task-based discussions effectively develop PDC to plan these inquiry-based lessons.
Principal Author: Kimberly H. Lott, Utah State UniversityAbstract:
The intent of the National Science Education Standards (NSES) was to create science standards for “all students” (National Research Council, 1996). More recently, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has established benchmarks that are to be met by students at each grade level (NRC, 2013). The teacher is the key to the success or failure of students meeting these benchmarks; however, very little instructional time is devoted to science in K-2 and what does exist is often not aligned with reformed teaching documents. This case-study of a Kindergarten teacher investigates the effects on science instruction after a professional development project on teaching literacy and math through scientific inquiry. The teacher’s beliefs about teaching science were investigated before, during and after the professional development. Moreover, the instructional models of teaching science as well as student outcomes will also be examined.
Principal Author: Alan J. McCormack, San Diego State UniversityAbstract:
America may be losing its creative edge. A growing number of high-tech industry leaders say that U.S. companies are focusing on short term gains at the expense of long-term technological dominance. Trend lines show that we are not supporting creative thinking and innovativeness at any level near where we should, either in the industrial world or in education. Creativeness, the crucial growth engine of the U.S. economy, and one of the most sublime of qualities that make us human, is at risk of stalling out.
Researchers who study thinking and learning processes often categorize thinking into two basic dimensions: convergent thinking and divergent thinking. Convergent thinking is focused and analytical: it involves thinking in terms of a set of rules as in logic and mathematics. This sort of thought is aimed at producing a single “correct” answer to a problem. Creative thinking involves divergent productive thinking, a process aimed at producing numerous possible solutions to an open-ended problem – associative links are made among new combinations of objects and ideas. Certainly, both convergent and divergent thinking modes are crucial in science, but divergent thinking has generally been neglected in schools in recent years. This may be at least partly due to emphasis on standardized testing and a trend toward a more information-based science curriculum.
These skills can be encouraged through a wide palette of science activities, but this session will focus on just one: "Imagineering." This technique focuses on the presentation of curiosity-provoking oddball inventions. Participants are challenged to invent and draw inventions that will explain how the demonstrated invention might work. These ideas are then shared and celebrated. The process has been found to be highly successful in promoting scientific/engineering creativity and having important side benefits of improving motivation and overall classroom enjoyment.
Principal Author: Tyler L. St.Clair, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia; Randy L. Bell, Oregon State University; Lindsay B. Wheeler, University of Virginia
This investigation explored science education faculty perceptions about the issue of standardized testing prior to and following a professional development for science educators. Participants were 16 different science education faculty from 10 different higher education institutions in a mid-Atlantic state. All participants taught preservice teachers preparing to enter STEM classrooms; 9 participants came from education departments and 7 came from STEM departments at their respective institutions. Prior to the PD, each participant wrote a narrative describing an issue they encounter related to standardized testing and proposed a solution to that issue. During the PD, participants engaged in small-group discussions about their narratives and collaborated to (1) better understand issues surrounding standardized testing and (2) explore possible solutions.
Data consisted of participants’ narrative texts, follow-up phone interviews, and field notes and artifacts from observations of the PD. Analytic induction was used to find emergent patterns in the data sources. Results indicated a degree of consensus among the participants on basic issues surrounding standardized testing. Participants reported that test questions cover too much material and are limited in scope to basic science facts and concepts. Participants also noted that standardized testing has harmful effects on ELL, low SES, and minority students. Proposed solutions focused on equipping preservice teachers with classroom assessment strategies aligned with best practices and ideas for changes to standardized test formats. Following participation in the PD, interviews and qualitative notes indicated the PD empowered participants and produced a marked change in participants’ proposed solutions. These changes included greater agency in effecting change at the level of state and national policy, both in terms of individual impact and leveraging the voice of the larger science education community throughout the state to effect change.
Principal Author: Sarah J. Carrier, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniell Difrancesca, NCSU; Beth Greive, NCSU; Margareta M. Thomson, NCSU
This study examines the beliefs and practices of beginning teachers whose teacher preparation took place in a STEM focused program. The mixed methods used in this study compared measures of teachers’ reform based and traditional science instruction beliefs using Teacher Beliefs about Effective Science Teaching survey (TBEST) to their enacted practice in their first year of teaching. Enacted practices were measured using teacher responses to the instructional goals section from science logs (Author, 2014) that the first year teachers completed for 45 days spanning the school year. Interview data contribute to triangulation of data.
Twenty five graduates from a STEM-focused teacher preparation program participated in semi structured interviews during their junior and senior years and again during their first year of teaching, completed science logs during their first year of teaching, and took TBEST. Data were compared looking for relationships between teachers’ instructional goals and enacted practice and related to their beliefs about teaching science as documented using TBEST survey scores.
Pearson’s correlations were used to examine the relationship between the TBEST factors and the average high and low level instructional goals as identified in science logs over 45 days of instruction. There was a significant correlation between the second and third TBEST factors. These quantitative data were compared with interviews that documented the impact of the teacher preparation program on their beliefs and correlated with TBEST and goals for instruction as identified in the science log. Many of the teachers reported few memories of elementary science, lack of connection of college science content courses to their teacher preparation, but many felt the science methods courses influenced both their science teaching and science content knowledge as well as introduced them to science inquiry. Teachers’ enacted practice, as compared to their beliefs following a STEM focused teacher preparation, are discussed.
Principal Author: M. Gail Jones, NC State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tom Andre, Iowa State University; Gina Chlders, NC State University; Elysa Corin, NC State University; Rebecca Hite, NC State University
Why do people engage in extensive, but informal science learning? Science hobbyists are often knowledgeable and skilled in science and contribute to informal science education through club activities and public presentations, but little research has examined their characteristics, developmental histories and motivations. In depth interviews were conducted with 107 hobbyists (58 amateur astronomers and 49 birders). Interviews were transcribed and analyzed by demographics (gender, ethnicity, time on hobby), development of the hobby (entry into the hobby, influences on the development of the hobby, selection of the hobby), and motivation to participate in the hobby. Results show that the importance of early hobby experiences, and influence of significant others and informal and formal educational experiences on the development of the hobby. Gender differences and differences in motivations of astronomy and birding hobbyists are described.
Principal Author: Susan Gomez Zwiep, CSU Long BeachAbstract:
Co-Authors: Laura Henriques, CSU Long Beach
Like many states, California has recently adopted the NGSS and now faces the task of transitioning and implementing these new standards. Recognizing the enormous shift required by NGSS, several established and highly regarded science professional development providers joined forces. The intent of this unprecedented collaboration was to create and present a consistent and common message to teachers, administrators and stakeholders and to jointly develop and deliver NGSS related professional development. The first of these professional development workshops was a two-day NGSS rollout plan that provided nine unique sessions. This NGSS professional development program was designed around a social-constructivist framework (Vygotsky,1978; Young & Collin, 2004) allowing participants to develop an understanding of how NGSS requires a change in science teaching practices via cognitively engaging experiences and group interactions (Barab, Dodge, Thomas, Jackson, & Tuzun, 2007). The sessions during the two day workshop include: an overview of NGSS, how to unpack the performance expectations, a tool for planning instruction, the connection between NGSS and Common Core State Standards, an exploration of a model NGSS lesson, an administrator strand, and exploration of the middle school science progression and it concludes with site-based teams developing an action plan.
This session will provide an overview of the two-day professional development program and its component pieces, including an abbreviated experience with the planning tool for developing a unit of instruction. This session will also describe all aspects of the state’s plan to adopt and implement NGSS. This includes the state’s NGSS Implementation Plan, key tasks in progress (development and adoption of California Science Framework, curriculum review guidelines, science assessment decisions), NGSS timeline and plans for additional statewide NGSS rollout workshops. We will also share information about how the state’s key stakeholder groups came together to help support the adoption and implementation process
Principal Author: Patrick D. Ashby, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
Despite the efforts of modern day critical pedagogues, the main function of American schools continues to be the molding of students into an endless supply of producers and consumers in our disengaged, capitalist society (Hinchey, 2004; Mayo, 2012). The affect of our modern education system on students’ feelings about science class has been quite negative. In particular, students’ lack of interest in science class has been well documented over the last twenty years (Cordova & Lepper, 1996; Murphy & Beggs, 2003). Therefore, the purpose of this pilot study was to implement a four-day mini critical pedagogy unit that contextualizes content in a suburban high school chemistry class where low levels of interest had been previously documented in an ethnographic study and to gauge students’ interest. Three qualitative data points were collected: video recordings of the classroom activities of the unit, open-ended questionnaires, and interviews. Results suggest that students are indeed interested in a critical science education approach, especially during critical, student-directed discussions that are grounded in a real world science context. The implication of this study is that the format of the student-directed discussions implemented during the unit might be further used in other chemistry topics or other science classrooms to promote student interest.
Principal Author: Daniel L. Dickerson, Old Dominion UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: William McConnell, Old Dominion University; Laura Nelson, Portsmouth Public Schools
The use of student-authored books is a strategy that is gaining momentum in STEM education for helping students explore complex content in ways that are personally relevant, but that can also inform others. This study explored how student-authored books were implemented in an environmental education summer camp and what impacts it had relative to other program activities. The book used text and art from the 9th grade, urban participants to form a story about pollution in the Chespeake Bay and how citizens could address it through positive stewardship behaviors. Other major components of the camp included: 1) Student-directed conversations with scientists (e.g. Scientist Dinner); 2) Elizabeth River Project (i.e. an area NGO) activities; 3) Student-authored book development; 4) Coast Guard ship tour; 5) Research vessel cruise with scientists; 6) Hands-on STEM activities (e.g. Build-A-Buoy); 7) STEM career activities (e.g. Port Logistics); and 8) Canoe exploration of the Elizabeth River. Data were collected on all major components relative to: 1) student knowledge of environmental science; 2) student knowledge of college and careers; 3) students engagement in environmental advocacy; and 4) intergenerational learning. Using a mixed-methods, case study approach, findings indicated that all participants developed book text containing accurate environmental science content, however, the amount of content and the quality of the text varied dramatically. The book making was perceived to have less importance relative to other program components regarding college and career opportunities, but was considered very important with helping them become a better environmental steward. The book also proved to be an effective tool for intergenerational learning. Conclusions and recommendations for future implementation are provided, including incorporating more structured prompts for text development.
Principal Author: Kathryn A. Baldwin, Eastern Washington UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Andy Cavagnetto, Washington State University; Judith Morrison, Washington State University - Tri Cities; Olusola Adesope, Washington State University; Chad Gotch, Washington State University; Georgia Boatman, Washington Educational Service District 123; James C. Marr, Washington State University
Washington State has recently adopted the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and state leaders are now working toward supporting teachers’ implementation of the new standards and the pedagogical practices that support them. This presentation encompasses the first year of one such professional development effort. The Enhancing Understanding of Concepts and Processes of Science (EUCAPS) project serves 31 K-8 in-service teachers in two southeast Washington school districts. In year one of this three year PD project, in-service teachers explored the physical sciences and pedagogical approaches such as the Science Writing Heuristic, concept mapping, and activities which emphasized the epistemic nature of science. The goals of the EUCAPS project are to increase in-service teachers’ big ideas in science and to provide support to teachers as they transition to the NGSS. In year one, data were collected from multiple sources including teacher reflections (open and prompted), media clips of the teachers teaching science in the classroom, classroom observations, teacher generated objects such as concept maps and posters, science content and self-efficacy measures, and teacher research plans. This presentation will provide an overview of the three year EUCAPS project and present preliminary findings from year one.
Principal Author: Cheryl A. McLaughlin, University of FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Claudia Grant, University of Florida; Kent J. Crippen, University of Florida; Bruce J. MacFadden, University of Florida
The unwavering calls for teachers to adopt and implement culturally responsive pedagogies are grounded in the increasing cultural variance between public school teachers and their student population. There have been numerous recommendations for enhancing the preparation of teachers to effectively prepare meaningful learning experiences for students of different backgrounds, one of which involves encouraging teachers to critically examine their own cultural assumptions as a preliminary activity for their pedagogical training. International immersion experiences have been recognized as highly effective tools in broadening the worldview of participants and contributing to increased cultural awareness and understanding. The purpose of this position paper, therefore, is to propose a professional development model that integrates authentic scientific inquiry with international cross-cultural immersion experiences. Using a hybrid theoretical framework comprising ideas from andragogy, sociocultural, and constructivist learning theories, the model was designed to foster partnerships between middle and high school science teachers and practicing scientists. Its core features include: cultural/language immersion, authentic inquiry experiences with scientists, and sustained engagement in professional learning communities. The proposed model synthesizes recommendations from researchers in the field and proposes radical yet innovative strategies that could provide an effective stimulant to teacher reflection and subsequent change.
Principal Author: Stephanie B. Philipp, Miami UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ellen J. Yezierski, Miami University
Conceptual understanding in high school chemistry can be difficult because students must learn to translate between macroscopic phenomena, particulate models, and symbolic representations. High quality instruction includes student-centered support for this type of learning. We have developed an observation protocol, Representations in Chemistry Instruction (RICI), which can help science teacher educators and researchers evaluate instruction using multiple representations in high school chemistry classes. Teachers participating in a long-term (two and a half year) professional development program, aimed at improving the quality of their inquiry-based chemistry instruction, used the RICI to evaluate lessons developed by their peers. Researchers also used the RICI to monitor the progress of the teachers as they discovered Johnstones’ Triangle to guide changes in the use of representations that they incorporated into their instructional practice. This study assessed the reliability of the RICI with multiple raters, compared how the teachers used the RICI with how chemistry education researchers used it to evaluate newly developed lessons, and examined how teachers changed their practice of using representations in instruction over the first year and a half in the professional development program.
Principal Author: Rhea L.G.. Miles, East Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Findings revealed teacher perceptions of how the science education of their students compared to high-performing students in other states and nations. This study also provided information about teacher perceptions of preparation to teach an in-depth scientific curriculum comparable to curricula in high-performing states and nations.
Principal Author: Jerine M. Pegg, University of AlbertaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Garrick Burron, University of Alberta
In elementary science methods courses the development of science pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is often a primary goal of the course. However, development of science PCK outside of the authentic context of a classroom creates challenges for teachers to bridge the theoretical ideas of content, student learning, pedagogy, and curriculum with the realities of applying these ideas to learning situations. In a course focused on PCK in the life sciences, I developed an assignment in which students applied their learning of the content, ideas related to student understanding, and pedagogical approaches to the evaluation and discussion of science teaching resources at three points during the course. To facilitate discussion of the resources and create an assignment that had applicability for the teachers beyond the course, a social bookmarking site called Diigo was used as the platform for posting evaluations of the resources and commenting on the resources posted by others. I found that this assignment was an effective way of engaging students in applying multiple aspects of their developing science PCK to a relatively authentic task. Analysis of the evaluations of their assignments also suggested that students initially struggled more with applying the science content and student consideration aspects of science PCK in this assignment; however, by the end student scores showed improvements in these areas. Furthermore, the use of the social bookmarking forum allowed students to receive feedback from their peers, discuss multiple perspectives regarding the evaluation of the resources, and gain awareness of a wider range of resources than if the assignment had been only submitted to the instructor.
Principal Author: Ashley N.. Murphy, West Virginia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Melissa J.. Luna, West Virginia University; Malayna B.. Bernstein, West Virginia University
Researchers note that achieving the fundamental changes called for by current reforms in science education requires new learning on the part of teachers. Currently, the literature focuses on the pedagogical and content knowledge teachers lack, but this study chooses not to focus on the resources teachers lack but rather on the meaningful experiences with science teachers have that can be tapped into during their teaching practice. This paper presents a qualitative approach to examining teachers’ lives outside of the classroom and how their personal experiences may shape the knowledge that influences their science teaching practice. The aim of the study was to attend to a retrospective account of how and why elementary teachers’ science teaching practice has been shaped by exploring the connections between teachers’ retrospective science stories and their current practice narrative. The preliminary findings presented in this paper are based on the case of one teacher’s science life narrative. Analysis characterized the relationship between her retrospective narrative and current narrative of practice as being about what constitutes “good science teaching”. The research in progress presented in this paper gives us give insight into different ways we can support teachers in their science teaching practice by better understanding the untapped resources teachers’ bring with them into the classroom.
Principal Author: Anthony W. Bartley, Lakehead UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wayne S. Melville, Lakehead University; Molly Weinburgh, Texas Christian University; Douglas Jones, Lakehead Schools; Heather Campbell, Lakehead Schools; Andrea Lampo, Lakehead Schools; Nicholas Sacevich, Lakehead Schools
The discussion of gender-related issues in science and mathematics has recently focused upon the academic achievement of at-risk males. This paper reports upon four years of work with single-sex male classes for science and mathematics in the applied stream in an Ontario public secondary school. This action research project came through discussion between a school counselor, department chairs and the school administration regarding the Ontario “student success” initiative and its application within their school. The first years of the project saw boys-only 9th grade classes for both math and science, followed by single sex math in 10th grade. Later years focused solely upon 9th grade. Early indicators showed considerable success for the initiative, with 100% of students gaining credit for the 9th grade course. Other positive areas include improved student attendance, reduced behavioral tensions and extended opportunities for in-class discussions and argumentation. A strong active-learning approach was found to be most successful, as students saw meaning in their mathematics and science classrooms. For many of the teachers, this was a period of increased professional stress, but those whose regular practices engaged students adjusted more quickly to the needs of these classes. Teacher continuity from 9th to 10th grade classes was an important factor in the development of enduring relationships. In the final 2 years, declining school enrolment (1050 to 850 over 2 years) and changes in personnel, both for administrators and classroom teachers significantly affected the flow and progression of the project.
Principal Author: Mark Bloom, Dallas Baptist UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susan Stratton, SUNY Cortland; Rita Hagevik, University of North Carolina, Pembroke; Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Hui Jin, Ohio State University; George O'Brien, Florida International University; Deborah Tippins, University of Georgia; Yael Wyner, City College of New York
"Educating Science Teachers for Sustainability" will focus on education for sustainability content and pedagogy in science teacher preparation as it applies to instructional practices in formal, informal, and post secondary science classrooms in a global setting. Sustainability education goals include developing citizens that are aware of and concerned about learning ways of promoting an understanding of living within human and environmental needs and constraints. The book sections include chapters that focus on the theory of educating for sustainability, as well as chapters on the practice of preparing pre- and inservice science teachers in formal and informal settings, both in the US and internationally. As an ASTE publication, this book will place the Association as a leader in the field of educating for sustainability, and build bridges between science teacher educators and sustainability researchers in the STEM disciplines and the social sciences.
This roundtable discussion will share with the ASTE members, the major components of the book, allow chapter contributors to share their research, and allow the editorial team to share lessons learned in the process of proposing, editing, and completing the process of producing an ASTE sponsored book.
Principal Author: Debra J.. Stork, University of DubuqueAbstract:
Co-Authors: Stephanie J.. Slater, CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research; Timothy F.. Slater, University of Wyoming; J. Christopher. Haynes, University of Wyoming
The Test Of Astronomy STandards (TOAST) assessment instrument is a multiple-choice survey tightly aligned to the consensus learning goals stated by the American Astronomical Society – Chair’s Conference on ASTRO 101, the AAAS Project 2061 Benchmarks, and the National Research Council’s National Science Education Standards (1996). Created prior to the NGSS, the astronomy concepts covered by the TOAST instrument do slightly exceed those established by the NGSS, so the TOAST is judged to be comprehensive. Recently, researchers from the CAPER Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research have been conducting a question-by-question distractor analysis procedure to determine the sensitivity and effectiveness of each item. In brief, the frequency each possible answer choice, known as a foil or distractor on a multiple-choice test, is determined and compared to the existing literature on the teaching and learning of astronomy. In addition to having statistical difficulty and discrimination values, a well-functioning assessment item will show students selecting distractors in the relative proportions to how we expect them to respond based on known misconceptions and reasoning difficulties. In all cases, our distractor analysis suggests that all items are functioning as expected. The TOAST is now being used to provide a more modern evaluation of K-12 teachers’ overall understanding of astronomy concepts outlined in these various standards documents.
Principal Author: Danielle J. Ford, University of DelawareAbstract:
With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013), environmental science receives greater emphasis at all grade levels. In grades K-5, preparation in foundational content will lay the groundwork for middle and high school coverage of topics like climate change. These rigorous standards increase pressure on elementary teachers to possess strong science content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge (Shulman, 1987).
It also requires a set of beliefs compatible with the goals set out in the NGSS. Elementary teachers, who often have minimal preparation in earth and environmental sciences (Bodzin et al., 2010; NSF, 2007), and entrenched beliefs about teaching (Bryce & Day, 2013; Holt-Reynolds, 1992; Lambert & Bleicher, 2013; Pajares, 1992), may face unique challenges in adjusting to the new standards. If teachers consider some topics controversial, they may not teach them to children, despite their inclusion in the standards. On the other hand, those who see a role for children in efforts to mitigate human impacts on the environment may be more enthusiastic about the new standards.
I report on a survey of 175 preservice teachers’ beliefs about environmental science topics they consider to be appropriate for children in grades K-5. Participants were surveyed about standards-based topics using terminology that signals neutral to publicly controversial science. Results indicate that preservice teachers are enthusiastic about children, nature, and the environment, but lack PCK to teach these topics. They often judge the appropriateness of topics based on their own interests, misunderstand the interests of children, and lack specific knowledge of the NGSS. These mixed results have implications for methods instruction: it is important to consider not just the content taught to preservice teachers to prepare them for science teaching, but the ways in which we engage their beliefs about that content.
Principal Author: David B. Vallett, University of Nevada Las VegasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Richard L. Lamb, Washington State University; Leonard A. Annetta, George Mason University; Rebecca Cheng, George Mason University
This study examined the potential association between participation in the design process for Serious Educational Games and changes in learner affect and cognition within the treatment group, following a larger study comparing between groups. Linear regression methods indicated that learners who took a more active role in the design process as measured by investigators showed greater gains in their interest in learning science and their understanding of the content embedded in the SEG. While not the only factor in play, this study establishes that use of design processes may be important to fostering learner interest in STEM fields, teaching the cross cutting concepts in NGSS, and in further expanding learner understanding of content.
Principal Author: Kelsy M. Krise, University of ToledoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Rebecca M. Schneider, University of Toledo
Even after completing high quality teacher preparation, teachers need support for continued learning. Designing a program to provide beginning teachers with this support requires a well thought out curriculum to promote professional growth. Teacher learning is an ongoing process. Thus, we have designed a university-based mentoring program for beginning science teachers that is a continuation of their formal teacher education. The mentoring program is an extension of a one-year, graduate, preservice program, which follows the K-12 calendar, placing interns in classrooms from August through June. The mentoring phase of the program is grounded in the same philosophical framework as the preservice phase, meaning educative experiences are organized through learning progressions, which are continuous and coherent with prior experiences. This provides an incremental sequence from novice to expert performance mediated by instruction. As we have developed the program, we have considered what teachers need to learn and know in their beginning years of practice. Educative mentoring is a viewpoint that helps us to determine how to design a quality program that addresses the learning needs of beginning teachers. To do this, we build on driving questions when developing a curriculum that gets progressively more sophisticated overtime. We are currently in year two of the mentoring program and are in the process of improving the curriculum design based on initial data. Our presentation will describe how this program uniquely takes on the challenge to connect preservice education to continued learning for beginning teachers. We will discuss the philosophical framework for the program and the program structure. Participants will be engaged in a discussion about designing mentoring programs that meet the needs of beginning science teachers. The sharing of our program design will advance our thinking about ways to support the continued learning of science teachers.
Principal Author: Daniel J.. Bergman, Wichita State UniversityAbstract:
This pilot study investigates a variation of the standard Draw-A-Science-Teacher-Teaching Checklist (DASTT-C) used with prospective (preservice) science teachers. Rather drawing themselves teaching science, preservice teachers used the Google Images search engine to select a “science teacher” image they perceived best represented themselves teaching. A checklist modified from the DASTT-C instrument was used to analyze data. For the pilot study, preservice teachers (N = 11) showed no significant change before and after their final year in the teacher preparation program. This includes the total score as well as the three subsections—teacher, students, and environment. Other results are discussed, including demographic data and the types of images selected by preservice teachers (photograph, illustration), gender, ethnicity, and more. Subsequent analysis of preservice teachers’ narratives with their chosen images finds attention given to hands-on science activities, interactions with students, the teacher’s non-lecture role, and diversity and stereotype issues. Implications are also addressed, such as advantages and disadvantages of selecting a teacher image versus drawing one, the use of media imagery to foster reflection and assess understanding of teaching, and further research in these areas.
Principal Author: Bonnie B.. Glass, East Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tammy D.. Lee, East Carolina University; Megan L.. Garner, East Carolina University
The first section of an Informal Science course was taught in the fall of 2013 to a group of 22 pre-service elementary teachers (PETs) participating in an elementary science concentration. The purpose of the course was to examine the purpose, scope, and methodology of teaching science within informal environments including: summer camps, after-school programs, museums, the outdoor setting, online environments, and science clubs. The goal of the course was to apply ideas covered in traditional science courses to informal contexts by incorporating choice-based learning, inquiry, technology-based learning and collaboration. This course included a visit from representatives from a state museum, a field trip to a local state park, science walks, and creating informal science education events for students, parents, and the community.
The objectives for this course include:
1. Develop an enhanced awareness of informal science learning opportunities.
2. Identify and use appropriate resources and materials in teaching science to children and adults in informal settings.
3. Demonstrate ability to plan an informal science instructional unit that includes teaching tools of inquiry.
4. Demonstrate the ability to manipulate science equipment and materials considered appropriate for children.
6. Apply knowledge about building partnerships with families and communities that extend the science learning of children.
7. Demonstrate an ability to teach science lessons to students in a variety of informal environments.
8. Discover ways informal science experiences enhance the cognitive and social realms of learning.
9. Become familiar with the ways informal science education supports diverse learners.
10. Discover ways to virtually connect students to science careers and professionals.
Based on interviews and written reflections, PETs gained memorable teaching experiences from participating, creating, and implementing informal science events for students in schools, at a regional science event, as well as for families at a local family science nig
Principal Author: Ronald S. Hermann, Towson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ian C. Binns, UNC Charlotte; Joseph W. Shane, Shippensburg University
So frequent and widespread are the challenges to teaching evolution in public schools, that it may be said that the issue has reached epidemic proportions. In this presentation an argument will be presented that the anti-evolution movement in the United States has reached epidemic proportions. As such, a parallel will be drawn between the rise and ongoing epidemic of tobacco use and the anti-evolution movement. By utilizing the tobacco epidemic as a case-study, a model for addressing epidemics is presented such that those seeking to curtail the anti-evolution movement can ascertain the work that lies ahead to do so. A multifaceted campaign has been developed and carried out to address the tobacco epidemic and such a multifaceted campaign is necessary to address the anti-evolution epidemic. There is much to be learned from the response to the tobacco epidemic and much work that lies ahead for science educators seeking to curtail the anti-evolution movement.
An epidemiological model can be operationalized to address the anti-evolution movement in order to develop effective research and educational interventions. To address this model several categories were created including, research, K-12 education, public education, government regulations and college and university science education. Our intention is that with the help of our colleagues, we can provide a sense of the work that has been conducted in each category, identify the questions that have yet to be answered, and outline a model for better understanding what actions need to be taken.
During the roundtable discussion we will introduce the question “What must be done to eliminate, or at least minimize, the anti-evolution movement?” Utilizing the multifaceted approach typically employed to address an epidemic; the science education community may collectively develop a model for addressing the anti-evolution movement. This model will function as a roadmap as science educators move forward to address the anti-evolution movement in the United States.
Principal Author: Lori M. Ihrig, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joanne K. Olson, Iowa State University; Michael P. Clough, Iowa State University
Induction and mentoring programs are often promoted as strategies that will support beginning teachers, improve teacher effectiveness and reduce attrition. We conducted a three-year qualitative multiple-case study following ten graduates from a research-based secondary science teacher education program (TEP) during their TEP and first two years of teaching to explore their pedagogical decision-making, teaching practices, and socialization experiences. Here we report the experiences of three members of this TEP cohort who together began their teaching career in a No Child Left Behind turnaround school. The findings are contrary to the common conception that experienced teachers and administrators make for effective more-knowledgeable mentors of research-based science instruction (RBSI). The beginning science teachers in this study encountered superordinates who threatened, sabotaged, and imposed sanctions in response to participants’ attempts to implement practices congruent with RBSI. Despite being highly qualified science teachers congruent with those desired by NCLB policy (with bachelor degrees in a science discipline and masters degrees in science education), each of the participants left the turnaround school after the first year of teaching. During their second year of teaching, two participants were supported by collegial relationships with cohort members and advocacy from superordinates. These participants made research-based science teaching decisions and implemented effective science teaching practices. The third participant worked with at risk students in a workforce readiness program during the second year and did not obtain another science teaching position until his third year of teaching. All three participants experienced lasting negative impacts from sabotaging administrators—future superordinate relationships were approached with distrust, stress, fear, and withholding of information. Implications follow from this study for beginning science teachers, teacher education programs, mentoring programs, and administrators.
Principal Author: Lori Petty, University of Mary Hardin BaylorAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ratna Narayan, University of North Texas Dallas
Pre service teachers enter teacher education programs with well-established beliefs about the teaching profession shaped by their experiences as students, in addition to which they also may have more specific beliefs about teaching subjects such as science and math (Taylor & Sobel, 2001; Buchmann, 1984). Research has shown that utilizing informal science experiences within teacher preparation programs may be helpful (Katz et al., 2012). Learning science in an informal science environment appears to support elementary pre-service teachers’ development in confidence and content knowledge (Luehmann, 2007).
The research study is set at a small four year university located in a high needs, low socioeconomic status area in a large city in the central United States. Participants were 39 pre-service elementary teachers enrolled in a science methods class in the fall 2013 semester for pre service teachers seeking an EC-6 generalist certification. As part of the course, students had to complete a 20 hour Field Experience at the recently opened Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas. The purpose of this pre-teaching field experience was three fold; a) for pre service teachers to learn how to use the museum and museum resources to teach science, b) the service learning component through which pre service teachers designed and tested out exhibit related hands-on activities and games that other volunteers and docents could use with museum visitors and c) to explore and confront their perceptions about science and science teaching.
This study investigated how field experiences in a science museum setting impacted pre service teachers’ perceptions about teaching science. Findings of this study have implications for teacher preparation programs in designing field experiences that provide prospective teachers to modify their perceptions regarding science teaching and improve their science teaching self efficacy (Bell & Robinson, 2004).
Principal Author: Jerrid W.. Kruse, Drake UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jesse L.. Wilcox, Grand View University; Neil Patel, Drake University; Colin Seebach, Drake University
For preservice teachers to change their conceptions, they need to not only see effective teaching, but actually do it. While many programs now require extensive field placements, these practicum experiences are not created equal. Some preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) observe highly effective science instruction while others may not observe science instruction at all. This study sought to investigate how the practicum field experience might be leveraged to help preservice teachers bridge the theory-practice gap. Comparisons were made between two field placement conditions. In one condition (n = 33), PSETs were in an “isolated” placement. That is, the PSETs visited a classroom on their own and the science teaching prowess of the cooperating teacher varied widely. In a second “support network” condition (n = 30), all PSETs visited one teachers’ classroom at varied times throughout the day in small groups and were accompanied by their methods professor. Video of each teacher was obtained as part of the methods course assignments and were analyzed using the Local Systemic Change Observation Protocol (LSC-COP).
Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was carried out using the four subcategories of the LSC-COP (lesson design, teaching implementation, science content, classroom culture) as dependent variables and field placement condition (isolated vs. support network) is the independent variable. There was a statistically significant difference between practicum conditions on the combined dependent variables, F (4, 58) = 9.08, p = <.001; Wilks’ Lambda = .615; partial eta squared = .385. When the results for the dependent variables were considered separately, each difference reached statistical significance using a Bonferroni adjusted alpha level of .0125. Mean scores indicate that high-support practicum conditions results in higher scores for all dependent variables. Large effect sizes from this study indicate that improving field placement through increased support networks is well worth extra effort.
Principal Author: Micki Halsey. Randall, Oregon State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Larry Flick, Oregon State University
The adoption of NGSS by lead states encourages science teachers to re-examine classroom instruction. The standards expect students to engage in the practices of science and engineering. Engagement increases, as students perceive science content to be directly connected to their everyday lives and to their futures. When students recognize this connection, science learning becomes useful and retention increases.
The researchers worked with students from two different grade levels at a college preparatory school. Both classes completed science units designed to connect thermodynamics to the “built” environments in which they live, work, and spend leisure time. From interviews conducted with eleven of the students two years after the instructional units, categories useful to supporting discourse emerged. Students responded to applicability of content in their lives and in their futures with references to science, mathematics, English, life skills, work ethic, the world and how things work, and application. Within the science, student responses fell into categories related to energy efficiency, houses, thinking and understanding, and biology.
Examining the responses from these students, offers science teacher educators starting points for linking science to what students find useful in their everyday lives and therefore are most able and willing to talk about. The categories identified as useful from school and useful from science are areas upon which to base meaningful scientific discourse. These results are organizers for deeper investigations into instructional interventions that build discourse practices in science. Contextualizing science and schooling in this way gives students access to language from their lives from which to fashion arguments and explanations in meaningful contexts.
Principal Author: Eun Ju Lee, University of Missouri, ColumbiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Deborah L. Hanuscin, 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 and intent 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 assessment 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.
Principal Author: James Minogue, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Shengyen Tony Chen, North Carolina State University; David Borland, North Carolina State University; Marc Russo, North Carolina State University; Ryan Grady, North Carolina State University
Current haptic technology enables the augmentation of computer-generated images with a simulated sense of touch. An emphasis on touch has influenced education throughout its history and longstanding theories suggest that touch affords learners the opportunity to become more fully engaged in this meaning-making process, leading to more robust connected understandings. Some contend that haptic feedback conjures up experiential or embodied knowledge that would otherwise lie untapped. These affordances become important when one considers the invisible aspects that undergird many school science concepts (e.g. buoyancy, intermolecular forces, and magnetism) that students are expected to understand. ASPECT combats “reasoning thin” elementary science curricula by building and pilot testing simulations for learning, incorporating both visualization and haptic augmentation that provide “conceptual encounters” with the invisible aspects of core science content; previously unseen and untouched aspects that lie at the heart of the scientific explanations. The project adopts an informant design approach which actively engages children and local expert STEM teachers design process. It also leverages the collective expertise of an Advisory Committee that includes leaders in the field of innovative classroom technologies, as well as physics, chemistry education. The product of ASPECT’s exploratory work to date is the ‘proof-of-concept’ that haptics can be successfully integrated with the Unity (http://unity3d.com/) platform to build science simulations.
Its early research findings are also feeding the development of a local set of design guidelines for the haptic-augmentation of science simulations that can be used by us and perhaps other researchers to scale-up these efforts. This poster describes the Year 1 work which includes the development and testing of a sinking and floating (buoyancy) simulation.
Principal Author: Kelsey Conklin, University of Nevada, RenoAbstract:
Co-Authors: David Crowther, university of Nevada, Reno
The Blended/Tiered approach to vocabulary instruction is a mix of previously successful teaching methods used in classrooms, including tiered vocabulary and inquiry instruction. This approach has been shown to be effective in teaching academic vocabulary, even with English Language Learners; however, the approach has only once been used with instruction in multiple languages. This study aims to find out if there was a difference in material learned and retained by English Language Learners and native English speakers when Spanish was used with the Blended/Tiered approach to vocabulary instruction. Two-third grade classes were exposed to six inquiry-based lessons involving the Blended/Tiered approach to vocabulary instruction. Spanish supports were used in the lessons in one class, while the lessons implemented in the other class were strictly English. Students took one test three times, as a pretest, posttest, and post-posttest, in order to measure learning and retention over time. The results supported the use of the Blended/Tiered approach in the classroom and suggested that Spanish supports may provide an added benefit related to retention of learned material as well as amount of time material is retained.
Principal Author: Katie Brkich, Georgia Southern UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tom Koballa, Georgia Southern University; Christopher Andrew Brkich, BASE-2 Group
Within the current climate of fiscal austerity, public colleges and universities charged with preservice teacher education face increased pressure to ensure their faculty receive the best possible professional development providing the greatest positive impact on their teaching practices at the lowest possible cost (Jolley, Cross, & Bryant, 2014). Given additionally the roles that university STEM (science, teaching, engineering, and mathematics) faculty play in providing teacher candidates with their content education, examining the ways in which conference attendance impacts the instructional practices of university STEM faculty presents an important yet largely unexamined area of inquiry. Nancy van Note Chism and Borbala Szabo (1998) argued over fifteen years ago that less than one fifth of studies on professional development examined impacts on pedagogical practices, and more recently Cristine Smith and Marilyn Gillespie (2007) stated that—because of this continuing lacuna—those interested in university faculty professional development heretofore had to take their cues from K-12 education. Given that there exist substantial holes in the literature surrounding the effectiveness of conferences as a means of professional development, examining STEM university faculty attendees’ conference experiences and the ways in which they implement lessons learned at these conferences in their classrooms stands to fill an important scholarly gap.
Principal Author: Andria C.. Schwortz, University of Wyoming, Quinsigamond Community CollegeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Andrea C.. Burrows, University of Wyoming
This study characterizes the novice and expert behaviors of in-service K-12 teachers attending a 3-day science-themed professional development workshop at a large research university. Thirteen participants attended the workshop and participated in pre-/post-tests and an activity involving a large set of astronomy data. Nine of the participants contributed to more in-depth data collection including field notes during the activity and one-on-one interviews. Of these nine participants, three were female and six male, and five teach STEM subjects. Pre-/post-test gains were calculated, and all materials were coded for themes. The authors found a great diversity in behaviors among the participants, with some possessing traits more similar to experts in astronomy, and some more similar to novices. All teachers demonstrated ability to pick out simpler trends in the data while some were able to observe more complex trends as well. Participants with stronger background in the content were better able to make connections between disparate ideas, and exhibited better metacognitive skills, for example they showed initiative to look up unfamiliar terms online. Surprisingly, all the teachers exhibited difficulty communicating their ideas to each other, with those who appeared to have more expert traits having difficulty making their ideas understood by the others with more novice traits. This implies the need for further content-based professional development opportunities for both expert and novice in-service teachers.
Principal Author: Karen E.. Irving, Ohio State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Anil Pradhan, Ohio State University; Sultana Nahar, Ohio State University
This proposal reports on a project at a USA University and an Indian University funded by the Obama-Singh 21st Century Knowledge Initiative to produce world class STEM faculty for higher education institutions in India and to promote joint research collaboration. The project intends to encourage mutual understanding, facilitate educational reform, foster innovation and economic development and to engage both communities in academic cooperation.
The intent of the project is to prepare world class STEM faculty who can both teach well and engage in STEM research for positions in Indian universities. The project consists of a two year Master in Education degree program for post-candidacy Fellows who are completing their doctoral studies in a STEM field at an Indian University. Through a joint agreement, the Fellows (selected after a rigorous and competitive process) enroll in the MED program at the US institution. They complete some course work through distance education and spend two semesters in the first academic year on the US campus.
During their stay in the USA, the Fellows are partnered with a STEM advisor who is working in a research field aligned with their dissertation research. The Fellows continue to make progress on their dissertation studies while in the USA, either as an extension or a new direction from ongoing research.
In the second year of the program, the Fellows return to their home institution in India, apprentice themselves to a professor who is teaching an undergraduate STEM course, and engage in a Professor-Apprenticeship program for two semesters. During the second semester of the second year, the fellows complete a University Teaching Portfolio project that includes unit & lesson design, video of instructional sequences, and analysis of student work for both formative and summative assessment purposes.
Fellows will also follow through on research work undertaken in the USA upon return to India. Their dissertations will be based on the joint collaborative program(s) supervised by their advisors at both institutions.
Principal Author: Cody Sandifer, Towson University (MD)Abstract:
Co-Authors: Ronald Hermann, Towson University
Towson University offers two types of early teaching experiences (ETEs) to recruit and retain preservice high school science teachers: (1) one-credit early teaching courses, and (2) a learning assistant program in which participants are paid hourly wages. The ETE courses follow a three-course sequence, with each course focusing on a different instructional setting: an informal setting (e.g., a science museum or after-school club; semester 1), elementary and middle school (semester 2), and high school (semester 3). In the learning assistant (LA) program, faculty hire undergraduates to assist with “active learning” instruction in lectures, labs, group tutoring sessions, and test review sessions. Towson’s ETEs target science majors who have not considered high school teaching as a possible career, as well as those majors already leaning towards a teaching career. For the former group, the goal is to provide firsthand experiences that foster positive attitudes towards teaching, and also plant the seed that teaching might be a valid career option; for the latter group, the goal is to help students maintain their interest in teaching and establish social connections with other teaching-oriented students and faculty. Our course innovations include the creation of the informal and high school ETE courses, a reduction in the length of the informal and elementary/middle school courses to 10 weeks, and a teaching format in the elementary/middle course in which multiple interns teach at the same time in the same classroom. Our major innovation in the LA program is having undergraduate LAs meet regularly with a teacher in residence to plan and implement Interactive Lecture Demonstrations. Evidence for the effectiveness of these ETEs is provided. We also provide a list of challenges, suggestions, and lessons learned to help faculty successfully implement ETEs at their own institutions.
Principal Author: Frederick L. Nelson, California State University, FresnoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mara Brady, California State University, Fresno; Carol Fry Bohlin, California State University, Fresno; Fariborz Tehrani, California State University, Fresno
We are involved in the development and implementation of a cross-disciplinary, 12-semester-unit (4-course) Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Concentration in LS at our institution, a regional, comprehensive university in California. LS majors typically enter the credential program for elementary teaching, but interest from this group of students in science courses beyond what is required has been limited. The STEM Concentration affords a transformative science learning experience for future elementary teachers through deliberately designed integrative courses with these shared purposes: (a) increase interest in and generate excitement for teaching and learning science; (b) provide coherent and connected science learning opportunities; (c) model research-based and inquiry-oriented science pedagogy; and (d) facilitate awareness of the Science and Engineering Practices, Crosscutting Concepts, and Disciplinary Core Ideas of the Next Generation Science Standards. In this paper, we share our approach to the design of these connected courses and our plan for multidisciplinary faculty collaboration and professional development.
Principal Author: Phillip A. Boda, Columbia University: Teachers CollegeAbstract:
The learning sciences have become a highly valuable field for the development of curricular and assessment tools throughout research, policy, and practice. In lieu of confirming much of the research out in science teacher education now, this paper brings together the theoretics of learning progressions and the disability studies in education to propose an inquiry into what this author coins as continuums of complexities for science teacher education research.
Albeit there is supportive research that emphasizes that core cognition and its respective neurological mechanisms are similar across populations ascribed as developmentally neurotypical, there persists a sufficient argument that cognitive science has too readily simplified the conceptual realm of cognition and its organizational representations. An inquiry into science teacher education through this paradigm holds promise if applied in a way that considers education a socio-cultural entity that produces exclusion and inclusion, but risks exacerbating current positioning practices of students, and their teachers, if not considerate to the ideology laden in its theoretics.
This author’s analytic argument supports the integrating of the epistemic work done by two seemingly parallel disciplinary foci to, in turn, develop a theoretics for intersecting these fields. This paper emphasizes the theoretics of learning progressions as they are proposed by the author to be applied to epistemics in science teacher education, with an interwoven necessity for a disability studies in education lens to be taken for a critical paradigm whereby the learning sciences have fallen short – culture and context.
The considerate pathology to analyze a pathway to what many science education initiatives propose as important staples of teacher education and professional development should focus on what this author emphasizes as continuums of complexities that become aligned with the conceptions and perceptions that said teacher-learners hold toward science, education, society, and knowledge acquisition.
Principal Author: Linda Plevyak, University of CincinnatiAbstract:
Inquiry is the classic experience of science, yet many K-8 students rarely get the opportunity to participate in an inquiry or problem-based learning project because their teachers are uncomfortable or unsure how to implement it. Preservice teachers can go through their entire preparation program without having conducted a single inquiry in which they have developed the question being investigated or the means to resolve it. Teacher educators cannot assume, as teachers, these individuals will spontaneously embrace the idea of using independent inquiry with their own students or feel capable of managing such complex instruction. It is crucial that preservice teachers be provided opportunities to conduct their own independent inquiries, and to connect their experiences with strategies for using inquiry in their own classrooms.
Come to this session to discuss the process and thinking behind how to support student construction of scientific explanations, promote active STEM learning and the development of experimental and analytical skills. A handout detailing STEM inquiry and problem-based learning projects will be shared with participants.
Principal Author: Jee Kyung Suh, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Soonhye Park, University of Iowa
This study use a multiple case study to investigate relationship between elementary teachers’ Epistemic Orientation toward Teaching Science (EOTS) and their instructional practices. This study aims to identify core elements of EOTS that impact instructional practices and to understand in what ways these core elements of EOTS are related to epistemological, social and physical dimensions of scientific practice. To conceptualize EOTS the study examines three experienced elementary teachers and compares how their thoughts and beliefs influence their instructional practices. EOTS is operationally defined in this study as a general way of viewing or conceptualizing science teaching. EOTS shapes a teacher’s instructional practices, involving enactments of plans and interactive discussions, all of which determine how well the teacher engages students in scientific practice. This idea rests on a foundation of epistemological theories developed by educational psychologists (e.g. Hofer & Pintrich, 1997). Yet, whether beliefs about learning and teaching should be included in epistemological beliefs remains controversial. Building on research into teacher beliefs, this study will empirically explore the beliefs of three teacher subjects, to characterize the core elements of their EOTS. Using this novel approach, this study aims to improve the understanding of how, in the real world, teachers’ thoughts and beliefs shape general ways of viewing teaching science and how those views are reflected in teaching practices that foster students’ learning about science. Empirical findings of the study will provide important implications for elementary teacher education and professional development, as well as theoretical view of teachers’ orientations and practices to teach science through scientific practice.
Principal Author: Kania Greer, Georgia Southern UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Karen D.. Chassereau, Georgia Southern University
Nanomaterials, nanotechnology, nanoparticles, nano, nano, nano! The vastness of the fields of study make for defining, let alone teaching nanoscale concepts, very difficult (Hingant and Albe, 2010) especially for secondary school teachers. Couple this with curriculum standards that leave very little time for “off-topic” discussions and teachers who are less than confident in the subject matter, and the results are dismal when it comes to helping students understand the world on the nanoscale. In addition, the Next Generation Science Standards maintains a strong component of engineering practices embedded across the standards. Incorporating this within the curriculum can be of a concern to traditional science subject teachers as they tend to have little background in engineering and are unclear how to proceed. However, revealing the intricate world of nanoscience and nanotechnology does not require major curriculum changes. Activities presented in this experiential session were part of a week-long professional development workshop presented to secondary math and science teachers at a large university in the Southeastern United States. The purpose of this workshop was to strengthen content knowledge related to the fields of science that embrace the interdisciplinary concepts of nanoscience and nanotechnology. In addition to working with scientists and researchers, teachers participated in activities that coupled the nanoworld with the content standards for grades 9-12.
Principal Author: Miriam Munck, Eastern Oregon UniversityAbstract:
Science practices form an integral part of science teaching as explained by Next Generation Science Standards. Pre-service teachers’ ability to teach science content through the context of science practices is impacted by their understanding of science process skills. This study examines the understanding of science practices of eleven pre-service elementary teachers evidenced by identifying and explaining each, and utilizing science practices in teaching science content to upper elementary grade children. Data was collected through pre and post assessment of science practices understanding, examination of science lesson and unit plans and the application of science practices in the lessons/units. The eight science practices were those described in NGSS: asking questions, developing and using models, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, using mathematics and computational thinking, constructing explanations, engaging in argument from evidence and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information.
The data indicates that deeper understanding and application of science practices requires more practice, mentoring and application of sciences practices to teaching science content than one 12 week methods class provided. Science content knowledge deficiencies may have been a factor in pre-service teachers’ ability to plan and teach content using appropriate science practices.
Principal Author: Chris White, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jeff Marshall, Clemson University
This study examines the construct of “School STEM Culture”, a form of culture within a school relating to the beliefs, values, practices, resources and challenges in STEM fields as seen by the students, parents, teachers, administrators and counselors. One potential solution to increase the STEM workforce within our country is to improve the STEM Culture within the K-12 school systems. As such, this study aims to validate and reliably measure this construct. The study is framed by research done on school culture and climate as well as research done on beliefs and values within science and mathematics education. This paper details the design of a reliable instrument that could measure a school’s STEM Culture. After an expert review and a pilot study, the reliability of the instrument was determined using Chronbach’s Alpha and an Exploratory Factor Analysis. Based on the various analyses, items were reduced leaving the strongest items and thus the final instrument. Future research is underway to determine the construct validity by correlating the results of the instrument survey within a school with the percentage of graduating seniors intending to pursue STEM fields after high school.
Principal Author: Luronne Vaval, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
This study examines the multiple identities of college science professors that come from the many roles they take on in practice. By using theories of professional and multiple identities, this study builds on previous research on identity research in science education dealing with academics, STEM career changers, and science teachers’ perceptions of professional identity. A case study methodology was used by collecting data from two college physics professors at a large northeastern university. Their responses to an online questionnaire, transcriptions from two semi-structured interviews, and three classroom observations were analyzed and coded to generate themes for the case study. The findings revealed that situational cues, identity salience, and audience influence the manner in which the participants managed their identities in practice. It was also noted that subject matter (physics) is one commonality between the multiple identities that keep them connected and results in simultaneous activation. This as a result has an effect on their teaching practice and what pedagogical techniques are feasible for them. Science educators can use this information to develop an understanding of how college science professors perceive their professional identity and how it influences their judgment and behavior.
Principal Author: Cindy L. Kern, University of New HavenAbstract:
This presentation describes a design study of an elementary science method course where pre-service teachers participate in a Citizen Science Project and evaluate the project from the perspective of the science practices and the NGSS grade level storylines. The Citizen Science Project intervention was designed to address the lack self-efficacy for teaching science resulting in apprehension related to engaging their student to student-centered science instruction (Baker & Keller, 2010). This study intends to inform on the effect the Citizen Science Project has on self-efficacy, beliefs, and perceptions of pre-service elementary teachers associated with teaching science in the K-12 context. In a mixed-method design, a one-group pretest–posttest design is used to address the effect on self-efficacy and beliefs of the teacher. The perceptions of the teachers associated with appropriate science teaching methods are addressed using the tradition of phenomenography. The results of this study have important implications for the field of science teacher education in relation to developing meaningful science experience for pre-service teachers to engage in order to positively impact their self-efficacy and beliefs about teaching science. This study uses design-based research to inform our understanding of teaching and learning elementary science methods. It offers something of interest for methods instructors, educational researcher, and the developers of teacher education programs.
Principal Author: Arthur F. Corvo, Teachers College, Columbia UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Felicia Moore Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
Given the situation the United States faces in preparing students for active and competitive participation in the 21st century, the National Research Council (NRC) proposed a new Framework for K-12 Science Education. The Framework consists of three dimensions: scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and core ideas in four disciplinary areas (physical, life, earth/spaces sciences, and engineering/technology). The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which are derived from this Framework, were published in April 2013. The NGSS has implications on teacher learning and development in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Teachers will need to adapt their practices and reorganize their instruction to address the integration of the three dimensions. Given the NGSS’s recent introduction, there is little research on how teachers can prepare for its implementation. To meet this research need, a constructivist sociocultural self-study aimed at examining preparation for the NGSS was conducted. The self-study used design-based, mixed, and multiple-case study methods to investigate an approach to learning, from design, enactment, and reflection on using NGSS-based units of study in secondary science, engineering, and mathematics classes. Data were collected from March 2013 to June 2013. Key data sources included designed unit plans, student surveys, and researcher reflections on classroom enactments. Both quantitative data and qualitative data were integrated for analysis during the three phases of the study. Expected findings included improvements in unit design, assessment, discourse, and modeling instruction. This self-study also yielded two unexpected findings: the development of an analogous relationship of the engineering design process to the instructional design process and the emergence of an ethic of care philosophy. The findings of the study have implications for in-service science teacher professional development and pre-service teacher science education.
Principal Author: Jenesta R. Nettles, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kelly K. Feille, University of North Texas; Molly H. Weinburgh, Texas Christian University
In education, the question of how to prepare effective science teachers continues to be asked. For this research, eight prompts were created to capture teacher change over each year of a two-year PD program. The coding was grounded in the work of portraiture (Lawrence-Lightfoot, 1983) but with a modification we called ‘silhouettes’. Through the analysis of responses, we describe patterns within the constructs offered by Hammerness et al (2005) as indicators of changes in teacher perceptions of how they develop as professionals and in their perceptions of their roles as professional educators.
The results at the project level indicate that teachers in this project repeatedly refer to and rely on the community provided by the long-term professional development, especially through year one. In year two there was a shift in the reflections on community, which we attempt to describe as due to a myriad of possible causes. Results at the teacher level indicate that teachers came to the PD for different but well-articulated reasons. Over time, the needs change as indicated by the teachers giving a different reason for returning than they gave for entering. Of particular note, is the ‘tool’ component. Many teachers came to get materials (t) for use in the classroom, indicated that they learned to use the materials (T) and by the second were using the materials with their students (T’). Although there is a body of literature about professional development of science teachers, it is important to continue to examine the ways in which in-service science teachers can continue to hone their craft.
Principal Author: KARTHIGEYAN SUBRAMANIAM, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXASAbstract:
This presentation reports a study that investigated prospective biology teachers’ conceptions of teaching biology and how these conceptions revealed their strategies for helping their future students’ learning of biology. The study utilized drawings, narratives and interviews to investigate the nature of the prospective biology teachers’ conceptions in a secondary science teacher education program in a University located in the south-west of the United States of America. A common theme that underpinned the teachers’ conceptions was the simple perspective of using lectures, apparatus and models within interactive processes and lectures as reference points to help students to attach onto biology concepts rather than relating the reference points to prior knowledge and to cognitive activities that foster optimal learning.
Principal Author: Pamela Harrell, University of North TexasAbstract:
Co-Authors: KARTHIGEYAN SUBRAMANIAM, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS; DAVID WOJNOWSKI, Jarvis Christian College; Sumreen Asim, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS; Benjamin Kirby, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS; EunYoung Lee, UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS
This presentation reports on the use of visual data, specifically drawings, to assess pre-service teachers’ science content knowledge, and instructional practices. The purpose of this paper set is to bring together researchers of four studies who have used visual data, specifically drawings, to investigate and assess two phenomena: (1) pre-service teachers’ conceptual understanding of science content knowledge, and (2) pre-service teachers’ beliefs, conceptions, and perceptions pertaining to instructional practices. In doing so, the authors hope to engage in dialog with each other and the audience about their findings and thus, spark conversations concerning (1) the “hows” and (2) the “whys” of incorporating drawings into their research agendas. Additionally, the authors hope to prompt the audience to rethink about visual data as a research methodology to study and generate knowledge pertaining to science teacher education. The titles of the papers are: (1) Using Drawings to Elicit Pre-Service Teachers’ Informal Science Instructional Practices; (2) Using Drawings to Investigate Prospective Biology Teachers’ Conceptions of Teaching Biology; (3) Framing Prospective Elementary Teachers’ Conceptions of Dissolving as Drawings; and (4) Framing Prospective Elementary Teachers’ Conceptions of Buoyancy as Drawings.
Principal Author: Abeera P.. Rehmat, University of Nevada, Las VegasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Marissa C.. Owens, University of Nevada, Las Vegas; Janelle M.. Bailey, Temple University
The demand for qualified STEM teachers has increased through the years, along with the desire to improve student achievement in STEM content areas. However, the debate over what teacher characteristics and beliefs contribute to teacher effectiveness and student achievement continues.
This study was designed to understand high school STEM teachers’ beliefs about design, engineering and technology and the impact of teachers’ background on such beliefs. The following questions are addressed in this research:
• What are STEM teachers’ beliefs about the instruction of design, engineering, and technology?
• How does years of teaching experience impact STEM teachers’ beliefs about the instruction of design, engineering, and technology?
This exploratory, qualitative case study utilized data from 76 high school STEM teachers’ online surveys and demographic forms to establish four cases: early-career, mid-career, late-career, and veteran. From the four cases, the following themes emerged: Issue of Competency; Issue of Background Knowledge; Issue of Early Exposure; and No Answer Provided. Findings suggest that across the four cases, teachers believed DET instruction is an Issue of Early Exposure.
Principal Author: Ingrid Weiland, Metropolitan State University of DenverAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alandeom Oliveira, SUNY-Albany; Ting-Fang Hsu
Food constitutes an important pedagogical component of elementary science. Nonetheless, research on how teachers approach topics such as food and eating is surprisingly scarce. This study attends to this limitation by means of an exploratory examination of oral food discourse — whole-class discussions about food and eating led by three elementary teachers while reading children’s science books aloud. Our discourse analysis revealed varied pedagogical practices. Treated as “foods of luxury”, sugary food items such as ice cream, cookies, and chocolate were appraised negatively by two teachers. The first teacher repeatedly condemned (i.e. expressed negative judgment of) students’ emotional appreciation of sugary treats such as ice cream on moral grounds. Likewise, the second teacher negatively appreciated chocolate products on nutritional grounds (as “bad food” that did not meet one’s calorimetric needs or provided eaters with a balanced diet). Both of these teachers resorted to negative evaluation of taste-based food consumption (i.e., eating for pleasure) while discouraging excessive consumption — defined qualitatively by the first teacher as simply eating beyond a point of minimum sensorial satisfaction, and quantitatively by the second teacher as an unbalanced calorimetric state wherein energetic input superseded output. By contrast, the third teacher appraised food culturally. Rather than focusing on nutritional or emotional aspects of pumpkin consumption, attention was given mainly to cultural meanings of pumpkins pervasive in American culture such as jack-o’-lanterns (food for decoration and celebration). Our findings underscore the many pedagogical benefits and potential challenges of engaging students in talk about food in the science classroom. It is argued that elementary teachers need to adopt discursive practices that take into account the complex and often contradictory relationships that children establish with food in different facets of their lives.
Principal Author: Matthew A.. d'Alessio, California State University NorthridgeAbstract:
Co-Authors: Holliston Coleman, California State University Northridge; Loraine L.. Lundquist, California State University Northridge; Diane Miller, Los Angeles Unified Schools; John Rome, Los Angeles Unified Schools
Field experiences are "commonly touted as the most meaningful part of preservice teacher preparation" (Knowles & Cole, 1996, p. 648). We describe an early field experience in a science content course where the primary course objectives are for teachers to learn discipline-specific content. Can future teachers benefit by learning science content in the context of an actual elementary school setting?
In Fall 2013, CSUN partnered with nearby Vintage Magnet Elementary School, a public math/science magnet, to develop a lunchtime science and engineering club for their 5th grade students. The field experience involves future teachers enrolled in a physical science course required of all teacher education track students enrolled in the Liberal Studies bachelor’s degree program at our urban state university. These students typically enter the class with negative experiences surrounding science in their previous education. These experiences lead to low self-efficacy beliefs (SEB’s) about their ability to learn science and, more importantly, to implement science lessons as future teachers. Bandura (1986) emphasizes the importance of self-efficacy in performance. If teachers do not believe they will be effective, they tend to perform poorly. As a result, part of a teacher education program’s goals should be to enhance future teachers’ feelings of self-efficacy.
This early field experience is designed to improve science teaching SEB’s through mastery experiences (delivering lessons), vicarious experiences (observations of practicing teachers), social persuasion (encouragement from 5th graders and peers), and a transformation of emotional and physiological state during teaching (the chance to confront science teaching apprehension in a low stakes teaching environment).
We measure SEB’s using the STEBI-B (Bleicher, 1994). A statistically significant shift in scores is promising and is larger than any of the previous four years of the course prior to implementing the early field experience. Teachers finish the course excited about the opportunity to teach science.
Principal Author: Mark A. McDermott, University of IowaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mason Kuhn, Waverly-Shell Rock Community Schools; Brian Hand, University of Iowa
The theoretical framework, development, implementation, and evaluation of a collaborative professional development program focused on the argument-based SWH teaching approach will be described. The ongoing program has grown from a one-on-one collaboration between two of the authors (an elementary teacher and a higher education faculty member) to a district-wide program involving all grade levels and all disciplines. The presentation will highlight the progression of activity that facilitated the growth of the PD program, as well as the characteristics that the program was built on in order to foster teacher acceptance. The iterative and collaborative evaluation process, including detailed descriptions of the tools utilized for evaluation purposes will be shared. Findings that highlight both challenges and positive impacts for teachers and students will be described, as well as discussion of how the PD program was revised based on these findings. Discussion related to these findings will focus on factors influencing teacher decisions about participating in the PD, teacher decisions about implementing the encouraged teaching practices and decisions of teachers and planners related to needs for the PD. The impact on planning and implementation of including active learning experiences as a part of the PD, along with linking to pre-service teacher training and the professional learning communities of the teacher participants will be examined. Future plans, as well as suggestions for others implementing similar PD programs will be included.
Principal Author: Charlene L.. Ellingson, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Visuals are central to science literacy, and serve a wide range of purposes including, elaboration, economy of information, understanding, remembering, persuasion, and analysis. (Darian, 2001) This case study compares student-generated Visual Literature Logs (Visual Lit Logs) and student-generated written summaries in response to science text using semiotic visual analysis, and is premised on the idea that words and pictures do not capture or convey meaning in the same way, and individuals have differing talents and interests that lend themselves to modes of representation beyond language. (Gardner, 1982)
One approach to teaching visual literacy is to explicitly teach observational, technical and/or representational drawing. This approach makes intuitive sense because these types of drawings each require a linear, methodological and convergent process. Another way to develop visual literacy is to begin with a more creative, divergent process that also develops capacities and dispositions for creativity by having students respond to science text from their imagination. The act of creating an external representation of an idea, process, or concept requires the creator to generate linkages between language and visual (Bailey & Van Harken, 2014). Bailey & Van Harken argue that as the reader invents connections between visual and text a metaphor is created making knowledge more accessible because the learner’s cultural knowledge provides an entrance point to understanding the unfamiliar. (2014)
During a university-level course students were assigned to read three books. Learners selected one of he books and assigned to make 10 Literature Log (Lit Log) entries as they read. All students chose to create visuals, which I refer to as Visual Lit Logs. For the remaining books students wrote traditional student-generated written summaries. The Literature Log categories assigned included:
Science & Society
Compare & Contrast
Visual Reading Summary
Principal Author: Alexandra M. Burris, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
The goal of this ongoing research is to find and assess the ways that zoos can continue (and improve upon) the creation of environments for sparking and nurturing interest in animals, conservation, and science in general. In particular I am interested in examining the experiences of children in zoos since this is an understudied but critical stage for interest development. These experiences may be important for the field of science education since development of interest is often considered an important prerequisite for the decision to major in science in college and ultimately pursue it as a career choice (Tai et al, 2007; Maltese & Tai, 2010; Lent et al, 1994).
In order to study the process of interest development within the zoo setting, I developed a survey that sought to assess the current interest of child zoo visitors in science concepts as well as the types of experiences that triggered their interest within the zoo. The survey asked questions of both the child visitor and their accompanying adult and a major part of the survey was a portion meant to be filled out through the duration of the visit. The second component of this research was carried out through the use of personal video cameras worn by children throughout their zoo visit. This was meant to provide qualitative data surrounding the experiences of children visitors to further examine the role of a zoo visit in interest development. Results illuminate the role of animal behavior, interactives, signage, and parental discussion in the development of interest among child zoo visitors.
Principal Author: Young Shin Park, Chosun UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jenny de la Hoz, Oregon State University; Laia Cari. Robichaux, Oregon State University; Jo-Houn Park, Chosun University; Jin-Ju Kim, Chosun University; Minsu Kim, Chosun University
The purposes of this study were to explore what components of science communication and its level are contained in text panels of exhibitions in natural history museums (with the focus of dinosaur exhibition) and to propose its development direction of exhibition education in UK, USA, Korea, and Taiwan. First, to find out the component and level of science communication contained in exhibition panels, the researcher team modified the analyzing tool which was called SEPAT (Science Exhibition Panel Analyzing Tool), then employed them to profile the component and level of science communication from the selected exhibitions of 4 countries. Second, the researchers introduced the exemplary designed media of exhibitions to demonstrate how much science communication could be enhanced in each case of dinosaur exhibition from each country. The results were made as follows in case of Korea, The other countries' cases are under the analysis now. First, the components of science communication was considerably weighted toward to 'concept' one but there were also a few 'awareness' and 'engagement'. There was chance for nature of scientific inquiry of science communication in dinosaur exhibition. However, there was no chance of 'opinion' science communication. Second, the various type of designing exhibitions were found to promote or enhance the restrictedly represented components of science communication. It is suggestible for exhibitions to be designed through various type of 'media' to enhance science communication. Visitors are required to experience rich science communication to meet their educational needs, and exhibition developers in natural history museums and other museums are recommended to be professional in containing all components of science communication through various type of designing exhibitions.
Principal Author: Karen D.. Chassereau, Georgia Southern UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Lucy S.. Green, Georgia Southern University
Student-created video projects developed within the framework of guided inquiry, help learners shift from a focus on abstract, scientific concepts to practical scientific applications, so that learners work to employ new ideas, grappling to construct mental models and concrete representations that reflect their own unique interpretations and understandings. This ongoing, qualitative case study, in the tradition of design-based research, investigates the design and development of a guided inquiry unit integrating digital video technologies. The unit, delivered to preservice elementary science teachers, models 21st century learning experiences of physical science concepts such as force and motion.
Principal Author: Glenn R. Dolphin, University of CalgaryAbstract:
Co-Authors: Wendy Benoit, University of Calgary
We observed five undergraduate education students as they experienced inquiry rich, historically contextualized instruction. The focus of instruction was the historical development of the theory of plate tectonics. Activities included comparing different historical models of earth dynamics (porous earth, contracting earth, continental drift, and expanding earth), exploring an earthquake machine, and using maps of seafloor data for constructing tectonic plate boundaries. With a model-based-learning framework, we analyzed observation field notes, participants’ recorded conversations and written products of the activities and discerned instances of arrested model development. For example, participants described tectonic plates (inconsistent with science) as entities separated in space, which can “smash together” or “break apart”. We explain this common, description as an artifact of the use of a scientific metaphor; the tectonic “plate”. Our common, and powerful experience with ceramic plates is that they are separate in space, can break apart (when dropped), or can smash together (when pushed). Our brain defaults to such experiences when we use the metaphor, hiding aspects of the concept without our knowing. Participants also showed difficulty developing a model of rocks deforming elastically (the source of earthquakes). We assert that based on student experiences that rocks and/or “plates” are rigid and brittle, the idea of their elastic properties is a premature concept; meaning, students cannot connect this concept in a few, simple, logical steps to their own knowledge base (Stent, 2002). These two frameworks, the use of scientific metaphors and prematurity, show promise in understanding why students experience difficulties learning scientific concepts. They also afford structure to two possible interventions (and topics for future study): 1) the use of new metaphors with fewer limitations and 2) explicit exposure of limitations, and 3) design of a “few, simple, logical steps” to connect a “premature” concepts to students’ prior knowledge.
Co-Authors: Dana Zeidler, University of South Florida
The purpose of this study was to investigate teacher epistemological beliefs and the influence of those beliefs on practice during nature of science (NOS) instruction. The timing of this study was centered on a nine-week NOS unit. Both quantitative and qualitative data were collected. Quantitative measures were used to determine relative levels of epistemological beliefs for both personal epistemological beliefs and understandings of the nature of science. Qualitative measures were employed to look at potential relationships between teacher’s SEBs, EBs, pedagogical practice and other impediments to teachers’ practice. Participants for the investigation included eleven sixth grade physical science teachers. An interpretative mixed methods design was used to seek out major themes as they related to classroom practice.
Results indicated it was those participants with more sophisticated understandings of NOS were able to move beyond the teaching of the scientific method. Personal epistemological beliefs may play a larger role than might be expected in governing the quality of instruction with regards to NOS instruction. It was those participants with the greater personal epistemological beliefs that were able to present NOS in a more constructivist manner and move beyond the scientific method.
Principal Author: Molly H. Weinburgh, Texas Christian UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cecilia Silva, Texas Christian Univesity; Kathy H. Smith, Tarleton State University
Our research focuses on the equity issue of helping English Language Learners (ELL) acquire and modify knowledge and language that are needed to be successful in science in U.S. schools. Specifically, we examine the emerging 5R Instructional Model to see what change occurs in student learning. During a 3-week period, instruction ‘…married scientific activities with scientific ways of using words rather than with lifeworlds languages’ (Gee, 2004, p. 25) using the 5R Instructional Model. Forty-five students participated in the study. All students were recent immigrants and came with various levels of English language proficiency and prior schooling.
This research extends our prior research focusing on the acquisition of content knowledge and academic language necessary to engage in the Discourse of science. In this phase of the research, we examine ELL content and language knowledge as they engage in inquiry-based instruction. Our overarching question is: what change in content knowledge and language use (as represented in oral interviews) occurs in two classes of ELLs when the 5R Instructional Model is used. Our dependent measures were (a) content word scores; (b) content core concept scores; and (c) science concept (cross-cutting ideas) composite scores. We first used descriptive statistics from the oral data to get a general picture of the change over time. The oral interview scores were then submitted to a series of 2-way repeated-measures ANOVAs with topic (erosion vs. turbine) as a between-subjects factor and time (pre- versus post-intervention) as the within-subject factor. The original intent of this research was to test the 5R Instructional Model as a way to help resolve the perceived conflict between inquiry-based science and language instruction. This research suggests that blending the two can be accomplished.
Principal Author: Susan R. Hawkins, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith A.. Park Rogers, Indiana University
Current reform in science education calls for a responsive style of instruction necessitating the ability to notice and interpret what is happening within the framework of a lesson to more effectively address students’ needs. This case study focuses on a team of five preservice teachers (PSTs) teaching a five lesson science unit on properties of solids and liquids during their early field experience, which is taken in conjunction with their science methods course. We examined how a content-specific moderated community of practice that used video as a focusing tool of the PSTs’ weekly teaching could support their growth in using a responsive style to teaching. We sought to understand this growth in two ways: the impact it had on their ‘in the moment’ teaching captured each week on video, as well as their perceptions about their future teaching of the topic and science in general. We found growth in the PSTs’ pedagogical content knowledge regarding how students think about properties of solids and liquids and how this expertise then influenced their proficiency of designing and implementing need-based curriculum. This growth was evidenced in their increased ability to identify opportunities to elicit students’ thinking and their acceptance of the learning cycle model for lesson planning as a useful way to elicit students’ thinking in order to scaffold a deeper understanding of concepts. The PSTs also demonstrated an awareness of and ability to pull out and use the big ideas from content standards to guide their curricular decisions, the importance of setting up of learning situations that allow for constant assessment of student learning, and the role that questioning serves in this process.
Principal Author: Elizabeth Allison, University of AlabamaAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. Jenice "Dee" Goldston, University of Alabama
This study explores the voices children in a changing world with evolving needs and new opportunities. The workplace of the new, rapidly moving capitalist society values creativity, collaboration, and critical thinking—skills which are of growing importance and are manifesting themselves in modern K-12 science classroom cultures. Innovations in technology, particularly the Internet and mobile devices, have created unique opportunities for students to not only interact with information, but to communicate with other individuals as well. Interactions such as these require an evolving view of literacy in the classroom. In other words, students are not only engaged with contemporary technology, but use them to employ new ways of thinking and interacting with the world.
This study explored issues of multiliteracies and student voice set within the context of teaching and learning science and in particular scientific practices in two elementary classrooms. Through observations, student focus groups and interviews, and teacher interviews, a detailed narrative was formed to describe the network of multiliteracies, student voice, and scientific practices. Using grounded theory analysis methodology, data were coded and analyzed to reveal prominent themes and phenomena.
Principal Author: Sarah J. Carrier, North Carolina State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kathryn T. Stevenson, NCSU; M. Nils. Peterson, NCSU
Although elementary school may be a prime stage for building environmental literacy (EL), elementary school teachers seem to face significant barriers to including EL in their instruction. Several studies have identified low content knowledge and heavy emphasis on state standards and testing as constraints to including more EL in elementary school classrooms. However, few of these studies have measured actual (versus perceived) environmental knowledge or focused on how teachers overcome the relatively static structural constraints of standards and testing. This exploratory study surveyed 627 randomly selected elementary school teachers in North Carolina to begin addressing this need. We measured teachers’ environmental knowledge and asked about the largest barriers they perceive to including more EL, in what contexts they successfully teach EL concepts, and what types of support would further help them overcome constraints to teaching EL. We found environmental knowledge levels to be high (89.9% average score). Teachers most often reported teaching EL concepts in science (79.5% of teachers), but many also incorporated EL in reading (54.2%) and social studies (53.4%). Lack of instructional time was the most oft-listed barrier (76.7%), followed by lack of resources (53.4%). Respondents identified in-person, on-site professional development workshops; activities that integrate children’s literature; and access to and training in published environmental education curricula as the resources needed to encourage the inclusion of EL concepts in the elementary school classroom.
Principal Author: Young-Shin PARK, Chosun UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ki-Young Lee, Kangwon Natinal University; Seoungho Maeng, Seoul National University; Jeong-A Lee, Seoul National University; Hyunseok Oh, Namdaemoon Middle School
This research is preliminary one for students’ learning progression research with the focus on astronomical contents as well as practices, which are thinking skills mainly. To guide students’ learning concepts of astronomy with the contents and practices, it is essential for teachers to be equipped with appropriate PCK to guide students to learn concepts progressively. To meet this goal of research, the research team investigated the status quo of teachers’ PCK at natural setting of teaching astronomy at elementary level as the preliminary one. This research will provide the basic data to be used for the research to develop the teaching progression of PCK to make students understood astronomical concept as well as thinking skills. The research team observed each lesson and evaluated each participant’s PCK with the developed PCK analyzing tool, which consists of 4 categories, such as knowledge of student understanding (KSU), knowledge of curriculum (KC), knowledge of teaching strategies (KTS), and knowledge of knowledge of assessment (KA). The researchers checked each indicator qualitatively and relatively (from 0 to 4) with the evidences of content and practices envisioned in NGSS (Next Generation Science Standards). In addition to this, all participants were interviewed to illustrate their different orientation of teaching science since teachers do not use materials which do not match their views of teaching and learning. The results of this study were as follows; first, six elementary teachers displayed weak PCK in teaching astronomical core ideas. Second, there had not specific PCK identified depending on topic (planets or constellation related) in four components. Third, all participants believed that students are necessary to have opportunities of experiencing learning by doing science. Fourth, teachers showed the instruction of spatial thinking practices where students could achieve concepts of astronomy as envisioned at Standards. More results will be introduced to indicate how this preliminary research can be used as basic data for learning progression.
Principal Author: Lisa A. Borgerding, Kent State UniversityAbstract:
This mixed methods study explores college biology students’ perceptions of the utility of evolution knowledge during a college level evolution course. Students were surveyed about their evolution acceptance and interviewed about their views of evolution and evolution learning with a special emphasis on the extent to which knowledge of evolution is personally useful or important for others. The sample consisted of 14 college biology majors enrolled in an upper-level evolution course. Evolution acceptance data were collected via both the quantitative MATE survey as well as open-ended interview questions. Evolution utility and importance data were collected via the individual interviews. Data analysis included quantitative descriptive statistics, qualitative coding for acceptance/personal utility/general importance of evolution, and mixed methods data integration via a joint display. Three main findings emerged. First, biology majors found evolutionary knowledge to be only marginally useful for their future careers. Utility differed according to different intended careers with prospective science teachers finding evolution knowledge most useful and those intending medical careers finding evolution knowledge least useful. Second, biology majors found evolution learning in general to be important for others, even more than they found evolution personally useful. Finally, evolution acceptance was not generally related to perceptions of personal utility or general importance of evolution.
Principal Author: Leslie A.. Suters, Tennessee Technological UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Melissa J.. Comer, Tennessee Technological University
Preparing teachers to effectively use digital technologies calls for adaptations to the way pre-service teachers are being prepared and reforms in the design of professional development for in-service teachers who may not have had the same exposure to these tools in their preparation programs. This paper describes how participation in methods courses that incorporate a strong emphasis on the use of technology and how participation in technology-based professional development impacted pre-service teachers and math and science in-service teachers technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) respectively. The TPACK framework includes: technology knowledge, content knowledge, pedagogy knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, technological pedagogical knowledge, technological content knowledge, and technological pedagogical content knowledge. Pre-service teachers participated in training mentor teachers on using the iPad for instruction within their school placements, presented at a state education conference, and planned STEM-based learning opportunities for K-6 students in after-school sessions. In a separate study, in-service teachers were participants in a Race to the Top STEM grant, From Earth to Space with STEM. The grant included a cross-curricular focus with CCSS-ELA, which allowed for the integration of digital technology tools for processing the science and math content through reading, writing, and speaking/listening strategies. Grant activities incorporated technology for collecting and analyzing data as well. There was a strong emphasis on the use of the iPad, Vernier Labquest, and Web 2.0 interactive technologies. Participants in both research populations significantly increased TPACK. In-service teachers increased their content knowledge on the STEM-based content included in the grant activities. We are currently analyzing pre-post video footage of each participant’s classroom instruction. Implications will be shared for intentionally linking the constructs of TPACK with edTPA.
Principal Author: Jenay Sharp. Leach, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer L.. Maeng, University of Virginia; Randy L.. Bell, Oregon State University
This interpretivist study described discourse practices in three linguistically diverse elementary science classrooms. Because people participate in science through the medium of discourse, it is important to examine students for whom language may present a barrier to participation. Participants were three elementary science teachers selected from the control group of a broader state-wide investigation. These teachers were purposefully selected because they taught in linguistically diverse schools (greater than 40% of the student population are ELLs). Data included 25 hours of classroom observations and semi-structured interviews. Observation write-ups and transcripts were analyzed through analytic induction (Erickson, 1986). Results in the form of three, linked, analytic assertions were generated: (1) The teachers’ instruction was driven by the high-stakes state end-of-course (EOC) assessment, (2) The teachers lacked pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), and (3) The teachers’ perceived pressures from the EOC assessments and limited PCK limited classroom science discourse. Results of this investigation may provide understanding of the factors that influence discourse practices in linguistically diverse science classrooms. Future research will explore how the skills and knowledge gained in professional development aimed at improving teachers’ science discourse practices is enacted in a linguistically diverse classroom.
Principal Author: Justin McFadden, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
This research presentation will provide key insights into the curriculum design process of elementary teachers and graduate students working in collaborative design teams while developing a STEM-integrated curricular unit. Data from 12 days of teacher professional development focused on curriculum design for this applied case study will include: curriculum design conversations of 3 unique teams, 12 individual semi-structured interviews, and daily reflective journal submissions by all 12 participants. Analysis of the data collected was conducted using constructed grounded theory. Participants’ conversations were also analyzed using discourse analysis to further explore the convoluted nature of talk-in-interaction that occurs during curriculum design conversations.
Preliminary analysis indicates that team interactions of teachers and graduate students present various opportunities for professional learning and understanding of the constructs needed to successfully integrate STEM at an elementary school level. Emerging themes that will also be discussed include the inter-connected patterns of design conversations and the impact of team cohesiveness on the design process.
Principal Author: Brooke A. Whitworth, Northern Arizona UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia; Lindsay B. Wheeler, University of Virginia; Jennifer L. Chiu, University of Virginia
This sequential explanatory mixed-methods study explored the professional responsibilities of district science coordinators, their professional development, and the relationship between their role, responsibilities, district context, and background. The national sample that completed the validated Science Coordinator Role Survey included 122 members of the National Science Education Leadership Association self-identified as science coordinators. The survey included demographic questions and questions about their responsibilities and professional growth. Participants’ responses were analyzed using descriptive and correlational statistics. Open-ended responses were analyzed using a constant-comparative approach. Following analysis of survey data, 15 participants (12.3%) were purposefully selected for semi-structured follow-up interviews. Results indicated the majority of respondents identified themselves as Caucasian, female, and had served in their position for less than 10 years. The typical science coordinator held a degree in a science content-area and was a former science teacher. Most (92%) reported wanting additional science coordinator-focused professional development. Additionally, correlations indicated respondents without science degrees had positions at smaller, remote rural school districts and were also likely to be responsible for multiple content areas including science. Finally, respondents working in larger, urban school districts tended to have science backgrounds, had more professional responsibilities, and were less likely to be responsible for multiple content areas. In interviews, science coordinators further reported on the variety of barriers they encountered and the difficulty they experienced in their positions. The results of this investigation further define the professional responsibilities of coordinators, provide insight into the role of a science coordinator, and specify the prevalent types and focus of professional development desired by science coordinators.
Principal Author: Meredith W.. Kier, Howard UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Margaret R.. Blanchard, North Carolina State University
National efforts to interest students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) are intensifying around the globe due to a shortage of professionals to fill the growing demands in these fields. Research suggests that many students are engaged and interested in STEM but have difficulty imagining themselves as a professional in a related career. Few studies in STEM education have examined how middle school students explain their relationship with STEM and the role of STEM in their future, and none to date have conducted qualitative studies that examine how middle school students use their narrated identities to inform their motivations for selecting STEM careers of interest to explore and form their career-related goals. This study describes a semester-long STEM career intervention and seeks to understand how four middle school students from a predominately African American, high poverty school in a southeastern US rural town write and talk about their STEM career-related interests and justifications for why they form career-related goals. Data sources include students’ STEM Career Video Exploration Sheets, STEM Career Video Planning Sheets, and responses during interviews regarding students’ identification with STEM. Data sources were individually analyzed for each student using key elements of the Expectancy Value (E-V) Theory of Achievement Motivation (Eccles & Wigfield, 1995); these sources were triangulated to explore how students’ used their social and cultural identities to inform their motivational values, ability beliefs, and choices related to STEM and careers. The E-V framework allowed for the deconstruction of career path into parts (e.g., level of education required, interest in science, enjoyment of perks such as travel, etc.) and facilitated the connections between students’ identities to career beliefs. Making time for career explorations that connect who students are to who they want to become may be a useful strategy to clarify students’ career goals and the educational pathways that they intend to pursue.
Principal Author: Michelle Cook, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Renee Lyons, Clemson University; Alex T.. Chow, Clemson University; Juang-Horng Chong, Clemson University; David White, Clemson University; Roy Pargas, Clemson University
Citizen-science projects call on individuals to gather data for use by scientists to investigate research questions. The Vanishing Firefly Project is a citizen science project asking participants to engage in annual census of fireflies in their local environment. The purpose of this exploratory study is to examine age-related differences among our citizen scientists in terms of their nature of science views and their attitudes toward science and the environment. Our findings indicate that our K-12 citizen scientists have less accurate and less sophisticated views on the nature of science. In addition, our K-12 participants had less positive attitudes toward science and the environment. Our presentation will explore these findings as well as discuss our project’s current and future activities to improve nature of science conceptions and attitudes towards science and the environment, especially in our K-12 citizen scientists.
Principal Author: Susan A. Everett, University of Michigan-DearbornAbstract:
Co-Authors: Charlotte A. Otto, University of Michigan-Dearborn
This poster presentation will provide examples of images which were used in a study completed examining how matter is depicted in science textbooks and children’s tradebooks for K-8 students. The images illustrated will focus on submicroscopic representations of solids, liquids and gases in terms of structure of matter, density, motion of particles, pure compounds or elements, and mixtures. Of concern is the fact that all generic solids, regardless of whether representing pure compounds or mixtures, were illustrated using a single type of particle. Another concern in depicting density was the use of the same kind of particle to illustrate the composition of a floating ball and a marble. In some images of solids, springs were used to illustrate the forces acting between particles which are not bonded together. However, in chemistry, springs are used to indicate the flexibility of bonds between atoms. Motion was illustrated using a series of small arcs around particles in solids. In liquids motion was also shown with the small arcs but other types of motion found in liquids were not included. Liquids and gases were also depicted using single types of particles but they differed in the spacing between particles. We will provide examples of illustrations that have been oversimplified to the point of potentially misrepresenting the intended concept. In addition, textbooks sometimes do not delineate the limitations of the images nor provide accurate mapping of correct science to the image. Children’s tradebooks provided mostly macroscopic representations of solids as is appropriate for ages 5 to 9 however we found numerous errors in the narrative such as cold moves towards warmer objects and that steam is described as water vapor instead of small droplets of water.
Principal Author: Alandeom W.. Oliveira, State University of New York at AlbanyAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kristin L.. Cook, Bellarmine University
The Next Generation Science Standards (2013) focus on developing students’ abilities to effectively communicate about scientific theories—some of which are highly scrutinized in the public sphere such as evolution. However, integration of public communication into the teaching of controversial science topics such as evolution is yet to be fully and systematically examined by science educators. We sought to understand the ways in which students approach such complex communication tasks. Our examination of text-mediated communication of evolution to the public illuminates the variety of ways that students can discursively frame a controversial science topic, including metaphorically, symbolically, monologically, and dialogically. Students’ images and word choices undergird important conceptual and communicative aspects of the topic of evolution within public science discourse. Communicating evolution to the public encourages students to extend beyond the walls of the classroom and create meaningful communication products that can help deepen their engagement, identify points of weakness in their understanding, and learn content and discourse skills through actively participating in the public communication of science.
Principal Author: Victoria Eng, Pine Crest SchoolAbstract:
Electric Art is a challenging and practical application of electricity and creativity. Participants will be presented with a cross-curricular application of Physics, Engineering, and Art using recycled materials. Art from the global scrap heap is the focus of this endeavor. Workshop includes goals, lesson plans, grading rubrics, and a hands-on portion.
The primary goal of the science component is to allow students to apply what they have learned about electricity and wiring to a hands-on project. After learning lab safety, how to wire a circuit and make a switch, they create an art piece that lights up, has objects that spin, or makes noises. The students will draw an accurate schematic diagram, then use it to wire their art piece. They will apply their knowledge of how to strip wire, attach switches, motors, buzzers, and lights in parallel and series. Additionally, they will learn simple structural engineering techniques in order to create a sturdy and reliable final product.
The primary goal of the artistic component is to encourage creativity by using only “found” objects to create aesthetic and interesting art objects. The students are introduced to “found art” through a series of prints of both global found art and contemporary artists who work with found objects. Through directed discussions, they learn about the process of seeing and transforming ordinary objects and trash, into meaningful and aesthetic works of art. The second art component is the practice of using sketching to plan their artwork. They need to understand simple schematic drawing, i.e. aerial view, side view, details, etc., to complete their planning.
Principal Author: James D. Ellis, University of KansasAbstract:
Co-Authors: Amber L. Rowland, University of Kansas; Marilyn M. Ault, University of Kansas; Bulgren A. Bulgren, University of Kansas; Barbara A. Bradley, University of Kansas; Jana C. Hare, University of Kansas
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded the Center for Research on Learning (CRL) at the University of Kansas to study how social media can be used in the high school Biology classroom to foster the practice of scientific argumentation and support the new Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). This poster session will take place after the first year of funding and will be our opportunity to report the first iteration of our findings.
Our research has two aims. First, we are exploring the knowledge and skills science teachers need to work within the TPACK Framework (Mishra & Kohler, 2006). Specifically, we are exploring the technology of social media, the pedagogy to support student engagement in scientific argumentation, and the content of one science unit through an iterative design process to design more effective professional learning for teachers. Thus, this research addresses:
1. What technological knowledge and technological professional learning supports are needed to facilitate the use of social media?
2. What pedagogical knowledge and pedagogical professional learning supports do teachers require to support student development of argumentation practices?
3. What content knowledge and content professional learning supports are needed?
Our second aim relates to students’ use of social media to engage in argumentation and to learn science content, so the project also addresses:
1. How do students use social media to engage in scientific argumentation?
2. To what extent do students who engage in scientific argumentation within social media improve their learning about the practice of argumentation?
3. To what extent do students who engage scientific argumentation within social media learn the core ideas in science content?
Principal Author: Erin E.. Peters-Burton, George Mason UniversityAbstract:
Whether pursuing careers in STEM field or understanding claims by advertisements, the ability to identify, analyze, critique, and rebut arguments is important for students. There is solid evidence that students can benefit from learning how to analyze and construct arguments. However, the literature on teacher pedagogical knowledge of argumentation is still emerging. The purpose of this presentation is to explain the goals, activities, and outcomes for a grant-funded professional development on argumentation for science teachers from rural high schools. The professional development experience consisted of three parts: (a) intensive one-week institute in June 2014 focusing on critiquing scientific arguments (reading, speaking, and writing), (b) intensive one-week institute in August 2014 focusing on constructing scientific arguments (speaking and writing), and (c) four full-day follow-up sessions, one during each quarter where teachers collaboratively analyze student work on argumentation assignments. Data from the pre-test on the key factors of argumentation showed a clear trend of conflagration of argumentation with experimentation. Teachers stated that they thought an argument needed a “manipulated variable, a dependent variable, a control, and constants along with repeated trials…” (Teacher 2, pre-test, 6/24/14). At the beginning of the week, teachers tended to produce tools that supported smaller tasks for students’ first learning about argumentation such as graphic organizers that had empty spaces for students to write in a claim, the multiple pieces of evidence that could support the claim and the reasoning that connected them. As the week progressed, teacher products included 2-dimensional analytic scoring rubrics that would help students to self-monitor contributions to whole group argument discussions. The products turned in by teachers at the end of the first week of summer institute included complete lesson plans with argumentation efforts that were contextualized into the content.
Principal Author: Wardell A. Powell, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Dana L. Zeidler, University of South Florida
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 decision-making abilities. Research on the role of emotions in decision making has shown that both positive emotions (i.e., love and joy) and negative emotions (i.e., fear and anger) can have a significant impact on judgment and choices (Clore, 1992; Forgas, 1995; Lerner and Keltner, 2000; Schwarz, 1990). Studies on anticipated emotions have also proposed that individuals are motivated to avoid the experience of regret or disappointment and hence make decisions to minimize the likelihood of these emotions (Bell, 1982, 1985; Loomes & Sugden, 1982, 1986). In this investigation, we were interested in uncovering details of the impact of socioscientific issues as a key pedagogical strategy on secondary school students’ abilities to make decisions. Socioscientific issues are those issues that are complex and controversial in nature. These issues are open-ended problems that lack clear-cut solutions and are subject to multiple influences that are sometimes inconsistent or even conflicting (Zeidler & Sadler, 2011). Socioscientific issues generally have moral and ethical undertones that often allow students to use emotional ways of reasoning (Zeidler, et al. 2011). The infusion of socioscientific issues as a key pedagogical strategy in K-12 science curriculum holds promise in helping students to enhance their ability to evaluate evidence and make informed decisions. Therefore, our central research question was, what effect does emotions have on secondary school students’ abilities to make decisions on socioscientific issues? The main sub-questions and rationales are presented below:
Principal Author: Judith A. Morrison, Washington State University Tri-CitiesAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jonah Firestone, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Tamara Nelson, Washington State University Vancouver; Krisitn Lessig, Washington State University Vancouver; David Slavit, Washington State University Vancouver
These papers present research that has been conducted in response to the lack of quality research on STEM education at a time when STEM schools and curricula are becoming more widespread throughout K-12 education. The three papers will include work focused on a new elementary school and its interdisciplinary STEM curriculum; three middle schools where teachers are implementing STEM curricula, project-based learning, and STEM practices; and a high school where the science and engineering teachers collaborate on interdisciplinary projects. The research presented will provide insights into how STEM school teachers are making sense of STEM teaching and learning and the implementation of interdisciplinary curricula focused on science and engineering practices.Our preliminary findings show that teacher collaborations across content disciplines are critical for integrated, project-based curricula to succeed.
Principal Author: Jennifer L.. Maeng, University of VirginiaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Randy L.. Bell, Oregon State University; Brooke A.. Whitworth, Northern Arizona University
This investigation characterized changes in teachers’ understanding and classroom implementation of problem-based learning (PBL), nature of science (NOS), inquiry instruction, and technology integration following participation in a state-wide professional development (PD). The PD was aligned with the characteristics of effective PD and situated learning theory. The PD was assessed through a cluster randomized controlled trials (RCT) design. Treatment teachers attended 4-week summer institute with sustained follow-up and coaching throughout the academic year, while control teachers received no PD or support. Across two cohorts, teachers in the treatment group included 150 teachers and those in the control condition included 107 teachers. Data collection included pre-/post-/year-end Perceptions surveys, post-Summer Institute and year-end interviews of a subset of teachers, Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) surveys, videotaped classroom observations, and observation forms. Data were analyzed using systematic data analysis (Miles & Huberman, 1994) and inferential statistics.
Results indicated the majority of teachers expressed either partially or fully aligned understandings of PBL, inquiry, and NOS instruction following the PD. Further analysis of classroom observations and PCK surveys indicated the PD facilitated teachers’ implementation of PBL, inquiry, technology integration, and NOS into their classroom instruction. Finally, most teachers expressed high levels of satisfaction with the main components of the PD; the situated nature and embedded components of effective PD appeared to contribute to the overall effectiveness of the PD experience. The results of this study have the potential to inform PD supporting educators’ implementation of reforms-based science practices by in-service elementary science teachers. Future research will explore how students of PD-prepared teachers’ science achievement outcomes compare to students of control group teachers.
Principal Author: Christina S. Melki, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith A. Park Rogers, Indiana University
Studies have examined students’ and instructors’ feelings toward clicker use, however, none have conclusively determined their efficacy. This presentation discusses two sequential studies, both of which used mixed methods to elucidate clicker efficacy with regards to college student performance on summative assessments (i.e., tests). In the first study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with professors and students, observed each class session, categorized the clicker and exam questions according to the Blooming Biology Tool (Crowe, Dirks, & Wenderoth, 2008), and analyzed students’ exam grades accordingly. From the data collected, we found that, while the instructors viewed the purpose of clickers in similar ways, their implementation was different. Also, while there was not a significant difference in performance between topics addressed and not addressed with clickers, the types of questions asked with clickers compared to the exam questions did have some impact on student performance. Students also appreciated the use of clickers and viewed different types of questions asked as being useful for their learning. In the second study, clicker efficacy was studied according to what was learned from the first study. Varying depths of feedback were given to students to determine the amount sufficient for improving student learning but also reasonable given the large class size. Findings from both studies indicate determining clicker efficacy needs to involve more than a simple quantitative analysis of students’ exam performance. The method of clicker implementation, the questions asked, and the feedback given also must be considered when determining whether they are effective tools for formative assessment in classrooms. Implications regarding each of these factors, and suggestions for further study, will be discussed.
Principal Author: Jenna M.. Porter, Sacramento State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Hui-Ju Huang, Sacramento State University
A major challenge that science teacher educators face is preparing candidates to become competent in assessing student learning. The emphasis in elementary schools on literacy and math poses additional challenges in terms of limited opportunities for candidates to observe or teach science. In this session, we will examine our elementary science methods syllabus, which integrates a Writing Partners Program, supporting candidates in learning and practicing authentic strategies for effective assessment and instruction.
Principal Author: Renee M. Clary, Mississippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University; John Paul Remo, scientific illustrator
University scientists, science educators, and a scientific illustrator investigated perceptions, values, and barriers of art instruction and graphic representation in science classrooms. A small pilot study with university science instructors (N=6) first reflected on the role of art in science classrooms, and identified mechanisms by which visual representations could be incorporated. Following a brief storyboarding demonstration, participants noted how their perceptions changed through the active process demonstration of a scientific concept. All participants noted interest in incorporating effective graphic representation within their classrooms (e.g., biology, chemistry, geosciences, physics), and identified preferred topics of additional instruction as Visual Storytelling (VS) and Lesson Plan Development (LPD). For VS, the art instructor provided a brief overview to participants (N=6) about understanding visual grammar, developing visual relationships, and variables to consider when developing a lesson. Reflective surveys probed participants’ perceptions, and content analysis of responses revealed the greatest areas of change in participants. The importance of planning, effective use of board space, and visual development of a hierarchy of knowledge emerged as stable themes. Science instructors (n=5) in the individual LPD session focused on visual representations of concepts they regularly taught in introductory college science classrooms. Discussion, feedback, and implementation resulted in improved lesson delivery for all topics. Participants reflected on the role of process within visual construction in classrooms, and predicted positive impacts for their students as a result of these sessions. Although the role of art and visual construction in science classrooms has been neglected, our results indicate that brief instructional sessions in professional development format can provide in-service instructors with confidence to implement effective graphic classroom construction—to ultimately benefit their students.
Principal Author: Thomas C. McELheny, University of GeorgiaAbstract:
To prepare student science teachers to cultivate student learning, teacher preparation programs are emphasizing inquiry and reflective practice in courses (Cochran-Smith, Barnatt, Friedman, & Pine, 2009). At a national level the Next Generation Science Standards call for a focus on inquiry and modeling effectively in the classroom. During student teaching experiences, mentor science educators can contribute to these reforms more effectively by implementing specific practices and skills that these reforms focus on. My review of research and my own experiences in the area of mentor science teaching concentrates on ways to better develop and support student science teachers to segue into their induction years. For example, teacher preparation programs rely on science educators in the classroom to facilitate the day to day student teaching experience. Even though teacher preparation programs are communicating practice guidelines within these policies mentioned above, student teachers need to develop practices and skills that align to new education reforms as part of their teaching experience. Furthermore, these skills and practices need to be communicated to student science teachers in a proactive manner from their cooperating. Science teacher preparation programs are dependent on the classroom science teacher to aid the prospective teacher in connecting coursework to practice. The student teaching experience is important, communication between program and mentor teacher is critical. For ASTE education researchers and science mentors, understanding how to effectively develop student teachers’ so that the student teaching experience is positive for every science educator will become more important as teacher induction programs continue to have success.
Principal Author: Wayne Melville, Lakehead UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Donald Kerr, Lakehead University; Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut
This presentation challenges the contemporary discourse in science education, where discourse from a Foucauldian sense structures, constructs, and constitutes perceptions of reality. In this paper we argue that key to students developing stances of autonomous moral agents ready to face the moral complexity of the world, is an evidence based ‘ethic of belief’. This stance is grounded in the role of autonomy in providing a challenge to the contemporary discourse and reconnecting students to science. Our work is based on a conception of autonomy as the ability of the individual to make important choices for her or himself. This requires an understanding of the political and social context in which the student lives and a high level of democratic participation. Therefore, for students, to act as autonomous agents, they must continually develop cognitive resources necessary for autonomous choices. In this, science education must stress an understanding of what counts as evidence. This will require that students are taught, and have experience in, assessing evidence for its quality, legitimacy, veracity, strength and import. Further, this evidence has to be publicly verifiable and debatable, as so much of the evidence we depend on is rooted in our scientific description of the world. Therefore, learning to demand and assess (and make decisions for themselves based on) evidence will require that students are introduced to, and given experience in, epistemic practices that promote understanding of scientific concepts. In this paper therefore, we will highlight, the development of the contemporary discourse and the power which it currently has on science education; the increasing disconnect between science, society and science education in terms of values; the nature of autonomy and the relationship between autonomy, science, and science education; and, the implications for science education (and broader education), if autonomy is seen as foundational to science education.
Principal Author: Younkyeong Nam, The College at Brockport - State University of New YorkAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ying-Chih Chen, Arizona State University; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota
In this study, investigate how a physical modelling activity promotes the teachers’ argumentative practice around the given socio-scientific issue, specifically dam removal.. Particularly, we are interested to find a relationship between preservice teacher’s argumentation and their scientific reasoning. This study utilizes a qualitative research method grounded in a constructivist epistemology (Merriam, 1998). Twenty pre-service science teachers participated in the study and the participants’ SSI debate discussions, before and after a physical model activity, were used as a main data source. The results show that the experience of manipulating variables in a physical model helped the pre-service science teachers improve the content and quality of argumentative practice by allowing them to manipulate variables, apply prior knowledge, and develop analogies to compare the model with the real situation.
Principal Author: Jeff C. Marshall, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Daniel M. Alston, Clemson University
Student performance in science classrooms has continued to languish throughout the United States. Even though proficiency rates on national tests such as National Assessment of Educational Progress are higher for Caucasian students than African Americans and Hispanics, all groups lack achieving desired proficiency rates. Further, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) detail a new higher benchmark for all students. This study analyzes a professional development project, entitled Inquiry in Motion, designed to: (a) facilitate teacher transformation toward greater quantity and quality of inquiry-based instruction, (b) improve student achievement in science practices and science concepts, and (c) begin to narrow the achievement gap among various groups. This five-year professional development study included 11 schools, 74 middle school teachers, and 9981 students from diverse, high minority populations. Findings from the quasi-experimental study show statistically significant gains for all student groups (aggregate, males, females, Caucasians, African Americans, and Hispanics) on all three science MAP tests (composite, science practices, science concepts) when compared to students of non-participating teachers. In addition to an increase in overall performance for all groups, a narrowing of the achievement gap of minority students relative to Caucasian students was seen. When combined with other studies, this study affirms that, when facilitated effectively, inquiry-based instruction may benefit all students, for all demographic groups measured.
Principal Author: Jamie Rumage, Oregon Department of EducationAbstract:
Co-Authors: Nicole Dalton, Oregon Department of Education
In March 2014, Oregon joined 11 other states and Washington, DC, in adopting the Next Generation Science Standards. This session will engage science educators and methods instructors in a hands-on engineering design lesson based on the classic children’s book The Wind in the Willows. This will demonstrate the integration of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).
In addition, other examples of integrated lessons will be provided to support the strong connections to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and STEM education. Participants will leave this session with a better understanding of (a) how lessons can feature ELA and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and (b) how integrating ELA and STEM can lead to students gaining both content proficiency and essential skills.
Principal Author: Charlotte A. Otto, University of Michigan-DearbornAbstract:
Co-Authors: Susan A. Everett, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Mental models have been divided into core mental models and satellite mental models. In terms of science, core mental models have fully integrated components that can be expanded or elaborated and are resistant to change. A core mental model of a solid would include the particulate nature of matter, the presence of different particles in the case of a mixture, and would account for different properties such as density and elasticity. Satellite mental models are those that are loosely held, not strongly anchored and may be more easily changed. Knowing that metals conduct electricity but not understanding how the structure of a metal relates to a core mental model of a solid is an example of a satellite model. To explore images of solids as presented to children, we analyzed children’s tradebooks and text books to determine what images of solids were presented to K-8 students. We found that most images presented solids as a regular array or crystalline solid of identical particles even when the solid illustrated consisted of a mixture of elements or compounds. We also found the use of springs and other symbols to illustrate motion may be misleading to students. We also found misstatements of fact in several of the sources.
Principal Author: Benjamin C. Herman, University of South FloridaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Mark Newton, University of South Florida; Dana Zeidler, University of South Florida
The purpose of this investigation was to examine the extent SSI instruction embedded in a six week experiential environmental issues course in the Greater Yellowstone Area (GYA) facilitated 24 post-secondary students’ abilities to engage contentious environmental issues (CEI) through considering scientific evidence and multiple perspectives. A mixed methods pre – post design was used and data sources collected before and after the experiential environmental issues course included a modified Character and Values as Global Citizens Assessment (CVGCA (Lee et al., 2013)) which measured Ecological Worldviews across the dimensions of Interconnectedness, Sustainable Development, Moral and Ethical Sensitivity, Perspective Taking, Empathetic Concerns, Feeling of Responsibility and Examining Scientific Evidence through Likert choices and qualitative prompts. Follow-up interviews were conducted to clarify the students’ CVGCA responses for each dimension.
Findings showed that participants’ scores measuring the dimensions of Sustainable Development and Feelings of Responsibility significantly improved through the course, whereas the participants’ scores measuring their perceptions of Examining Scientific Evidence decreased. The participants’ qualitative reflections indicated their course experiences influenced them to feel more accountable for CEI and increasingly believe humans should sustain nature, but that human development will unlikely be equally beneficial for humans and nature. Moreover, after completing the course the students better understood that effective CEI resolution requires weighing scientific evidence in juxtaposition with sociocultural and ethical considerations. Implications and pedagogical considerations addressed include effectively embedding SSI instruction within experiential environmental education in a manner that will help develop scientifically and culturally literate citizens that can effectively engage in socioscientific decision making.
Principal Author: Megan L.. Garner, East Carolina University/ Graduate StudentAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tammy D. Lee, East Carolina University; Meredith G. Weaver, Howard 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 (PETs) 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. To address this issue, we created a science concentration for elementary majors at a southeastern university with courses in physical science, life science, earth systems science, and informal science. Throughout the implementation of the concentration, we interviewed 20 students seeking to understand what brought them into the concentration, how their science teaching identity transformed from previous science classes through different stages of the concentration, and how they saw themselves as future in-service science teacher experts. Using grounded theory, we asked: 1) How do PETs who enroll in an elementary science concentration characterize their previous science experiences? 2) How do PETs in different stages of the elementary concentration reflect upon the transformation of their science content and pedagogical knowledge? 3) How do PETs in different stages of the elementary concentration depict their futures as elementary science teachers? Findings provide implications for encouraging the intrinsic interest of PETs to build science pedagogical content knowledge, shaping the way that PETs think and discuss the ways that they will teach science, and for valuing the continued effort that elementary teachers must place in learning how to tea
Principal Author: Warren J. DiBiase, UNC CharlotteAbstract:
Co-Authors: Judy McDonald, Belmont Abbey College
The purpose of this study was to determine teachers’ attitudes, values and beliefs about inquiry. The participants of this study were 275 middle grades and secondary science teachers from four districts in North Carolina. Issues such as class size, accountability, time, curricular demands and classroom management are perceived as constraints, impeding the use of inquiry. The implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards could assist in the understanding, teaching and learning of the instructional strategy, inquiry. These are the issues that must be effectively dealt with in the professional education and professional development of all science teachers.
Principal Author: Julianne A. Wenner, University of ConnecticutAbstract:
Co-Authors: Tonjua B. Freeman, University of Central Florida
Although progress has been made concerning academic performance in science for students in the United States, large disparities remain between the science achievement of African American and Latino children when compared to that of their White and Asian classmates as well as between the science achievement of high- and low-income children. The challenge of science achievement gaps is one that scholars have struggled to solve. We argue that rather than focusing on the classroom, scholars should instead attend to schoolwide factors, such as teacher leadership. Many science teacher educators realize that certain students enrolled in science methods courses are potential leaders within their buildings and wish to know more about how to support these students. Therefore, the purpose of the research reported here was to explore the responsibilities and supports of formally designated science teacher leaders (STLs) in urban elementary schools that have been successful in closing science achievement gaps, with the intent to apply this knowledge to the design of an STL professional development (PD) program. Using York-Barr & Duke’s (2004) review on teacher leadership as a framework, findings from our study indicate that urban elementary STLs emphasize certain dimensions of practice (e.g. building partnerships) while deemphasizing others (e.g. contributing to the profession). In this way, these STLs tailor their responsibilities to meet the needs of their school. We also found that having a schoolwide norm of teacher learning, having a supportive principal, and controlling their schedule supports STLs in their work. Finally, it appears that STLs would benefit from an STL network and an evaluation system that speaks to their unique job responsibilities. Given that this study took place in schools that have been successful in closing science achievement gaps, these findings have implications for PD that strives to create similarly successful STLs; PD for STLs must go beyond instructional leadership and address items like building relationships and maintaining networks.
Principal Author: Renee M. Lyons, Clemson UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Michelle Cook, Clemson University; David White, Clemson University; Alex T. Chow, Clemson University; Juang Chong, Clemson University; Roy Pargas, Clemson University
Citizen science projects can be instrumental in raising awareness of local environmental issues (Bonney et al., 2009; Brossard, Lewenstein, & Bonney, 2005; Cohn, 2008). Without the need for specialized equipment, people can participate in science as a community studying their own urban ecology. Well-designed projects become powerful tools when the people involved in data collection are the people whose actions have the potential to affect change (Dickinson et al., 2012). Behavior change is associated with projects that are long-term or involve sustained participant engagement (Bonney et al., 2009). Encouraging citizens to collaborate with scientists over time necessitates understanding what motivates participants to take part in these projects (Devictor, Whittaker, & Beltrame, 2010). This study examines participant demographics and the motivational factors influencing initial participation in a citizen science project. Participants were given a series of possible motivations and asked to rate how motivating each reason was to them. Researchers in the study looked for differences in motivation based on demographic factors. Findings show the Vanishing Firefly Project has reached a homogenous group of people with similar motivations for contributing. These findings are important to science teacher education because they highlight the need to provide informal science opportunities that are welcoming to a more diverse population.
Keywords: Citizen Science, Motivations, Environmental Education, Diversity
Principal Author: Asiana Banda, Southern Illinois University CarbondaleAbstract:
Co-Authors: Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia; Vivien M. Chabalengula, University of Virginia
Several studies have examined teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in chemistry (Drechster, & Van Driel, 2008; Okanlawon, 2010). These studies reported low levels of teachers’ chemistry pedagogical content knowledge. However, these studies mainly focused on high school chemistry teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge. Studies have not examined junior high school science teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge for basic electrochemistry concepts such as electrolysis. Yet these are the teachers who first introduce basic electrochemistry concepts to students before they learn more about them at high school and college levels. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine junior high school pre-service science teachers’ ability to identify students’ misconceptions on electrolysis and their pedagogical ideas for addressing such misconceptions in junior high school classrooms. This study was guided by two research questions: To what extent are junior high school pre-service science teachers able to identify misconceptions on electrolysis? What are junior high school pre-service science teachers’ pedagogical ideas for addressing such misconceptions? A sample comprised 12 junior high school pre-service science teachers. Data was collected through a survey that had two instructional scenarios on electrolysis of water with six questions. Pre-service teachers were asked to identify the misconceptions students displayed in the scenarios, describe currently accepted scientific explanation of the phenomenon that the students did not understand, and explain how they would address the misconceptions using the best instructional practices. Results show that most pre-service teachers acknowledged misconceptions expressed by students in the scenarios. Pre-service teachers’ suggested both teacher and learner- centered pedagogical strategies for addressing such misconceptions. However, they didn’t provide more details of the experiments or demonstrations they would perform and how such approaches would effectively address the misconceptions students displayed in the s
Principal Author: Kemunto M.. Nyaema, University of IowaAbstract:
Pre-service teachers in Science are being trained on new practices based on educational reform and innovative teaching approaches that target multicultural classrooms, but they are having difficulty implementing these strategies in actual classrooms and gaining experience as strong teachers in this field. Teachers are not adequately being prepared to meet the challenges that come with teaching in increasingly diverse classrooms. The study takes an in-depth look at strategies that have been used to tackle the issue of cultural responsiveness in the science classroom. The challenges that arise from pre-service teacher beliefs are addressed and strategies used by teacher education programs to develop a more workable framework for preparing multicultural competent pre service teachers, especially in the field of science are embraced. Researchers have made credible efforts in trying to create models and frameworks based on cultural responsiveness to guide pre-service teachers in their endeavors to develop multicultural practices in the classroom. However how sustainable this is in practice still needs to have tangible results in form of improved performance and equitable science assessment of diverse groups. This is not far from being attained. What is needed is a more convincing strategy in engaging pre service teachers to see that all theirs efforts they have learnt in their teacher preparation courses are not going to waste. Integrating multicultural perspectives should be in all areas of their teacher education programs as opposed to a single course that offer little or no meaningful development in their multicultural practices. Most importantly, support should come in all forms be it peers, mentors, teachers and parents so that these future teachers do not shy away from putting into practice what they have learnt. Instead they should be able to embrace multicultural values as a lens through which all students, regardless of background have equal opportunities for success.
Principal Author: Jonghee Kim, Chonnam National UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Jun Ho Son, Seoil Elementary School; Hyeong Soo Kim; Kiyoung Lee, Kangwon National University
The aim of this study is to make diagnostic and formative assessment questions based on class design procedures and to develop apps (applications) based on learning objectives in elementary science subjects in order to discuss their effects on science learning achievement and self-directed learning attitudes.
The ‘Earth and Moon’ section of a 5th grade 1st semester was chosen as an example. This section contained diverse scientific concepts and was chosen for learning task analysis. We also wrote a concept map, a lesson program and made learning materials. Then we created 120 questions for diagnostic and formative assessment, learning achievement tests. Each equivalent test was to verify validity and credibility. We developed a total management system, apps for teachers, and apps for students of 3 types called Smart Personalized Assessment (SPA). This research was initially tried with 76 students in the S elementary school of South Korea.
SPA, developed as a hybrid app, lets teachers take advantage of the app, so it can be used for an entire teacher’s role. The student’s app is equipped with diagnostic and formative assessment related to each lesson program. Students answer questions and then receive scores in real time. The app shows correct answers for incorrect responses and they gives explanations. Then the same type of examination questions are provided for feedback. Using the teacher’s app, teachers can check student's formative and diagnostic results in real time.
First, the group taking a class using the app for diagnostic and formative assessment had higher improvement.
Second, the group taking a class using the app for diagnostic and formative assessment had an improvement in learners’ self-directed learning attitude.
In conclusion, we have developed ‘smart personalized assessment system’ apps, based on the criteria of classrooms, to offer diagnostic and formative assessment. We believe that these applications will help promote feelings of accomplishment and an attitude of self-directed studying when used in science classes.
Principal Author: Heidi L.. Wiebke, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Meredith A.. Park Rogers, Indiana University; Jared Allen, Indiana University; Susan Hawkins, Indiana University
The desire for students to participate in learning environments similar to the work of scientists remains a goal of the science education community. While we know scientists develop and share new findings through multiple representations, applying this form of learning to a classroom situation is challenging. Many teachers are taking on this challenge by providing opportunities for their students to demonstrate an understanding of the science content through the use of multiple representations and modalities. However, to date, no studies have explored elementary teachers’ enactment of multiple representations and student meaning-making through multimodalities. Using a case study approach, we reviewed three primary teachers’ (K-2) science instruction to understand what multiple and multimodal representations their students are engaging in to learn about the Properties of Matter. Our findings indicate the teachers are providing their students multiple representation learning experiences. However, we also found instances where the teachers are missing some critical representations or are enacting representations incorrectly. Additionally, we discovered the students were able to identify their senses and use their senses to make observations, but had difficulty with transferring their sensory observations to written and verbal explanations. Often the difficulties the students experienced were attributed to their teachers’ limited instructional support or lack of content knowledge. Implications on how to better support teachers with including multiple and multimodal representations in their instruction and potential avenues for future research will be discussed.
Principal Author: Jamie N. Mikeska, Educational Testing ServiceAbstract:
One of the main challenges facing science educators today is a lack of understanding of the mechanisms through which particular types of learning opportunities are more or less effective for pre-service and in-service science teachers. A key reason for this lack of understanding is that the field does not have valid and reliable assessments of science teachers’ knowledge for teaching that can be used to make decisions about which professional learning opportunities are most beneficial for improving teachers’ knowledge and practice and, ultimately, students’ learning. Although extensive work in mathematics education research has shown much promise in developing survey measures to assess teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching, there has been limited work in science education to develop valid and reliable assessments of science teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (CKT). In this presentation, we describe a process for developing and validating assessments of elementary science teachers’ CKT across three topics: matter, ecosystems, and Earth’s place in the universe. In our work, we used think aloud methodology to examine the ways in which upper elementary teachers use their practice-based knowledge and reasoning when responding to these CKT science assessment measures. Findings highlight the design-based features that are most important for measuring the practice-based content knowledge that teachers leverage during instruction.
Principal Author: Christine D. Tippett, University of OttawaAbstract:
The guiding questions for this study include "What are preservice teachers' conceptions of engineers as revealed in drawings?" and "What are the implications of these conceptions?". Research on images of engineers is limited, as this is a fairly new area of interest within science education. There is a small body of literature dealing with beliefs about science, technology, and engineering that suggests that preservice teachers likely have some specific preconceptions (and misconceptions) about engineering, but it is not as clear exactly what those preconceptions might be. Increased understanding of preservice teachers’ views of engineers is an important step towards more complex research examining preservice teachers’ conceptions of engineering and how those conceptions might be affected by activities and experiences in a science methods course. Research using variations of the Draw-An-Engineer Test (Knight & Cunningham, 2004) with younger participants (Grades 1 to 5) has indicated that students are likely to associate engineers with building or fixing items and that buildings and vehicles are likely to be the most common items in drawings (Diefes-Dux & Capobianco, 2011) and that the categories of laborer, mechanic, technician, and designer encompassed most represented actions (Capobianco, Diefes-Dux, Mena, & Weller, 2011). In this study, I used an adaptation of the Draw-A-Scientist Test (Chambers, 1983) and elicited drawings from 65 preservice teachers using the prompt "Please draw an engineer. Label anything that you feel needs explanation." Drawings were analyzed for 'actions' (building, fixing, making, designing) and 'objects' (buildings, bridges, cars, engines, electrical items, tools). Participants were 65 members of two sections of a required elementary science and technology methods course. Preliminary analysis of the drawings indicates that the most frequently portrayed aspects are male engineers wearing hard hats, boots, glasses, and iron rings, working alone at mental rather than physical tasks, with bridges, buildings, and cars.
Principal Author: Judith H.. Sandholtz, University of California, IrvineAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cathy Ringstaff, West Ed
Although research documents short-term changes in science instruction due to professional development, the extent to which professional development can prompt long-term changes is unclear. The majority of studies about the effects of professional development on science instruction focus on the time period directly following the professional development activities. Few studies examine the longevity of professional development outcomes. In this session, we discuss findings from an NSF-funded study that investigated the extent to which a three-year, state-funded teacher professional development program designed to improve K-2 science education led to changes that persisted beyond the funding period. The study used a longitudinal, mixed-methods approach and examined persistence of changes in teachers’ content knowledge, self-efficacy, instructional time, and instructional practices in science. The study also examined the extent to which school contexts and resources provided ongoing support for teachers to implement what they learned in the professional development. Data sources, collected over a five-year period, included a teacher survey, a self-efficacy assessment, content knowledge tests, interviews, and classroom observations. Findings indicated a general pattern of decline during the two years after the program ended; but outcomes tended to remain higher than before the professional development. Contextual factors such as resources, curricular demands, administrative support and collegial support varied widely across schools. These contextual factors influenced the amount of time teachers devoted to science as well as their decisions about instructional strategies. Without the professional development program, variations and shifts in school-level support appear to exert substantial influence on whether or not instructional changes in science persist over time.
Principal Author: David T. Crowther, University of Nevada, RenoAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kazi Shahidullah, University of Nevada, Reno; Catherine Pozarski-Conolly, university of Nevada, Reno
In light of the effects of No Child Left Behind and the de-emphasis in k-8 science instruction along with the current push for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education to increase 21st century learning skills, a course for school leadership teams was developed as a partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) and the Washoe County School District (WCSD) as part of the Teacher Incentive fund (TIF) 3 federal grant to help failing schools become more successful. This project is in the first year of a five year implementation to transition seven elementary, one middle and one high school that have been designated as “failing” schools with low socio-economic status and high ELL populations to become STEM designated schools. Included with the nine new schools, four other elementary schools in various stages of STEM implementation were also included in the course to help guide the politics and share success and challenges of the implementation process. The course covered the entire first year and meet once a month at a local elementary school. Topics of the course included an introduction to STEM, Inquiry, NGSS, CCSS, ELL teaching and learning strategies, as well as many other foundational topics that were associated with developing a STEM implementation plan. After the first year of planning, the schools have now tested some of the ideas presented in class and have developed implementation plans for the next school year. One of the products that was developed from this group was the Nevada STEM Implementation Framework that acts as a transition guide for all schools with a desire to become STEM focused. Results indicate a high satisfaction for course content and STEM learning, but also illustrate the frustration that is present when implementing such a large change at a school site.
Principal Author: Todd M. Milford, University of VictoriaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Christine D. Tippett, University of Ottawa; Susan Middlemiss, St. Margaret's School; Reesa Vermeulen, St. Margaret's School
We are investigating the potential for effective implementation of STEM education at the early childhood (EC) level. Action research was adopted, with early childhood educators (ECEs) reflecting on their STEM practices in a Pre-Kindergarten (Pre-K) classroom in Phase 1 and acting on personally meaningful questions in Phase 2. The study is based on two overlapping frameworks: action research, which provides the structure for a systematic and documented process of professional growth and the characteristics of an effective and appropriate EC STEM curriculum. As is typical of action research, research questions were developed in collaboration with the ECEs:
1) What are aspects of effective EC STEM instruction?
2) How can we gather evidence of those aspects?
3) What are the benefits and challenges of implementing an EC STEM program?
4) How might action research afford opportunities to reflect upon and adapt STEM curriculum?
Phase 1 included two ECEs, 14 Pre-K girls enrolled at an independent school, and the students' parents. Data sources included observations of STEM lessons, lesson plans, student work samples, student focus groups, ECE interviews, and a parent questionnaire. We designed a set of tools to facilitate data collection, beginning with an observational protocol based on current standards, provincial guidelines, and relevant literature. This protocol consists of four aspects - questioning, play, process skills, and NGSS scientific and engineering practices - each of which has two or more dimensions and a further three indicators. A reflection template mirrors the observation protocol, and a parent survey explores STEM outside of the school setting. Data from Phase 1, April to June, 2014, are being analyzed both by the researchers and the ECEs. Phase 2, beginning in September 2015, will involve the same two ECEs and Pre-K students and parents and expand to include students, parents, and teachers at the K level. Again, action research will be employed as ECEs and teachers collaboratively, with the researchers, develop and investigate research ques
Principal Author: Julie C.. Brown, University of MinnesotaAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kent J.. Crippen, University of Florida
This study examined the process of becoming a culturally responsive science teacher while participating in the STARTS (Science Teachers Are Responsive To Students) program. Local theory of high school life science teachers’ progression as culturally responsive educators in this context is presented. Our grounded theory analysis led to six themes characteristic of teachers’ professional growth: views of students, CRP Science conceptions, student repositioning, community building, utilizing a toolbox, and instructional changes.
Over time, STARTS teachers validated students’ identities through instruction, decreased students’ reliance on them, and ultimately came to treat teaching as pulling knowledge out of students rather than depositing information. Additionally, teachers exemplified the multidimensional nature of culturally responsive pedagogy as their relationships with students became more fluid and equitable. Care was taken to build a classroom community, and students were treated as members of this community. Though teachers began to view knowledge critically, there was only one instance of engaging students in critical explorations of science topics. This study contributes to science education by highlighting the need for a closer examination of the reasons for this perpetual issue as well as specific strategies for addressing the dilemma.
Furthermore, the findings of this study indicate complementarity between reform-based science teaching and culturally responsive science. Teachers’ classrooms became a place where students worked collaboratively and relied on each other to learn science content and construct products. They developed and used models to explain science phenomena, analyzed and interpreted data, and obtained, evaluated, and communicated scientific information in culturally congruent manners. This study extends the current literature base demonstrating alignment between culturally responsive science education and the vision of science education espoused in the Framework for K-12 Science Education. Implications for teacher education are shared
Principal Author: Fer Coenders, University of TwenteAbstract:
The change from teacher dominated to student controlled classrooms is not easy as teachers fear poorer learning. However, in context based education students need more autonomy. Mandatory context based curricula for the natural sciences were introduced in 2013 in the Netherlands. To support teachers during preparation and implementation, teacher design teams (TDT) were set up. In a TDT subject teachers from different schools under supervision of a teacher educator, (re)design student learning material suitable for context based education, subsequently enact this is their classes, and discuss the outcomes. In 2012, nine chemistry teachers participated in such a TDT. The teachers realized that autonomous cooperative learning groups would be appropriate, but wondered how to monitor student progress as their concern was that students would not stay on task, make mistakes without being corrected and that this would only surface after the final test. A group log was designed to allow students to record their progress during each period. Each group had to write down all results from their activities and all answers to questions, and had to answer specific questions related to the cooperation process and products. To do this the group had to reflect on their cooperation.
During the design of the material in the discussions in the TDT one concern often surfaced: how often do teachers need to check the logs, what information do they need to provide and how time consuming is all this?
Four teachers class enacted the learning material plus group log. These teachers were interviewed after use at school, group interviews with their students were held, and the logs analyzed.
The results showed that teachers needed between 3-5 minutes per log after each period for feedback. They stressed that this time was well invested as they could see how students had worked and what the result was.
Students were also positive, and especially appreciated teachers’ quick feedback.
The log stimulated student interaction, guided the learning processes, and stimulated reflection.
Principal Author: Mahsa Kazempour, Penn State University (Berks Campus)Abstract:
Co-Authors: Aidin Amirshokoohi, DeSales University; Stephen Croft, Carlton Elementary School; Christina Lebo, Crestview Elementary School
In this study, we have focused on a course component, the Home Inquiry Project, incorporated in a science methods course with the intention of enhancing participating elementary pre-service teachers’ experiences, attitude, and knowledge with regard to specific science content and the general process of scientific inquiry. We explored 1) how candidates would carry out an inquiry task of their own choice outside of class and with minimal guidance and steering from the instructor, 2) how they connect that experience with in-class experiences and discussions focusing on the nature of science, scientific inquiry, and inquiry-based teaching, 3) their overall experiences and attitude toward this course component and the inquiry process in general, and 4) how they envision the connection between this experience and their learning with their future teaching practices. This study employs a mixed-method approach consisting of the collection and analysis of multiple data sources. It is evident that the assignment is a worthwhile experience for the students, enriches their overall course experience, and has the potential to result in improved content knowledge and understanding of the process of scientific inquiry and the nature of science among the participants. Furthermore, participants view the experience favorably and have the opportunity to make connections to course goals and also reflect on the application of this experience in their classroom science teaching through the discussions and various reflective tasks. Some have even implemented this type of activity during their student teaching and initial year of teaching. This line of study has immense implications for the preparation of a scientific literate teacher population who will be largely responsible for cultivating a scientific literate student population. We anticipate that teachers who have experienced, and thus have a better understanding of the process of scientific inquiry, will more frequently and readily implement such practices in their own future classrooms.
Principal Author: Tammy D.. Lee, East Carolina UniversityAbstract:
Complex systems surround us in every aspect of our world from ecosystems that we inhabit and share with other living organisms, including the systems that supply and affect our water supply (i.e., water cycle). To understand these complex systems and our human impact on these systems necessitates a scientifically informed citizenry (National Research Council, 2007). To understand and learn the intricacies of these systems, individuals must develop a “systems thinking” perspective. The newly published A Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation of Science Standards has placed systems thinking and the use of representations at the forefront of new reforms. This research study is situated at the intersection of these reforms. Elementary pre-service teachers use a wide range of resources, including the Internet, to plan and select scientific pictorial representations for lessons. However, little is known about how elementary teachers and pre-service teachers think about the selection process, or if it is related to teachers’ knowledge of systems thinking. This mixed methods study investigates the pedagogical perspectives utilized by elementary pre-service teachers in their selection of multiple pictorial representations for science lessons and the influence of systems thinking in terms of an earth science topic (e.g., water cycle) on these selections. Quantitative analyses of content assessment data, questionnaires and a selection of pictorial representations will be conducted among 60 elementary pre-service teachers. A subset sample will be chosen for qualitative analyses of the process of selecting images, interpretation of images, and rationale of classroom use of representations based on a complex system. Results from this study will provide a foundation for how to restructure elementary pre-service science education courses to meet these reform efforts.
Principal Author: Deanna LeBlanc, University of NEvada, Reno & Lyon County School DistrictAbstract:
Co-Authors: David T. Crowther, University of Nevada, Reno
Research will be presented which describes the effects of inquiry science education on long-term science content knowledge retention. Two groups of fourth graders received science instruction during a two-week unit on minerals and rocks in order to determine the difference in effect size between inquiry instruction and textbook instruction on long-term retention of content knowledge. Both groups took a teacher-constructed pretest prior to instruction, a posttest directly after instruction, and a post/posttest four weeks after the end of the instructional unit. A one-way ANOVA was used to analyze data from the pretest, posttest, and post/posttest, and an effect size analysis was conducted for both groups’ post/posttest results. There was no statistically significant difference shown between the long-term retention of content knowledge using the two instructional methods. However, the effect size analysis revealed that inquiry-based instruction yields a medium practical effect over textbook-based science instruction. Further research is needed to understand the effects of a blended curriculum including both inquiry and textbook science instruction.
Principal Author: Patricia D. Morrell, University of PortlandAbstract:
Co-Authors: Kari O'Connell, Oregon State University; Peder Nelson, Oregon State University
Funded by NASA, we provided three years of PD for middle and high school teachers on Climate Change. The Scientist-Teacher Partnerships Model for Climate Change Professional Development is grounded in the research base on PD (e.g., Darling-Hammond 1995; Joyce & Showers, 2002; Loucks-Horsley et al., 2003; Shulman, 1988); the literature about partnering teachers with scientists to engage in authentic science inquiry (e.g., Dixon & Wilke, 2007; Silverstein et al., 2009) and the frameworks of situated cognition and the cognitive apprenticeship model (Dresner &Worley, 2006; Kardash, 2000; Lave & Wenger, 1991).
The purpose was to determine if this PD model succeeded in teachers: increasing their understanding of GCC; strengthening their understanding of science processes; teaching their students about GCC. The sample was ten middle and high school science teachers chosen based on their interest in GCC and their potential for integrating GCC topics into their classroom.
The PD was multi-layered and sandwiched teacher pairs working with researchers at field sites between on-campus PD experiences. Research areas were carbon sequestration, use of dendrochronology techniques, remote sensing, and examination of snow pack. During the academic year, teachers interacted with each other and the scientists via email and a web discussion forum. They met to share their reflections and receive feedback on their implemented units.
For evaluation, we used pre/post tests, reflections papers, KWL charts, their thematic units, workshop evaluations, interviews with teachers and scientists. Our findings suggest this model not only enhanced teachers’ understanding of the complexity of GCC strengthened teachers’ understanding of scientific modeling and bridged the gap between scientific inquiry conducted by researchers and scientific inquiry in which middle and high school students can be engaged, but resulted in follow through by the teachers from the PD into the classroom.
Challenges faced over the three years and our “solutions” are discussed in the full paper.
Principal Author: Alicia Klaich, University of Nevada, Reno & Washoe County School DistrictAbstract:
Co-Authors: David T. Crowther, university of Nevada, Reno
This study utilized a quantitative pre / post / post posttest experimental design to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference between a personalized and interactive web-based technology explanation phase versus a traditional textbook reading during a 4th grade 5E integrated STEM unit of instruction. The sample used in this study consisted of 46 fourth grade students from a school in a large western United States school district. The sample of students consisted of a combination of two similar ability and like-demographic classes from the same school. The school has a 100% free and reduced lunch rate and 87% of the students are classified as English Language Learners (ELL). The experimental technology group consisted of 22 students and the control textbook group had 24 students. Throughout the unit of instruction, during the explanation phase, one group was directed to read from the Scott Foresman fourth grade science textbook. Students then participated in a whole class discussion led by the teacher. Students shared responses and completed their daily science journal for the topic at this time. The teacher clarified understanding and cleared up misconceptions to insure that all students received the correct content. The technology group used the Collaborize Classroom to access teacher provided links (www.collaborizeclassroom.com). The students in this group were given the choice of using the teacher provided links to answer the same explanation phase questions, or to research and visit sites on their own. The students then responded to the explanation phase questions in an online discussion format using Collaborize Classroom. Results show that the experimental group receiving the web-based technology rich instruction scored higher on the posttest than the control group receiving the text based explanation phase (P<.001). Additionally, when the post posttest scores were examined for retention, the experimental group again scored higher than the control group (p<.003).
Principal Author: Kelly Feille, University of North TexasAbstract:
The purpose of this study was to investigate the narratives of the professional life histories of upper elementary teachers who successfully facilitate effective science teaching both within the classroom and in the outdoor learning environment (OLE). The recorded and transcribed interviews were used to construct professional life histories for each teacher that followed their education and development as an effective elementary science educator. Using the constructed narratives of professional life history, I relied on existing literature of teacher development to provide a starting point for a thematic analysis. The primary codes used in the analysis of the professional life histories of the participants (understanding, practices, tools, disposition, vision, and community) were taken from a framework for teacher development for pre-service teachers that is built upon previous research in the field of teacher learning (Hammerness et al., 2005). Beyond the primary themes, I continued to analyze the narratives to construct secondary themes of the participants’ development as teachers.
This presentation will focus on describing and elaborating on the constructed themes and the data from the participants’ professional life histories that is relevant to science teacher education. The audience will be able to further understand the experiences of these five teachers throughout their teacher education (both pre- and in-service). This understanding will allow audience members to make connections to their own teacher education students and what experiences may contribute to the development of highly successful upper elementary science teachers. The experiences of these teachers can help the community of science teacher educators better understand how we can facilitate the growth and development of science teachers who successfully facilitate instruction within the four walls of a classroom and beyond.
Principal Author: Deborah Tucker, Independent Science Education ConsultantAbstract:
Co-Authors: Grant 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 science teachers’ understandings of different purposes of assessment. Several of the NSTA Standards for Science Teacher Preparation (2012) and 2003 Standards (e.g., 8a, 8b, 8c) addressing not just core disciplinary ideas, but science practices as well, will be included:
2a) Plan multiple lessons using a variety of inquiry approaches that demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of how students learn science.
2c) Design instruction and assessment strategies that confront and address naïve concepts/preconceptions.
3b) Develop lesson plans that include active inquiry lessons where students collect and interpret data ….
3c) Plan fair and equitable assessment strategies to analyze student learning and to evaluate if the learning goals are met….
5a) Collect, organize, analyze, and reflect on diagnostic, formative and summative evidence …
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.
We learn from a recent study (Aydeniz and Southerland, 233) that “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.” Implications for science teacher educators from this study 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. Workshop participants may use the relevant strategies and information presented directly with their beginning teachers.
Principal Author: Christina L. McDaniel, Misissippi State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Ryan M. Walker, Mississippi State University; Nathan Eric. Heiselt, Mississippi State University
Implementing student-centered scientific research in k-12 education is essential in preparing students for the current global workforce. The life skills and research skills incorporated in the student-centered scientific research process mimics the necessary life skills needed for future careers. In an effort to support the teachers of a regional science fair in promoting student-centered scientific research, a Fall 2013 professional development was designed to incorporate teaching strategies that would provide a unique scientific inquiry method along with an informational seminar related to project paperwork, design, implementation and presentation. Archived data from the 2014 science fairs were analyzed. The results showed that the scores had no statistical difference for professional development participation. However, when compared with the archived data from 2013 science fairs, all teachers (beginners, novice, experienced or master teachers) who participated in the professional development showed and increase in mean scores and rankings. Novice or beginning teachers showed the greatest increase in mean score (115-117%). Therefore, this study suggests that novice or beginning teachers need additional training for scientific inquiry in the pre-service programs and/or professional development that focuses on teaching methodology for in depth scientific inquiry that invests in the students areas of interest.
Principal Author: Robert B. Marsteller, Lehigh UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Alec M. Bodzin, Lehigh University
In order to explore effective Web-based instruction relating to systematic science curriculum reform, an instructional unit about biological evolution was designed to augment the high school biology curriculum. The unit includes learning activities designed to promote increased student content knowledge and science process skills, as defined by the Next Generation Science Standards. This unit was developed to address the need to develop effective Web-based science instruction. A curriculum implementation study was conducted with 77 rural high school biology students that implemented the biological evolution unit in the spring of 2014. Data sources included classroom observations and a post-implementation survey. The findings revealed that the student required increased support to become independent learners in a Web-based setting. Most students perceived that the Web-based curriculum would be enhanced by increased immediate interaction and feedback. Students require greater scaffolding to support the complex, process-oriented tasks required of the NGSS, and independent Web-based learning, in general. This project illustrates a model for designing Web-based science instruction with educative curriculum materials to support students’ acquisition of content knowledge and science process skills in a Web-based setting.
Principal Author: Francine Wizner, University at AlbanyAbstract:
This study is an examination of the manner in which an educator employs scientific content humor and how that humor is perceived by her students. Content humor is a useful strategy to help students with cognitive processes intended to achieve factual, conceptual, procedural, and metacognitive knowledge. Previous studies have found that humor has a positive effect on knowledge, memory, and understanding. However, few studies have been conducted below the undergraduate level and mainly quantitative measures of student recall have been used to measure learning. This study employed multiple data sources to determine how one secondary biology teacher used humor in order to explain scientific concepts and how her students perceived her use of scientific instructional humor. Evidence of student humor reception was collected from four students in the class. The scientific humor was dialogic in nature, reflected everyday experiences, presented queries, poked fun at authority, and asked students to search out new perspectives and perform thought experiments. The teacher was the primary actor in performing the humorous events. The events were sometimes physical exaggerations of words or drawings, and often occurred for the purpose of having students make connections between scientific concepts and prior knowledge. Student perceptions were that the teacher did employ humor toward instructional objectives that helped their learning. Helping students become critical thinkers is a trademark of science teachers. Science teachers who take the risk of adopting some attributes of comedians may earn the reward of imparting behaviors on their students like critical thinking skills, the ability to explore questions in a detached manner, and the ability to search out new perspectives. The results of this research may encourage additional study on how secondary science teachers use humor to explain scientific concepts and may also encourage science teachers to investigate novel ways that instructional humor can be used in their classrooms.
Principal Author: Kevin D.. Finson, Bradley UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joanne K.. Olson, Iowa State University; Brandon Emig, North Carolina State University; Miller T.. Miller, University of South Carolina; Gerald H.. Krockover, Purdue University; Hyunju Lee, Univeristy of South Florida; Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Alec M.. Bodzin, Lehigh University
As interest and attention within the science education community has become more focused on visual data, a logical progression of questioning has been how visual data are actually applied in science classrooms PK-16 and pre- and in-service teacher preparation. Visual data applications of interest include how it is identified, how it can be used with students and how students can generate it themselves, how it can be employed as a diagnostic tool in concept development, and how it can be utilized as an assessment tool. Effective visual data are often situated, contextualized, and dependent on specific content being taught and learned. The effectiveness of a particular kind of visual data representation needs to be considred in light of possible multimodal teaching applications the teacher knows and can employ. Additionally, effectiveness relies in part on the extent to which students have learned how to access, interpret, and use the information contained within those representations and then use that knowledge to construct their own representations to convey their understandings of science conceptual knowledge. Learners do not automatically possess a high degree of visual literacy, despite being immersed in it daily. Consequently, teachers must be deliberate in their selection, design, and utilization of visual data representations, and in teaching students to effectively use them and generate their own.
This session brings together recent work by science educators about effective utilization of visual data within PK-16 science classrooms. Five papers representing 18 projects serve as the panel for the session, with each focusing on the following 6 framework questions:
1. What are the key characteristics about visual data inscriptions that must be taught to students?
2. What kinds of formats are the most efficacious for students to use in generating their own visual data inscriptions?
3. What are the most effective and efficient strategies to use in teaching students how to use visual data inscriptions?
4. During the timeline of a class session or a course, is th
Principal Author: Kerry O. Cresawn, James Madison UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Diane Secord, James Madison University
English Language Learners (ELLs) represent 10% of students in US public schools and this is projected to increase by another 30% in the next 25 years (NCES). Studies by others demonstrate unwelcoming attitudes of teachers towards ELLs which are largely attributed to lack of training and misconceptions about effective ELL education (Walker et al. 2004). This program was designed to give preservice teachers at James Madison University (JMU) a focused experience designing and implementing engaging science experiences for ELLs that integrate literacy skill development and the culture with which the students and their families identify. A group of 5 preservice teachers worked with a K-8 literacy teacher and JMU Biology instructor to (1) become familiar with best practices in science education for ELLs by literature search and discussion, (2) develop relationships with the ELL students and foster a welcoming community, (3) design science lessons using best practices in science education that are culturally relevant and literacy integrated, and (4) engage a class of 7th and 8th grade ELL females in these experiences throughout the year. A qualitative analysis of pre and post attitudes surveys suggests a positive impact of the program on the ELLs’ interests in and confidence in science, and even pursuing science education as a career. The preservice teachers reported that the program provided them with confidence and skills to be effective, engaging, and welcoming science teachers for ELLs, and provided them with better awareness of the challenges (including issues related to importance of content knowledge) and rewards of working with ELLs. Lastly, this program serves as a model for how content-specialists in higher education with little to no experience in K-12 or diversity can have an impact on social justice issues in education by collaborating with both the inservice and preservice teacher communities.
Principal Author: Rénard B.. Harris, College of CharlestonAbstract:
Co-Authors: Cynthia Hall, College of Charleston; Tristan Hawkins, College of Charleston; Megan Lee Hartley, College of Charleston; Willie McCray, College of Charleston
TALES directly addresses two of the three main education goals for NASA: to attract and retain students in STEM disciplines and to engage Americans in NASA’s mission. Through the creative stories and NASA-related activities, TALES “…engages students in NASA content for the purpose of developing a deeper understanding.” Storytelling provides a mechanism for inspiring interest in a topic, where the students will want to learn more. Storytelling is ingrained in the fabric of human life (Myers 2001). Stories resonate with life experiences and have the power to profoundly change our perceptions of the world around us…stories inspire creativity and thought. Providing NASA-related science and math content, through storytelling and hands-on or inquiry-based activities, will inspire a population traditionally underserved in STEM, by providing a personal connection or culturally relevant connection with NASA-related content. This connection, in turn, will inspire them to engage more deeply in and pursue STEM disciplines.
Storytelling helps a child develop literacy and critical thinking skills; Creating the stories around the exciting discoveries of NASA provides an engagement hook into STEM. Through the creative stories and NASA-related activities, TALES educates student learners by incorporating “…specific STEM knowledge and skills using NASA resources. These activities promote new knowledge acquisition and strengthen an individual’s skills.” Stories allow us to communicate scientific ideas in an alternative method, one in which there is a social context. “Framing science concepts and research efforts in this narrative structure grabs the audience’s attention and fosters its sustainment. Explaining science like you would tell a story makes interaction with the material more accessible” (Williams, 2013). Providing deep and meaningful opportunities for students to make connections with the content, science and engineering, increases literacy!
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 content courses that were offered at and taught by education staff of a large Informal Science Institution (ISI) located in the Midwest USA. The curriculum, materials, and agendas for the courses were developed by ISI education staff and complemented a number of the ISI’s exhibitions. Aside from these courses being broad based and interdisciplinary, it explored how to further the incorporation of inquiry-based teaching methods into the classroom as well as the multiple ways that an informal institution could be used to further the curriculum objectives established. Portfolios and reflection essays (n = 15) provided the data for the study. In addition, all participating elementary and middle school teachers (n = 187) 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 indicated a perceived efficacy in learning about and ability to teach inquiry to their students. However, there were unclear understandings about inquiry among both ISI education staff and participants. The findings described here can assist developers of informal science professional development for elementary and middle school teachers that desire to incorporate inquiry, pedagogy, and science content into their teacher learning experiences.
Principal Author: Yvonne Franco, University of South FloridaAbstract:
This case study examined a preservice teacher’s journey to becoming an inquiry-based elementary science teacher, after completing a science methods course introducing inquiry-based instruction, and seminars encouraging the use of teacher inquiry as a reflective means for studying pedagogical practices in the context of an internship field placement. The study was grounded in scholarship pertaining to both science and teacher education to respond to the challenge that despite national efforts to encourage the use of inquiry-based teaching practices, many elementary science teachers still do not practice science as inquiry with their students (Fradd & Lee, 1999; Lebak & Tinsley, 2010; D. Meyer, A. Meyer, Nabb, Connell & Avery, 2011; US Department of Education, 2000). Central to the first area of scholarship was the relationship between teacher identity and practices. Bryan and Abell (1999) argue that “the heart of knowing how to teach cannot be learned from coursework alone” (p.121), but rather it is requiring of “reflective experience” (p.136). The next facet of learning evolved from both the literature on teacher education and my desire to contribute to the knowledge of researched pedagogical practices that can be used by science teacher educators to support development of “scientifically and pedagogically capable” teachers (Russell & Martin, 2007, pp.1172).
This study employed a qualitative design for data collection as well as principles of grounded theory for analysis. Findings include an elevated metacognitive awareness of the origins of the preservice teacher’s dispositions towards teaching and learning science; a strong personal link between theoretical understanding of inquiry-based pedagogy, the necessity of learners in the authentic classroom setting, and the practical application of the pedagogical practice; an empowerment to overcome challenges in the inquiry-based instructional setting; and a perception of parallels between the epistemology of scientific investigation and teacher investigation
Principal Author: Leigh K.. Smith, Brigham Young UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Joseph H.. Hanks, Brigham Young University; Lynnette B.. Erickson, Brigham Young University
Many secondary science teachers, particularly those in schools with high EL populations, rely heavily on course textbooks rather than their own expertise for the curricular framework and instructional strategies that guide their instruction. Aware of this reliance, textbook publishers have augmented their publications in recent years to include textual tools, 1-2 paragraphs of instructional or curricular recommendations for teaching ELs located in the margins of some chapters in the teacher edition of the textbook. The claim is these tools incorporate the science education standards and other standards designed to provide guidelines for various aspects of teaching and learning, including pedagogy (CREDE), cognition (TIMSS), and linguistics and language (WIDA). The purpose of this descriptive content analysis was to determine how the textual tools for teaching ELs found in three widely used secondary biology textbooks in the U.S. align with these standards. Recommendations found in each standard were used as a priori coding categories. Three major findings emerged. First, the number of textual tools per textbook, frequencies of instances of alignment by standard, and total alignment (the average percentage of the frequencies of alignment with all four standards) differed markedly across textbooks. However, the order of the frequency of instances of alignment by standard was the same across textbooks: alignment with TIMMS (cognition) was highest, followed by WIDA (language), CREDE (pedagogy), and Benchmarks (content). Second, the strength of alignment (explicit/implicit) differed by standard across textbooks, with the highest frequency of explicit instances of alignment for all textbooks with the CREDE standards, followed by WIDA, TIMSS, and Benchmarks. Third, when frequencies of instances of alignment were examined by coding category per standard, a majority of the recording units across textbooks were aligned with just one or two of the recommendations in a given standard; important recommendations were omitted. Implications for teacher educators are discussed.
Principal Author: Alec M.. Bodzin, Lehigh UniversityAbstract:
Principal Author: Mohammed A.. Qazi, Tuskegee UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Gerald Griffin, Tuskegee University; Adrinece Beard, Tuskegee University; De’Shayla Chappell, Tuskegee University; Angela Player, Tuskegee University; Carol Banks, Tuskegee University; Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University
A Tuskegee University led multi-institution, multidisciplinary Math and Science Partnership (MSP) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) is implementing contemporary evidenced-based interventions to improve Science education in the middle grades in ten school districts of the socio-economically and educationally disadvantaged Alabama Black Belt region. The corner stone of the partnership is the development, classroom delivery and evaluation of unconventional, but innovative NanoBio science-based course modules to teach middle grades science concepts in the ten partner school districts. To-date, thirty-five such modules have been developed and tested by the partnership, some of which have been published by the Alabama Learning Exchange (ALEX). Partnerships are critical in the development of our modules, which include collaborative efforts by STEM and education faculty, and in-service and pre-service teachers.
The partnership offers an extensive teacher training component to prepare approximately 80 in-service middle grades science teachers in the use of the course modules in the classroom. Approximately 7,000 students across the partnership are benefiting from these newly created instructional resources, many of whom come from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in STEM.
In this paper, we will discuss a specific course module that has recently been developed for use by 7th grade science teachers in partnership schools to teach the Life Science concepts of antibodies, antigens, vaccines, growth & regulation. We will describe the various iterated and incremental phases in its development including its design, creation, implementation and testing. We will also share the module’s effectiveness in the classroom through data on student learning outcomes. The discussion of the module will be preceded by a description of the motivation and rationale of the Tuskegee University led MSP partnership, which is also often referred to as the “NanoBio Science partnership”.
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. The purpose of this study was to explore the differences in argumentation discourse between teachers with high-level RTOP scores and teachers with medium-level RTOP scores and low-level RTOP scores in terms of the frequency of argumentation components in science classrooms. One category of classroom characteristics that emerged through the analysis of the teachers’ transcripts and recorded class periods was structure of teacher and student argumentation which was defined as an interaction in which the teacher and students challenged, defended, supported, or rejected each other’s ideas with or without evidence in the class. Results showed that the differences between the teachers’ and students’ discourse patterns were associated with the teachers’ modified Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) scores. There was no difference between the teachers and students in medium and low RTOP score classes so they were incorporated into one group when evaluating results. Teachers and students in high RTOP score classes were more likely to challenge, defend, support and reject each other’s ideas when discussing a topic than teachers and students in medium and low-level RTOP score classes. Students in the high-level classes used the critique component of argumentation (e.g., challenging, defending, supporting, and rejecting) rather than the construction component of argumentation (e.g., information seeking and elaboration) more frequently than the teachers and students in the medium-level and low-level classes.
Principal Author: Seyithan Demirdag, University of OklahomaAbstract:
Inclusive science education in charter schools is one of the essential instructional approaches in addressing the educational needs of students with disabilities in general education settings. In the United States there are few charter schools that effectively implement special education in general and science inclusion in particular. There is sufficient information about the effect of inclusion on students with disabilities in charter schools, however lack of data and research fail to address the effect of inclusive education on general education population in charter schools (Schneider & Buckley, 2003; VanderHoff, 2008).
This study investigated the attitudes of 8th grade students without disabilities towards students with disabilities in inclusive science classrooms at a charter middle school. This study included the collection and analysis of quantitative data using a non-equivalent quasi-experimental design to determine if students without disabilities in inclusive charter middle school science classrooms were positively or negatively affected by the process of being educated with their learning-disabled peers within inclusive science classrooms. The study included two science lessons on density and an attitude measurement survey.
Following my presentation, I invite participants to engage in a brainstorming discussion about the following topics: Do students without disabilities have negative or positive feelings towards students with disabilities in inclusive science classrooms? Can science inclusion be an effective solution in providing academic services for all students?
Principal Author: Valarie L.. Akerson, Indiana UniversityAbstract:
This presentation shares an innovative assignment from an elementary science methods course that required preservice elementary teachers to design and create a children's book that would introduce elementary students elements of the nature of science. The assignment was introduced at the beginning of the semester. The preservice teachers received instruction in NOS throughout the semester, how to use children's books to teach NOS and science, and how to use various technology tools to develop a children's book. The preservice teachers were provided with criteria for developing the children's book. The culminating activity was a book share at the end of the semester during which all preservice teachers shared their children's books with their peers in the last class session. The course instructor found that the preservice teachers not only appreciated having the book to use with their students, but that the act of creating the book helped them to develop and refine their own NOS conceptions, and in a way that they could translate their understandings to elementary students (PCK, Shulman, 1986). Audience participants will receive copies of the criterion as well as view examples of the books that were created by the preservice teachers. Suggestions will be made for including a book design assignment within other methods courses.
Principal Author: Amanda L. Glaze, Jacksonville State UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: M. "Dee" J.. 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 university studies and entry into the classroom, something is influencing teacher decisions about evolution, something that determines what they teach their students and how. Understanding this process is the key to designing pre-service teacher curriculum that enhances understanding, encourages teaching of evolution, and provides support to do so confidently and accurately. This study sought to examine the lived experiences of pre-service science teachers as they prepared to enter the classroom as teachers. To do so, interviews were conducted among individuals who were sorted based on their 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. These interviews were analyzed using a grounded theory methodology and used to generate a theoretical process model for acceptance and rejection of evolution among pre-service science teachers in the rural South.
Principal Author: Judith A. Bazler, Monmouth UniversityAbstract:
Co-Authors: Letitia Graybill, Monmouth University; Meta Van Sickle, College of Charleston; Dorothy Varygiannes, Monmouth University
Ipad usage in classrooms is increasing with little professional development. Current reviews of science APPs identified as "top Apps" provide no evidence of any evaluation process. Last year, we designed and implemented an evaluation process for a Biology/Mathematics topic list. We designed a web site to contain both reviews of each top App evaluated, and a list of "No Apps" using the topic name. This year, we expanded our research to include a STEM/interdisciplinary topic list. We designed a Science Discipline and a Mathematics list and included an information and technology theme. Following our evaluation format we reviewed and ranked the first 10, free, english, none game Apps. We then uploaded the top ranked App to our website and added further reviews to each App review. Our findings will be reviewed in this presentation.