2017 International Conference Proceedings

Paper #13014: A Gentle Introduction to the Use of Rasch Measurement Models in Science Education Research

Principal Author: Gavin W.. Fulmer, University of Iowa
Co-Authors: William J.. Boone, Miami University Ohio


Rasch measurement models are increasingly visible and popular in science education research in the US and internationally. This growth in applications of Rasch models is due in large part to the many benefits of the approach over classical assessment techniques, as we will discuss below. Despite this, Rasch measurement modeling is still a specialized approach. Thus, this experiential session will give participants an introduction on Rasch measurement models, how to read critically about Rasch models, and share recent examples of Rasch applications in science education.

This one-hour experiential session will be organized into three parts: an overview of Rasch measurement models; a set of key ideas for a critical reading of Rasch measurement research; and examples from published or ongoing work. The focus of every presentation will be to encourage audience participation, so the exact time for each portion may be adjusted based on the discussion itself.

The first presentation will give an overview of the key concepts in Rasch measurement models. Major points to address include: the probabilistic nature of Rasch measurement models; person and item estimates; dimensionality; and fit and reliability.

The second presentation will explore the key points that participants should consider when reading and evaluating research that has included the Rasch measurement model. Drawing on the concepts raised in Presentation 1, we will then present a series of cases to highlight common issues to note when reading a paper critically. We will draw from a combination of passages from published research, works-in-progress, and “mock-ups” to emphasize different elements.

In the last presentation, we will provide examples from our previous and ongoing projects that can demonstrate the breadth of applications of the Rasch model in science education. The first example will describe the use of a Rasch measurement model for examining students’ responses to a questionnaire on physics content knowledge that are designed to correspond to levels on a hypothetical learning progression. The second example will describe use of Rasch measurement model for a multi-dimensional analysis of two-tier items, to determine whether it is more difficult for students to “know” when making their choice for the first tier, or to “reason” when giving their explanation for the second tier.

Paper #16024: Developing Professional Development for NGSS and CCSS: Stories of Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Transformation

Principal Author: José M. Rios, UW Tacoma
Co-Authors: Riki Thompson, UW Tacoma; Belinda Y. Louie, UW Tacoma; Mei Zhu, Pacific Lutheran University


Four tenure-track faculty members – science education, literacy and language arts education, language and rhetoric, and mathematics – engaged in a self-study to examine how their beliefs, knowledge, and practices were transformed as they faced the challenges of providing online and in-person professional development in NGSS and CCSS to K-12 teachers in various regions in the state. The critical collaborative environment supported faculty professional development and explicit articulation of each participant’s views about teaching and learning. Data sources included personal reflective essays, detailed notes on group discussion meetings, and interviews. As a result, the faculty members appreciate the power of interdisciplinary collaboration in K-12 professional development and how to improve in their teaching practices, both online and in-person.

Paper #10231: Teacher Characteristics and School-Based Professional Development in Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools: A Cross-case Analysis

Principal Author: Nancy K.. Spillane, West Virginia University
Co-Authors: Sharon J.. Lynch, George Washington University


This study provides a rich description of the STEM teachers and their teacher professional development experiences in four successful Inclusive STEM-focused High Schools (ISHSs). This study was motivated by the increasing attention given to the development of ISHSs as a pathway to increasing the number of students from underrepresented groups entering STEM majors in college and careers in the STEM fields, coupled with the lack of a consensus definition of an ISHS.

Using an existing data set from three-day site visits to four exemplars of ISHSs (those identified by experts in STEM education research, and by national, state, and local STEM-education organizations, as successful in preparing students underrepresented in STEM for STEM majors in college and future STEM careers), a multiple case study with cross-case analysis of the teachers and their teacher professional development experiences was carried out.

This study found that administrators in these ISHSs had hiring autonomy to choose teachers with strong content-level backgrounds who were philosophically aligned with the missions and visions of the schools, and who indicated a willingness to work collaboratively toward achieving the schools’ goals. Teacher professional development was an ongoing, continuous process that began before school started and occurred throughout the school day, week, and year through intense and sustained, formal and informal, active learning opportunities. Professional development was aligned with targeted school reforms, and teacher and student needs; and had the flexibility to change with changing needs. Importantly, teacher learning involved collaborative experiences and took place within a school-wide culture of collaboration. Teachers were provided guidance on how to work collaboratively, and given multiple, recurring opportunities to engage with others through open lines of communication that allowed for the free flow of ideas, strategies, and concerns among all staff. These collaborative opportunities, combined with intentionally designed pathways for teachers to assume roles of greater responsibility or leadership, contributed to teacher professionalization often leading to a distributed leadership where experienced faculty increasingly assumed responsibility for school-wide decision making and school outcomes, which further supported an environment of shared mission and mutual trust.


Paper #10230: Why are Geosciences Excluded from the Common U.S. Biology, Physics, Chemistry Course Progression? Perceptions of Teachers, Future Teachers, and Geoscience Students

Principal Author: Alice (Jill) Black, Missouri State University


Knowledge of Earth science is vital in important, complex issues today.  Most of the U.S. public, however, has grown up in a school science progression that stressed biology, physics, and chemistry (BCP) and generally omitted Earth sciences.  What impression does the public therefore have about geosciences, especially those persons who potentially may go into Earth sciences, will teach future generations, or make public policy positions?  This research explores that question.

How did we come to have our current BCP progression?  In response to the need for college entrance requirements for the then-new high schools, the Committee of Ten was appointed in 1892 [NEA], 1894.  The geography sub-committee dealt with physical geography, geology, and meteorology.  It recommended a broad ninth grade geography course for all students and specialized half-year Earth science courses in the third and fourth years of high school.  Physics and chemistry were to be full year courses.

The geosciences were neglected in the 1899 implementation of the report.  By 1920, most schools offered the BCP progression and General Science had replaced physical geography for freshman science. 

This study employed a mixed-methods procedure.  In order to not offer response suggestions to subjects but to produce eventual quantitative results, first qualitative and then quantitative paradigms were used. 

The qualitative section (Part 1) consisted of a single essay question administered over five years to 295 preservice elementary/middle/high school teachers.  The second survey (Part 2), administered to different subjects, was quantitative with 24 items derived from coded responses to the first qualitative survey.  Twenty–three categories were determined, which were used to devise the quantitative survey.  The Part 2 questionnaire was administered to 346 subjects from five groups of teachers and university students in several courses.

Qualitative survey subjects reported such perceptions as Earth science, compared to the other three sciences, is not as important, useful, challenging, or complex, does not use as much math, and is common knowledge and not related to everyday life.  The ten most common quantitative responses are listed and analyzed, with the most common response being that “Students receive a basic Earth science education throughout elementary school.”  Suggestions to remedy these misconceptions and secondary curricula are offered.



Paper #10228: Impact of a unique STEM competition on students and teachers

Principal Author: Jennifer Albert, The Citadel


As the need for more STEM graduates grows, so does the search for specific activities that may better engage students in STEM.  Each February, The Citadel hosts the Storm the Citadel Trebuchet Competition.  The goal of the competition is to raise awareness of engineering and the other STEM disciplines, allow students to experience STEM, and give students an opportunity to interact with STEM professionals.  This paper describes this unique competition and its impact on elementary, middle, and high school students, in addition to college and professional groups.  Additionally, this paper describes a related professional development opportunity for teachers/mentors and the competition’s overall impact on them.

Paper #10227: Recognizing and evaluating student understanding from assessment work: A case of four secondary chemistry pre-service teachers.

Principal Author: James M.. Nyachwaya, North Dakota State University


This study explored four secondary pre-service chemistry students’ understanding of the particulate nature of matter, PNM. The study also looked at the extent to which the pre-service chemistry students were able to analyze and evaluate student drawings drawn from chemistry education research literature, which were based on PNM. Study participants were also asked to describe how they would go about addressing any student misunderstandings, errors or misconceptions they saw in the drawings. Results show that two of the participants did not provide appropriate particulate drawings of solid ionic compounds in two equations. While participants were able to identify errors or mis/understandings in the drawings, some often focused on a few features of the drawings, missing very fundamental important aspects of the drawings. Those who did not provide appropriate particulate drawings of particular reactants and products were not able to flag errors involving those very compounds in the drawings provided, which contained errors they themselves had in their drawings. Proposals on how to address student errors and misunderstandings from the drawings varied, with some students proposing hands-on activities, demonstrations and simulations, while others proposed to use ‘logic’ in their instruction.

Paper #10226: The impact of a teacher’s STEM endorsement on student achievement

Principal Author: Christina S. Hillesheim, Mississippi State University
Co-Authors: Aressa Coley, Mississippi State University; Gabriel Posadas, Mississippi State University; Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University


Using the Mississippi statewide longitudinal data system, researchers investigated the influence of non-endorsed STEM teachers on student achievement. Outcomes for student achievement were assessed using Graduation rates, State mandated standardized test for biology and algebra, and the need for post-secondary remedial coursework. Nationwide STEM teacher shortages have created an issue where some teachers are hired to teach outside of their areas of licensure. Understanding how this impacts student achievement is an essential part of teacher training and developing a scientifically literate population. Data from academic years starting with the 2004-2005 academic year and ending with the 2013-2014 academic year were used to calculate the frequency and percent distributions of teachers in each STEM field (i.e. biology, chemistry, physics, and math) by whether they were endorsed to teach in that field (N=8240). Student outcomes for these teachers were analyzed to determine impact on student achievement. The greatest gap in student achievement contributed to teacher licensure is proficiency on the algebra and biology exam, with 10.66% and 6.04% respectively, but this was not found to be significant. This research confirms that factors such as gender, race, and SES have a greater influence on student success. Researchers will discuss the need for alternative measures for student success in STEM education.

Paper #10225: Using Hands-on Learning Modules to Address Challenging Concepts in Electricity and Magnetism

Principal Author: James Rutter, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Nigel Standish, University of Virginia; David Slykhuis, James Madison University


The focus of this study is on hands-on learning environments, where a student builds a tangible representation of a particular concept, allowing the student to construct their own knowledge around it. This paper explores the use of a hands-on project in a middle school engineering class to teach fundamental concepts of electricity and magnetism. The project required students to build a solenoid, also referred to as an electromagnet, and then use it in several different applications, including one designed and created by the student. An assessment was then used to determine the students’ understanding, and to categorize alternative ideas students have about E&M. The results of the study show that a hands-on instructional approach can increase the number of normative conceptions among student that align with the scientific community, as well as address the alternate ideas that do not align.

Paper #11035: Development and Validation of a Systems Thinking Measuring Instrument for High School Students

Principal Author: Hyundong Lee, Kyungpook National University
Co-Authors: Hyonyong Lee, Kyungpook National University


The purposes of this study were to develop an instrument to measure high school students’ systems thinking and to validate the scale. The factors of systems thinking were made up for 5 factors - Systems Analysis, Mental Model, Shared Vision, Personal Mastery, and Team Learning through analyses of related literatures and studies. 10 items per factor were constructed through pilot-test using exploratory factor analysis. The final instrument consisted of 20 items. The finding of the main-test using exploratory factor analysis indicated 5 factors in the model, and 4 items per 1 factor. In addition, the result of confirmatory factor analysis using Amos 20.0 was generally appropriate and acceptable (5 factor model: χ2/df=1.275, TLI=.946, CFI=.959, RMSEA=.033). The reliability for 20 items turned out to be reliable because the Cronbach's alphas were .840 and .604∼.723 per each factor. For revalidation of the developed Systems Thinking instrument, 2567 students were sampled. The result of confirmatory factor analysis was generally appropriate and acceptable (5 factor model: χ2/df=7.600, TLI=.894, CFI=.910, RMSEA=.051). The reliability for 20 items turned out to be reliable because the Cronbach's alphas were .847 and .649∼.708 per each factor. This study will contribute to improve validity and reliability of systems thinking study by offering statistically significant data. Also this study should be expanded to measuring systems thinking with qualitative research tools. The subsequent studies regarding diverse learning program development and implementation, and the verification on the students' impact within the developed program can be recommended.

Key word: Systems Thinking, Systems Thinking Instrument, Validation

Paper #10224: Capitalizing on Strengths: What pre-service STEM Education teachers, engineering-majors, and middle school English language learners have to teach each other

Principal Author: Anne Pfitzner. Gatling, Merrimack College
Co-Authors: Cynthia Carlson, Merrimack College


Preparing preservice teachers to be more effective at teaching science to ELLs (English Language Learners) once in their own elementary and middle school classrooms is a great concern for our field.  Providing authentic experiences for preservice teachers to engage with ELL students allows the future teachers to encounter their own preconceptions and debrief with their cohort about the experiences.

In an effort to meet this need, our preservice teachers participate in our small northeastern college’s 14 year Math & Science Partnership program (LMSP) that extends into local schools’ afterschool programs. Our LMSP has served more than 1,200 at-risk, ELL middle school students (5-8 grades).

        However, our recent PEAR (Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency) Common Instrument survey results helped us to realize the desperate need to increase the rigor of our LMSP. Although diverse middle school students are reporting more gains in some areas, other important areas, such as Science Enjoyment, and Perseverance for girls, declined post-program. As a result we are re-thinking the LMSP, and incorporating some of our college’s STEM Ed and Engineering-majors into the LMSP.

We will discuss how we are connecting the well-established partnership more closely to STEM students on campus, by recruiting our college student volunteers from our STEM Ed program and Engineering programs. This method will give STEM Ed students more practice and support with the technical areas, and Engineering students more practice and support with communicating technical concepts.

While STEM Ed preservice teachers are enthusiastic about education, they are sometimes lacking in science and engineering skills.  Engineering students, while perhaps lacking communication or education skills, are enthusiastic about engineering.  Engineers need more communication skills than engineering students may realize; practicing these skills with middle schoolers allows the engineering students to practice being technical experts in need of simplifying concepts for their audience.  We hope that by pairing the two majors in the LMSP, we may improve engagement in all three populations, middle schoolers, education-majors, and engineering-majors.

At ASTE, we hope to discuss these changes with other institutions and share ideas on how else to address both the needs of our preservice teachers and STEM students and the needs of the urban community youth.  

Paper #10223: The Teacher’s Perspective on the Value of Science Inquiry and Science Fair in the Secondary Classroom

Principal Author: Christina L. McDaniel, Mississippi State University


Educators agree that the implementation of science inquiry in the classroom is essential to developing a deep understanding of the nature of science and the world around us.  This qualitative study explores the concept of science inquiry through the frame of successful teachers who implement teaching strategies that highlight science inquiry, such as science and engineering fair projects.  Using the modern expectancy-value model, three successful teachers, or teacher who mentored several International Science and Engineering Fair finalists, were interviewed.  The results of the interviews indicate five emerging themes:  there is intrinsic value in science inquiry and science fair; strategic engagement opportunities support STEM career choices; intrinsic value, motivation, and pathway increase academic aptitude; the benefits outweigh the costs; and a linkage exists between intrinsic and utility value.  

Paper #10222: Three technological tools used to develop, improve, and analyze teaching

Principal Author: Craig Berg, Univ of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Co-Authors: Raymond Scolavino, Univ Of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Preparing future teachers how to teach effectively and engaging learners at high levels involves complex tasks that sequence knowledge and awareness, practice, observation and data collection, followed by analysis and reflection.  Observations of teaching episodes and data analysis involve both qualitative (used most often) and quantitative (to a lesser extent). In this session we will describe how we utilize three different technologies to provide practice teaching in a virtual environment, then provide qualitative observations using after action review software, and quantitative data collection using an app that provides robust measures of teacher questioning and responding, classroom activity and student engagement. The presenters will demonstrate how the three tools work together to achieve robust feedback and thereby growth in teaching skills. These three tools were used in a research study designed to provide indicators of levels of preservice teacher’s growth with regard to classroom management, student engagement, and questioning and responding. The results of the study and suggestions for using these tools in preservice or inservice programs will be shared.

Paper #11034: A Model for Inservice Science Teacher Professional Development (Preschool through Grade 8) in a California Urban School District

Principal Author: Lisa M. Martin-Hansen, California State University, Long Beach
Co-Authors: Susan Gomez Zwiep, California State University, Long Beach; Shay Fairchild, Noralk - La Mirada Unified School District; Mikala Rahn, Public Works; Youngjin Song, California State University, Long Beach


A professional development plan with a Southern California University and an urban school district, was funded for a three-year experience (CaMSP).  After year one (Y1) of the project with 100 TK-8 teachers, preliminary data indicates the Science Professional Academy (SPA) is an effective model for teacher professional development.


The theoretical underpinnings for this research are tied to active learning theory where one sees students – including teachers as students in this case –  as possible active learners under the right conditions where they are engaged in “doing things and thinking about the things they are doing” (Bonwell & Eison, 1992) showing positive learning gains in school age and college age students.


The SPA consisted of a two-week, summer intensive experience followed by instructional and lesson study cycles during the academic year – repeated each year. The summer experience provided emphasis in both science content and pedagogy with follow-up in pedagogy during the school year with additional instruction and reflective teaching in two lesson study cycles.  A unique aspect of the professional development in science content was that instruction was modeled in a 5E sequence (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) by a team consisting of a university scientist and a university science educator with support from a school district teacher leader. 

The research investigated 1) how teachers’ science content understandings changed over time; and 2) whether or how a shift in pedagogy to more active learning practices in 5E learning cycles occurred. 

Research conducted was both quantitative and qualitative. To measure teacher growth, 1) a Lesson Planning Protocol Assessment was administered yearly, 2) Pre/Post assessments of science content from a standardized instrument developed by Public Works as well as 3) as pre/post-assessments developed by instructors to measure growth in each content course. To measure growth in teachers’ practices across the project, 4) qualitative interviews and focus groups will be conducted (spring and summer 2016). 

Preliminary data has shown statistically significant growth in TK-8 teachers’ content knowledge (content assessments) and positive responses from teachers in terms of perceived benefit (focus groups).

Paper #10221: Learning and Leading through Discipline Literacy in Science and Math Education: Utilizing Mobile Technologies

Principal Author: Rita Hagevik, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke


Four faculty members at a major University have been engaged with four rural high needs middle schools in a grant funded project whose purpose is to support content area teachers in the integration of literacy into their content instruction utilizing mobile technologies or tablets and educational apps. Using the professional development model of Japanese Lesson Study, math and science teachers in two of the middle schools have created app-based lessons that utilize an inquiry-based approach and a framework for classifying educational apps by their purpose. Ultimately the goal of this work is to increase disciplinary literacy in a blended learning environment in math and science. The use of apps represents a blended learning environment because apps can provide students access to content and ways to demonstrate their knowledge as well as to practice skills. We have found the use of lesson study along with the framework for the use of apps to be an effective means of incorporating discipline literacy as well as mobile technologies in these teachers’ classrooms.

Paper #10220: Preservice Elementary Teacher Planning Practices Around Students’ Prior Knowledge

Principal Author: Elaine M.. Lucas-Evans, University of Pittsburgh


Planning to teach is an integral part of being a teacher. The degree to which teachers plan and the ways in which they plan are as varied as the teachers themselves. Nonetheless, planning is essential if a teacher intends to help his or her students achieve particular learning goals as a result of participating in the lesson. Teacher educators are tasked with helping preservice teachers learn how to write lesson plans for the subjects that they will teach. Preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) must learn how to write lessons for their students in a wide range of subjects, including science. Typically their science lesson plans are solely guided by curriculum materials that have been selected by the school district in which they are placed to teach. These curriculum materials may or may not be educative in nature and they may or may not help the PSETs t think about the prior knowledge that their students might have regarding the science content in the lesson topic. Prior knowledge, both academic/formal and experiential/informal, can be utilized by PSETs in their lesson plans to support students in linking what happens in the classroom to what happens outside of the classroom. While past research has indicated that PSETs struggle to teach science because they lack content knowledge in science disciplines we know little about how or if these novice teachers use students’ prior knowledge in their planning practices. This research examines lesson sequences submitted by ten PSETs as part of a science methods course assignment. The findings suggest that PSETs are able to think about and anticipate students’ prior knowledge with no or little prompting while planning to teach. Additionally results indicate that all of the PSETs in this sample referred to students’ academic prior knowledge in the closing phases of their lesson sequence.

Paper #10219: Elementary Science Olympiad Coaches’ Motivations and Perceptions of the Impacts on Participating Students, School Culture, and Teaching Practices

Principal Author: Kylie S. Hoyle, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Jason L. Painter, The Science House-NC State; Kim D. Gervase, The Science House-NC State


The purpose of this study is to understand what motivates 125 Science Olympiad coaches to volunteer their time and effort for this informal program. This study also strives to understand if the coaches perceive the school's involvement with Science Olympiad as having influence on the schools’ students and culture.  In addition, this study investigates Science Olympiad coaches who are also elementary teachers to determine if their involvement has had any impact on their teaching practices, confidence in teaching science, or science content knowledge. This study utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) as the conceptual framework guiding the measurements and analysis. Participants completed a questionnaire that included four sections: demographics, motivation (Coach Motivation Questionnaire [CMQ]; McLean, Mallett, & Newcombe, 2012), and two open ended sections. The CMQ showed that coaches are motivated most strongly by intrinsic motivators. The second motivator was integrated motivation (internal causality). Through open ended questions, lead coaches reported that students are extremely excited about their school's participation in Science Olympiad, they have high support from the other teachers and administration, they believe Science Olympiad has led to other success and there has been more STEM integration at their school since starting the Science Olympiad team. Very few teachers reported negative perceptions on students and school culture. Coaches reported feelings of inspiration and increased confidence in STEM content from their involvement. Many reported that those impacts transferred into their own teaching practices and some reported including more Science Olympiad related activities in their lessons.

Paper #10218: It’s Like Herding Cats: A State Wide Initiative to Address the Next Generation Science Standards

Principal Author: Catherine M. Koehler, Southern Connecticut State University
Co-Authors: Todd Campbell, University of Connecticut; Joanna Badara, University of Bridgeport; Marsha Bednaski, Central Connecticut State University; Jeffrey Thomas, Central Connecticut State University; Cindy Kern, Quinnipiac University; David M. Moss, University of Connecticut; Theresa Bruckerhoff, CERUS


In  2015, Connecticut became the 15th state to adopt the Next Generation Science Standards [NGSS] (Lead States, 2013). As with many other states that are contemplating or have already adopted NGSS, there are many variables to take into consideration before these new standards will roll out in each state. Since CT has adopted this reform initiative, it is essential that all parties in the science education pipeline be part of the restructuring movement of our curriculum, professional development, assessment and preservice science teacher training. In order to facilitate this endeavor, the State of Connecticut through the U.S. Department of Education Math/Science Partnership (MSP) program funded a MSP project titled, CoNSEPT (Connecticut Network of Science Educators and Preservice Teachers). The essence of the CoNSEPT project is to develop a preservice teacher pipeline where the preservice science teachers (PST), cooperating teachers (CT), university supervisors (US), and university faculty (IHE) at all teacher preparation institutions in the State (n=15) participate in an 18th month professional development experience involving the 3-dimensional learning as addressed in Framework for K12 Science Education (NRC, 2011) and NGSS documents. In this proposal, we will describe phase I of the CoNSEPT project, and how we were able to develop a strong IHE professional learning community (PLC) to work toward our goal of developing a preservice science teacher pipeline in Connecticut.

Paper #10217: Biology Undergraduates’ Perceptions of Nature of Science and Scientific Inquiry

Principal Author: Lin Xiang, Weber State University


Although it has been a historical and worldwide consensus that developing student’s understanding about the nature of science (NOS) and scientific inquiry (SI) is crucial in science education, existing research revealed that many students did not develop an adequate understanding of NOS and SI after graduating from the high school. Meanwhile, explicit instruction of NOS and SI was only sporadically reported as a component of lab-based instruction at postsecondary level over the past two decades. The present study documented students’ perceptions of NOS and SI from up to 2000 undergraduate students’ perceptions before and after an introductory biology lab unit that was designed to help students explicitly reflect on NOS and SI. Our results revealed significant differences between undergraduate students and biologists’ perception of SI and provided empirical evidence on undergraduate students’ misconception of NOS.

Paper #10215: A STEM-based PBL Professional Development for Pre-/In-service teachers in a Urban School district.

Principal Author: Matthew J. Benus, Indiana University Northwest
Co-Authors: Anita M. Martin, Indiana University Northwest


The research project began as a collaborative professional development (PD) partnership centered on a mutual vision of STEM reform between our University and a Midwestern urban school district. PD was provided to urban in-service teachers alongside our pre-service elementary/special education university candidates with a focus on STEM learning. As we worked with the district to plan this partnership funded by a small internal university grant, we understood there would be challenges when combining pre-/in-service teacher professional development in formal and informal learning environments with a specific emphasis on planning for, modeling of, and delivery of a problem-based, STEM learning experience. This pilot study consisted of two University candidates and three in-service teachers whose district invited middle school summer students to advise the School Board whether the district should consider using solar energy to meet their electricity demands. The first week was entirely PD with all 5 teachers, while weeks two and three entailed the five teachers leading the summer solar PBL experience for students (grades 4-7). Key findings are:

(a) pre-service and in-service teachers used “listen-first” skills differently while making decisions regarding instructional planning and teaching practices,

(b) pre-service teachers often expressed their ideas about student capabilities as “should do”/“could do” while in-service teachers often expressed their ideas about student capabilities by what they “have seen” students do or what they “believed” students “could do”,

(c) during the entire study a pre-service teacher was paired with an in-service teacher. The depth of inexperience/experience of each participant helped to foster different kinds of noticing/insights when planning, discussing theory of PBL/inquiry, instructional delivery, and reflection and beliefs,

(d) creating a PD experience with a group of pre-service teachers that know and respect the researchers’ work and respect the experienced teachers efforts/insights, provided a innovative and cutting-edge lens for the overall encounter. The university candidates were notably comfortable with unpacking understandings, while the in-service teachers appeared at ease due to the early sharing of the university candidates, which built trust to learn and grow within the learning partnership.

Paper #11033: Training the Trainers: Designing the First Power of Data Facilitation Academy

Principal Author: Brooke A. Whitworth, Northern Arizona University
Co-Authors: Megan C. Walker, Northern Arizona University; Nena E. Bloom, Northern Arizona University; Lori A. Rubino-Hare, Northern Arizona University


This design-based research study examined the first cycle of development, enactment, analysis, and redesign of the Power of Data (POD) Facilitation Academy.  Facilitators’ geospatial technology skills, understanding of POD Principles, and preparation for and stages of concern facilitators held for implementing POD Teacher Workshops were investigated.  The POD Team (n=5), consisting of geologists, geospatial technology (GST) experts, and science educators, analyzed the previous POD PD Model using a learner and outcome focused approach to curriculum development consistent with design-based research. Using these results the first POD Facilitation Academy and Guide were developed and enacted.  One cohort of facilitators (n=15) participated in the POD Facilitation Academy designed to prepare them to implement POD Teacher Workshops designed to support teachers in learning how to incorporate GST through Geospatial Inquiry in their classrooms.  Data sources included a Pre-Academy Perceptions Survey, Daily Debrief Forms for both the POD Team and facilitators, observations of the Academy, a GST performance assessment, a Post-Academy Perceptions Survey, and a Post-Academy Perceptions Interview.  Analysis of these data informed the redesign and modification of the POD Facilitation Academy.  The qualitative data were analyzed using deductive analysis.  Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and non-parametric statistics.  Findings may provide a better understanding of the stages of concern facilitators hold prior to implementing professional development which may provide insight into the support facilitators need in the implementation and scaling up of professional development. We begin to suggest design principles for scaling up teacher professional development. 

Paper #10214: Integrating Engineering Design with the Existing Curriculum: Balancing Structure, Agency, and Authenticity

Principal Author: Maria S.. Rivera Maulucci, Barnard College
Co-Authors: Stefania Macaluso, Barnard College


With the recent adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, schools and teachers are faced with the challenge of integrating engineering design into the existing science curriculum while resources to do so remain somewhat limited. This paper explores how six preservice-inservice teacher teams created engineering design units connected to the existing science curriculum during their participation in a 14-week science methods course/professional development seminar. Data for the study include unit plans, reflective essays, student work, video analysis, unit presentations. We provide a descriptive review of the units, explore the authenticity of the teachers' approaches, the extent to which they integrating the Claims-Evidence-Reasoning framework, and teachers reflections on how students’ valued the engineering design projects.

Paper #10213: Student Use of and Attitudes Towards the Textbook in an Introductory Biology Course

Principal Author: Alexia Rudolph, Arizona State University
Co-Authors: Rachel Yoho, Arizona State University; Ying-Chih Chen, Arizona State University; Binaben Vanmali, Arizona State University


The college textbook is one of the most commonly required components of almost any college course, regardless of a student’s academic discipline. Professors often expect students to have access to the textbook and to use it to complete assigned textbook readings. Textbooks often contain features that are designed to facilitate active reading and to enhance the learning of the material. However, students often do not read or prioritize reading the textbook. Students who do read, tend not reading the textbook as intended or use many of the features designed to promote active reading and enhanced learning of the material.

Although there is a lot of information on textbooks in general, the majority of the literature focuses on aspects related to textbook organization, content, selection, and other aspects more relevant to publishers or professors. Studies investigating aspects of the textbook related to students at the college level, compose a much smaller portion of the literature. The purpose of this study is to evaluate student’s textbook use and their attitudes toward the textbook in an introductory biology course. Results of this study indicate students hold positive attitudes toward their textbook and under-utilize components meant to facilitate active learning. Although students report completing assigned readings, evidence presented here suggests students may actually be reading select portions of what is assigned. Students use the textbook in preparation for exams and to enhance their understanding of covered materials. However, these results suggest that students may only be using their textbook to enhance their understanding of materials they expect to be tested on for exams. The findings of this study help to understand the role of the textbook from the perspective of the student and provide insight for improving textbook design or textbook use in science courses at the college level.

Paper #10212: Ontological engagements: How might we (un)know the beginning science teacher?

Principal Author: Maria F.G.. Wallace, Louisiana State University


The beginning science teacher has been ‘figured out’. However, the combination of ethnographic work, feminist post-structuralism, and the entanglement of diverse ontological underpinnings in this ongoing study depicts alternative ways to (un)know the beginning science teacher subject. Drawing on philosophical constructs from Deleuze and Guattari, Karen Barad, Michel Foucault ontological assumptions informing how researchers of science teacher induction define and (co)construct the beginning science teacher are complicated. This study explores how beginning science teachers formally and informally experience induction. Resultantly, research on beginning science teacher experiences (and their implicated subjectivity) is positioned to (re)think anew. Participant experiences combined with diverse theoretical constructs challenge ‘authors and talkers of science teacher education’ to pause and consider the enduring implications of the ontological assumptions employed. Simply put, how might we (un)know the beginning science teacher and what they ought to be?

Paper #10211: African American Girls, Storytelling, and Informal STEM Learning Experiences

Principal Author: Natalie S. King, Georgia State University


In this study, I share the interpretations and perceptions of African American girls who participated in FOCUS – a community-based informal STEM program. Using narrative inquiry, participants generated detailed accounts of their STEM learning experiences in FOCUS and their formal classes, and how they perceive themselves as African American girls in STEM amidst injustices related to their race, gender, and class. Critical Race Methodology informed this research to portray the dynamic and complex experiences of African American girls, whose stories have historically been silenced and misrepresented. The data sources for this qualitative study included individual interviews, student reflection journals, samples of student work, and researcher memos which were triangulated to produce six robust counterstories. The major findings of this research are that FOCUS ignited interest in STEM learning through field trips and direct engagement in scientific phenomena that allowed the girls to become agentic in continuing their engagement in STEM activities throughout the year. The girls identified attributes of teachers who encouraged and supported their STEM learning as ones who responded to their individual needs, included their parents in the learning process, and promoted creative and critical thinking. Furthermore, the girls perceived race to have a greater influence on their STEM learning experiences than gender and class, and embraced storytelling as a form of empowerment. This call to awaken and elevate the voices of African American girls casts light on the lives and challenges of girls of color as STEM learners – from their perspectives. The findings confirm that when credence and counterspaces are given to African American girls, they are poised to reveal their luster toward STEM learning, and adds to the body of knowledge on how to bridge the informal and formal STEM learning environments for African American girls which is presented in my STEM Intersectional Space (SIS) model. The SIS model provides a space for African American girls to reflect on their STEM learning experiences, formulate new understandings, and make connections between the informal and formal learning environments in the context of their everyday lives, thus offering a more holistic approach to STEM learning that occurs across settings and over a lifetime.

Paper #10210: Characterizing Preservice Science Teachers’ Technology Integration Practice

Principal Author: Lyrica L. Lucas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


The standards on K-12 science education in the United States have continuously shown an increasing emphasis on technology integration requiring science teachers who are able to practice technology integration and possess a strong background on the potential use of educational technology for various teaching and learning purposes. For teacher education programs to be responsive to the pedagogical shift emphasized by the current standards of science education, there is a need to look into preservice secondary science teachers’ technology practices during internships and understand their attitudes toward technology use and ability to use classroom technologies. The purpose of this study is to understand how secondary preservice science teachers negotiate technology integration in their teaching practice during internship using both classroom observations and interviews as data sources. A comparative case study design was used to explore the similarities and differences between the technology integration practices of two preservice science teachers from a master’s level teacher education program. Preliminary findings show a limited set of activities that typify student teachers’ enactment of technology integration and point to supports and constraints that influence their use of classroom technologies.

Paper #10209: “Definitely not for everyone”: Variations in how science teachers integrate technology in a STEM unit

Principal Author: Angelina M. Constantine, University of Minneosta - STEM Education Center
Co-Authors: Paula S.. Rozowa, University of Minnesota - STEM Education Center; Alaina Szostkowski, University of Minnesota - STEM Education Center; Joshua A.. Ellis, Michigan Technological University; Gillian H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota - STEM Education Center


During the development of STEM curricula, a consistent struggle for many teachers is understanding the nature of technology and how to integrate it (Wang et al., 2011). This multiple-case study explores the views and practices of three elementary science teachers from three distinct sites in an urban school district with a recently implemented 1:1 iPad initiative. All three teachers participated in an NSF-funded summer professional development opportunity in which they co-developed and implemented an engineering-based STEM curriculum unit in collaboration with a graduate student coach.  While these teachers took part in STEM professional development, they did not receive explicit support from the NSF project or the district on how to integrate technology with their teaching. As a result, the authors were able to explore how science teachers make sense of the role of technology in the creation and implementation of a STEM unit without explicit direction. Data collected from teacher interviews, coaching sessions reveal a range of teacher conceptions of technology use, while data from teacher lesson plans and classroom observation records identified different types of technology enactment in the classroom. Qualitative analysis from these three cases demonstrates several patterns of interaction that correspond to a range of teacher conceptions of technology. Whereas one teacher with a prior stated interest in iPad technology sustained the commitment throughout the unit, two other teachers who displayed more ambivalence regarding iPad effectiveness either limited or discontinued their use of the device during implementation. Preliminary results reveal how teacher beliefs regarding iPads (whether as a “purposeful tool for differentiation” or a potential “distraction” whose use may be limited by technical difficulties) influence their practices.

Paper #10208: Exploring the change of docents’ understandings and practices about science communication through the training workshops in situated learning context

Principal Author: Young Shin Park, Chosun University
Co-Authors: Eunhang Lee, Chosun University


The purpose of this study was to design science docent training program and explore participating preservice docents' change in theories and practices of science communication.  The researchers defined science communication and its components operationally on the basis of theories and developed SCAT (Science Communication Analysis Tool) which can be used to see how much science communication can be included and what components of science communication can be included in each selected exhibit. The researchers also developed the frame of exhibit medias from theories and practices, which also can be used to see how those medias can promote the level of science communication. The researchers designed the docent training course where preservice docents learn theories about science communication and experience practices of interacting with visitors through the help of the experienced docents at real context of interacting with visitors or developing exhibits in a group.  Participating preservice docents formed new understandings about science communication and they showed change in practices of developing exhibit interpretation scenarios after taking the course of science communication. Participants also showed efforts to add hands-on activities, assisting exhibit interpretation and attracting visitors to the exhibits. Participants also showed positive educational impact on their furthering skills about planning, developing, and interpreting specific topics of exhibits through the interaction with the current working experienced docents who were assigned to each group of participants. The research team developed one educational program about nuclear energy by considering all components of science communication and implemented it to the visitors of middle school students, who responded very positively in becoming familiar with nuclear energy. This study implied the necessity of developing systematic docent training course in the situated context of learning.

Paper #10207: Longitudinal Effects of School Demographics on Student and School Science Achievement

Principal Author: Kevin H.. Thomas, University of Central Florida
Co-Authors: Jonathan L.. Hall, University of Central Florida; Tonjua B.. Freeman, University of Central Florida; Malcolm B.. Butler, University of Central Florida


Student achievement gaps relative to student demographics and socioeconomic status have been a wide area of study for many years (Goldstein, 1997; Morgan, Farkas, Hillemeier, & Maczuga, 2016). Mainly, this issue has been explored in the areas of mathematics and reading due to federal and state testing standards (The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, 2002; Linn, Baker, & Betebenner, 2002; Maerten-Rivera, Myers, Lee, & Penfield, 2010). The achievement gap in science has only more recently been a focus of these studies. Additionally, more current theoretical frameworks are now being explored to reframe the achievement gap (Evans, 2005). These frameworks, however, require more data for larger samples and over longer periods of time to explore our complex educational system.

Prior school effectiveness research has focused on performance indicators that rank schools within a district or state, and this is still generally how states evaluate their schools. The literature requires longitudinal and hierarchical data structures for the use of Hierarchical Linear Modeling (HLM). Examining methods of site-selection in school effectiveness research enable us to accept those variables which we cannot control, and attempt to establish actionable strategies that improve science achievement for all students.

Paper #10206: Science Teachers’ Knowledge about Science, Technology and Engineering as a Support for Integrated Instruction

Principal Author: Allison Antink-Meyer, Illinois State University


Just as nature of science (NOS) has been demonstrated to require explicit, reflective instruction, which does not oftentimes occur in college science courses, it can be assumed that science teachers’ conceptual, skills-focused, and epistemic knowledge about engineering and technology are lacking as well. The issue in science teacher education addressed in this study related to teachers’ knowledge about science, technology and engineering needed for subject integration in the secondary science classroom.

Paper #16022: Where oh where is engineering? The examination of edTPA portfolios for the Next Generation Science Standards Science and Engineering Practices

Principal Author: Erica M.. Brownstein, The Ohio State University
Co-Authors: Larry Horvath, San Francisco State University


Ensuring that future science teachers have the knowledge and skills to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (NGSS Lead States, 2013a) is one of many challenges facing science teacher educators today. When examining each of the eight science and engineering practices, there are identifiable both science and engineering aspects. To begin to investigate engineering in the edTPA we asked the question, “Are the NGSS practices specific to engineering present in a non-random sample of edTPA portfolios?” Our sample for analysis is ten nationally scored edTPA secondary science education portfolios. All candidates have undergraduate majors in science, attended a single institution, and were placed in year-long middle and high school urban science classrooms. Using NGSS Appendix F and Bybee’s (2011) framework, researchers agreed on and used as coding categories, engineering-specific descriptions for each of the eight practices. Utilizing the constant comparative methodology, multiple passes were made through the data looking for evidence of the engineering practices. In the initial analysis, the researchers identify evidence of engineering practices in the edTPA portfolio commentaries in candidate biology, chemistry, and physics commentaries. Through roundtable discussion, participants will leave with a better understanding of the NGSS engineering-specific practices, examples of engineering specific practices from submitted edTPA portfolio commentaries, ideas for changes in preservice curriculum, lesson plan framework, and field experience expectations, and opportunities for topics professional development for practicing P-12 teachers. Further research areas related to engineering in NGSS to investigate will be discussed.

Paper #13013: Developing STEM Identity in Under-represented Minority Women- Increasing Capacity through STEM Identity

Principal Author: Imelda L. Nava, UCLA
Co-Authors: Marco A. Nava, LAUSD


Women and under-represented minorities are under-represented in STEM fields.  The STEM gap emerges early for both women and underrepresented minorities. In this session the audience will engage in their own exploration of their STEM story and what that might mean to their practice.

This session is based on what was learned from the challenges and assets of first generation minority women in STEM fields through an institute intended to build STEM identities.  Elements of this institute will be shared in this space.  Facets of STEM identity are explored through engagement in activities related to STEM and society, personal narratives and reflective practice.

Paper #10205: Relational-Cultural Theory as a Lens to Understanding Science Teacher Induction: A Case Study of a Newly Hired Alternative Licensed Science Teacher’s Relationships and Resilience

Principal Author: Angela W. Webb, Louisiana State University


The benefits of induction for science teachers are well noted in the research literature, and comprehensive induction can be a key component in teacher retention. However, the association between induction support and teacher retention may not be one-dimensional. That is, participation in a formal and comprehensive induction program does not necessarily guarantee teacher retention. Rather, teachers’ relationships during their induction into the teaching profession—with induction conceptualized as a process of socialization into the profession—may mediate their experiences, including resilience and commitment to teaching. This presentation explores the induction experiences of a newly hired alternatively licensed science teacher through the lens of Relational-Cultural Theory (RCT), which frames growth and development in and through relationships within sociocultural contexts. Specifically, I discuss the teacher’s resilience in her job and the ways in which such resilience is advanced through various relationships. Implications of RCT for science teacher induction will be discussed.

Paper #10204: Engineering Mini-Units for Preservice Elementary Teachers

Principal Author: Matthew Perkins Coppola, Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne


As noted by Banilower et al (2013), inservice science teachers report very poor confidence in their ability to teach engineering design and very little coursework in the subject, especially at the elementary grade level. The Next Generation Science Standards (2013) and several states have updated curriculum standards to include engineering design at all grade levels K-12. To address this need with our preservice teachers, an engineering mini-unit (EMU) was added to the science methods course. Preservice teachers were introduced to engineering design through participation in a life vest design challenge and then instructed to create a two day mini-unit to teach as part of the concurrent field placement in a K-6 school. This presentation is centered on the lesson plans generated by the preservice teachers and their end of the semester reflection on the experience. The preservice teachers reported improved self-efficacy in their ability to teach engineering design and improved design pedagogical content knowledge. Perhaps the most interesting result was that the preservice teachers reported that their mentor teachers in the classroom field experience showed increased enthusiasm for teaching engineering design and some planned to integrate the EMU into their future classroom teaching.

Paper #10203: The Science Story is the Power Story: Beginning Science Teacher Candidates on the Equitable Science Teaching Path with a Critical Science Book Club

Principal Author: Manali J.. Sheth, Iowa State University
Co-Authors: Melissa L.. Braaten, University of Colorado Boulder


As we see the dreams of youth of color continue to be deferred and the lives of youth of color not mattering, teacher educators in all contexts must take up the challenge of working to disrupt racism through our work with future teachers (Ladson-Billings, 1999). The struggle to name and address the relationships between power and race in the context of understanding what it means to be a scientist, learn science, and teach science continues to limit the potential of science teachers and science teacher educators to become transformative educators who do the daily work of anti-oppressive teaching.

We conceptualize science teacher education practices and tools that support teacher candidates in developing equitable science teaching identities. Sociopolitical approaches to science education and sociocultural theories of learning were used to design a critical science book club and develop practices and tools necessary to support science teacher candidates’ identity development towards equitable science teachers.

We use illustrative examples to demonstrate how these practices can unfold and their potential to further support science teacher candidates in becoming equitable science teachers. Data sources included recordings of classroom talk, teaching tools, and teacher candidate learning artifacts.

The paper conceptualizes the following practices:

1. Excavating teacher candidates’ ideas about science, knowledge construction, and power.

2. Engaging teacher candidates with science counterstories.

3. Analyzing science counterstories and personal science stories using a critical framework of power, privilege, oppression, and resistance.

4. Bridging power analyses of science to equity dilemmas in the science classroom.

5. Provoking stance-taking around equity issues in science teaching and learning.

6. Attending to the socio-emotional needs of science teacher candidates.

Several tools such as science model guides, reading guides, discussion guides, and stance-taking scenarios are useful in supporting science teacher candidate learning during the book clubs. The main conceptual tool developed provides science teacher educators with an analytical framework to critique science across multiple contexts. It can support decision-making and analysis during all practices and can be used as a critical reflection tool during field experiences.

Paper #10202: The Beliefs and Attitudes Toward STEM Fields of Female Sixth Grade Students of Color

Principal Author: Felicia D. Leammukda, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Crotty, University of Minnesota; Jeanna Wieselmann, University of Minnesota; Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota



Attitudes of females of color toward STEM fields tend to become more negative from elementary to college and eventually influence their career choices (Riegle-Crumb, Moore, & Ramos-Wada, 2010). Hence, females of color are underrepresented in STEM fields (National Science Foundation [NSF], 2015). In order to ensure that all students have the opportunity to pursue STEM careers, educators must find ways to increase interest in all students. Through a mixed methods research design, this study used results from a large quantitative attitude survey to select nine sixth grade females of color: three each with low, moderate, and high attitudes toward STEM. These select students were interviewed prior to, during, and after the implementation of a hands-on, engineering-focused STEM curriculum in order to see if, how, and why their attitudes toward STEM changed through their participation in the novel STEM unit.

This study found that participation in a STEM unit designed to improve attitudes toward STEM showed positive effects in the select students of color in this study. The curriculum gave students the opportunity to be creative and innovative while working in teams on a hands-on/minds-on engineering design challenge. After participating in the STEM unit, more students (five versus two out of nine) could see themselves as engineers. In addition, many students viewed engineering as a helping field, which previous research (e.g. Diekman, Brown, Johnston, & Clark, 2010) has found to be an appealing career attribute for females. If females of color are able to see that engineering is a field in which they have the opportunity to help others and make the world a better and safer place, perhaps more females of color will enter the field of engineering and other STEM fields. Results of this study can be used to develop and guide further STEM curriculum development to focus on improving students’ attitudes towards STEM fields, with the ultimate goal of increasing representation of females of color in these areas.

Paper #16021: Inquiry-based teaching increases self-efficacy beliefs in college freshmen students enrolled in a Chemistry laboratory

Principal Author: Lucia B.. Chacon-Diaz, New Mexico State University
Co-Authors: Prentice Baptiste, New Mexico State University; Cecilia Hernandez, New Mexico State University; Antonio Lara, New Mexico State University


Just as teachers are attempting to move away from traditional teaching styles, college teaching should also promote more active and inquiry-based approaches in their science laboratory courses. Kazempour and Amirshokoohi (2014) focused on how teachers transition to an inquiry-based teaching approach. In addition their study evaluated how teachers began to implement the teaching approach into their instructional planning. Moreover, science educators often have the misconception of inquiry-based teaching, and so, often claim falsely and unintentionally, to be incorporating inquiry-based as a pedagogical approach into their science lessons (Lakin & Wallace, 2010). A science teacher that aims towards applying an inquiry-based approach in his/her teaching must be fully knowledgeable of the particular approach in order for the correct implementation of the teaching strategy. Additionally, most teachers still abstain from implementing an inquiry-based curriculum in which students decide on designing a research question and methodology. Zhang, Parker, Koehler and Eberhardt (2015) affirm that inquiry teaching continues to remain one of the greatest challenges for most science teachers. By increasing self-efficacy beliefs, teachers decreased their anxiety levels towards science and their science teaching practice. A novel method must be applied in college campuses when teaching science that will incorporate inquiry-based learning. Science teachers should be exposed to inquiry-based teaching before entering the classroom. Science educators should not have to wait until they enroll in a professional development session to learn how to properly apply an inquiry-based approach. Under such premise, a quantitative causal comparative design was implemented for the purpose of this study in order to compare the impact of college freshmen students based on their self-efficacy beliefs in terms of the pedagogical approach applied to them (traditional and inquiry-based). The comparison of the total-self efficacy beliefs of the total student population of both laboratory classes revealed to be higher in the inquiry-based laboratory. This presentation will contribute to the interests of ASTE members, in particular methods instructor, by exploring the effect of pedagogical approaches in college chemistry teaching.

Paper #11032: Immigrant Science Professors in the American Classroom

Principal Author: Charles B.. Hutchison, UNC Charlotte


A significant number of college science professors in the U.S. are immigrants. Being immigrants who are teaching in new pedagogical and social contexts, they are assailed by several social and instructional issues that are likely to have an impact on their instruction. In harmony with the literature on pedagogical content knowledge (Cochran, DeRuiter, & King, 1993), immigrant science professors need to understand not only the nature of their new teaching environments, but also, the nature of their new students. Such a challenge is likely to impact their instructional outcomes, unless the related issues are well understood. This study re-analyzes existing data on immigrant professors to confirm that immigrant science professors need to re-educate themselves in order to become proficient in the U.S. classroom, especially because of differences in (a) instructional styles, (b) assessment traditions, and (c) instructor-student relationships.

Paper #13012: An Experiential Session to Explore EMAT: An Online Resource for Lesson Analysis Professional Development for High School Science Teachers

Principal Author: Susan M.. Kowalski, BSCS
Co-Authors: Betty Stennett, BSCS; Mark Bloom, BSCS; Karen Askinas, BSCS


Video-based lesson analysis professional development has shown strong evidence of effectiveness in transforming science teaching and learning (Roth et al., 2011). However, the face-to-face nature of the professional development makes it inaccessible to teachers in small and rural districts. We will share a freely available PD resource known as EMAT (Energy: A Multidisciplinary Approach for Teachers) that moves face-to-face video-based lesson analysis PD into an online setting. Participants will have the opportunity to try the resource, ask questions, and share ideas related to the challenges and affordances of online teacher education. Participants should bring a laptop computer.

Paper #10200: Induction and its Impact on Beginning Science Teachers’ Reform-based Beliefs and Practices

Principal Author: Joshua A. Ellis, Michigan Technological University
Co-Authors: Elizabeth A. Ring, University of Minnesota; Julie C. Brown, University of Minnesota; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota


In the absence of high quality, science-specific induction support, science teachers’ beliefs and classroom practices are consolidated into teacher-centered, didactic practices as they are socialized into the classroom (Authors, 2003; Simmons et al., 1999). Therefore, the induction experience is a critical juncture for the development of teachers, as it  “is a time when science teachers’ practices and cognitive modes are conceptualized, constructed, and crystallized” (Luft, 2007, p. 533). This study presents an NSF Noyce research project focused on developing a strong empirical understanding of effective induction support and recruitment strategies for beginning secondary science teachers working in high-need schools. A primary goal of this project is to investigate induction strategies that go beyond addressing retention to positively shape the professional growth of beginning secondary science teachers as reform-based practitioners.

An explanatory embedded multiple case study design (Yin, 2013) was used to assess how six science teachers understood and enacted reform-based strategies within their K-12 classrooms. After performing a preliminary quantitative analysis on changes in the Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and Learning instrument (BARSTL; Sampson, Enderle, & Grooms, 2013) and Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP; Sawada et al., 2002) scores from the beginning of the year to the end, three cases were defined: teachers whose reformed beliefs increased and reformed practices increased; teachers whose reformed beliefs increased and reformed practices decreased; and teachers whose reformed beliefs decreased and reformed practices increased. Results reveal a surprising degree of variation in how new science teachers’ beliefs about and enactment of reform-based teaching practices change during their first year of participation in a teacher induction program. Data from Teacher Beliefs Interviews (TBIs; Authors, 2007) and Reflective Journals revealed key differences between the three cases presented here. Findings illustrate the need for induction programs to attend to the social, emotional, and affective needs of the teachers in conjunction with pedagogical supports.

Paper #10199: Associating Career Choice with Science: An Interest Driven Learning Project for Preservice Elementary Teachers

Principal Author: Nathan Dolenc, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Co-Authors: Aimee Barber, University of Louisiana at Lafayette; William Kazanis, University of Texas San Antonio


While it is important to understand science, it may not always seem obvious that we use scientific processes in our daily lives, especially to those in non-science, technology, engineering, and mathematical (STEM) careers. Teachers are given the challenging task of developing individuals who firmly grasp the concept that science is a process of constructing new knowledge and understanding the real world around us. This task may even appear to be more daunting to preservice teachers. However, career choice is a one theme where teachers can create linkages between our daily lives and science.

This paper discusses an interest driven learning project for preservice elementary teachers that involved the development of science lessons from career choice information gathered from a class of second graders. As such, we sought to address the following research questions: In what ways did participation in this interest driven learning project prepare preservice teachers to teach science? Are preservice teachers likely to engage in interest driven learning activities in the future? Did the project have an impact on the second graders’ perception of science associated with their career choice? 

Paper #10198: Student Confidence in STEM: Effects of a STEM Partnership of Six Nonprofits

Principal Author: Jeanna R. Wieselmann, University of Minnesota


Six nonprofit organizations in a Midwest metro area formed a partnership to provide students in the area with a more cohesive STEM experience and thereby increase students’ long-term interest, learning, and achievement in STEM.  Students in six different schools within the same Midwest metro school district currently participate in the six organizations’ unique programs when they are in fourth and fifth grade, and there is a hope that over time the programs can be expanded to provide experiences over a greater period of time.

Pre- and post-experience survey results from the first year of collaboration indicate that students experienced a decrease in confidence in their STEM abilities (Wilder Research, 2015).  The decrease was more profound for girls, lower-income students, and students of color, and these findings are cause for concern.  The purpose of the present study was to gather in-depth, qualitative information to further investigate students’ experiences in an effort to better understand what is contributing to their decreasing confidence.  The study sought to answer the research question: How do a set of integrated STEM experiences affect students’ confidence in STEM domains?

Small group interviews were conducted with a total of 44 students and analyzed for patterns, three of which emerged.  First, the partner experiences made students feel smarter and more confident about their content knowledge.  Second, students recognized they still have a lot to learn about STEM.  Finally, the challenges associated with doing STEM cause mixed feelings related to student confidence in STEM.

The discussion focuses on reconciling the finding that students feel smarter, yet experience a decrease in confidence in their STEM abilities.  An important distinction between content knowledge and application of that knowledge is made, with recommendations about how to foster student confidence in applying their knowledge in a STEM context.  Results suggest that there is a need to simultaneously help students understand that STEM is complex but that with hard work and perseverance, they can be successful in STEM fields.

Paper #10197: The Utility of 3-D, Haptic-Enabled, Virtual Reality for Learning Complex Biological Systems: Students’ Understanding of the Human Heart

Principal Author: Rebecca L. Hite, Texas Tech University
Co-Authors: Gail Jones, North Carolina State University; Gina Childers, North Carolina State University; Megan Ennes, North Carolina State University; Katherine Chesnutt, North Carolina State University; Mariana Pereyra, North Carolina State University; Emily Cayton, North Carolina State University; Rebecca Stanley, North Carolina State University


Understanding the structure and function of the human heart is fundamental in studying human physiology and maintaining overall health.  As a complex biology system, misconceptions abound regarding its anatomy and physiology for all levels of learners and medical professionals alike.  Traditional forms of science instruction (e.g textbooks and lectures) as well more recent interventions (e.g. models and simulations) have not been effective in aiding learners in constructing an accurate and cohesive systems understanding of this vital organ.  Educational technology holds a great promise for furthering students’ understanding of complex, system-based phenomena through the use of three dimensional (3-D) modeling, haptic-enabled (HE) feedback and virtual reality (VR) experiences.  A mixed-methods design was used to examine student’s understanding of cardiac anatomy and physiology after participation in an interactive lesson on cardiac form and function using a 3-D, HE, VR technology system.  Seventy-five 6th grade and seventy-six 9th grade students completed a pre-assessment on cardiac knowledge, anatomy and physiology prior to instruction.  Upon completion of the learning experience, a post-assessment was completed.  Data were analyzed by comparing 6th and 9th grade groups, evaluating pre and post assessment scores.  Analyses showed there were significant gains for both groups regarding questions on cardiac knowledge and cardiac anatomy.  Only 9th grade students showed significant gains in understanding pulmonary circulation to and from the heart, although both groups had significant gains in blood circulation within (chambers of) the heart.  Results suggest that 3-D HE VR technologies avail to the learner representations of complex biological not available through other instructional means, enhancing their understanding of complex biological systems.  This study offers important insight into improving science visualizations and systems thinking for use in the 6-12 science classroom.

Paper #10196: A Three Part Framework for Locating Aspects of NOS in the Enterprise of Science

Principal Author: Daniel Z. Meyer, Illinois College
Co-Authors: Allison Antink-Meyer, Illinois State University


Nature of science (NOS) has long had the challenge of being a somewhat amorphous entity.  Despite the clear consensus to have student understanding of NOS be a major goal of science education, and a clear consensus on specific aspects of science to teach. NOS easily remains a daunting challenge, in part, because of its complex, ambiguous character.  Indeed, ambiguity is arguably part of the point.  A black and white view of science is precisely the naive view we are trying to avoid.  In this theoretical paper, we present a framework that seeks to assist in the instruction on NOS by considering where in the enterprise of science they occur.  It is not intended as an alternative to existing articulations of NOS, but rather as a lens through which to consider them.  It can serve as both a heuristic for class discussion and as a guide to instructional planning.


Paper #10195: Outdoor Inquiry Impacting Classroom Pedagogy: Transferability of Environmental Education Informal Learning and Teaching Strategies

Principal Author: Sarah Radencic Lalk, Mississippi State University
Co-Authors: Ryan M. Walker, Mississippi State University; Jennifer Jones, Tremont Institute


Professional development (PD) activities related to Environmental Education (EE) for science educators are a vital requirement to advancing science literacy of the general public for generations.  Children are naturally curious so introducing how to ask questions about observations at an early age will aid in developing critical thinking skills that they can utilize to be scientifically literate adults.  The EE professional development experiences offered by the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont provides K12 educators with invaluable pedagogical and authentic science practices that can be easily transferred back into the traditional classroom environment.  Teachers (N=125) were surveyed pre-post during the PD and again when they returned with their K12 students.  Evaluations completed by the educators upon return to Tremont with their students emphasized many key aspects modeled during the Teaching Escape Weekend that they had implemented into their K-12 classrooms.  Some of the strategies that transferred into the classroom from teacher implementation after the PD experience included questioning techniques and hands-on explorations.  Further analysis of teacher feedback indicated that implementation of Tremont teaching and learning strategies strongly depends on the teacher’s confidence in student ability to actively engage in Tremont informal instructional practices.  Educators expressed a desire to implement EE informal practices they found valuable during the PD, such as journaling observations and independent inquiry experiences.  However, several of the educators had not implemented before returning to Tremont with their students.  Observation of the students successfully engaging in activities while at Tremont increased validation and confidence among several educators that the Tremont practices were indeed transferrable to the traditional school setting, renewing plans on classroom implementation.

Paper #10194: Mythbusting popular culture and social media towards developing new science learning experiences? Ready, Set, OK Go!

Principal Author: Richard P.. Hechter, University of Manitoba


This illustrative and research-infused session will highlight examples, data findings, and implications of our pilot project aimed at helping inservice and preservice science teachers design new teaching and learning experiences for secondary students by making the curriculum come alive via inquiry-based methods emanating out of popular culture and social media contexts like music videos, YouTube clips, and movie and television scenes. The need for this is real, especially in the Canadian north where curriculum documents are out-dated and vacant of modern approaches to teaching and learning science, including a noticeable absence of the integration of modern technologies to collect, analyse, and share knowledge. While perhaps different in Canada where there is not a federally prescribed set of standards like the Next Generation Science Standards in the United States, teachers now seek new ways to tailor their curriculum towards making learning relevant and meaningful for a broader spectrum of students in an equally broad swath of the Canadian geography from urban centres to northern and remote areas. This session will articulate our answer to this call for inservice teachers through professional development, and for preservice teachers in our teacher education program. Planned for science educators and science teacher educators, this session will reveal how we, and our students, explored blending popular culture and social media with mythbusting-esque inquiry-based investigations as the basis for use in secondary level classrooms. As part of the research aspect of this project, we will share how although it was a “fun” experience, both preservice and inservice teachers found some elements of this approach very challenging. It is our vision that this unison of theoretical and pragmatic ideas for teaching and learning science in a modern classroom can tap into the hand-held device loving nature of secondary students towards resulting in an increased level of engagement and interest in learning and loving science.

Paper #10192: Elementary School Science Success: A Case Study

Principal Author: Tonjua B. Freeman, University of Central Florida
Co-Authors: Malcolm B.. Butler, University of Central Florida


This case study is about an elementary school with a large African American and Hispanic student population that has been successful with students’ performance on state-mandated, standardized science tests.  It is written from the perspective of the school’s organizational and leadership structures that may have contributed to the students’ performance on these standardized science tests.  Evidence of effective leaders, collaborative teachers, involved families, supportive environments, and ambitious instruction were found in interview and online survey data.


Principal Author: Tasha Richardson, OISE/University of Toronto
Co-Authors: Isha DeCoito, Western University


In Canada, there continues to be a shortfall of students entering science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) degree programs. In 2013, a report from Statistics Canada on the gender differences in STEM university programs revealed 40% of men and 20% of women entering a university program were entering STEM programs (Hango, 2013). What continues to be troubling is that even as women perform well in mathematics and science on the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) they are less likely to choose a STEM degree program than their male counterparts even when their PISA scores in mathematics and science are higher (Hango, 2013). There has been much research into why women are less likely to pursue studies in STEM fields, and common themes of low self-confidence, lack of interest, and lower expectations abound in the literature (Hayden, Ouyang, Scinski, Olszewski, & Bielefeldt, 2011; Sadler, Sonnert, Hazari, & Tai, 2012; Weber, 2012). For students, a significant decision- making period about possible careers occur in middle school, so much so that by the time a student enters grade nine, their career destination is already firmly established in favour or opposed to STEM (Sadler et al., 2012). One possible way to affect middle students’ beliefs is the integration of certain technologies into classroom practice.

This presentation is geared towards educational researchers and practitioners, and looks specifically at current middle school teachers’ decisions to use technology in their classrooms through the lens of the Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) framework (Koehler & Mishra, 2005). The authors will address the following questions: (1) What factors influence teacher decisions to integrate technology in their classroom? (2) What technologies do teachers currently integrate in their classroom? (3) How do teachers use the TPACK framework in their decisions to integrate technology into their classroom?

Paper #11031: Game as a Modeling: Prospective Teachers’ Implementation of Modeling Practice in Science Classrooms

Principal Author: Young Ae Kim, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Deborah Tippins, University of Georgia


The new framework for K-12 science education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013) suggest developing and using models as one of the core practices in science education. The implementation of a mini-lesson named “Modeling in a Science Classroom” is central to this study. Secondary science preservice teachers carried out their science lesson plans using modeling in another science method course. In terms of promoting the meaningful learning of scientific concepts, science teachers need to lead students to engage in active learning, and modeling is a good strategy for promoting active science learning. This study investigates how secondary science preservice teachers understand and implement modeling practices in their science lessons. Furthermore, it reports on the perceptions of preservice teachers in terms of possible limited understandings and barriers to incorporating types of models and modeling into their teaching of science in the context of teaching peers in a science methods course. In mini-lessons for peer preservice teachers in other methods courses, preservice teachers tried to introduce modeling practices and the use of models in science classrooms with hands-on activities. We found: 1) the preservice teachers planned and implemented modeling activities mostly for teaching scientific concepts rather than inquiry skills or nature of science, 2) most groups used more structured approach in their modeling activities even though they expressed the importance of active modeling, 3) prospective teachers used diverse types of models in their mini-lessons and 4) showed more awareness of the need of multimodal models in science instruction for diverse learners. In particular, we found two groups in the course implemented activities using games as modeling based on embodied learning approach. In this paper, we would like to discuss on two focus groups’ modeling implementation which used games as modeling in their lessons. The two groups of preservice teachers 1) viewed physical experience as a meaningful tool to develop more understanding of science, 2) used games as effective modeling strategies in science instruction, 3) became more aware of the need of multimodal models for better modeling practice in science learning, and 4) recognized the need of more use of scientific terms in the games, and 5) realized the need of being more explicit teaching about the scientific concept through games.

Paper #11030: Using Museum Resources for Early Childhood Professional Development

Principal Author: Jacqueline Horgan, American Museum of Natural History
Co-Authors: Natalie Tahsler, American Museum of Natural History; Caitlin Coe, American Museum of Natural History; Jenny Ingber, American Museum of Natural History


The value of facilitating science learning experiences for the youngest learners has been increasingly recognized. Professional development of early childhood teachers and administrators is essential for enacting the high-quality early childhood science education that has recently been emphasized in both local and national calls to action. In this poster, we describe a professional development program that has paid specific attention to building teacher self-efficacy in science, to enriching individual science content knowledge and to encouraging positive attitudes toward science through the creation of a community of early childhood science educators and through a series of learning opportunities that bridge museum and school learning. Informed by a two year pilot program, presenters will share reflections on the professional development program and describe the ways in which their attitudes and beliefs on science teaching and understanding of science and learning were addressed in the design of the program.

Paper #16020: Varied Approaches for STEM and Education Faculty Collaboration to Train Pre-Service Secondary Science Teachers

Principal Author: Melissa K. Demetrikopoulos, Institute for Biomedical Philosophy
Co-Authors: John L. Pecore, University of West Florida; Cynthia Trawick, MOREHOUSE COLLEGE; Brendan E. Callahan, Kennesaw State University; Thomas J. Manning, Valdosta State University


It is critical for secondary STEM teachers to be well versed in their subject areas. Noyce grants provide support for students to complete a STEM major and certification in secondary STEM education.  While the overall practice of having secondary STEM teachers complete a STEM major is the common factor among these programs, differences in institutional cultures and structures has led to a variety of approaches to collaboration between STEM and Education faculty. This session will provide four very different approaches that vary partly due to institutional differences in the composition of their Education departments. The first institution is an undergraduate serving private HBCU that does not have their own Secondary Science certification program, and their STEM and Education faculty collaborate with Education faculty at another institution to provide opportunities for their STEM majors to obtain this certification. The second institution is a public regional university where STEM and Education faculty with assignment in two separate colleges collaborated to develop a Secondary Science and Mathematics certification program together.  The third institution is a comprehensive university where STEM and Education faculty have appointments in the same college that offers Secondary Science certification program. The fourth institution is a comprehensive university with a strong collaboration between the College of Education and the College of Arts and Sciences to provide a post-baccalaureate program for STEM majors to earn teaching certification.  Each of these programs work within their institutional cultures and structures to provide opportunities for outstanding STEM majors to obtain pre-service teacher preparation and become secondary STEM teachers. 

Paper #11029: Summer Research Fellowship for Undergraduate Preservice Teachers Summer Research Fellowship for Undergraduate Preservice Teachers

Principal Author: Debra J. Stork, University of Dubuque
Co-Authors: Adam Hoffman, University of Dubuque


The Chlapaty Summer Fellowship Program is unique in that it funds undergraduate scholarly projects between students and faculty in departments beyond the traditionally funded science research. This includes science education students doing classroom research and studying how students learn. The programs purpose is to position undergraduates at a small private college for success in graduate or professional studies through independent scholarship, preparation for graduate/professional school examinations, and the development of a network of professional relationships beyond the University of Dubuque. The education department feels that this research program allows preservice teachers experience valuable to making data driven, research based decisions as classroom teachers. Faculty mentors support the undergraduates in the research process from proposal to presentation. A key component of the program is that it provides funding in the form of stipends for students so that they are able to forgo taking full time summer jobs to support themselves and pay tuition. Although the program offers no credit, selection is competitive as students vie for the opportunity to participate in this unique opportunity.

Paper #16019: Elementary Teachers on the Divide: Perceptions of Engineering, Engineering Practices, and Integrated STEM Professional Development During Times of Transition.

Principal Author: Bridgette A. Fincher, Pittsburg State University
Co-Authors: Cathy Wissehr, University of Arkansas; Jennifer Beasley, University of Arkansas


A presentation of a mixed methods research study, conducted in 2014-2015, describing the perceptions of 14 Arkansan intermediate elementary teachers unfamiliar with teaching engineering and engineering practices after six months of integrated STEM professional development, which highlighted NGSS, the STEM principles, and Common Core State Standards, wherein the teachers designed and implemented grade level aviation STEM units using Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design curriculum model. Attention was paid to the unique professional development needs of teachers during such a transitional state where the interplay between expectations, obligations, and expertise in teaching the old standards influence the teachers’ perceptions of the projected requirements of the NGSS's two new content areas, engineering and technology. The study resulted in five findings which informed rudimentary guidelines for appropriate elementary integrated engineering professional development training for teachers during time of transition.   

Paper #10189: Pre-Service Teachers’ Computer Science and Engineering Perspectives: What is This?

Principal Author: Andrea C.. Burrows, University of Wyoming
Co-Authors: Mike Borowczak, Erebus Labs


Since STEM is at the forefront of US education, with computer science (CS) and engineering concepts often absent from education-led initiatives. The researchers of this study used quantitative (e.g. survey questions) and qualitative (e.g. open-ended responses) measures to examine the views of 23 K-12 pre-service teachers (PST) regarding the use of CS/engineering concepts. A social constructivist framework was utilized with qualitative, coded theme findings. Overall, findings show that PSTs have a below average content knowledge base for part recognition and skill set, as well as for use of crosscutting constructs for lesson development. Furthermore, subsets of the total participant population were created and specific results analyzed regarding secondary science PSTs, K-12 non-science PSTs, and elementary PSTs. For the subsets, science PSTs showcased the most knowledge and skills, followed by non-science PSTs, and then elementary PSTs. However, all PSTs subsets were below average in content knowledge and skill set in regards to CS and engineering.

Paper #10188: Fostering Educators’ Design and Implementation of Environmental Education Curricula through Professional Development

Principal Author: Suzanne M. Nesmith, Baylor University
Co-Authors: Erin Dixon, Baylor University


Environmental education is an essential component of science curricula at all educational levels, yet it is more complex than simply teaching individuals about the functioning of the natural environment. It has been determined that the coming decades will increasingly reveal the necessity of the general public’s understanding of complex environmental issues, abilities to evaluate environmental plans, and understanding of the ways that personal and societal decisions affect the environment at local, national, and international levels. (Bodzin, Klein, & Weaver, 2010). Schools and teachers play a vital role in developing environmentally responsible individuals who have an awareness of environmental issues and the knowledge and skills necessary to make informed decisions and take responsible actions, yet teachers often struggle with successfully integrating EE curriculum and enhancing environmental education classroom practices. This mixed methods study explored findings from an onsite wetland environmental education professional development experience for educators. Participants were eight educators who taught elementary, middle school, and high school level students. All educators participated in a one-week professional development experience at the wetlands one summer and returned to the wetlands for a second similar experience the following summer. Data was collected through a survey and a focus group interview. Results suggest that the experience had a positive influence on the educators’ environmental education perceptions, curricula designs, and instructional decision-making; specifically, the educators’ revealed enhanced self-efficacy in teaching environmental education, heightened incorporation of curriculum and instructional objectives related to environmental education knowledge and awareness, and increased utilization of instructional objectives corresponding to investigating, evaluating, and taking action specific to environmental education issues. Results also suggest that specifically designed environmental education professional development experiences can support educators’ development and implementation of environmental education curricula.

Paper #10187: Fiction writing for science learning: A framework and call for new research

Principal Author: Bryan Nichols, Florida Atlantic University


Many teachers, especially those who do not exclusively teach science, have been impacted by the Common Core literacy standards. One of the more notable changes is a shift from fiction to more rational analysis of non-fiction (Calkins, Ehrenworth, & Lehman, 2012). As science teachers and teacher educators, we may applaud the use of more informative texts throughout K-12, but we are storytelling animals (Gottschall, 2013), and good stories have a power to engage that non-fiction does not. As many of us come to realize, writing is a form of thinking, and writing fiction allows students to venture into the lives and even the minds of characters and environments they research and create.

This presentation will help show teacher educators, researchers, and curriculum designers how Common Core narrative standards, beginning in Grade 3 or earlier, can be leveraged to create activities and writing prompts that encourage students to write stories that engage them in scientific content, skills, and attitudes. Romance, science fiction, horror, drama; good stories can draw us in to content we might not otherwise find interesting, and can highlight characters who use scientific skills and attitudes to tackle the ups and downs a good narrative throws at them.

The framework will include potential benefits, tips for implementation, and challenges to be aware of. Writing and sharing fiction is fun, and can introduce students to different perspectives, values, and worldviews. Teachers can combine standards from science and the common core to help generate stories that have the potential to foster not only science and environmental literacy, but also citizenship. Storytelling students, often through the characters they create, are much more likely to be applying, analyzing, evaluating, and creating (Anderson & Krathwohl, 2001) as they deal with the challenges that writing prompts and their imaginations have generated. The framework will also highlight new sharing and communications technologies that make guiding student fiction easier, from multimedia and digital stories to online contests and peer review.

Paper #10186: The Impact of Educative Curriculum Materials on Middle School Science Teachers’ Practices

Principal Author: Jennifer C. Mesa, University of West Florida
Co-Authors: Rose M. Pringle, University of Florida; Natalie S. King, Georgia State University


In this study, we investigated how a reform-based curriculum including educative features supported middle school science teachers’ learning and transformed their teaching practices during a comprehensive PD program.  A case study approach was selected to examine and characterize the perceptions of the 35 participants as they interacted with the curriculum and its educative features.  Over the five-year period of the PD, we conducted numerous formal and informal interviews including individual and focus group interviews to gauge the teachers’ perceptions of the curriculum and its educative features as well as understand how the educative features impacted their development.  All interview recordings were transcribed and analyzed using grounded theory methods of constant comparative coding (Charmaz, 2006).  At the beginning of the PD, the teachers were consistent in their description of curriculum as the mandated science textbooks adopted by the districts.  Once they began to use the curriculum, some teachers described the educative component of the curriculum as cumbersome to the teaching process.  However, they also recognized that the educative materials as supporting their learning.  The teachers specifically commented on the impacts of four of the six educative features in the curriculum: teacher background knowledge, common conceptions, teaching strategy, and teaching alternatives.  While noting that the curriculum helped to accelerate the change in their teaching practice, the teachers were very explicit in attributing their learning and the change in practice to the dynamic combination of the various components of the PD.  They also noted the impact of varying levels of material and strategic support from their school and district administrators on their ability to implement the curriculum effectively. The findings of this study have implications for designing professional development for middle school science teachers that incorporates educative curricula to support shifts in practice called for by the NGSS.

Paper #11027: Pictorial Representations of Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Views about Science Teaching and Learning

Principal Author: William Medina-Jerez, University of Texas at El Paso


This study presents a pictorial-based approach to the exploration of minority preservice elementary teachers’ (PSETs) professional conceptions. Pictorial representations, instead of written reports on prior experiences with science were used as the tool to investigate past and current conceptions about science teaching and learning held by minority preservice teachers. Central to this approach is the test of an alternative format (pictorial format) in assisting preservice teachers to analyze and reimagine their roles in science classrooms. Data were gathered from different course projects including concept maps highlighting the views about science teaching and learning, written autobiographies as science learners, pictorial representations of the images about science teaching and learning from each PSET, and interviews with a subgroup of eight PSETs on the content and purpose of their depictions of science teaching and learning.  Implications of this study invite science teacher educators to take into consideration the lived experiences and histories of their preservice teachers as crucial conditions for effective preparation of our future teachers working with minority students.


Paper #13011: Preparing early childhood educators to make science learning meaningful for dual language learners in preschool contexts

Principal Author: Leslie C. Moore, The Ohio State University
Co-Authors: Mandy McCormick Smith, Capital University


This experiential session centers on preparing early childhood educators (ECE) to make science learning meaningful for preschool children who speak many languages.  This session draws from research on English language development for young children, science education for young children and science education research of older English language learners. Participants will interact with science engagements just as pre/in-service teachers would do in a methods or professional development course, and as young children would in preschool contexts.  Session participants will be provided experiences to interact with multiple preschool science concepts (e.g. life, physical and earth) through the pre-k learning cycle for science (Authors, in press) with emphasis on incorporating linguistically responsive approaches through thematic learning (Authors, 2016).  The session will also focus attention on identifying language demands of preschool learners, supporting vocabulary development in preschool, as well as utilizing read-alouds all through a thematic classroom approach.

Paper #11026: Addressing Climate Change with Community-Based Common Problem Pedagogy

Principal Author: Beth S. Klein, SUNY Cortland


This poster presentation will share an overview of a common problem pedagogy project focused on climate change issues and how they can inform future economic and environmental vitality for a local community.

Four faculty from different disciplines worked together to develop a common problem for students in their distinct courses to address as teams.  The problem was framed in two questions: “Can the lessons from community’s economic, social, and environmental history inform a vision of future community vitality?” and “What role does expected climate change impacts and resource depletion have on this vision?”

The students worked with several community partners to develop case studies to document the social, economic, and environmental challenges the community faced over the past one hundred years and used that to inform future strategies and initiate productive conversations to reimagine a environmentally and economically sustainable community within the context of climate change. Students in the fourth course, the communications course, documented the work of the teams.

Outcomes of the project will also be shared including student and faculty perspectives on this project, and samples of student projects. The communication students developed documentaries of the process as the economics, environmental studies, and history students researched and worked together in teams to develop their proposals for presentation to the community groups.  Excerpts of these videos will be made available on a laptop at the poster session for those who wish to view them. 


Paper #11025: Designing Educative Curriculum Materials for High School Genetics: Lessons Learned from Research-Practitioner Collaborations

Principal Author: Christina Restrepo Nazar, Michigan State University
Co-Authors: Stefanie Marshall, Michigan State University; Kevin McElhaney, SRI International


This study strives to share what was gained as a result of collaborations between researchers and teachers in the development of educative curriculum materials that support an inquiry-based investigation for students in high school genetics. By employing design-based implementation research, a third space was established in which researchers and teachers were able to align goals, resulting in educative materials that promoted student monitoring by teachers and reflection of their own teacher learning. Teachers also expanded their understanding of student engagement with new NGSS scientific practices. Through an open coding and method of constant comparison, we analyzed extensive data collected over a period of three years and implemented the genetics unit in two school districts, one located in the Midwest and the other in the South United States. By drawing on sensemaking theory to analyze the co-construction of the genetics unit, we found that this collaboration resulted in the aligning of goals between teachers and practitioners, rather than compromising trade-offs. The educative curricular materials developed supported opportunities for teacher reflection of personal practice and student learning of genetics, alleviated tensions between researcher and teacher goals, informed decisions and therefore negotiations were made to accommodate the current education reality of teachers of this study. While at the same time, the unit became overall more efficient while maintaining the inquiry focus of the unit.

Paper #10185: Secondary Science Teacher Scholars’ Nature of Science Views and Instruction in the Philippines: Curriculum constraints

Principal Author: Bridget K.. Mulvey, Kent State University
Co-Authors: Mila Rosa Librea, Kent State University


This investigation addresses a gap in nature of science (NOS) literature on teacher leaders and in the context of the Philippines.  We explored NOS views and instruction of four secondary science teacher scholars from the Philippines. Each participant was recognized as a teacher-leader in the Philippines, having participating in a prestigious international teacher scholar program, the International Leaders in Education Program (ILEP), in which they obtained U.S. teaching experience and NOS training. Participants were all four ILEP scholars from the Philippines who received any degree of training on NOS in the past 10 years. Data sources were Views of the Nature of Science (Form-C) questionnaire responses, semi-structured interviews and lesson artifacts for at least one semester of teaching (lesson descriptions, student worksheets, presentations, etc.). Using VNOS responses and interview transcripts, systematic data analysis using the guidelines provided by Miles & Huberman (1994) was used to categorize participants’ views as alternative, transitional, or informed on each of seven NOS tenets. Then two researchers independently examined interview transcripts and lesson artifacts using analytic induction, using the guidelines of Bogdan and Biklen (1992). Initial codes related to views of NOS instruction were the supportive strategies of improved confidence, NOS seen as essential, and teaching NOS with required science content; and barriers of time constraints, testing, the country’s science curriculum, lack of confidence, and fear of fellow teachers judging them. All initial codes were in agreement and accepted and final themes. Two participants who completed a graduate course on NOS had transitional to informed NOS views and found ways to overcome obstacles to their NOS instruction. Two participants who received less and less formal NOS training held alternative and transitional NOS views and mostly did not overcome obstacles to their instruction. The curriculum acted as a filter, with curriculum-aligned ideas being accepted more readily and, for the two who had more NOS training, integrated more into their instruction.

Paper #10184: Middle School Science Teachers’ Appraisals and Emotional Responses to Challenging Situations that Can Occur when Facilitating Inquiry-based Instruction: A Multiple Case Study

Principal Author: Daniel M. Alston, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Co-Authors: Jeff C.. Marshall, Clemson University


Since the mid 1900’s, authors of science reform documents have advocated for teachers to engage in inquiry-based instruction. However, most science teachers, even highly qualified teachers, are not enacting teaching practices that align with what constitutes as proficient inquiry-based instruction. Currently, authors of new science reform documents—The Framework for K-12 Science Education and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)—are asking teachers and students to engage in even more rigorous and challenging teaching and learning. Inquiry-based instruction is once again an advocated strategy for accomplishing the high expectations set forth in both documents. Many science teachers are unfamiliar with how to facilitate this type of teaching and learning. This can result in teachers experiencing negative emotions as they struggle to facilitate inquiry-based instruction. Unchecked, these negative emotions have the potential to adversely alter teacher behavior which might subsequently undermine the goals stated in the most current reform documents. Therefore, it is critical that teachers’ emotions, how they manage their emotions, and how they appraise challenging situations that can occur when facilitating inquiry-based instruction be further researched. This multiple case study used a focus group to elicit responses from two middle school science teachers. These teachers were chosen because they differed in their ability to facilitate inquiry-based instruction after completing two years of professional development. Focus group questions probed these teachers to talk about their appraisals and emotional responses regarding three challenging inquiry-based scenarios. Results and implications regarding the impacts of appraisals and emotional responses on the participants’ proficiency level of facilitating inquiry-based instruction are discussed.

Paper #11024: Continued psychometric evaluation of the English version of The Nature of Solutions and Solubility—Diagnostic Instrument (NSS–DI Eng)

Principal Author: Mandy McCormick Smith, Capital University
Co-Authors: Lin Ding, The Ohio State University; Kathy Cabe Trundle, North Carolina State University


The Nature of Solutions and Solubility—Diagnostic Instrument (NSS–DI) developed by Adadan and Savasci (2012) was designed to assess students’ understanding of solution chemistry concepts.  The original instrument was developed in Turkish and the modified English version was created and is currently in its second round of modification and implementation in hopes to determine its reliability. While the results indicated that the first English version of the NSS-DI had statistically adequate reliablilty as an assessment tool, there were also indications that the instrument could be improved (Authors, 2016a; 2016b). This presentation focuses on the second implementation of the instrument, where changes were made to test items and the test re-administed to approximately 300 college students fall 2016.  To re-evaluate the reliability and the discriminatory power of this second version (NSS-DI V.2), five statistical tests will report out, focusing on both item analysis (item difficulty index, discrimination index, point-biserial coefficient) and the entire test (Cronbach’s alpha and Ferguson’s delta). This poster presentation will make comparisons to data from the first English version, common alternative conceptions of solution chemistry concepts among first-year college chemistry students, as well as comparisons  to findings from the original Turkish instrument. Future hopes for the NSS-DI Eng V.2 include additional rounds of implementation in January 2017 with over 2000 students further citing the reliability of the instrument.  Furthermore, once reliability is statistically established, the NSS-DI Eng will provide chemistry educators and researchers insights into common solution chemistry conceptions, alternative conceptions, student understandings, and will lead to improved chemistry education.

Paper #11023: Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions and Enactments of Formative Assessment Before, During, and After a Secondary Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Melissa A.. Jurkiewicz, Mercer University
Co-Authors: Benjamin Ho, Alpine Academy


Formative assessment is one of the most important practices that teachers can utilize in order to improve teaching and learning in their classrooms.  Although there are several research studies that examine the relationship between formative assessment and student learning, few research studies have examined beginning science teachers and classroom assessment (Luft, Dubois, Nixon, & Campbell, 2014). This study examines 21 preservice teachers and their learning of formative assessment during a secondary science methods course.  The aim of the study is to gain a better understanding of how preservice science teachers enact formative assessment and what preservice science teachers should know and be able to do in regards to formative assessment.  We utilized a variety of methods to collect data related to the preservice teachers' conceptions and enactments of formative assessment before, during, and after a secondary science methods course including an open-ended pre and post-assessment, teaching observation notes, lesson and unit plans, and interviews.  Three themes emerged from the data: a) although the preservice science teachers developed a better understanding of formative assessment, they still felt overwhelmed with the idea of continuously collecting data from all students and modifying instruction; b) as new science teachers develop knowledge of formative assessment, they have periods of contradictory understandings; and c) the 5E lesson planning model may be useful in helping new science teachers develop an understanding of formative assessment.  This study has implications for science teacher preparation programs.

Paper #10183: Explicit Instruction for the Development of Higher-Order Study Skills in Medical School Students

Principal Author: Brian R. Pinney, Des Moines University
Co-Authors: Michelle A. Rogers-Johnson, Des Moines University; Shelby A. Herig, University of Iowa


An intended outcome of science education is to produce students capable of understanding, analyzing, synthesizing and critically evaluating scientific information in order to make data-informed decisions (National Research Council, 2007). These goals are especially apparent in medical education where the ability to effectively arrive at evidence-based conclusions directly impacts patient healthcare. Research shows that most students’ primary learning strategies consist of memorizing facts rather than attempting to make sense of, and use that information to investigate and solve problems (Sleight & Mavis, 2006). Traditional medical curricula can fail to teach effective leaning skills and study strategies to incoming medical students (Miller, 2014) that can leave students woefully unprepared entering clinical rotations.


Our approach starts with a course entitled “Fundamentals of Learning” that teaches students explicit study skills, lifestyle habits, and approaches to viewing material that foster deeper processing of course content. This course is paired with the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory (LASSI) (Weinstein, Palmer, & Acee, 2016) to identify strengths and weaknesses in study approaches. To explore this, we ask to what extent this course is effective for supporting medical students’ study approaches and academic success and what noncognitive factors may moderate these areas.


The authors will employ a quasi-experimental pre-posttest design to address the study aims. All first year students completing a doctoral degree in osteopathic medicine (DO), podiatry (DPM) and physical therapy (PT) will take the LASSI at the beginning and end of their first semester. This presentation will highlight instructional design and assessment elements of the study skills course to provide a framework for individuals interested in developing a similar learning opportunity for their science educators. The authors will report results from the follow-up research study and discuss implications of results for curricular design and professional development.  

Paper #10182: The Significance of Informal Science Experiences on Science Motivation Development for Students of Color from Middle and High School, Through Undergraduate Education

Principal Author: Denise Mahfood, Teachers College Columbia University


This purpose of this paper is to examine how Black/African American and Latina/o students describe their motivation to learn science, and their science learning across their years of schooling from middle and high school through college.  Additionally, this research study highlights these students’ science learning experiences in-school (formal) and out-of-school (informal) as well as their interests and attitudes towards science. Using motivation and constructivist lenses, this research reports on these reflective science learning experiences so as to understand the factors that affect these students’ participation and persistence in science, and the opportunities to learn science in- and out- of schools.

The overall findings from this study suggest that students of color are highly motivated, which is seen in how they expressed a desire to learn and know science in many different ways, how they recognize the importance of science to society, and the connections that science has to future careers. Additionally, the findings highlight the importance of science teaching and learning that connects students to science in a meaningful ways, so that interest is sustained throughout their science education.  In this way, students come away from their science learning experiences with better understanding and appreciation for the sciences.  The findings also show quite extensively the importance of the role of the science teacher, their pedagogy and the resources that are available to help support student learning, and also the power of out-of-school science experiences that the students indicated are significant in helping them in their understandings of science. Implications are discussed in terms of science teaching in K-16 schools and informal science learning.

Paper #10181: Developing Student Teacher Noticing Skills through Science Video Club

Principal Author: Donna L. Ross, San Diego State University
Co-Authors: Nina Drammissi, Lakeside School District


A key focus of science teacher education should be to sharpen teachers’ noticing of students’ ideas. As part of a science and math teacher education program redevelopment, the authors incorporated a Video Club for science student teachers. The focus of Video Club was to support student teachers’ abilities in professional noticing, including eliciting, analyzing, and responding to the scientific ideas of the secondary students. Jacobs, Lamb, and Philipp (2010) defined noticing as “making sense of how individuals process complex situations.” Accomplished teachers attend to students’ thinking, analyze that thinking, and respond in the moment to move student learning forward. The effort described in this proposal is part of a larger plan to shift one science teacher education program to focus more intensively on the aspects of science teaching that influence instructional practices in a deeply thoughtful manner. Researchers have studied video clubs as a way for groups of educators to focus on their instructional actions as they watch and interpret teacher-student interactions (Sherin & Han, 2004; Sherin, 2007; van Es & Sherin, 2008) . We proposed that explicit instruction and coaching through a Video Club could develop pre-service teacher’s awareness of students’ ideas.  This option allowed pre-service teachers to conduct specific and relevant work that focused on eliciting student thinking. Student teachers who participated demonstrated a stronger ability to reflect on how their instruction provided insight into student thinking and they began to use the student thinking to guide their responsive approach to instruction.

Paper #10180: A Community-Based Service-Learning Project in Energy for Preservice Elementary Teachers – Benefits and Challenges

Principal Author: Carole K. Lee, University of Maine at Farmington
Co-Authors: Patricia H. Williams, University of Maine at Farmington


This study examines how a science methods instructor provided preservice elementary teachers (PSETs) an authentic science teaching through a community-based service-learning project titled Family Energy Week. The topic of Energy was chosen because it is a crosscutting concept in the NGSS (Achieve, 2013). The project is in its third year of implementation. The use of a community-based service learning project has become a staple, serving as a vehicle to help PSETs and the elementary school students they work with to learn about energy. The coursework and activities utilized in the science methods course are related to the concept of energy - what energy is, how energy is transferred, and misconceptions about energy.

During the 2016 Family Energy Week, PSETs had the opportunities of interacting with about 120 4th graders from a local elementary school at two different occasions. During the first meeting, the PSETs introduced the concept of energy and engage the 4th graders in doing two STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities. The second meeting was the elementary students came to the University for an Energy Fair and a visit to the biomass plant on the campus. On both occasions, the PSETs used various hands-on activities to engage the elementary students in learning about energy and allowed them to construct their own learning. Results showed that PSETs had gained several benefits by participating in the project. The role of PSETs being “teachers” in the Family Energy Week motivated them to learn about the concept of energy and to think about how children learn. At the same time, PSETs learned about phantom energy and became more mindful about their own habits of using energy.

Paper #10179: Understanding Rural Science and Mathematics Teacher Leadership

Principal Author: Christine R. Lotter, University of South Carolina
Co-Authors: Jan Yow, University of South Carolina; Adam Sokol, University of South Carolina; Leigh D'Amico, University of South Carolina


In this session, we will present findings from the first year of a rural mathematics and science teacher leadership professional development program.  Twenty teachers from high need rural districts participated in the program aimed at improving teacher retention, instructional practice, leadership, and student learning. The teachers took three online courses (two math or science content and one rural education course), engaged in project-based learning unit development, and learned about leadership and school change through a summer institute. We used a pre-program and post-program teacher survey as well as teacher and principal interviews to understand rural teacher leadership. Teacher and principal conceptions of teacher leadership will be compared and leadership themes unique to rural teacher leaders of science and mathematics will be shared. Our research findings revealed that our rural science and mathematics teachers focus their leadership skills on improving student learning and school effectiveness through peer mentoring, community involvement, and increased resource allocation (both student opportunities and teacher instructional resources).  Building a community of teachers that share ideas, curriculum, and resources with their local communities may ultimately help retain teachers in high need rural districts; reducing isolation and improving student learning of mathematics and science.  

Paper #10178: Science Education in the Absence of Scientific Community and Science Culture

Principal Author: Mansour Vesali, Shahid Rajaee Teacher Training University


Science as “an important part of human culture” has a profound role not just in modern world but also in every aspect of every person in every place on the Earth. Science is a very important manifest of modernity, which had prominent and determinant role in the formation and shaping of modern world. Concurrently, science has evolved to a social entity and, in this connection, has build its own culture. If we visualize modernity as a puzzle composed of different pieces of social institutions, we see the science as one of these institution fits neatly and give a coherent picture of modern world. In this puzzle exists education, as another institution and very important component of modern world, which as a system “transmits social culture and order”. If we put together all these, science education can be considered a system of thought that transmits culture of science to society. Since every culture creates values which regulate and determine people’s behavior and attitudes we can say that the goals and perspectives of science education are to transmit those values. While all these might seem obvious, this is so in the context of modern world where modernity is an established reality. But, that we live in a modern world does not mean that modernity has established universally. And so is the situation of science as a culture. In this article how we, in Iran, have science education while we don’t have science culture. I will also give an account of what people think of science and how it is related to our traditional view of science. I then explain how this affects science education in Iran

Paper #10177: Using Choice to Uncover the Role of Gender Stereotypes in High School Physics Assignments: Examining students’ interests, beliefs, conceptual understanding and motivations

Principal Author: Samuel R. Wheeler, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Meg Blanchard, NCSU


Physics, engineering, and similar STEM fields display a troubling disparity between the number of males and females pursuing degrees and careers.  Part of the gender gap is attributed to gender biases present in the pedagogy of courses in these fields and in particular physics.  However recent research suggests that students who are able to study the concepts of physics through their own interests may also change their attitudes and motivations toward learning the subject. 

This study is part of a larger study examining the role that student choice and gender stereotypes has on a student’s interests, beliefs, conceptual understandings, and motivations toward learning physics.  The study was conducted on 73 student participants and eight teacher participants representing five states and seven high schools.  The student participants were juniors or seniors in a high school honors or AP physics course.  Teachers were asked to take an attitude survey and to submit samples of lesson plans and examples they used when teaching a unit on Newton’s Laws.  Students were given an intervention consisting of homework assignments in written and video analysis formats delivered through the online homework delivery system WebAssign.  The homework assignments were based on content learned in the unit on Newton’s Laws and forces and was designed to specifically allow participants to choose the context of the physics problem they wanted to do.  Each problem was presented in three different contexts: the traditional context with simple objects, but little real world application; the context of sports; and the context of biology or health.  Students were given pre and post CLASS attitude surveys and pre and post FCI physics concept surveys.  The participants showed a significant positive change in their attitudes toward physics as labeled by the personal interest and sense making/effort categories of CLASS.  After the treatment, a significant difference was also found between the attitudes of male and female students towards the experience of enjoying solving physics problems.  These findings suggest more work into incorporating student choice and interest in physics pedagogy. 

Paper #10176: A case study approach to understanding ecology misconceptions through the use of collaborative group work

Principal Author: Angelique M. Troelstrup, Middle Tennessee State University
Co-Authors: Grant E. Gardner, Middle Tennessee State University; Jennifer C. Parrish, Middle Tennessee State University; Katherine A. Mangione, Middle Tennessee State University


While there is some evidence to support that student-centered active learning approaches may promote conceptual understanding, it is not clear how a collaborative group setting impacts students’ conceptual understanding of ecological concepts and misconceptions. This study sought to answer the following question: How does student-centered collaborative group work affect students’ conceptual understanding of ecological concepts and misconceptions? The goal of this study was to determine how collaborative concept mapping activities influenced biology majors’ conceptual knowledge of ecology.

Students enrolled in one section of an upper division Ecology course were placed into heterogeneous small groups based on pre-test scores on a content assessment from the beginning of the semester. Group dynamics and discourse about ecological concepts were examined using a collective case study design. Case studies were audio recorded while completing concept maps collaboratively over the course of an entire semester.

The case studies (n = 3) revealed contrasting group characteristics that may have influenced the role of collaborative group concept mapping on students’ conceptual knowledge of ecology. Case study 1 participants were very complimentary of each other, engaged in mixed social talk with some discussion of concepts, and copied individual maps when asked to collaborate. Participants in case study 2 engaged in off-task discussions, included some talk about ecological concepts, and created groups maps that differed from their individual maps. Participants in case study 3 consistently focused on the ecological concepts, created group maps that were different from individual maps, yet had the most misconceptions. 

The results revealed that collaborative group work that includes concept mapping may be beneficial in helping students learn ecological concepts. However, while undergraduate biology education reform has promoted the use of student-centered teaching strategies, many biology students are entering their undergraduate education with existing misconceptions and they may persist even when student-centered strategies are used. Therefore, it is essential to further understand how these approaches affect student conceptual knowledge, especially in regards to misconceptions

Paper #10175: Impacts of a practicum-based professional development model on teacher and student learning

Principal Author: Dante Cisterna, University of Missouri
Co-Authors: Deborah Hanuscin, University of Missouri; Kelsey Lipsitz, University of Missouri; Delinda Van Garderen, University of Missouri


The purpose of this paper is to provide preliminary evidence of the impact of a professional development (PD) model that incorporates a practicum-based experience for elementary teachers. The PD program focuses on enhancing understanding of both physical science topics and pedagogical strategies to meet the needs of diverse learners. The main feature of a practicum-based PD model, as we define it, is the opportunity for teachers to enact science lessons in a safe and low-stakes environment with actual students, prior to their classroom implementation. This practicum-based model enables teachers’ rehearsal and experimentation with new practices in a setting apart from the constraints and pressures of the classroom. In this case, teachers were able to plan and teach science lessons in collaborative teams for an extended period of time (3 hours/day) as part of a week-long practicum. In this paper we provide a description of the main features of this PD program and preliminary evidence of impacts on teacher and student learning. We found significant differences between pre- and post-assessments that measure teachers’ knowledge of physical science concepts, and well as teachers’ understanding of the 5E learning cycle (ULC) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The year following the PD program, we also found a significant difference in pre- and post-assessments of students’ understanding of the same content their teachers learned in the PD.  The findings of this study provide insights for the design of PD models that are situated in practice, and that address science content and pedagogical strategies for elementary teachers. In addition, our findings can inform initiatives that support teacher learning through practicum-based experiences. We discuss implications of our results for teacher and student learning, and possible connections to the PD model.

Paper #10174: Pre-Service Teachers’ Understandings of Socioscientific Teaching and Learning in a Science Methods Course

Principal Author: Jaimie A. Foulk, University of Missouri


Socioscientific Issues Teaching and Learning (SSI-TL) is one means by which K-12 classroom teachers might achieve the demands of NGSS; however, teachers’ learning about SSI-TL has not been well studied. We sought to teach pre-service teachers about SSI-TL, and to explore the ways their understandings of SSI-TL changed as a result.

Paper #10173: Influences on Development of Inquiry-based Practices in Pre-service Teachers

Principal Author: Nikeetha Dsouza, Clemson University
Co-Authors: Heidi Cian, Clemson University; Renee Lyons, Clemson University; Michelle Cook, Clemson University


Inquiry-based instructional practices have become an integral part of science curriculum and instructional standards in K-12 schools (Windschitl, 2003). However teachers, especially pre-service teachers (PST) often struggle to implement inquiry in their classrooms due to constraints such as poor conceptual understanding of inquiry-based practices, limited pedagogical knowledge, pressures of coverage and time, and poorly-developed understanding of nature of science (Anderson, 1996; Blanchard, Southerland & Granger, 2008; Campbell, Abd-Hamid & Chapman, 2010; Crawford, 2000; 2007). Teacher preparation programs often provide ample support to develop inquiry based practices through opportunity and reflection (Luft, 2001) but there still remains a lack of widespread implementation of inquiry in classrooms (Anderson, 2002).

The purpose of this study is to demonstrate how PSTs conceptualize and enact inquiry-based practices in the classroom by identifying elements that influence adoption and development of the practice. Based on our findings, we recommend interventions for science teacher educators that may result in more widespread and expert-level use of inquiry.

Using the case-study method framed within situated cognitive learning theory, we describe the PSTs development of inquiry-based practices over the course of the semester. Our data sources include written reflections of the PSTs from surveys, interview transcripts and classroom observation of PST inquiry classes using an inquiry-oriented observation protocol. We identified three major themes that influences the conceptualization and implementation of inquiry - translating theory to practice, perception of inquiry as additional work, and utilizing resources. The findings in this study are therefore important to science teacher education because they could provide guidance for introducing PSTs to inquiry-based practices and supporting them in their initial field placements.

Paper #10171: What’s in a name? The use of urban, suburban and rural in science education

Principal Author: Frederick Bradley, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Stephanie Bauman, University of South Florida; Javier Areas, University of South Florida


There is extensive use of the terms urban, suburban, and rural in science teacher education research literature in the characterization of students, districts, and schools. However, despite their prevalence, there is scant evidence in the literature of an operationally comprehensive definition of these descriptors. This has implications for science education policy and funding, teacher education and placement, as well as pedagogical and curricular aims. Accordingly, we have reviewed science education literature from the past decade using a series of keywords together with Google Scholar and the ERIC database. This review includes publications, which address some aspect of science education within the context of urban, suburban, and rural settings. Additionally, they adhere to one or more of the following criteria: the provision of explicit definitions; use in the designation of students, schools, or districts; association of certain characteristics to these environments; implication of the terms in assessing instructional quality; and any comparison or differentiation of these settings. Analysis allowed us to develop an analytical framework highlighting three dimensions: geography, school and district characteristics, and community characteristics. We then tested the framework against the literature. Our framework may help science education researchers more clearly define objectives, better target desired populations, and perform more concise surveys of relevant literature.  Such advantages may prove useful when exploring issues regarding diversity, equity, achievement, and engagement in urban, suburban, and rural science classrooms.

Paper #10170: Launching a Networked Improvement Community to Facilitate NGSS Understanding in Secondary Science Teacher Preparation Courses

Principal Author: Corinne H. Lardy, California State University, East Bay
Co-Authors: Michelle Sinapuelas, California State University, East Bay; Rachelle DiStefano, California State University, East Bay; Christine Lee, Virgina Commonwealth University; Michele Korb, California State University, East Bay


The expanding adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Framework for K-12 Science Education on which they are based require not only significant shifts in the ways that inservice K-12 science teachers teach science, but also important shifts in the ways that science teacher educators prepare future science teachers. In many cases, these initial shifts take place in the teaching methods courses that science credential candidates enroll in as part of their teacher preparation programs. Although the science education faculty members who teach these courses are often the most knowledgeable about NGSS on their campuses, we would expect the depth of this knowledge to vary among individuals depending on their level of experience with these new standards. In addition, faculty members at different campuses vary in the number of colleagues that they have to collaborate with and learn from, some being the only science education faculty on their campuses. In this presentation, we describe the formation and first six-month-long activity period of a networked improvement community (NIC) consisting of 13 science methods instructors from seven universities. This NIC was formed in June 2016 as part of the NSF-funded Next Gen ASET project (Next Generation Alliance for Science Educators Toolkit). Each faculty team used components of the ASET toolkit as a way to better-incorporate NGSS-based practices into their teaching methods courses.  This use of common supports acted as a basis to begin sharing of experiences and best practices within the NIC.  Data were collected from semistructured interviews, audio recordings of monthly NIC meetings, video recordings of instructors’ classroom practices, and written chat records from the private NIC website. Overall, participants varied greatly in expertise and knowledge that they brought into the NIC for teaching preservice teachers and NGSS specifically. Results pertaining to members’ interactions and shift in understanding and teaching practices over the course of the Fall 2016 academic semester will be presented.

Paper #10169: Scaffolding preservice teachers’ noticing of elementary students’ scientific

Principal Author: Susan Hawkins, Indiana University


To effectively meet students’ needs, educational reform in science calls for adaptive instruction based on students’ thinking.  To gain an understanding of what students know, a teacher needs to attend to, probe, and analyze student thinking. These professional noticing skills are especially difficult for preservice teachers as they lack the experience and professional knowledge these skills require.

The study examined how a combination of scaffolds: 1) video-based reflection on practice, 2) a professional learning community, and 3) support from a content specific moderator could be embedded into an elementary science methods course to support preservice teachers’ learning to notice students’ thinking. It was designed on the premise that professional noticing is critical to acquire the knowledge and ability to develop personal PCK and topic specific professional knowledge in order to guide curricular decisions. This qualitative case study was situated within the structure teacher education programs use to tie theory to practice, the methods course. The case consisted of one section of preservice teachers during their teaching of a science unit.

In general participants’ skills progressed from noticing the class as a whole to attending to specific students’ thinking and from a focus on evaluation to interpretation. By the end they were connecting teaching strategies to student thinking. How participants’ responded to what they had noticed progressed as well, moving from frontloading information to creating constructivist based learning experiences to address student confusion demonstrating growth in their professional knowledge as well as their noticing skills.

They attributed certain aspects of their growth to different parts the intervention, for instance learning to probe thinking to video, learning to construct learning experiences to the content specific moderator, and learning to decide next steps to the professional learning community.

This study points to the efficacy of employing these scaffolds, found useful in other contexts, within science education.

Paper #15006: One shot: A elementary science methods course at a small liberal arts college

Principal Author: Daniel Z. Meyer, Illinois College


Science methods courses for elementary teachers present a unique combination of challenges. Like it’s math counterpart, elementary teacher education students often come to science with weak backgrounds and with low self-efficacy for doing or teacher science.  However, in addition, science does not have the prominence in elementary education that math has. Particularly at small institutions, the elementary science methods course may be the one opportunity to develop teacher candidates abilities in science pedagogy.  On the other hand, small programs also have greater abilities to coordinate across multiple courses.  These two aspects - the methods course as unique in addressing science pedagogy and coordination with other, more general teacher education courses - form the central themes of this syllabus sharing paper.

Paper #10166: Focus and Trends in Nature of Science Research during the Past Twenty Years

Principal Author: Noushin Nouri, University of Arkansas
Co-Authors: William F. McComas, University of Arkansas; Maryam Saberi, Shiraz University; Jennifer Oramous, University of Arkansas


From the time Nature of Science (NOS) was introduced as a vital school subject, many articles and books have been published on this topic. The aim of this article is to look over the past 20 years in five journals that feature reports of research in science education: Science & Education, the Journal of Science Teacher Education, Journal of Research in Science Teaching, International Journal of Science Education, and Science Education and consider what trends might be seen with respect to studies of elements of NOS. This twenty years period was selected for several reasons, it is long enough that trends might be seen, it roughly corresponds to the time since the last major comprehensive review of research in this area (McComas, 1998), bridges the period from the twentieth to twenty first centuries and brings us to a period when NOS has finally been recommended as a major element of science instruction in the Next Generation Science Standards. A qualitative content analysis and further meta-analysis were used for analyzing the articles that featured NOS. This article provides a proposed typology of the research agendas in science education with respect to NOS. Nine categories have emerged including: Improving students’ knowledge of NOS, improving teachers’ knowledge of NOS, investigating teachers’ classroom practice and knowledge transfer,  introducing instrument and measuring views on NOS, analyzing text books, curriculum, non-empirical commentary issues in NOS, comparing knowledge about NOS and other topics, investigating scientists’ and science educators’ views on NOS, and introducing materials for teaching NOS.



Paper #10165: Assessing the Needs of Site-based Mentors and School Administrators as a Means of Improving Partnerships for Science Teacher Development

Principal Author: Gayle N.. Evans, University of Florida
Co-Authors: Kent Crippen, University of Florida; Gloria Weber, University of Florida; Rochelle McTureous, University of Florida


There is a shortage of qualified STEM teachers in the US, which we are addressing through university-based science teacher preparation programs. An essential component in any teacher preparation program is site-based experiences that includes interactions with a high-quality in-service teacher. This study is a needs assessment in which we sought to learn more about current and potential mentor teachers by asking about the experiences, perceptions, and factors which influence their choices about whether or not to volunteer to serve as mentors to PSTs. We also conducted interviews with school based administrators to ask about their personal mentoring philosophies, support they offer to teachers who mentor and the school climate regarding the presence and support of PSTs on campus. Our analysis of teacher survey results showed us that respondents characterized their roles in both mentoring modes, and those of less actively involved cooperating teachers. We also found that teachers were mostly open to the idea of serving as a mentor, but often felt constrained by factors such as time, other teaching duties and responsibilities and the pressures placed upon them by recent accountability measures such as VAM and standardized testing. When asked about motivating factors to mentor, results were consistent with earlier studies in that teachers valued professional development opportunities, fee waivers for coursework,  and monetary compensation. Preliminary analysis of administrator interviews indicate that administrators are highly invested in supporting their teachers in mentoring activities, however, they wish to be more involved in the selection of which of their teachers are mentoring PSTs. Implications will help those involved in PST preparation to better understand the experiences, needs and motivations of teachers, and administrators who act as partners in shaping future science educators.  

Paper #16017: Supporting Elementary Science Pedagogy: Finding P-8 Teachers’ “Inner Scientist”

Principal Author: Barbara M.. Bohach, Luther College
Co-Authors: Brigitta R.. Meade, Luther College; Eric Baack, Luther College


Providing model mentors for pre-service science teachers is essential to the implementation of science curriculum at the K-8 level. The challenges for elementary teachers, however, are great with accountability focusing on reading and math instruction especially at the K-3 level. With less pedagogical practice in science, teachers tend to lack confidence in their ability to teach content effectively given the curriculum constraints and demands in the elementary grades. This often results in children having few experience in science and even less experience involving science inquiry. In-service teachers are hesitant to mentor pre-service teachers since they lack self-efficacy in terms of teaching science. As a way to alleviate this tension and support local elementary teachers, we provided summer workshops that involved teachers as “students” who were learning through inquiry-based models from college professors. Teachers also collaborated in learning teams based on their school district or grade level to develop science curriculum for the fall classes. Teachers taking part in the program showed increased self-efficacy on informal pre/post test questions based on teacher knowledge and confidence . Follow-ups will continue throughout the school year with interviews and self-efficacy measurements such as the STEBI-A. With new confidence and knowledge of support from higher education, it is the hope that teachers will share their “inner scientist” with pre-service elementary teachers.

Paper #11022: Gender Differences in Student Attitudes Towards Science in Secondary Classrooms with Resident Scientists.

Principal Author: Lisa Hanson, Texas State University
Westerlund, Texas State University


Proceedings Abstract

This study examined secondary student attitudes towards science and NSF GK-12 Project Flowing Waters fellows ("resident scientists") over two years. In the both years My Attitude Towards Science (MATS) instrument was used to survey student  [n=1111 students] attitudes. Matched pre and post student attitude surveys were obtained. Both surveys were administered at the beginning and again at the end of the school year. Results indicated in the first year significant students and teachers gender differences change attitudes (p <. 05, Independent samples t test) in pre/post survey scores in MATS dimensions, The Subject of Science. In the second year the results indicated significant students and teachers gender differences change attitude  (p<. 05, Independent samples t test) in pre/ post survey scores in MATS dimensions, The Subject of Science, Desire to Become a Scientist, Value of Science to the Society, and Student’s Perception of Scientists. The relevance of this paper to science teacher education concerns having resident scientists biweekly in secondary school classrooms as additional resources for science teaching. 

Paper #10164: Exploring West African Immigrant Muslim Student Experience In and With Science

Principal Author: Gifty A. Asamani, Teachers College Columbia University
Co-Authors: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College Columbia University


This paper is about the perceptions of four male West African immigrant Muslim students toward science.  The findings of this narrative study will show that their negative perceptions toward science may have been influenced by their religious and cultural beliefs.  The majority of West African immigrant Muslim students enrolled at South Bronx High School (fictious name), where the study took place, were labeled English Language Learners (ELL).  Although, many studies (Lee, Lewis, Adamson, Maerten-Rivera & Secada, 2008; Lee, Maerten-Rivera, Penfield, LeRoy & Secada, 2008; Medina-Jerez, Clark, Rau & Ramirez-Marin, 2007) have reported that ELL students tend to face viable challenges excelling in science, it was apparent that the participants of this study faced other challenges besides the language barrier.  The findings reflect that West African immigrant Muslim students who attended only Arabic school for a lengthy period of time experienced challenges assimilating in their science classes.  Of the four participants, two (Ibrahim and Amadou) attended Arabic school full time for approximately seven years from the ages of 9 to 16 years old.  According to the findings, these two participants experienced the most difficulties in their science classes.  Additionally, the results show that some West African immigrant Muslim students believe that science negates their religious and cultural beliefs. The findings of the study have implications for science education teachers who engage with West African immigrant Muslims and other immigrant students.  The results of the study also have implications for ongoing professional development for both active and pre-service science teachers on how best to engage immigrant Muslim students with respect to science, religion and culture.

Paper #11021: Exploring elementary teachers’ PCK including astronomical thinking practices after PDP of learning and teaching progression: in the cases of solar system and earth motion.

Principal Author: Young Shin Park, Chosun University
Co-Authors: Jin Yeo Song, Bongsan Elementary School; Jun Ho Son, Munsan Elementary School


The purpose of this study was to explore two elementary teachers' PCK which has been defined operationally  as follows; knowledge of curriculum, knowledge of teaching strategies, and knowledge of assessment, and practices of astronomical thinking after their taking PDP about learning progression and teaching progression.  Learning progression(LP) is defined as the pathway for students to travel as they progress toward mastery of big ideas.  Also appropriate instruction must be developed for teachers to guide students to get in the right pathways.  The researchers provided the two LPs about solar system and earth motions on the basis of theories and researchers' experiences. At this time, the LP is consisting of concepts as well as practices of astronomical thinking; spatial thinking is referring to the development of concepts in earth motions by 4 levels, and system thinking is referring to the development of concepts in solar system by another 4. The teaching progression (TP) spectrum is also developed on the basis of data from group of elementary teaches' teaching for the last two years.  TP is defined as adaptive instructional pathways, newly but operationally defined as Topic Specific PCK.  Two teachers out of 11 who took the workshop of LP and TP (2 days), offered by the researchers implemented two topics, solar system and earth motion separately.  Teacher, Ms. Song, taught the content of solar system related to system thinking, and teacher, Mr. Son, did the content of earth motion related to spatial thinking practice. They planned new activities and prepared new kits to teach the assigned topics by considering Topic specific PCK given to them during the workshop.  Both participants revealed that they started to consider the 4 levels of astronomical thinking (spatial and system thinking) to teach the assigned topics. LP and TP developed by the researchers resulted in guiding participants in this study to design lesson, implemented it systematically with thinking skills, and assessed students by the view of LP.

Paper #10162: Pre-Service Teachers’ Self-Efficacy of Teaching Engineering in Science Classrooms

Principal Author: Laura Ochs, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia; Jennie Chiu, University of Virginia


The New Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council [NRC], 2012), and the Next Generation Science Education Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States, 2013) emphasize the integration of engineering design in the K-12 science teaching.  As such, science teachers are expected to address engineering design in their classrooms.  Despite the fact that teachers are now expected to teach engineering design, many teachers have an incomplete understanding of engineering design (Daughterty & Custer, 2009; Hynes, 2012) and have no pedagogical knowledge for teaching engineering in science classrooms (Capobianco, 2011). Furthermore, there exists a gap in the literature on how to incorporate engineering design in pre-service science teacher education programs (Siller et al., 2007; Fantz De Miranda, & Siller, 2010).  Our study discusses the specific activities and lessons that were used to teach engineering design in our pre-service science teacher education program.  The goal of the study was to develop and measure pre-service science teachers’ self-efficacy of teaching engineering in the science classroom.  In order to measure pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy, we used the Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Survey (Yoon, Evans & Strobel, 2014).   A comparison of pre-test and post-test results found that all participant pre-service teachers exhibited an increase in self-efficacy of teaching engineering in science classrooms.  The Wilcoxon sign test results were statistically significant (Z-score =-3.182, p=0.001).  The specific factors of engineering pedagogical content knowledge self-efficacy and engineering engagement self-efficacy demonstrated large posttest growth.  These findings have implications on science teacher learning, integration of engineering design in science teacher education, and student learning. 

Paper #10161: Science Teachers Use of Exploratory Talk in a Journal Club

Principal Author: Karen A.. Tallman, Lasell College


This study explored how the teachers’ discussions of research articles helped them examine new knowledge and weigh its credibility like what is expected for them to create in their classrooms. This study is part of a larger 7-month study of six preservice and inservice science teachers in a journal club. This study was mainly focused on the thirteen research meetings, which were audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. The transcribed meetings were read over three times. First, to gain a holistic understanding (Merriam, 2009), and then using grounded theory (Corbin & Strauss, 2008). The third time the meetings were analyzed line-by-line following the dialogic theoretical framework of Wegerif and Mercer (1997). I found the teachers engaged in exploratory talk, which helped them reason and weigh the new information from the peer-reviewed research articles. The teachers explored in-depth a topic from education and came to a consensus of what it meant to classroom teaching and more importantly to their teaching. In addition, while weighing these new perspectives, using exploratory talk, the teachers were able to collaboratively problem-solve to find solutions to their problems that they had not considered by themselves. While such conversations can be had in a classroom, it was the journal club format that really helped the teachers be able to develop a community where they felt safe to push each other to think aloud.

Paper #10160: Naturally Inspired – Modeling Natural Systems to teach Computer Science Fundamentals

Principal Author: Mike Borowczak, Erebus Labs
Co-Authors: Andrea C. Burrows, University of Wyoming


Every student needs to know how to code - but who’s going to teach them? Most computer science professionals and collegiate educators lack the pedagogical skills to translate their content knowledge to a K-12 setting, while many pre-service and most in-service K-12 teachers lack the computer science (CS) skill set to confidently teach broad CS concepts to their students (Author 1 & Co-authors 2016,2015,2014). A multi-day, inquiry-based professional development using a multi-agent simulator resulted in measurable CS content gains in two independent cohorts. A two-week summer professional development, targeting in-service teachers, focused on applications of computer science from traditional robotics, to astronomy, to virtual reality, to system modeling.


One of the sessions, Naturally Inspired, used NetLogo (Wilensky, 1999), a popular and freely available multi-agent simulator based on the Logo programming language to introduce fundamental computer science constructs. This study examined the impact of using a constructivist approach to teaching computer science concepts rather that traditional positivist approaches seen in traditional STEM and computer science courses. Both quantitative and qualitative pre and post assessment data were used to formalize in-service teacher’s 1) computer science content knowledge gains and 2) perceptions on self-efficacy of teaching and incorporating computer science into an existing curriculum. While ultimately teachers exhibited statistically significant increases in both content knowledge gains and self-efficacy, implementation adoption rates and efficacy have yet to be measured.

Paper #10159: Environmental Consciousness and Behavior Development Through Experiential SSI Instruction

Principal Author: Mark H. Newton, University of South Florida
Co-Authors: Benjamin C. Herman, University of Missouri; Dana L. Zeidler, University of South Florida


In order for students to become the citizen leaders that are desired by environmental and science educators, modifications need to be made to the existing methods of instruction. As with most of science education, EE tends to focus on content knowledge and neglects to tend to the the inherent complexity of environmental issues. Some in the field have identified the need to incorporate approaches to teaching which embrace the complexity of environmental issues as well as consider a socio-constructivist framework for how students learn. Considering the needs of EE, it is a natural fit to consider the SSI approach as an alternative approach as SSI emphasizes many of the needs of EE. The literature base clearly demonstrates that SSI has successfully developed the skills necessary to negotiate complex and ill-defined problems. Furthermore, SSI addresses the assumption made in EE that students need to think and act in a moral and ethical manner. Instead of tacitly addressing the moral and ethical implications of decisions, SSI takes advantage of the pedagogical power of  resolving CEI to foster more sophisticated and robust ethcial perspectives in students. Coupling the SSI framework with an experiential component provides an even more authentic experience for the learners which cannot be duplicated in the traditional classroom.

A noteable missing piece in both the EE and SSI literature are longitudinal studies which examine the association to changes in attitudes and behaviors. This study will extend the idea of transforming students’ behavior, while also considering the need to equip students with the abilities to engage in change (Hodson, 2010; Levison, 2013). It is well documented that effective EE and SSI approaches have short term changes in particiapants’ behaviors, but little is known about the residual association between the experiences and the transformation of conceptions which will lead to genuine change in behaviors. Zeidler, Applebaum, and Sadler (2011) examined how students’ behaviors and habits of mind changed over the course of a school year while being exposed to a SSI approach. However, this study stopped short of examining the extent any of these transformations extended beyond the end of  this specific course. The present study will examine the residual association between the SSI approach and new contensious issues in order to provide a better understanding of how to develop scientifically and environmentally literate individuals.


Paper #14009: Professional Learning Communities for Science Teacher Leadership, Self Efficacy, and Support.

Principal Author: Peter C. Hillman, Mercy College/ School of Education
Co-Authors: Amanda M. Gunning, Mercy College/ School of Education; Meghan E. Marrero, Mercy College/ School of Education


The current need for effective professional development and support for practicing K-12 science teachers is critical.  Research shows that effective professional development should occur over a sustained period if substantial changes are desired in both teaching practices and classroom culture. We present an overview of research on professional development that is in use across five districts in a Northeastern state.  Our work examines 40 teachers enrolled in a two-year science education fellowship.   Our team will share three papers that illustrate ways effective professional development and professional learning communities (PLCs) can support development of teacher efficacy, teacher leadership, and science teacher support and development in practicing K-12 science teachers. The data analyzed for this work is large and varied, which allows for triangulation and detailed and descriptive analysis. In science education today, the introduction of NGSS demands a shift in the traditional approach to teaching science requiring strong science teacher leadership from within the classroom. This work will be of interest to those examining K-12 science teacher professional development; NGSS familiarization and support; and science teacher leadership.

Paper #10158: Experiences and Reflections of Elementary Pre-Service Teachers in a Science, Technology, Society (STS) Focused Methods Course

Principal Author: Aidin Amirshokoohi, DeSales University


The Science, Technology, Society (STS) framework has been touted as a logical framework for preparing a scientifically literate public because it focuses precisely on this critical interrelationship between science, technology, and society. Benefits of STS instruction include improvements in students’ achievement, decision making, attitudes toward science, creativity, questioning abilities, and process skills such as hypothesizing, investigating, and evaluating.

Yet, the STS effort has not been as widely accepted and implemented in classrooms as previously anticipated. Although there may be various explanations for this phenomenon, prior findings allude to teachers’ reluctance to using the STS framework and reasons for their lack of comfort with STS instruction. It is crucial to incorporate the STS framework in science teacher preparation and professional development programs so that teachers have the proper professional experience in this area and are able to examine their beliefs and confront any possible inconsistencies. This presentation will focus on a case study of five elementary pre-service teachers who experienced the STS-based science methods course. The case study examined their pre and post knowledge and skills related to STS issues, views and attitude toward STS as well as STS instruction, and how their experiences influenced their views and attitudes.

The results of this study showed that the STS issue instructional program improved the pre-service teachers’ knowledge and skills related to STS issues, attitudes and perceptions toward STS issues as well as teaching such issues to elementary students. The positive results of this study indicate that an appropriately designed STS-based course which involves pre-service teachers in identifying, analyzing, investigating, evaluating, and planning for the resolution of STS issues improves the use of such process skills in pre-service teachers. This study will be of major interest and relevance to science educators and researchers at the ASTE conference.

Paper #10156: Earth System Education for Urban Engineering Undergraduate Students

Principal Author: Younkyeong Nam, Pusan National University


Given the acceleration of environmental change, such as that of the global climate system and higher frequency of natural disasters, understanding the Earth as a system has become essential in order to create scientifically literate citizenry. Understanding of the Earth as a system is important not only to the students who is majoring earth science related disciplines (geography, geology etc.) but also to the students in certain engineering discipline such as urban engineering and civil engineering since they need to apply specific earth system knowledge for their career and expertise. In particular, urban engineering students need to understand earth physical systems and how human interact with earth systems to plan urban area more effectively. Eco-friendly or geo-friendly design and planning of urban area is a critical issue not only for economic benefits but more importantly for sustainable future of urban life. However, there is no study dealing with urban engineering students’ understanding of the Earth as a system and what pedagogical approach is appropriate to improve their understanding of the Earth as a system.

This study is to investigate the impact of a specially designed ESS course on urban engineering students’ understanding of the Earth as a system. In addition, this study investigates participant students’ perceptions about the instructional approaches of the course on their learning and what kind of earth system knowledge they are personally interested in and they perceive more meaningful for their future career.

The result of this study shows that urban engineering students’ experience of team-based research about the topic they choose based on their own interest and relevance to their major and future career had positive impact on two important aspects of their learning: learning competency of earth system knowledge and understandings of the Earth as a system. The results of this study suggests that structuring and presenting earth system contents in the context of engineering students’ major and future career is effective not only for the students’ content knowledge improvement but also for enhancing their learning competency such as creativity and problem solving skills in everyday life situation.

Paper #10155: How Pre-service Elementary Teachers Perceive Their Science Methods Experiences in the USA and New Zealand – an International Comparison

Principal Author: Victoria Rosin, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire


A strong focus on teaching literacy and numeracy in elementary schools has diminished the time allocated to other subject areas in both the USA and in New Zealand. Science is an area that has less time devoted to teaching in both countries. As engaging more students to study in the STEM areas is a priority for both countries’ governments, having positive experiences with science during the elementary school years is necessary to promote later year science studies and possible science careers for elementary students. This portion of a mixed methods study, framed within constructivist and interpretivist methodologies, reviews the perceptions and observations of pre-service elementary teachers during their practicum experience with science within the context of the literacy and math emphasis in US and New Zealand elementary schools. In both cases, participants were first degree university students in the third year of their elementary teaching program. Similarly, both groups were exposed to a constructivist pedagogy in university coursework, which they were expected to use in the classroom. Using an online anonymous survey, pre-service elementary teachers were asked whether they were able to observe science teaching, practice science teaching and the type of pedagogy observed and used during their practicum placement. Additional information regarding what other university preparation the pre-service teachers desired to feel prepared to teach science was also gathered. This study endeavors to uncover the types of science teaching experiences, as perceived and observed by the pre-service elementary teachers. The findings of this study show how pre-service elementary teachers understand and respond to science teacher educators’ methodology and instruction and what they may experience during placement. This study can inform the policies of external agencies and programs that seek to improve interest in the STEM areas at the elementary school level by directing attention to the issues noted in elementary classrooms.

Paper #10154: Examining the Critical Practice of Anticipating in Secondary Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Lesson Planning

Principal Author: Danielle K.. Ross, Northern Arizona University


The results of this study will show that PSTs receiving intensive instruction on ambitious planning practices for task-based discussions, like anticipating and the other Five Practices, can effectively develop deep and thorough anticipating skills.  Recall that the teacher educators involved in this study used the Grossman Framework for Teaching Practice (Grossman et al., 2009a) as an instructional design model for teacher preparation.  Supporting the findings of Grossman and her colleagues (2009b), iterative cycles of decomposition, representation, and approximation are effective as a design model for teacher preparation.  Furthermore, this study illustrates the need to support PSTs in developing their capacity for effectively anticipating during lesson planning.  As a result, we as teacher educators must provide more opportunities for the PSTs to plan, teach, and reflect on lessons of various types and at varying levels of authenticity.  As the PSTs’ ability to critically analyze and design this type of instruction develops, their lessons will become more aligned with the science disciplinary practices put forth by the NGSS (NGSS Lead States, 2013).

This study offers insight into how teacher educators might design learning contexts to support PSTs’ planning for more authentic science practices.  By providing repeated scaffolded opportunities to engage in planning for questioning, that supports student engagement in those authentic science practices (gathering, organizing, or representing data, identifying patterns).  Additionally, this study adds to the body of literature concerned with pre-service teacher education (Beyer & Davis, 2009; Zembal-Saul, 2009), planning discussions using the Five Practices model (Author, 2013; Smith & Stein, 2011).  In particular, I described the extent to which PSTs take up certain ambitious planning practices related to task-based discussions using curriculum materials as they plan a lesson for an actual classroom.  It also has important implications for the design of science teacher education and preparation. Thus, this research helps the field conceptualize how beginning teachers need to plan for high cognitive demand lessons, and how they can be supported in providing worthwhile learning experiences for their students.

Paper #16016: Science Content-Focused Coaching: Seeing is Believing

Principal Author: Jeni R.. Davis, University of South Florida


Given the NCATE Blue Ribbon Report (2010), we designed a clinically centered preservice teacher preparation program. A clinically centered model places the entire school community—PK-12 classroom and students—at the center for teacher learning (Author). One component of this clinically centered preparation is the use of a content-focused coach. In this study, the science-focused coach was also the faculty member teaching the science methods course. The purpose of this study was to investigate how content-focused coaching aided preservice teachers’ connection of science methods coursework and elementary field experiences. This study will tell the story of one science coaching cycle: how the cycle came to be, the work done throughout the coaching cycle, and what we learned about improving science teaching and learning.

Paper #10153: What is the effect of an integrative STEM curriculum on literacy development?

Principal Author: Beth D. Van Meeteren, University of Northern Iowa / Regents' Center for Early Developmental Education
Co-Authors: Sohyun Meacham, University of Northern Iowa; Sarah Vander Zanden, University of Northern Iowa


This mixed-method study sought to examine the effectiveness of an inquiry-based science-literacy integration (IBSLI) in K-1st grade classrooms on children’s literacy learning. “Technology, while not a discipline in the strictest sense, comprises the entire system of people and organizations, knowledge, processes, and devices that go into creating and operating technological artifacts, as well as the artifacts themselves. Throughout history, humans have created technology to satisfy their wants and needs (National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council, 2014).”  By this definition, the written word, or literacy is technology humans created to satisfy their want and need to communicate about the physical, biological, geological, and social world. Despite this, as school districts are stripping science from the curriculum to devote more time to literacy instruction to raise test scores in reading, quality science experiences are rare in elementary classrooms, particularly in high poverty or low-achieving schools (Pianta, Belskfy, Houts, & Morrison, 2007). Doing this, districts are forcing young children to learn the sophisticated technology of the written word out of its purposeful contexts. Simultaneously, young children are denied access to early experiences in science inquiry at a time when they are innately curious and eager to explore their environments and learn about a wide variety of causes and effects (Katz, 2010). Since students’ attitudes and aptitudes regarding science begin with their earliest school experience, it is, therefore, critical that quality science be introduced in the early grades (Mantzicopoulos, Patrick, & Samarapungavan, 2013). IBSLI promotes learning in both science and in disciplinary literacy. Rather than forcing literacy and science to compete for instructional time, IBSLI draws on research that finds synergy in the integrated teaching of science and literacy, facilitating the development of both in powerful ways.

Paper #15005: Integrating Technology Through Universal Design for Learning to Reduce Learning Barriers for all Students in an Elementary Science Methods Course

Principal Author: John L. Pecore, University of West Florida
Co-Authors: Jennifer C. Mesa, University of West Florida


With the release of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), K-12 science teachers are expected to facilitate science learning incorporating three dimensions: science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts. Technology can be instrumental in engaging students in the science and engineering practices as well as providing conceptual representations supporting the learning process. Furthermore, the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework can guide the judicious integration of technology to reduce learning barriers for students with diverse needs in the science classroom, and thereby help ensure that the NGSS are accessible to all students. Specifically, technology can support students with diverse needs in mindful investigation, metacognition, and collaborative construction of scientific knowledge.  However, research indicates that pre-service teachers struggle to effectively incorporate technology into their teaching, even with training.  Our proposed solution is to provide students with opportunities to experience inquiry as learners, awaken their interest in science, and teach them some foundational science concepts.  This occurs by requiring students to read articles from National Science Teacher Association journals, watch short videos about how to engage and support young students in the practices, and complete hands-on inquiry activities using custom Nasco materials kits provided to students.  Additionally, Technology-enhanced inquiry tools are introduced as they align with UDL.  As a final product, students collaboratively create a curated set of resources for using technology to teach science aligned with UDL that they can access after they complete the course. This set of resources is meant to provide a scaffold for the students when they advance to student teaching and their first year in the profession.

Paper #10152: Videocases for Science Teaching Analysis Plus (ViSTA Plus): Initial Findings from a 3-year Program Preparing Elementary Teachers to Teach Science

Principal Author: Christopher D.. Wilson, BSCS
Co-Authors: Molly A. M.. Stuhlsatz, BSCS; Connie J.. Hvidsten, BSCS; Betty Stennett, BSCS


The ViSTA Plus program is part of a line of research demonstrating the effectiveness of a video-based analysis of practice program for elementary teachers, Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis, STeLLA (Roth, et al. 2011). For ViSTA Plus, we took the STeLLA framework, tools, and resources and designed a variation intended for elementary preservice teachers. The ViSTA Plus program includes a semester-long analysis-of-practice methods course introducing preservice teachers to STeLLA strategies and video-based lesson analysis. During the course they are prepared to participate in study groups that continue to meet synchronously online to analyze video generated during their student teaching and first year of teaching.

To assess impact on teacher learning, teaching practice, and student learning, we studied the ViSTA Plus program in partnership with two universities. We compared the experiences of preservice through first-year teachers in the ViSTA Plus program with a comparable group of teachers who experienced the business-as-usual teacher education program at the same two universities (methods, student teaching) and went on to receive business-as-usual support during their first year of teaching within their respective school districts.

This research begins to answer such questions as, How can teacher preparation programs be designed so that early career teachers attend to student thinking, enact coherent instruction, and engage students in rich inquiry and sense-making? What collaborative structures between schools, districts, teacher preparation programs, and other entities can enable the teacher education community to envision and enact programs through which teachers in their early years of practice are effective science teachers who inspire and positively impact student science learning? The results of our study—especially its impact on beginning teachers’ practice and elementary students’ learning—will contribute to the reimagining of teacher education programs.

Paper #10151: A Review of Group Functionality Levels Reached by Triads in an Alternative Student Teaching Placement

Principal Author: Christopher Spinler, Iowa State University
Co-Authors: Jacob Pleasants, Iowa State University; Joanne Olson, Iowa State University


Triads of cooperating teachers, student teachers, and engineering graduate students worked together to teach engineering and science lessons in elementary classrooms.  Over the course of two 16 week semesters, 10 engineering graduate students, 20 student teachers, and 20 cooperating teachers participated in the study.  This study reports the levels of functionality reached by each triad over the course of a 16 week student teaching placement.  Functionality in the context of this study is a specific construct characterizing the degree to which triads were able plan and teach lessons, and do so using all three triad members Data collected from participant interviews, survey instruments, and field notes were analyzed to designate four levels of triad functionality:  Highly Functional, Functional, Minimally Functional, and Dysfunctional.  Findings indicate four factors associated with triad functionality: presence or absence of group conflict, perceived distribution of group responsibility, extenuating external circumstances, and sharing of group expertise.  This study has implications for those working in areas of elementary teacher preparation and engineering education.

Paper #14008: Preservice Science Teachers’ Concerns and Approaches for Teaching Socio-Scientific Issues

Principal Author: Lisa A. Borgerding, Kent State University
Co-Authors: Murat Dagistan, Kent State University


The teaching of socioscientific issues (SSI) holds promise for advancing functional scientific literacy, promoting critical thinking, and providing an interesting context for learning required science content, but few teachers actual employ this teaching method in K-12 classrooms.  One common reason cited by teachers is their concern about the controversial aspects of teaching these topics.  This study attempts to better understand these tensions by exploring preservice secondary science teachers’ ideas, concerns, and approaches for teaching socioscientific issues (SSI) as they move through a semester-long science methods class that specifically addresses teaching about controversial and socioscientific issues.  Classroom artifact data and individual interviews were used to explore the science concepts deemed most controversial by preservice secondary science teachers and their preferred approaches for teaching these topics. The findings revealed several topics that are deemed controversial, including evolution, global warming, nuclear energy, and reproduction.  Participants also eagerly adopted the methods course’s discussion strategies for teaching about controversial issues.  However, participants did not distinguish between the appropriateness for using different discussion-based, multiple-perspectives approaches for different types of issues. Specifically, participants often lumped socioscientific issues (societal issues that have both scientific and ethical elements) together with standard science topics for which the teaching is controversial (evolution, global warming).  Implications of these findings for methods courses and future research are discussed.


Principal Author: Andria Stammen, The Ohio State University
Co-Authors: Trudy Giasi, The Ohio State University; Courtney Irwin, The Ohio State University; Kristin Henkaline, The Ohio State University; Peter Lund, The Ohio State University; Karen Irving, The Ohio State University; Zakee Sabree, The Ohio State University; Kathy Malone, The Ohio State University


The Modeling Biology Instruction: Leaders in Science and Engineering (MoBILiSE) Project is collaboration between the 17 LEAs, and the Colleges of Education, Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, and Engineering Education departments. The project aims to train secondary level (6-12) life science teachers in the use of models and modeling instruction pedagogy as well as incorporating the use of bio-engineering projects.  This modeling instruction pedagogy and the workshop activities are designed to increase not only biological content and pedagogical content knowledge but also scientific reasoning skills.  The project also includes academic year follow-ups.

Our presentation will describe the project and the specifics of the summer workshop experience.  The research findings concentrate on the analysis of the pre and post test administered to measure the teachers’ scientific reasoning abilities.

Key words: scientific reasoning, in-service teachers, Modeling Instruction

Paper #10149: The Impact of Teacher Licensure Pathway on Student Achievement

Principal Author: Gabriel Posadas, Mississippi State University
Co-Authors: Katie Huston, Mississippi State University; Aressa Coley, Mississippi State University; Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University; Renee Clary, Mississippi State University


In this project, researchers employed the Mississippi statewide longitudinal datasystem (SLDS) to analyze how teacher’s licensure pathways can affect student achievement in biology an algebra. This research will allow policy makers to carefully consider requirements for teachers to receive licensure given that there are routes to certification in addition to the traditional one. The data looked at three different licensure pathways. In the state of Mississippi, there are three paths to licensure for science education at the secondary level: (1) Elementary education with science endorsement, (2) Traditional secondary education degree including (biology, chemistry, physics, general science), and (3) Alternate route (MAT). The three paths to licensure for math education at the secondary level are: (1) Elementary or Special Education with secondary math endorsement (Mathematics 5-9, or Mathematics 7-12), (2) Traditional secondary education degree including math teacher education, and (3) Alternate route (MAT). Data sampling included information on teacher licensure pathways and student results from the Subject Area Testing Program 2 (SATP2) Biology I and Algebra I tests for Mississippi.

Results show that SATP2 Biology I students whose teacher had a traditional secondary education degree with an endorsement in science were more successful than students whose teachers followed a different licensure pathway. Algebra I students performed better than the rest of their cohorts when their teacher had an elementary education degree with an endorsement in mathematics. These results show that more content knowledge in biology is positive for student achievement and more pedagogical knowledge may be more beneficial for mathematics. In the future, teacher educators in secondary math programs may need to revamp their curricula to ensure that future math educators receive the pedagogical knowledge necessary for their future students to succeed.

Paper #10148: Being and Becoming Scientists Today: Reclaiming a learner-scientist perspective for teaching and learning science

Principal Author: Susan Kirch, New York University
Co-Authors: Michele Amoroso, New York City Department of Education


Becoming scientists evokes a linear process from novice or apprentice to expert or mentor punctuated by some type of postsecondary or graduate certification.  We understand being and becoming as a single process by which individuals come to understand the world and themselves by contributing to our understanding of the world.  In this paper presentation we take this neo-Vygotskian notion and we use it to build a new conceptual framework for participation in and contribution to science and science education. 


Students (and teachers) are often taught from a disciplinary perspective of science.  From this perspective, students are viewed as people who need to learn a particular canon of information, methods and ways of knowing about the world – a perspective that is not ideal for young learners, but whose ideal is useful to practicing scientists.  We will present a new perspective on science on that places learner questions about the world at the forefront of teaching and learning and treats science as a system of human activity.


Our work uses cultural-historical activity theory, published research studies, and an empirical study to propose answers to each of the following learner questions:  Would I like to be|become a scientist?  Could I contribute to science? Do I like to work on the problems of science?  How do scientists know what they know?  These are questions that interest learners, but are not typically the questions asked in science throughout a student’s K-16 experience.  In this presentation will analyze each question historically, we will identify common myths and reconstruct them, and we will propose tools for teaching toward the question in order to shift science instruction and science education toward one from the perspective(s) of learner-scientists.  All of our work has taken place in elementary school classrooms in a large urban school district.  We are both teacher educators at large universities (one public, one private) concerned with how new elementary school teachers will view science and design instruction for their future students.

Paper #10147: The Impact of Teacher Science Content Knowledge on Student Achievement

Principal Author: Aressa Coley, Mississippi State University
Co-Authors: Gabriel Posadas, Mississippi State University; Katie Huston, Mississippi State University; Christina Hillesheim, Mississippi State University; Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University


In this project, researchers have employed the Mississippi statewide longitudinal data system to address, 1) student test proficiency and 2) the observed outcomes teacher licensure pathways on student achievement. Understanding the relationship between teacher preparation and student achievement will allow institutions to make informed decisions on the development of future science teacher education curricula. Data sampling included use of cohorts starting with 2009 Mississippi Department of Education data to provide sufficient amount of time for analysis on participant test proficiencies. Analysis included all relevant data from the SLDS system which were provided by multiple state agencies. 

Tradition states that teachers with more content knowledge will have greater likelihood of producing students with better test scores. They will be more effective at evaluating student understanding or lack of understanding in science concepts. Results have shown that there is no correlation between teacher preparation, in regards to their pathway to licensure, and student achievement on MCT2 state tests. However, highest student achievement can be linked to their teachers having multiple years of teaching experience. At least 2 years of teaching experience yielded a 22.08% of scoring proficiently for 5th grade students, and 5 years of teaching experience yielded a 28.41% chance of scoring proficiently for 8th grade students. Insight into this relationship will serve to emphasize the importance of teacher preparatory programs and teacher retention.

Paper #10146: Examining the Implementation of Academic Language Instructional Supports by an Elementary Science Specialist

Principal Author: Karl G. Jung, University of Minnesota


Language plays and important role in the teaching and learning of science and engineering, and from the start of their education in science and engineering students need to be supported in developing the types of language needed to read, write and talk about science concepts (NRC, 2012). In order for teachers to support students in developing these language skills, teachers must access and develop their pedagogical language knowledge (Bunch, 2013). Pedagogical language knowledge is the knowledge teachers have about how to teach students to use language related to specific content areas, such as the language used to talk and write about science concepts (Lucero, 2015). With classrooms continuing to become more and more linguistically diverse, it is important that in-service teachers develop these knowledge and skills. This development will only happen through professional development, however little research to date has examined professional development on academic language with science teachers (Buxton & Lee, 2014; DiCerbo et al., 2014). This study investigates the ways in which an elementary science specialist implemented academic language instructional supports, while participating in an instructional coaching partnership. Results from this study show that the science specialist implemented a number of strategies including: sentence starters, modeling of academic conversations, rephrasing of student responses, providing word banks to support student writing, and repeating of student responses. While each of those strategies were implemented, the more structured strategy of sentence starters was implemented much more frequently than other strategies. This study looks to build on the limited research that investigates academic language in science classrooms and is of interest to science teacher educators who work with both in-service and pre-service science teachers.

Paper #13010: Preparing Science Teachers to Argue: Scientific Argumentation in the Classroom

Principal Author: Sharon Price Schleigh, East Carolina University
Co-Authors: Stephanie Slater, Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research (CAPER); Carolyn Peruta, Sonoma State University; Brian Kruse, Astronomical Society of the Pacific


The current research in science education suggests that including opportunities for learners to engage in a scientific argument promotes not only conceptual understanding of the content beyond rote memorization, but also develops a sense for the understanding of the nature of science. A clear emphasis in the NGSS is the use of evidence to develop a scientific argument at all grade levels, providing descriptive guidelines that address the interactions between content, scientific practices (especially of scientific argumentation), and the way that learners would be able to demonstrate an understanding for the science concepts and for the nature of science. Researchers and PD providers are finding that although the number of workshops offered in this area has increased, there remains a resistance in implementing scientific argumentation in the k-12 classrooms. The concern is that teachers are not easily transitioning to teach with this new approach. Research suggests that the resistance may be partially related to the lack of opportunities that teachers have previously had in learning through scientific argumentation, their lack of role models or previous instructors that have implemented scientific argumentation in the science classroom (including methods courses) and their lack of the tools or resources to support a transition from traditional to reformed science teaching. Faculty in science and science methods courses, as well as PD providers, can serve as agents of change by learning how to engage in a scientific argument, how to teach through and promote scientific argumentation, and how to support their learners in implementing scientific argumentation in their own practice. To support these agents of change, this experimental presentation will provide an opportunity to learn through engagement; will focus on effective strategies for facilitating scientific argumentation; and will discuss implementation in methods courses and PD to encourage pre-service and in-service teachers to promote scientific argumentation. Materials will be made available for participants to use in their courses and PD events.

Paper #10145: Collaborative inquiry and the shared workspace of professional learning communities

Principal Author: Dan Carpenter, Texas Tech Unviersity
Co-Authors: Brenda Bartlett, Texas Tech University


Educators meet in collaborative groups to problem solve with the goal of improving teaching and learning. Professional learning communities provide a venue for problem solving in a collaborative inquiry process. In this process adult educators self-direct their learning and transform their practice in the shared workspace.  The shared workspace for teachers includes physical and intellectual interactions that shape their learning. Findings from this ongoing case study point to positive collaborative physical interactions and intellectual discourse that lead to educator learning through the collaborative inquiry process.

Purpose - The purpose of this article was to explore educator collaborative inquiry in the shared workspace and transformative adult educator learning in professional learning communities. Specifically, this investigation was part of an ongoing case study of well-established professional learning community collaborative interactions and self-directed learning of educators as part of the shared workspace as a component of school culture and school improvement.


Methods - A qualitative case-study design was used for this investigation. Participants were purposefully selected to provide qualitative data on existent, well-established PLCs and their practice as educators in the shared workspace. Qualitative data were collected about participant perception. Data were collected from each participant by conducting semi-structured interviews, observations, and the collection of document and artifacts.


Originality - Theories on school culture, professional learning communities and adult learning are unique in this article. The concept of adult self-directed and transformative learning theory have been well developed but not in the context of the shared workspace. Recent literature on effective collaborative inquiry teachers undergo in PLCs as a continuing professional development model provides a foundation for the work done in this on going case study. Sustained collaboration and continued professional development on teaching innovations as a product of the collaborative inquiry process in the shared workspace are underdeveloped as yet but further developed in this article.

Paper #10144: Factors underlying science teacher implementation of modeling instruction

Principal Author: Kathleen M. Gray, NC State University College of Education
Co-Authors: Margaret R. Blanchard, NC State University College of Education; N Scott Ragan, NC State University


In model-based teaching (MBT), students use iterative, interactive processes to generate, evaluate and modify cognitive representations of systems (Khan, 2007). MBT has been shown to be effective in improving students’ conceptual understanding of unobservable scientific phenomena (Khan, 2007; Maia & Justi, 2009). With teachers, MBT research has often been conducted in preservice science teacher education courses (De Jong, Van Driel & Verloop, 2005; Crawford & Cullin, 2003); research with inservice teachers has focused on the potential for MBT to enhance teachers’ content knowledge and PCK (Justi & van Driel, 2005; Khan, 2011). Self-determination theory (Ryan & Deci, 2000), as a framework for understanding human motivation and its role in social and cognitive development, provides insight into factors that influence implementation of MBT. Studies of teacher motivation and innovative teaching approaches have shown that teachers’ perceived autonomy and competence impact motivation (Sorebo, Halvari, Gulli & Kristiansen, 2009), which is correlated with intent to implement an approach (Lam, Cheng, & Choy, 2010).

As part of a three-year MBT professional development program in a southeastern state, funded by a state mathematics and science partnership grant, research was conducted to determine: (1) whether there were changes to teachers’ feelings of autonomy, competence and/or relatedness as a result of participation in the program, and (2) how teachers reported changing their instruction as a result of participation.

Participants included 37 high school teachers, 20 biology and 17 physical science teachers. Data were gathered on each participant using: (a) concept inventories for Biology and Physical Science, (b) the Basic Psychological Needs Scale, and (c) the Teacher Beliefs Interview. An external evaluator assessed pre-/post-content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge outcomes for participants.

Statistically significant increases in feelings of competence were found among inservice teachers participating in the year-long program, with competence defined as self-reported measures of MBT-related content knowledge, PCK and TPCK. Additionally, statistically significant increases in feelings of autonomy and relatedness, as measured with the BPNS, were found among a subset of teachers with high concept inventory scores.

Paper #10143: Engineering in Elementary School: Building 21st Century Learners

Principal Author: Karen E.. Irving, Ohio State University
Co-Authors: Kathy L.. Malone, Ohio State University; Vinta A.. Tiarani, Ohio State University; Trudy C.. Giasi, Ohio State University; Rachel L.. Kajfez, Ohio State University; Andrew F.. Heckler, Ohio State University


The EiE-Ohio – Building 21st Century Learners project is a collaboration between the LEA City Schools (LEA), the College of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering to bring STEM integrated engineering units to high needs elementary schools. The main activities for the project include training for three elementary teachers from LEA City Schools and one graduate student to implement the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) units designed with support from the National Science Foundation by the Science Museum of Boston.  By introducing one teacher from each participating building to the Teacher Educator professional development, the teachers in participating schools have a peer mentor to guide their implementation of the units with theirs students. 

The second element of the project includes Summer Institutes I and II.  The third element of the project includes after school and Saturday Follow-Up Sessions to continue the professional learning community and to provide opportunity to share and critique video of classroom implementation. 

Our presentation will describe the project and the research findings for the first year of implementation.  Expected outcomes for the project include for teachers:  improved pedagogy in STEM instruction; improved content knowledge in STEM fields; increased teacher self-efficacy, and increased teacher dialogue within professional learning communities.  Expected outcomes for students include:  increased content knowledge in STEM content; improved attitudes toward science and engineering career; improved understanding of engineering and scientific practices.  We will describe the project and present student learning measures and teacher measures.

Paper #10142: Technology Integration in Science Education: A study of how teachers use modern learning technologies in Biology classrooms

Principal Author: Dionysius J. Gnanakkan, Illinois Institute of Technology
Co-Authors: Norman G. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology; Judith S. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology


This study investigated the practices of eight high school biology teachers on their use of modern learning technologies (probes, simulations, and modeling tools) and whether using these technologies alleviated misconceptions as documented by American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) among high school students in Biology content.


The sample in this study were 8 teachers teaching High School General Biology. Two units were observed per teacher and field notes taken. The researcher observed one section of Biology of each teacher participant. Only lessons taught by the participant teachers involving use of technology were observed. Other data regarding the Unit like the lesson plans, instructional objectives, PowerPoint presentations, and student artifacts (classroom assessments like assignments, tests, bell ringers, and exit slips) were collected from each classroom. Data about the demographics specifically, age, gender, and socioeconomic status of each class, and school were also collected.


Students were administered a pre-test and post-test before and after the technology-enhanced unit to test misconceptions. The Cronbach-alpha reliability of the test was found to be 0.88. Repeated measures t-test were performed to determine whether the difference in test scores were significant. The class was the unit of analysis.


Findings reported mixed results about reducing misconceptions among students. Teachers were found to task their students in higher order thinking activities. Examining the practices and thought processes of these teachers in technology integration will give insight on many different facets of technology integration. The researchers will be informed from the findings of the study about innovative integration of learning technologies in science classrooms. Last but not least, the results of this study provide feedback to the learning technology developers on what new feature teachers like in the learning technology or other customizations with the current technology or software would be beneficial for teachers in the classroom.

Paper #10141: Racial Microaggression among Places of Science Teacher Education Faculties – The Reasons, Actions, and Resolutions

Principal Author: Mary M. Atwater, University of Georgia, Department of Mathematics and Science Education


     The goal of this paper is to share the literature findings on racial microaggression in higher education, especially those that can impact science teacher education faculty members of African ancestry.  Racial microaggressions are brief, everyday intentional or unintentional exchanges between people that denigrate one person of a less powerful racial group. They can be verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities and are of three types:  microassaults that wound the victim, microinsults that voice rudeness and insensitivity and demean people’s racial ancestries or identities, and microvalidations that exclude, negate, or nullify people’s psychological thoughts, feelings, or experiential realities (Sue et al., 2007). My presentation will summarize the findings found in the literature:  (a) who are the racial microaggressors of faculty members of African ancestry (b) why they might be aware or unaware of these racial microaggressions, and (c) what approaches and policies have been used by colleagues/administrators to minimize racial microaggresions.  Many Black science teacher educators diversify the STEM majors and retain students of color in STEM fields, goals publicly marketed as valuable by U.S. colleges/universities. The existent research indicates that Black faculty are not rewarded but penalized, perhaps unintentionally, for this extra diversity-related service (Diggs et, 2009).  There are consequences for Blacks science teacher educators for their actions (Atwater, Freeman, Draper-Morris, & Butler, 2010).  The students held race-based assumptions about Black faculty and rated them accordingly. The intangible damages were inflicted by racial micro aggressions, brief but commonplace encounters that convey negative messages (Solorzano et al, 2000).  In one study it was found that teachers who responded to microaggressions were more effective than those who ignored microaggressions (Boysen, 2012).  In another study, Black women faculty members are subject to microassaults, microinsults, and microinvalidations.  They usually have little recourse and there is a need for greater attention in the academy to latent interception of racism and sexism (Chambers, 2012).  

Paper #10140: Teachers’ Conceptions of the Nature of Engineering after a Semester-Length Triad Teaching Experience with an Engineer

Principal Author: Jacob B.. Pleasants, Iowa State University
Co-Authors: Joanne K.. Olson, Iowa State University; Christopher D.. Spinler, Iowa State University


This study reports on a teacher education project that works with student teachers and cooperating teachers to support engineering and science education at the elementary level.  Engineering graduate students are teamed with the teachers in the project in order to provide support over the course of the entire student teaching experience.  This study examines how this model of teacher education affects the development of teachers’ engineering subject matter knowledge.  In particular, we examine teachers’ understanding of what engineering is and what engineers do before and after participation in the project.

Elementary teachers typically have limited backgrounds in engineering content, if any.  This often results in elementary teachers holding misconceptions views of what engineering is and what engineers do.  Based on pretest results, teachers in the project held a number of these misconceptions before beginning the project.  Over the course of the project, these misconceptions views significantly decreased.  In addition to the reduction of misconceptions, teachers’ primary conceptions of engineering also shifted.  While most teachers associated engineering with design at the beginning of the project as well as at the end, the association of engineering with solving problems and with a specific design process increased in prevalence from pretest to posttest.

These results provide evidence that teachers’ subject matter knowledge is shaped by their teaching practices.  The engineering lessons implemented during the project were often problem-solving challenges that included explicit use of an engineering design process.  The increased association of engineering with these constructs is therefore not surprising.  However, a potential danger lies in identifying engineering as problem solving.  While engineers do indeed solve problems, not all problem solving can be considered engineering.  Thus, while teachers might develop accurate notions of engineering through their teaching practice, they can also develop inaccurate or incomplete ones.

Paper #10139: Model Nature of Science Lesson (NOS) Planning in Preservice Science Education Methods Settings: Challenges, Practices and Potential

Principal Author: Stephen R. Burgin, University of Arkansas
Co-Authors: William F. McComas, University of Arkansas


In this presentation, we will share a NOS lesson planning assignment that we implemented with preservice secondary science teachers. The challenges and potential of this assignment will be discussed in hopes of providing practical advice to encourage preservice science teacher educators to engage their students in planning for lesson which target integrated and complex aspects of NOS. 

Paper #10138: Prospective vs. Novice Teachers: Teaching Experience and Science Subject Matter Knowledge

Principal Author: Ryan S.. Nixon, Brigham Young University
Co-Authors: Leigh K.. Smith, Brigham Young University; Richard R.. Sudweeks, Brigham Young University


The subject matter knowledge (SMK) elementary teachers need to teach science may be developed through a variety of experiences. While there is some evidence that classroom teaching helps teachers strengthen their SMK, existing research has been limited to secondary teachers. In this study, we explored the effect of classroom experience on elementary teachers’ science SMK. A 32-item test developed to assess teachers’ science SMK for topics included in the State Science Core Curriculum for Grades 5 and 6 was administered to prospective teachers (n=84) and beginning/novice elementary teachers (years 1-3) who have taught either 5th (n=93) or 6th grade (n=65), but not both. Test items (16 Grade 5 items; 16 Grade 6 items) were selected from the MOSART test bank to represent a span of the science curriculum taught in these grades. A differential item functioning analysis (Rasch model) showed that a majority (29/32, 91%) of the 32 items in the test were fair measures of teachers’ SMK for both the prospective and novice teacher groups. An independent samples t-test was used to determine whether there was a difference between the SMK scores of PTs and novice teachers. The total correct responses for items from each grade were also calculated (SMK5 for fifth grade items; SMK6 for 6th grade items). ANOVA analysis compared the SMK5 scores of PTs and novice 5th or 6th grade teachers. T-tests with a Bonferroni adjustment (a = .017) were used in post hoc analysis. The same procedure was conducted to examine SKM6 scores. Results suggest that both prospective and novice teachers displayed somewhat limited SMK of the science topics taught in 5th and 6th grade, regardless of length of teaching experience and grade taught, novice teachers displayed greater SMK than prospective teachers. This suggests the importance of teaching experience in the development of science SMK. Results also suggest that the positive effects of teaching experience on teachers’ SMK is greater for science topics teachers are responsible for teaching

Paper #10137: Preparing Elementary Pre-service Teachers to Integrate STEM

Principal Author: Erin M.. Evans, University of St. Francis


This presentation will report the findings and next steps of a mixed methods research study which longitudinally examined 12 elementary pre-service teachers’ perceptions, attitudes, confidence, and abilities to integrate STEM into authentic instruction as a result of participating in STEM-based preparation within a methods course.  In three phases spanning two semesters, the pre-service teachers from a small, private, Midwestern university were studied as they completed a combined science and social studies methods course, during which they designed and implement3ed an Integrated STEM Unit at an elementary partner school.  Phases I and II of this study took place before and after the methods course, while Phase III took place during the final student teaching semester in order to gain a sense as to the longitudinal retention of the four variables studied pertaining to STEM integration.

In all three phases of the study, quantitative data were collected in the form of two survey instruments, including the STEM Semantics Survey and the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument for pre-service teachers (STEBI-B).  Additionally, in all three phases, one-on-one interviews were conducted with the same group of five participants in order to examine the study’s variables from a qualitative perspective.  In Phase II, the solicited Integrated STEM Unit project, which was part of the culminating project in the methods course, was studied using an analytical assessment rubric to quantify participants’ abilities to design and authentically teach integrated STEM lessons.  Quantitative findings suggest that elementary pre-service teachers’ perceptions, confidence, and abilities are positively impacted through STEM-based preparation, specifically that which includes a co-taught, integrated teaching experience in which the pre-service teachers must apply what is learned in an authentic setting.  Qualitative findings supported the quantitative findings, but also suggested a positive trend in elementary pre-service teachers’ attitudes toward STEM as a result of engaging in STEM-based preparation. 

A follow-up research study is currently being conducted to gain a more robust sample size from which to draw assertions from the data.  Insights from this research will also be shared as well as samples of the overall scope and sequence of the STEM-based preparation from the methods course, including an outline and description of the Integrated STEM Unit that was found to be a “game-changing” learning experience for participants in the original and follow-up studies.  Additionally, the analytical assessment rubric that was used to assess the pre-service teachers’ Integrated STEM Units and teaching will be shared.

Paper #10136: The benefits and challenges of teacher learning through NGSS-aligned curriculum development

Principal Author: Brenda G. Bergman, Michigan Technological University
Co-Authors: Ashley Miller, Michigan Technological Univeristy; Jacqueline Huntoon, Michigan Technological University


This research is based on a program for NGSS-aligned curriculum development and associated professional development with teachers from around Michigan.  We explain the steps of the curriculum design and professional development processes used. We then investigate research findings regarding the outcomes these processes.  Results are divided into three general categories: (1) the quality curriculum produced, (2) strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum design and professional development process, and (3) the professional development benefits to teachers.

Regarding the quality curriculum produced, we provide recommendations regarding what quality of product can reasonably be developed with teachers working 3-4 weeks over the summer. Regarding strengths and weaknesses of the curriculum design and professional development processes, we present analysis of teacher and facilitator reflections from surveys and interviews, and discern what supports enable teachers to prepare quality products. Regarding professional development benefits to teachers, we investigate teacher perceptions of benefits from the experience. To put this curriculum development process in context, we investigate how this experience compared with teachers’ previous experiences of curriculum development.  For six teachers who developed curriculum and also pilot tested curriculum, we compare what teachers gained from developing versus implementing NGSS-aligned curriculum.

Paper #14007: Lessons from the First 100: How to Build a Successful STEM Teacher Preparation Program

Principal Author: David M.. Sparks, University of Texas at Arlington
Co-Authors: Ann M. L.. Cavallo, University of Texas at Arlington; Greg Hale, University of Texas at Arlington; Karen Allmond, University of Texas at Arlington; Karen Matsler, 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 began at the University of Texas at Austin in 1997 and answered the challenge by 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 in 2010 to become a UTeach Cohort 2 replication site.  UTeach Arlington began with 89 students, one of the largest starts for a UTeach replication site.  The program has graduated approximately 100 secondary science and mathematics since its inaugural class in the Spring of 2014.  In 2008, before starting the UTeach program, the University of Texas at Arlington graduated approximately five math and science teachers per year.

This session will include challenges and lessons learned to help universities seeking to increase their number of STEM graduates.  Although the program follows the UTeach model, there are principles of success that can be used for any teacher preparation program. The presenters will provide samples of curriculum, field evaluation procedures, course structure, and address questions from attendees.

Paper #10135: Growing elementary science teachers’ identities around ambitious, culturally responsive teaching

Principal Author: Gale Seiler, Iowa State University
Co-Authors: Katherine Richardson Bruna, Iowa State University


How does a practice-based approach to learning culturally relevant and ambitious science teaching impact preservice teacher identity? This presentation reports on work done as part of an NIH-funded SEPA (Science Education Participatory Action) project called Young Scientists, Ambitious Teachers Improving Health in an Urban Ecosystem, which responds to the rapid ethnic and racial diversification occurring in America’s heartland; the challenge of the underrepresentation of minorities—both historical and newly arriving—in science; and the difficulty of enculturating new teachers to ambitious and culturally responsive ways of teaching science. While the larger project has goals related to science learning, science teaching, and citizen science in relation to mosquitoes and public health, in this presentation we focus specifically on the goal of improving science teaching among our preservice elementary education participants. We address the challenge of considering how to break the cycle of teaching science as one was taught and move teachers beyond their apprenticeship of observation. For one year, we worked with a small cohort of elementary education students to introduce them to ambitious science teaching principles through cycles of experience, planning, rehearsal, enactment and reflection.  Through data collected from observations, interviews, and documents of their capstone field experiences, we illustrate the ways in which they demonstrated culturally-responsive, ambitious teaching practices and related principles in their teaching identities.  We do this with respect to three emergent themes—Teacher as Talker, Teacher as Knower, and Teacher as Believer.  We also will share information on how we use youth-driven, community-embedded inquiry about mosquitoes and public health as a means to prepare educators to teach science in more authentic, ambitious, and culturally-responsive ways.

Paper #11020: “The students call me the ‘science teacher’!” Cultivating future teacher leaders in K-8 science through enhanced undergraduate clinical experiences

Principal Author: Birgitta R.. Meade, Luther College
Co-Authors: Barbara M.. Bohach, Luther College; Eric J. Baack, Luther College



Preparing pre-service elementary educators to teach science requires overcoming multiple obstacles, including the need for additional coursework in reading instruction that leads to limited time for science coursework, and low confidence in science skills.  Many pre-service teachers do little to no science instruction during their student teaching due to limited class time available for science in their host schools.  Lack of experience contributes to lack of confidence.  We attempted three interventions to increase self-efficacy and leadership in science education.  First, students were given opportunities to develop and teach science lessons in local schools, from one to a dozen times over the course of a semester.  Second, students were encouraged to develop a stronger science background through additional science courses, and to incorporate science lessons into their student teaching through competitive scholarships for those showing potential for leadership in science education.  Third, students were invited to attend national science education conferences, and to present at state and national meetings, to develop a self-image as a leader in science education.  Students taking part in the program showed increased self-efficacy (as measured by the STEBI-B), were more likely to include science lessons in their student teaching (as assessed by their portfolios), and spent more time teaching science once in the classroom compared to students who did not take part in the program.  External grant funding provided an instructor to devote 10 hours a week to this program, but several elements should be sustainable without external funding.  We have incorporated more time actively teaching into the science methods course, and will continue to encourage students to attend and present at state educational conferences to foster their identity as teacher leaders.

Paper #10134: Exploring preservice elementary teachers’ technological choices around scientific modeling: A case study

Principal Author: Tina Vo, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Research has noted an increase of preservice teachers’ knowledge about scientific modeling and how science knowledge is formed when engaging in structured model based inquiry (Windschitl, &Thompson, 2006; Windschitl, Thompson, & Braaten, 2008). While some empirical research has been done on the use of technological simulations to teach modeling and science content to elementary preservice teachers (Bell & Trundel, 2007; Schwarz, Meyer, & Sharma, 2007; Valanides & Angeli, 2006) these have mostly occurred in elementary science methods courses and are highly scaffolded towards specific software or technological tools. More research is needed to understand preservice teachers’ choices in engagement with scientific modeling within different contexts, particularly in technological situations. While  my interest is eventually to investigate elementary preservice teachers’ usage of scientific modeling within an immersive  technology context, I begin by exploring their use of technology within a traditional science methods course asking the question: How do pre-service elementary teachers’ conceptualizations about scientific modeling and science content impact their choices around using technology within am elementary science methods context?

This research focuses on garnering a more nuanced understanding of how preservice elementary teachers’ knowledge about scientific modeling impacts their technological choices; specifically pertaining to ways they support elementary students’ scientific modeling around hydrological phenomena. This case study is a part of a multiple case study to compare how elementary preservice teachers engage technology to support scientific modeling and how different context (science focused vs technology focused) impact preservice teachers’ choices.

Paper #10133: Elementary school teachers perceptions of classroom implementation of a three-dimensional art/science/robotics project.

Principal Author: Jeffrey S. Carver, West Virginia University


Teachers in two different elementary schools in one school district in a Mid-Atlantic State were provided professional development in the utilization of Arts & Bots to meet standards related to Scientific and Engineering Practices as outlined in the Next Generation Science Standards. These teachers subsequently implemented Arts & Bots in their own classroom with technical assistance provided by the author’s implementation team. Teachers were surveyed prior to and after the professional development and interviewed after the classroom implementation specifically looking for the changes in their confidence in understanding new technologies as well as implementing them with students in their classrooms. Initially teachers showed extreme lack of confidence related specifically to computer coding. With hands-on experience in both engineering design of a structure as well as coding of robotic components to animate their structure, teachers gained confidence in their coding skills though their confidence levels to implement it with their students remained low. However with assisted implementation in their classroom, the teachers all gained interest and confidence in further implementation in the future. This presentation will provide a description of the technology as well as present results of the surveys and interviews conducted.

Paper #10132: Tensions and Lessons in Integrating Literacy into a STEM-based Curriculum

Principal Author: Jonah B. Firestone, Washington State University
Co-Authors: Judith Morrison, Washington State University; Sarah N. Newcomer, Washington State University


With the advent of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS, 2013), engineering has been given equal weight as science in national and state standards. Along with this, is an increasing emphasis on technology in elementary and secondary classrooms (Brown, 2012). In order to address these issues, schools are re-designing their curricula to be inclusive of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) vocabulary, practices, and issues across all disciplines. At the same time, districts are opening elementary, middle, and high schools that specialize in STEM education. While there are many studies of middle and high school STEM programs (Thomas & Williams, 2009) there are virtually no studies on elementary STEM schools.

Beliefs and knowledge of content and pedagogy are important to teachers’ practice, as they shape decisions in terms of instruction and influence the representation of content in the classroom (Jones & Carter, 2007). Teachers enter new classroom environments with a set of core beliefs that have been shaped by previous educational experiences. These core beliefs are the basis for the acquisition and development of nascent beliefs stemming from exposure to unfamiliar content and curricula. Ultimately, these nascent beliefs guide teachers’ development of continuing pedagogy concerning new content (Author, 2011).

Elementary teachers, new to teaching at STEM schools, may likely be starting their tenure with a very limited set of core beliefs about STEM and STEM pedagogy. These limited initial beliefs may be the basis for misconceptions in terms of STEM content and my foster continuing misunderstandings in the classroom. Because of the impact that teachers’ beliefs have on classroom teaching, it is vitally important that we learn and understand what these beliefs are and how they may change over time in elementary STEM schools.

In this presentation we focus on some of the struggles and tensions for teachers at a new elementary STEM school as they work to integrate both STEM and literacy instruction together. The examples offered here come from a multiyear, in-depth study of teachers’ experiences with implementing the STEM-based curriculum. Our findings suggest that there are certain key structures/processes that support teachers in successfully integrating literacy and STEM Finally, we will conclude with implications/suggestions for how teachers might overcome such tensions and struggles.

Paper #16015: New Science Teachers Learning to Elicit and Work with Students’ Ideas: Investigating a Science Teaching Core Practice in High-Need Urban Settings

Principal Author: Elaine V.. Howes, American Museum of Natural History
Co-Authors: Jamie Wallace, American Museum of Natural History


This case study describes how two new teachers in urban high-need school intentionally elicit students’ thinking, and what use they make of students’ ideas in their planning and instruction.

Preliminary Findings

The “Do Now.” Our preliminary findings indicate that our graduates believe that it is important to know what their students are thinking as they enter into a new unit of study or, sometimes, into a new lesson. This strategy is used widely in our teachers’ districts; in this case study, both participants stated that they use the Do Now to help students connect to the upcoming lesson, and one participant said that she used the Do Now to see check on students’ understanding as they move through an instructional unit.

Formative Assessment. Most formative assessment is carried out in one of two ways in these two teachers’ classrooms: through written work, and through one-on-one discussions with students are they work in groups. One of the teachers made “constructing explanations” (Quinn, Schweingruber, & Keller, 2012) central to her instruction, and could speak in great depth about her students’ struggles and progress with this science practice.

Lack of substantive classroom discussion. While there was desire on one of the case study’s teacher’s part to engage in rich classroom discussion, she was hampered by her classroom management challenges. The other case study teacher was working with school colleagues to develop students’ discussion skills as they work in groups. Both case study teachers used one-on-one discussions with students to guide the learning of scientifically appropriate ideas.

We hope to use this session to support thinking about how to support new teachers in implementing what they have learned in their teacher education programs when they venture out into their challenging school settings. We also aim to examine current core practice recommendations in light of our findings: What supports and barriers do new teachers encounter as they attempt to elicit and work with students’ ideas and experiences in science? Is it necessary to rethink current constructions of this particular practice, or should we forge better ways to support our preservice and inservice teachers in learning and implementing them as they are currently constructed?

Paper #11019: Focused on becoming a secondary science teacher

Principal Author: Stephanie B. Philipp, University of Louisville


In a program oriented toward comprehensive and strategic recruitment, prospective middle and secondary science teachers had opportunities for purposeful teaching experiences and reflection on prior education experiences in a teaching exploration course aligned with a program-wide conceptual framework. Because not much is known about the initial development of science teachers, this study presents case analyses describing how prospective science teachers perceived science teaching as a career and insight into the decision-making process connected with exploring science teaching as a career.  Based on their experiences, prospective teachers perceived teaching as a productive way to make a difference in young people’s lives and seemed unconcerned about low compensation and long work hours. Changes in perceptions about teaching were mainly concerned with creating an effective learning environment for all students and the notion that some people are “natural teachers,” but must develop pedagogical skills in order to be an effective science teacher.  The process in making the decision to become a science teacher was made complicated by parents and science professors who worried about high opportunity costs for students becoming a teacher rather than another type of science professional. Descriptions of the epiphanies that students experienced during this course will be discussed, as well as the implications for programs that prepare middle and secondary science teachers.

Paper #10131: Comparing the Classroom Experiences of Two Urban High School Teachers Implementing Scientific Argumentation Activities for the First Time

Principal Author: Brent Gilles, Indiana University
Co-Authors: Gayle Buck, Indiana University


Scientific arguments are useful and necessary for advancing scientific knowledge. As such, argumentation has become an integral part of science education reform documents (NRC, 2012; NGSS, 2013). Unfortunately, inservice teachers do not possess the pedagogical skills to do argumentation (Berland & Hammer, 2012) or they have a misconception about what argumentation is (McNeill & Knight, 2013). The purpose of this study was to compare the pedagogy and beliefs of two teachers implementing scientific argumentation in their classrooms for the first time. The participants were two high school science teachers in an urban setting. One teacher (Karen) taught honors Chemistry while the other (Becky) taught AP Biology. We took a case study approach to best understand the similarities and differences within their approaches to implementing scientific argumentation. The findings revealed that the exertion of control was a central theme in the successes of our teachers. Becky understood when the classroom should be teacher-centered and when it should be student-centered, while Karen did not. The differing student outcomes due to this understanding is important when introducing scientific argumentation for the first time. There was a disconnect between what one teacher reported as pedagogical practice and what she enacted in the classroom. These findings suggest that professional development designers need to consider the pedagogy and beliefs of individual teachers to meet their needs with previous understandings. Lastly, this study points to the importance of control when conducting a new teaching approach for the first time. Understanding when to be teacher-centered and when to be student-centered is crucial for the growth of teachers and students. 

Paper #10130: Digital Notebooks: Recording Strategies of 21st Century Science Learners

Principal Author: Lori A. Fulton, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Co-Authors: Seungoh Paek, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Jon M. Yoshioka, University of Hawaii at Manoa


Tablet devices offer potential for digital science notebooking. Digital science notebooks offer opportunities for students to document their learning using more traditional methods, such as drawing and writing with a stylus, while also allowing students to take photos, record video and audio clips, and import data. Such elements could enhance notebook entries, espeically for emerging writers who might struggle to get their ideas down on paper. In addition, students can share their notes via cloud storage services, making it easier for the teacher to access notebooks for formative assessment purposes. 

To examine the potential of digital science notebooks, we explored how fourth and fifth graders enrolled in a STEM summer camp used a digital science notebook to record their science learning. We used Notability, as it allowed students to record and share in the manner described above. Twenty-five students participated in the summer camp; however, only 12 tablets were available, so students shared notebooks. Entries from the notebooks were uploaded to a shared drive where they were stored and accessed. All notebook entries were reviewed, and an in-depth content analysis was conducted on all entries (n = 25 entries) from one notebook and an identified entry from all 12 notebooks. Students’ entries included things we would typically see in a traditional notebook, such as thoughts captured as written text, bulleted lists, and drawings. However, students used other tools, such as the camera and the import feature to capture data in unique ways. Still other tools, such as audio recording, were not used as much as anticipated. 

While there is potential for meaningful integration of science and technology through digital notebooks, this potential is not fully realized at the elementary level. We believe teachers need to use digital notebooks as their students would to fully realize their potential. They also need to move beyond using the digital tools to simply record data and instead use the tools to conduct deeper analysis of the data and to develop robust explanations.

Paper #10129: Pedagogical Content Knowledge for Science Professional Development Leaders

Principal Author: Paul Numedahl, BSCS
Co-Authors: Connie Hvidsten, BSCS; Jody Bintz, BSCS; Kathy Roth, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona


Little is known about pedagogical content knowledge for those who provide professional development for teachers. What do PD Leaders need to know and be able to do? In science education, what do PD Leaders need to know about relationships among science content, the pedagogy related to K-12 science teaching, and the pedagogy for adult teacher learners? In this study, we examine the kinds of knowledge and abilities held by PD Leaders in a professional development program that is showing positive effects on both teacher and student learning.


The study was situated within the context of a one-year PD program. The program focused on video-based analysis of practice for elementary teachers that uses lesson video analysis as a context for supporting teachers’ learning about science content and effective science teaching. Through two research contexts, the PD program has been shown to increase students’ science achievement by increasing teachers’ ability to attend to student thinking and to the content storyline of science instruction (Roth, 2011, Taylor, Roth, Wilson, Stuhlsatz & Tipton, 2016). Both studies had high effect sizes on teachers’ science content knowledge, teacher PCK, teachers’ practices, and most importantly on student learning. As a result of these strong findings, the program is being adapted to study the scalability and sustainability of the program when implemented in different contexts while developing new PD leaders.


As is common among studies of teacher PCK, we found that PD leadership, like teaching, is a complex enterprise that requires planning and constant “in the moment” decisions about the participants and their learning, the science content, the PD curriculum – the lenses and strategies, and how the use of videocases can help frame teacher learning about student learning. But the study of these PD leaders goes beyond this acknowledgment of complexity by getting more specific about what PD leaders need to know and be able to do to implement transformative PD. In particular, the PD Leaders need a kind of PCK that is specific to their role.

Paper #16014: Finding a Place for Concept Maps in Education for Sustainability

Principal Author: Hillary Mason, University of Colorado Denver
Co-Authors: Katrina Marzetta, University of Colorado Denver; Bryan Wee, University of Colorado Denver


Concept maps are ideal for use in education for sustainability (EFS) as they emphasize holistic understandings of social and ecological interactions within complex ecosystems. The use of concept maps in EFS nurtures the development of interdisciplinary perspectives in learners, a key component of efforts to improve scientific literacy. It is also critical if we are to effectively nurture a populace that appreciates that environmental problems have multiple causes and effects, and who are able/motivated to solve them. Concept maps have been applied as a form of assessment in science education (see for example, Yin et al., 2005) but studies involving concept maps in education for sustainability are relatively scarce. Our paper addresses this gap by asking the following question, "What is the impact of concept maps on student learning in an elementary curriculum centered on education for sustainability for a diverse population in an urban, public 'green school?" We used cognitive learning theory as our framework, and focused on an elementary science unit involving ecosystem interactions. Two teachers in the fourth grade - one science, the other social science - as well as 25 students participated in our study. Using t-tests and SPSS, our preliminary findings indicate that there was no statistical difference between pre-post concept map scores for gifted/talented and second language learners. This supports the notion that concept maps provide learners with different (yet valid) outlets to express their understandings. Our presentation contributes to science teacher education by applying concept maps as a teaching and learning tool in different, increasingly important settings (urban, diverse schools). This work also increases our understanding of concept maps, and their relevance within EFS. As communities grapple with changing environmental and social landscapes, EFS is one approach that science teachers, researchers and administrators can draw on to inform curriculum reform. Our paper points the way to professional development programs that can support meaningful assessment for students who may not fit 'traditional' learning environments and generates further discussion about equity in science education.

Paper #11018: Exploring Pre-Service Teachers’ Understanding of Integrated STEM Education Through the Derivation of Ampere’s Law

Principal Author: Kimberly Corum, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Joe Garofalo, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia


Professional organizations (e.g. National Science Teachers Association, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) and national curriculum standards (e.g. Next Generation Science Standards, Common Core State Standards) recommend that science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) be taught as a connected discipline. Technology (e.g. computer-aided design, graphing software, data collection instruments) can help facilitate the integration of the different STEM disciplines. Supporting pre-service and in-service teachers develop the necessary technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPACK) can help them integrate STEM disciplines in their own classrooms. One way to do this is by incorporating authentic STEM tasks that utilize technology into science pedagogy courses and professional development workshops. One such task is the derivation of Ampere’s Law. Ampere’s Law relates the strength of the magnetic field produced by a solenoid to the number of coils of wire, the length of the solenoid, and the current passing through the wire. Ampere’s Law can be derived experimentally by systematically varying the different parameters of a solenoid. Several different groups, ranging from pre-service teachers to middle school students, have successfully completed this task. Those who completed this task were able to describe patterns in their collected data both qualitatively (e.g. as the number of wraps increases, the strength of the field increases) and quantitatively (e.g. for each increase of 50 wraps of wire, there was an increase of 36 Gauss). They were also able to successfully derive Ampere’s Law. The Deriving Ampere’s Law task is a valuable instructional activity that can be used to support pre-service and in-service teachers’ efforts to integrate authentic STEM tasks into their own teaching and to help them develop and strengthen their TPACK.

Paper #16013: CREST: Meeting the Challenge of STEM Professional Development in High Need Schools

Principal Author: Regina Toolin, University of Vermont
Co-Authors: Michael Blouin, University of Vermont


The Champlain Research Experience for Secondary Teachers (CREST) is a project and place-based STEM professional development program for 7-12 teachers in GEAR-UP affiliated high needs schools that promotes principles of place and project-based learning. In 2015-16, thirteen teachers participated in a yearl-long study to assess the impact of CREST principles and touchstones on their teaching practice. Program evaluations, journal reflections, classroom observations and interviews revealed that teacher pedagogical skills and content knowledge were enhanced by the CREST experience with strong indications about place-based education, project-based learning and the importance of engaging students in authentic scientific research. Teacher journals also revealed change in teacher beliefs and understanding about place-based and project-based learning, and personal connection to learning over the course of the program. This presentation further explores the strengths and challenges of program implementation and the research process that occured over the course of this study.

Paper #10128: What Are the Science Teaching Self-Efficacy Beliefs of Paraprofessionals Enrolled In an Alternate Route Teacher Certification Program?

Principal Author: Lindsay K. Lightner, Washington State University
Co-Authors: Judith A. Morrison, Washington State University


Many parts of the United States currently face a shortage of certified and willing teachers, especially in certification areas such as bilingual education and special education that often have been difficult to fill.  As states and higher education institutions seek to address this need by producing high-quality teachers quickly, alternate routes to teacher certification have gained new prominence.  This study investigates a state-funded alternate route teacher certification program in which paraprofessionals are supported in becoming certified teachers while working in their schools. This “grow your own teacher” route is based on the assumption that paraprofessionals can become highly effective teachers quickly because they possess skills transferable to teaching positions.  However, it is unclear whether paraprofessional preservice teachers (PSTs) who were recruited to teach at the elementary level will feel confident in teaching elementary science specifically. 

This study seeks to understand the learning needs of this unique population by determining paraprofessional PSTs’ teaching efficacy and efficacy regarding science teaching, and whether and to what extent the PSTs’ participation in this program impacts their self-efficacy beliefs.  Participants are completing the Preservice Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Inventory, or STEBI-B (Enochs and Riggs, 1990; modified by Bleicher, 2004) and the Teacher’s Sense of Efficacy Scale (TSES; Tschannen-Moran & Woolfolk Hoy, 2001) at the beginning of the program, to allow a comparison of candidates’ general teaching efficacy with their science teaching efficacy beliefs.  Following the initial survey, selected participants will be observed teaching science lessons that will be followed by semi-structured interviews.  Together, the survey responses and interview data will give a sense of participants’ science teaching self-efficacy beliefs at a time when their practices are being newly informed by their teacher preparation coursework.

Initial findings indicate that these PSTs, as a whole, may have weaker self-efficacy beliefs regarding their science teaching than for their teaching overall.  Further findings based on the surveys and post-observation interviews will be discussed in the presentation, with implications for elementary teacher preparation and alternate route programs. 

Paper #15004: Incorporating Problem-Based Learning and Lesson Study into a Science Education Course for Pre-Service Teachers

Principal Author: Michelle Cook, Clemson University


Science teacher educators often struggle with the limited amount of time in teacher preparation programs to expose pre-service teachers to science content, instructional and assessment strategies, field experiences and critical reflection, and so on.  With the amount of material addressed in science teaching methods courses, we are often unable to address other important topics in the development of science teachers, including problem-based learning and lesson study.  In this syllabus-sharing presentation, I will share background information on problem-based learning and lesson study and discuss the rationale of incorporating these methods in teacher preparation programs.  I will present the syllabus, address the structure of the course, and show examples of the products emerging from the course.

Paper #10127: “I wanted the experts to come in and teach me”: How Seven Secondary Science Teachers Conceptualize Culturally Responsive Science Education

Principal Author: Alaina H.. Szostkowski, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Devarati Bhattacharya, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota


Researchers argue that differences between Indigenous and Western worldviews necessitate science instruction responsive to Native American cultural contexts. Yet, many current K-12 science educators do not share their students’ backgrounds. It is therefore important to gain insight about what “culture” means for teachers and how they conceptualize “culturally responsive” instruction. The authors used techniques from constructivist grounded theory (Charmaz, 2014) to explore this topic from the perspectives of seven white science educators working with Ojibwe students. Findings from qualitative analysis of semi-structured interview transcripts describe characteristics and processes associated with participants’ views of culture and instructional strategies. The theoretical construct of situated expertise emerged as a leading theme in this analysis. This theme is related to existing concepts such as culture brokering (Aikenhead & Jegede, 1999) and culturally responsive (CR) teaching (Gay, 2010). Teachers described “culture” as a noun, a bounded object that could be selectively “added into” existing instruction. Yet many were reluctant to incorporate culture unless they felt comfortable with the content. Developing comfort required time, trusting relationships, and shared frames of reference with students and community members.  Place-based teaching, consulting experts, and making connections to students’ lives were perceived as culturally responsive teaching. Inclusion of Ojibwe language, stories, and spiritual practices was less frequent, even though these strategies have been identified as effective components of CR instruction (Castagno & Brayboy, 2008). The theoretical construct situated expertise explains this pattern, wherein participants believed that their non-Native identity and lack of formal cultural knowledge limited the actions they could take in their role as teachers. Although student-centered instruction was encouraged, an objective view of culture prevented most teachers from taking a more dynamic and critical approach to CR instruction.

Paper #13009: Using Corn as a Model Organism to Foster 3rd-grade Students’ Learning of Genetics and Inheritance

Principal Author: Devarati -. Bhattacharya, K-16 STEM Education Fellow, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln
Co-Authors: Erin Ingram, Curriculum Development Specialist, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE; Cory Forbes, Associate Professor of Science Education, Coordinator, IANR Science Literacy Initiative,School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE


A crucial element of science and agricultural literacy involves understanding how core life science concepts relate to agriculture, natural resource issues and society. This knowledge underlies students’ abilities to learn about and engage with global issues like successfully feeding 2.4 billion more people by 2050, while utilizing the Earth’s natural resources in a sustainable manner. Despite ongoing STEM educational reform efforts, “evidence mounts that scientific literacy is far from what it could or should be” (NRC, 2007, pg. 20). Therefore, it becomes important to actively support early learners’ foundation of STEM knowledge through an integration of agriculture, natural resources and society. Furthermore, due to Nebraska’s unique production of corn, livestock and ethanol (described as Nebraska’s Golden Triangle), it is crucial for all students in Nebraska to conceptualize the science content, practices and technology that support the contributions of this state to food growth, ethanol production and animal welfare. Doing so will enable them to make objective, informed decisions about issues concerning food sustainability (for example use of genetically modified foods). Project UnICORN implemented in Fall 2015(Understanding Inheritance in Corn) facilitated the development, implementation, and assessment of an 8-week, 3rd-grade science unit that uses corn and corn production systems as a vehicle for fostering student learning about the basic concepts of genetics (traits, variation in traits and the influence of environment on traits). Student exploration began with learning growth and development of various plants and organisms, followed by an investigation of the similarities and differences among the lifecycle of various plants and organisms. Thereafter, student experiences were focused on learning about “traits”, “inheritance of traits” and “the influence of environment on the expression of inherited traits” in context of corn and its various varieties grown in the state for food, fodder and fuel. 

Paper #10126: A Shift Towards Project-based Learning with ELLs during a Year-Long Professional Development Program

Principal Author: Rory Glass, State UNiversity of New York at Albany
Co-Authors: Alan Oliveira, State University of New York at Albany


The population of English Language Learners (ELLs) in public school in the United States has grown significantly over the past decade and continues to be the fastest growing faction of our school population. Current analysis estimates that by the year 2025, 25% of our students may not be native English speakers. This population has historically underperformed in school and there has been an increased focus on effective instructional strategies aimed at improving the academic achievement of ELLs. Towards that end, our research team has been involved in year-long professional development activities with teams of science content teachers and ESL (English as a Second Language) teachers to improve teacher practice.

Our professional development approach involves an ongoing process of collaboration between University researchers, Pre-service TESOL teachers and in-school teams of in service teaching professionals. At the heart of our work is the use of structured reflection and intelligent planning to isolate effective practices and expand upon their use, while exposing ineffective moves that may not be beneficial to this high-needs population. Our research suggests that such partnerships can be highly effective in changing teachers’ in class practice and highlights the benefits of sharing perspectives on instructional strategies and effective instruction in during these collaborations.

This presentation will highlight the key elements of our professional development. We will discuss the ongoing collaboration, share some of the characteristics of the students we are presently serving and discuss the instructional shifts we have seen n our classroom observations. In general, there has been a notable shift towards less teacher centered instructional talk and an increase is inquiry-based science instruction. This shift has occurred with teaching teams irregardless of their initial familiarity with this population and in spite of challenging school-based factors which seem to hinder rather than help facilitate effective instruction of this population.

Paper #10125: A Work in Progress: The Evolution of Science Teacher Attitudes Toward Teaching Culturally Diverse Students Throughout a 4-Week-Long Summer Course

Principal Author: Preethi Titu, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Elizabeth A.. Ring, University of Minnesota; Julie C.. Brown, University of Minnesota; Gillian H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota


In recent decades, schools in most Western countries, including the United States, have become increasingly culturally diverse and as global migration continues to rise, cultural diversity in schools will continue to grow worldwide (UNESCO, 2004). Yet little is known about teachers’ attitudes and beliefs about cultural diversity, and teaching culturally diverse students in schools. Teacher beliefs and attitudes, which are formed by the values they hold, play an important role in student performance. The purpose of this study was to explore how the attitudes of science teachers toward teaching culturally diverse students were influenced by a 4-week-long summer course which focused on equitable science teaching.  During the first week and the last week of the course, teachers were asked to complete an in-class, card-sort activity.  During this activity, they worked together in groups to arrange 12 statements about cultural diversity on a continuum from most like them to least like them. Following their completion of this activity, the teachers participated in a semi-structured interview that asked them to reflect upon their experience.


Preliminary data analysis of the card-sort continuua and the interview transcripts indicate that the teachers’ attitudes toward teaching culturally diverse students were influenced by the course. For example, one teacher expressed that following the course, she felt more equipped to work with her culturally diverse students.  The way in which teachers talked about their culturally diverse students also changed over the 4-weeks.  In general, it appeared that teachers moved from a place of colorblindness to being willing to acknowledge that privilege and racial differences do exist.  This change in attitude seemed to allow the teachers to feel more confident in their approach to interacting with culturally diverse students in their classroom. In this presentation, implications for the preparation of equitable science teachers will be discussed.

Paper #10124: The Impact of a Triad-Based Student Teaching Semester using a STEM Researcher on Student Teachers’ Lesson Quality

Principal Author: Joanne K.. Olson, Iowa State University
Co-Authors: Christopher D.. Spinler, Iowa State University; Jacob B.. Pleasants, Iowa State University


Triads of a cooperating teacher, student teacher, and an engineer worked together over a semester to teach science and engineering lessons to primary students. This study assessed student teachers’ science lesson quality compared to a control group that consisted of student teacher/cooperating teacher pairs from the same elementary education program. Results indicate that triads outperform dyads on several aspects of their lessons, but show no differences in other areas. Sense making continues to be an area of weakness for student teachers, but several aspects of classroom culture, surfacing students’ prior knowledge, and using class discussions were of higher quality with the triads. This study has several implications for science teacher preparation and inservice professional development. 

Paper #10123: Engaging pre-service teachers in a pedagogy of wonder

Principal Author: Andrew Gilbert, George Mason University
Co-Authors: Christie Byers, George Mason University


The work of wonder, as a pedagogical tool, draws from a long history and tradition of science and engagement with the natural world. Science has particular commitments to key enduring principles, namely: ideas are supported with evidence, testable, willing to change in the face of new evidence, and these activities happen within a subjective human context where efforts must be made to limit those subjectivities (Akerson, Morrison, McDuffie, 2006). Wonder, however, places the human experience at the center of that inquiry process as opposed to the science content itself. Forging a pedagogy of wonder demands connection to the emotive embodiment of science as a uniquely human process that nurtures our intense need to know. In addition, we can utilize abstract science ideas to elicit and evoke emotive connections to those scientific ideas (Hadzigergiou, 2016). This project endeavored to engage adult science learners in meaningful science content as a method to rekindle the aesthetic spirit of wondering about the world. Lastly, this work stands as an attempt to answer Stolberg's (2008) charge to develop 'pedagogical strategies' that help students utilize our special connections to wonder. These future teachers, involved in the study, were conceptualizing their own experiences with wonder and how they were able to engage children in their elementary placement classrooms. The key factors that arose during the study included: conceptualizations of wonder, relationship with science, centrality of vulnerability, operationalizing wonder, institutional challenges and lastly impacts on thinking, learning and confidence. The presentation is designed to appeal to a broad array of the ASTE membership including: elementary and secondary science educators, curriculum developers, policy makers and teachers. The reasons for this broad appeal surround using the role of wonder to address generating interest in the sciences with future teachers.

Paper #10122: Visualizing Moon’s Orbital Tilt in 3D: An Innovative Way To Teach Both Lunar Phases and Eclipses

Principal Author: Mark Guy, University of North Dakota
Co-Authors: Timothy Young, University of North Dakota; Delphine Banjong, University of North Dakota


In this presentation, we will describe and demonstrate an innovative 3D orbital tilt model of the moon and suggest its place in the forefront of the discussion of lunar phases and eclipses. The rationale for the 3D model is to clearly show students the two times during the year when eclipses are more likely to occur - when the Moon enters Earth’s cast shadow or when Earth enters the Moon’s cast shadow.  At other times, the cast shadows are either above or below the other object. Students often struggle to understand spatial concept while learning both lunar phases and eclipses.  This is the contribution of our innovation – showing the Moon’s orbital tilt in 3D during one complete Earth year of orbiting the Sun.

We will illustrate and role-play specific evidence we have directly observed from our longitudinal lunar phases studies. We have found that students often struggle when demonstrating the different lunar phases by positioning the two spheres representing Earth and the Moon.  We will explicitly emphasize how they may even go back and forth regarding the position of the Moon during the new moon and full moon phases.  Our presentation will show how this cognitive conflict can lead students to return to earlier less scientific thinking or rationalize their responses based on the moon’s position in front of behind Earth. In our longitudinal study, a student put the shape for moon in full moon position, and said “that would be new moon.” Then he moved moon back to first-quarter position, and said “that would be half moon, “I can’t remember now” he said. New moon is over here, he had new moon in full moon position. He then moved the moon around the earth naming each phase and he said “not sure if it’s waxing or waning, at this time, he had the new moon and the full moon in the wrong position.

With an active instructional focus on the Moon’s tilted orbit with the model, our presentation demonstrates how students would be less likely to get caught in this specific cognitive conflict. We will show the 3D model of the moon’s orbital tilt during the presentation for our colleagues to observe and manipulate.

Paper #11017: Analyzing Indian Teachers’ Knowledge about Science Teaching across Grade Levels

Principal Author: Vanashri Nargund-Joshi, New Jersey City University


The notion of a science teaching orientation is central to understanding a teacher’s Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and the relationship between their knowledge, beliefs and practice (Abell, 2007). However, very few empirical studies have identified science teachers’ orientations across grade levels to determine if variation occurs according to different grade requirements.  Through the use of three staggered interviews, one of which involved a modified card-sort activity, and multiple classroom observations I attempt to understand how each of these teachers’ orientations compare to one another and to the goals of the 2005 India National Curriculum Framework.  Employing PCK as a guiding theoretical framework ensures all aspects of teachers’ decision making are considered in this process.  I present our findings in the form of profiles.  I use these profiles to draw out similarities and differences in how these teachers think about and instruct science based on the expectations of their grade level and the goals of reform.  Implications for professional development and the use of profiles as an exploratory research tool are discussed.


Principal Author: Lisa A. Neesemann, Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-Authors: Jessica Riccio, Teachers College, Columbia University


As teacher educators it is our job to give our preservice teachers the best preparation we can for the field into which they are entering.  Giving preservice teachers an opportunity for a support network during their training will enable them to feel more resilient, confident, supported (both academically and emotionally) and ultimately lead to better performance when they enter the field. “Just as students need the support of fellow learners, teachers need a supportive community of colleagues… and this interaction should begin before the beginning teacher’s first entrance into the school” (Boreen & Niday 2000, p. 153). By explicitly teaching preservice teachers both how to be a mentor to a peer and also how to receive support from a peer, these teachers will not only be better prepared during their preservice training but also during their first few, and arguably hardest, years in the field. During the past academic year I have implemented a peer mentoring program with preservice teachers as my dissertation study.  Students have shown a higher level of motivation for their work, they have been more likely to turn work in on time, they have commented about both the academic support as well as emotional support garnered from their peers and perhaps most importantly, they have spoken about their peers ability to force introspection and self analysis at a level beyond what was happening in the traditional classroom.  Because the mentor dyad was made up of two equally positioned members, the communication was more open and less judgemental than the peers expected.  Through a myriad of data sources, I have seen the benefits of the peer mentoring process as well as the need for explicit instructions regarding this mentoring process.  The goal of this presentation is to discuss best practices of peer mentoring and to share those practices with other teacher educators in hopes that they will follow this model and allow their preservice teachers this opportunity for support and growth.

Paper #10120: Tracing Changes in Middle School Teachers’ Conceptions of Plant Processes as a Result of a Modeling-based Professional Development Experience

Principal Author: Stephen L. Thompson, University of South Carolina


Science education reform documents emphasize modeling as a scientific practice that middle level students should understand and utilize to explain their conceptions. Similarly, these 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 changes in related conceptions as a result of participation in a modeling-based professional development initiative. All participants (N=42) completed a series of guided inquiry activities designed to enhance their understanding of plant functions. At three points over the 12-month 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=11) took part in pre/post interviews centered on their understandings of plant functions and modeling in science. Two years after the professional development experience a subset of the interviewed participants (N=3) created models (drawings with explanations) to explain and support their predictions about the fate of a healthy plant sealed in a jar and took part in interviews centered on their conceptions of plant processes. Both quantitative and qualitative analysis methods were used to determine participants’ conceptions of three plant processes (transpiration, photosynthesis and cellular respiration). 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. 

Paper #10118: A beginning teacher’s struggle to integrate science into her language arts curriculum

Principal Author: Deborah L. Hanson, Hanover College


This is a case study of a beginning elementary teacher who asked for assistance to integrate science into her required curriculum for language arts instruction. This second grade teacher was entering her second year of teaching; she was the only teacher in her building who wished to make this change in her teaching practice. Her school did not have a strong science culture; in fact, science was not part of the primary grade curriculum. This was a unique request for a beginning elementary teacher; this study outlines the teacher’s struggles and motivation to make this transformation in her teaching.  Data sources included fieldnotes from classroom observations, the STEBI to measure self-efficacy and the VNOS-D to measure her personal definition of science.  These data sources were combined and coded to look for emergent themes. The teacher and researcher worked together from September to March developing units that integrated science into her required reading series. One a week, the researcher taught the inquiry-based science lessons, while the researcher observed the teacher lead the reading block and the writing that occurred afterwards.  The basis for the integration was the crossover process skills found in both reading and language arts explicitly connecting the reading and science skills.  Her science teaching personal self-efficacy increased in project. Her views of science were adequate; she saw science as a creative process using evidence and subject to change with new evidence.  This view helped her understand the connections between language arts and science, but her views did not become more advanced in this study. Difficulties emerged in trying to create coherent themed lessons from the given curriculum, pressures in meeting the district’s quarterly assessments, and the need to differentiate instruction for the learners in her classroom, many reading below grade level. The teacher sought science as a way to engage her students, reduce classroom management issues, and help her become the type of teacher she wanted to be. Issues in integrating science into the language arts curriculum speak to the need for professional development to assist teachers in this area.  It also sheds light on the role of personal beliefs in changing teacher practices. 

Paper #10117: Science Teaching Orientations: How Do Pre-Service Elementary Teachers’ Orientations Change Over The Course of a Semester-Long Science Methods Class?

Principal Author: William R. Thornburgh, University of Louisville
Co-Authors: Sherri L. Brown, University of Louisville


Pre-service elementary teachers (n=105) enrolled in a science methods course completed ten questions from the Pedagogy of Science Teaching Test (POSTT) at the beginning of the semester. This pre-POSTT acted to evaluate their pedagogical preferences toward various real-world teaching situations before having received instruction in a methods course designed specifically for teaching science. These teaching vignettes identify participants as proponents of one of four pedagogical approaches to teaching science: open inquiry, guided inquiry, active direct, or didactic direct instruction. The ten questions were selected out of a pool of vignettes and were purposefully chosen to parallel the topics addressed during the methods course. At the conclusion of the semester, students completed a post-POSTT composed of the same ten questions in randomized order. The change in scores observed from pre-POSTT to post-POSTT indicated that students gravitated toward inquiry instruction after the methods course. A majority of the questions (80%) resulted in an overall movement away from direct instruction and some questions (20%) showed a statistically significant positive shift toward an inquiry pedagogical orientation: Question 2: t (99) = 2.58, p < .05 and Question 7: t (96) = 2.78, p < .05.

Paper #10116: What Should Elementary Science Methods Courses Teach?: Lessons Learned From a Study of Program Graduates

Principal Author: Julianne A. Wenner, Boise State University
Co-Authors: Sherry Dismuke, Boise State University


Given the complexities involved in teaching science as described in the NGSS at the elementary level, what should be taught in science methods courses? Science content knowledge is typically cited as an issue for elementary teachers, but should that be the main focus of elementary science methods courses? To investigate this matter, we followed-up with graduates of our educator preparation program (EPP) to discern challenges surrounding science in the workplace, how our graduates (EPPGs) teach science, and what those findings mean for our EPP.

We created the Studying Practice and Student Learning (SPSL) professional group for our EPPGs to participate in over the course of a school year. Within that year, EPPGs created a unit plan, were observed by university faculty during a math, language arts, and science lesson, and shared their perspectives about teaching and the SPSL in three focus groups. We also interviewed EPPG principals for their views on the EPPGs. Our study is framed in terms of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK), taking into consideration the components of PCK that are necessary for high quality teaching as well as how PCK for science might be developed in our EPP.

Challenges surrounding science articulated by our EPPGs include science being a low priority and/or not taught, little time for science, few resources available for science, and struggling against the status quo of science as a low-status content area. In terms of science instruction, our EPPGs scored lower on observation instruments when teaching science versus teaching other subjects, particularly in areas that are key to teaching science as inquiry. Moreover, EPPGs spent virtually no time supporting pupils in utilizing data and communicating scientific ideas. Finally, our EPPGs were seen as having “basic” science content knowledge, which proved to be a barrier to effective instruction in some cases.

Our findings indicate that our EPP needs to focus more on preparing EPP students to teach science within the culture of their schools and improving PCK for science. Specifically, we need to infuse more conversations in our EPP around working within or subverting norms within schools to promote best practices as well as create more opportunities for EPP students to examine their beliefs about science, observe master teachers in science, and practice teaching science to elementary pupils in classroom contexts.

Paper #10115: Doing science: The journey into conducting scientific experiments with a student who is visually impaired

Principal Author: Rhea L.. Miles, East Carolina University
Co-Authors: Alana Zambone, East Carolina University


A student who is visually impaired learns how to work independently to conduct science investigations to prepare for the scientific workforce and to complete drug addiction research to participate in the regional science fair.

Paper #10114: Physics & Preservice Teachers Partnership Project (P^4): An Interdisciplinary Peer Learning Tool

Principal Author: Paul Simmonds, Boise State University
Co-Authors: Julianne A.. Wenner, Boise State University


Both teacher candidates (TCs) and students in the hard sciences often graduate with particular weaknesses. TCs are typically underprepared for cross-disciplinary science teaching and teaching physical science in particular. Graduates from the hard sciences frequently lack training in teaching and effective communication.

In response to these challenges, we created P^4 (Physics & Preservice Teachers Partnership Project). Through P^4, physics graduate students (PGs) plan a lesson and deliver physics content to teacher candidates (TCs). TCs then use this content to design and execute a 15-minute science lesson for elementary students.

Framed by the concept of peer learning, we expected that P^4 would help TCs learn more about physics, and PGs learn more about teaching while practicing communication skills. In this study we investigated the affordances and constraints of P^4 to inform future iterations.

Overall, P^4 was a success. Both PGs and TCs reported benefits. Affordances for PGs included the opportunity to plan and teach a class, learning about best practices, and gaining an appreciation for both the complexities of teaching and for scientific communication to general audiences. Affordances for TCs included the chance to collaborate with experts to increase content knowledge, while also reminding them how difficult learning science can be and what teaching strategies can hinder learning.

For PGs, constraints included limited overlap between their physics course and the content the TCs needed. PGs wanted more help with lesson planning and active teaching. Both PGs and TCs wanted more time overall for the project, as well as more meetings with each other. As a result, in the future we will extend the time allotted to P^4 for more in-depth PG training and closer/multiple PG-TC interactions, and reassess the elementary standards to find better content matches.

P^4 is a new model for peer learning, creating interdisciplinary partnerships that can help teacher educators infuse more content knowledge into science methods courses, and help college level science instructors train students to teach and communicate effectively. Our presentation will appeal to instructors in elementary science teacher preparation and college-level science. We will share the findings and implications of our study in full, and outline next steps for P^4.

Paper #10113: Climate Change: Middle and High School Students’ Conceptions

Principal Author: Tina J. Cartwright, Marshall University
Co-Authors: Deb Hemler, Fairmont State University; Paula A.. Magee, Indiana University - Indianapolis


An important global and environmental challenge facing the citizens of the 21st century will be climate change. Yet, climate change understanding remains problematic for students and teachers. Conceptualizing the small fluctuations associated with long term changes in temperature and precipitation is a daunting task for the general public let alone for the middle-aged adolescent. This study examined the development of middle and high school students’ understandings of climate change and weather in a rural midwestern section of the US. A survey tool, used once when the students were in 7th/8th grade and again when they were in 11th/12th grade, was used to assess students’ ideas and knowledge. The presentation will provide an analysis of the changes in students’ understanding between the middle school years and their high school years. Data were analyzed using both Next Generation Science Standards and National Research Council core ideas. Students’ understandings and struggles, are identified and will be discussed. Possible interventions to support stronger learning will be presented. The survey tool will be discussed along with the results and recommendations for science teacher educators who are preparing teachers for the NGSS and NRC.

Paper #10112: ‘IT’S BIGGER THAN HIP-HOP’: Twitter, Teachers, and Talking the Talk

Principal Author: Phillip A. Boda, Teachers College, Columbia University/CUNY
Co-Authors: Yi Li, Teachers College, Columbia University


There has been increasing interest in understanding how teachers can be supported through online options wherein a new research agenda can be developed to study the systematic ways in which practicing teachers interact, make sense, and enact their knowledge beyond traditional professional development structures (Marx, Blumenfeld, Krajcik, & Soloway, 1998). This study examines to what extent scientific discourse practices are used on social media platforms by coding for a random sample of 500 tweets posted on Twitter using the hashtag HipHopEd. The coding system was developed by modifying a previously published rubric used to study this type of discourse in an online community of practice. Analysis and interpretation was guided by the theoretical frames o communities of practice (CoP) and online professional development learning (OPDL). Upon analysis of the random sample of this large segment of the hashtag HipHopEd, density of each code was found: (1) Social knowledge construction, 27%; (2) Build on others’ ideas, 13%; (3) Use of counter-arguments, 0%; (4) Uses data/evidence, 2%; (5) Alternative explanations of data, 4%; (6) References outside resources, 6%; (7) Providing supportive resources, 10%; (8) Twitter chat, 38%.  It should be noted here that while there was a large density of codes labeled ‘Twitter chat’, upon further analysis of the source of these tweets we found that a large amount of these tweets came from notable and expert scholars in the field of education and beyond in the realm of Hip-Hop, and therefore could be interpreted as providing evidence-based claims, social knowledge constructions, and/or alternative explanations of data. Through an analysis such as this, professional development communities (formal or informal) can start to build a more holistic view of how, when, and why one might use Twitter as a site for resources, a place to build community, and a specific tool for understanding reform suggestions built around discourse in a disciplinary sense – in essence, to see Twitter as both tool and site of inquiry.

Paper #10111: Introducing inquiry-based science teaching to teachers with lesson study

Principal Author: Toshinobu Hatanaka, Toho University


Lesson study draws educators’ attention since it is described as one of the most common components in continuous process of school-based professional development in Japan.

One of the keys of effectiveness of lesson study is that the lesson includes practical activity. From the result of TIMSS video study, in Japanese practical activity, students were often informed of the main question the main question or conceptual idea they were to explore through practical activities before they began the work. And practical activities in Japanese science lessons were likely to be followed by a discussion that led to one big idea. Those practical activities are considered as structured inquiry. So it could be regarded that teachers learn teaching method of structured inquiry teaching through lesson study.

In open lesson study, groups of teachers plan and conduct lesson, and participants from outside observe lessons and attend discussion meeting, so both of them are targets of professional development. The challenge of this research is to investigate the effect of lesson study, which address structured inquiry activities, on group of teachers and participants.

The author conducted workshop for elementary science teachers in the Philippines, where teachers experienced inquiry activities and learned about materials and scientific concepts. Then lesson study was conducted. Two teachers planed and taught the lesson, 29 pre-service teachers and 8 in-service teachers observed the lessons and attend the lesson discussion meeting.

In the lesson study, the author advice teachers about the elements which is needed to make the lesson structured inquiry in the three scenes; providing question, procedure and draw the conclusion from the result.

The lessons before and in the lesson study were observed. The lesson in the lesson study was structured inquiry, which has the scene of posing questions and explain the procedure, and get conclusions based on the result. From the result of questionnaire for the participants, it is founded that participants reported positively, expressing their better understanding on inquiry based science teaching and lesson study.

The research reviles that for both teachers and observers, it is difficult to grasp students’ learning. In the lesson discussion meeting, neither teachers who plan and teach lessons nor observers mentioned students’ learning.

Paper #10110: Recognizing science from non-science: Preservice elementary teachers determining the appropriateness of including creationism and/or intelligent design in a K-12 science curriculum

Principal Author: Ian C. Binns, UNC Charlotte
Co-Authors: Mark A.. Bloom, Dallas Baptist University


The theory of evolution by natural selection is supported by an overwhelming amount of evidence from multiple scientific fields, such as biology, geology, anthropology, etc. Yet, evolution is one of the most socially controversial topics when it comes to science education. In this study, we explored how elementary preservice teachers (PSTs) justify including or excluding alternative explanations to evolution in the science curriculum. This investigation included 76 PSTs who were enrolled in an elementary science methods course. Data collection came from an activity entitled “Science in the Public Schools - School Board Scenario”. The scenario proposed that the local school board was considering a motion to alter the science curriculum by introducing creationism and intelligent design (ID) to the unit on biological evolution and the PSTs had to offer their informed recommendations. The purpose of the activity was to assess the PSTs conceptions of science and then to challenge them to use their definition of science to justify the inclusion or exclusion of creationism and/or intelligent design into the public schools’ science curriculum. The two researchers independently read and coded the data using an inductive, constant comparative approach. Findings revealed that 32 would not add creationism or ID, 26 would add both, 9 would add creationism, 6 would add ID, and 3 would only mention them. PSTs came up with diverse explanations for their decision on if to include alternative explanations when teaching evolution. Analysis of these explanations led to six themes: Fair/Democratic; Job Safety/Security; Separation of Church and State; Demarcation of Science; Purpose of Science; and Teachers Determining the Curriculum.

Paper #10109: Qualitative Explorations of Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Conceptualizations of the Environment

Principal Author: Rachel Wilson, Appalachian State University


The North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) (2010) released Guidelines for the Preparation and Professional Development of Environmental Educators, in which they made recommendations for the inclusion of environmental literacy targets for preservice teachers (PSTs) during their education programs. Environmental literacy is considered to include the development of knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors to understand the impacts that humans have on natural systems (Roth, 1992). Yet the tools used to try to make sense of students’ attitudes, behaviors, and knowledge of the environment in the previously cited studies have relied on quantitative measurements using surveys with pre-determined questions or statements to which participants respond. This study describes three tasks given to PSETs at the beginning of an environmental literacy course to qualitatively explore their conceptualizations of the term “environment” and the constructs of knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Word associations, personal activity maps, and narratives of experiences in the environment were completed by 78 pre-service elementary teachers at the beginning of an environmental literacy course. Student products were qualitatively analyzed to allow themes to emerge, and these themes are compared to categories used in quantitative studies. Some themes emerging from the data are consistent with patterns found in quantitative studies, such as humans being viewed as apart from the environment. Some themes emerging from the data are not being considered in quantitative studies, such as PSETs describing the environment as a place to experience time differently, away from distractions of daily life, and a place to spend with loved ones.

Paper #10108: A Case of Design Based Online Teacher Professional Development to Introduce Integration of STEM

Principal Author: Tasneem Anwar, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota


The recent focus on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education reform in the U.S. is an outcome of science education reforms (NGSS, 2013; Bybee, 2014) that has also gained momentum internationally (Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014; Marginson, Tytler, Freeman & Roberts, 2013; Prinsley and Baranyai, 2015; The Royal Society Science Policy Centre, 2014). Furthermore, emphasis on “universal STEM acquisition” (Marginson, Tytler, Freeman, and Roberts, 2013, p.68) reflects the ubiquitous role of science, mathematics and technology in everyday living and work. This focus on STEM education raises this question if STEM education reform has a potential to improve scientific literacy of developing nations like Pakistan. This study offers a design-based research to design, implement, improve and suggest evidence-based heuristics for STEM specific, effective, and sustainable online teacher professional development in Pakistan. This study used Reeves & McKenney (2012)’s three- phase design based research as a methodological framework. An exploratory case study looked at the design based online teacher professional development and generated design principles for online teacher professional development and also proposed a model for STEM integration that is grounded in theory and specific context.

Paper #10107: Examination of cognitive demand and cognitive dynamics: A comparison of pedagogical approaches in science teaching and learning using Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy

Principal Author: Richard Lamb, University at Buffalo
Co-Authors: Leonard Annetta, Eastern Carolina University; Jonah Firestone, Washington State University Tricities; Xiufeng Liu, University at Buffalo; Ren Liu, University at Buffalo


‘cognitive demand’ and ‘cognitive dynamics’) as it related to three different pedagogical approaches of teaching the processes of DNA extraction in life science. The first approach was a ‘traditional classroom’ using lecture based learning approaches. Lectures were delivered in a standard classroom with a white board in which students took notes and asked questions of the teacher. The second approach used an immersive Serious Educational Game in which students completed a virtual DNA extraction protocol. The third approach was the use of a ‘hands-on’ ‘real-life’ laboratory in which the students engaged in the extraction protocol found in the Serious Education Game. Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRs) technology was used in this study to examine hemodynamic localization and relative cognitive dynamics and demand associated with each condition. The hypothesis was that students in the Serious Educational Game group would have a greater amount of localized, yet less intensive, activation in the frontal cortical regions than students in the traditional group. The second hypothesis was that the group engaged in the virtual DNA extraction would have the same types and intensity of activation as those students engaged in the ‘real-life’ DNA extractions. In addition to examination of cognitive demand and dynamics via hemodynamic activations, learning gains were triangulated using a content based pretest and posttest approach. All student participants (n=100) were tested prior to the interventions in order to determine their level of knowledge about DNA extraction. Results suggest that the group using the virtual laboratory had a significantly higher score increase on the posttest compared to the traditional group and the virtual laboratory group did not statistically significantly differ from the real-life laboratory group. Analysis of fNIR data indicates that there is statistically significantly more hemodynamic response in the frontal cortex when students are playing the educational game compared to students learning through traditional lecture techniques. More importantly, measures of virtual environment hemodynamic responses did not differ from those of the ‘real-life’ laboratory in either location or intensity. These results suggest that realistic game based environments and ‘real-life’ laboratory activities activate and produce similar amounts of processing and learning.

Paper #15003: Integration of a Science Teacher Video Club into a Pedagogy Course

Principal Author: Frederick W. Freking, University of Southern California
Co-Authors: Anthony Maddox, University of Southern California; Jenny Ingber, Bank Street College


Many STEM teachers do not always have an abundance of reform minded colleagues at their school sites and need a venue to discuss key issues with their peers, especially with the onset of new standards. Based on the success and lessons learned from the Science Teachers Learning from Lesson Analysis (STELLA) Project, the USC STEM Teacher Video Club provides NGSS-aligned support to beginning science teacher candidates (Roth et al,2011).   This syllabus sharing session will share the planning, implementation and feedback from the integration of the video club into a science pedagogy course.

Paper #11015: Ability beliefs of students in an undergraduate chemistry inquiry context: Their role in mediating student attitudes and learning

Principal Author: Lindsay B. Wheeler, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Amanda L. Gonczi, University of Virginia


This quantitative study sought to characterize the extent chemistry ability-related beliefs mediated content learning and student attitudes towards their TA in an undergraduate inquiry-based Chemistry lab. Participants included 18 TA’s and 379 undergraduate students at a large university in a mid-Atlantic state. Student and TA beliefs regarding the innateness of their ability to learn and do Chemistry were measured prior and following a semester long undergraduate Chemistry lab course.  Additional data included content understanding assessments, demographic data, prior Chemistry experience, and student attitudes towards their TA at the end of the semester.  Data were analyzed by examining correlations between variables, regression analyses, and ANCOVA.

Study results indicate Chemistry ability-related beliefs are an important variable influencing Chemistry learning and attitudes.  Students in classes led by TA’s who believed Chemistry-related abilities are developed and are a result of hard work and effort had a more positive attitude towards their TA than students in classes led by TA’s who reported having beliefs aligned with innate Chemistry abilities.  Furthermore, student achievement both pre- and post- were positively correlated with their ability-related beliefs; students who believed Chemistry-related abilities are primarily fixed and innate scored lower than their more growth-minded counterparts.  These findings indicate that TA and student beliefs are important to consider and perhaps address in order to optimize student experience and achievement in an undergraduate inquiry-based Chemistry lab.

Paper #16012: Making sense of Multicultural Education and Culturally Relevant Pedagogy

Principal Author: Line A.. Saint-Hilaire, Queens College/CUNY


In this paper, the author presents her concerns and questions about ambiguities emerging from her literature review of multicultural education and culturally relevant pedagogy studies. She hopes to extend the conversation about what scholars mean when they use the terms multicultural, multiethnic and culturally relevant. Specifically, she worries about a mismatch between the definitions, dimensions, purposes of multicultural education, culturally relevant pedagogy and the research reported in the literature.

Paper #10105: Transitioning to New Alternate Science Content Standards

Principal Author: Lori Andersen, University of Kansas
Co-Authors: Emily Thatcher, Iowa Department of Education


Limited research exists on teaching science to students with SCD (Browder et al., 2012; Courtade, Spooner, & Browder, 2007), even though access to content that is linked to the general education science standards is mandated. Meeting these mandates requires significant shifts in common science teaching practices because students with SCD have typically been taught a life-skills based curriculum and/or science content at substanitally lower cognitive levels than the content taught to their age peers (Karvonen et al., 2011). Common methods of instruction tend to be grounded in deficit thinking and behavioral models of instruction (Kleinert et al, 2009). Such methods stand in stark contrast to what science educators believe about how children construct their understandings of science.

Emerging evidence from a large-scale alternate science assessment supports that students with SCD share the same alternative science conceptions as other students, There is a gap in the research literature on the use of the same research-based science teaching models to teach students with SCD that are used with general education students. In the absence of contrary evidence, it may be more prudent to assume that methods that work with typically developing children can be used with students with SCD when principles of Universal Design are applied. In support of this assumption, research on comprehensive literacy instruction showed that students with SCD benefitted from the same teaching methods that are used in general education when principles of Universal Design are applied (Bock & Erickson, 2015). This rationale is being applied to science instruction in a consortium of eight states.

In this session, participants will learn how a consortium of states is responding to new NGSS-aligned alternate standards, including changes to how students with SCD are taught. Approaches to teaching science to students with SCD that integrate the 5E Model and Universal Design will be shared. Findings from an opportunity to learn teacher survey, student assessments, and teacher use of model science instructional activities will be shared. A state education agency representative will share how educators in that state have worked to implement new alternate science standards and science teaching methods. Educators from that state will reflect on their experiences in transitioning to new standards for teaching science to students with SCD.

Paper #10104: Investigating Rural, Middle School Students’ Beliefs and Knowledge about Climate Change and their Cultural Worldviews during an After School STEM Club Intervention

Principal Author: Kristie S.. Gutierrez, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Margaret R.. Blanchard, North Carolina State University


Although 97% of the scientific community acknowledges that the Earth’s climate is changing due to human influences, the percentage of the general American public with a similar viewpoint is much lower (63%).  This study examines the climate change beliefs, content knowledge, and cultural worldviews of rural, underrepresented middle school students in high poverty schools in the southeastern United States.  Students in after school STEM Career Clubs (n = 96) were engaged in one to three researcher-designed climate change club activities.  Pre- and post-intervention surveys were collected and analyzed to assess the impact of the intervention activities led by trained STEM Club teachers.  Additionally, the relationships between student beliefs, content knowledge, and worldviews were explored.  Initially, a surprisingly large percentage of students believed that global warming is occurring (70%) and is occurring at least in some part due to human influence (69%). Students learned significantly more climate change knowledge post-intervention, especially for males, although their climate change beliefs did not change.  Gains in content knowledge could be traced to engagement in specific club activities. The vast majority (over 70%) of students held egalitarian worldviews, while students were evenly split between individualism and communitarian worldviews.  The greatest gains were from 5th and 6th grade students.  Students’ worldviews were correlated to responses on the affective items of the beliefs survey but they did not predict students’ climate change content knowledge.  This study revealed the climate change knowledge of an understudied group of middle school students, and shows that significant gains in climate change content knowledge can be attained through even short-term out-of-school interventions.  However, in order to change beliefs, longer and more sustained interventions may be needed.

Paper #10103: Longitudinal Changes in Pre-Service Science Teachers’ Identity to Teach in High-Needs Schools

Principal Author: Meredith W. Kier, College of William and Mary
Co-Authors: Jason A. Chen, College of William and Mary


There is a national priority to train and develop qualified, diverse professionals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This requires that attention be given to recruiting, preparing, and retaining highly qualified teachers that can prepare diverse students with the skills to contribute to new STEM innovations. This is especially important within the context of high-needs schools. This study investigates the experiences of a cohort of secondary-level preservice teachers (PSTs) who applied for and were accepted into a master’s degree fellowship that prepared them to teach science in high-needs schools. We were interested in how PSTs identified with the notion of teaching in a HNS and how this changed over time based on their experiences in Noyce. We conducted interviews with PSTs before and after they participated in the 13 month long teacher preparation program that included specific Noyce experiences. These experiences included close cohort relationships, experiences recruiting PSTs and presenting at state and national conferences, exposure to high-needs schools, and interning in high needs districts. Interviews were analyzed inductively to create initial profiles that described how PSTs identified with teaching in a HNS. Based on these previous experiences, the fellows identified themselves to specific aspects of teaching science in a high-needs school (i.e. being enthusiastic about science, enjoyment of teaching students, and/or a passion for social justice in education). A case-study approach was used to analyze how PSTs positioned themselves to these key experiences, and how their identities shifted over time. Findings show that experiences the clinical teaching placement (i.e. student teaching) were most critical in elaborating upon who they believed that they were before the program or refocusing their identification of what it means to teach science in a high-needs school.  

Paper #10102: Elementary Science Olympiad Coaches’ Motivations and Perceptions of the Impacts on Participating Students, School Culture, and Teaching Practices

Principal Author: Kylie S. Hoyle, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Jason L. Painter, The Science House-NC State; Kim D. Gervase, The Science House-NC State


The purpose of this study is to understand what motivates 125 Science Olympiad coaches to volunteer their time and effort for this informal program. This study also strives to understand if the coaches perceive the school’s involvement with Science Olympiad as having influence on the schools’ students and culture.  In addition, this study investigates Science Olympiad coaches who are also elementary teachers to determine if their involvement has had any impact on their teaching practices, confidence in teaching science, or science content knowledge. This study utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) as the conceptual framework guiding the measurements and analysis. Participants completed a questionnaire that included four sections: demographics, motivation (Coach Motivation Questionnaire [CMQ]; McLean, Mallett, & Newcombe, 2012), and two open ended sections. The CMQ showed that coaches are motivated most strongly by intrinsic motivators. The second motivator was integrated motivation (internal causality). Through open ended questions, lead coaches reported that students are extremely excited about their school’s participation in Science Olympiad, they have high support from the other teachers and administration, they believe Science Olympiad has led to other success and there has been more STEM integration at their school since starting the Science Olympiad team. Very few teachers reported negative perceptions on students and school culture. Coaches reported feelings of inspiration and increased confidence in STEM content from their involvement. Many reported that those impacts transferred into their own teaching practices and some reported including more Science Olympiad related activities in their lessons.

Paper #10101: Using Self-Study to Systematically Examine the Teaching Practices of an Experienced Science Educator

Principal Author: Leslie U. Bradbury, Appalachian State University
Co-Authors: Tracy W. Smith, Appalachian State University


While there are many opportunities for in-service elementary teachers to participate in professional development to build their expertise and grow in their knowledge base for teaching, relatively few opportunities exist for teacher educators to engage in professional development (Loughran, 2014). In the spring 2016 semester, I engaged in a self-study of my own practices as an elementary science methods instructor with a colleague serving as my critical friend (CF). Data included: plans I had written for each day of class; hand-outs and data collection sheets used in each lesson; copies of all major student assignments; the reflective notes that my CF and I made after each day’s class; and transcripts of monthly meetings with my CF. My overarching research question focused on the match between my beliefs about science teaching and the practices I used in my own teaching. Themes emerging from the study include the tension/balance I experienced between the time available and my need to include both science content and key pedagogical ideas in the course. Additional themes include the importance of story-telling and community-building in the class.

Paper #10099: Graduate Teaching Assistants Learn like Pre-Service Teachers–a novel idea

Principal Author: Seema Rivera, Clarkson Univeristy Cap Region Campus
Co-Authors: Catherine Snyder, Clarkson University; John DeJoy, Clarkson University


Many undergraduate university students will experience being taught by Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs), especially early in their college career.  In universities where teaching lower-level science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) recitation classes and labs heavily depend upon GTAs, students are very likely to have a GTA as their instructor at some point of  their undergraduate career.  While the GTA is a critical component in many university systems, the amount and types of training available for GTAs are somewhat limited.  GTA pedagogy training can have a positive effect on the teaching skills of GTAs such as increasing teaching self-efficacy.  As a result of high-teaching self efficacy, instructors tend to be better teachers and are more earnest in their efforts with students, especially during more difficult teaching tasks.  This study investigates if science and math GTAs’ participation in an intensive summer pedagogy program, modeled after a Masters in Arts Secondary Teaching (MAT) program, can help to increase teaching self-efficacy and help to cultivate pedagogical skills.  The Summer Institute for Graduate Teaching Assistants (SIGTA) was created between science, math and education departments at an engineering school in northeastern United States.  The program adheres to a three-pronged framework of constructivism, contextualization and growth mindedness.  The first cohort of GTAs have started the program and about half are from other countries.  Data being collected for the SIGTA include video-recorded lessons, lesson plans, questionnaires, interviews with students and GTAs will also be followed up with during the academic year while they are completing their teaching assistantship. The initial themes emerging from the data include emotion, pedagogy and culture.  This presentation offers an innovative way for college instructors to think about the training they offer for their own GTAs.


Paper #11014: Professional Development and Changes in Teacher Beliefs and Practice toward Argument-Based Inquiry: Interim findings from the 3-year Research Project

Principal Author: Yejun Bae, The University of Iowa
Co-Authors: Jee kyung Suh, The University of Iowa; Brian Hand, The University of Iowa; Soon-hye Park, North Carolina State University


Professional development focusing on argument-based inquiry plays a significant role in improving the science learning environment. It accelerates changes in the teachers’ understanding and epistemic orientation from traditional teacher-centered learning to student-centered learning. Teacher changes are directly related to students’ conceptual understanding and their practices in real life (Fang, 2013). This study focuses on teacher changes in their beliefs and practices related to argument-based inquiry. Teachers participated in a 3-year professional development project that emphasizes on shifting their instructional practices to more argument-based approaches, i.e., Science Writing Heuristics (SWH). Interim findings from two years’ intervention as a part of the 3-year professional development project include investigation of subject teachers’ improvement in their language use and understandings of argument through survey responses and interviews. Research questions are related to the purpose of the project: 1) How do teachers shift their use of language and understanding in argument-based inquiry approaches through a two-year intervention? 2) What makes professional development effective in terms of successful implementation of argument-based inquiry approaches? 

  Theoretical framework includes a description of the Science Writing Heuristics (SWH) approach which is a main approach of the professional development project. Development of teacher beliefs and practices are also mentioned in the theoretical framework session. 17 middle school science teachers in mid-west area of U.S. have participated in professional development from 2014 summer to 2016 summer. Two teacher surveys (Argumentation survey and Reflection survey) and teacher interviews were conducted during each summer professional development for two years to see how teacher changes in their beliefs, knowledge, and practices related to argument-based inquiry. The 3-year SWH professional development guides positive teacher improvement in their beliefs, knowledge, and attitude to argument-based inquiry. As the notion of SWH approach is aligned with the new standard, science teachers need to get involved in the SWH professional development to be ready for teaching practices for new standard. Argument-based inquiry leads teachers to change their view of teaching and learning from teacher-centered to student-centered.

Paper #10098: Preservice Science Teachers on Animal Encroachment: Critical Friend Pairs and Socioscientific Arguments

Principal Author: Bahadir Namdar, Department of Primary Education, Recep Tayyip Erdogan University
Co-Authors: Vanessa Klein, Biology Education, Department of Biology and Molecular Biology, Montclair State University; Sara Raven, Science Education, Texas A&M University, College Station,


Socio-scientific issues (SSI) can be used as pedagogical tools in science teacher education programs to engage diverse learners in participating in argumentation. However still little is known about how learners construct arguments for specific perspectives on socioscientific issues in various critical friend pair formations on animal hunting issue. The participants in this study were 10 preservice science teachers taking a middle grades science methods course at a large Midwestern public research university. The study was implemented over a 5-week period of time.  Data sources included a beliefs survey on using hunting as a tool for controlling animal encroachment, a semi-structured interviews, and students’ claim-evidence-reasoning sheets that they completed during activities. Utilizing emergent thematic coding results indicated that the students held different positions about the animal hunting and value the critical pair grouping in their learning. Working in critical friend pairs critical friend pairings helped their initial arguments in four ways: a) adopting new evidence to support their initial claim, b) realizing their own flaws in their initial arguments, c) being encouraged to do more research on the subject, and d) constructing arguments to counter the argument of critical friend. We found although students failed to elaborate on scientific concepts in pre survey, many students cited the concepts of population dynamics, life history, interdependency of life, and human impacts on the Earth. Based on the results we suggest that importance of moral reasoning should be highlighted more in science teacher education programs so that the preservice teachers have fundamental understanding and experiences related to this important aspect of socioscientific issues. Furthermore, scaffolding students during the claim-evidence-reasoning process helps students to integrate scientific content knowledge into their argumentation.  

Paper #10097: Argumentation: An Approach to Address Student Misconceptions in Science Learning

Principal Author: Gina M.. Rosa, University of Nevada, Reno
Co-Authors: David Crowther, University of Nevada, Reno; Adam Kirn, University of Nevada, Reno


The purpose of this study was to explore the effectiveness of the instructional approach of argumentation in addressing students’ prior conceptions, or misconceptions, in science learning. The participants consisted of 40 students (20 in the control group and 20 in the experimental group) drawn from two third grade classrooms. Data was collected with a three-tiered multiple-choice pre-test, followed by a six week inquiry-based science unit supplemented with the instructional approach of argumentation. The same three-tiered multiple-choice post-test followed. The results of this study showed that statistical significance was present between the mean differences of the pre-test and post-test scores of the experimental and control groups, indicating that a deeper conceptual understanding was produced through the instructional approach of argumentation compared to inquiry-based instruction alone.


Principal Author: Robbie Higdon, James Madison University


This multiple case study sought to examine the use of a reflective dialogue model and its impacts on stimulating cognitive dissonance to advance conceptual understanding about the use of inquiry-based methods. Two middle school science teachers were engaged in analyzing held conceptions about their instructional practice to promote the accommodation of new concepts and transform their practice. In addition, these teachers were asked to reflect upon the criteria used to determine how and when to implement these inquiry-based practices. The data were analyzed in order to examine each teacher’s current conceptions about inquiry-based methods as well as the impact of those conceptions on decisions made regarding the implementation of inquiry-based instruction. Qualitative analysis of data collected from these reflective dialogues along with classroom observations uncovered diverse instructional practice perceptions regarding the implementation of inquiry-based methods into their present teaching practice. The data showed that both participants described held conceptions that echoed identified best practices within inquiry-based instruction as defined by the Electronic Quality of Inquiry Protocol or EQUIP (Marshall, Horton, Smart, & Llewellyn, 2008). Teacher conceptions aligned with the four constructs of the EQUIP (instruction, discourse, assessment, and curriculum) were identified. Both teachers held a conception about giving students opportunities to explore the content before constructing an explanation, a strategy characterizing the 4E x 2 Instructional Model (Marshall, 2007). Another observed conception regarded the role of the teacher as being the facilitator of instruction rather than a giver of knowledge. Another observed conception regarded the role of formative assessment in uncovering prior knowledge in order to direct instruction. A final observed conception regarded the role of big ideas in science serving as the foundation of the curriculum opposed to discrete facts. During the course of the study, these teachers began to demonstrate a change in held conceptions about the need for using differentiated instruction and assessment to support student achievement. As misconceptions were identified and addressed during subsequent dialogues, these teachers began to implement noted changes within their instructional practice to accommodate for diverse student learning needs. 

Paper #10095: Impact of Socioscientific Issues on Middle School Students’ Character and Values for Global Citizens

Principal Author: Wardell A. Powell, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Co-Authors: Dana L. Zeidler, University of South Florida


The purpose of this investigation was to determine the extent to which socioscientific issues (SSI) instruction on animal cloning impacted middle school students’ abilities to use their ecological worldview, social and moral compassion, and sense of socioscientific accountability to determine the permissibility of animal cloning.  The students’ abilities to use character and values as they engaged in dialogue and debates to make decisions on SSI were investigated with a Character and Values as Global Citizens Assessment (CVGCA) survey developed by Lee et al., 2013. This instrument was employed to assess quantitative data.  Qualitative data were collected from students’ responses to questions and their persuasive essay on animal cloning.  Participants were 77 seventh-grade students (13-14 years old; 43 females, 34 males) enrolled in five Comprehensive Science courses, taught by the same teacher, at a public middle school in the southeastern region of the United States.  Non-parametric two-tailed Wilcoxon analyses were used to determine differences between the students’ pre and post-Likert responses.  Results indicated that the lesson had the greatest impact on students’ social and moral compassion (Z = -2.505, p = .012).  The lesson also had a positive effect on students’ socioscientific accountability scores (Z = -2.381, p = .017).  .  In contrast, the lesson on cloning did not demonstrate a positive impact on students’ ecological worldview (Z = -1.185, p = .236).  Qualitative analyses of the data revealed several interesting trends and themes.  For example, the students in favor of cloning overwhelmingly used the theme of interconnectedness to express support for the cloning of animals. The findings from this investigation support the use of SSI as key pedagogical strategies in promoting character and values for global citizens among middle school students.

Paper #10094: The development of a conceptual diagnostic survey to gauge students’ knowledge in the geosciences

Principal Author: Sarah K. Guffey, University of Wyoming
Co-Authors: Stephanie J. Slater, Center for Astronomy & Physics Education Research (CAPER); Timothy F. Slater, University of Wyoming; Andrea Burrows, University of Wyoming; Sharon P. Schleigh, East Carolina University


One of the overarching teaching and learning principles described in the NRC’s How People Learn (NAP, 2001), among many other writings, is that students’ incoming prior understanding is strongly poised to interfere with instruction. In response, college faculty need pre-test/post-test conceptual diagnostic surveys to gauge students’ prior knowledge and then monitor the success of their teaching by independently measuring their students’ learning gains. With some notable exceptions (c.f., Libarkin, 2008, 2011), these instruments are not yet widely used in the geosciences. Currently, we are working to develop and validate a conceptual geoscience survey with the following characteristics that will make it readily attractive to teaching faculty: 1) quick to administer; 2) easy for faculty to interpret; 3) uses students’ natural language rather than scientific jargon; 4) focuses on concepts instead of facts; 5) intentionally probes for common misconceptions and inappropriate use of phenomenological-primitives (Prather, Slater, & Offerdahl, 2002); 6) carefully attends to readability-levels to maintain accessibility; and 7) constructed to assess a priori explicitly stated learning targets (Brissenden, Slater, & Mathieu, 2001). The development of this new geosciences diagnostic survey follows a community consensus-driven process to establish a clear baseline of tested concepts. In this way, the developed survey has the best chance for widespread adoption. The Exam of GeoloGy Standards EGGS is a new pre- and post-test multiple-choice instrument designed to measure college students’ understanding of geology. Currently undergoing validation, EGGS’s purposefully targets the geology concepts specified by: AAAS 2061 Benchmarks, NRC NSES, Earth Science Literacy Principles, and NGSS.

Paper #10093: Supporting Integrated STEM in the Elementary Classroom: A Professional Development Approach Centered on an Engineering Design Challenge

Principal Author: Kristina M. Tank, Iowa State University
Co-Authors: Anne Estapa, Iowa State University


Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is becoming more prevalent at the elementary level and there has been a push to focus on the integration between the STEM disciplines (NRC, 2009; 2011; 2012; 2014). Research, even in its infancy, indicates that the inclusion of engineering experiences within STEM curriculum can develop young students’ understanding of the various roles of engineering within society as well as helping to enhance achievement, motivation and problem solving by contextualizing mathematics and science content (Brophy et al., 2008; English & King, 2015). However, the ways in which teachers conceptualize, interpret, and subsequently enact STEM content and engineering impacts the learning experiences they provide in their classrooms (Diefes-Dux, 2014). Therefore, it becomes imperative that we support teachers as they conceptualize integrated STEM and incorporate engineering-based STEM experiences into their elementary classrooms. This study sought to understand how elementary teachers experience with a PD focused on STEM concepts and centered on the use of engineering design, impacted how they conceptualized and enacted these concepts into the classroom. The following research question guided our investigation:  How do teachers integrate STEM or STEM concepts into the classroom after participation in a PD focused on engineering design and structured to use engineering as a context for integration?

This study employed a qualitative content analysis (Schreier, 2012) to analyze the STEM concepts and skills that teachers conceptualized and implemented following a PD experience. These findings suggest that while all of the teachers were able to initially identify multiple ways in which engineering design could be used as a context for the integration of other disciplines, when it came time for enactment the connections between multiple disciplines were largely missing. Additionally, there was a large focus on the use of engineering to facilitate skills, such as teamwork or communication. These results suggest that as we support teachers during the implementation of engineering-based STEM experiences, it is important that teachers not only have a good understanding of engineering, but it is also important that we keep working to develop a deep level of content knowledge to help them facilitate that integration.

Paper #10092: Challenges of Including Clinical Teaching Components in Science Methods Courses

Principal Author: Mo Basir, University of Central Missouri


The investigator has piloted a model science methods course in which pre-service teachers have repeated opportunities to teach a science unit from Full Option Science System (FOSS) to elementary students over a semester. The design-based implementation research approach was utilized to ensure productive partnership with local schools and sustainability of the outcomes. The questions that guided this study are: how prospective teachers perceived and reacted to the problems that occurred while they were teaching the lessons, whether their teaching practices as a group was effective, and how to improve the effectiveness of the designed methods course. The results suggest that the prospective teachers have slightly progressed in classroom management skills related to classroom norms and routines. However, practices related to responsive teaching such as revision of instruction based on common patterns in students’ ideas have shown no or little improvement. It is conjectured that guiding prospective teachers to investigate about common patterns in students’ ideas as students interact with the FOSS lessons could improve the effectiveness of the designed methods course. 

Paper #16010: Advancing Culturally Responsive Science Education in Secondary Classrooms through an Induction Course

Principal Author: Julie C.. Brown, University of Minnesota, STEM Education Center
Co-Authors: Elizabeth A. Ring, University of Minnesota, STEM Education Center; Gillian H. Roehrig, University of Minnesota, STEM Education Center; Joshua Ellis, Michigan Technological University


Culturally responsive teaching has been associated with several positive academic outcomes for students of color, including improved science achievement, attitudes, and identities. Given the chronic science achievement gap between students of color and their White and Asian peers, culturally responsive teaching seems an ideal tactic for mitigating this disparity.  Unfortunately, many science teachers exit their preparation programs without critically examining their beliefs about these students or increasing their confidence in working with them.  In response to this concern, we designed a theoretically-grounded induction course to support the development of culturally responsive science teachers. The purpose of this course was to engage in-service secondary science teachers in their first 1-3 years of teaching in activities, discussions and reflections surrounding cultural diversity and raise their awareness of the importance of attending to both their attitudes and beliefs about culturally diverse students and their incorporation of culturally responsive science teaching.  


Because the course was constructed specifically for practicing teachers, there was an intended balance between theoretical foundations and practical applications. Course goals included increasing teachers’: understanding of core culturally responsive pedagogy (CRP) topics; sociopolitical awareness and knowledge of their cultural identities; knowledge of and attitudes toward culturally and linguistically diverse students, their families, and communities; critical reflection on their classroom practices; and abilities to design CRP science curricula that integrated families’ funds of knowledge and/or sociopolitical ties.  

In this roundtable discussion, we will share information about our design and implementation experiences, as well as preliminary teacher outcomes. In our discussion, we also seek perspectives on how to best prepare science teachers for culturally responsive teaching, as we experienced both successes and challenges to this end.

Paper #13007: Refracting environment-related educational curriculum through Gaian lens

Principal Author: Narmin S. Ghalichi, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Gillian Roehrig, University of Minnesota


Although the introduction of environmental education and its integration into U.S. schools has been a continuing effort for multiple decades, the relationship between environmental education and schools has remained a contested ground.  This tension stems from the predicated pillars of schooling that view schools as being isolated structures from communities; encouraging fragmented curricular approaches that discourages holistic understanding of the content; promote competition and individualism by enforcing standardized testing.  As a result, education is viewed as an instrument advancing political and economic growth.  This instrumental view of environmental education has been developed within the framework of, all too familiar, No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Policy Act has been relentlessly implemented in the field of education for almost two decades serving as a future basis for education theories and pedagogical practices.  Current educational scholarship is in dire need for the progressive educational curriculum that would frame teaching of knowledge and metacognitive skills within an ethical framework.  One of the approaches of increasing transparency of interconnectedness and human belonging within a planetary system in the environmental education draws upon the Gaian perspective.  Brianson (2016) insists “ethical positions follow automatically from a given set of facts and data,” since under Gaia theory Earth as a living organism gains a moral dimension (p. 124).  In fulfilling the demand for a new ideology that would fuse multiple knowledge domains into one integrated curriculum our team focused on the development of the curricular sequence that incorporates holistic principles of the Gaian hypothesis around complex human-environment interactions.  This proposal makes an attempt to demonstrate how to increase curriculum validity by considering basic issues in the current educational ideology and careful arrangement of multi-disciplinary knowledge, methods and learning opportunities throughout the instructional sequence.  

Paper #14006: Supporting Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Learning to Facilitate Engagement in Science Practices Integrated with Science Content

Principal Author: Anna Maria Arias, Illinois State University
Co-Authors: Sarah J.. Fick, Wake Forest University; Amanda Benedict-Chambers, Missouri State University; Amber S.. Bismack, University of Michigan; Elizabeth A.. Davis, University of Michigan; Annemarie S.. Palincsar, University of Michigan


New reforms, such as the Next Generation Science Standards, call for deeper science learning through integrating science practices with science content, yet beginning elementary teachers face many challenges in learning to do this work. A practice-based approach to teacher education, focusing on the doing and knowing of teaching, has been suggested to support beginning teacher learning. However, more information is needed to understand how a practice-based approach might support elementary preservice teachers’ learning. This themed paper set considers the development of teaching practice and knowledge of preservice teachers during practice-based teacher education programs and science method courses. The paper set includes four qualitative studies that analyze lesson plans, enactments, reflections, and interviews of preservice teachers enrolled in practice-based teacher education courses. The studies describe preservice teachers’ use of content knowledge and teaching practices while planning and enacting science lessons. They also consider the teachers’ abilities to notice and plan for student thinking and engagement in science practices integrated with science content. The studies highlight areas of growth as well as continued struggle in learning to facilitate science learning. Of interest to methods instructors, these four papers have implications for how preservice teachers learn to support science practice integrated with science content as well as the potential of practice-based science methods courses in supporting this learning.

Paper #10090: Assessing elementary teachers’ conceptions of matter: Best practices that promote increased conceptual understanding

Principal Author: Kimberly H. Lott, Utah State University
Co-Authors: Colby Tofel-Grehl, Utah State University; Max Longhurst, Utah State University


Often elementary teachers feel passion for the content they love, but find it uncomfortable teaching content in which they are less familiar. This is particularly true for science since elementary teachers frequently report a lack of science content knowledge. In order to prepare elementary science teachers to address the many facets of the current NGSS standards, they must have targeted professional development to increase their familiarity with the fundamental science content found in grades K-6. Thirty-eight in-service elementary teachers across a state in the intermountain West were assessed before and after a science content course on matter. Topics discussed in this course included properties of matter, states of matter, changes in matter, conservation of matter, and the recycling of matter within Earth’s ecosystems. Our presentation shares the shifts in conceptual understanding related to several of these fundamental topics, as well as misconceptions that seemed to still persist. Also, strategies will be discussed that appear to lead to increased conceptual understanding.

Paper #10089: Exploring Learning Progressions of In-Service Teachers

Principal Author: Kelsy M. Krise, University of Toledo
Co-Authors: Rebecca Schneider, University of Toledo


The purpose of this study was to describe how teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) progresses as they continue to learn about teaching science during their beginning years as teachers. PCK is considered the knowledge that enables science teachers to make science accessible to learners. It is also important to think about teachers’ learning over time, i.e. learning progressions, when developing programs intended to support teachers’ continued learning. This study examined first, second, and third-year science teachers’ ideas about teaching science in connection with their classroom practice. Data sources included field notes from classroom observations, teaching artifacts, and transcripts from semi-structured interviews. Data were examined using categories and sub-categories of PCK to describe the nature of new science teachers’ PCK and the aspects of PCK they paid attention to and found challenging throughout the year. In order to describe patterns of learning progress across teachers, data were examined for sequences of successively more sophisticated ideas. This analysis was conducted first by teacher and then by group for first, second, and third-year teachers across a school year to describe horizontal progressions. A similar analysis was conducted to examine data vertically or across years of experience. In addition, aspects of PCK that teachers paid attention to and found challenging were described. Our findings indicate that teachers progressed vertically for fifteen of the seventeen sub-categories as their PCK became more sophisticated. Teachers’ ideas did not substantially change across the year, as only three horizontal progressions were uncovered. In addition, it was found that second and third-year teachers’ attention was more specific and refined than first-year teachers and first-year teachers had more challenges than second and third-year teachers. The findings of this study will help science teacher educators and program developers understand how to support new science teachers’ learning across time.In addition, it was found that aspects of PCK second and third-year teachers’ paid attention to were more specific and refined than first-year teachers. We also found first-year teachers had more challenges than second and third-year teachers. The findings of this study will help science teacher educators and program developers understand how to support new science teachers’ learning across time.

Paper #10088: Exploring Learning Progressions of In-Service Teachers

Principal Author: Kelsy M. Krise, University of Toledo
Co-Authors: Rebecca Schneider, University of Toledo


The purpose of this study was to describe how teachers’ pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) progresses as they continue to learn about teaching science during their beginning years as teachers. PCK is considered the knowledge that enables science teachers to make science accessible to learners. It is also important to think about teachers’ learning over time, i.e. learning progressions, when developing programs intended to support teachers’ continued learning. This study examined first, second, and third-year science teachers’ ideas about teaching science in connection with their classroom practice. Data sources included field notes from classroom observations, teaching artifacts, and transcripts from semi-structured interviews. Data were examined using categories and sub-categories of PCK to describe the nature of new science teachers’ PCK and the aspects of PCK they paid attention to and found challenging throughout the year. In order to describe patterns of learning progress across teachers, data were examined for sequences of successively more sophisticated ideas. This analysis was conducted first by teacher and then by group for first, second, and third-year teachers across a school year to describe horizontal progressions. A similar analysis was conducted to examine data vertically or across years of experience. In addition, aspects of PCK that teachers paid attention to and found challenging were described. Our findings indicate that teachers progressed vertically for fifteen of the seventeen sub-categories as their PCK became more sophisticated. Teachers’ ideas did not substantially change across the year, as only three horizontal progressions were uncovered. In addition, it was found that second and third-year teachers’ attention was more specific and refined than first-year teachers and first-year teachers had more challenges than second and third-year teachers. The findings of this study will help science teacher educators and program developers understand how to support new science teachers’ learning across time.In addition, it was found that aspects of PCK second and third-year teachers’ paid attention to were more specific and refined than first-year teachers. We also found first-year teachers had more challenges than second and third-year teachers. The findings of this study will help science teacher educators and program developers understand how to support new science teachers’ learning across time.

Paper #10086: Status of Science and Engineering Practices in K-12 Science Curriculum Materials

Principal Author: Vivien M. Chabalengula, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Sonia A. Bendjemil, University of Virginia; Frackson Mumba, University of Virginia; Jennifer L. Chiu, University of Virginia


This study investigated the coverage status of science and engineering practices in K-12 engineering programs. Nine programs that are widely used in the United States involving two at elementary level, five at middle school, and two at high school level were analyzed via a document content analysis method using the K-12 science education framework, as an analysis framework. Document content analysis suggested by Krippendorff (2013) was used to analyze the extent to which the eight science and engineering practices stipulated in the K-12 science education framework were addressed. Content analysis was conducted using line-by-line analysis of learning units’ goals, prominent activities and assessments. The anchoring phrases or words for each description of the practices (which will be provided to participants in tabular form) served as descriptors and guided coders in what to look for during the coding process. Research team consisted of two science education professors, one engineering education professor, and one STEM education graduate student. The analysis process consisted of two initial phases of coding and rating of three randomly selected program curricula for coders to get familiar with the process. The inter-rater reliability was established between three coders, who had an average percentage agreement of 82.52% of the time. The threshold percentages used to determine the coverage level of the practices were: If the practice was addressed by 70% - 100% of the programs, it was described as high coverage; if it was addressed by 40% - 69% of the programs, it was described as medium coverage; if it was addressed by 1% - 39% of the programs, the practice was described as low coverage; and if no program addressed it, it was described no coverage. Results revealed that developing and using model, planning and carrying out investigations, analyzing and interpreting data, constructing explanations and designing solutions, and obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information had medium/high coverage; whereas asking questions and defining problems; using mathematics and computational thinking; and engaging in argument from evidence had low coverage.

The implications of these results to science teaching and learning as well as development of next generation science materials are discussed.

Key Words: K-12 engineering programs, K-12 science curricula, science and engineering practices


Paper #10085: Elementary Science Olympiad Coaches’ Motivations and Perceptions of the Impacts on Participating Students, School Culture, and Teaching Practices

Principal Author: Kylie S. Hoyle, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Jason L. Painter, NC State; Kim D. Gervase, NC State


The purpose of this study is to understand what motivates 125 Science Olympiad coaches to volunteer their time and effort for this informal program. This study also strives to understand if the coaches perceive the school's involvement with Science Olympiad as having influence on the schools’ students and culture.  In addition, this study investigates Science Olympiad coaches who are also elementary teachers to determine if their involvement has had any impact on their teaching practices, confidence in teaching science, or science content knowledge. This study utilizes self-determination theory (SDT) as the conceptual framework guiding the measurements and analysis. Participants completed a questionnaire that included four sections: demographics, motivation (Coach Motivation Questionnaire [CMQ]; McLean, Mallett, & Newcombe, 2012), and two open ended sections. The CMQ showed that coaches are motivated most strongly by intrinsic motivators. The second motivator was integrated motivation (internal causality). Through open ended questions, lead coaches reported that students are extremely excited about their school's participation in Science Olympiad, they have high support from the other teachers and administration, they believe Science Olympiad has led to other success and there has been more STEM integration at their school since starting the Science Olympiad team. Very few teachers reported negative perceptions on students and school culture. Coaches reported feelings of inspiration and increased confidence in STEM content from their involvement. Many reported that those impacts transferred into their own teaching practices and some reported including more Science Olympiad related activities in their lessons.

Paper #10084: Does the Reform in the Science Programme of the Colleges of Education Reflect in Junior Secondary School Classrooms?

Principal Author: Cecilia Boakye, University of Cape Coast
Co-Authors: Joseph Ghartey Ampiah, University of Cape Coast



The essence of curriculum innovation/reform in teacher training programmes is to produce teachers who will demonstrate desirable instructional practices in schools so that students can perform well academically. In that vein different models of teacher training have been designed with the aim of achieving that goal. Do these reforms actually result in desirable instructional practices in classrooms?  This study is part of a larger one that explored the influence of the 2007 science programme of the colleges of education in Ghana on the instructional practices of newly qualified teachers. The main purpose of this study was  to explore the instructional practices, in  Junior High School (JHS; age 12-15 years) classrooms, of 5 newly qualified teachers trained at X College of Education with the 2007 science curriculum to find out how they measured up to the expectations of that curriculum. It was a qualitative multi site case study. The instructional practices comprised teaching methods, student involvement, content knowledge and the use of teaching and learning materials. There were 35 participants who were purposely selected to take part in this study. They comprised 5 newly qualified teachers and 30 of their students who were used as data sources to triangulate the data on the instructional practices of the NQTs. The pupils comprised 15 females and 15 males from JHS 1 and 2.  Their ages ranged from 14 to 19 years. The NQTs who were all males were aged between 24 to 28 years. Their highest professional qualification was a diploma in Basic Education.  We gave them pseudonyms as: William, Edward, Asaph, Bernard and Samuel to protect anonymity.  All the participants were selected based on the fact that they willingly volunteered their time for the study.  Interview, observation and content analysis were the methods that were used to collect data.  Two semi-structured interview guides, namely pre- and post-lesson guides for the NQTs, one interview guide for the JHS pupils and one observation schedule were the instruments that were used to collect data. The lesson observation protocol was semi-structured. The content analysis was done on the NQTs lesson plans and their students’ exercise/notebooks. The findings of the study revealed that that the instructional practices of the NQTs did not generally reflect the expectations of the 2007 science curriculum of the colleges of education and therefore did not meet the objectives of the JHS science curriculum. The NQTs generally lectured and gave copious notes to their students. With respect to content knowledge they made some few mistakes which can lead to misconceptions on the part of their students. The availability of TLMs was one constraint that affected their teaching methods. The findings may have implications for (a) in-service and pre-service education of this category of teachers, (b) the teaching and learning of science in the JHSs in Ghana, (c) resources for the teaching and learning of science and (d) research into the pre-service training of the science teachers. Suggestions were made to that effect.           







Paper #10083: Exploring Elementary Preservice Teachers Conceptions of the Nature and Purpose of Models and Modeling

Principal Author: Laura A. Zangori, University of Missouri
Co-Authors: Deborah L.. Hanuscin, University of Missouri


To develop scientific literacy, elementary students should engage in knowledge-building of core concepts through scientific practice which include scientific modeling.  To support students in using this scientific practice, elementary teachers must also develop and hold robust epistemic knowledge about the nature and purpose of modeling. To support elementary preservice teachers (PSTs) in building this knowledge, we designed a Perspectives of Modeling (PoM) questionnaire to explore what prior conceptions PSTs hold about this practice and how a methods course focused on scientific modeling supported their understanding. We collected PoM results prior to and after the course (n = 34). We also collected participants science autobiographies, completed at the beginning of the course, and portfolio reflections, completed at course end, to elucidate their ideas reported on the PoM.  Our results suggest that at the beginning of the study the PSTs had few prior experiences with models and modeling and associated models with art projects, memorization devices, and teacher demonstrations. At the end of the study, we found small growth in the PSTs understanding of models and modeling; however, growth only occurred in those students that increased their understanding about the nature of science, specifically within their ideas about the practices of scientists.  Findings from the study suggest that growth in this scientific practice is linked to PSTs' ideas about “what scientists do” and requires more experiences than might be provided within a methods course. Prospective teachers require attention to modeling in other teacher education contexts and different kinds of modeling experiences, such as engaging in authentic science apprenticeships to begin to understand the practices of scientists.

Paper #10082: Project ReCharge: An Energy Efficiency Curriculum with Real-Time Data

Principal Author: Catherine Pozarski Connolly, University of Nevada, Reno
Co-Authors: David T.. Crowther


Results of Project ReCharge, and NSF ITEST grant integrating real-time data consumption in order for students to make proposals to save their schools 10% of their energy bills, show the effectiveness of utilizing inquiry lessons in order to increase students content knowledge and interest in STEM subjects and careers. The curriculum developed for the project leads students to understanding energy from multiple sources in order to propose changes to reduce energy usage. Students use technology installed at their school site to monitor individual loads and make recommendations to decrease energy usage based on the data they gather through an online student dashboard displaying real-time energy usage. Funded projects allow students monitor the energy consumption as a result of the proposed changes.

By participating in the curriculum, student interests in science, math, technology, engineering, and careers increased. In year one, the results of the STEM Semantics Survey reveal student interest in STEM subjects and Careers improved as a result of their participation in the curriculum (p=0.001). Further analyses were done for each topic and show attitudes toward all topics except math increased (science p=0.045; engineering p=0.006; technology p=0.022; careers p = 0.011). Year two results confirm student interests increase while participating in the curriculum with increases in science, math, and careers (science p=0.001, math p=0.012, careers p=0.029).

Students also took a multiple choice content test as a pretest and posttest. Year one show students content knowledge significantly increased with a medium effect size (p < 0.001) as did year two with a large effect size (p<0.001) suggesting the methods used to teach the content were sufficient for students to learn the content.

With over 2,000 students and 23 teachers participating in the project by year two and an additional 22 teachers signed up for year three, the project is growing, leading to a population of students who are more aware of energy and its effects on our environment.

Paper #10081: Co-teaching in Physical Sciences at the University Level: Positive Impacts of Combining Two

Principal Author: Kenneth W.. Thompson, Department of Physical Sciences, Emporia State University
Co-Authors: Mirah J.. Dow, School of Library and Information Management Emporia State University


Co-teaching by a professor of physical science and a professor of information science in the university context of teaching control variable experiment concepts and information and technology literacy skills to future teachers of science was initially investigated. Quantitative and qualitative findings were used to inform modifications to future instruction and to create an Institute of Museums and Library Services research project proposal. As a result, a 2015 Laura Bush 21st Century Librarian Program Grant ($496,277) was funded to support fifty students enrolled in four, three-credit hour courses required for a new information, technology, and scientific literacy certificate program. The presentation highlights justification for educational change at the university level; the innovative work that was done across two university programs to create and approve new interdisciplinary course titles, purposes, and learning outcomes; and the design of assignments and learning activities that build co-teaching dispositions and skills. Elements of co-teaching in contrast to solo teaching are emphasized. For later classes, strategies and techniques were developed that resulted in improved student abilities to identify and articulate authentic research topics when making use of primary and secondary sources of authority that inform topics, problems, central questions, hypothesis statements, and experimental variables. A new theory of co-teaching, the intensity of effort theory of co-teaching, is proposed to explain what happens when two educators work together to build maximum intellectual strength in themselves that can be measured by their students’ achievement of identified learning outcomes.   

Paper #16008: Developing a Maker Endorsement Program for Pre-Service Science Teachers

Principal Author: Shelly R.. Rodriguez, The University of Texas
Co-Authors: Jill A.. Marshall, The University of Texas; Michael DeGraff, The University of Texas


Over the last several years, the Maker movement has transitioned from a sub-culture to a worldwide phenomenon. Given the momentum behind the Maker movement, it is understandable that many K-12 schooling environments are eager to adopt these practices. The Maker movement provides a promise of students engaging in real world problem solving as they create meaningful products and learn valuable content in the process. Many educators hope that these types of activities can be framed to align with the curricular demands of schooling, in particular the engineering practices seen in NGSS. Though the trappings of the Maker movement are emerging in schools, there is little support provided for teachers, including science teachers, who are asked to work in these innovative spaces. Helping future science teachers to develop a “Maker mindset” and preparing them with a set of skills that support Making is a gap in many teacher preparation programs.  With support from a current Robert Noyce Teaching Scholarship grant, UTeach Austin is designing program elements that will help pre-service teachers develop a set of skills useful for supporting Maker activities in the classroom. By supporting these teachers through a newly developed Maker endorsement program, UTeach Austin hopes to prepare science teachers that are capable and eager to participate in Making.  Pre-service teachers who earn this endorsement will be able to share the benefits of Making with a diverse group of students and bring elements of the Maker movement into the K-12 setting. This presentation will outline the process that UTeach Austin has used to develop the Maker endorsement program. Those in attendance can expect to be provided with the specific details of the UTeach Maker endorsement initiative and learn from emergent successes and challenges. Attendees will also be provided with a list of Maker resources useful for supporting pre-service science teachers.

Paper #11013: Designing a seamless science teacher preparation program from pre-service through induction years.

Principal Author: Brad Lanier, University of Cincinnati
Co-Authors: Helen Meyer, University of Cincinnati


As everyone who works in teacher education knows teacher education programs have come under increasing attacks since the turn of the century. The US Department of Education’s report Improving Teacher Preparation: Building on Innovation (2014) states, “far too many teachers report they are underprepared when they first enter the classroom after their teacher preparation programs” (p. 1). The response to these perceived deficiencies in teacher education has been continued calls for greater regulation, accountability, and transparency. However based on years of research on teacher learning and development, we know that learning to teach is a complex process and time and experience are critical factors. Further teaching in an urban environment present pre-service teachers with additional challenges of working in schools and communities they are unfamiliar with. Our poster reports the initial stages of the process of one urban school district and university coming together to redesign their teacher preparation and induction year programs to create a seamless learning progression for their urban secondary science teachers. We outline the process the group used to identify essential learning needs for the pre-service and new teachers in the areas of science content; pedagogical knowledge and skills; social and community context issues; school, state, and national policy issues; and professionalism. This is followed by how these learning needs were organized and sequenced into a three year urban science preparation program beginning with methods and student teaching through the first two years of teaching.

Paper #11012: STEM Preparation for K-8 Teachers

Principal Author: Susan A. Everett, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Co-Authors: Jeff Bouwman, Gibraltar School District


The presentation will focus on sharing the development of a university-level STEM certificate program for K-8 teachers which is designed to enhance students' content knowledge, to focus on best practices for teaching and to successfully integrate the STEM disciplines. Faculty members worked for the last several years to better prepare future elementary teachers in STEM education. Two campus grants were awarded to the group to begin to integrate engineering content and practices into the required science courses (NSCI 231, 232, 233). Collaborations between education faculty members and those in College of Engineering were productive including attending a K-12 Engineering Education Conference. Also, one faculty met with the state Department of Education staff to discuss the certificate which may hold potential for serving as model for a state endorsement in STEM education which currently does not exist. Course content, sample design activities and student reflections will be shared with the audience from one of the STEM classes.

Paper #10080: Exploring the impact of teachers’ recognition on high school students’ physics identity

Principal Author: Jianlan Wang, Florida International University
Co-Authors: Zahra Hazari, Florida International University


As an affective factor, high school students’ physics identity predicts their later engagement and persistence in the field of physics. This explorative case study examines the function of one component for identity regulation, recognition by others. Specifically, the focus is on the recognition from science teachers. Six longitudinal surveys through one school year trace the identity development of 134 students from 3 high school physics classes. The surveys ascribe the patterns of students’ identity development to students’ sense of recognition. The post-project interviews recruit 6 voluntary students in total, 2 from each class. The interviews reveal how two types of recognition, i.e. explicit and implicit recognitions, shape students’ physics identities. We suggest that both implicit and explicit recognitions are important. Implicit recognition serves as the evidence that strengthens explicit recognition. Meanwhile, physics teachers’ recognition serves as affective scaffolding for students. From explicit to implicit recognition, physics teachers continuously diagnose students’ cognitive and affective statuses, provide calibrated affective support, and fade their involvement in students’ construction of their physics identities. Pedagogically, we compared the different ways that the three physics teachers conducted the same recognition strategy suggested by the research group, such as students videotaping them teaching physics. With the findings, we imply for appropriate approaches to teacher recognition.

Paper #10079: Changing Secondary Students’ Views of NOS with SSI

Principal Author: Dawnne M.. LePretre, Illinois Institute of Technology
Co-Authors: Norman G.. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology; Judith S.. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology


The focus of this research was to study any changes in secondary students' understandings of nature of science (NOS) when instruction used a socio-scientific instructional (SSI) context. Participants were ninth and tenth grade students from the science decathlon team in a public high school in the Midwest.  Detailed lessons plans were structured around controversial scientific issues to teach nature of science aspects in an explicit and reflective way. Across four 90-minute sessions, students worked in small teams of three-to-four students to discuss different perspectives of a SSI. The first lesson introduced students to the NOS aspects via The Email Activity (The Science Teacher, Sept. 2015) which helps students tell a story based on their selection of email messages a few at a time. The socioscientific issues included, taxation on sugary drinks to help combat obesity (Should schools charge more for sugary drinks?), wearing a nanotechnology-driven tracking device for payment from marketing firms and the issue of privacy (Should the Know-It-All necklace track YOU?), and whether the HPV vaccine is safe and the issue of government regulation (Should the HPV Vaccine be mandatory in school?).  

Each lesson included an introduction and closure to the issue via a yes/no question in which students voted, an assigned perspective to consider/argue, a class discussion, and individual reflection on NOS aspects.  Gathered for analysis and coding were lesson plans, teacher made handouts, classroom observations, student artifacts and results from the VNOS D+ survey.  Changes in students’ understanding were statistically significant with an alpha of 0.05 for four of the seven aspects.  The range of Fisher’s Exact Tests reported p-values that were 0.0108 for the aspect of tentativeness, 0.0003 for the aspect of creativity, 0.0197 for observation & inference, and 0.0376 for empirically based.  The results are discussed in light of the relationship between students’ understanding of aspects of NOS and the use of explicit-reflective strategies in the classroom.  



Paper #10078: Critical Characteristics of Effective Implementation of Professional Development for Argument-Based Science Teaching Approach

Principal Author: Katie Graf, University of Iowa
Co-Authors: Mark McDermott, University of Iowa


The aim of this presentation is to discuss initial critical characteristics of the implementation of an argument-based science teaching approach that have been identified throughout the course of the first year of PD and continue to be identified by participating teachers, researchers, and consultants.

The Argument-Based Strategies for STEM Infused Science Teaching (ASSIST) Approach was developed to provide teachers with a framework for planning argument-based, STEM-infused units and activities based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Initial qualitative data collected informally over the first year of the PD have indicated varying levels of self-reported effectiveness in implementation among teachers and between districts. These data have led to the collection of more formal survey, interview, and online collaborative network discussion responses.

Critical characteristics of the school district will be identified that have helped provide in-roads to successful and long-lasting implementation of the PD or have provided for challenges to successful implementation. Consideration of these characteristics will not only help to continue to improve the present PD program, but may help others designing, implementing, and evaluating PD programs to more strategically work with districts in promoting effective adoption of research-based science teaching initiatives.

Paper #10077: Pre-Service Teachers’ Models of the Process of Teaching and Learning

Principal Author: Patricia J.. Friedrichsen, University of Missouri
Co-Authors: Laura A.. Zangori, University of Missouri; Eric P.. Wulff, University of Missouri; A. J.. Womack, University of Missouri


Pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) evolving conceptual understandings is made explicit and visible through the practice of modeling. As PSTs build new knowledge through personal and academic experiences, they revise their model to align with and communicate new understandings. In this study we used the practice of scientific modeling as an elicitation and sense-making tool for PSTs’ knowledge of the process of teaching and learning. This exploratory study took place in two sections of a semester-long elementary science methods course and one section of a secondary science methods course in an undergraduate teacher education program. Students drew pre- and post-models that expressed their personal schema on the teaching and learning process by responding to the question, “Model the process of teaching and learning. Consider what occurs before, during, and after teaching.” The participants were also interviewed about their initial and final models. Our results indicate that, by the end of the methods course, the elementary PSTs included elaborated on instruction and integrated a focus on learners within their models. They also included the importance of reflection on instruction and learners’ understanding. By the end of the secondary methods course, the PSTs included NGSS and the process of curriculum planning. They also increased their integration of assessment with instruction and learners in the “during” and “after” portions of their models. Implications from this study are that across both the elementary and secondary methods courses, the PSTs valued the modeling activity because it served as a sense-making tool and provided snapshots that allowed them to see their growth over the semester. This study will be of interest to elementary and secondary methods instructors because the activity is easily incorporated into methods courses as an elicitation and sense-making tool to help PSTs make sense of their own learning about the teaching and learning process.

Paper #10074: Putting Conceptions into Practice: Understanding How Science Teachers Prioritize Aspects of STEM Integration in Curriculum Writing

Principal Author: Elizabeth A.. Ring, University of Minnesota
Co-Authors: Emily A.. Dare, Michigan Technological University; Gillian H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota; Preethi Titu, University of Minnesota; Elizabeth A.. Crotty, University of Minnesota


National reform documents (National Research Council, 2012; NGSS Lead States, 2013) call for the development of integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula in an effort to increase the number of K-12 students involved in STEM-related coursework and to increase the competitiveness of the United States in the workforce of STEM-related fields. In order to develop these curricula, however, there is a need to understand teachers’ conceptions of integrated STEM and how those conceptions influence curriculum  development and implementation. This study, contextualized in a professional development (PD) experience, addresses this issue by exploring what components of STEM education K-12 science teachers find fundamental to integrating STEM in the classroom and how these conceptions influence curriculum development. Photo elicitation interviews (PEIs) were conducted with in-service science teachers to understand self-created models of what STEM integration is in order to have a better understanding of how practitioners might use their models in their curriculum and instruction. Additionally, curricula created by teams of teachers in the PD were analyzed to understand how these models were realized in practice. 

Preliminary findings indicate that science teachers have varied conceptions of what is important in integrated STEM education, and these conceptions influenced what components of STEM were emphasized in the curricula the teachers developed. These results provide insight as to 1) what teachers think is important in integrated STEM education, and 2) how teachers’ conceptions influence the development of integrated STEM curricula. Implications for this work include important considerations for district administrators and other school personnel responsible for developing and implementing integrated STEM curricula in their schools.

Paper #13006: The Super Gene Brothers: DNA versus RNA

Principal Author: Mohammed A. Qazi, Tuskegee University
Co-Authors: Shaik Jeelani, Tuskegee University; Alicia Curry, Tuskegee University; Chastity Bradford, Tuskegee University; Carol Banks, Tuskegee University


Student engagement is a strategy to increase the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics(STEM) student retention. To impact STEM education in the rural Black Belt Counties of Alabama, the Math and Science Partnership at Tuskegee University designs interactive course modules to teach middle grades Science concepts. “The Super Gene Brothers: DNA vs RNA” module is designed to meet a 7th grade Life Science Content standard: Identify differences between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA). Participants (usually 7th grade students) use candy to design DNA and RNA models. This module uses every nuance of the Super Mario Brothers video game. It takes the characters, theme song lyrics and tunes, and goals of the video game and transforms the traditional classroom into an interactive educational module that targets the technology natives and various learning styles. Participants will help Mario and Luigi rescue the Princess by completing the DNA bridge while STEM educators will rescue and improve our approach to STEM education. The primary learning objectives are:

1) Identify differences between deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) and

2) Identifying Watson and Crick as scientists who discovered the shape of the DNA molecule.

In this experiential session, participants will wear their "student hats" to experience learning hands-on the concepts of DNA and RNA using the innovative resources contained in the module.

Paper #10073: Incorporating Engineering Design into Elementary Science Instruction: Frequency, Content, and Process

Principal Author: Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia
Co-Authors: Brooke A. Whitworth, Northern Arizona University; Shannon Dubois, Valparaiso University; Lindsay B.. Wheeler, University of Virginia


Through a randomized controlled trial, this embedded mixed-methods investigation explored the frequency and ways in which elementary teachers incorporated engineering design (ED) principles into their science instruction following a professional development (PD) experience. The PD was aligned with situated learning theory and promoted integration of ED in science teaching. Across three cohorts, participants in the treatment condition were n = 219 teachers from 83 schools. Participants in the control condition were n=145 from 60 schools. Data consisted of 21 days of lesson overviews and videotaped classroom observations collected four times across the academic year following the summer PD. Lesson overviews were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics to compare the frequency of ED integration by treatment and control teachers. ED was defined as having a problem to solve, having options in design/construction, and the presence of constraints (Katehi, Pearson, & Feder, 2009). Videotaped observations were analyzed qualitatively to describe how teachers incorporated ED into instruction (e.g. content taught, ED practices included). Significantly more treatment teachers (55%) than control teachers (24%) incorporated ED into instruction. Similar trends were observed between treatment and control teachers in the content incorporated; physical science content was most often integrated (~62% of lessons) followed by earth/space/environmental science (~30%), then life science (~5%) and general science (~2%). Results indicated the ED practices incorporated most frequently were conducting research and creating and testing an initial design. Results suggest the PD effectively supported teachers in implementing ED into their science instruction. PD to support teachers’ incorporation of ED to address content other than physical science is warranted.

Paper #10072: Teacher Educators,The Evolution of a Secondary Program in Response to the Development of Transformative Action Groups.

Principal Author: Kathryn T. Watkins, University of New Mexico


The state of New Mexico has a dire need for teachers that are able to address the diverse needs of the students in our public schools. Schools have mixes of students from Hispanic families,immigrant Mexican families and Native American families. New Mexico data (NM Kids Count,2013) show the state maintains a majority-minority status, with 46% of the population Hispanic (48% of children), 41% non-Hispanic White (23% of children), 9% Native American (10% of children) and 6% African-American, Asian or mixed/other race (19% of children). That diverse population requires a secondary teacher education program that places importance on cultural diversityand second languge learners.  Mathematics and science teachers are typically master of their content but in New Mexico they also have to be masters of pedagogy that embraces diversity and understands second languge learners.  The secondary education program at UNM is engaging in a re-imagination of our program based the the recognition of these needs. 



Paper #10071: Cultivating Innovative Problem Solvers in Pursuit of STEM Professions: Pre-College STE(A)M Academy, Diabetes and Medicine

Principal Author: Yvonne Franco, University of Tampa
Co-Authors: Richard Pollenz, University of South Florida


STEM disciplines are in great need of innovative thinkers to solve real world challenges. Research indicates STEM preparation grounded in the arts can develop learners’ scientific innovative sense, as they question beliefs, creatively investigate the world, and imaginatively generate/communicate solutions (Cho & Kim, 2016; Sochacka, Guyotte, & Walther, 2016). Needed, however, is a deeper understanding, of “measureable change in learning” resulting from STEAM programs deemed effective models (Kney, Tatu, Marlin, & Meng, 2016, p. 4). Moreover, Yendol-Hoppey and Franco (2014) identify ambiguity in the structures characterizing researched models, making it challenging to discuss/learn from specific conditions underlying them.

This four-year study presents a university-facilitated researched model of an intensive 6-day residential STE(A)M Academy for H.S. juniors/seniors, using the arts to prepare scholars to creatively investigate, generate and present solutions to challenges. Curriculum emphasizing diabetes and medicine employs inquiry experiences to inform scholars’ assigned challenge. Objectives underlying facilitated experiences, include: 1) learning basic science underlying diabetes; 2) carrying out hands-on research in labs/the field; 3) visiting research centers; 4) networking with researchers, faculty, and physicians; 5) Enhancing time management, study, and group working skills; 6) Appreciating the connection of creativity and the arts to being a scientist and critical thinker; and 7) Understanding the pathway to medical, professional, and graduate school career opportunities for STEM graduates. A mixed-methods approach was used to assess attainment of program objectives and change in student learning. Individuals in attendance will learn details regarding the outcome on student learning after experiencing the Academy, the innovative contextual structure characterizing the academy’s effectiveness in integrating the arts and creativity, and ways it influenced scholars to reconceptualize their understanding of STEM professions.

Paper #10069: An Examination of the History of Science (HOS) Typology in Practice in Secondary Preservice Methods Instruction

Principal Author: William F. McComas, University of Arkansas
Co-Authors: Noushin Nouri, University of Arkansas


Using the History of Science (HOS) in science instruction helps students understand how science works but this approach has not been well studied particuarly in the methods class environment.   This study has as it conceptual foundation the HOS teaching typology which will be discussed in detail along with the results of a survey, interview and review of syllabi to consider the rationales, practices and opinions of 24 individuals who teach a HOS/NOS class for preservice secondary science teachers.  Results of the study validate and extend the typology and provide examples of the use of HOS in real world methods settings and will be of particular relevant to those interested in HOS/NOS instruction in teacher preparation.

Paper #11011: SciGirls Strategies: Gender Equitable Teaching Strategies in STEM-CTE

Principal Author: Barbara L. Billington, University of Minnesota/Twin Cities PBS
Co-Authors: Leah Defenbaugh, Twin Cities PBS; Rita Karl, Twin Cities PBS; Brenda Britsch, National Girls Collaborative Project; Siri Anderson, St. Catherine University


In the United States, women remain significantly underrepresented in the STEM workforce, particularly in engineering, physics and computer science.  Twin Cities PBS has completed the pilot year of a three-year National Science Foundation-funded project, SciGirls Strategies: Gender Equitable Teaching Practices in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Pathways for High School Girls. This project offers an online and face-to-face professional development course for STEM and CTE teachers and school counselors to increase their awareness and use of gender equitable strategies, the SciGirls 7.  After the first year, the evaluation of the project through classroom observations, online journaling and semi-structured interviews reveals significant changes in teachers’ classroom practices to include more equitable strategies and considering these strategies on a daily basis.

Paper #10068: The Nature of STEM Integration: Strategies for Implementation in the Early Elementary Classroom

Principal Author: Tamara J.. Moore, Purdue University
Co-Authors: Kristina M.. Tank, Iowa State University


In the United States, engineering practices, concepts, and thinking skills are included in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS; NGSS Lead States, 2013) as well as within most academic state standards (Author et al., 2015), which means that early childhood educators are working to integrate these ideas into their classrooms to either meet the standards or ensure school readiness. An additional consideration that is important when thinking about the integration of STEM into early childhood classrooms is that there is a large emphasis placed on learning to read, and as a result, teachers devote substantial amounts of time and energy to helping ensure that their students meet this goal (Taylor, Pearson, Clark, & Walpole, 2000).  This often results in a limited amount of time and resources that are dedicated to STEM in early classrooms (Banilower et al., 2013). To gain a better understanding of STEM integration in early elementary classrooms and to potentially facilitate better curriculum design, this research documents and characterizes the nature of integration in order to gain a better understanding of the factors that support the teaching and learning of STEM. The following research question guided this work: What curricular strategies promote STEM integration within an early elementary classroom?

This qualitative study uses classroom video data to analyze the implementation of a STEM integration curriculum in three kindergarten classrooms for evidence of curricular strategies that were used to facilitate the integration of STEM. The findings suggest four possible curricular strategies for promoting STEM integration in an early elementary classroom. These four strategies are: 1) engineering design as the interdisciplinary glue, 2) realistic engineering contexts to promote student engagement, 3) high-quality literature to facilitate meaningful connections, and 4) instruction of specific STEM content for the purpose of improving an engineering design.

Paper #10067: Outsourcing STEM: Implications for the Design of Elementary STEM Teacher Preparation

Principal Author: Carol R. Rinke, Marist College
Co-Authors: Gabriella DeCenzo, Marist College


Although STEM education sits at the center of a national conversation, comparatively little attention has been given to the design of STEM teacher preparation programs. This study addresses that gap in the literature by reporting on the outcomes of a pre-service STEM teacher education model that combined traditional mathematics and science methods courses into a six-credit STEM block. This innovative approach also introduced key STEM principles such as design thinking, computational thinking, and content integration into methods preparation. Outcomes analysis used a mixed-methods survey (n = 54) and interview model to capture STEM block graduates’ experiences during the student teaching semester and analyze the suitability of methods preparation for the school setting.

Both survey and interview findings indicated that while mathematics teaching was frequent, the majority of student teachers did not have opportunities to teach technology, engineering, integrated content, or even science during their student teaching semesters. For those student teachers who did report STEM teaching, instruction almost exclusively took place outside of the general education classroom in a technology class, STEM club, or even outside of the school building on field trips, guided by STEM specialists. We term these out-of-classroom experiences “outsourced STEM.” Interview findings reinforced these results while also highlighting the ways in which STEM block graduates rapidly became STEM leaders within their schools. When faced with mentors’ minimal knowledge or interest in teaching STEM, student teachers created their own STEM structures and activities for the general education classroom.

Implications of these findings include the development of STEM specialist certificates at the state level as well as continued integration of explicit STEM approaches into methods courses for the development of a new generation of STEM teacher leaders.

Paper #10066: Developing Scientist Collaborations to Enhance Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Subject Matter Knowledge for Teaching

Principal Author: Krista L. Adams, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Co-Authors: Jenny R.. Keshwani, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Lisa Fanning, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Collaborations with engineering specialists may provide preservice elementary teachers support developing subject matter knowledge for teaching. This proposal focused on providing models for collaboration and how to develop preservice elementary teachers subject matter knowledge for teaching. While these collaborations were instituted into a Midwestern university’s elementary science methods, it is the authors’ intention to demonstrate how similar collaborations can be fostered at other institutions and science education methods courses. We will discuss “how can these partnerships be developed in pre-service teacher training?” and “how can we support the preservice teacher in translating STEM research into classroom instruction?”

Paper #10065: “Because it’s what scientists do”: Beginning career-changers’ beliefs about the practice of argumentation.

Principal Author: Carrie-Anne Sherwood, University of Michigan


Argumentation is central to the work of scientists. It is also important that regular citizens become “critical consumers,” in order to understand and make evidence-based judgements about science-related media reports and the things that impact their own lives and our society at large. For these reasons, we see repeated calls in science education reform documents - such as the K-12 Framework for Science Education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) - and research, advocating for the integration of scientific argumentation into K-12 classrooms. Further, evidence suggests that teachers’ use of and student engagement with argumentation in their science classes has demonstrated benefits for students. Despite this, most science teachers have not generally engaged their students in the practice of scientific argumentation. One potential way to address concerns about teachers’ ability to enact reform-oriented instruction, and in particular to increase the amount and quality of scientific argumentation done in classrooms, is to recruit and train career changers – those who have years of work experience, and presumably deep content knowledge, in a STEM field prior to entering a credential program - to the profession. This study employed semi-structured interviews and qualitative case study analyses to examine the beliefs of five career changers about the scientific practice of argumentation before and after a yearlong preservice teacher training program. Results of this study generally indicate that the participants entered their program with beliefs about argumentation that were in alignment with current reforms and research. The results also suggest that there were benefits for explicitly instructing these career changers about argumentation, but that this instruction may have also contributed to more limited beliefs about argumentation in science classrooms. Other results, implications for research, and recommendations for science teacher education will be discussed.  

Paper #10064: Preservice Science Teachers’ Beliefs and Attitudes on Classroom Management

Principal Author: Celestin Ntemngwa, University of Houston Downtown


The purpose of this study was to find out the attitudes and beliefs of preservice elementary and middle (grades 6-12) school science teachers (PREMTs) toward classroom management. There were 60 participants (45 elementary and 15 middle school preservice teachers). Data was collected using the Attitudes and Beliefs on Classroom Control (ABCC) Inventory and analyzed using descriptive statistics. A one way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), t-test for Independent Samples and the Mann Whitney U Test were used. The results of the data analysis revealed that although PREMTs hold more interventionist and interactionist orientation on Instructional Management subscale, they hold more interventionist orientation on People Management subscale. Data analysis also showed that factors such as grade level, students who have taken the classroom management course among other variables was significantly related to participants’ beliefs on both subscales

Paper #11010: Intersection of race/racism in the educational experiences of Asian American youth in the K-12 setting

Principal Author: Sophia (Sun Kyung) Jeong, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Deborah J.. Tippins, University of Georgia


This literature review analyzed 25 studies on Asian American students in the K-12 settings.  It focused on understanding how race and racism intersect with the educational experiences of Asian American students.  To this end, studies that attempt to explain the high levels of academic achievements by Asian American students were critically examined, while studies that represent the daily school experiences of Asian American students were used to better understand the challenges they face in schools due to microaggressions.  The findings suggest that as long as the dominant educational discourse is framed by the obsession with the academic achievement gap, the model minority stereotype will continue to be perpetuated and the voices of Asian American students silenced.  Given the subtle nature of microaggressions, research that examines the daily routines and actions of students, teachers, school staff in the K-12 setting is much needed.  

Paper #10063: Examining Relationships between Elementary Teachers’ Content Knowledge for Teaching Science, Professional Preparation, and Teaching Experience

Principal Author: Jamie N. Mikeska, Educational Testing Service
Co-Authors: Geoffrey Phelps, Educational Testing Service; Andrew Croft, Educational Testing Service


Research findings indicate that effective science teachers need to have an in-depth knowledge of the subject matter they teach, as well as a thorough understanding of how to teach these subjects effectively. Science teachers must know how to use their conceptual knowledge as they engage in various tasks of teaching, such as anticipating and interpreting students’ ideas or selecting and modifying resources for instruction. The robust evidentiary base for the importance of science teachers’ practice-based knowledge suggests that it is important for the field to have measures that can assess not only teachers’ subject matter knowledge (SMK) – of which the field has made much progress in – but also their knowledge about how to teach these subjects, which we refer to as their practice-based content knowledge for teaching (CKT). In this presentation, we present findings from a validation study examining the relationships between upper elementary science teachers’ performances on two types of science measures – practice-based CKT items and SMK items – and indicators of their professional preparation, teaching experience, and self-efficacy. Findings highlight potential strengths and weaknesses of these practice-based CKT and SMK measures and the nature of the knowledge needed for teaching elementary science.

Paper #10062: Science Inquiry and Academic English Language Development

Principal Author: Lisa A. Gross, Appalachian State University
Co-Authors: Shanan Fitts, Appalachian State University


This presentation focuses on the 2nd year of a Science Inquiry and Academic English Language Development Project. University faculty and a group of elementary practitioners who work with impoverished and culturally diverse populations have jointly addressed the daily challenges related to science teaching and learning at the intermediate grade levels. The goals of this program are to: 1) develop teachers’ confidence and comfort with science; 2) construct inquiry-based lessons that integrate research-verified literacy strategies for improved academic science language and knowledge; 3) support elementary classroom teachers and the ESL teacher in assessing diverse learners’ academic language across content areas and: 4) improve ELLs science engagement and academic science language. These goals are grounded in current research on science teaching, inquiry, and academic language development. Curricular units have been constructed during team planning time and implemented by teachers and university faculty. Teachers’ instructional episodes provide the context for observing and recording students’ responsiveness to the inquiry-based lessons. ELL students’ engagement, questioning and communication of science will be analyzed throughout each phase of the inquiry. Data sources include teacher observation, student work samples, and science writing samples from journals. While teachers’ comfort and confidence of science teaching is a goal of the study, this presentation will focus on the students’ development of academic language through inquiry.  

Paper #10060: Perceptions of In-service Teachers Toward Teaching STEM in Thailand

Principal Author: Wachira Srikoom, The institute for the Promotion of Teaching Science and Technology (IPST)
Co-Authors: Deborah L.. Hanuscin, University of Missouri; Chatree Faikhamta, Kasetsart University


Currently, while increasing attention has focused on approaches to teaching Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), little has been reported on teachers’ views, perspectives and beliefs about teaching STEM. Such knowledge is needed to inform efforts to support innovative teaching of STEM subjects in classrooms. In this study, 154 in-service teachers, of both STEM related and non-STEM related subjects, were randomly selected from schools all over the country. Data on teachers’ perceptions were captured through a three-part questionnaire with an open-ended question that asked for general background information and asked about perceptions of STEM education and STEM approach. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Research findings showed that the majority of the teachers (85.5%) have never heard about STEM education and only 30% of in-service teachers could provide a definition of STEM education, with 20% of the teachers viewing STEM as transdisciplinary course or program. While teachers surveyed think that a STEM teaching approach is very interesting (3.93 of 4), both STEM and non-STEM in-service teachers have strong concerns about the Engineering discipline within STEM disciplines.

Paper #16007: Toward Inclusion of All Learners Through Science Teacher Education

Principal Author: Sami Kahn, Ohio University
Co-Authors: Michele Koomen, Gustavus Adolphus College; Christopher Atchison, University of Cincinnati; Sarah Summy, Western Michigan University; Judith S.. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology; Selina Bartels, Illinois Institute of Technology; Jonte’ Taylor, Pennsylvania State University; Catherine Koehler, Southern Connecticut State University; Teresa Shume, North Dakota State University; Jenna Porter, California State University, Sacramento; Kathy Gee, California State University, Sacramento; Lacey Huffling, Georgia Southern University; Terri Hebert, Indiana University, South Bend; Lee Smith, Indiana University, South Bend; Jannike Seward, Indiana University, South Bend


The term, “inclusion” is often used to identify where a student with disabilities is educated.  Increasingly, however, scholars and practitioners are recognizing that geography alone does little to ensure quality science experiences for students with disabilities, particularly given the lack of training science teachers report receiving on this topic during both pre-service and in-service settings. Moreover, contemporary movements such as Disabilities Studies in Education (DSE) argue for the examination of cultural and institutional practices that shape disability. DSE advocates for the use of “social models” of disability, which emphasize students’ abilities, talents, and specific learning challenges rather than the more traditionally-used “medical model” that focuses on medical diagnoses and remediation. Moving toward a more progressive view of inclusive science education necessitates science teacher educators’ awareness of and openness to cutting-edge models and research on frameworks such as Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and strengths-based approaches, inclusive science methods courses, models of collaboration between general and special education teachers and science teacher educators, and assessments that enable accurate and fair interpretations of student learning.  Only through quality science teacher preparation can we attain the promise of the NGSS and a national science agenda that emphasizes excellence and equity for all students. In this small roundtable discussion, we present ten research studies which, using a DSE lens,  provide an array of approaches for ensuring quality science experiences for all students through science teacher education.  Participants will have the opportunity to engage with several authors as they visit their choice of discussion tables as follows:

Discussion Table 1 – Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and Strengths-Based Teaching

Discussion Table 2 – Assessing All Students

Discussion Table 3 – Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCI) Through Pre-Service Education

Discussion Table 4 – Collaboration in Pre-Service Science Teacher Education

Discussion Table 5 – Inclusive Science Teacher Preparation


Paper #10059: Supporting the Bridge: How Field Experience Teachers Help Preservice Teachers Transition from Theory to Practice

Principal Author: Jared R. Allen, Indiana University
Co-Authors: Rebecca Borowski, Indiana University; Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University


In methods courses, preservice teachers begin to develop dispositions and beliefs about effective teaching as they learn about theories and practices for teaching both math and science. However, enacting those practices is much more difficult than simply reading about them, and preservice teachers often struggle when attempting to put theory into practice. Few studies have looked at the role field experience instructors play in bridging theory into practice, especially from the perspective of preservice teachers. In this study, we explore this perspective to answer the questions: 1) to what extent do elementary preservice teachers believe it is the field experience instructor’s role to bridge theory into practice, and 2) in what ways do they perceive the field experience instructor supports them in developing the ability to bridge theory into practice? Employing a series of three questionnaires purposively timed at transition points in the semester, we found the preservice teachers viewed the field experience instructor as a key component towards helping them to make the bridge between theory and practice. They recognized the need for collaboration and communication between the methods and field experience instructor, thus they believed having the same instructor for both methods and field experience courses contributed to their ability to bridge theory into practice. Implications for how graduate teacher education programs could better support the development of their preservice teachers in crossing this bridge from theory into practice will be discussed.

Paper #10058: Improving Pre-Service Elementary Teacher Attitudes and Program Engagement Through Professional Development Workshops

Principal Author: Nicole J. Glen, Bridgewater State University
Co-Authors: Heather A. Pacheco-Guffrey, Bridgewater State University


Our Spring 2016 workshop series was designed to increase positive learning experiences in science and engineering, provide access to and experience with curricular resources, and increase opportunities for networking among education majors. We developed the series in response to our observations that our pre-service PK-6 teachers enter the professional methods sequence lacking positive science or engineering experiences, having anxiety about teaching and learning science and engineering, and having few opportunities to develop professional networks for science teaching. Participation was voluntary and included pre-service teachers across all undergraduate levels. We gathered data on participants’ personal and professional attitudes through a pre/post survey using a suite of validated questions with additional questions made by our team. Pre-survey findings indicate that participants believed that science was important to teach, they enjoyed learning it, and they wanted curricular and collegial support for teaching it in their future classrooms. They reported that teaching science would not make them nervous or be unenjoyable. Interestingly, participants not only expected science to be taught weekly or daily in their classrooms but felt they will be the ones to teach science. Participants ranked “to become a better teacher” as their top reason for attendance, indicating a strong focus on career. Post-survey results suggest there was a slight positive trend in feeling supported to teach science and also of feeling less nervous about teaching science. A positive shift was also detected in self-perceptions about being able to teach science with greater independence than prior to the workshops; some reported that they even saw their future selves as being science teachers. Participants reported exciting and enjoyable experiences, receipt of beneficial resources, and they asked for more workshops like this. All of this suggests the workshops were positive learning experiences in science and engineering, important for the development of science teaching self-efficacy.

Paper #10057: Let’s talk about talk: Discourse as a window into science identities and equity in education

Principal Author: Bryan Wee, University of Colorado Denver
Co-Authors: Hillary Mason, University of Colorado Denver


This study seeks to promote equity in science education by validating the science identities, embedded within life stories, of K-12 science teachers. A total of 30 science teachers in a graduate course (taught over two years) titled, "Equity and Culture in Science Education" wrote about their lived experiences in/out of science, from childhood to present day. From an instructional standpoint, the goal of this assigment was to encourage introspection and to nurture appreciation of diverse stories in these science teachers' journeys. From a research standpoint, we sought to uncover how discourse or the way that teachers talk about science, shapes their science identities and how they relate to science. This proposed work is important for equity because teachers' stories reflect a particular way of thinking about science; what it is, what it means in teaching or learning contexts, and relationships between science and society. If discourse governs the way that science is perceived and practiced, then these science teachers’ stories have the potential to change lives – theirs and those of learners in their classrooms. The intent of this work is to draw attention to 1) students’ life experiences using discourse analysis, and 2) the ways by which their stories reflect equity (or the lack thereof) in science. 

Paper #16006: Going Global: Infusing Global Collaboration in the STEM Classroom

Principal Author: Kate York, Texas Tech University
Co-Authors: Laura Schlisler, Texas Tech University


In the global society in which we now live, it is important that students are not only globally “aware,” but are also globally connected. Inquiry-based STEM classrooms provide ideal settings for allowing students to learn content in the context of international collaboration and discourse. In doing so, students strengthen content acquisition while developing critical 21st century skills.

Several frameworks have been developed to better define and provide guidance on what and how 21st century skills should be addressed in K-12 schools, and all are largely consistent in the types of skills that should be included. One area of 21st century skills development directly addresses global competence, both for K-12 students and the teachers that teach them. Of particular importance is teacher training on both 21st century skills, specifically in global awareness, interaction, and collaboration.

In this interactive session, participants will be provided with the benefits of engaging teachers and students in global collaborative experiences in order to facilitate both STEM content acquisition and critical 21st century skills. Examples of how this has been incorporated with inservice STEM teachers and their students, as well as how it has been used in preservice STEM teacher coursework, will be discussed. Presenters will share “how to’s” for the novice, aligning experiences to standards/learning outcomes for both K-12 and teacher preparation programs, resources for finding and establishing global partners in STEM areas, ways to incorporate technology for design and collaboration, tips for establishing safe partner communication, and suggestions for establishing stakeholder support. Additionally, presenters will share vignettes from the inservice and preservice teachers regarding their experience and take-aways.   

Paper #10056: Learning to Like It: Curricular Change and Teacher Emotion

Principal Author: Rudolf V.. Kraus, Rhode Island College
Co-Authors: Lesley J.. Shapiro, Classical High School


Organizational change literature provides a new perspective for examining the NGSS. This research compares teachers’ feelings about change to a more general model of organizational change. This is of interest to those implementing professional development for the NGSS while avoiding pitfalls noted by previous scholarship (Luft & Herron, 2014; Richardson, 1998). Teachers participated in a graduate course on curriculum change that specifically focused on the shift from Rhode Island state science standards to the NGSS. This was a sample of convenience, including both middle and high school teachers, drawn from both public and private schools. Sources of data include teacher responses to survey questions and wide-lens field notes taken by the first author. These were analyzed and coded against a model for employee reaction to organizational change (Bupp, 1996). Our results indicate a match between teacher responses and the model over the course of a semester. Successful professional development for the NGSS will have to be mindful of both teacher emotions and providing the appropriate amount of time for teachers pass through the exploration and reach opportunity, accomplishment, creativity.

Paper #10055: Strategies to Improve Active Engagement in Academic Courses for Future Teachers

Principal Author: Sandra L. Westmoreland, Texas Woman's University


Active learning has been demonstrated to increase student engagement and, indirectly, student persistence. In addition, faculty who use high engagement in their classrooms become pedagogical role models for the future teachers who are enrolled in their courses. By initiating an Active Engagement Academy, faculty can be trained to use active learning and teaching methods, which will foster student engagement, academic success, and retention. Once a faculty member has been trained to use active learning, this model will be self-perpetuating. Faculty will become role models within their academic departments for other faculty and for the teacher candidates enrolled in their courses.

This presentation will provide a model and framework for other science education faculty and administrators who wish to promote active engagement in their institution’s classrooms. I will present the rationale, recruiting information, workshop plans, and designs for active engagement implementations and measurements for intervention success.

Paper #15002: Navigating the NGSS: Uncharted Waters

Principal Author: Lesley J.. Shapiro, Classical High School
Co-Authors: Rudolf V.. Kraus, Rhode Island College


The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) represent the future of science education and constitute a broad change from previous practice in Rhode Island, which focused largely on acquisition of knowledge. Identifying this need, which represented both a change in content and more importantly process, we rewrote our graduate-level Science Methods in Secondary Schools course to focus on the shift from state science grade span expectations to the NGSS. Our approach focuses on the need for change, the process of change, and the implications of this particular transition. Participating teachers read about previous curriculum shifts in science, learned a model for organizational change, and analyzed their classroom readiness for implementing the NGSS. The learning process concluded with development of a scope and sequence document. We will share what we have learned from two previous iterations of the course and how they have influenced its current format. This session will be helpful to anyone working with in-service or pre-service teachers and the NGSS. 

Paper #10054: STEM outreach programs: Impacting science teachers’ beliefs and outcome expectancies

Principal Author: Philip I. Myszkal, University of Toronto
Co-Authors: Isha DeCoito, University of Western Ontario


As the STEM education movement continues to build momentum in Canada and the United States a recurring issue persists, namely how to effectively integrate STEM subjects into teaching practice. Research reveals that teachers lack pedagogical strategies, including how to effectively integrate STEM subjects and present STEM education in a hands-on, inquiry-based manner. Despite the fact that many STEM educators agree with instructional goals and express confidence in their ability to execute them, there appears to be disconnect between beliefs and implementation in practice. We contend that teachers’ beliefs in outcome expectancy (STOE) may play an important role in bringing integrated and inquiry-based instruction into the classroom. This paper highlights data collected as part of a larger mixed-methods longitudinal study on the impact of STEM outreach workshops (STEM-OW) on teachers’ attitudes towards and interest in STEM education. The authors explore the potential of STEM-OW to influence teachers’ beliefs about their students’ abilities to achieve success in STEM subjects. Data sources included T-STEM surveys and interviews. Preliminary findings suggest that while the grades 6, 7, and 8 teachers in our study believe their teaching impacts their students’ ability to learn, on the T-STEM teachers’ responses ranged from neutral to agreeing with the STOE statements. At the same time, only 36% expressed the belief that all students have the ability to learn given the necessary conditions.  However, all of the interviewees indicated that they benefitted from the STEM-OWs, but none described these benefits in terms of STOE beliefs. Thus, we contend that STEM-OWs could be adapted to incorporate specific professional development (PD) targets aimed at enhancing teachers’ STOE beliefs. Hence, this study has profound educational significance, especially in areas related to teacher PD, teacher education, and STEM partnerships in terms of providing opportunities for teachers to engage in initiatives focusing on best practices in STEM education.

Paper #10053: Prospective elementary science teacher beliefs as expressed in metaphor

Principal Author: Michael Svec, Furman University


Metaphors can provide teacher educators with insight into the beliefs of pre-service teachers. This descriptive study examines metaphors of undergraduates in an elementary science methods course near the end of their teacher preparation. Qualitative data were gathered from 13 course sections and 131 participants focusing on the metaphors for students and teaching. Data were compared to 113 first/second year undergraduates, and 178 practicing teachers enrolled as graduate students. Dominate metaphors for students all tended toward the child as passive receiver of knowledge. 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. Revisions to the science methods course based on the pre-service teacher beliefs using metaphors as a catalyst for reflection are discussed.

Paper #10052: Helping Teachers Understand Big Data

Principal Author: Anna Lewis, USFSP


The collection and analysis of big data - high volume, high velocity, and high variety data streams (3HV) is transforming the research world and the marketplace.  Scientific research based on data synthesis yields discoveries as powerful as laboratory and field-based investigation. Yet teaching big data techniques is not yet prevalent in the classroom, in curricula, or informal science education. The STEM workforce needs tools to make good use of the massive volumes of heterogeneous data now available and students should be exposed to these datasets early and often to prepare them for their future.  This paper examines a Professional Development (PD) model that provides teachers with exposure, experience, and time to absorb this information.  In doing so, these teachers are better able to introduce and incorporate 3HV data in their own science classrooms.

Paper #13005: Literacy and Science: How to produce personal science story podcasts with teachers and students

Principal Author: Jennifer Kreps. Frisch, University of Minnesota- Duluth
Co-Authors: Brendan Callahan, Kennesaw State University; Neporcha Cone, Kennesaw State University


Have you ever told your students a story about a personal experience that helped to illustrate a particular science concept? Have you ever gotten “lost” in a podcast like “Serial” or “This American Life”? Personal science stories (along the lines of those told on the Story Collider podcast (http://www.storycollider.org/), but G-rated) can be useful to students as they try to connect abstract science concepts with real life. These kinds of stories can also be helpful to pre-service teachers as they work towards understanding how to connect science concepts, real life, and literacy. Podcasts can be powerful in teaching academic language in science because through producing a podcast, the student must write, speak, and listen, and think about how science is communicated. In this experiential session, participants will learn about a personal science story podcast assignment, and have the opportunity to practice a story circle, connecting a story with science concepts, and recording and editing with Audacity. We will discuss the research we have done using teacher-created podcast episodes, and share the revised assignments. Laptops or tablets are recommended but not necessary for participation.

Paper #10051: Could engineering help improving chemistry teachers’ use of reform-based practices in their classrooms?

Principal Author: Sarah B. Boesdorfer, Illinois State University


Engineering Activities for Chemistry was a professional development program designed to "bring together high school chemistry teachers along with faculty guidance to learn about and design activities for high school chemistry that address the engineering practices/standards from the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and teach or assess chemistry content." When there are significant similarities for example in environment, knowledge domains, or modalities between situations in which the desired knowledge is to be transferred, transfer of learning theory says that knowledge transfer is easier and more probable. These conditions for the transfer of learning might be met for science teachers by learning to include engineering in their classrooms allowing them to transfer their understanding of learner-centered teaching to their science teaching. This study began to explore this hypothesis with high school chemistry teachers participating in this professional development program.  Survey data and comments from the participating teachers was collected along with interviews with a random sample of the teachers, and a case study with observations of one teacher, Fred. The outcomes suggest that the teaching practices of some of the participants may be shifting. Fred’s teaching practice is shifting after his participation. Implications for teacher development research and for professional development programs will be discussed.

Paper #10050: Teachers’ positive and practical risk taking when learning to teach science through engineering design

Principal Author: Brenda M. Capobianco, Purdue University
Co-Authors: Anne M. Dooley, Purdue University


Risk is frequently defined in relation to ideas of danger, loss, or damage (Yates & Stone, 1992); but on occasion there have been positive references to accepting a challenge or opportunity in order to gain, to achieve progress and to experience the new (LeFevre, 2014). Interestingly relatively little is known about the risks science teachers take in response to new reform, specifically the implementation of new pedagogies and related academic standards. In this study, we present the perspectives of three generations of elementary science teachers (two grade 4 teachers with three years design teaching experience; one grade 5 teacher with one year experience; and one grade 5 student teacher placed with the second generation teacher) learning to teach science through engineering design and the risks associated with implementing this novel form of science instruction. The context of the study is a large scale, multi-year university school math and science partnership aimed at improving students’ science achievement through engineering design. Data sources include semi-structured interviews, teacher reflections, implementation plans, and classroom observations. Data analysis entails open coding and content analysis. Recurring patterns across all data sets allowed researchers to identify and characterize concepts supporting the construct of risk taking and associated benefits as expressed by the teacher participants. To ensure trustworthiness of all data sources, coded data from interviews were compared and supported by coded data from the teachers’ reflections and classroom observations. Results indicated that that teachers expressed the risks taken as personal, practical, pedagogical and conceptual. Comparisons of risk-taking across generations suggested that risk-taking increased in type and frequency as teachers increased their years of teaching experience with design-based science instruction. Implications suggest that how to create an environment that both reduces perceptions of risk and supports risk-taking as both positive and practical is critical to supporting innovation and transformation in the science classroom. A central argument of this study is that increasing teachers’ willingness to risk-take when changing teaching practices is necessary in order to bring about effective educational change.

Paper #10049: Science Methods in Hybrid and Face-to-Face Environments: Perceptions of Elementary Teacher Candidates

Principal Author: Jon Yoshioka, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Co-Authors: Lori Fulton, University of Hawaii at Manoa


In today’s rapidly changing world, online learning environments are growing in number and replacing traditional face-to-face courses. This shift toward online learning includes both traditional lecture style courses and courses that are highly constructivist in nature, such as science content and science methods. This presentation builds off of a preliminary study on the effects of a hybrid science methods course, which consisted of 16 online modules, with four of those being face-to-face. The course engaged students in hands-on activities both at home and during the face-to-face meetings in order to promote science  as a practice. Overall, teacher candidates enrolled in the course indicated that they liked it and felt it promoted a positive attitude toward teaching and learning science. However, results on the STEBI-B contradicted the candidates’ statements, as there was a drop in self-efficacy and outcome expectancy scores from pre to post-test. To better understand the impact of this type of  hybrid course, we compared outcomes of candidates enrolled in either a hybrid or face-to-face science methods course. This presentation will show how pre-service elementary teacher candidates were engaged in learning how to teach science in two different learning environments – a hybrid learning environment and a traditional face-to-face environment. In both courses, the candidates were engaged in 16 weeks of hands-on learning experiences designed to promote the teaching and learning of science as a practice. A mixed-methods approach was used to study the effect the course had on the candidates’ perceptions of and self-efficacy for teaching elementary science. Data consisted of the STEBI-B, which was given at the beginning and end of the course, as well as an open-ended formative feedback survey given four times during the course. This data was collected in the fall of 2016 and reported at the annual meeting of the Association of Science Teacher Educators. Sharing data from this hybrid science methods course may help those who are interested in pursuing a similar model.

Paper #11009: Mapping student interest in a constructivist elementary classroom

Principal Author: Ranu Roy, Indiana University, Bloomington
Co-Authors: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University, Bloomington


This study explores two important cognitive features of interest namely, curiosity and imagination. Participants include 3rd and 4th grade students participating in a university-based science enrichment program with the goal of understanding how their experiences with doing science in the program stimulated their curiosity and imagination, and thus their interest for learning science. There were 17 participants who completed a seven itemed survey and from those 17, six were purposively selected for follow-up interviews about their survey responses. Data analysis revealed that all participants demonstrated a sense of curiosity and imagination while participating in the science program but evidence of participants’ cognitive factors associated with interest varied.  Implications about the importance of providing personal connections and extended learning opportunities to support students transitioning through different levels of developing their curiosity and imagination when learning science will be discussed.


Paper #11008: Influential Factors that Support the Recruitment and Retention of Geoscience and Preservice Geoscience Education Majors

Principal Author: Rommel J. Miranda, Towson University
Co-Authors: Joel Moore, Towson University; Ronald S. Hermann, Towson University; Kyle P. Hurley, Towson University; Kevin Wiechelt, Towson University


This NSF-funded study sought to determine the motivational factors and challenges that affect the recruitment and retention of undergraduate geoscience majors and preservice secondary geoscience education majors in a large mid-Atlantic university. More specifically, the study investigates the motivational factors that influence entering undergraduate students to pursue geoscience as a major or preservice secondary geoscience teaching certification. The study also explores the hurdles and challenges continuing undergraduate geoscience majors and preservice secondary geoscience education majors face to make progress toward degree completion, and their interactions with the broader geoscience community. Quantitative methods were used to explore this study’s research questions. Twenty-seven undergraduate geoscience majors and preservice secondary geoscience education majors from a large mid-Atlantic university participated in the study by completed survey instruments following their academic advising meetings during the 2015-2016 academic year. The findings of this research suggests that in order to bolster the recruitment and retention of geoscience majors and preservice secondary geoscience education majors, greater collaboration is needed between high schools that teach geoscience courses, community colleges and 4-year universities. An implication of this study is that more research is needed to explore the extent to which undergraduate students participate in faculty-led research can influence the recruitment and retention of geoscience and geoscience education majors. Research is further needed to determine the extent to which social networks affect progress toward degree completion for undergraduate geoscience and geoscience education majors. Moreover, the findings of this study can help to modify, create, or establish transfer pathways into geoscience majors, to publicize career opportunities in the geosciences and geoscience education, to increase the retention and recruitment of students into geoscience majors, and to inform geoscience and secondary geoscience education departments in other institutions across the nation.

Paper #10048: Changes in Elementary Teachers’ Planning for Engineering with Professional Development Support

Principal Author: Mitch M. Klocke, Drake University
Co-Authors: Renald J. Daemicke, Drake University; Megan Wagner, Drake University; Jerrid W. Kruse, Drake University; Jesse Wilcox, Drake University


Given the pressures to include engineering in the curriculum exerted by the NGSS, the lack of knowledge elementary teachers have around engineering, and the utility of PD to support in-service teachers, this study sought to understand the impact of incorporating aspects of Engineering Design as outlined in the NGSS into a year-long PD program originally designed to support elementary teachers in math and science teaching. Using a pre-test post-test qualitative design, we sought to understand the impact of a short PD intervention. Our analysis indicated that the participants struggle to interpret and design lesson plans around the NGSS Engineering Design standards. Yet, after a PD session in which engineering instruction was modeled and reflected upon, the teachers were able to make improvements in their engineering lesson designs. Specifically, we found three areas that demonstrated changes in participant thinking about planning for engineering lessons aligned to the NGSS: activity, questions asked, and struggles faced.

Paper #10047: Identifying purposes and exploring decisions: An investigation of two early career physical science teachers’ use of interactive formative assessment.

Principal Author: Aaron A.. Musson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Co-Authors: Elizabeth B.. Lewis, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Teacher educators and professional development specialists, as well as beginning science teachers themselves, benefit from understanding the assessment practices employed by early career science teachers. A cross-case comparison of two early career physical science teachers with similar pre-service preparation and who taught in distinctly different environments was conducted in order to identify how they used interactive formative assessment to support student needs, and what influenced their decisions in responding to specific student needs during the interactive formative assessment event. Both teachers identified developing conceptual understanding, supporting student engagement, and developing student self-efficacy as purposes of interactive formative assessment, and both emphasized each purpose according to their perceptions of their students’ immediate needs. One participant identified supporting depth of student discussion as a professional development goal.

Paper #10046: Teaching Sustainability in Fragmented Curricula: The Role of Explicit Instruction and Experiential Learning

Principal Author: Renee M. Clary, Mississippi State University
Co-Authors: Ryan Walker, Mississippi State University


Environmental education (EE) facilitates students’ scientific and environmental literacy, and addresses content areas including ecological principles, issue identification and solution, and civic responsibility and motivation. However, US science content compartmentalization and EE’s interdisciplinary nature make it a fragmented curriculum within US schools. To gain a better understanding of effective EE, we researched the interactions between a recognized environmental residential camp and 6 participating schools, using a grounded theory approach. Our research identified the residential learning center’s objectives, the methods of instruction for these objectives, and their alignment to the delivered curricula. Data collected included lesson plans, observations, and interviews. Students (N = 215) identified wilderness and geology activities as the activities they wanted to experience more; they also identified developing curiosity and a sense of discovery as the most meaningful. While most student-identified meaningful experiences aligned with the center’s curricular objectives, two categories were not explicitly targeted in the activities: self-awareness of nature, and solitary experiencing of nature. These categories, as well as other aspects of the program that went beyond traditional instruction (food waste, custodial/food captain service, weather data collection) attest to the importance of experiential learning and implicit instruction. We propose that environmental education in traditional school environments incorporate implicit instruction and experiential learning to facilitate students’ scientific and environmental literacy in topics such as sustainability and citizen responsibility.

Paper #10045: Exploring Interrelationships Among Pre-service Teachers’ Beliefs, Attitude, and Self-efficacy: a pre-post study

Principal Author: Mahsa Kazempour, Penn State University (Berks campus)


There have also been growing calls for considering prospective teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, and levels of confidence in science and science teaching as a way to adjust science education practices during the teacher education programs. Teacher education programs, mainly science methods courses, have the potential to lead to appropriate beliefs, increased confidence levels, and positive attitude with regard to science and science teaching which in turn lead to more effective and reform-based instructional practices.  The aim of this mixed method study was to explore changes in prospective teachers’ beliefs, attitudes, and self-efficacy with regard to science and science teaching as a result of enrolling in a science methods course for elementary education majors and examining the interrelationships between these three constructs. The sample consisted of 96 pre-service teachers enrolled in the science methods course over the span of four semesters. Quantitative and qualitative data on participants’ beliefs, attitude, and self-efficacy will be presented. This presentation will be of interest to teacher educators and science education researchers focusing on teacher preparation.

Paper #10044: Exploring Preservice and Inservice Teachers’ Ideas of Multiculturalism: Explorations across Two Science Methods Courses

Principal Author: Felicia M. Mensah, Teachers College, Columbia University
Co-Authors: Julie C.. Brown, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; Gillian H.. Roehrig, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities


In this study, we use Banks’ (2002) typology on multicultural curriculum reform as one strategy for developing multicultural, culturally relevant science teachers.  Bank’s typology discusses four approaches for integrating multicultural content into the school and university curriculum. However, to move in this direction toward transformative and social action approaches, we were interested in knowing how preservice and inservice teachers (PSTs and ISTs, respectively) understand these ideas initially in order to build upon these understandings in the development of multicultural science teachers and the development of multicultural science curriculum. Being exploratory in nature, we gathered comments from two different classrooms across two different contexts—a graduate level elementary science methods course in the Northeastern US and a graduate level secondary science methods course in the Midwestern US. Both sections participated in an interactive Multicultural Education PowerPoint lesson that focused on Banks’ typology. The lesson was taught face-to-face in the first setting and via Skype in the second setting by the same science teacher educator. PSTs responded to three prompts during the lesson and wrote a final reflection. All responses were analyzed using constructivist grounded theory. Done separately and then comparing codes and analysis across the two settings, four themes emerged: desiring more knowledge for self; including self in the curriculum; rethinking transformative teaching; and needing additional supports. Activities such as interactive lessons on multicultural education for PSTs allow them to reveal initial views of multiculturalism and culturally relevant teaching, and provides teacher educators ideas to build and make stronger connections for teacher education curriculum and experiences. Implications are discussed in terms of promoting multicultural approaches in science teacher education.


Paper #10043: A National Academies Report: Science Teachers’ Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts

Principal Author: Julie A. Luft, University of Georgia


In 2012, a committee was convened to provide scientific advice to the United States federal government and the public regarding a teacher learning continuum in science. The committee was situated within the National Academies, and under the auspices of the Board on Science Education, and in collaboration with the Teacher Advisory Council. This committee consisted of 16 scholars and practitioners who were affiliated with education or science education.  Over a three-year period, committee members provided their own expertise, listened to invited guest speakers on topics important to the field, created research summaries, analyzed different studies important to the field, and crafted a draft report. The final report, entitled ‘Science Teacher Learning: Enhancing Opportunities, Creating Supportive Contexts’ characterizes the current state of learning opportunities and support for science teachers across their careers, and suggests how schools, districts, and organizations should support science teacher learning. The report also documents the strengths and weaknesses of the available research in the field, and the research that is needed to better define a professional learning continuum.  

In this session, an overview of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine in the United States will be provided, along with the process of writing this report. Findings that are relevant to the ASTE community will also be shared and include: the current state of professional development program participation among science teachers in the United States, the current structure of professional development programming, suggestions for the structure of professional development learning opportunities for teachers, and research that is needed in this field.  Ideally, this information will help ASTE members (who are involved in creating professional learning environments) to better configure and study professional learning environments for K-12 science teachers. For those ASTE members who are interested in a closer examination of this report, information about accessing the report online for free will also be shared.

Paper #16005: Training the Next Generation of Public Intellectuals and Activists in Science Using Critical Race Pedagogy

Principal Author: Lisette E.. Torres, Iowa State University and Nebraska Wesleyan University


Few people know the radical science movement of the 1970s and 1980s in the United States, or that many scientists during the 1940s and 1950s were Marxist or socialist thinkers, like Albert Einstein.  From the beginning, science was for and by the people.  However, that has changed over time as science has become more conservative in nature and has separated itself from the public.  Given new developments in science and technology and their ethical and social implications, there is now a renewed push for scientists to engage with the public.  This “public engagement with science” movement provides a new opportunity for scientists to reconnect with the radical history of science and to work with and for the public to address today’s pressing social and environmental issues.  It also forces science educators to think about new pedagogical approaches to train the next generation of scientists.

As a scientist, social justice educator, and “intellectual activist” (Collins, 2013), I attempted to think through the history and future of science communication, public engagement, and activism by creating a first-year undergraduate seminar entitled Science for the People – Communication, Engagement, and Activism in Science.  This paper discusses this new interdisciplinary course – from its design to its implementation and evaluation – through the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT), which guided my pedagogical practice and decisions.  I share my reflections regarding what my students and I learned, my successes (e.g., most of my students declared science majors, mentoring a man of color) as well as the challenges of being a woman of color engaging CRT pedagogy in a predominantly White classroom on a historically White campus (e.g., White fragility – DiAngelo, 2011, spot lighting students of color).  I also consider future improvements to the course and the difficulties with incorporating similar courses within established science curricula in higher education (e.g., covering course content, training in critical pedagogies, institutionalized discrimination, neoliberalism).

Paper #10042: “Let Me Prove to You How I Can Be Here”: Explorations of Identity and Intersectionality in Female African-American STEM Students

Principal Author: David M. Sparks, University of Texas at Arlington


Knowing that female students of color are underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) is not enough. Researchers and practitioners must focus on how students develop their social, academic, and intellectual identities as they become a scientist, doctor, or engineer. This includes the development of their core identity-- perceptions they have of themselves as well as perceptions of those with whom they work and interact.  One of the main obstacles researchers and practitioners face includes how to help students adapt to the norms of STEM-worlds (classrooms and work environments related to STEM) as they proceed through the path to becoming a STEM professional.  This presentation will discuss the need for an intersectionality lens, as well as the need to focus on identity development, when considering how to retain talented female students of color in university STEM programs. The qualitative study looked at the lived experiences of five African-American female students in undergraduate and graduate STEM programs and included measurements of stereotype vulnerability, an essay written by the students to a hypothetical female African-American STEM student, and a series of semi-structured interviews where they shared their experience in the world of STEM. Preliminary results suggest that female African American students share similar experiences as they navigate these STEM-worlds, including instances of sexism, racism, and overcoming self-doubts as they successfully work through their degree programs.

Paper #11007: A Systematic Review of Engineering Design for Science Teacher Education

Principal Author: Jeffrey D. Radloff, Purdue University
Co-Authors: Brenda Capobianco, Purdue University


Given the presence of engineering practices throughout current national science standards and associated reform documents, a collective definition could be helpful to prepare both current and future science educators to teach science through engineering design. The study draws on a number of data sources, including top-tier scholarly journals in science, engineering, and technology education. Analyses of this data includes the use of content analysis methodology. Findings point to a continuum essential elements and related models of engineering design, as well as differences across disciplines. A collective definition is elucidated, and ways of making this knowledge, resources, and expertise more meaningful and useful for science teacher education are explored.

Paper #10041: Investigating the Experiences of Middle School Students Participating in Four Rural, After-School STEM Career Clubs

Principal Author: Margaret R. Blanchard, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Kristie S. Gutierrez, NC State; Kylie S. Hoyle, NC State; Lauren A. Harper, NC State; Jason L. Painter, NC State; N. Scott Ragan, NC State


This mixed methods study investigates the experiences of middle school students who took part in STEM Career Club meetings from Spring 2015 through Spring 2016 as part of an NSF-funded project. At all four rural, high poverty middle schools, the participants took a survey about STEM interests and career intentions (n = 172) and STEM club perceptions (n = 172), and completed content questions after each club meeting.  A subset of students (n = 112) were interviewed with questions and analyses guided by the Expectancy-Value Theory of Achievement Motivation. Research questions guiding this study are: Has participation in the STEM Career Club impacted students’ interest in STEM subjects and future careers?, How much relevant content knowledge do students have following STEM Career Clubs? and, What motivational factors seem to be most influential for STEM Career Club students? Analyses of the STEM Career Club Survey indicate that students had positive experiences associated with STEM Career Club, believe it is important, and perceive the STEM Club staff is caring and knowledgeable.  Students’ perceptions of STEM subjects and potential careers were high (M=4.08), although there was a slight (but significant) decrease in the STEM-CIS overall total (M=3.97) from pre to post. Students who attended Fall 2015 club meetings regularly demonstrated higher performance on content questions than students who attended sporadically (F (1, 95) = 6.35, p = .01, η2adj = 0.05). In interviews, students described an interactive learning environment that made them feel included, and which they felt allowed them to learn STEM content knowledge and obtain skills that they are not generally exposed to in the regular school day.  Overall, the STEM Career Club activities are positive and valuable for the students, and they recognize the skills and knowledge they obtain through club involvement.  Using multiple data sources, we gained insight into the motivations of rural, high poverty middle school students, documented their learning, and through their words we operationalized their motivations for engaging in STEM clubs.   

Paper #10040: Investigating Student Success at an Innovative Project-based High School

Principal Author: Judith Morrison, Washington State University Tri-Cities
Co-Authors: Janet Frost, Washington State University Spokane; Chad Gotch, Washington State University Pullman; Amy Roth McDuffie, Washington State University Tri-Cities; Bruce Austin, Washington State University Pullman


In order to identify factors leading to student success when enrolled in a PBL+ STEM Entrepreneurial high school, we conducted an exploration of the context of the school, the social relationships formed at the school between students and teachers, and the impact these relationships have on students’ work and predictions of future work and learning. Research questions included: a) What are the factors influencing students’ success at an innovative PBL school?; b) What are the nature of student-teacher relationships in this PBL school?, and c) What is the impact of these relationships on students’ work and predictions of future work/learning?

Over the two years of the study, data were collected from students currently enrolled in the school, students who had just graduated from the school, and the six teachers at the school. The school housed grades 11 and 12 during this time. From our interviews with teachers and students and from the graduates of the school, we heard that student-teacher relationships are a critical part of the school; highly valued and expected as part of the school culture. The environment of the school (setting, schedule, projects) was highly conducive to relationship building and the goals of the students and teachers focused on developing and maintaining their relationships. As Shernoff et al. (2016) has stressed, a critical feature of learning environments that promote student engagement can be described as environmental complexity, the “simultaneous presence of environmental challenge and support”. Preparing teachers to provide this support and to orchestrate these challenges is of first importance to teacher educators. Students in programs who are preparing to become secondary teachers may have strong content backgrounds but often have little understanding of the importance of the phrase “Teaching is caring” compared to those preparing to become elementary teachers. Unfortunately, teacher preparation programs, especially those in science and mathematics, often do not cover issues of teacher support, caring, and building personal relationships with students.

Paper #15001: Biology Pedagogy for Secondary Teachers

Principal Author: Vanessa A.. Klein, Montclair State University


This syllabus outlines a course for inservice biology teachers.  The course is offered through the biology department and is part of a Masters in Biology degree with a pedagogy emphasis.  This course was designed with a combination of theoretical and practitioner writings which allowed students to build bridges between theory and practice.  The pedagogical style of the course emphasized student choice, allowed students to make the assignments relevant to their own professional development goals, and stressed in-person and online discussion between students with minimal input from the instructor.  This resulted in the inservice biology teachers creating their own learning community and embracing research-based science education instructional strategies in their own practices.  Students reported very positive experiences from the course itself and also reported an evolution in their teaching practices.  

Paper #10039: Reimagining Pedagogical Content Knowledge for the 21st Century

Principal Author: Scott W.. Slough, Stephen F. Austin State University


Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK)


According to Shulman (1986), Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) includes "the most useful forms of representation of [topics], the most powerful analogies, illustrations, examples, explanations, and demonstrations - in a word, the ways of representing and formulating the subject that make it comprehensible to others. PCK is commonly used to explain/contrast the great scientist who struggles in the classroom (high content knowledge and low pedagogical knowledge), the great teacher who reinforces misconceptions (high pedagogical knowledge and low content knowledge), and the model teacher (high content knowledge and high pedagogical knowledge and the ability to integrate the two).


Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPCK)

Koehler and Mishra (2006) proposed adding a third domain, technology, to the original PCK framework with Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge (TPACK) as the resulting intersection between technology, pedagogy, and content. The model also describes intersections between technology and pedagogy, Technological Pedagogical Knowledge (TPK); technology and content, Technological Content Knowledge (TCK); and pedagogy and content, Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) – Shulman’s original framework.




21st Century Pedagogical Content Knowledge

The 21st century has seen the world transition from the promise of technology to a rapidly evolving, technological society which demands creative innovation. Technology is ubiquitous in today’s society and should be in today’s schools. It is no longer possible to discuss pedagogy without the absolute assumption of technology. It is no longer possible to discuss content without the absolute assumption of technology. 21st Century Pedagogical Content Knowledge (21st century PCK) reverts back to Shulman’s original model with the absolute assumption that technology is subsumed within both pedagogy and content. It takes teachers who understand and use the technology that drives knowledge advancement in their fields.  21st century PCK becomes the intersection between the technologically-enhanced pedagogy and the technologically-enhanced content knowledge with 21st Century PCK at the intersection representing the best of our 21st century competencies (e.g., collaboration, communication, digital literacy, citizenship, problem-solving, critical thinking, creativity and productivity).


Paper #10038: Quality AND Quantity: The impact of a year-long professional development on elementary teachers’ teaching of science

Principal Author: Jesse Wilcox, Drake University
Co-Authors: Jerrid Kruse, Drake University; Benjamin Herman, University of Missouri; Hallie S. Edgerly, Drake University; Jaclyn Easter, Drake University



A partnership among an urban school district and two universities has developed a professional development program to increase participating elementary teachers’ self-efficacy and pedagogical efficacy in mathematics and science.  Specifically, teachers engaged in four professional development courses: Mathematical Practices, Physical Science, Earth Science, and Life Science over the course of 12 months.  Each course focused on the content knowledge necessary to engage in effective instruction as well as pedagogical competencies.  Importantly, each course built on previous courses to help teachers learn to integrate science and mathematics learning. Through the twelve-month professional development program, teachers engaged in active learning directly connected to their district’s goals.  Furthermore, the sustained cohort model encouraged collegiality and created a network of support as the participating elementary teachers worked to improve their practice.  Finally, participating teachers will be invited to return for a second year to develop their capacity as mentors and coaches so that project objectives might be promoted well beyond the teachers directly involved in project activities.

This study presents results from year one of a three-year project funded through NCLB Title IIa funds. Results demonstrate that the year-long professional development strongly improved elementary teachers’ self-efficacy (STEBI-A) and their enacted science teaching practices (LSC-COP). Self-efficacy scores increased from 88 to 103 on a 125-point scale with each item except one demonstrating improvement. Initial analysis of LSC-COP scores indicate a rise from 2.73 (elements of effective instruction) to 5.65 (nearing accomplished effective instruction). We will discuss key features of the PD design as well as provide results demonstrating effectiveness and areas where the program will continue to be improved.

Paper #10037: Exploring the Experiences of Urban Elementary Teachers in an Intensive Science and Math Professional Development Program

Principal Author: Jaclyn M. Easter, Drake University
Co-Authors: Hallie S. Edgerly, Drake University; Jerrid W. Kruse, Drake University; Jesse Wilcox, Drake University


Elementary teachers feel uncomfortable with and lack confidence for teaching science (Howitt, 2007). Yet, elementary teachers who feel prepared to teach science are more likely to shift to more effective, student-centered practices (Sandholtz & Ringstaff, 2014). However, elementary science teachers and preservice teachers need support to increase self-efficacy and implement best science teaching practices, including inquiry-based learning (Capps,  Crawford, & Constas, 2012). Effective professional development (PD) programs have been linked to increased content and pedagogical knowledge to improve teacher outcomes, such as conducting inquiry-based investigations, engaging students in discussion, and more effectively responding to their students’ questions (Hewson, 2007; Sinclair, Naizer, & Ledbetter, 2011; Weiss, 1999). The purpose of this study is to highlight the teachers’ perspectives while engaging in a long-term PD program that aligns with the PD literature.

The PD program in this study was designed to increase science and math content and pedagogical knowledge of elementary teachers of a large urban district. We asked the following research questions: 1) what changes do teachers report as a result of a PD grant program on on science and math content, 2) what aspects of the program do they believed helped them make the changes, and 3) what factors do teachers cite as rationale for continuing their progress forward? In individual interviews, participants were asked questions regarding their current views of themselves as teachers of science and math, how they have changed as a result of the program, what caused these changes, and at what point the changes took place during the program. From our analysis, the interaction between the new actions taken by the teachers and programmatic supports provide insight to the awareness/understanding of the decisions made by the teachers as a part of their practice in their classrooms.

Paper #10036: How teacher confidence to facilitate Student-driven negotiation is impacted by participation in PLC Groups and Summer Workshop Experiences

Principal Author: Mason A. Kuhn, University of Northern Iowa
Co-Authors: Mark McDermott, University of Iowa



This paper describes a study where teacher confidence to facilitate student-driven negotiation in a science classroom was measured in a group of Kindergarten through Grade 8 in-service teachers throughout a three-year professional development (PD) program.  The authors developed a unique PD model, based on a research-supported approach, where teachers received instruction during a five-day summer workshop and follow-up support during the school year through professional learning communities (PLC).  The school district that the teachers worked in allowed them to choose their PLC group from four options.   One of those options aligned with the pedagogical focus of the summer workshop (led by one of the directors of the summer workshop).   Sixty-three percent of the teachers who had been involved in the summer PD chose to participate in the PLC aligned to the workshop (the other 37% selected a PLC that was not focused on science).   All of the teachers attended the summer workshop in year 2 and 3 and either stayed in the science PLC or the non-science PLC during the following school years.  In the data analysis, it was discovered that the teachers in the ABI-PLC group had higher overall confidence ratings, but both groups increased over time.  A more detailed analysis was conducted to evaluate both between and within-group effects on teacher confidence.  In this paper, we hope to explore the theoretical background for the PD approach, as well as describe specific findings and implications. 

Paper #10035: Awareness of Students’ Existing Science Conceptions: A Case Study

Principal Author: Yohanis De La Fuente, Texas Christian University


Science teachers are asked to consider students’ experiences, prior knowledge and existing conceptions for instruction.  Conversely, present learning standards and curriculum create interference with utilizing the preexisting knowledge and conceptions students bring with them to the classroom (NRC, 2012).

Given the importance that students’ existing conceptions have for the instructional process and the overloading of the program of study with preset standards, a case study will be undertaken.  This case study is an effort to describe the struggles of a 4th grade experienced science teacher to attain the requirements of a preset curriculum while accounting for students’ existing conceptions for instruction.

To gather the necessary information for this case study, interviews, observations, and collection of documents were conducted.  Analysis and triangulation of all data collected were completed to describe, this science teacher impressions and common practices. 

The findings of this study could give teachers a vision of instruction that emphasizes the need for developing learning goals and instructional activities while accounting for the students’ existing conceptions in a way that is both rigorous and supportive.

The presentation will address how a science teacher takes into account her students’ existing conceptions for planning instruction and during instructional time to adjust teaching in order to accommodate her students’ needs.  Likewise, the struggles this teacher goes through to fulfill the requirements of a prescribed science curriculum and accommodate her students’ needs in order for them to achieve a meaningful understanding of the science concepts.

Paper #10034: Elementary Science Teacher Knowledge about Physical Science: Using Teaching demonstrations and Lesson Plan Feedback to Improve Teacher Content Knowledge

Principal Author: Pamela E. Harrell, University of North Texas
Co-Authors: Elisabeth Pope, University of North Texas; Karthigeyan Subramaniam, University of North Texas; Ruthanne Thompson, University of North Texas


This presentation focuses on elementary preservice teacher content knowledge about physical science concepts before and after an instructional intervention. This study presents a series of investigations that explore 64 elementary pre-service teacher’s knowledge of fundamental physical science concepts before and after an instructional intervention utilizing lesson plan feedback and microteaching. The ethnicity of the participants included White (73%), Hispanic (14%), African American (10%) and Asian (3%).In this quantitative study we present pre/posttest data using tests developed by the Educational Testing Service (ETS). These tests are aligned with the Texas Examination of Educator Standards TExES, the content licensure test required for EC-6 elementary teachers and are used as a benchmark examination that is given prior to authorization to take the official licensure examination. Additionally, we present and interpret these findings from the pre/posttests within the context of the pre-service teacher’s actual performance scores for the science domain of the TExES.  The physical science item scores showed the largest increase from pretest to posttest (M = 68.44; SD = 18.36 and M = 74.69; SD = 14.90).  Using an 80% mastery level for performance on the state exam, a paired sample t test showed a statistically significant difference between the means for the mastery and non-mastery students’ TExES EC-6 scores (t = -5.04, df = 59.76, p < .05, CI for mean difference -25.43, -10.97). As teacher preparation programs continue to focus on the improvement of elementary teacher content knowledge, this study represents the authors’ ongoing investigation into the improvement of elementary pre-service teacher content knowledge and the use of intervention strategies to improve content knowledge.

Paper #10033: Mixed-Methods Analysis of Science Teacher Educator Professional Development Practices

Principal Author: Tyler L. St. Clair, SUNY Potsdam
Co-Authors: Jennifer L. Maeng, University of Virginia; Lindsay B. Wheeler, University of Virginia; Randy L. Bell, Oregon State University


This investigation explored a learning community approach for PD specifically catered to science teacher educators. The Science Education Faculty Academy (SEFA) was a five-day PD experience with the objectives to help faculty collaborate, learn about new research relevant to teacher development, share effective teaching strategies, and network to build infrastructure to support science education across a mid-Atlantic state. Data were from 44 participants across five years. Quantitative and qualitative data were analyzed using a concurrent transformative mixed methods approach with the goal of gaining insight into changes in participants’ understandings of key objectives and perceptions about strengths and areas for improvement of SEFA. Likert scale questions measured participants’ perceived understandings of key aspects of the PD including inquiry, nature of science (NOS), problem-based learning (PBL), and various other constructs relevant to participants’ professional work. Paired sample t tests indicated statistically significant gains across almost all measured constructs for participants’ pre- and post-SEFA scores as well as at a one-year delayed post-time interval. Qualitative data indicated SEFA was an important experience that affected participants’ ability to be effective as science teacher educators.  Further, participants reported the ability to collaborate with colleagues was an especially valuable part of their experience. SEFA engaged participants as active learners and promoted collaboration in alignment with broader state science education initiatives. 

Paper #10032: Examining Preservice Teachers’ Technology Self-efficacy: Impact of Mobile-based Physics Curriculum

Principal Author: Meera Chandrasekhar, University of Missouri
Co-Authors: Deepika Menon, Towson University; Dorina Kosztin, University of Missouri; Douglas C. Steinhoff, University of Missouri


The purpose of this study is to investigate how the affordances of a mobile technology-based physics curriculum support preservice elementary teachers’ confidence in using mobile technologies in their own teaching. This quasi-experimental research study was conducted in two sections of a specialized physics content course with 67 preservice elementary teachers. The experimental group (N = 34) used the Exploring Physics curriculum on an iPad and the comparison group (N = 33) used a hard copy workbook with a similar curriculum. The Exploring Physics curriculum is available as a hybrid online-offline application running on multiple platforms (iOS, Andriod, PC/Mac) and provides a range of affordances such as built-in videos, animations and simulations, model-building tools including drawing, graphing, adding text, data tables and equations for problem-solving, and reference tips and reading pages. The technology self-efficacy construct was utilized to investigate changes in preservice teachers’ confidence for both groups. Data sources included a pre-post technology self-efficacy survey, two focus group and individual interviews (conducted at the beginning and as well as at the end of semester), weekly class observations of the two sections, and artifacts. Data analyses included repeated measures ANOVA and posthoc t-tests with Bonferroni adjustments, and grounded theory techniques. The results showed significant positive changes in confidence to teach science using mobile technologies for the experimental group. In contrast, there was a significant decrease in the comparison group participants’ confidence to teach science using mobile technologies at the end of the course. The factors that supported the experimental group participants’ confidence for using mobile technologies included: (1) first-hand experiences with iPads, (2) high interactivity and engagement, and (3) learning efficiency through model-building tools. Findings have implications for preservice science teacher preparation to integrate technology into their future science teaching.

Paper #10031: Synergistic Physical Experiment and Interactive Simulation (SPEIS) Program to Improve Pre-Service Elementary Teachers’ Self-Efficacy in Teaching Science

Principal Author: Soon Chun Lee, Wichita State University


Results from a recent nationwide survey indicate that science and mathematics teachers in the U.S. do not have strong science content preparation, which potentially results in poor encouragement in K-12 science education. Pre-service elementary teachers often report lack of confidence in science content and teaching it due to the superfluous content that is not appropriate for their needs. To meet the need, Synergistic Physical Experiment and Interactive Simulation (SPEIS) program that can be equipped into a STEM content course was developed for preservice elementary teachers. SPEIS program uses a combination of physical experiments and interactive simulations with their unique affordances i.e., physical experiments to increase motivation and engagement and interactive simulations to enhance students’ conceptual understanding. In the course with SPEIS program, students conducted three physical science projects associated with the concepts of impulse and momentum, electric circuit, and electromagnetism. Each project includes several hands-on activities to explore related natural phenomena, physical experiments to investigate cause and effect relationships, and interactive simulations to confirm the understanding of the concepts. The total number of participants was 51 in the two semesters of fall, 2014 and spring, 2015. The results from the pre- and post-tests and surveys showed significantly improved students’ general science content knowledge and self-efficacy in teaching physical science in both semesters. Responses to the questions in the quizzes and in the interactive simulation activities showed that most of the students had better understandings of the physical science concepts after completing the simulations. The SPEIS program will be able to leverage existing science course materials, practices, and interventions to support undergraduate students’ learning and retention in STM. The SPEIS program can also be implemented into K-12 STEM classes and undergraduate STEM courses.

Paper #10030: Elementary Majors’ Willingness to Specialize in Science and Views on Evolution.

Principal Author: Ronald S. Hermann, Towson University


Acceptance and understanding of evolutionary ideas remains low in the United States despite renewed science education standards, nearly unanimous acceptance among scientists, and decades of research on the teaching and learning of evolution. Early exposure to evolutionary concepts may be one way to reduce resistance to learning and accepting evolution. While there is emerging evidence that elementary students can learn and retain evolutionary ideas, there is also emerging evidence that elementary teachers may be unprepared to teach evolution. It may not be possible to train elementary teachers like their secondary counterparts who receive specialized training in science. A generalist model is more prevalent among elementary teacher education programs. This exploratory study of students enrolled in a generalist program indicates that students willing to specialize in science also have a higher understanding of natural selection and acceptance of evolution than their peers who are less willing to specialize in science. Thus, science teacher educators could help local elementary school principals identify graduating, and recently graduated, elementary teachers who are willing to specialize in science. Identified teachers could serve as specialists to work with their building and district colleagues to develop, among other topics, evolution related curricular materials and facilitate the implementation of those materials through co-teaching and peer coaching.

Paper #13004: A course focused on restructuring science activities: Structure, activities and evidence of success.

Principal Author: Michael P.. Clough, Iowa State University


While teaching is complex, it is all the more so when effectively teaching science through and as inquiry in order to mentally engage students and promote science practices. Teaching science through in this manner is more complex because through that approach students’ misconceptions and thinking spill out into the classroom. This, in part, may explain the all too common practices of lecturing, textbook assignments, worksheets, and cookbook activities in science teaching. Each of these approaches severely constrains students’ input into a lesson and reduces the complexities in teaching.  Prefabricated direct experience cookbook laboratory activities are enticing to both teachers and students because in making most all the conceptual decisions for students, complexity is significantly reduced.

Effective teaching is a highly interactive activity, but teachers often have only vague ideas about how to create and maintain that kind of environment (Gallimore & Tharp, 1990). Too often teachers are provided foggy characterizations of their role in teaching through inquiry (e.g. “facilitator,” “guide at the side,” and “giving students opportunities to construct”). Such ambiguity obscures the importance of intricate teacher behaviors and decisions teachers use and must consider in shaping classroom experiences that promote desired science education goals.

This session presents a course that prepares preservice/inservice teachers to restructure common directive activities and readings so they mentally engage students and promote science practices. The session paper addresses: (1) the rational for the course; (2) the course syllabus, course, and activities; (3) the crucial role of the instructor in modeling teacher behaviors that assist students during their inquiry; (4) how to overtly address the nature of science and science practices in the context of modified activities; and (5) ample evidence of the course's effectiveness.


Paper #13003: The Art of Designing Science “KNOW”tations: The Artful Making and Representation of Ideas

Principal Author: Merrie Koester, University of South Carolina Center for Science Education


The purpose of this experiential workshop is for participants to discover why learning basic principles of graphic design should be considered an essential dimension of science teacher education and how the design of a specific formative assessment tool called the “Know”tation can make the emergent nature of science inquiry explicit and  student learning “status” visible, rather than hidden, out of sight, in what might as well be a black box.  Participants will be guided through an inquiry lesson on ideas about full and heavy (as a precursor to the arriving at ideas about density), as well as the process of creating “Know”tations, which capture the story of the exploration phase of the inquiry.  This session should be of interest to teacher educators, doctoral students, and those who conduct science professional development.  No drawing skill is required. 

Paper #10028: Developing New Generation Science Teachers: A Comparison between American and Chinese Approaches

Principal Author: Ling L. Liang, La Salle University


Two preservice science teacher education programs, one in a top-tier Chinese teacher preparation university and the other in a large US public research university, were examined and compared. Differences between the two approaches in science teacher preparation were identified and explained. Directions for future research were also offered.

Paper #10027: An Exploration of Scientists’ Perceptions of Motivation, Influences, and Characteristics as Scientist Mentors in a Remote Learning Environment

Principal Author: Gina Childers, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Catrina Adams, Botanical Society of America; Claire Hemingway, National Science Foundation; Chad Jordan, North Carolina State University


With only a computer and an Internet connection, remote learning environments facilitate students’ scientific investigations and communication with scientists. Historically unprecedented, students and scientists can connect virtually: students as scientists and scientists as virtual mentors. However, little is known of the motivation and influences that inspire scientists to become scientist mentors online, and what they perceive as effective online mentorship characteristics. This study explored scientist mentors’ (n = 103) perceptions of motivation, influence, and characteristics of effective mentorship practices in a remote learning environment (PlantingScience) to support middle and high school student learning experiences in plant science. Scientist mentors reported helping students learn and their innate love of teaching as highly ranked motivational factors to volunteer as a mentor; however, factors, such as improving technology skills were not perceived as being highly motivational to be a mentor. Scientist mentors indicated that their innate love of teaching influenced their decision to become a virtual mentor. Scientist mentors perceived the most effective mentorship practices to stimulate student interest in plant science in remote learning environments as the ability to show enthusiasm about plant science, the ability to encourage students, and the ability to give appropriate feedback. In contrast, the least effective mentorship practices perceived by scientist-mentors were the ability to identify students’ potential in plant science and the ability to manage high stress environments.

Paper #10024: Learning to Teach ELL Students Science: Case studies of Two Preservice Biology Teachers’ Experiences

Principal Author: Jonathan L. Hall, University of Central Florida
Co-Authors: Su Gao, University of Central Florida


This study investigated how preservice secondary teachers develop and implement their knowledge about teaching English Language Learners (ELLs).  This knowledge was gained through a science methods course and an internship.  Two theoretical assumptions guided this study.  First, inquiry-based science teaching is assumed to allow all students, including ELLs, to acquire science knowledge. The second assumption is that integrating instructional approaches that support language learning into science content lessons will help ELLs’ science learning. This study used these assumptions to design two interventions involving science inquiry and language learning for preservice teachers to learn how to teach ELLs science.  A case study approach with three data sources were used to examine the research questions from the experiences of two preservice biology teachers.  Three findings were identified: (1) both preservice teachers showed their improvement in understanding inquiry-based science teaching and science instructional approaches for ELLs; (2) both of them implemented an inquiry-based lesson in the classroom; (3) science instructional approaches for ELLs were stated in a lesson plan, however, there was not enough evidence to claim that preservice biology teachers implemented these approaches into their teaching practices.

Paper #10023: Experiences of Pre-service Elementary Teachers Learning to Teach the Nature of Science

Principal Author: Kayla K. Brauer, Drake University
Co-Authors: Jerrid Kruse, Drake University; Neal Patel, Drake University; Mitchell Klocke, 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 study sought to shed light on preservice elementary teachers’ (PSET) thinking after implementation of two approaches to teach nature of science (NOS). Focus group interviews were conducted with the PSETs after black-box and historical short story lessons. Analysis focused on struggles PSETs faced while teaching, rationale for teaching NOS, comparing NOS to science content, views on supporting student learning of NOS as well as those activities that supported their own learning of NOS and how to teach NOS.

Findings suggest that PSETs hold strong rationales for teaching NOS. However the top struggles that PSETs cited include classroom management and attention issues related to black-box activities and historical short stories, creating their own NOS activities to incorporate throughout the school year, as well as feeling limited by some of the historical short stories. While many PSETs favored black-box activities because of their active and hands-on nature, the PSETs noted that the historical short stories likely resulted in greater NOS learning. Focus group interviews with the PSETs shed light on particular activities within the methods course that provided support for their implementation of NOS instruction.

Paper #10022: Value and Limitations of Engineering Activities in Science Instruction: 4 Teachers’ Experiences

Principal Author: Helen Meyer, University of Cincinnati
Co-Authors: Lindsay Owens, University of Cincinnati; Cijy Sunny, University of Cincinnati


In this presentation we share the experiences of four secondary science teachers who over a two year time period developed and implemented engineering mini-units to teach science content. The teachers ranged in grade levels rom 6th grade through 10th grade; two taught in an urban high needs school; one in a suburban middle school; and one in a rural high needs middle school. The four teachers participated in an intensive and extensive engineering enhanced STEM program for two years. The researchers worked with the teachers from the start of their program through their second year of mini-unit implementation. The data gathered for the case included interviews, classroom observations, surveys, and student and teacher artifacts. The data analysis used both typological and emergent themes to understand which focused on the teachers changing views of value of using integrated engineering activities to develop their students’ science content knowledge and learning processes. Our conclusions shed light on the common and individual ways in the teachers’ valued integrating engineering into their instruction. These included the idea of developing the students’ problem solving skills, independence as learners and ability to connect content to community issues.  However, the teachers’ also found engineering limited as an instructional strategy due to its lack of alignment with testing and accountability requirements; difficulty in finding appropriate engineering tasks that fit with the curriculum and the current content knowledge; and the use of it as an isolated strategy in one class.

Paper #10021: Collaborating to teach elementary science methods in the field with K-6 classroom teachers: Benefits for in-service and pre-service teachers

Principal Author: Matthew E. Vick, UW-Whitewater
Co-Authors: Patricia Falk, Mukwonago Area School District


This paper analyzes in-service teacher and pre-service teacher feedback on an integrated methods course/practicum in the teaching of science in the elementary/middle school that was hosted by a local elementary school.  The course syllabus was co-constructed by the university professor and in-service teachers. 

Professional development was conducted for the in-service teachers before and during the first semester of the integrated methods/practicum course.  In-service teachers received instruction about inquiry, the Next Generation Science Standards, and coaching practices.

Pre-service teachers experienced weekly interaction in K-6 classrooms in which they led progressively more involved inquiry-based science activities and lessons.  Bybee’s 5E method is an anchor for students to learn about inquiry through the National Science Teacher Association’s Science and Children articles and create lesson plans with guidance from their in-service teacher mentor. 

Structured interviews were conducted with four of the in-service teachers who worked with the methods course students.  Pre-service teachers were surveyed at the end of the course.  These were coded using naturalistic inquiry.  Pre-service teachers reported back that they felt an increased relevance in their methods coursework as compared to other formats, but that they actually had expected even more interaction with the in-service teachers and their classrooms.  In-service teachers reported positive professional development benefits as related to the vision of teaching with inquiry using the Scientific and Engineering Practices.  This course is continuing into its fifth semester this fall which demonstrates that this is a sustainable format.

Paper #16004: Using Concept Maps as an Assessment Tool

Principal Author: Nicholas F. Bourke, Auburn University at Montgomery
Co-Authors: Michelle Tharpe, Auburn University at Montgomery


A concept map is a type of graphic organizer commonly used in classroom settings to organize information or knowledge about a topic. Concept maps have been used by classroom teachers for a variety of reasons. This presentation will share the results of a study in which concept maps were utilized as an assessment tool documenting impact of science instruction on elementary aged students and strategies to utilize concept maps as an assessment tool. In the study, elementary aged students created concept maps in a pretest/posttest format to document impact of science instruction. Maps were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively by the researchers.  Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with classroom teachers. Classroom teacher participants in this study indicated that the maps are an effective assessment tool in that they are individualized to each student, can show students’ prior knowledge, can help identify student misconceptions, and document changes in student knowledge after instruction. Examples of student created maps will be shared. Presenters will also share other classroom and field trip related uses for using concept maps as an assessment tool.


Paper #16003: The Benefits and Challenges of using Participatory Action Research as a form of Professional Development for Science Faculty

Principal Author: Morgan L. Presley, Drury University
Co-Authors: Deborah L. Hanuscin, University of Missouri


The purpose of this presentation is to discuss the benefits and challenges of using participatory action research (PAR) as a form of professional development for science faculty. PAR is a useful and viable form of professional development in higher education because it provides all the necessary characteristics that are needed for faculty professional development. PAR is tailored to the faculty member’s needs, it actively involves faculty in the reform, it allows faculty to try out new practices as soon as possible, and it provides adequate time for reflection. In order to understand the benefits and challenges of using PAR as a form of professional development for science faculty, a case study approach was used. Data collected included lesson planning sessions, class observations, artifacts and interviews. The science faculty member, Ben, collaborated with a science education researcher. From Ben’s perspective, he found PAR beneficial because it allowed him to discuss ideas with someone and receive feedback, it provided a structure for accountability, and provided validation of his efforts. Lack of time was the major challenge that Ben identified to engaging in PAR. There were also several factors that limited Ben’s professional growth during PAR, including lack of academic freedom, and his relationship with his colleagues and his department chair. Despite these challenges, Ben found this experience preferable to a workshop. For future collaborations, Ben provided several recommendations, including planning ahead, decreasing time for reflection, and making sure that collaborators have complementing personalities.

Paper #10020: 20-Year Analysis of Science Education Faculty Positions

Principal Author: Lloyd H.. Barrow, University of Missouri


20 Year Analysis of Science Education Faculty Positions:

The purpose of this study was to investigate the characteristics of science education post secondary positions in the U.S. that were advertised over a 20-year time period. Information about positions were compiled with a number of variables, (rank, job, and tenure studies, and job requirements and responsibilities). The number pf positions were highly variable in number, (2002-3, and low of 48 (2012-3). These results will help administrators in deisigining a science education position announcement that will attract the best applicants. In addition, prospective science education faculty and their advisors will be able to plan program of study to facilitate securing a faculty position.

  The purpose of this study was to analyze characteristics of science education faculty positions at domestic higher education insitutions. The data from 1992-3 academic year served as a baseline for the study. Acadmeic year 2002-3 was prior to the recession and 2012-3 was post recession. Therefore, providing a longitudinal impact.

  The following research questions were,

1. How have the number of science education faculty positions changed over the 20 year time period?

2. How have requirements and responsibilities for science education faculty positions compared over the 20-year period?

3. How has rank of science education faculty positions changed over the 20-year period?

4. How has Carnegie rank of instiutions of science education faculty positions varied over the 20-year time period?


Paper #11005: Science Curriculum and Instruction for Diverse K-8 Classrooms: Integrating the Engineering Design Process

Principal Author: Jenna Porter, CSU Sacramento


The NGSS introduce disciplinary core ideas in engineering, technology and applications of science, as well as new science and engineering practices. The addition of these engineering focused dimensions demand a revision of science methods courses for preservice teachers. This poster illustrates a course redesign project for integrating the engineering design process in an elementary science methods course.

Paper #10019: Post-secondary students’ empathy expressed through experiencing place-based Yellowstone contentious environmental issues instruction

Principal Author: Benjamin C. Herman, University of Missouri-Columbia
Co-Authors: Dana Zeidler, University of South Florida; Mark Newton, University of South Florida


Contentious environmental issues (CEI) such as floral and faunal species introduction and climate change are among the many socioscientific issues (SSI) that must be deliberated by the public to ensure ecological and sociocultural sustainability. Those engaging CEI must contemplate the diverse interests of many societal (anthropocentric) and natural (ecocentric) entities. This requires developing and utilizing a sense of empathy that guides CEI decision-making and resolution congruent with environmental stewardship and democratic citizenry (Sobel, 1996). This mixed methods investigation determined how twenty-four undergraduates, experiencing SSI instruction embedded within a place-based CEI course in the Greater Yellowstone Area developed and extended empathy to entities impacted by CEI. The students completed the Socioscientific and Environmental Engagement Dimensions Survey (SEEDS) and follow up interviews prior to and immediately after the course. The analysis of students’ expressions when engaging CEI showed four major categories of general affective responses extended to ecocentric and anthropocentric entities consisting of: 1) apathy, 2) general caring, 3) conditional empathy and 4) empathetic distress. A deeper analysis revealed three ways the students expressed restricted conditional empathy: (1) judgment of the sufferer, 2) inexperience/helplessness, and 3) dispersion of responsibility; and four ways the students expressed unrestricted empathetic distress: (1) sympathetic distress, 2) empathetic anger, 3) feelings of injustice, and 4) empathetic guilt. While forms of empathetic distress are strong emotive responses that typically facilitate pro-social behaviors that relieve the suffering of others; apathy, general caring and forms of conditional empathy are weaker emotive responses that can impede pro-social behaviors (Hoffman, 2008). Through completing the place-based focused CEI course, the students’ expressed forms of empathy significantly shifted from those that impede, to those that facilitate pro-social behaviors.

Paper #10017: Who Helps Science Teachers? District-Based Science Support and NGSS

Principal Author: Jennifer S. Mayo, Einstein Fellowship


Science teachers are facing radical instructional shifts in response to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Individuals who serve teachers in district-based roles are in the position to provide this critical support to science teachers. This study defined two distinct roles, district-based science teacher and district-based science administrator, and explored the ways in which NGSS was incorporated into their professional practice.

The advent of NGSS and its necessary instructional shifts require science teachers to facilitate student learning through the practices of scientists and engineers rather than provide lecture and confirmatory lab experiences. The questions of who supports science teachers and how individuals in such roles provide support were the impetus for this study. Using the theoretical framework of Wenger’s (1998) social learning theory, this study sought to better understand the science specialist role within school districts, and how individuals in this role describe developing their NGSS capacity.

In this qualitative case study seventeen participants from fifteen different school districts across seven geographically diverse states were each interviewed twice, once from an organizational perspective and once exploring their individual experience in the role. Job descriptions were also collected from participants.

Findings include distinct roles and functions for the district-based science teacher and district-based science administrator roles. The two roles also interact with NGSS differently: district-based science teachers provide direct NGSS support to science teachers, mainly in the form of professional development and curriculum support. District science administrators reported comparatively little involvement with NGSS. District science teachers reported self-study and involvement at the state level as their main NGSS access points.

Paper #16002: Using Robotics and Game Design to Promote Spatial Ability and Computational Thinking

Principal Author: Jacqueline Leonard, University of Wyoming


This research report examines learning among middle-grade teachers and students who participated in formal and informal robotics and game design clubs. The data captures Year 2 and Year 3 results of a three-year study supported by the National Science Foundation that details broader impacts among 40 teachers and 600 rural students. Students learned to program LEGO® EV3 robots and made their own computer games using Scalable Game Design (SGD). We used the Dimensions of Success (DoS) to measure teachers' ability to engage students in STEM learning and inquiry. Results reveal teachers' ability to engage students in authentic STEM learning increased over time. During the robotics clubs, students used spatial visualization as they they built robots and computational thinking as they determined how many wheel rotations were needed to the robots specific distances. During game design, students used spatial visualization as they created 2D and 3D agents and worksheets to develop computer games and CT strategies as they designed the conditions of the game and engaged in debugging.  Findings reveal students' scores increased significantly on a spatial ability test and their use of computational thinking strategies improved as they developed more complex computer games.

Paper #10016: Learning to Teach Science through Problem-Based Learning: Prospective Elementary Teachers’ Experiences

Principal Author: Shannon L. Dubois, Valparaiso University


While there is growing interest to teach science in interdisciplinary ways in the United States, little is known about effective instructional models to accomplish this. One approach to interdisciplinary instruction is problem-based learning (PBL). This qualitative study investigated 19 prospective elementary teachers’ learning experience with PBL in a science methods class. The study focused on the prospective teachers’ developing understandings of PBL, and how they integrated science with different disciplines in their final PBL unit plans. The data collected consisted of questionnaires, interviews, and artifacts. Inductive analysis revealed the prospective teachers’ understandings of PBL changed from novice to developing and proficient from pre- to post- methods class. In addition, the prospective teachers integrated science with other disciplines (e.g., engineering, literacy, social studies, and technology) in their final PBL units and perceived many benefits to interdisciplinary instruction. This study suggests that science teacher educators should integrate PBL instruction in methods classes in order to prepare future teachers with the knowledge and skills necessary to teach science in interdisciplinary ways.

Paper #10015: Integrating Arts into Science: Findings from a Review of the Literature

Principal Author: Kathryn Green, North Carolina State University
Co-Authors: Kathy Cabe. Trundle, North Carolina State University; Maria Shaheen, Primrose Schools


One way to enhance young learners’ natural propensity for wonder and interest in science is to integrate arts into science learning.  Combining arts with science builds on children’s interests in nature while allowing them the joy and pleasure of artistic expression.  Although educators often discuss integrating the arts into science learning, empirical support is relatively recent (Gullatt, 2008).  This study synthesizes previous empirical studies and theoretical literature published on arts integration, how the arts are integrated into science teaching, and the efficacy of arts integration for science learning.

Paper #10014: Teachers Selection of Visual Models for Teaching Systems Thinking

Principal Author: Tammy D.. Lee, East Carolina University
Co-Authors: Gail M.. Jones, North Carolina State University; Katherine Chesnutt, North Carolina State University; Bonnie Glass, East Carolina University


As science grows in complexity, science teachers must translate and communicate how the systems of science work with the use of models in their instruction. What is not known is how teachers make choices about the selection and use of these models when planning lessons. This mixed methods study investigated the pedagogical approaches proposed by elementary in-service and pre-service teachers and the proposed uses of visual models for a science lesson about a complex system (e.g., water cycle).  Quantitative and qualitative analyses of a card-sort assessment of visual models (e.g., images) was conducted with sixty-seven elementary in-service and sixty-nine elementary pre-service teachers.  Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a subsample of teachers.  Results from this study showed that both experienced in-service teachers and novice pre-service teachers tended to select similar models and their rationales for their choices were also similar. Teachers tended to select models that were aesthetically pleasing, simple in design, and illustrated specific elements of the water cycle.  The results also showed that teachers were not likely to select images that represented the less obvious dimensions of the water cycle.  Proposed pedagogical approaches for using visual models were classified as more teacher centered than student centered.

Paper #14001: Allowing our Professional Knowledge of Pre-Service Teacher Education to be Enhanced by Self-Study Research: Turning a Critical Eye on Our Practice

Principal Author: Gayle A. Buck, Indiana University
Co-Authors: Valarie L. Akerson, Indiana University; Allan Feldman, University of South Florida; Norman G.. Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology; Judith Lederman, Illinois Institute of Technology; Tony Bartley, Lakehead University; Brenda Capobianco, Purdue University; Maria Wallace, Louisiana State University; Gary Holliday, University of Akron; Molly Weinburgh, Texas Christian University; Mark Bloom, Dallas Baptist University; Gilbert Naizer, Texas A&M University Commerce; Sumreen Asim, University of North Texas; Brent Gilles, Indiana University; Nidaa Makki, University of Akron


This session highlights chapters from a recent ASTE sponsored book that focuses on the implications of self-studies in science teacher education for reflection and enhancement of professional knowledge. Self-study in science teacher education is defined as rigorous, critical inquiry in which we-science teacher educators-research our selves and our practices within the academy. The goals of the book include to 1) foster meaningful discussions on the complexities inherent in science teacher education and how we, as a professional community, are understanding and confronting those complexities, 2) encourage the constructing and reconstructing of our identities as science teacher educators, and 3) provide understanding, encouragement and support for science teacher educators as they question, refine and advance professional knowledge. The session highlights chapters from the sections that include chapters on self-studies exploring science content and methods instructors/instruction, as well as chapters on the practice of preparing future science teacher educators. There will be an overview provided about self studies and their importance in science teacher education, followed by a breakout session where participants can interact with individual chapter authors. The session will conclude with discussion of cumulative implications of all chapters on science teacher education. As an ASTE-sponsored publication, this session highlights how the book will further the association’s reputation and focus on scholarly practice in science teacher education.

Paper #11003: Impact of Robert Noyce Scholarship on Teacher Recruitment

Principal Author: Patricia D. Morrell, University of Portland
Co-Authors: Stephanie Salomone, University of Portland


The purpose of this study is to examine the first 3 years of the Noyce Program to determine

  1. what are the demographics of those students who receive either the Noyce Scholar or Noyce Internship funds;
  2. why do interns apply for the summer program, how do the students feel they benefit from their participation in the program, and does the summer internship sway any STEM majors to consider teaching as a career possibility;
  3. what role does the Noyce Scholarship play in encouraging undergraduate STEM majors and those with an undergraduate degree in a STEM field and STEM career professionals to consider teaching as a career possibility and then act on that consideration.


Interns were surveyed both prior to and following their summer experience and participated in focus group interviews at the conclusion of their internship.  Scholars were interviewed during the latter portion of their program of study.


The internship was successful in opening the eyes of the interns to the teaching profession.  Several commented on the amount of work involved in teaching and how multi-faceted the work is. While one of the interns did go on to become a Noyce scholar and enroll in the MAT program, others expressed an interest in teaching in some form—either as a volunteer (similar to the experiences of the industry professionals in the SA program), in higher education, or down the road as a second career. 


The UP Noyce Program has just completed the third of its 5 years of funding. A total of 16 students have completed the Program, eight in the Undergraduate Scholar Program and eight MAT Scholars.  When asked if the Noyce grant funds influenced their decision to become a teacher, all scholars indicated it did, but to differing degrees.  Several indicated they would have entered the educational program without the scholarship, though having the funding reduced their financial burden and associated stress.  Others said the money was essential in their career change decision.  All scholars who have completed the program are currently teaching in high need schools.

Paper #10013: How Picture Books on the National Science Teacher’s Association Recommend List Portray Scientists

Principal Author: Donna Farland-Smith, The Ohio State University
Co-Authors: Kevin D.. Finson, Bradley University; Cecile Arquette, Bradley University

  • study utilized the Draw-A-Scientist Test Checklist (DAST-C) to assess the illustrations of scientists in the most recent three years of NSTA Recommends book lists. A total of 15,778 images were contained in the 148 books from those lists, of which 1,676 were of scientists. ANOVA procedures revealed no significant differences in stereotypical elements across the three years of books. However, three notable stereotypical elements were present in large percentages in books from all years: predominance of male images, non-minority scientists, and scientists who were not youthful.

Paper #11002: Mother Tongue as a Response to Maintaining Language Diversity and Preserving Ecological Knowledge in the Philippines

Principal Author: Sophia (Sun Kyung). Jeong, University of Georgia
Co-Authors: Deborah J.. Tippins, University of Georgia; Purita P.. Bilbao


As the international concerns have been rising with respect to the degradation of the planetary environment, so too has the concern for the world’s languages, which comprise the intergenerational knowledge that sustains life on the earth. Language, which can function as the intergenerational knowledge essential in the creation of cultural commons, enables people to “understand relationships, make moral decisions, acquire a sense of self-identity and engage in activities that are the source of personal meaning” (Bowers, 2014, p. vii). Consequently, the loss of a language can have an adverse impact on the biodiversity conservation. The Philippines has grappled with issues of policy and language instruction, especially in science and mathematics education. Recently, Mother-Tongue Multilingual Education has made its way into the language polices and education system in the Philippines.  This particular movement towards the use of Mother Tongue (i.e., the first language) as the primary language of instruction from pre-school until at least Grade 3 has occurred in light of the recent emphasis on curriculum localization and the preservation of traditional ecological knowledge. The episodes of cultural and biodiversity losses are occurring in the Philippines islands’ ecosystems, as a result of urbanization, commercialization, changing patterns of weather and climate, increased migration, and etc. In response to these losses in the traditional ecological knowledge and biodiversity, the Philippines Department of Education institutionalized the use of the Mother Tongue in the public school primary education throughout the country.  In this paper, we identify the tensions of maintaining the language diversity by using the Mother Tongue, or the first language as the primary language of instruction from pre-school through grade 3 in the Philippines.

Paper #10012: Using Teaching Rehearsals to Prepare Preservice Teachers for Explanation-Driven Science Instruction

Principal Author: Heidi L.. Masters, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse


Within two sections of a science methods course for prospective elementary and middle school teachers, a quasi-experimental design was employed to explore whether incorporating teaching rehearsals would better prepare future teachers to implement explanation-driven science instruction.  One section engaged in a teaching rehearsal prior to implementing their first science lesson in their field experience classroom.  The other section served as the comparison group.  All preservice teachers in the intervention group were able to successfully engage students in an in-depth data analysis discussion, introduce the claim, evidence, and reasoning (CER) framework using an everyday example, and support students in collaboratively forming a claim as well as multiple pieces of evidence and a reasoning statement.  These findings are contrary to the comparison group where an in-depth discussion of the data occurred superficially or not at all, and as a result they struggled to support students with constructing a scientific explanation even though they introduced the CER framework.  These results demonstrate that teaching rehearsals are an effective approach to preparing preservice teachers for implementing explanation-driven science instruction.  

Paper #10011: STEM and FCS: An Integrative Approach

Principal Author: Melissa R. Zinser, University of Nevada, Reno
Co-Authors: Melissa A. Jurkiewicz, University of Nevada, Reno; David T. Crowther, University of Nevada, Reno


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of STEM integration on students’ academic achievement in a Family and Consumer Sciences classroom. A total of 177 eighth grade students from six classes were involved in the study. The experimental group was instructed through the integration of STEM whereas the control group was traditionally instructed. Both experimental and control groups were instructed by the same teacher, who was also the researcher. This experimental study lasted two weeks. To determine the effectiveness of STEM integration in comparison to traditional instruction, an achievement test, which consisted of 21 items about yeast versus quick breads, was given as a pre-test and post-test to students both in the experimental and control groups. A simple T-test with independent groups was used in this study resulting in P=0.001, which shows that there was a significant difference between the experimental and control group with a confidence interval (CI) of 95%. When the effect size was ran this showed a Cohen's d of 0.897, which is considered to be a large effect size indicating that not only was the difference between groups significant, but with an effect size of 0.897 there was also large practical difference. The results showed that students who were instructed through the integration of STEM achieved statistically significantly higher scores than the ones who were instructed through the traditional method.

Paper #11001: Facing Preconceptions in Pre-service Teachers Through Book Club Discussions

Principal Author: Roya Heydari, Columbia University, Teachers College
Co-Authors: Felicia M. Mensah, Columbia University, Teachers College


This study focuses on the use of book club discussions in a preservice science education practice course to assess the preconceptions of secondary science education preservice teachers (PSTs) on teaching in urban classrooms. The book club discussions also provide positive reinforcement for entering the field of teaching. The book club used in this study was defined as an informal, peer and teacher-directed group discussion, which met weekly to discuss text connected to teaching and the nature of education. From the qualitative analysis of PSTs’ written reflections and researcher journal notes, one theme, which emphasized fear, is presented. This finding highlights the importance of safe spaces in classrooms to foster critical discussions. Implications for teacher educators and their students are discussed.

Paper #10010: Environmental Education Using Field Experiences and Web-based Learning

Principal Author: Alec Bodzin, Lehigh University


This paper describes how the Environmental Education (EE) course at our institution uses site-based experiences and Web-based activities to focus on the study of environmental issues primarily in our watershed. Course activities are discussed to illustrate how learning technologies can be used effectively to support EE and science teaching and learning with prospective and current science teachers. Site visits to areas of environmental concern support and extend the environmental education concepts and skills that are initially developed with Web-based materials. Course activities provide teachers with an in-depth content understanding of local environmental issues as well as opportunities to explore pedagogical strategies to promote issues-based approaches to learning. Course materials also take advantage of easily available geospatial technologies to foster spatial literacy in the curriculum and support learners with the ability to make use of data visualizations for analysis and interpretation when examining environmental issues such as sprawl, land use decision-making, and energy resource use. Advantages to using Web-enhanced learning environments for science teacher education are discussed.

Paper #13002: Musings on Unanswered Questions

Principal Author: Meta Van Sickle, University of Charleston
Co-Authors: Merrie Koester, University of South Carolina Center for Science Education


In the winter of 2016, two long-time colleagues—each a science teacher educator and practicing artist—sat down over coffee to begin the process of writing a chapter for a new book in press, Cases in STEAM Education in Practice (anticipated publication, 2017).  The publishers had determined a need for such a book, after their own lit review had failed to reveal any kind of consensus, either theoretical or practical, on the subject of what it actually meant to do STEAM education.  Out of the conversations between these two colleagues emerged the question, “What does it mean to STEAMify a lesson, and why would a teacher actually choose to do such a thing, other than, say, for-grant-writing-purposes?  Their science selves really liked the idea of a STEAM system, acted upon by forces, both from the outside and from within, and with energy flowing and cycling, all the while transforming grey matter in ways that sustained the teaching/learning process. They each recognized that their artistic habits of mind had shaped their axiology (ethics and aesthetics), transforming the ways they had taught science and conducted their educational research and curriculum inquiry their entire careers (Van Sickle and Koester, in press).  They had been doing STEAM since forever!  How, then, to condense what had become an almost intuitive process (for them) and make it not only visible but meaningful to other teacher educators?  The answer emerged in the form of unanswered questions, at once beckoning and yet also blocked out by constant distractors and detractors. There are many educators who may criticize STEAM education as not-science or not-STEM.  For some, the idea of STEAM introduces too much cognitive dissonance and threatens a sense of should and ought.  But we wonder, too, if the arts were part of an education curriculum, and if so, how were such experiences organized for them?  (Van Sickle and Koester, in press).  We will attempt to organize a STEAM experience that allows one to experience the power of the arts in general (and music in particular) to effect deep learning and appreciation of science.


Paper #10009: Practices of Science and Developing Scientific Explanations with Independent Student Directed Science Fair Projects

Principal Author: Michele J. Koomen, Gustavus Adolphus College
Co-Authors: Elizabeth Schutz, Gustavus Adolphus College; Alissa Hoffman, Gustavus Adolphus College


This study reports on the process and development of middle school science fair projects inspired by a summer science program of citizen science monitoring (Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project) with their classroom teacher. We gathered and analyzed both qualitative (interviews and focus groups) and quantitative [(analytical rubric scores aligned with the NGSS practices and claims, evidence and reasoning by McNeil and Krajcik, 2012)] data. Our analysis revealed four key findings: 1) completing science fair projects engages students in many of the key science practices identified in the NGSS, 2) completing science fair projects provides students opportunities to develop scientific explanations, 3) a committed and dedicated mentor teacher plays an important role in successful completion of high quality science fair projects and, 4) citizen science serves as a springboard for the practice of science. Our findings have important implications for science education and student science fairs.

Paper #10008: Understanding Learning Processes and Outcomes of Teachers in a Professional Development Course about the Nature of Science

Principal Author: Erin E.. Peters-Burton, George Mason University
Co-Authors: Jordan D.. Goffena, George Mason University; Susan Poland, George Mason University


Teaching both concepts in science and the nature of science (NOS) is needed for students to become scientifically literate citizens. Teachers play an essential role in establishing effective learning environments for students, and the way in which teachers successfully support students is related to teacher knowledge about subject matter and pedagogy. One perspective that can inform the persistent problem of limited results during NOS-related PD experiences is to take a close look at the relationship of individual teacher learning processes and outcomes during the PD. Self-regulated learning theory is helpful in focusing closely on the motivational underpinnings and the cognitive strategies that learners create for themselves, and has been used to support learning in science education contexts. The purpose of this paper is to understand the learning processes (both cognitive and metacognitive) related to NOS learning outcomes measured by a self-regulated learning (SRL) microanalysis in a PD experience. A multiple case study and cross-case analysis was performed across four secondary teachers with diverse backgrounds who participated in the same PD context focused on learning about NOS and teaching NOS. Data sources included SRL microanalysis interviews, pre- and post-assessment of NOS, weekly discussion board writings, and teacher lesson plans. Teachers initially expected to learn the content through the pedagogical approaches, which is a conflicting goal to the PD related to their own individual content learning. However, identification of teachers’ misalignment between their individual goals (being focused on classroom instruction) and the learning outcomes of the first part of the PD (content knowledge) helped the PD instructor identify teacher difficulty in setting short-term process goals to attain the longer-term outcome goal of student learning. Because of this identification, the PD instructor was able to coach them resulting in more sophisticated learning.

Paper #10007: Professional development: What attracts biology teachers and what they valued Challenges

Principal Author: Molly H.. Weinburgh, Texas Christian University
Co-Authors: Cecilia Silva, Texas Christian University; Kathy H.. Smith, Tarleton State University


Long-term, content specific professional development has been suggested as most beneficial for several years. Our research sought to determine (a) what aspects of such professional development attracted teachers and (b) what aspects were most beneficial to them as biology teachers.  The theoretical stance of this study was situated in the overlap of Vygotsky’s conception of the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) and Lave and Wenger’s notion of Communities of Practice (CoP). In addition, we utilize an instructional framework that applies the concept of the hybrid language of science and the 5R Instructional Model.  Data sources of teacher reflections, focus group responses, and feedback forms were analyzed qualitatively by three researchers. Three themes were found for selecting the professional development and four themes were found for the value provided to the teachers. Discussion and suggestions for professional development for science teachers are given.


Paper #10006: The role of science content courses in supporting preservice elementary teachers’ knowledge of curriculum

Principal Author: Stacy A. McCormack, Indiana University
Co-Authors: Meredith Park Rogers, Indiana University


Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is often described as an amalgamation of subject-matter, pedagogical, and context knowledge (Magnusson, Krajick, and Borko, 1999; Shulman, 1987).  Within the construct of PCK there are four additional components of knowledge that include an understanding of:  how students learn science, knowledge of curriculum, selecting appropriate instructional strategies, and assessing learning of science (Gess-Newsome, 2015, Magnusson et al., 1999).  All of these aspects of knowledge influence and are influenced by the other three domains (subject-matter, pedagogy, and context), as well as being filtered through one’s orientation towards teaching science (Abell, 2007).  Given PCK is topic (and even grade level) specific, science content courses can play a significant role in preservice teacher PCK development. 

Currently, other than identifying preservice teachers’ misconceptions about content within this context, the research on how preservice teachers’ PCK develops during their participation in college content courses is scant.  For this study I have focused on developing knowledge of science curriculum, as this component of PCK interacts most directly with subject-matter and is distinctly topic and grade level specific.  Two interventions were designed for a single topic within a physical science content course and measures taken to determine if the preservice teachers’ physical science content knowledge, curricular role identity for science teaching, and self-efficacy for science teaching changed.

                Only those participants who took part in one of the two projects showed an increase in their science teaching outcome expectancy construct and documented any statistically significant increases in measures of curricular role identity.  Whereas prior research indicated that methods courses and teaching experiences can contribute to curricular role identity development, this study shows that the same results can be replicated in a content course through the use of tasks that specifically familiarize preservice teachers with science curriculum. 

Paper #10005: Using Incongruity to Teach Topics in Ecology

Principal Author: Francine Wizner


This study is an examination of the manner in which an educator teaches ecology through humorous comparisons.  Content humor is a useful strategy in drawing the attention of students and improving their receptivity toward scientific information. Previous studies have found that humor has an overall positive effect on learning. This study employed multiple data sources to determine how a secondary biology teacher compared disparate concepts to ecology topics, how parity between the concepts was demonstrated to students, whether students recognized the comparisons being made, and students' perceptions of how the comparisons affected their learning of ecology.  The teacher made numerous comparisons, among which were those related to global climate change and ecology.  Students recognized the comparisons made and were able to correctly answer content questions related to them.  Helping students become critical thinkers is a trademark of science teachers. Science teachers who take the risk of adopting some comedic attributes may earn the reward of imparting behaviors on their students such as critical thinking skills, the ability to explore questions in a detached manner, and the ability to search for 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.

Paper #10004: What makes an influential teacher? Preservice perceptions and implications for science teacher education.

Principal Author: Daniel J.. Bergman, Wichita State University


While much has been written regarding elements of good teachers, little exists with respect to qualities of influential teachers.  The influence of a teacher is noteworthy for teacher recruitment and preparation, especially in science education where actions and attitudes can impact students’ decision to pursue careers in science or education. 

The purpose of this study is to examine what types of qualities exist among recognized influential teachers.  Specifically, it studies the perspectives of future (prospective) science teachers in an attempt to uncover trends in traits of the teachers they report being influential in their lives.  Research questions include the following:

  1. What kinds of teachers do prospective science teachers perceive as influential?
  2. How do prospective science teachers and their influential teachers compare (grade level, subject, gender)?
  3. What are the predominant qualities of influential teachers, as reported by prospective science teachers?

Prospective middle/secondary science teachers (N = 98) completed a survey identifying influential teachers and describing what traits or abilities made these teachers influential. 

Compared to the responding prospective teacher, the influential teacher was of the same gender 69% of the time. Nearly half of the influential teachers taught at the high school or secondary level (46%).  Among the influential teachers whose subject/discipline was indicated, over one third were in science (36%). 

In addition to demographic data, qualitative content analysis of narratives excavated common themes.  The seven most frequent attributes of influential teachers—as described in prospective science teachers’ responses—were Passion (42%), Rapport (42%), Pedagogy (30%), Time (30%), High Expectations (24%), Fun (22%), and Helpful (20%). 

Implications for teacher education and research include synergistic combinations of these traits, alignment with literature on effective teaching, development of professional dispositions, and attention to specific traits either present or missing. 


Principal Author: Fernan P.. Tupas, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College
Co-Authors: Severa Amistoso, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College; Leonisa G.. Babas, Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College





Fernan P. Tupas, Ph. D.

Lead Researcher

Severa M. Amistoso, Ph. D. and Leonisa G. Babas, D. R. Dev.


School of Arts and Science

Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College

Estancia, Iloilo, Philippines


Abstract. This qualitative research focused on case study which aimed to identify the impact of Philippine traditional games in the context of science curriculum. It also determined science ideas, concepts and practice of Philippine traditional games or commonly called “Laro ng Lahi” played in the Municipality of Estancia. Results showed that these games have a great impact in science curriculum in K + 12 Basic Education Program because many students love to play the game during free time and they can relate it to science. Science ideas and concepts, like recycling and indigenous materials found within the locality are all related to earth science, and the used of muscles, bones and joints for movements are biological practices. Moreover, sweating and its chemical composition can be linked to chemistry. Lastly, results showed that physics ideas and concepts, such as motion, gravitational force, energy, kinetic energy, frictions, and speed were all embedded in playing the Philippines traditional games. All these science ideas and concepts embedded in the Philippine traditional games can be used as instructional materials in teaching and learning science in K + 12 Basic Education Program of the Department of Education.

Key words Laro ng Lahi, Science Ideas, Concepts and Practices, Informal Science and Funds of Knowledge

  1. INTRODUCTION        
  1. Background of the Study

       Games are universal phenomena. Everyone is playing games in one point of their lives. Many played traditional games for amusement whenever suitable opportunities arise (Barboza, 2003). Buan et. al. (2010) stated that Filipino games have been a part of the Filipino past time. Moreover, Filipino children are famous for their lively personality despite of odd conditions. Also, they aren’t very materialistic. Thus, traditional games or commonly called “Laro ng Lahi” represent the diversity of Filipino culture and tradition. This became a fragment of unique and artistic heritage; absolutely marvelous and its resources are rich and productive. The colorful and magnificent custom of the Philippines makes the country distinct from others. But today, these games are rarely played due to the advancement of technology. At this modern age of machinery, seldom are seen that children are playing the national games but instead the popular online, such as Xbox, PSP, Ipad and many interesting gadgets (Aguado, 2011).   

       Aguado (2011), stated that there are about 50 native games classified into five categories. These include Indoor Games (sungka, dama, and even Games of the Generals which was invented by a Filipino). Fiesta Games (pabitin, paluan ng palayok, palosebo, agawang buko),Street Games (patintero, luksong baka, piko, tumbang preso, luksong lubid, taguan), Hurdle Games (habulan, agawang base), and  Tsinoy games such as chinese garter, checkers, and chinese jackstones.

       DepED always encountered problems such as lack of facilities, limited instructional materials and most of the poor learners in science have little love for learning science. Learners always concluded that science is a difficult subject to learn. In the implementation of K+12 Basic Education Program of the Department of Education, it has already faced problems, such as the context is not based on our own resources, and majority of the students are complaining about the resources and the methods of learning and teaching science. The results of achievement tests both local and national can be alarming. Most of the National Achievement Test (NAT) results were below DepEd standards.  But having something new in the curriculum will definitely enhance the interest and will encourage them to apply ideas and concepts that basically played during their younger years. Also, according to Third International Mathematics and Science Study-Repeat (TIMSS-R), Filipino students are still weak in science (Crisostomo, 2000). In 2003, the Philippine TIMSS showed that the results of the student achievement test indicate very poor performance in each content domain at this early education stage (Carballo, 2009).

       The use of local traditional games or commonly called “Laro ng Lahi” could be an answer to this dilemma (Del Carmen et. al., 2015). They used these Philippine traditional games in teaching physics. Furthermore, the movements used in these native games were initially incorporated in the DepEd curriculum according to Carmen Siao, Principal of E. De Los Samtos School in Paco Manila IAguado, 2011). In Science, they utilized this method. In addition, the use of anatomical movements showed that biological principles are already manipulated in the process of playing the games (https://devcomcreatives.wordpress.com, 2012). But with the very few researches that focus on traditional games and science, hence, the researchers were inspired to make this kind of study.   

       This study focuses on identifying science ideas and concepts in the Philippines traditional games. Furthermore, traditional games played in the locality were used to determine various science principles and used as instructional materials in teaching science in the K+12 Basic Education Program of DepEd. Thus, the trust is emphasizing on fund of knowledge and informal science. Funds of Knowledge are about traditionally gathered and culturally developed bodies of knowledge taken from household activities or events. Furthermore, this is about teachers learning students outside from school.

       While informal science, highlight the significant of learning science in informal settings, it doesn’t happen in four corners of the classroom but instead in museum, zoo, or using cultural presentation to teach science.

       The study is anchored on various theories, like, constructivism, interpretivism emergent design theory, and situated cognition theory. They define constructivism as knowledge constructed by an individual; thus, they build   meanings as they learn. Furthermore, there are twofolds that surrounded in this concept; focus on the learner in thinking about learning, and no knowledge independent of the meaning attributed to experience (Tupas, 2015).

       Interpretivism is a theory that involves on interpreting the elements of the study.  Human interest is integrated in the study.  Likewise, according to Blaike (2013), his study of social occurrences entails an understanding of the social worlds that people inhabit. In which they have already interpreted by the meanings they produce and reproduce as a necessary part of their everyday activities together.

       Another theory that is also used in this study is the emergent design that involves a process that is ongoing, changeable and iterative in nature. This implies that choices will be purposeful and carefully considered prior to, during, and after, implementation. This flexible method in gathering data and analysis will allow changes as researchers find new meaning in the study.

       Situated learning theory is about knowledge embedded in the activity, context and culture. Furthermore, this theory have notion that learning and skills in contexts the way we used in real life. That there are knowledge in the environment, which can acquire new ideas and their behaviors, will be applied.

       It has been known that children love to play; integrating these ideas will give  good results in the performance of the learners in various science subjects. Aside from using this in the Philippines setting, this will also be an avenue to encourage others science teachers around the globe to develop science teaching and learning through the use of common traditional games. Anyway, dance and other cultural presentations are already integrated in science curriculum


1.2. Objectives of the Study

This study aimed to determine the impact of Philippine traditional games in the

context of science curriculum in the K + 12 Basic Education Program.

Specifically, it will answer the following questions;

  1. What science ideas, concepts and practices are embedded in commonly played traditional games?
  2. How do the players integrate science ideas and concepts in playing the “Laro ng Lahi”?
  3. What standard in science learning competencies do this traditional games address?
  1. Scope and Limitations

       This study is concerned with science ideas, concepts and practices embedded in the Philippine traditional games that are utilized as instructional materials in science curriculum in four major areas; Earth Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Likewise, the mechanics of the games were studied to identify different science ideas and concepts inserted in formulating such procedures and steps.



2.1 Research Design

  This study is a qualitative research that aims to gather an in-depth understanding of science ideas, concepts and practices in Philippine traditional games. Specifically, the case study research design was utilized that evolved in various methods, such as interview, document analysis and photo elicitation.


2.2 Participants

  The informants of this study were the top 1 student in science particularly in grade 3 to 6 from Estancia Central Elementary School, grade 7 to 8 from Estancia National High School and grade 9 to 10 from Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College – Laboratory High School.


2.3    Research Instrument

      All the informants were interviewed about different science ideas, concepts and practices embedded in traditional games

using researchers’ made open-ended questionnaire to capture the actual words spoken by the informants. Photos and videos taken by the professional photographers were interpreted by the informants to extract more information.

2.4    Data Analysis Procedure

The conversations during the interview and photo elicitation were tape recorded with the consent of the respondents. This was done to ensure that all words of the informants would be captured. The taped conversations were transcribed. Original texts were in Hiligaynon and English.  The researchers highlighted all science ideas, concepts, and practices. When the researchers found meaning segment of text in transcript, codes and categories were assigned until the initial coding was finished.  After the data were coded, the researchers made a matrix and utilized memoing, a process of recording reflective notes learned from the data. These new ideas and insights were included to be analyzed. Triangulation was reflected in gathering responses of the informants. The methods that were triangulated are as follows: response of the informants from interview, photograph and video elicitation, and documents collected from different sources.


The outcome of the collected documents revealed that science ideas, concepts and practices were found embedded in playing “Laro ng Lahi”. According Aguado (2011), Manly Jose Junio, a Physical Education teacher of E. Delos Santos Elementary School highlighted how street games promote total fitness. The physical fitness with the locomotor, a moving from one place to another and non-locomotor, a moving on-the-spot without going anywhere movements were incorporated into the mental fitness.

Junio stated;

“ Street games utilized various movements, for instance, hopscotch used one leg to jump, basic gymnastics and balance; for jumping rope promotes endurance and “ tumbang preso” promotes presence of mind, fast thinking and movements, as well as agility.”  

3.1 Theme: Dig the Earth

          Result showed that Earth Science ideas, concepts and practices were injected in playing laro ng lahi” because it reflects the ingenuity and creativity of the Filipino by using recycled and indigenous materials like sticks, stones and slippers to produce friendly competition among peers.

          According to our informants; “We are using earth science practices in playing traditional games because of the use of materials found in our surrounding. We are recycling waste materials because we want to help save and protect our environment.”

          In addition, some of the traditional games are played out door; topics, like harmful effects of overexposure to the sun and safety precautions are found in the contents of Earth and Space – Grade 4 the topic “The Sun” in fourth quarter.

3.2 Theme: Dissecting Biology

            The results showed that almost all Philippine traditional games required bodily movements. According to Star et. al. (2012), movement is produced through the contraction and relaxation of specific muscles. The used of bones, muscles and joints for movement, and energy to sustain the vigorous motion are all biology ideas. Bones are the hard framework for stability and acts as levers to facilitate movement. Muscles provide the force required for movement by moving one bone in relation to another. A ligament holds bones together. Muscles and bones are connected through tendons. Then, motor neurons provide the stimulus for muscle movement and co-ordinates sets of antagonistic muscles.

          Elementary pupils stated;

          “In running, we are using our quadriceps; this can be a biology idea.

These are parts of our muscles.”

          Agility is one of the vital components in these traditional games. Agility has biology concept because it is the capability to change the direction of the body in an efficient and effective manner. But in order for the players to achieve this, they are required a combination of balance, speed, strength and coordination. Balance is focus on eyes, ears and proprioceptive organs in the joints. Speed refers to the ability to move all or part of the body quickly. In addition, strength is about a muscle or muscle group to overcome a resistance. For instance, in playing “sipa” or kick, there is coordination because there is a utilization of  the legs, knees and eye to catch or kick the object which is called “sipa”.

Furthermore, all the informants stated that integration of that sensory input; and motor output to the eye and body muscles (vestibular.org, 2016). Metabolism was also employed because it increases the movement of the digestive system thus allowing the body to cope with the increased demands and stress.

3.3 Theme: Mixing Chemistry

          Philippine traditional games are active games, thus the body temperature rises. The players were always sweating after the game. Respiration process takes place whenever children are playing traditional games. The food they have eaten reacted with oxygen they breathed, thus, producing carbon dioxide and water. This is the reason why they are sweating after playing.

The informants stated;

“Aside from water, sweat is made of small amounts of chemicals like ammonia, urea, sugar and body salts like sodium. This is what they learn from the chemistry subject.”

3.4 Theme:  Moving Physics

         The results showed that physics ideas and concepts, such as motion, gravitational force, energy, kinetic energy, frictions, and speed were all embedded in playing the Philippines traditional games. See Figure 3. Since, “Laro ng Lahi” is all about movements, motion is one of the key topics in physics that are related to these traditional games. See Figure 4. For instance, the empty can stay at rest but when slipper hit the object, motion occurred.

       Specifically, according to the informants;

       “In tumbang preso, science involved was law of motion or commonly called law of inertia. This is defined as every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it. Furthermore, this means that there is a natural tendency of objects to keep on doing what they're doing. All objects resist changes in their state of motion. In the absence of an unbalanced force, an object in motion will maintain in this state of motion. They remain at rest but when outside force was applied for example with the use of a slipper, motion occurred. However, it is the unbalanced force that caused the change in motion of the can thus to slow down or stop.”

       Thus, motion is significantly visible in doing the different games; hence, mechanics is the key point or concepts that identified related to physics.

       Likewise, gravitational force was also utilized in the game like “tumbang preso”, the slipper once they throw it will pull downward. According Coffey (2010), this law states that every massive particle in the universe attracts every other great particle with a force which is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.   

            Energy is always related to motion that is called kinetic energy. Most of the games required movements that explicitly employed translational; this is energy due to motion from one location to another (http://www.physicsclassroom.com, 2016).  

       Clearly, informants revealed;

       “May ara man friction kay amo na ang gapauntat sa imo nga indi ka madanlog.”

       Based on Weisstein (2007), friction is a force which causes the motion between two surfaces to be reduced.  Friction happens because most surfaces are not perfectly smooth. When two surfaces are trying to move faster from each other, these little bumps collide and slowly, the motion of the surfaces causes friction. Friction also increases if you push the surfaces together more.

       Speed was also engaged in the games. See Figure. For example, in “patintero”, one exposed that;

       “Dapat madasig ka magdalagan para indi ka mag taya. Kag kun madasig ang imu nga speed malayo man ang imu nga distance sa imu nga kuntra.”


       Science ideas, concepts and practices were all embedded in playing Philippine traditional games; hence, it could have a great impact in teaching and learning science curriculum in basic education program in K 12 of the Department of Education.

          The used of materials within the locality and the recycling of waste products is likely one of the means of  protecting the environment for further damage; this is about earth science. This topic can be related to Earth and Space in Grade 7 – fourth quarter with the topic “The Philippine Environment” discussing the protection and conservation of natural resources. Also, in grade 8 – Living Things and their Environment in the second quarter with the topic “Interaction”. The impact of human activities in an ecosystem can also utilize traditional games in teaching the themes.  The topics, like harmful effects of overexposure to the sun and safety precautions are found in the contents of Earth and Space – Grade 4 the topic “The Sun” in fourth quarter.

       In biology, the use of muscles, bones and joints were all related to movements. In order for the players to execute complex motions to perform the different traditional games, they utilized these different organ systems. These biological ideas and concepts were found in grade 3 – Living Things and Their Environment, first quarter the content is characteristics of Living Things with the content standard of; to demonstrated understanding that living things breathe, eat, grow, move, reproduce, and react to light, touch, and temperature. Besides, Parts and Functions of Living Things – “Humans” with the content standard of; to demonstrate understanding of the external parts of the body, their functions, and healthful practices to take care of the human body. Also, in grade 4 second quarter “Parts and Functions” and the topic is Humans with the content standard; demonstrates understanding that the brain, heart, lungs, liver, stomach kidney, bones and muscle are major internal organs that keep the rest of the body working properly. Moreover, in grade 6 – Living Things and Their Environment, second grading period in “Parts and Function” specifically in Musculoskeletal, Nervous System with performance standard; explains how the nervous system controls and coordinates the different organ systems so that they work together and traces the path of message from the sense organs to the brain, then to muscles and bones, resulting in action. Since they are exerting efforts that required oxygen; topic “Respiratory and Circulatory System Working with the Other Organ Systems” is found in grade 9 – Living Things and Their Environment. The content standard is to demonstrates understanding of how the different parts and functions of the circulatory and respiratory systems, and how they work with the oxygen-rich blood and nutrients to the different parts of the body.

       When players performed games such as “patintero”, jump over the cow or kick for a long period of time, they perspired as the water evaporates to cool the body. This is about chemistry because as they play, chemical reaction is taking place in the body excreting water and carbon dioxide. This can be linked to Chemical Reaction found in grade 10 – Matter in first quarter with a content standard; demonstrates understanding of chemical reactions associated with biological processes affecting life.

       Furthermore, the law of motion and inertia, gravitational force, energy, kinetic energy, frictions, and speed were all embedded in playing the Philippines traditional games especially in Force and Motion. In grade 3, “Moving Objects” demonstrates understanding of position of people and objects as well as the factors that may cause change in their position.  In grade 4 – “Effect of Force on Objects” focused on what force can be done in the third quarter with the content standard to demonstrate understanding of the effects of force on the movements, size, and shape of an object, and in grade 5 “Motion” during the third grading period with a content standards of demonstrating skills in measuring, recording and analyzing distance and time. Thus, this study showed that “Laro ng Lahi” can be utilized as instructional materials in teaching science curriculum in elementary level.

       For instance in Junior High School, in grade 7- third quarter “Constant and Uniformly Accelerated Motions”  a specific subject of motion of objects is in terms of displacement, speed or velocity, and acceleration. While in grade 8, the topics are Law of Motion, Law of Inertia, Law of Acceleration and Law of Interaction. The learning competencies investigate the relationship between the amount of force applied and the mass of the object to the amount of change in the object’s motion,  infer that when a body exerts a force on another, an equal amount of force is exerted back on it;  demonstrate how a body responds to changes in motion, relate the laws of motion to bodies in uniform circular motion, and infer that circular motion requires the application of constant force directed toward the center of the circle.

       In addition, Work, Power and Energy are areas inserted in traditional games. The learning competencies are: to identify situations in which work is done and in which no work is done; to describe how work is related to power and energy; to differentiate potential and kinetic energy; and to relate speed and position of object to the amount of energy possessed by a body. In grade 9, the “Motion in Two Dimensions”, like Projectile Motion (Impulse, Momentum and Impulse and Conservation of Linear Momentum) are the major topics in 4th quarter in the said grade level. The learning competencies describe the horizontal and vertical motions of a projectile; investigate the relationship between the angle of release and the height and range of the projectile; relate impulse and momentum to the collision of objects (e.g., vehicular collision); infer that the total momentum before and after collision is equal; and examine effects and predict causes of collision-related damages/injuries.  Thus, Work Power and Energy can relate to these traditional games commonly played in the located with specific topics of changes in the form of mechanical energy and Conservation of Energy. The learning competencies explain energy transformation in various activities/events (e.g., waterfalls, archery, amusement rides); perform activities to demonstrate conservation of mechanical energy; and infer that the total mechanical energy remains the same during any process.       



       To make science curriculum learning and teaching fun and interesting, educators must be creative and innovative. The use of “Laro ng lahi” in the context of science is highly recommended for it has a great impact in teaching because children love to play these traditional games during their spear time with friends, peers and classmates. The use of these traditional games as teaching method and strategy can be the best technique to eradicate notions about the difficulty of the subject matter.

       Also, the researchers suggested that more studies must be conducted related to science and traditional games. This will enhance the academic performance of Filipino learners whose grades are below average due to lack of understanding/ comprehension of the subject matter.


       The researchers would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College – Estancia Campus for the financial assistance. Also, to Estancia Central School, Estancia National High School and NIPSC Laboratory High School administrators/ principals for allowing the researchers to conduct this study and utilizing their science top 1 student to be the informants.



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