Paper #10501: NSTA/ASTE 2020 Science Teacher Preparation Standards: Moving forward and recognition options
Principal Author: Paul Adams
Co-Authors: William Veal
The Latin saying, Repetitio mater studiorum est (“Repetition is the mother of all learning”) refers to repetition as being one of the most efficient learning methods. A twist on the repetition learning model is to combine it with active learning, which promotes better learning for students. One way to incorporate active learning in large classes is to have students choose a content-related model/example in which they are interested. Faculty would create ways to integrate the model into course content. Doing so would help students learn about their subject model, and to more deeply connect to course-specific content throughout the semester.
The PI had students in a 240-student introductory biology course (BIO 181) choose a wild Eukaryote (protist, fungus, plant, or animal) – as their ‘pet species.’ During almost every class meeting, the students were instructed to look-up material about how the day’s lecture topic related to their pet species. During an evolution lecture, students were asked to pick a physical and investigate how that trait may have evolved in their species. Learning was assessed using the TH!NK rubric, which analyzed intellectual standards of critical and creative thinking. TH!NK is an NC State initiative designed to cultivate students’ higher-order skills in critical and creative thinking.
Most students chose an animal model, and some students cited following lecture topics with their pet species as their favorite part of the course. Endangered species were the top 3 most popular species, making conservation lectures more meaningful. This design requires minimal effort for the instructor, yet increases student motivation and retention. Students’ TH!NK rubric pet species average scores demonstrated “emerging” proficiency with critical and creative thinking. This active learning technique was successfully implemented in a large introductory biology lecture course and allowed students to integrate others’ perspectives.
The National Research Council (NRC) has made it a priority to reform science education in a manner that elevates engineering and technology to a level with science and mathematics. In this regard education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is in the midst of reform. This reform shifts away from teaching sciences in isolation and moves toward a model that prioritizes integrated STEM learning environments. The goals of this reform effort emphasize improving outcomes for students and increasing STEM content and pedagogical content knowledge for teachers.
Apart from subject specific content knowledge, the ability and confidence to teach across subjects will be critical for educators. These events have created a nationwide need for deliberate courses around integrated STEM content and pedagogy.
Many states still do not have a definition of STEM education. This has arguably been one of the largest setbacks of STEM so far. Without a clear definition, giving and receiving money for “STEM” programs is done haphazardly. Also, STEM programs are not held to any accountability as the outcomes of STEM education are undefined. In order for STEM education to achieve its purpose, more policy work needs to be done around defining what a successful STEM education program could look like. One step towards a more unified STEM approach would be creating STEM coursework for educators, practitioners, and policy makers to have a unified foundational understanding of STEM pedagogy.
This proposed course will explore issues that surround and define integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The focus includes integration of engineering into other science content areas and on using the engineering design process as a STEM pedagogical strategy. This course is a graduate level course specifically designed for K-8 classroom teachers, STEM and Science Specialists, and those who would like to improve their understanding and practice of STEM integration. This course is part one of four parts of a potential STEM certification process.
Gardens provide an excellent context to teach and learn science. Children are natural explorers who are curious about the world around them, and educators need to facilitate and perpetuate their wonder and inquiry through active, engaging experiences. The integration of garden-based learning (GBL) into curricula for youth in general, and specifically into science teaching and learning, allows teachers and students to engage with the natural world. Through gardening, students can increase their understanding of and directly interact with science concepts like the basic needs of plants and animals, heredity of traits between parents and their offspring, and the lifecycles of organisms, among other related concepts. Gardens also provide opportunities for students to develop scientific ways of thinking and science process skills through observations, recording of data, data analysis, and representation of findings. In addition to academic learning, recent research indicates that gardening can increase student motivation and interpersonal skills, facilitate community building, encourage environmental stewardship, as well as support a STEM identity for underrepresented youth. In this study we build upon previous empirical studies on gardening-based learning and STEM specifically with a focus on underrepresented youth and science identity. We have found that a garden-based program, ongoing for four years with 115 middle and high school participants of which 84% were minorities, that included a garden and an apiary on a University campus did have a positive impact on youth engagement in STEM and on youth science identity.
Societies today face an array of global challenges in the Food-Energy-Water-Nexus (FEW-Nexus). Despite compelling evidence for the very real and pressing nature of these challenges, there is a need for a sustained and systematic effort focused on education grounded in the FEW-Nexus that can be greatly enhanced by cultivation of a community focused on FEW-Nexus education research. With support from NSF, the National Collaborative for Research on Food, Energy, and Water Education (NC-FEW) is poised to address this need by catalyzing sustained, systemic, and interdisciplinary research on educational efforts focused on food, energy, and water systems in a wide array of educational contexts, including educator preparation and development. Over the next 5 years, we will cultivate an emergent, transdisciplinary community of educators and education researchers engaged in FEW-Nexus-focused educational programming and research/evaluation. This Research Coordination Network (RCN) will involve individuals from a diverse array of STEM and FANH backgrounds, including teacher educators working with both preservice and inservice K-12 teachers, as well as postsecondary faculty and informal/nonformal educators. NC-FEW will afford a novel and innovative space for discourse, networking, and collaboration-building around FEW-Nexus-focused education and education research/evaluation. The objective of this exploratory session is to identify and leverage the needs and priorities of the ASTE community in respect to NC-FEW’s broader focus. We will explore diverse resources, models, and tools being used to design, implement, and study FEW-Nexus-based educator preparation programs and engage in discussion about how these ideas can advance systemic efforts to enhance and elevate shared goals of ASTE and NC-FEW. Expected outcomes include distillation and identification of themes (challenges, contributions, etc.) in RMTs across communities and critical ‘next steps’ in efforts to engage teacher educators in work focused on natural systems and their human dimensions.
As the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) enters its mature years there is a need to determine current understanding of these innovative shifts by rural science educators. The Framework and the NGSS call for significant shifts in how science is taught. Many current science instructional practice questionnaires focus on previous national standards, such as the National Science Education Standards (1996) or do not consider rural issues that could hinder the amount of science education professional development a teacher might be able to receive. While many state and local education agencies have provided funding for science education professional development to both urban and rural educators, often the funding goes unused in rural districts because rural districts lack training in how to apply for funding (U.S. Department of Education, 2018). This survey could help determine if additional professional development is needed for rural communities in states that have adopted the NGSS. This survey was developed through a collaboration between the Nevada State Science Teachers Association (NSSTA), the California Science Teachers Association (CSTA) and the University of Nevada, Reno – Raggio Research Center for STEM Education (RRC). A two-year long process of survey development led to questions that focus on science educator understanding of how the three-dimensions work together, how phenomena relates to science inquiry, general science instructional practices, and the perception of available professional development in the NGSS for rural educators. The survey development had several phases which included gathering a committee of rural science educators with significant training in the Framework (2012) and the NGSS (2013) together. The committee worked on defining the focus on the rural educator, item selection, content validity, review and refinement of items based on feedback. While the RRC worked on construct validity and reliability.
The [redacted university] is the [main] higher education institution in the state. Thus, it serves [a high percentage of] entities. Within science education, this includes communities, school districts, and university faculty and staff. This themed paper set focuses on innovative programs that seek to address these multifaceted needs. Our work addresses collaborative efforts to enhance science education through wide-ranging partnerships at all educational levels. We identify opportunities in formal and informal educational settings, as well as educator professional development and community partnerships. While our framework in [our state] accounts unique socio-economic, demographic, and geographic circumstances, there are several core strategies that can be beneficial as case studies and/or models well beyond our state. These include:
STEM teacher preparation programs are charged with supplying highly knowledgeable and skilled mathematics and science professionals for US schools and, by extension, to support the US economy. However, little research has been conducted regarding features of STEM teacher preparation programs that consistently produce and retain these teachers in careers as professional educators. This study investigated five National Science Foundation supported Noyce projects that have thrived for more than a decade - consistently producing and retaining mathematics and science teachers. Investigating program features common to separate projects and interpreting them through the lens of Communities of Practice allowed us to understand how specific components of Communities of Practice featured in thriving teacher preparation programs. This study reports on the implications that teacher preparation programs can have on a novice teachers engagements in shared practice with colleagues, their identities as valued contributors, their sense of belonging to a community of like-minded peers, and the concrete meanings they develop about themselves as professionals. The potential benefits of incorporating Communities of Practice into mathematics and science teacher preparation programs are discussed.
Elementary teachers’ science teaching self-efficacy is affected by their own experiences of learning science, or they feel they lack adequate preparation to teach science (Knaggs, & Sondergeld, 2015; Settlage, Southerland, Smith & Ceglie, 2009; Bleicher & Lindgren, 2005; Ramey-Gassert, Shroyer & Staver, 1996). A hands-on, inquiry-based summer science program for elementary children (or “science camp”) is a unique context in which preservice teachers are given the opportunity to refine their science teaching practice on a daily basis while being supported by inservice co-teachers within the classroom. Our study seeks to understand how these experiences at science camp shape preservice teachers’ beliefs about their ability to teach science. Individual interviews and surveys were administered both prior to camp and at the end of camp, to explore their science teaching self-efficacy and their experiences learning and teaching science. In addition to our own survey instruments, we also administered the STEBI-B (Riggs & Enochs, 1990) before and at the end of camp. Study participants were 16 preservice elementary teachers who taught at this science camp for the first time. During this session, we will share our data that was collected in the month of July.
This study investigated high school student learning of academic vocabulary when instruction is embedded with multiple vocabulary strategies (MVS). The study took place in public high schools in the southwestern United States that serve a predominantly Hispanic population, many of whom are either bilingual or whose first language (L1) is Spanish. Lessons were developed for anatomy and physiology (cardiovascular system), algebra II (linear and quadratic equations), and biology (Mendelian genetics) classes and were designed to help students develop a deeper meaning of vocabulary. A quasi-experimental research design was used in which classes were randomly assigned to a treatment (MVS) or comparison (no MVS) group. 2 (group) x2 (time) ANOVA were used to pre- and post-test scores. The main finding is that students in the treatment group outperform students in the comparison group. Furthermore, students were able to access L1 (Spanish) in order to understand to better understand the vocabulary.
Teacher preparation is often bound to formal K-12 classroom field experiences. While essential, educational research continues to provide evidence that institutionalized spaces are entrenched with complex systems of diverse perspectives (i.e., lived reality, expectation of others, and ideology) that (re)produce ‘being capable’ through problematic assumptions race, gender, class, and ability. Drawing on feminist posthuman and new materialist theories (Braidotti, 2013; Barad, 2007) that focus on an intimate interrelatedness among all 'kinds' (human and nonhuman entities) two central research questions frame a small (post)qualitative study: (a) Under what conditions might teachers become rendered capable? (b) Who and what is rendered capable? In doing so, this proposal strives to challenge the existing human-centered premise of preparing ‘good science teachers’ to cultivate pedagogical practices that embody a social and ecological commitment to issues of intersectional justice (as it pertains to themselves, their students, and their pedagogical practice). Given the dynamic theoretical perspectives that inform this project a hybrid qualitative methodological approach is necessitated. Specifically, a unique glimpse into doing-thinking research from two different theoretical perspectives (i.e., humanist and posthumanist) that inherently interact is illuminated. By deterritorializing (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987) methodological dichotomies in which researchers come to know beginning science teachers and their pedagogical practice, an ethical imperative can be reconciled. This presentation is organized around three primary objectives: (a) familiarize the science teacher education community with posthumanist theory and the possibilities it holds for re-imagining our work in science education; (b) share some preliminary data and analysis from the first participant cohort; and (c) provoke new considerations for how researchers and practitioners of science teacher education might re-think the prevailing assumptions our work knowing and unknowingly re/produces.
Active learning methods in STEM discipline content courses can benefit student achievement both in STEM disciplines and in STEM teacher preparation. Compared to more traditional lecture-based approaches in which information and content is passively transmitted from instructor to student, active learning methods do more to engage students, encourage collaboration, elicit critical thinking and problem solving, and mirror real-life STEM field processes. This project partnered STEM discipline faculty within the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics and STEM teacher preparation faculty from UTeach Dallas within the Department of Science and Mathematics Education, both at The University of Texas at Dallas, in the exploration of an existing active, inquiry-based learning models and strategies in STEM content to better support teaching and learning for both programs. It was supported through a small teaching and learning grant awarded by the university.
Over the course of the 2018-2019 academic year, six (6) faculty members from various STEM discipline departments within the School of Natural Science and Mathematics and five (5) faculty members from the UTeach Dallas Program within the Department of Science and Mathematics Education formed a grassroots active learning support group that engaged in the following activities: monthly lunch meetings to discuss innovative teaching practices and ways to utilize them in undergraduate STEM teaching, a site visit to Southwestern University to engage in dialogue about their inquiry-based teaching and learning program in the sciences and maths, and a book study on interactive lecturing in large undergraduate classes.
As a result of this year-long collaboration, numerous ideas for improving STEM teaching and learning were shared and implemented, collegial relationships between discipline faculty and teacher preparation faculty were made and/or strengthened, and a research study was conducted. It is noteworthy that four (4) members of the group also received teaching awards.
Elementary teachers have historically been less confident and less likely to teach science than any other subject. At our institution, elementary teacher preparation generally has not provided pre-service students with the same opportunities to observe science being taught to children or to practice science teaching themselves as it has to observe and teach other subjects such as ELA and math. In an attempt to help our Elementary Science Methods students become comfortable and adept at planning and teaching science lessons to children, we created a Professional Development School partnership with a local Catholic elementary school. Our model combines Elementary Science Methods and Classroom Management, two required 3-credit courses in our professional sequence for elementary teachers. Both professors have extensive experience teaching Elementary Science Methods. We have 36 students enrolled in the two courses, which are scheduled back-to-back on Tues/Thurs with 18 students in each section. Our model focuses on 5 innovative techniques for Elementary Science Methods: 1) guided and remote observation of science Instruction, which includes the use of the Zoom videoconferencing tool to view elementary science lessons in progress by experienced teachers as well as their professors; 2) classroom management in the context of inquiry-based science instruction; 3) scaffolding of NGSS-aligned science lesson development and lesson delivery by pre-service teachers; 4) development, administration, and evaluation of student performance on 3D science assessments by pre-service teachers; and 5) self-reflection and peer feedback on pre-service teacher classroom lessons recorded with the SWIVL robot (iPad) and uploaded to VoiceThread. To determine how these innovations in Elementary Science Methods affect our students’ science teaching self-efficacy, the STEBI-B will be administered to our students at the beginning and end of the course. We will also compare our students’ post-STEBI-B scores to those of students who completed a traditional Elementary Science Methods course.
This case study focuses on the experiences of general educators, deaf educators, and interpreters working with deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students in the context of science. Data collected consisted of interviews with teachers of DHH students, as well as observational data collected from a school for DHH students in a high-minority urban context. Several key findings emerged from the analysis. First, many of the teachers had limited or incorrect understandings of the nature of science, and displayed limited inquiry-based science understandings and pedagogies. Second, teachers certified through both general and deaf education pathways displayed neutral or negative attitudes toward teaching science and a lack of confidence in the ability to teach science content. Third, the adaptations provided to DHH students in science contexts were mostly limited to pictorial and vocabulary support, rather than developing more hands-on instruction. Implications for teacher education programs include providing more science content and methods courses, direct instruction focused on specific supports for DHH students and co-teaching methods, and deeper investigation of inquiry-based science practices. Implications for classroom practices that support DHH students include providing adaptations that not only include visual support, but hands-on, inquiry-based instruction, as well as developing students’ nature of science understandings.
In our proposed presentation we will address the challenge of encouraging pre-service teachers to actively develop their professional identity to be useful in reflection and the development of action research projects. The process of creating a well-articulated professional identity is important for pre-service teachers to drive their own professional development (Hsieh, 2016). In our work, we have used these beliefs, or personal practical theories (PPTs), as tools to examine existing practice and to develop action research.
Critical to the retention of talented STEM teachers in high-need schools is developing an understanding of diversity and social justice. Preservice teachers must address their biases, views, and attitudes about diversity so they understand how it is connected to social justice in education. A single embedded case study design will be employed with four preservice teachers focusing their attitudes on diversity and social justice in teaching. The study is expected to support the idea that counter scripts developed in a third space can help preservice teachers challenge traditional scripts regarding diversity and social justice.
Science and religion are two indisputably profound and durable cultural forces that have a complex history of interaction. Although scientific and religious perspectives are often characterized as in conflict with or mutually exclusive of one another, the actual relationships extend beyond simple dichotomies. In this roundtable session, we argue for helping pre- and in-service science teachers to understand this complex history so that they can respond to issues such as the age and origins of the universe, biological evolution, and climate change in an appropriate manner. We first summarize four approaches to science-religion interactions: (1) the Warfare or Conflict thesis, (2) the Independence approach, (3) the Harmony thesis, and (4) the Complexity model. Historical and contemporary examples of each approach will be provided during presentation. Given that classroom and community discussions about science and religion are often manifested in ongoing controversies surrounding biological evolution, we next summarize the origins of anti-evolution movements via the rise and persistence of Christian Fundamentalism. Following a brief summary of anti-evolution legal and rhetorical strategies, we describe research indicating disparities between academic scientists and the general public with regards to religious beliefs. We conclude the essay with resources and practical suggestions for how science teacher educators can address interactions between science and religion in their curriculum and outreach. Although we limit the session to circumstances in the United States, we recognize that these issues extend internationally and we encourage ASTE members from other countries to attend the session to share their perspectives. We will also be presenting a recent NSTA Press publication that the presenters authored and co-edited, Making Science of Science and Religion: Strategies for the Classroom and Beyond.
This presentation will explore the impact of an 18-month professional development experience both immediately after the experience and three years after the project. The PD, which was designed to support teachers' integration of mobile learning and inquiry-based Environmental Science content, was designed through a partnership with a school district implementing a new mobile-learning initiative. We aim to discuss the nature of the project, district support, and influence of the professional development (PD) focused on integrating mobile learning and content-area literacy in the science classroom. We will showcase how the misalignment between conveyed support and actual support coupled with other contextual factors, may have influenced the overall effectiveness of the PD both immediately after and three years post PD. In doing this, we will discuss participants overall views of the PD, their self-efficacy for teaching science, beliefs about integrating technology, and how factors that supported and impeded the integration of PD content, resources, and strategies.
Given the importance of language for the science content knowledge of preservice teachers, the utilization of scientific language, and the ways by which it can be improved are essential topics to study by researchers. This descriptive case study examined the impressions of two preservice bilingual teachers about their readiness to combine language and science content with translanguaging during instruction. Scientific language is also a critical component for an appropriate and meaningful understanding of science concepts and ideas. When we move to the bilingual education arena, science literacy becomes more fertile by the richness of using two natural languages. For this reason, the scientific language needed to communicate science appropriately may become a bridge or an obstacle to meaning-making in the bilingual science setting. When content biliteracy is a necessity, the use of multimodal translanguaging pedagogy becomes a vital component of the teaching process because the movement from one language to another may create a delicate space where meaning can be compromised. This evidence also argues the need for considering the difference between biliteracy and content biliteracy by any bilingual teacher preparation program and the need to pay attention to the science content and pedagogies taught in these programs.
The findings of this study corroborate the idea that bilinguals are pressured with the expectation to perform bilingually in every area of their professional life and to be natural translators of any content. This study found that the preservice bilingual teachers may not have adequate preparation, right from the start, to perform as bilingual science teachers or to spontaneously translate science content. This evidence suggests that translanguaging pedagogies may be the means for bilingual teacher preparation programs to support science content biliteracy of preservice teachers.
Over the last 2-3 decades science teacher educators’ (STE) agenda heavily focused on changing the classroom science teaching practices from traditional cookbook labs format to constructivist and inquiry-oriented teaching and learning approaches. We focused on developing teachers’ and students’ scientific argumentation skills and improving their understandings of nature of science. While emphasizing these issues are important, rarely, if at all, we’ve centered our instruction on issues around social justice and equity, and thus, failed to prepare teachers for the changing demographics, and needs of their classrooms.
Teacher candidates’ perception of becoming a science teacher is not any different from ours. They come to our courses with the expectation they will learn the content they need to know and the strategies necessary to “deliver” the content. Rarely teacher candidates find concepts, such as understanding the needs of their culturally diverse students, practicing culturally relevant teaching practices, or learning to properly integrate reading and writing in science instruction to help their students develop their language literacy skills as important and relevant as learning to teach science.
There has been an increased emphasis on the implementation of culturally responsive teaching (CRT) strategies in teacher preparation courses. However, too often STEs themselves do not know what CRT approach should look like in science classrooms. Considering the lack of STE knowledge and experience with CRT, our goal is to exemplify how teacher candidates can be engaged in discussions around social justice and equity in science methods courses while also learning about and practicing essential science teaching strategies and skills. In doing so, our hope is that STEs who do not feel confident enough to explicitly address these important issues in methods courses, are encouraged to think creatively about how they can modify or alter their current practices in a way to prepare science teachers for the changing demographics of the science classrooms.
For this exploratory study, we explored pre-service teachers’ personal epistemologies and how they influence discourse patterns with students when exploring novel scientific concepts. Thus, for these analyses, we focused solely on student responses to teachers’ initial questions and the teacher follow up to these responses.
The findings indicate that pre-service teachers’ personal epistemologies affects how they respond to student inquiries. Indeed, teachers with more evaluativst stances are more likely to follow up to children’s responses by looking for elaboration, which in turn leads to more exchanges and subsequently more discourse about a specific topic.
The nature and use of experiments in science education has a rich history of its own. During the 1800s, the experiment’s role in formal education shifted from being that of a compelling demonstrative “proof” given by the instructor as they taught to being a practice in which students were themselves engaged in carrying out observations, measurements, and investigations. This transition raised critical questions among teachers using and promoting the new “laboratory method” in education, particularly regarding how much guidance and structure one could give to students in conducting investigations, without risking the engagement, self-motivation, and independence that were seen as the strengths of the new approach. Many of these same questions persist today as we incorporate inquiry and experimentation into our classrooms.
Drawing on my historical research into the development of laboratory-based science education in 19th-century United States, I will highlight some of the diverse approaches used, aspects debated, and challenges faced by scientists and educators as they incorporated inquiry and experimentation into formal science education. While this history demonstrates how our modern understanding of scientific experimentation developed in conjunction with certain educational philosophies and views on the nature of science (many more recent than is often recognized), it can also prove valuable in helping science teachers, and the educators that train them, to recognize that experimentation can take various forms and serve multiple purposes within their classrooms.
A curriculum planning framework to help foster “sense of place”/ “place attachment” is introduced. The framework is derived from published research studies. The planning framework helps science educators to reconceptualize and refine how they plan and approach developing a “sense of place” with students. The planning framework includes developing three foundational experiences: Social Context of Place, Activities and Experiences in Place, and Actions to Maintain/Refine Place. As the three aspects are enacted during learning episodes, students begin to develop an awareness and attachment to place. It is also important to note that each of these foundational activities cannot be done in isolation for “sense of place” and “place attachment” to develop. When students explore the social context of the outdoor environment (this includes its past and present constructed place) alongside doing an array of activities and experiences, each student builds social capital with others that create a common history and understanding about that place. As a student continues to reflect on that place they can recommend actions that help that place maintain and refine its context in their community. This creates some level of social empowerment for a student. When a student has enough actions in the space they likely have refined awareness that works to foster immediate and/or long-term impact for that place. Students develop impactful awareness of the place. In this planning framework when all three foundational experiences are being developed and intertwined a “sense of place” is coherently developed. We do not suggest that “sense of place” is ever fully developed, however this framework provides ample room to introduce, develop, mature, and refine each of these elements so “sense of place” are always in a state of development and refinement. Further work is needed to explore how explicitly using this planning framework for outdoor curriculum and research-based assessment informs how learners develop a “sense of place” and “place attachment”.
This study presents how two types of evaluation methods (group competition and absolute criteria) affect students’ engineering problem solving skill and gender differences in improvement of engineering problem solving skill in both types of lesson units. The result of this study shows that after participating in Type A lesson(absolute criteria), boys and girls’ CEPSP scores of engineering problem solving skill increased significantly. However, Type B lesson (group competition) seems not as much as effective than Type A lesson to improve both boys and girls engineering problem solving skill. Importantly, even if girls were much more interested in Type B lesson than Type A lesson units, their CEPSP score after Type B lesson was even lower than before. Boys perceived that both lesson was interesting but their CEPSP score increased significantly only after Type A lesson. This means that the evaluation method that gives multiple productive failure experience is a more critical factor to improve students’ engineering problem solving skills than their interest level.
In terms of the impact of the engineering lesson by gender, ANCOVA results show that both types of lesson units are more beneficial to boys than girls. Girls’ perceptions of ‘interest’ fluctuated more depending on the Types of the lessons (evaluation methods and topics) than boys’. This result implies that teachers need to carefully choose topics and evaluation methods for engineering integrated science lesson to help girls improve engineering problem solving skills and perceptions about engineering design.
Over the past decade, there have been urgent calls to improve K-12 STEM education in the United States in order to alleviate the shortage of STEM workers to fill the growing STEM field jobs. These calls have generated new approaches to teaching and learning, such as integrated STEM, STEM strategies to improve STEM interest in young citizens, and the potential to broaden and diversify the population of students who pursue STEM careers.
As a new approach, STEM integration has many definitions (Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2014). However, various models of STEM agree on certain components: (a) an emphasis on student-centered pedagogies (NRC, 2012); (b) connecting STEM subjects and real-world problems (Bybee, 2010); (c) intentional development of 21st century skills such as problem solving and critical thinking (NRC, 2012); and (d) social interaction, teamwork, and communication amongst students (Moore et al., 2014). In spite of some common features in models for integrated STEM, a range of curricular approaches are being implemented in classrooms and unfortunately, with a focus on the STEM workforce, many curricular approaches do not explicitly address increasing STEM interest for all students. This framework uses students’ lived experiences, incorporates cultural relevance, and promotes inclusivity and community wealth building through community engagement. It is an example of how a school can meaningfully integrate STEM for all students, positively impact the community, and work to foster STEM interest in a broad population of students. It is imperative that future generations of students who earn degrees in STEM fields and who are employed in STEM careers better reflect the diversity of the population of the entire nation. Based on the results of this study, the authors suggest using the Community-Based Conceptual Framework for STEM Integration that was developed in this study as a guide. There is a need to conduct more research studies that focus on how to foster STEM interest in a broader population of students through STEM integration.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council (NRC), 2012) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (NGSS Lead States, 2013) promote scientific literacy
through three-dimensional learning that integrates Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and engagement in scientific and engineering practices. Given the recency of the reforms and that K-12
science teaching and learning is still often inconsistent with the vision of the Framework (Banilower, 2019), no current college students have
experienced an NGSS-aligned K-12 curriculum. As many
universities require one science course for an undergraduate degree, an K-8 teacher may enter their first classroom having taken only one post-secondary science course, not experienced reform-based science learning, and be unprepared to enact reform-based science teaching (Roth, 2104). This presents a gap in the literature as our field considers how to foster reform-oriented K-16 science teaching and learning that prepares knowledgeable, reform-oriented future teachers and citizens. This case study addresses that gap by describing the
nature of nonmajors’ engagement in science practices in an NGSS-alignedscience course. The study is framed by communities of practice (CoP) (Wenger, 1998). Data collected included: 1) students’ initial investigation ideas and written peer and instructor feedback, 2) researcher notes, 3) students’ final posters, 4) student course feedback,
and 5) an internal review of randomly selected student posters conducted by science faculty. Data were analyzed using open and axial coding. Nonmajors 1) asked personally relevant questions, 2) designed and planned investigations that were largely fair tests, 3) analyzed and interpreted data through pattern analysis with limited use of statistical analysis, and 4) obtained, evaluated, and communicated information in poster rationales and discussions. Students’ engagement in science practices afforded them a valuable opportunity to do science, but presented challenges. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
A consistent focus in policy documents over time has been the call for high academic standards for all students. Despite these calls, there is a persistent gap in science achievement when comparisons are made between populations of learners. Unfortunately, research shows access to quality science learning experiences remain determined in large part by students’ socio-economic status, racial or ethnic group, gender and level of English language proficiency. As the increase in diversity deepens the NEA policy brief (2008) highlights the tension as educators struggle to serve students from cultures other than their own. Arguably, one of the pressing challenges in the era of recent K-12 science reform, in such diverse classrooms, is to provide all students with equitable opportunities to learn. In this qualitative case study research, we examine the perspectives science teachers hold about their diverse learners, their level of cultural competence, and the possible sources of the beliefs and the affordances or hindrances. Findings indicate that marginalized students continue to be grossly underserved in science classrooms. Teachers’ inability to meet the needs of diverse populations of learners has created disproportionate outcomes and the persistent under achievements in science. Furthermore, marginalized populations of learners have been unintentionally denied educational opportunities due to the system’s failure to provide the level of training and assistant that teachers of science require to increase their effectiveness as teachers and advocates. Teachers were emphatic about the divide between their cultures and the populations of learners. This divide manifested in low expectations and a passive refusal to embrace aspects of the elements of effective instruction that required capitalizing on students’ funds of knowledge and prior experiences. The education remains inequitable in its offering and some teachers’ beliefs about their students were hindrances to their conceptualization of the richness that diverse learners offer in the process of science learning.
Elementary science teaching practices still do not reflect the reform efforts as indicated in the k-12 Framework (Horizon Research, 2019; NRC, 2012). This challenge passes on to teacher educators to ensure the next generation of elementary teachers are efficacious in teaching science, utilizing constructivist practices, such as inquiry-based science teaching and scientific argumentation. This course was designed to reflect Donovan & Bransford's (2000) research on student learning and Banilower's (2010) framework for effective science teacching. With every lesson, I elicited their prior conceptions, engaged them in inquiry, discourse/modeling with development of claims, and had them make sense of what they learned while reflecting on what helped them learn best. Students are exposed to scientific inquiry, exloration, discussion, reflection, and modeling to gain deep understanding of science content and practices. Additionally, using a LMS platform, students delve into societal issues surrounding engineering and scienee practices and content via discussion with their peers. A pre/post assessment was developed to ascertain whether the framework was successful. Every semester, student learning significantly increased. Examples may provide interested teacher educators strategies or tools to utilize teaching their PSTs.
Equitable access to quality science teachers is of great concern in our nation. So much so federal policies are in place to ensure teachers in classrooms across the nation are well prepared, beginning the focus on equitable access to quality education with the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965 (Paul, 2016) and continuing today with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015. This focus remains in policy, but the burden of preparing these teachers falls on the teacher education programs. While each science teacher preparation program may vary, they look to the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA) Standards for Science Teacher Preparation for guidance. The standards were written to equip future science teachers with knowledge and skills necessary for their teaching assignment, regardless of discipline or location (Veal & Allen, 2014) and regardless of poverty level of the district in which they will teach. But, how adequately are they addressed?
Due to the increasing diversity of U.S. schools, science teacher education programs need to evaluate how they are preparing teachers to teach a wider range of students and communities. Overall, the data suggests the university programs are doing well in preparing science teachers; however, there is need for improvement in some areas. This study suggests that programs may appear to prepare teachers well in many aspects but need to consider the strength of the program’s ability to prepare science teachers for various student populations, specifically those in high poverty settings.
In this session, we will explore preservice and inservice teachers’ perceptions of the preparedness provided by middle grades and secondary science education programs at the university, focusing on four NSTA standards for analysis: content knowledge and content pedagogy, learning environment, and professional knowledge and skills. We will also explore principal satisfaction of the preparedness of graduates from these programs. Finally, we will look deeper into the nuances found when analyzing data across poverty levels.
Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) as teacher professional development strive to increase teachers’ identity as science educators through authentic experiences in scientific research teams. MRET is a NSF-funded RET in its third year of embedding K-5 teachers in engineering laboratory research teams. Historically, most RET sites focus on secondary (6-12) teachers as participants, leveraging their content knowledge as they must have significant college level coursework and often a degree in the subject taught. Elementary teacher preparation has a broader scope; primary teachers require basic proficiency in all subject areas, creating a unique challenge for MRET in finding common ground among participating researchers and teachers. This paper presents our process of developing and employing badges to ensure the time elementary teachers and university scientists spend together in the laboratory is productive in both accomplishing the work of the lab and in contributing to the desired professional growth outcomes for the teachers. A key component in finding this balance has been the construction of a micro-certification framework based upon the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science and engineering practices, and specific skills and proficiencies teachers are expected to demonstrate as laboratory researchers. This framework has been translated into MRET badges, loosely based on the structures of Boy Scout badges and digital micro certifications, that teachers may earn through a process of learning about a topic or skill, practicing it, then demonstrating their learning to a member of the MRET team. MRET badges have been enthusiastically received by both teachers and scientists as a valuable form of scaffolding of the research experience and as an aid to direct teacher activities within the lab in circumstances where they may otherwise have unstructured time. Because badges are tied to the NGSS science and engineering practices, they serve as a bridge uniting the work of the research labs and teacher’s elementary curriculum.
Over the course of 6 semesters, 121 undergraduate preservice elementary teachers at a metropolitan university designed and taught two-day mini-units on the engineering design process during their school-based field experiences. This qualitative study analyzes the structured reflections of these future teachers to four questions: (1) What sections of the lesson went according to plan?; (2) What sections of the lesson did you have to adjust or omit?; (3) What things would you adjust or do differently the next time?; and (4) What is the most important thing you have learned from your experience teaching engineering design? Several themes emerged from these responses that are of value to others considering best practices for preparing preservice elementary teachers to teach engineering design. The time constraint of teaching engineering design in two lessons was among the greatest challenges; however, respondents found ways to adjust their lessons for success and reported a desire to allot more class time to engineering instruction in their future classrooms. Common adjustments to lesson planning included reducing or increasing the number of available materials, changing classroom management strategies, adopting or eliminating criteria, making student groups smaller, and teaching more content. Many preservice teachers were initially skeptical that younger students could complete a full engineering design process, but were swayed by the enthusiasm and success of their students. Emergent themes from the structured reflections suggest that engineering mini-units, though heavily constrained by time, served as a positive experience capable of helping preservice elementary teachers develop their ability to design and implement engineering instruction.
Science teachers who seek to advance reforms-based science teaching often encounter many substantial obstacles that interfere with their efforts. These obstacles derive from sources outside and within the schooling system, and together they make time-honored instructional practices far safer and easier. This poster session: a) summarizes research regarding institutional constraints that interfere in science education reform efforts; b) presents institutional constraints faced by three science teachers from urban, suburban, and rural schools; c) puts forward strategies for how teachers can navigate and overcome institutional constraints; and d) shares how these strategies played out for the three teachers. Effectively preparing science teachers to navigate institutional constrains and implement reforms-based science teaching practices is crucial for preservice and inservice science teacher education efforts.
Quality professional development, including embedded support, can propel teachers’ change in perspective from being self-focused to focused on program impact (Tunks and Weller, 2009). This study chronicled the supported implementation of project-based STEM across grades K-12 in a small, rural school district, from the perspectives of district educators. The research question guiding this study was: How have educators’ concerns about STEM implementation evolved during the project and does the grade level(s) they teach affect their concern(s)? The Stages of Concern Questionnaire (SoCQ) was administered three times over a year and a half to collect respondents’ perspectives on the STEM implementation. Both aggregated and individual analyses of concern profiles are presented. Two statistical tests were conducted to evaluate educators’ perspectives as functions of time and grade level(s) taught. Aggregated findings suggest educator perspectives were influenced by neither time nor grade level taught, though individual change was observed. Implications for implementation of district-wide STEM initiatives and use of SoCQ results are discussed.
The “T” in STEM is the most fluid and ambiguous part of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education for teachers to understand and enact. This multiple-case study uses both the TPACK framework (Mishra & Koehler, 2006) and the PIC-RAT framework (Kimmons, 2016) to explore how six elementary science and engineering teachers envision and enact technology integration in STEM education. The teachers worked in two teams of three with graduate student coaches during professional development to design and implement STEM curriculum. Across the two units and six teachers, varied uses of technology and frequency of technology integration emerged. Notably, quantitative and qualitative analyses revealed that teachers’ beliefs and vision for technology integration tend to be more ambitious and student-centered than what occurs in practice. This suggests that teachers may benefit from direct support and frameworks to enact technology integration practices that better align with their beliefs and student learning goals.
Teachers are often faced with the challenge of teaching unfamiliar content to a class. This may occur when there is a mismatch between the subjects teachers teach and their specialization or certification, also called out-of-field (OOF) teaching (Ingersoll, 1998). In science, this problem is amplified with the introduction of the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS) (Lead States, 2013) which emphasizes mathematics and engineering, and requires teachers to use the science and engineering practices (SEPs). However, many science teachers will not have adequate training in mathematics or engineering (Freeman, Becker, & Cummins, 2017) and if they teach this content, they will be OOF.
OOF teaching assignments are a consequence of a local and short term need. Producing enough graduates with requisite science degrees and incentivizing them to fill positions in areas of need is a long term solution to the problem. In the meantime, it becomes important to think of ways to not only upskill and support science teachers teaching OOF, but also prepare an effective workforce of science teachers who would likely be teaching OOF. The review of literature on OOF teaching will help science teacher educators understand the phenomenon of OOF teaching, it's implications for science teacher education, and will help them prepare and support future science teachers who could possibly be assigned to teach OOF. No such literature review exists to date.
In this presentation, we will share the current state of OOF teaching, and its implications for science teacher education. The review of literature includes articles published in peer reviewed journals between 2007 and 2018. Findings include how teachers arrive and negotiate OOF teaching, issues related to OOF teaching, and support important to OOF teachers. The presentation will also highlight areas where existing research is inadequate.
Elementary teachers need to possess a broad understanding of science concepts and have the ability to engage students in 3-dimensional experiences as they develop scientific literacy. Understanding the big ideas in the Disciplinary Core Ideas from the Next Generation Science Standards and other recent reform documents is essential to quality science instruction in our schools. The use of pictorial representation learning for pre-service teachers provides opportunities to deepen novice teacher understanding of key ideas in science and to develop practical application experiences that translate to student and classroom contexts.
In this presentation, an instructional strategy that uses pre-service teacher-development of pictorial representation of the Disciplinary Core Ideas within the K-12 Framework (2012) will be used as a way to develop a more complete understandings of the essential components of science learning to ultimately be conveyed to their students.
With more effective professional learning of elementary teachers in their Disciplinary Core Idea content, pre-service teachers will be better prepared to provide meaningful instruction within the nation's science classrooms. A method for assessing specific science content within a pre-service elementary science methods course will be shared in this session.
We describe a professional development model that supports teachers to integrate computational thinking (CT) and computer science principles into middle school science and STEM classes. The model includes the collaborative design (co-design) (Voogt et al., 2015) of storylines or curricular units aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) that utilize programmable sensors such as those contained on the micro:bit. Teachers spend several workshops co-designing CT-integrated storylines and preparing to implement them with their own students. As part of this process, teachers develop or modify curricular materials to ensure a focus on coherent, student driven instruction through the investigation of scientific phenomena that are relevant to the students and utilize sensor technology. Teachers implement the storylines and meet to collaboratively reflect on their instructional practices as well as their students’ learning. Throughout this cyclical, multi-year process, teachers develop expertise in CT-integrated science instruction as they plan for and use instructional practices that align with three dimension science teaching and foreground computational thinking. Throughout the professional learning process, teachers alternate between wearing their “student hats” and their “teacher hats”, in order to maintain both a student and teacher perspective as they co-design and reflect on their implementation of CT-integrated units.This chapter illustrates two teachers’ experiences of the professional development process over a two-year period, including their learning, planning, implementation, and reflection on two co-designed units.
A complex conceptual model is being presented to explain teachers’ persistence to remain in the profession. The overarching theoretical framework for this model is Bandura’s (1986) Social Cognitive Theory. Factors impacting teachers’ persistence to remain in the profession are classified as personal, environmental, and behavioral. Personal factors are further understood through Self Determination Theory.
In this presentation we share data regarding preschool – third grade teachers’ understandings of the Next Generation Science Standards’ three dimensions. In June 2019, twenty-eight early childhood educators in the Midwest of the United States took a 10-item multiple choice pre-assessment regarding the language and ideas of the Next Generation Standards (NGSS) prior to a two-week summer institute and year-long professional development project focused on understanding and using the NGSS to plan and enact inquiry science and engineering design instruction. The assessment reported on in this presentation, which focused on declarative knowledge of the NGSS, was one of several data sources to provide information about the teachers’ declarative, procedural and conditional knowledge of engaging young children in inquiry science and engineering design.
Among the pre-institute results, we found that cross-cutting concepts were the most unfamiliar ideas for educators. We also found that teachers often over-estimated how many science and engineering practices children would engage in within particular aspects of an investigation. When asked to examine a kindergarten/first grade performance expectation (PE) from the NGSS, 25% of the teachers correctly labeled the part of the PE that referred to a disciplinary core idea, 21% correctly identified the portion that referred to a scientific and engineering practice, while only 4% (one teacher) correctly identified the cross-cutting concept. Post-institute results (not available prior to the deadline for this proposal) will also be reported upon. Professional development providers and preservice teacher educators may find this presentation of interest and the very easily administered measure useful for their contexts.
Our research focuses on how to help teachers learn how to teach STEM in K-12 classrooms through a graduate-level course taken by in-service and pre-service teachers on STEM pedagogy. Through our own previous research, we found that although mastery experiences in engineering design can help improve pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy in some environments, building skills to support future classroom instruction seemed less attainable. This new project explores a different approach, focusing on integrated STEM lesson planning, in the context of social justice as an additional motivation for change.
The purpose of a physical science course focusing on scientific model development is to engage prospective elementary teachers with model-based inquiry. Engaging in this experience, much as would their future students, positions prospective elementary teachers in the context of “teacher as learner of science” rather than “teacher as learner of best practices in science pedagogy.” Model-based inquiry places modeling at the center of scientific inquiry. As scientists and science learners engage in science practices, they revise or reconstruct models to align with new evidence. The product of the iterative process of model-based inquiry (i.e., the model) is a tentative explanation that aids in explaining the occurring phenomenon. Teachers tend to struggle with understanding scientific modeling and even more so in conceptualizing how to integrate it into instructional planning and practice. Scientific modeling, thus, is rarely observed in classrooms.
While educational researchers have attempted to prioritize scientific modeling within elementary science pedagogy courses, the focus on other essential science education practices often takes precedence, resulting in little time spent on scientific modeling or how to integrate it into instructional planning and classroom practice. At most universities across the U.S., prospective elementary teachers learn science in courses offered through the College of Sciences where the science content, not the pedagogy, is the focus. Unlike many of these elementary education programs, the instructor of science education pedagogy courses holds a Master of Science in Engineering, Doctor of Philosophy in Science Education, and has engaged in both engineering and science professional practice.
We hypothesize that modeling experience in the context of “teachers as learners of science” will yield the prior knowledge necessary to (1) initiate a discussion about how best to engage elementary students with science concepts with model-based inquiry and (2) influence their instructional choices when planning science lessons for children.
The struggle for coherence among a Network Improvement Community (NIC) in designing materials to implement the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) is explored in this study. Consideration of systemic coherence is a necessary challenge in relation to the NGSS as it provides a dramatically different vision for science teaching and learning in comparison to what has historically occurred in most science classrooms. Coherence is framed as the processes in which networked actors within the educational system work together to iteratively negotiate the fit between externally developed directives and the goals and strategies employed day-to-day in districts, schools, and classrooms. Therefore, it is recognized that that crafting of coherence entails consideration of the struggles, successes, and varied contexts of the working groups within and across the NIC. The following are the two research questions: (1) What are the foci, opportunities, and challenges of a NIC associated with the process of designing NGSS aligned materials? (2) What are the spaces of possible interactions within and between groups of NIC? This design-based research study used video recordings of professional development sessions, focus groups, interviews, and artifacts of the NIC’s work. The following are selected themes that emerged: (1) the NIC valued collaborative work and believed that three-dimensional instruction would lead to positive learning experiences (2) the main challenge was a lack of time to design curriculum materials; (3) the central hub was important in facilitating collaborative spaces that were mutualistic and productive.
As research about STEM education continues to flourish, there is an increasing demand to understand how this educational framework really impacts learning and promotes interest in pursuing STEM-related careers among students (Gnagey & Lavertu, 2016; Honey, Pearson, & Schweingruber, 2006; Timms, Moyle, Weldon, & Mitchell, 2018). In this study, researchers will explore and describe how 6th grade middle school students experience STEM and how these experiences differ when the participants are grouped into whether they came from a STEM elementary school or not. Preliminary analysis of the data collected from the pilot interviews reveal that students will attempt to define STEM within the context of their current or prior experiences. Some of the themes that surfaced from this preliminary analysis were that STEM is fun and engaging, STEM is using teamwork to accomplish a task, STEM is about creating “something”, and STEM is the integration of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This study may provide answers around student motivation, interest and attitude during STEM activities and may allow comparisons to be made between and among the lived experiences of students of STEM at the selected school.
Teachers are rarely given the opportunity to be seen as the “knowledgeable other” or as an expert when experiencing professional learning. Teachers are often treated as “technicians”, expected to receive knowledge and information from a more knowledgeable other in a position of power and not to help create the knowledge and learning collaboratively. I asked: In what ways are teachers positioned with professional agency and as epistemic agents during co-designed, responsive professional learning opportunities? With audio and interview analysis, this case illuminated the ways in which four teachers were positioned as epistemic agents - shaping the knowledge, practices, and learning in their professional learning. This study speaks back to the traditional narratives of teachers’ roles in effective professional learning.
Exploring faculty professional learning communities (PLC) made up of STEM and education faculty can be an avenue for developing rigorous STEM teacher education courses. In this study, faculty PLC meetings focused on improving a new course: Enhancing Mathematics with STEM for K-12 teachers of math and science. Themes that arose from this mixed-methods study utilizing the TCAR rubric included the eagerness of participants to be collaborative and productive, as well as their focus, as a group, on the improvement of the course for the benefit of the teachers taking it. Teaching teachers how to effectively design and incorporate STEM lessons is a priority for current STEM education. This research presents one method of utilizing a faculty PLC to create valuable learning experiences for teachers.
Under the Next Generation Science Standards, educators are expected to begin teaching evolutionary concepts explicitly as early as 3rd grade. Unfortunately, there is extensive data demonstrating that pre-service K-8 teachers hold many naïve conceptions regarding evolution, feel unprepared to teach evolution, and often do not have the opportunity to take courses in evolutionary biology to increase their understanding. As a result, these teachers enter the classroom feeling uncertain about the validity of evolutionary theory, incorporating alternative explanations of evolution into instruction, outright rejecting evolution, or avoiding the topic of evolution entirely. This creates a chain reaction as students move through their educational careers with decreased understanding and acceptance of evolution. Therefore, it is essential that pre-service teachers have the opportunity to develop comprehensive evolutionary understanding through their science coursework in order to effectively teach these concepts.
To address this gap in evolutionary understanding in pre-service teachers, an introductory biology course taught through an evolutionary perspective specifically for pre-service elementary and middle school teachers was developed. This course utilizes the Teaching for Transformative Experiences in Science model to make evolutionary ideas relevant to students’ everyday lives in order to encourage conceptual change. This presentation will describe a research study about the efficacy of this course and present evidence regarding students’ understanding of evolutionary concepts and use of evolutionary concepts in designing NGSS-aligned lesson plans. Initial data analysis shows that after the course, students applied evolutionary theory to their lives to a moderate degree and significantly increased their conceptual understanding of evolution. Thus, this study represents an innovation in science teacher education through its use of the TTES model with pre-service educators whose coursework may not emphasize evolutionary concepts.
A growing body of research indicates that students from groups underrepresented in STEM benefit from instruction that emphasizes issues of concern for marginalized communities, underscoring the importance of Culturally Relevant Pedagogies (CRP) in science teaching and science teacher education. Supporting student critical consciousness has been described as the “neglected dimension of CRP,” an assertion supported by interviews with Science Teacher Educators that reveal that those charged with preparing pre-service teachers lack an understanding of the socio-political aspects of CRP (Underwood & Mensah, 2018).
Limited attention has been given to the relationship between CRP and discipline-specific content including science. This failure to address systemic issues through content instruction and science teacher education leaves practicing teachers ill-equipped to address topics including race in science classrooms. This presentation describes findings from two design-based research (DBR) cycles investigating innovative in-service teacher education designed to support the development of critical consciousness among science educators.
Findings reveal that exploring science content through a critical lens is a promising way to acknowledge and support the development of critical consciousness. To engage in this emancipatory form of instruction, teachers must possess the ability to evaluate science content through a critical lens and a desire to support their students as agents of change. The studies conducted through this research have the potential to expand science teacher educators’ knowledge regarding how to support pre-service teachers critical consciousness and inform developers of science curricula regarding how best to support the teaching of science for social justice. Accordingly, this presentation will be of interest to science teacher educators, methods instructors, educational researchers and curriculum developers interested in implementing critical pedagogies and anti-racist education in science education.
This study case study will examine preservice elementary teachers’ written reflections and teaching philosophies to identify what they focused on as they discussed their beliefs and examined their science teaching practice. Open coding was used to analyze the data. Preliminary findings for one group of preservice students indicate that participants had four foci for their science teaching philosophies: (a) discuss their previous learning experiences, (b) discuss their professional development goals, (c) discuss their vision of an ideal science teacher and (d) showcase their knowledge of concepts taught in the science methods course. There were four foci for their written reflections: (a) comfort level with science content, (b) planning of lesson and lesson implementation, (c) connections to other lessons or science content, and (d) encouraging student participation.
Using a critical pedagogy lens, this position paper’s aim is to demonstrate the distinct yet similar goals of socioscientific issues and social justice education frameworks in order to promote a merger of the two concepts to support the goal of science education for social responsibility. Socioscientific issues curriculum is highlighted as a framework to promote functional scientific literacy in the field of science education. Social justice education is an outcome of multicultural-based science education using a transformative and social action approach. Social Justice curriculum aims to disrupt current cycles of oppression and promotes socially just citizens who are willing to take action to create transformative and lasting changes to societal structures. There is a significant yet distinct degree of overlap between the goals of socioscientific and social justice curriculum. The need for this integration is important for two reasons: 1) science curriculum is taught from a hegemonic perspective that perpetuates white privilege and racial superiority, and 2) students are ill-prepared to deal with and participate in the changes required to take social action to further collective goals of society. Consequently, it is argued that Socioscientific curriculum should be used to promote both the development of an individual's functional scientific literacy and their ability to make both socially responsible and socially just decisions.
NYS Science Learning Standards (2016) outlines goals for science teaching and learning that includes an integration of science and engineering practices, disciplinary core ideas, and crosscutting concepts (NRC, 2012). Curriculum developers and classroom teachers face multiple challenges as they consider how to integrate these three-dimensions within the constraints of time, materials, and distributed resources. Using data from a Math Science Partnership Program between a large, urban public school district and its college partner, we investigate teachers’ professional learning during collaborative development of a 6thgrade STEM-integrated science curriculum.
The need for effective middle and secondary science education programs continues to grow and science teacher education needs to expand opportunities for authentic field experiences. This session will present novel approaches to preparing science teachers within a variety of educational contexts designed to meet learners where they are and to develop educator competencies in teaching students from within the larger community. Unique field experiences for pre-service STEM teachers are designed to meet the needs of the larger communities that they serve within specific educational contexts. For Institution 1: Students who are both STEM and education majors participate in a citizen-based education research project during their junior or senior years designed to prepare them to work in high needs school districts. For Institution 2: Students participate in a cultural and linguistic immersion experience in which they live for two weeks abroad or in a language-minority area of the United States teaching ESOL students in Title I schools. For Institution 3: The authors partnered with a local faith-based organization to provide 18 teacher candidates in the MAT Secondary Science degree program with 18 hours of microteaching experience prior to their practicum placements in the field. The local church consisted of 100% African American children (many of who qualified for free or reduced lunch). The teacher candidates taught elementary school students enrolled in a summer STEM camp at the church over the course of 3 weeks. For Institution 4: Math and science students participate in two field practica prior to their year long clinical experience. One of these 60 hour placements occurs at a middle school, and the other one in a high school setting. The Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program is a nationwide program whose goal is to “change lives by helping schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach.”
Issues of diversity and equity are fundamental to the core questions of the NGSS: what counts as science and who counts as a scientist (Januszky, Miller, & Lee, 2016; NRC 2012). However, in some presentations of ambitious science instruction, these topics can be treated as an “add-on” at the end of a course instead of a core, consistent component. Many elementary science teacher educators work within programs of study that relegate science pedagogy to a single semester class, drastically limiting instructional time. This syllabus session suggests ways to weave explorations of diversity and equity, including linguistically sustaining and culturally responsive pedagogical practices, across the science methods topics traditionally addressed in these single semester courses.
An understanding of computing and computational thinking (CT) is a skill necessary for citizens to have in today’s technology-driven society and economy. These skills are fundamental to nearly every occupation. Unfortunately, the majority of schools in the U.S. do not offer computer science courses where there is an emphasis on computing and CT. In order for students to gain an adequate understanding of computing and CT necessary to thrive in today’s society, students need access and opportunities in computing and CT at young ages. To support this goal, K-12 teachers will need to build their own understanding of computing and CT in order to identify and build connections to these pertinent concepts in existing curricula. The goal of this study is to help support teachers’ understanding and implementation of computing and CT. This support was offered through professional development (PD) offerings. A series of PD offerings has provided data that we have used to develop subsequent PD opportunities. The participants involved in the first PD included a total of 25 teachers from five schools district in the surrounding area. The PD lasted a total of five months with one PD each month lasting approximately three hours. The focus of this PD was on computer science and programming; however, non-computer science teachers did not make clear connections to integrate this material or found the content challenging. The second and third PD offerings had a combined total of 21 participants and lasted four and three days respectively and focused more on computing and CT. The data has shown that non-computer science teachers demonstrated more confidence in implementation of computing and CT content into their subject area after the second and third PD offerings.
There is a dearth of research on the success of urban college students, considered historically disadvantaged in predominately white institutions; within STEM disciplines (Harper 2010). An abundance of deficit oriented research exists on the urban college student, even when these students succeed in predominately white universities (Kitchen, Sonnert et al. 2018). These studies do not take into account the impact of high allostasis and John Henryism in the STEM environment.
According to Lamb (Lamb 2014), high allostasis is the taxing of cognitive load and physiological stress management systems and leads to decreased ability and performance in the traditional classroom. Moreover, students who have overcome negative urban environmental cumulative stress factors (Milner 2008, Milner, Murray et al. 2015) within and outside the traditional learning environment experience decreased working memory and reduced levels of cognitive processing. According to Milner (2015), these chronic stressors leave a lasting impact on the student and are identified as these four variables: homelessness; social context; policy and school funding; and family involvement A relationship between teachers and students within an urban environment must illustrate shared understanding of the broader environment in which the school is located and how students negotiate spaces outside of the classroom (Milner, Murray et al. 2015)
Among the high achieving and high persistent urban students, the data shows there exists feelings of inadequacy, negative impact of color blindness and battle fatigue (Boyd and Mitchell 2018). Historically underrepresented students experiencing high allostatic load persist and succeed largely through extraordinary individual efforts and strategies called John Henryism. John Henryism (James 1994), is a predisposition to tenaciously engage psychosocial stressors on an individual level
The professional identity of an educator is constructed while navigating within K-12 education systems. A teacher’s ability to contribute to the profession of teaching and learning increases skill development, engagement, and willingness to transfer knowledge to others. When opportunities are lacking, teachers become isolated within K-12 systems, disenchanted with teaching, and disengaged from the teaching profession. The problem will persist if conditions for educator development are incremental and isolated (Fullan, Galluzzo, Morris, & Watson, 1998). The purpose of this qualitative case study is to investigate how the development of professional identity of 17 STEM teacher leaders are shaped from embedded organizational structures of leadership activities. Research questions to be addressed are: 1) What perceptions do experienced teachers in the UC Noyce MTF program have about teacher leadership? and, 2) How do organizational structures of the school district and UC program impact their construction of being a teacher leader? Data will be collected by participant semi-structured interviews, surveys and teacher leadership artifacts from the Noyce program and school district. Themes from participant data will be analyzed using York-Barr and Duke’s (2004) framework of teacher leadership practices to understand the influences organizational factors of beliefs, contexts, and activities have on the development of STEM teacher professional identity as teacher leaders. By identifying connections between organizational structures and professional identity of experienced teachers, the research can facilitate understanding of the factors that mitigate teacher leader professional identity, assist in implementing systematic professional development for experienced teachers, and provide an alternate view for teacher educator programs to utilize knowledge from veteran STEM educators to strengthen pre-service teacher education.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) advocates for a focus on convergence in education as a means to solve the challenges of the future, which will involve complex problems necessitating an integration of multiple STEM disciplines. Support for interdisciplinary teaching as reflective of the true nature of the STEM field is evident in the science standards documents. An interdisciplinary approach to STEM teaching and learning requires a knowledge integration perspective, which emphasizes the role of teachers to encourage a more coherent understanding of science and mathematics by integrating prior knowledge with new ideas and practices. Through a knowledge integration framework, the goal of instruction is to encourage interdisciplinary understanding of a complex concept by developing a more coherent scientific literacy through knowledge integration. A STEM methods course provides both opportunities and challenges to support knowledge integration and encourage interdisciplinary STEM teaching and learning. In many respects, challenges to teaching a combined STEM methods course become opportunities for interdisciplinary STEM teaching. In order to understand these opportunities and challenges in a broader context, we have sought partnerships across multiple teacher preparation programs and collaborative discussions about the integration of curricular and pedagogical ideas. In particular, the presenters represent different backgrounds from science and mathematics education and have grappled with these challenges in the process of redesigning content specific methods courses at different institutions. This presentation will provide ASTE methods instructors a forum to discuss the opportunities and challenges of a STEM methods course for the purpose of fostering interdisciplinary STEM teaching and learning.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and Georgia’s Standards for Excellence both rely heavily on the processes of science to achieve learning. Both sets of standards are relatively new. As a result, these teachers will be expected to explain science in a manner different from how they were taught. Students’ high school preparation in science fluctuates greatly, and university guidelines dictate the inclusion of two content courses (one life and earth, the other physical) specifically for elementary teachers. As a result, some elementary school teachers leave their university programs with an incomplete understanding of science content and processes. To address this gap, the Math Science Partnership (MSP), a two-year, state-funded grant program, was implemented to support inservice teachers as they improve their content knowledge and instructional practices. Eighty inservice elementary teachers participated in a two-year workshop which led to a science endorsement on their teaching certificate. The participants engaged in three courses: differentiation, integration, and application. Supervisors also visited the teachers’ classrooms twice during the two years to perform observations of their lessons. During the differentiation and integration courses, the teachers were required to complete a four lesson unit plan. During the application course, the teachers wrote two lesson plans that show vertical alignment. All of these assignments were arranged in a digital portfolio. A local professional development organization endorsed by the state provided the content for the endorsement program. We found that a majority of the science teachers significantly improved their content knowledge during the two year treatment. We also found that while there was a range of Science and Engineering Practices utilized by the teachers, some practices were used often, while other practices were neglected. Thus, future professional development may need to be structured to include opportunities for teachers to engage in practices that are currently under utilized.
Efforts in STEM integration have capitalized on the use of the engineering design process as the catalyst for learning science, math, and technology content (Moore et al., 2014). The engineering design process can promote 21st Century learning to develop critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and creativity (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2009). The Framework for K-12 Science Education emphasizes the role of engineering through the instructional practices of disciplinary core ideas. Yet, it is important to note that the goal is “not the addition of engineering practices but the integration of engineering practices” (Guzey, Tank, Wang, Roehrig, & Moore, 2014, p. 139).
Engineering at the elementary level is essential due to the recent inclusion of engineering design in all grade bands of the national science standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013), and a focus on the preparation of elementary educators to teach engineering is crucial because many elementary teachers hold misconceptions relevant to engineers and engineering (Hammack, 2018) and express low engineering teacher-efficacy in the areas of pedagogical content knowledge and outcome expectancy (Coppola, 2019; Hammack & Ivey, 2017).
This mixed methods study explored findings from an elementary science methods course that incorporated an engineering unit aligned with the 5E inquiry model into class sessions. Participants were 27 elementary preservice teachers enrolled in a full semester methods course . Data was collected through a pre- and post-engineering experience Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy Scale (TESS) survey (Yoon, Evans, & Strobel, 2014). Then, to determine the ways in which the preservice teachers perceive of engineering, data was gathered via an open-ended post-experience survey. Results suggest that the experience had a positive significant impact on the preservice teachers’ engineering teacher-efficacy and enhanced their understanding and perceptions towards the utilization of engineering in the elementary classroom.
This session will share the beginnings of a rural, agricultural and environmental focused STEM elementary charter school that uses Project-Based Learning (PBL) methods. This will include how teachers were trained and supported to develop STEM-based PBL modules through the use of outdoor education, rural-life lab activities and environmental and agriculture-based field experiences; initial observations of student engagement and academic achievement; and involvement of teacher education researchers and preservice teachers.
This presentation provides a detailed examination of the use of field-based 5E Inquiry Science Centers as a pedagogy for developing teacher candidates’ comfort with inquiry science education methods from within a P-5 science classroom setting. Adopting a constructivist framework (Vygotsky, 1978) and employing constructivist grounded theory analysis methods (Charmaz, 2006), this research sought to answer two questions: 1) How did students’ experiences with the 5E Science Centers impact their understanding of the critical features of good inquiry-based science instruction? and 2) How did their experiences shape their understandings of productive talk in the elementary science classroom?
Over the course of four semesters, 140 teacher candidates produced science center lesson plans based on the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study’s (Bybee, et al., 1989; Bybee, et al., 2006) 5E Inquiry Model, received feedback on these plans, and then delivered them to fifth grade classrooms local to the university where they took classes. Following this, they reflected on their experiences in teaching, and discussed the implications for their practices as future classroom teachers. Implications for science teacher education, educational research, and building school-university partnerships are discussed.
As we have celebrated our first decade of undergraduate secondary science and mathematics teacher preparation it was time to take stock and honestly evaluate what is working and where improvements are needed in our program. Across the nation, teacher colleges are experiencing declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs (King, 2018). In order to maintain and hopefully increase our preservice teacher enrollment, we have worked to create a balance between pedagogy and practice while keeping the field experiences as the central component of our program. Preservice teacher surveys, course evaluations, and meetings with community partners sharing feedback about the performance of our preservice teachers (PSTs) have shaped our understanding of how the components of our program interact to build a set of experiences and proficiencies preparing PSTs for careers as science and math educators. The field experiences provide opportunities for preservice teachers to be apart of communities of practice. This presentation highlights the process we have undergone in collecting feedback across all aspects of our secondary science and mathematics teacher preparation program and implementing changes to courses and field experiences based on responses from PSTs, mentor teachers, community partners, university colleagues and our own experiences to create a well articulated, cohesive learning progression for our PSTs; allowing them to engage in problems of practice while working with local K-12 students as they simultaneously engage in coursework focused on research supported pedagogy related to science and mathematics teaching and learning (Banilower et. al., 2010).
While there is a nationwide push for promoting STEM education at the K-12 levels, most of the implementation happen in the lower grade levels, and not so much in high school. This is likely brought by the rigidity of high school science subjects and rigor for addressing content standards specific to the science subject that makes STEM integration much more difficult to happen. This then leads to a shortage of model curriculum units and materials for STEM teaching available for high school teachers. In response to this, there is an effort to develop and implement a STEM curriculum unit for high school Chemistry. It features learning about acid-base reactions and their real-world applications using tabletop aquaponic farming as the learning context. Students will demonstrate their understanding of acid-base reactions by developing a pH monitoring and regulation system for tabletop aquaponic farming. It is composed of 11 lessons that engage students in problem-scoping, learning pertinent content, exploring possible materials, as well as planning, implementing, testing, and improving their design. Ultimately, the developed STEM curriculum unit for high school Chemistry is meant to be an exemplar of an integrated STEM teaching which features a real-world problem, incorporation of lived experiences, promotion of STEM careers, student engagement in STEM practices, use of STEM-specific technologies, promotion of multiple solutions, evidence-based reasoning, integration of concepts, and collaboration among others. As a seminal work, it can be a stepping stone to promoting a more solid understanding of what integrated STEM teaching look like, specifically in high school and creating a richer pool of resources for STEM teaching.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) already and will continue to influence the teaching, learning and assessment of science in the foreseeable future. The standards are structured so that learning gets progressively more sophisticated through K-12. By the end of 12th grade, students should be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to enable them to succeed in college. We conducted a study looking at whether the Disciplinary Core Ideas for physical science mapped well with the General Chemistry (I) curriculum indicating the students should possess the necessary prior knowledge to be successful in General Chemistry I. Our findings show that while the DCIs map well onto much of the General Chemistry (I) curriculum, there are areas where the DCIs do not map at all, meaning students may not come in with any prior knowledge.
The purpose of this presentation is to share our analysis of the decisions elementary preservice teachers made after student thinking was elicited. During the science methods course, the core practice of eliciting student thinking was explicitly addressed through modeling and approximations of practice (Grossman et al, 2009) to support preservice teachers’ learning to attend to and develop students’ science understanding. Following a short video clip of an elementary science lesson which showed interaction between the teacher and students, PSTs were asked to determine what they would “do next, as the teacher, based on learning” from the course. PSTs provided a written narrative which described what they would do if they were the teacher from the video. PSTs made decisions to be responsive to student thinking, dismissed student understanding, or responded to an assumed lesson flow.
In this roundtable session, we aim to represent the myriad preparatory pathways which are supported in our preservice science education program. The theme of science teacher preparation, support, and scholarship is illuminated differently at each of the five tables in our session. Our team showcases novel ways to add value to traditional teacher education especially fitting in the current climate of decreased funding and increased focus on accountability. This session is designed to highlight the experiences of traditional science teacher education through the lenses of faculty, doctoral students, mentors, supervisors, first year teachers, and alumni of the inaugural New Teacher Fellowship induction program.
A different member or group of members from our preservice through inservice team will showcase their experience with the science teacher education continuum. Faculty will present on their experience coordinating the teacher preparation program, designing the New Teacher Fellowship, and cultivating teacher scholars and doctoral mentors. Doctoral students in the Science Education program will share their experiences as scholars, researchers, and emerging teacher educators. Supervisors will discuss their multiple roles as mentors, advisors, and guides in the preservice teacher preparation process. Recent graduates of the preservice program will talk about their stories in the preservice program from varying perspectives ranging from learning to teach while pursuing an advanced science education Masters degree, learning to teach while being mentored within a graduate residency program, gaining formal teaching preparation while working in the charter school network, and returning for professional development through the New Teacher Fellowship. Through each lens described above, our team highlights the variety of innovative approaches to addressing issues around funding, on-going support, and accountability in the traditional science teacher preparation continuum.
Despite being considered central to the understanding biology by the scientific community, the teaching of evolution in secondary life science courses varies within the middle and high schools of the United States. This is particularly evident in the southern US. This study investigates the state of evolution education in Alabama, a state that has been noted to be resistant to the teaching of evolution, despite the recent (2015) adoption of science standards placing more emphasis on evolution. To understand the current state of evolution teaching in Alabama, a mixed methods approach was taken using an online questionnaire, interviews, and focus groups to collect quantitative and qualitative data from high school biology teachers. Data collected included teachers’ acceptance and understandings of evolution, their instructional practices for teaching evolution, influences on their instructional practices, and changes to their teaching practices since the adoption of new state science standards. Preliminary analysis found 32.6% of respondents were undecided or rejected the validity of evolution and 56% reported experiencing some conflict between evolution and their religious beliefs. Despite these personal conflicts with evolution, 52% of the respondents reported changes in their teaching practices of evolution after the adoption of the new standards with 56% of those reporting increasing the amount of time they spend teaching evolution. Additionally, 65.8% of the respondents reported spending 8 or more school days teaching evolution. However, 15.7% reported teaching Intelligent Design (ID) and/or creationism, and 4.3% reported not teaching evolution. These findings indicate a modest change in practices among the sampled teachers. Additional analyses found correlations between post-secondary course work and misconceptions about evolution, genetic literacy, belief in ID, and perceived relevance of evolution. These findings suggest that pre-service biology and evolution course work affected the teachers’ understandings of evolution.
Although teachers are increasingly expected to ground their instruction in data they collect (Montgomery & Smith, 2015), many elementary teachers are insufficiently exposed to sound methods in designing, collecting, and analysing data scientifically. Ziechner (1983) argued for an inquiry-oriented curriculum in teacher education. Explicitly combining instruction in the nature of science with practitioner action research may be a way to help address the lack of research experience in contexts that are immediately useful to modern teachers.
This presentation describes the development, implementation, and follow up study of a program for undergraduate research in education, student teachers as action researchers (STAR). Students in a new urban education honors program at a large public university were given coursework in action research, developed a research plan in their practicum, implemented it during their student teaching, and presented the results at an undergraduate research conference. After examining student projects, faculty experiences, and follow-up interviews with the participants, we found that while there are challenges, the program provides a useful introduction to practitioner action research that empowers new teachers, giving them confidence and an early desire to use data to improve their instruction and benefit their students.
As state-level nature of science standards are often challenging for students to learn and teachers to implement, we used insights from the pilot group when developing a new program that integrates environmental education with practitioner action research, focusing on the integration of NOS standards and the practices of scientific inquiry. While the demands of such a program may not work for every new teacher, our work suggests it can be a productive mix for a significant subset, and it provides skills that administrators and districts are looking for. We conclude with implications for modern classrooms and insights into expansion or adaptation of the technique for interested teacher educators.
The mathematics and science national standards advocate for educational reform by implementing research-based strategies that includes recognizing the teacher’s critical role in effective instruction. A school’s success can be attributed to recognizing and fostering teacher leadership development. Teachers often feel empowered and become advocates for integration on their campus when they understand how to relate mathematics and science grade-level content in a meaningful way. The purpose of the Correlated Science and Math professional development model (See Figure 1) used in the Mix It Up project was to better enable science and mathematics integration by classroom teachers. I investigated teacher leadership using a mixed-methods approach which allowed me to understand if and how teacher leadership growth is occurring. My study aimed to determine if the Mix It Up project impacted teacher leadership growth in a 2-year cohort (n=23) using teacher reflections. Overall, Mix It Up project teachers reported they possessed teacher leadership characteristics. Ninety-one percent reported taking on leadership roles outside their classrooms. I also investigated how teacher leadership was occurring using a multiple case study (n=4). The National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics PRIME Leadership Framework allowed me to identify four Stage 3 teacher leaders, the highest level of teacher leadership, who is advocating and implementing research-based best practices at the district, regional, or province level. Teacher interviews allowed me to gather enriched details of the process of how the four teachers progressed into Stage 3 teacher leadership. Leaders at Stage 3 attributed their leadership growth to their participation in the Mix It Up professional development program. Stage 3 teachers also reported they were not only implementing and impacting their own students but were ultimately advocating for science and mathematics integration and the use of general best practices at the district and state levels.
While the population of the United States continues to diversify, the population of science teachers remains predominantly White. Additionally, students of color continue to receive lower quality K-12 STEM education and less access to STEM opportunities, thus inhibiting their access and opportunities in STEM post-K-12, which adds to the education debt owed to these students. Despite these issues, many Black teachers continue to fight back against these inequities on behalf of students of color. However, knowledge about these Black teachers as well as knowledge from them remains marginalized in science education research. The purpose of this study was to explore how Black secondary science teachers narratively construct their positional identities and how these constructions are connected to their perspectives of effective science teaching and their perceptions of their own science teaching practices. I utilized a conceptual framework designed from relevant aspects of three theoretical frameworks: positional identities, identities as narratives, and critical race theory. To foreground the salience of race in this study of positional identities, I employed critical race methodology to construct the counterstories of Black secondary science teachers’ positional identities and their perceived science teaching practices. Six secondary science teachers informed in this study. Data collection methods included a series of three individual interviews with the five teacher-informants and a pre-interview questionnaire before the series began. I completed data analysis using three narrative methods: analysis of narrative, interactional narrative analysis, and thematic narrative analysis. In this presentation, I discuss how each Black science teacher constructed their positional identities, the implication of their constructions on how they perceived their work, the larger implications of their constructions and perceptions to how Black science teachers are positioned in the canon of science teacher education research.
The purpose of this study is to describe a professional development program for STEM professors in the undergraduate setting and the theoretical framework that supports its design. The Reflective Teaching Program for Science, Engineering, and Math Professors (PERCIM; Programa de enseñanza reflexiva en ciencias, ingeniería y matemáticas) is a ten month program that engages STEM professors in reflective community of practice through workshops, classroom observations and peer feedback, and reconstruction of their instructional practices through self-regulated learning (SRL) strategies of goal setting, planning, monitoring and evaluating progress.
PERCIM has three distinct phases according to the Cognitive Apprenticeship model (Collins, Brown, & Newman, 1989). These three phases, elicitation, reflection, and reconstruction. During the first phase, the elicitation phase, professors participate in a four day workshop that includes topics of current research of teaching and learning, research based instructional strategies (RBIS) for STEM teaching, and fundamental concepts for STEM education like Nature of Science (NOS) and Scientific Inquiry (SI). Participants begin the second phase, which for PERCIM is called the Integration and Reflection Phase, by creating goal, action, monitoring, and evaluation plans. It is during this phase that professors also participate in peer review of their instructional practice so that they can receive feedback from facilitators and their colleagues regarding aspects of their teaching they wish to grow and develop. In the third phase, professors reinvent themselves as reflective teachers and thus redefine their courses and instructional practices.
Additionally this study will describe some of the preliminary results and conclusions from this (PD) design, since data from the first cohort is still being collected and analyzed. Regardless preliminary observations and analysis have shown the greatest change in instructional practice is related to the motivation, self-regulated learning skills, and the participation in the CoP
A qualitative evaluation of a Three-Tiered-Transformative-Classroom (TTTC) model implemented in a low level 8th grade science classroom reveals consistence with NGSS, features of the TTTC, its evolution from initiation, through implementation, continuous improvement, impact on both students and the teacher, and implications for teacher education.
The TTTC is a peer-learning model that capitalizes on the existing hierarchical social structure among students in a middle school classroom. Students are assigned to one of three tiers: Designers, Instructors, or Testers. Each tier has a different function within the classroom community of practice. Students are moved fluently from one tier to another based on changes in the needs of the community of practice and an individual’s motivation. Learners in the TTTC rely on each other, both socially and academically, to better understand the natural world, and to understand the most effective way to learn. The TTTC facilitates learners thinking holistically and meta-cognitively. The differentiation, communication, and interdependence among the three tiers results in a student-directed classroom. Students’ personal observations of the social modeling exhibited by classmates in the higher tier levels with whom they interact appears to stimulate intrinsic motivation. Students who historically have had disciplinary issues, or lack of motivation in other classes, improve their classroom behavior and work ethic while participating in the TTTC
The TTTC emerged over three years in response to a second career, new science teacher’s frustration managing the multitude of variables in a science classroom. He shifted from didactic teaching to a holistic approach in a fight for survival in a new profession. His professional development in a doctoral program begun in his sixth teaching year, enabled him to better define and enhance the emergent model with a social theoretical connection. This evaluation was conducted during his first year in graduate school, which was his fourth year implementing the TTTC.
Studies on reflective thinking in education utilize various models and criteria to promote and assess preservice teachers’ reflective thinking practices. The written reflections of 27 preservice teachers following an on campus microteaching experience were analyzed for depth and complexity. We found four categories representing the aspects of teaching emphasized by participants: (1) pedagogical strategies, (2) student engagement, (3) teacher actions/attributes, and (4) challenges involved with classroom teaching. Findings have implications for teacher education programs for fostering preservice teachers to become reflective practitioners.
The study investigated prospective teachers’ images of science instruction in informal settings and was guided by the following research question “What are prospective teachers’ images of science instruction in informal settings?” Constructs from the literature on place-based education provided one such lens to look at the phenomenon under study. Science instruction in informal settings, according to participants, was focused on increasing student engagement and understanding of content and skills rather than focused on the power or political dynamics inherent in that place or to challenge the inequalities and bring about change for the betterment of the place.
Technology in the classroom provides many affordances, such as increased engagement and increased focus on future technological careers for their students.
Yet with increased technology use also comes hindrances such as distraction, frustration over faulty technology, and classroom management. Teachers’ perspectives of the crossroads of increasing technology use with decreasing time spent outdoors was analyzed in this phenomenological study. Nine in-service science teachers shared their knowledge and perspective on technology use in an outdoor setting, including affordances and constraints, and their technological pedagogical and content knowledge (TPACK) in planning units and lessons.
Our findings revealed that many participants’ experiences and attitudes aligned with research related to science teachers’ technology integration, perceptions toward outside learning, and use of educational technologies in outdoor learning situations. Participants noted drawbacks they face using technology within outdoor learning opportunities such as connectivity, portability, and durability. While resources vary from campus to campus, these specific concerns were consistent. Participants suggested that professional development for science teachers using technology focus on the pedagogical uses of the tools rather than the bells and whistles of the newest tool. Lastly, it was apparent that technology use should be student-centered, promote active learning, and be used to conduct investigations and collect data. Technology use was also differentiated by grade level with secondary grades utilizing more advanced tools, such as probeware, while the elementary teachers recognized a wider definition of technology, including more inexpensive, non-digital tools.
La Escuelita is an after-school health literacy program for youth and families that currently meets in a community center one mile from a port of entry into El Paso, Texas. Through weekly activities that include mediums like art, community-based mapping, and collaborative cooking, participants at La Escuelita interrogate notions of health, wellness, and nutrition and engage in discussions about food and environmental justice. Through their discussion of this community-based project, the authors argue that food and environmental justice efforts should center community-knowledge, asset-based frameworks, and reciprocal learning.
The Nature of Solutions and Solubility—Diagnostic Instrument (NSS–DI) (Adadan and Savasci, 2012) was designed to assess students’ understanding of solution chemistry concepts. From the NSSDI’s original development and implementation in Turkish, the instrument has been translated to English (NSS-DI Eng) and has undergone multiple rounds of data collection and instrument revisions. To evaluate the reliability and the discriminatory power of this assessment tool, statistical tests were used focusing on both item (item difficulty index, discrimination index, point-biserial coefficient) and entire test analysis (Cronbach’s alpha and Ferguson’s delta). This presentation will present data collected in college-level intro chemistry courses from Fall 2016 through Fall 2019 semesters. Primary discussion will focus on reliability and discriminatory power of the English language instrument over the course of revisions, examinations of common alternative conceptions, results of online versus paper/pencil participation, and the NSS-DI Eng’s influence on revisions in classroom instruction in undergraduate chemistry courses at a major Midwestern research university. Future hopes for the NSS-DI Eng are that upon continuing improvement, it will provide chemistry educators and researchers insights into common solution chemistry conceptions, alternative conceptions, and student understandings, and in turn, leading to improved solution chemistry.
This study evaluated the Correlated Science and Math (CSM) PD model in a program, Mix It Up (MIX), for grades 5-8 inservice teacher teams and their principals. The first study had three cohorts of certified teachers: Cohort I, Cohorts IV and V (10, 21 and 24 teachers). Cohort I experienced a 70-hour summer CSM Physics & Math PD and 42-hour academic year (AY) PD), Cohort IV had a summer 35-hour CSM Physics & Math PD and a 35-hour CSM Quantitative Reasoning & Science PD and Cohort V had summer 35-hour CSM Chemistry & Math PD and a 35-hour CSM Algebraic Reasoning & Science PD.
Preliminary results indicate teachers (1) significantly increased their content knowledge (p < 0.05); (2) adopted an integrated approach; (3) perceived the CSM approach as effective for learning the content and language of the other discipline; and (4) used more integrated lessons. Posttest scores were higher on both disciplines with statistically significant difference in the scores [t (8) = -4.7859, p = 0.0007 (science)] and [t (8) = -5.3033, p = 0.0004 (math)].
CSM instruction was highly effective in confronting participants with the limitation of their own conceptual understandings in both disciplines. Teacher reflections indicated they visualized essential concepts, developed new understanding of essential terms and gained understanding of similar concepts in both disciplines.
Teachers improved their understanding of the targeted science and math concepts and processes. However, observations of their classrooms revealed a lack of knowledge about fundamental best practices not taught in MIX.
Some expected, unexpected and interesting findings include a CSM course is twice as costly as a typical course. Science teachers knew more math than the math teachers knew about science. And, the math teachers were afraid of science. Language issues quickly arose and a dictionary of synonyms, antonyms, and different words with the same meaning emerged. Further, parallel concepts that are similar in both disciplines emerged.
Explicitly teaching nature of science (NOS) is important for developing scientifically literate students. However, research has shown that many elementary teachers hold naive NOS views and it is difficult for them to incorporate explicit NOS pedagogy into their practice. One of the factors that influences if and how elementary teachers teach NOS in their classrooms is their lived experiences with science both formally and informally. This study investigated the ways that aspects of NOS were reflected in 43 pre-service teachers’ (PSTs) K-12 science experiences through reflective Science Timelines. These were assignments in two East Coast university science teacher preparation courses. Findings showed that PSTs had substantially more experiences that were connected to NOS during their elementary years and these kinds of experiences decreased in frequency as they progressed into high school. Across all grade levels, PSTs’ meaningful learning experiences involved caring for the well-being and growth of living things, and using science to improve societal problems and the environment. However, PSTs lacked meaningful past experiences with the physical world to demonstrate its relevance to their lives. The findings shed light on the nuances and diversity of science experiences elementary PSTs had themselves. Through making personal connections to and having examples of NOS through completing the Science Timeline assignment, PSTs may develop better understandings of NOS and how to teach it, which has implications for preparatory coursework in science for preservice elementary teachers.
Preparing science teachers today is markedly different than it was prior to the 2016 election. Not long after President Trump’s inauguration, science and public education came under attack. These disciplines are at the core of a science teacher’s work. Irrespective of some narratives to the contrary, science, education, and science education are not apolitical. Acknowledgement and understanding of this can go a long way in shaping the work of a scientist or educator. In fact, our goal as science educators to foster students’ scientific literacy is steeped in the political. This study investigates teacher candidates’ consideration of the intersection of politics, science and education via town hall meetings. Specifically, I will present data on the ways in which town hall meetings focused on (a) climate science education, (b) who gets to do science and why, (c) science and education at the ballot box, and (d) (science) teacher codes of conduct changed teacher candidates’ confidence in their knowledge of and ability to teach/address issues at the nexus of politics and science education.
The aim of this paper is to examine the possible benefits of implementing flipped classroom integrated with funds of knowledge in a high school science classroom with Hispanic students whose native language is Spanish. Flipped classrooms are becoming increasingly popular in K-12 and higher education. In addition, culturally responsive teaching practices such as those that leverage students’ funds of knowledge have been shown to promote student success. Our position is that a model integrating FOK with flipped instruction has the potential to improve success for ELL Hispanic high school students in science.
Integrated STEM aides in developing students’ interest and provides authentic experiences which are connected to achievement and student identity within the STEM content areas. This has the potential to encourage a wide range of students with diverse backgrounds and interests to continue into STEM fields (Herschbach, 2011; Honey, Pearson, Schweingruber, National Academy of Engineering., & National Research Council (U.S.), 2014; Kelley & Knowles, 2016). At the same time there is a creativity crisis in the United States and around the world (Bronson & Merryman, 2011; Kim, 2011; Lin, 2011). Businesses are reporting that the younger workforce lacks not math and science skills, but creativity and innovation.
It is essential to explore where creativity takes place in integrated STEM and its effects on students’ development of conceptions around creativity. Amabile, et al., (1986) and Fleith (2002) agree that the understanding of “where” creativity is in a specific space, and not necessarily the “what” creativity entails, is the most important factor in developing creativity and conceptions of creativity in students. This mixed methods design focuses on “where” opportunities for creativity emerge within integrated STEM experiences. The research questions guiding this work are: (1) In what ways does integrated STEM provide opportunities for students to develop creativity? (2) In what ways does participation in integrated STEM learning affect students’ conceptions of creativity?
Data suggests that students’ conceptions of creativity broadened to include some aspects of their integrated STEM experiences. Students identified these moments of creativity in the following places: (1) how they came up with solutions to solve a defined problem and (2) how they addressed failure within their initial solution in the redesign process. Patterns were identified across the different classroom contexts that indicated when targeted opportunities for solution development and brainstorming were prioritized by the teacher, students were less frustrated and were more creative in their work.
The question as to whether pre-service teachers or even K-12 students can effectively learn the nature of science (NOS) through implicit means such as lab or research experience is something teaching methods instructors and science educators need to know. This study is an example of authentic research participation at a university where apprenticeship-type learning of the nature of science was shown to be ineffective. NOS instruction strategies center around three main approaches including the explicit, implicit, and historic approaches. Using Lave and Wenger’s (1991) situated learning theory, participation in research experiences in a university lab setting have the potential to teach NOS through a more implicit approach.
Four participants were tracked from of the time they either began a semester-long science teaching methods course or engaged in a research course that ran concurrently with their science teaching methods until the culmination of their student-teaching assignment at the end of the semester. Three of the teachers experienced a one-semester lab research course (treatment) and one participant had no lab research experience (control). VNOS surveys were administered to each of the pre-service teachers and their students. Qualitative results were then quantified using a scoring rubric to measure levels of NOS understanding. Score gains from both teachers and their students were assessed and compared.
Findings support research evidence that absorbing cultural practices and perspectives of scientists around NOS via research participation is not a reliable or effective strategy for learning NOS. Furthermore, any learning gains that could potentially come from the teachers’ research experiences are not translated into learning gains of their students during student teaching.
Science education reform efforts have highlighted the need for a scientifically literate citizenry, capable of using their scientific knowledge and skills for reasoning, argumentation, and decision-making. Yet, more research is needed to uncover secondary science teachers’ understandings of these reform efforts, specifically their knowledge, skills, and abilities related to scientific literacy. In addition to reform efforts, education policies have been enacted by states that rate teachers’ effectiveness in part on their students’ performance on high stakes assessments. This study used multiple methods to examine a) teacher perceptions of scientific literacy, b) their scientific literacy, and c) their abilities to develop common science assessments that reflect scientific literacy skills outlined in science education standards. In reality, the common assessments developed by teachers for their students are also being used to measure their own effectiveness as educators. Using constant comparative analysis of open survey responses from secondary science teachers (n =48) from one western school district revealed that teachers’ perceptions of scientific literacy are not in alignment with those of science education reforms. Secondary science teachers (n =28) demonstrated as a group that they were scientifically literate, though. However, the assessments (n= 13) secondary science teachers developed did not align with the scientific literacy sub-constructs as defined by science education reformers. These findings inform the types of professional development that would benefit secondary science teachers, specifically common understanding of reform language and assessment literacy.
A Framework for K-12 Science Education calls for students to learn and engage in the practices of science. This can be done through engagement in authentic science activities. This is difficult to make happen in high needs schools in which students are marginalized due to poverty, race, or ethnicity and lack qualified teachers, and due to limited opportunities for collaboration with scientists.
We studied the collaboration between a team of university researchers and a science teacher to engage his primarily Latino/a students in science research on the design and use of biosand filters (BSF). This was situated in the university team’s research– the removal of high levels of fluoride and nitrates in groundwater in the developing world. The university team provided scaffolds for the teacher and students as they learned to engage in science practices by doing science.
We sought to understand how this collaboration in a high needs setting could be authentic to the teacher and students, and help them to learn the practices of science. Data included interviews, a pre- and posttest, classroom observations, and teacher and student products. We found the teachers and students learned science content and practices through their participation in the BSF research. It had a positive impact on students’ beliefs about what scientists are and do, and whether they could become scientists; and their motivation to study STEM disciplines. Students attributed this to the differences between their research and how they typically experience school science, and the authenticity of the research. It was authentic not only in the sense that it real science; but also to their lives because many of them were either from developing countries or have visited relatives still living there, and had experienced first-hand the problems of getting potable water. Overall, we saw the students’ Hispanic heritage to be an asset in this project, rather than the deficit often portrayed in the literature. This suggests that topics for authentic science ought to be relevant to students’ lives.
Recent work regarding teacher learning and implementation of reform has pointed to the significant role organizational contexts play in shaping teachers’ engagement with and implementation of reform. Within science education, the introduction and adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) has surfaced a need to attend to these issues in order to support this recent era of reform. To date, however, there is a scarcity of conceptual tools for understanding teachers’ learning and instructional decision-making in the context of their schools, in the midst of reform. In this paper, we present organizational sensemaking as one such tool and suggest how organizational sensemaking can guide the design of professional development focused on NGSS.
The history, philosophy, and nature of science is the foundation of all science education and one of the first topics students are introduced to in any K-12 science course. "The Scientific Method" has been taught as a series of steps scientists adhere to during investigations, but real science is not done in a rigid fashion. The Vitruvian Man lesson is widely used in science classrooms to teach the scientific method but this paper proposes a variation on that lesson which provides students with hands on experience in three modes of scientific investigation.
The location of the Gullah Geechee in the sea islands and coastal regions of South Carolina has afforded them the unique to persist with the cultural practices they brought with them from Africa. One of these practices is tied to agriculture, such as the farming of rice and the sustenance of Carolina Rice. This presentation explores the contributions of African American Gullah people to the economy and to environmental sustainability. As climate change threatens the coastal regions the Gullah/Geechee people have been actively engaged in environmental sustainability issues for years. Moreover, scientific data are available on these regions that have been tracked by various science organizations. The plight of the African American Gullah/Geechee provides a context for understanding the application, contributions, and implications of scientific data and science concepts on environmental sustainability, climate change, economy, history, and culture of African Americans.
Despite decades of guidance from national science and science education experts (AAAS, 1993; McComas, 2014; NRC, 1996 & 2012; NGSS, 2013; Shope & McComas, 2015), The Scientific Method persists in classroom discussions, textbooks, lab manuals, PD plans, online resources, classroom posters, state standards, non-profit sites and implied in requirements found in many science competitions.
We offer a tool, “Modes of Scientific Inquiry” (MSI) flowchart (Fig. 1), that provides a detailed overview of all scientific methodology. The MSI provides examples of qualitative and quantitative methods, observational attributes, useful analytical approaches, and possible graphical representations. The MSI can be used to guide useful discussions about conducting authentic scientific research.
This tool was developed over several years after discovering that our university senior preservice Biology majors lacked understanding the different types of scientific research designs despite experiencing the range of investigations in their program. The problem was discovered by a Biology/Science Education faculty who teaches the science education methods course. That faculty member, then went with several students to the Ecology course field/lab coordinator for discussion of the problem and possible solutions. After more than several discussions about scientific practices in the standards (AAAS, 1993; NRC, 1996 & 2012; NGSS, 2013) and the state standards, the idea emerged of a simple tool and common vocabulary would be useful to our future Biology teachers. An understanding was reached that the tool had to be as useful to the Kindergarten level as to high school level.
The MSI flowchart is designed to guide users through the phases of conducting a scientific investigation using various modes of data collection and accompanying analysis beginning with the research question and its target (a subject or subjects, a pattern or a process?). This session guides you though the MSI with K-5, 6-8 and 7-12 examples and NGSS assessments.
Despite waves of reform, the dream of high-quality STEM education for all children remains elusive. Current efforts to reform STEM education include a central push for high-quality teacher education that connects theory to clinical practice. This session features research papers from two projects that seek to recruit, prepare, and retain STEM teachers for high-need public schools. The projects are founded on the belief that effective teacher preparation requires immersive teaching experiences with high-need public school students and specific attention to developing teachers’ sociocultural awareness and affirming attitudes towards students and families. We also recognize the challenging nature of the identity work that preservice teachers must undergo as they engage in the emotional labor of unpacking bias and becoming social justice educators. The papers in this session explore preservice teacher efficacy and effectiveness while teaching high-need, high school youth, their development of sociocultural awareness and affirming attitudes towards students and families, and a model for mentoring preservice teachers and inservice teachers as they enter the profession.
This session will begin with a brief overview of curiosity research and current research on scientific curiosity. This will be followed by a brief summary of the theoretical framework (situated learning theory) and methodology (multiple case study) used in looking at the following three research questions:
However, the majority of the session will focus on the data and analysis on scientific curiosity in three participants (a five-year old, a six-year old, and a seven-year old) as part of a dissertation study conducted during 2017. Using the data (interviews, artifacts, field notes, and photography), codes and themes will be presented. The study will conclude with a summary of the main themes found (questions, adult interruptions, sustained interest) and potential impacts to science education.
There is a clear need to integrate computational thinking into science classrooms to better reflect the computational nature of STEM disciplines and to deepen learning of math and science. Our team has worked with high school teachers to co-design and implement biology units with integrated computational tools and methods. We present an analysis of teachers’ involvement in co-design, their roles in classrooms during the implementations, and their perceptions of students’ learning. We use a model of professional growth to discuss teachers’ involvement in co-design and implementation of a CT integrated biology unit. Teachers followed similar pathways of professional growth, but their participation and perceptions varied. Results and implications are discussed.
Integrating educational technologies in elementary classrooms to improve STEM instruction and meet the goals of NGSS is a major goal of K-12 education reform (NETS, 2000; NGSS Lead States, 2013). Therefore, it is vital science teacher educators support preservice teachers in developing high self-efficacy and a growth mindset to effectively use innovative educational technology. The purpose of this study was to explore changes in elementary preservice teachers’ self-efficacy and mindset as they planned and taught a 20-minute physical science microteaching lesson using a HyperDuino computing platform. A HyperDuino consists of a circuit board and microcontroller that can be programed using multiple coding languages (e.g., Scratch, mBlock) to create a variety of maker projects. A convergent, mixed methods design was used to examine changes in preservice elementary teachers’ self-efficacy (STEBI-B) and mindset (Mindset Survey for Science) after completing a microteaching lesson using a HyperDuino. Despite participants’ initial concerns about using the HyperDuino systems, on average, teacher self-efficacy was greater after completing the microteaching lesson. Participants held a more robust growth mindset for using educational technology after the microteaching lesson (d = .45) and demonstrated mastery of using the HyperDuino to teach science concepts. Findings from this study indicate HyperDuino systems provide an accessible entry-point for elementary preservice teachers apprehensive about using educational technology to teach computational thinking, coding, and science.
In this case study, the deficit model is turned around by examining 4 successful Bronx high schools. The schools have a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focus and their characteristics are compared in terms of educational philosophy and practical operational decisions as a possible guide for urban STEM success. The study identified themes based on pedagogical and structural choices they have made in creating school course offerings, hiring and developing teachers and support personnel, how they organize and schedule students into courses and how they support students within the school. Findings highlighted the type of supports for struggling students, creating a culture of expected achievement and inter staff relationships, especially collegiality and new teacher professional development as key factors in success.
This study describes the design and development of an observation protocol for science and engineering practices (SEPs) experienced by teachers working in research laboratories under the auspices of Research Experiences for Teachers (RET). Development has proceeded iteratively through two-cycles of use and refinement based upon the observation of K-5 teachers working in engineering research laboratories as part of an NSF-funded RET site. This protocol offers the potential for looking inside the blackbox of apprenticed professional practice in the context of a research laboratory, which for K-12 teacher participants, has been previously only described through self-report. Data derived from this method, which can be viewed holistically or chronologically, can be used to triangulate and enhance other forms of data, for defining new processes or explaining outcomes and ultimately for enhancing programmatic functions.
Many barriers exist to K-12 classroom teachers’ adoption and implementation of geospatial technologies with their students. To address this, we have developed and implemented a geospatial curriculum approach to promote teachers’ professional growth with curriculum-linked professional development to support the adoption of socio-environmental science investigations (SESI) in an urban high school environment that includes unengaged learners. SESI focus on social issues related to environmental science. The pedagogy is inquiry-driven, with students engaged in map-based mobile data collection on iPads and subsequent analysis with Web-based dynamic mapping software via arcgis.com to answer open-ended investigative questions.
SESI activities are based on the pedagogical frameworks of place-based education and socio-scientific issues-based instruction. Place-based education focuses on local or regional investigations, is designed around engaging students in examining local problems (Sobel, 2004), and utilizes fieldwork to gather evidence in that local setting (Semken, 2005). Socio-scientific issues are socially relevant, real-world problems that are informed by science (Sadler, Barab, & Scott, 2007). Addressing them requires the use of evidence-based reasoning, and provides a context for understanding scientific information through an active approach to learning.
An important component of this work is to provide students with exposure to STEM-related skills and geospatial workforce careers in STEM-related areas. We recruited mentors in STEM-related fields who use geospatial technologies in their occupation to work with the students during the investigations. In this paper, we investigate the following research questions:
In Manitoba, Canada’s longitudinal middle province, we are in the heart of the auroral oval. As such, we chase aurora for many purposes ranging from astrophotography, personal passion and interest, and to the feel subsumed by the awe and wonder of the northern lights. An additional reason to chase aurora is help find her place within the curriculum we teach in K-12 science classrooms. Aurora has both scientific and cultural roots that when combined through the introduction of ethnoastronomical insights can emit a science curriculum that is both authentic and rich. Having worked on this for several years, the most common question I am asked about the northern lights is, “how do I know when to go outside to see them?” The answer is complicated, but it was that question that inspired me to assemble an innovation team to design and develop a Wi-Fi based LED light system that collected space weather data and processed it to flicker lights in the lab that revealed the degree of geomagnetic storm intensity. In other words, when the lights flicker red, there is a Kp index value high enough to go outside to our favourite viewing location. Join us in this presentation to hear how we innovated this light system, and how it became an interest point in out building such that people walked into the lab and asked fantastic and inquiry-based questions about them that ranged from logistics to where to insert the aurora in the curriculum.
Teacher educators face the ongoing challenge of engaging pre-service elementary teachers (PSETs) in meaningful science learning and teaching experiences that help PSETs develop connections to subject matter as well as become competent and confident teachers of science. As a means to address these challenges recent research has worked to connect future teachers to the affective aspects of science content and science learning. This is a direct effort to lower elementary teacher anxiety towards science and science teaching. This instrumental case study investigated the impact of wonder-infused approaches on pre-service teachers as they moved into both their teaching internships and first year in the classroom. Data collected included individual interviews, classroom observations, pre-service teacher action research projects and teacher reflections. Findings indicated that beginning teachers could rekindle positive connections to science even if they carried prior negative opinions of science. More importantly, these beginning teachers were able to translate these connections and experiences, with wonder, to enact inquiry-based practice in their internships and their first year in the classroom. This provides important possibilities for inquiry-based teaching that is also still aligned to curriculum standards that simultaneously opened up spaces of awe and wondermentin school-based science contexts.
The purpose of this research was to investigate what can be learned from the professional voices of secondary novice science teachers in rural schools during their first one to three years of their teaching assignment. The results of this research were viewed through the lens of empowerment as defined by Melenyzer (1990) and the six dimensions as defined by Short (1994): autonomy, self-efficacy, professional growth, status, impact, and decision making. This study examined what caused teachers’ empowerment to change in the context of their work environment with a focus on key events or experiences that caused empowerment to change.
Data were collected that provided insight into what can be done to strengthen empowerment and improve retention so that rural novice science teachers can reach their full potential. In addition, patterns were examined to determine what strengthened or weakened teacher empowerment so that teachers, schools, professors, or science specialists can provide appropriate professional development opportunities for their new teachers and help teachers move along the professional continuum.
This research can be utilized to determine what secondary novice science teachers bring to the classroom as well as what they need to become empowered effective teachers. Professional growth closely aligns with empowerment. Overall, empowerment was higher than expected after the teachers attended a science education conference.
Empowerment and leadership was found to either drive empowerment upward or break down empowerment depending on the situation. Most importantly, this research supports teachers in advocating for science content professional development. Teachers who experience conference science teacher professional development felt empowered to more effective and confident teachers.
There is a growing emphasis on STEM education in US public schools. With this emphasis, teachers may find themselves asked to teach STEM classes, which are broadly defined and may take place in formal classroom spaces. However, with the growing emphasis on STEM education there is also a phenomenon occurring to include traditionally informal spaces, such as a makerspace, into the formal school structure and schedule. Informal science education has been reported as a vehicle in which many people in the United States learn their science content. Informal science education has been provided and experienced in museums, camps, clubs and academies, to name a few. It can be multidisciplinary and have many contexts. It has also allowed for variation in standards and assessments. Makerspaces, as an informal space, can be entrepreneurial, focus on workforce development or be broadly educative. These educational spaces can be organized further into assembly spaces, creative construction spaces and spaces for open-ended inquiry. Additionally, students of all backgrounds show an interest in making. With this inclusion of a traditionally informal space, elementary teachers may find themselves out-of-field when it comes to teaching STEM in these spaces. However, there is promise for inclusive teaching and learning, relevance and engagement in the intersection of informal and formal spaces. This paper uses an exploratory case-study design and Acts of Authentication to investigate elementary pre-service teachers navigating out-of-field teaching in a makerspace environment.
Professional development (PD) provides an immersive experience for educators that extends instructional inquiry through professional learning communities (PLCs). PLCs are a world leading job-embedded PD model. Obstacles to effective PLC implementation includes deficiencies in shared collaborative time and a lack of shared workspace. Assembling educators from within and between various schools lessens challenges, in particular in rural settings. Rural teachers face unique challenges in doing the PLC process given geographic isolation and small teacher collaborative grouping opportunities. However, rural teachers have been hesitant to travel for collaborative opportunities to participate in a PLC. Technology presents solutions to some of these challenges while nurturing a sense of community required for PLC function. This investigation describes a virtual professional learning community (vPLC) environment provided for educators that was developed to eliminate obstacles that keep teachers from participating in a job-embedded PLC model that might then contribute to school improvement. In a vPLC model, teachers complete action research associated with PLC collaborative inquiry processes. Teacher collaborative teams build relationships comparable to teams that met face-to-face as part of a similar PLC and PD experience. Participant reflections in this investigation showed that rural educators favored face-to-face meetings, however vPLCs provided similar teacher experiences to that of the face-to-face PBL model. Results indicated that educators recognized virtual collaboration just as valuable a tool for enabling PLCs than face-to-face collaborations while still offering similarities to improved teacher practice.
Can one lecture change the minds of evangelicals about climate change? Undergraduates at three evangelical institutions (one in the Northeast U.S., one in Eastern Canada, and one in the Southwest U.S.) received instruction about climate change (either in person or via recorded lecture) by an evangelical climate scientist. The original lecture presented the facts about climate change, addressed common misconceptions about climate change, and contextualized the issue in a Christian framework. The recorded lectures were presented in three different ways: 1) the complete 44-minute lecture (identical to the live lecture), 2) with ten minutes addressing common misconceptions omitted, or 3) with six minutes of omitted material that removed the Christian framework.
Using pre-test survey results, we found significant correlations between acceptance of global warming and political, religious, and economic beliefs, except for in Canada. After participants watched the recorded lecture, significant pre-post gains in acceptance of global warming occurred at all locations, with the greatest gains occurring in Texas. On a delayed post-survey, gains decreased slightly but were still significant. Another study found that removing the Christian frame did not decrease the lecture’s effectiveness, except with one item on Christian responsibility. This may emphasize the importance of context and method of delivery over content.
This presentation will explore the aforementioned research as well as other lessons learned by two science educators who research the intersections of science and religious faith. Special attention will be given to the use of cultural intelligence to design critical pedagogies to break down barriers to acceptance of science by religious communities.
Today there is a significant number of studies on students’ and teachers' conceptions of NOS, and also a significant amount of research on the learning and teaching strategies and approaches for NOS, but there are very few studies focusing on teachers' understanding and practices of assessment of NOS. Additionally, NOS has been explicitly included in different curricular documents in several countries, like Australia, United States, Canada, New Zealand among others. In those school using these curricular documents, it is essential for teachers to know not just different strategies for teaching the NOS, but also strategies and approaches for assessing NOS, just as for any other science content. The purpose of this paper is to provide some recommendations to promote the development of practices and understanding of the assessment of NOS, using three different sources: general assessment strategies and approaches, the process of development of NOS assessment tools by researchers, and the assessment literacy model (Abell & Siegel, 2011). A second purpose is to adapt this assessment literacy model for the assessment of NOS, using the analysis from the other two sources. After discussing the potential benefits from the three sources for promoting science teachers' understanding and practices related to NOS, I will try to integrate them into the model for assessment literacy. I will elaborate on this model to make it more applicable to the assessment of NOS. In this sense, the contributions of this research could be relevant mostly for science teacher educators who are interested in improving pre-service and in-service teachers' understanding and practices related to the assessment of NOS. It is also relevant for science education researchers who are interested in studying science teachers' understanding and practices related to NOS. Finally, it could also be beneficial for those who are interested in developing NOS assessment tools for assessing students' views of NOS.
The education of an informed citizenry must include science literacy: a mastery of basic science knowledge and an understanding of scientific research contributions. This research project addresses how university undergraduate biology majors promoted K-12 science literacy utilizing a virtual teaching model. The goals of the research included the following:
Riggs, I. (1990). Toward the development of an elementary teacher’s science teaching efficacy belief instrument. Science Education, 74(6), 625-637.
Sampson, V., Grooms, J., & Enderle, P. (2013). Development and Initial Validation of the Beliefs about Reformed Science Teaching and Learning (BARSTL) Questionnaire. School Science and Mathematics, 113(1), 3-15.
Evolution is an essential underlying concept in biology. Previous research demonstrates that impediments to successful teaching and learning about evolution exist. This research used the theoretical framework of cultural border crossing and its underlying cognitive explanation, collateral learning, to design an intervention for community college students in an introductory biology class for non-science majors. Cultural border crossing posits that learners can encounter meaningful differences between their home cultures and the culture of the science classroom and may need assistance in navigating these cultural borders. Collateral learning is the cognitive mechanism that can be used to resolve potentially conflicting schemata within one’s cognitive structure and has been shown to ease cultural border crossings.
This study used a mixed methods design to collect qualitative and quantitative data in order to analyze how the intervention affected students’ understanding and acceptance of evolution. Quantitative data demonstrates the intervention had a small positive effect on students' understanding and acceptance of evolution. Qualitative data indicates that students with large gaps related to evolution between their home and school cultures experienced less tension than they expected as a result of the intervention. The following themes also emerged from the data: others as influencers of cultural border crossing and collateral learning, The Road to Homo Sapiens as an obstacle, negative emotions related to evolution, a new category of cultural border crossers, and sources of knowledge characteristics. Results suggest further research could illuminate how students’ cultures influence their learning about evolution and how educators can best facilitate learning among students with various cultural beliefs about the diversity of life on Earth. This research also implies that professional development for educators related to The Road to Homo Sapiens would also lead to an increase in understanding and acceptance of evolution by all students.
This work presents an innovation in science education. It pulls together theoretically and empirically based guidelines and examples across many sources to present a conceptual framework to guide science teacher educator’s nature of science instruction. We call for varied representations to modernize and broaden access and connect K-12 students more deeply to science and scientists. Contemporary science research offers a potentially powerful way to help students to connect with science. Science needs to come alive for students, and it is difficult to see science as “done” and what is in textbooks if students learn about science that goes beyond and/or challenges that which is portrayed in textbooks. Thus, contemporary science research stories represent another potentially important component of effective NOS instruction, introducing students to a broad array of scientists with whom they might identify.
As there is no one “most powerful” form of representation, teachers need access to many different forms of representation (Shulman, 1986). Research examples are highly contexualized, potentially supporting reflection within and across scientific fields/disciplines as recommended by Clough (2006). Learners may need particular support in reflecting on NOS within science research that seems to reinforce stereotypical portrayals of science, as those examples may encourage learners to revert to common alternative conceptions.
We will share specific examples of ways to teach NOS through contemporary science research and associated scientists including: How Science Works (https://undsci.berkeley.edu), This is What a Scientist Looks Like Tumblr (https://lookslikescience.tumblr.com/), This is What a Scientist Sounds Like Podcast, Science News for Students, Skype a Scientist, and more. For each, comments and questions that target specific NOS concepts (following recommendations by Clough, 2011, and Kruse et al., 2019) will be included.
Most contemporary societies depend on science, technology, and engineering, yet public understanding of these fields has been consistently regarded as inadequate Arguments for centering science education efforts on improving scientific, technological, and engineering literacy include expected benefits to individuals, society, and science and technology enterprises. Understanding the nature of science (NOS) appears in nearly all characterizations of scientific literacy. Far less attention has been placed on the nature of technology (NOT) and nature of engineering (NOE). Misunderstandings regarding the nature of these disciplines, including their interactions, result in downplaying the value of basic science and its funding, misinformed career aspirations, and an uncritical adoration of engineering and technology that wrongly romanticizes such efforts as primarily focused on addressing human needs and solving most all problems regarding the human condition.
STEM education, as opposed to mere STEM training, necessitates judicious understanding of the NOS, NOT, and NOE. Akin to the NOS, the NOT and NOE draw from relevant philosophical historical, and sociological literature to provide a robust description of what technology is, what engineering is, how and why technology is developed, how technology, engineering, and science are related, different, and impact each other, and how individuals and society direct, react to, and are at times unknowingly changed by engineering and technology.
This presentation (and in more detail, the conference paper that will be distributed) will provide participants: a) rationales for the centrality of NOS, NOT, and NOE in STEM education efforts; b) fundamental NOS, NOT, and NOE issues along with arguments for which are most important for STEM education, c) the importance of addressing the identified issues as questions, d) strategies for effectively addressing the NOS, NOT, and NOE in science teacher education efforts; and e) resources for teacher educators.
We explored how two fourth grade teachers supported English Learners’ (ELs) science learning and language development in a one-way dual language and a mainstream English-medium classroom. In one class, half of the day’s content was taught in Spanish, the other half in English, all students were native Spanish speakers. In the other classroom, instruction was carried out in English with supports in Spanish. By exploring research-based practices supporting ELs’ science learning in these classrooms, we provide insights into how these practices support ELs’ science learning and language development. We identify practices facilitating ELs’ science learning and explore instances of practice that may have been underutilized or hindered student learning. The strategies framing our exploration were: (a) negotiation, opportunities for individual and social construction and critique of knowledge; (b) embedded language, opportunities for language and literacy learning as a natural aspect of science; and (c) non-threatening learning environments, opportunities for social apprenticeship and interaction. Data sources included audio-recorded pre and post lesson observation interviews, student work, classroom artifacts, researchers’ field notes, and classroom observations. Negotiation practices seen in both classrooms included teacher-student and student-student interactions focused on: (a) conceptual learning (e.g., discussions, open-ended questions, prior learning connections) and (b) disciplinary/multimodal skills development (e.g., group activities on categorizing information, building models, making predictions, seeking evidence to support argumentation), all supporting science argumentation skills. Embedded language practices included instruction at the word (e.g., vocabulary preview/review), sentence (e.g., sentence frames), and discourse (e.g., integration of poetry) levels. The teachers also fostered student independence by focusing on developing learning strategies (e.g., how to read and label diagrams and write text annotations), all supporting science literacy skills.
This project brings together the three central stake holders in preservice science teacher (PSTs) preparation, university science faculty, university science education faculty, and cooperating teachers in the field to create a coherent system. In this system, PSTs are exposed to a consistent model that is reinforced at all stages of their preparation. This reduces the widespread problem of PST’s being taught science one way, being taught how to teach science another way, and seeing science taught in the schools yet a different way. Grounded in a proven approach to teacher learning, (program pseudonym) project uses a clearly articulated conceptual framework for effective science instruction along with a library of classroom videos to stimulate conversations about research-based complex teaching practices. We will present findings from the first phase of the project creating common vision and purpose among science faculty, education faculty, and cooperating teachers.
Various studies and accounts of peer observations of teaching continue to characterize teaching methods in college and university science classrooms as didactic experiences limited to memorization and basic recall of voluminous amounts of content. All too often, college and university instructors still consume precious instructional time espousing and reviewing discrete facts, diagrams, and definitions that students must remember long enough to regurgitate on exams. Conversely, college students should have opportunities to engage in learning pedagogical content knowledge as active participants. This shift in instruction is consistent with the call for active learning that appears in college teaching and science teacher education scholarship and standards. Resulting skill development that includes lesson planning should lead to applications of science practices, clarification of relationships, identification of patterns based on empirical data, and higher order thinking beyond the life of a science methods course.
This presentation focuses on a lived experience that provides opportunities for secondary science candidates to apply their knowledge and understanding of pedagogical content knowledge to create lesson plans. This lived experience incorporated and modified components and constraints associated with the Food Network’s Chopped series. The experience mirrors some of the stress and challenges that the candidates are likely to face during their yearlong internship and throughout their professional careers. The Lesson Plan Challenge provided a basis for self-reflection on strengths, shortcomings, and realities that they are likely to face in their future classrooms.
During the 2018/2019 academic year a computational thinking performance assessment was developed and implemented with middle school students. A version of this will now be applied to a digital arts project that combines STEM and CS/CT and targets female students.
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected and interdependent through rapid economic, technological, and social changes, resulting in students who are growing up in an educational environment that differs from that of previous generations. Thus, lessons in science education can reach beyond the walls of the classroom and the schoolyard through participation in global collaborative science education projects involving students from beyond national borders. This study uses a phenomenological approach to examine the role that global projects can have on science education by investigating the experiences of eight suburban public-school teachers from two separate school districts. The educator’s epistemological interpretations of their global science education projects were examined. This small-scale qualitative study addresses teacher motivation, impact on student learning and instructional practices, and teacher intentions to continue participation in the same or similar projects. Findings show that although some students are highly engaged while working on their global projects, teachers often have difficulty finding time for the extra work that these types of projects demand. Overall, it is the teachers’ willingness to plan, make time for, and implement global education projects that may have the greatest influence on students’ world views.
In this presentation we present our findings from a survey distributed through ASTE that gave us some insight into the nature of the practices that we employ when preparing future science teachers. Specifically, we looked at the types of programs we offer, the number of focus of individual science education courses, the topics contained therein, and the practices we employ in our instruction. Such a study is long overdue and we hope the discussion that it prompts can be fruitful in providing some future directions for our organization.
This paper presentation, focused on preservice science teacher identity and development, examines challenges around preparing science teachers and science teacher educators to recognize, address, and reflect on issues of diversity and equity in science education fieldwork, supervision, and research. This work explores the gaps among what preservice teachers know about issues of diversity and equity and how they observe, reflect, or engage in those issues while in their fieldwork placements. Furthermore, this presentation highlights the types of spaces that seem to engage preservice teachers in conversations around diversity and equity, such as in assigned critical reading or journaling practices.
Here, the use of positional identity and critical race theoretical frameworks allow us to interpret the experiences of preservice science teachers during coursework and during fieldwork. In this session, attendees can expect to hear about findings from interviews, journal entries, and survey responses which will help in understanding the complexities around equity and identity work in preservice science spaces. The experiences shared in written and spoken narratives may help contribute to the conversation around social justice and multicultural curriculum in teacher education. Through a reflexive approach, the researcher examines the difficulties around defining the terms: culture, race, diversity, and equity in coursework and in conversations during preservice science teacher preparation. In conclusion, this study will shed light on some of the obstacles that young scholars and early career researchers have to navigate around issues of race and equity within their inquiries or investigations of preservice preparation programs.
This mixed-methods study investigated the extent a twelve week-long course, delivered remotely, could support teachers’ perceived knowledge and skill development associated with targeted teacher leadership standards through Leadership Tasks. Teacher/student meetings and interview transcripts, pre/post surveys, and student leadership assignments, were analyzed to identify benefits and challenges to using Leadership Tasks to foster the development of teacher leaders. Findings indicated the tasks were largely perceived as “extremely effective” or “somewhat effective.” There were three benefit categories including a) ongoing task engagement; b) new collaborations; and c) improved teaching. Barriers to task completion and/or perception of benefits included a) limited time; b) prior engagement in leadership tasks without adequate skill development; c) self-identification as a “leader”; and d) resistance from colleagues. Findings have implications for ways to support the development of teacher leaders through remote programs and highlight the importance of school context as well as teachers’ beliefs about leadership in moderating the effectiveness of task-related leadership instruction.
This project is designed to improve teaching observations, analysis, and feedback, by using tool to collect both qualitative and quantitative data as a primary source for feedback and evidence-based reflection, and helps establish future quantitative targets for teaching, while facilitating collaboration between team members. Pre-service teachers and teacher preparation programs, share a need with practicing teachers and administrators, for using more quantitative indicators of teaching during the assessment process, and that such feedback is more evidence-based in nature. Data collected during a simulated teaching session (from video or real-time) can include: 1) types of questions and responses, 2) average and specific wait-times, 3) specific type and length of teaching strategies utilized, 4) specific type of interchange between students or general student participation, 5) predominate patterns of interactions between the teacher and students, 6) misbehavior data to the individual student level, and 7) teacher intervention to misbehaviors whether to the individual or whole group. These are all factors that can be observed and noted during observation and used during the analysis and feedback phase. Pilot efforts to gather substantially more quantitative data during an observation have been successful (Ashmann and Berg, 2013; Berg, Scolavino, Ashmann & Dieker, 2017). As such, the challenge focused on during this project is to maximize quantitative data collection during observations that allow for a rich analysis of a set of critical factors that set the foundation for robust feedback and self-reflection. Based on prior work, and recent efforts, the solution to the problem stated above might include incorporating web-based app technology to collect and analyze data while providing many different visual representations including tables, graphs, and heat maps of seating charts to use in the feedback process.
Our study examines how four elementary classroom teachers perceive what science representations are and how to use them when teaching science. In this paper, we focus on these two ideas as we report on the findings from year one of a 5-year project. Employing case study methodology, we provide a deep dive into four teachers perceptions about what the use of representations are in teaching science. Additionally, with an examination into the changes in teachers percpetions we are informing our PD design, which includes both instense summer instruction and one-on-one coaching throughout the school year. Findings thus far include a focus on teachers mentioning science representations that either re-represent a science phenomenon or are very close to the real phenomenon. The two forms of representations mentioned most frequently across the four teacher cases are diagrams (re-representing) and structures/samples (reality). Although these remain fairly consistent across the different points of time the teachers were interviewed in the first year of the project, we have also begun noticing slight shifts in the teachers’ perceptions after teaching their first science unit that was designed with an emphasis on including representations to support student learning. With respect to how to use representations in science activities with students, teachers most frequently mention the use of representations for describing or explaining and often in the form of pre-made representation that they or the curriculum provides. This finding supports the idea that currently the teachers in our project view the purpose of representations as a means of assessing students learning rather than as a tool for ambitious science teaching. Discussion will focus on how our findings thus far are informing our design-based research approach to PD, but also the similar and different patterns we are noting in the teachers perceptions about what representations are and their use in teaching science are developing over the course of the first year of the project.
The shortage of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) students, teachers, and professionals in our country has been attributed to a lack of quality K-12 STEM education. Considerable attention in the area has been given to the high rate of teacher turnover in our nation’s STEM classrooms. Such “teacher attrition” has been shown to disparately affect high-need schools and districts, further marginalizing disadvantaged members of society.
This study occurred within the context of The Robert Noyce Scholarship Program at our research-intensive university in the southeastern US. It investigated the beliefs expressed, explored, and developed by (n=8) Noyce scholars as they participated in a collaborative action research (CAR) based instructional intervention. The 2018 Noyce Community of Practice(CoP), centered on a journal club, which was embedded within a middle and secondary science education field practicum course. Scholars gained understanding of the influence of belief systems on how we construct our identity, perceive the conditions in which it happens, and view ourselves and others as we go through the collective process. This was done using an online literature discussion board, reflective writings, surveys, and four face-to-face “CoP meetings”. The latter proving invaluable in promoting opportunities for these new teachers to recognize, critique, and challenge beliefs.
By positioning the 2018 Noyce CoP as a quintain, we were able to tell its story via three themes developed using elements of portraiture. They were, new teacher beliefs about identity and science teaching and learning; home-life and science teaching and learning; and sociocultural-interactions (SC-I) and science teaching and learning. Qualitative analysis highlighted four areas where scholars expressed, explored, and developed beliefs for each of these respective themes, as well as successes of the 2018 Noyce CoP. All of which hold relevance for education stake holders concerned with better preparing new teachers for high-need STEM classrooms.
This paper presents the result of a knowledge synthesis project, focused on the ways in which Indigenous ways of knowing, being, and doing have been taken up in science and mathematics teaching and learning, in K-12 and teacher education, in Canada. It brings together tenets of systematic review with Indigenous research methodologies, to examine emergent understandings across nearly pieces of academic and grey literature. Significant themes identified include decolonization, the importance of language, the role of place and land in learning, connections to community, and tensions between ways of knowing, being, and doing. Implications for science teacher education will be explored.
In this age of continued federal mandates that emphasize standards and high-stakes testing, many PK-6 teachers solely utilize classroom pedagogies that “teach to the test” and avoid implementing opportunities for students to engage in experiential learning such as designing and conducting investigations or place-based learning (Gruenewald, 2003). In addition, the design of many science content courses designed for PK-6 grades pre-service teachers promotes the coverage of content as compared to developing deep understanding of selected concepts and implementing opportunities for students to investigate the world around them. This “inch-deep, mile-wide” approach tends to be utilized an attempt to expose students to the vast array of content that is presented in PK-6 science curriculum standards. However, for many pre-service teachers, this approach utilized in these PK-6 science courses can promote a concept of teaching science as imparting factual knowledge rather than having students construct their understanding. Our incorporation of place-based learning into these science content courses has allowed our students to apply their factual knowledge in practical, meaningful ways within a relevant context. We intend to foster a sense of the importance of utilizing this pedagogical approach within the pre-service coursework as one’s instructional practice is being formed rather than introducing the approach to inservice teachers. In addition, we hope the use of place-based learning allows our PK-6 teacher candidates to construct a deeper understanding of the content presented in state curriculum standards. In turn, by giving our students these experiences before they have their own classrooms, we anticipate our students will view place-based learning as an integral part of their pedagogical repertoire rather than as yet another “once and done” initiative. In all, these teacher candidates will develop a disposition to value these experiential learning experiences and view them as a critical aspect of science education in their classrooms.
STEM education has gained much attention in recent years. In order to teach STEM, preservice teachers must have experiences in their undergraduate courses. Most methods courses for elementary education are taught independently by content area (math, science, language arts and social studies). This study looked at a collaboration between methods classes to teach STEM that was delivered to preservice students who were dually enrolled in elementary math and science methods courses. Surveys, lesson plans and video recordings were used to investigate preservice elementary teachers’ planning for and delivery of STEM lessons after explicit modeling and practice in elementary mathematics and science methods courses? It was found that after experiencing two STEM lessons and planning and delivering an elementary STEM lesson, preservice teachers were more confident about the planning and delivering of STEM lessons. Although the same issues that are found in early lesson planning continued to persevere in this integrated lesson planning approach, preservice teachers were more confident in their planning and delivery at the end of their methods semester with this new integrated approach to preservice teacher education.
Observational instruments for evaluating reform-based science instruction were developed and validated in order to aid research and classroom observations in response to major reform efforts in the late 20th century. These tools communicate the goals and values of teacher preparation programs and can be used to support preservice teachers in developing their practice. Basing clinical supervision in an observation rubric which is used to record evidence from classroom instruction and provide feedback and next steps, is an educative process that can help preservice teachers understand effective teaching practices and progress in their implementation of these practices. In order to create an observation rubric to convey our program’s vision of effective science teaching and support our preservice teachers in understanding and implementing these practices, the faculty (some of whom are also clinical supervisors) co-developed an observation rubric, determined inter-rater reliability through video analysis, and continues to update and revise this tool. This rubric is used to convey the program’s goals for effective teaching to classroom mentors as well, and inter-rater reliability with mentors has also been achieved. This session will allow us to share our current work and to receive feedback on our clinical supervision tools and processes. Additionally, we hope to inspire others to consider and potentially modify their current observation and feedback practices.
Integrating science and engineering has many potential benefits for students, but also presents substantial challenges for teachers. Students do not necessarily draw upon the relevant scientific principles underlying a design task. Therefore, engineering lessons should be structured to require students to leverage their scientific knowledge. However, even with significant support many teachers struggle to meaningfully connect engineering and science. This study investigates factors related to elementary teachers’ incorporation of engineering into science instruction through the following research questions:
Employing a mixed methods multiple case study design, qualitative and quantitative data were collected to provide an in-depth exploration of factors related to the integration of engineering into science instruction. There was an almost equal representation across disciplines and with the use of published versus teacher-created units. Most often, engineering was placed at the end as an application of science and almost exclusively incorporated engineering as engineering design activities. A majority of the lessons included a topical or shallow conceptual connection between the science and engineering with few reaching a level of deep conceptual connection. Furthermore, triads at the 4thgrade level were more likely to earn higher ratings of science-engineering connection than triads at the 3rdor 5thgrade levels and CTs with higher self-efficacy for teaching engineering were also more likely to be members of triads with more highly rated lesson plans.By exploring those factors, our work seeks to identify ways in which teacher education and PD efforts can better prepare teachers to effectively utilize engineering design in science.
Small group activities play a key role in integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Some of these activities, particularly those focused on engineering design, are open-ended in nature and pose additional challenges to students. This study explores the role of the teacher in supporting students in small group engineering activities by addressing the research question: What moves do teachers of students aged 10-12 years make to support students’ participation in small group engineering activities? Using a comparative case study design and inductive coding methods, this study compares the teaching moves of two teachers as they set up and facilitate small group work. Findings illustrate the strategies employed by the teachers to support their students in small group engineering activities. These strategies included: discussing group roles and teamwork, connecting activities to the problem and Engineering Design Process, modeling and clarifying expectations, highlighting and clarifying criteria and constraints, requiring evidence-based reasoning, transitioning from small group to whole group instruction, and providing deadlines for student work. Differences between the two teachers in the range of strategies utilized suggest a need for professional development and further research on the role of the teacher in supporting students in small group engineering activities.
Research has shown that eighth-graders are an important age to study because students’ lose motivation in science after elementary school removing them out of the science and STEM pipeline. This study aimed to examine the role of grit, interest, and effort on students’ science achievement on the 2015 Trends in Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS). The results of this study will be or primary interest to ASTE educational researchers.
Grit Theoretical Framework
Duckworth and Quinn (2009) found that grit was a combination of two constructs required for achievement: Consistency of Interest and Perseverance of Effort. STEM students would require both interest and effort to achieve. The researcher used the grit constructs of interest and effort as the framework for this study. This framework was used to examine students’ interest and effort as individual and combined variables to determine their predictive power of students’ science achievement.
The grit theoretical framework requires more scrutiny. Combining interest and effort as one grit construct reduced its predictive power. This research study was important because much of the seminal grit literature focused only on exceptional samples with high talent (Credé et al., 2017; Duckworth et al., 2007; Duckworth & Quinn, 2009). The findings contradict the role of effort in grit as a predictor of science achievement.
With the newly implemented NGSS-aligned curriculum in the state of Louisiana, elementary teachers are finding themselves ill-prepared to effectively teach engineering practices including having students ask, design, and carry out investigations. This is in part due the teachers inadequate prior experiences engaging in the engineering-design process of planning, creating, and revising. This mixed methods study focused on the professional development experience of 17 practicing Louisiana elementary teachers from two distinct parishes. The workshop presented by the Engineering is Elementary (EiE) team from the curriculum division of the Boston Museum of Science and sponsored by two Louisiana universities focuses on immersing the teacher-participants in the engineer-design process. Surveys measuring the individual teachers teaching engineering self-efficacy scale (TESS) were administered prior to and after the professional development workshop along with data collected through field notes, observations, and post interviews. While the TESS measured significant increases in engineering self-efficacy among teachers, the qualitative portion of this mixed methods study revealed nuances how the teachers evolved their perceptual understanding of engineering pedagogy. Specifically, the teacher’s ability to recognize content integration. This proved significant regarding teachers who vocalized high engineering self-efficacy prior to the workshop and later acknowledged the overall pedagogical limitations. Therefore, even those with already high dispositions still increased their self-efficacy in different ways.
This study finds that participation in engineering-focused workshops helps teachers improve their overall self-efficacy and better understand the importance of standards-aligned content in conjunction with engineering-based practices rather than just superficial engagement.
Promoting functional scientific literacy focused on the products and process of science (e.g., NOS) and sociocultural considerations facilitates people to effectively engage in Socioscientfic Issues (SSI). This type of functional scientific literacy could be fostered through teaching students through under investigated place-based instructional approaches that “bridge the gap” between formal and informal science education contexts. This quasi-experimental triangulated mixed-methods study investigated how a place-based education program titled Missouri River All Stars (MRAS) focused on local Missouri River SSI bridged the gap between informal and formal educational contexts and impacted the NOS views and pro-environmental perspectives of 54 fourth graders. The month long after school MRAS program was NGSS based, followed the SSI instructional framework, occurred weekly in the students’ classroom, and included a daylong field trip to a local Missouri River conservation area. Salient themes included Missouri River human impacts, pallid sturgeon decline and recovery, and how scientists investigate those issues. Our findings show that the students expressed NOS views ranging from those that were stereotypical (e.g., science requires a set method) to those that transcended stereotypes (e.g., science proceeds by many methods and in various locations). Our results also show that after the MRAS, the MRAS participating students expressed significantly more informed concepts about NOS themes, such as how scientists research Missouri River SSI. A comparison group of their classmates realized no such gains. However, no significant differences occurred from before to after the MRAS in the pro-environmental perspectives of the MRAS participating students and their non-participating classmates. Pedagogical implications include how SSI engagement can be improved through leveraging place-based instruction that bridges formal and informal learning contexts in ways that students better understand NOS and respond to sociocultural aspects of environmental issues.
Historically, elementary preparation programs for preservice science teachers (PST) have been unable to interrupt preservice elementary teachers’ limited science teaching self-efficacy. More recently, the contextual nature of new, Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) (National Research Council, 2013) further exacerbated concern for PSTs ability to connect science teaching across the three dimensions of disciplinary core ideas of science, engineering practices and cross-cutting concepts. In this study, we reasoned that introducing PSTs to BBC Micro:bits (a novel technology tool to help children ask and answer science real-world questions) would embrace NGSS expectations and might also improve elementary PSTs science teaching self-efficacy. Research methods followed an explanatory mixed method design wherein pre/post quantitative data from the Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs Instrument (STEBI) (Riggs & Enochs, 1990) measured changes in PSTs’ science teaching self-efficacy and qualitative data (e.g. science autobiographies, science teacher drawings [reviewed according to the Draw a Science-Teacher Checklist (DAST-C), (Thomas, Pedersen, and Finson, 2001)], and weekly reflections) helped to identify ways these technology-linked science experiences influenced PSTs’ science teaching efficacy beliefs. While the research context incorporated two semesters of BBC Micro:bits access, [STEM methods courses (science, mathematics and technology), clinical field practicum, and student teaching], this presentation focuses on Phase I, methods-course-semester findings. Findings of this project are expected to improve understanding about how to increase elementary PSTs science teaching self-efficacy and to inform future STEM programming in elementary science teacher preparation programs.
The current study examined how an elementary teacher interpreted the enactment of a STEM coach’s role. The findings of the case study reported detail how a coach’s role was misinterpreted. Additionally, the data presented reveal how strict adherence to a presupposed coaching stance (i.e. reflective) or role, can limit the fruitfulness of a teacher-coach relationship. Finally, and given the likelihood coaches and teachers possess varying forms of expertise, the study contends that when paired with elementary teachers, a STEM coach might employ more direct coaching supports so individual teachers can implement and experience the potential benefits of new, instructional strategies.
This comparative case study draws upon the communities of practice framework to examine the ways in which two high school biology classrooms afforded and constrained meaning-making opportunities for eight newcomer English language learners (ELLs) in a southeastern US state.
ELLs bring rich and varied sets of resources to secondary science classrooms that support their participation in disciplinary meaning-making, including language practices that can facilitate their negotiation of biology content. Science teachers, however, face many challenges in recognizing and leveraging these resources, particularly when they have little training in accessing the strengths of culturally and linguistically diverse students and when instruction is delivered in English-centric contexts.
Data sources included field notes from 26 observations of instruction conducted over a three-month period in spring of 2019, teacher interviews, and student interviews. Data were analyzed qualitatively through a constant comparative approach with open and axial coding. In the two communities of practice, we noted few examples where newcomer ELLs negotiated class resources, goals, or forms of engagement, thereby limiting their opportunities for meaning-making. Findings revealed two themes about the ways that newcomers’ meaning-making was supported in these biology classrooms in specific instances. First, newcomers had opportunities for meaning-making when they could negotiate their engagement with the assistance of home languages and through connections to their prior knowledge. Second, classroom activities in both contexts encouraged the use of different resources—including graphic organizers, conceptual models, and academic language. When offered with adequate scaffolding, these resources were successfully negotiated by newcomers. Yet, proper scaffolding was at times missing from instruction.
This study makes a significant contribution in addressing the ways that all teachers—and not just those in language-focused classrooms—can tap into the strengths that newcomers bring to their learning.
An urgent need exists to better prepare and support elementary teachers’ science and engineering teaching. This study examines the impact of a federally-funded professional development effort that placed an engineering graduate student with a student teacher and cooperating teacher in a grades 3-5 urban classroom. The intent was to extend the impact of the science methods class for the student teachers while providing professional development for the cooperating teachers. In this study, we assessed time for science, strategies employed, and science teaching effectiveness using classroom observations in a treatment/control group design. Statistically significant differences favoring the treatment group were observed in the use of class discussion, the use of relevant and meaningful examples, and classroom culture. These results are promising, yet both groups still struggle to engage students in data collection/analysis and sense-making experiences. Interestingly, time was a predictor of sense-making scores, and a threshold of 45 minutes appears to be required if sense-making is to occur with moderate to high quality. Time was a necessary, but insufficient condition for quality sense-making experiences; time for science deserves far more attention particularly since most science lessons nationwide are far less than 45 minutes in length.
The current study scaled-up proven PD by providing Facilitation Academies which taught facilitators to provide Teacher Workshops (TWs) to secondary STEM educators. The purpose was to identify how TWs prepared teachers to implement geospatial inquiry lessons, provided them with geospatial technology (GST) performance skills, and prepared them for teaching a lesson with students. Surveys, GST assessments, lessons, observations, and artifacts were analyzed using a-priori coding and descriptive and correlational statistics. Participants included secondary STEM teachers who attended Power of Data Teacher Workshops. Results suggest what happens when an educational innovation that works in one setting is implemented by trained facilitators in other contexts. The study identifies effective design principles that support the uptake of new practices in the classroom as well as identifying issues teachers struggle with when trying to implement geospatial inquiry lessons.
The NGSS and new, similar state adaptations of these standards call for an increased focus on engaging students in learning science through various practices, including argumentation, while also focusing on crosscutting concepts and disciplinary core ideas. Yet, the body of knowledge usually referred to as the Nature of Science (NOS) concepts is also relevant and applicable to the visions of three dimensional teaching and learning championed in the standards. Research has demonstrated that teachers experience several challenges in understanding the concepts and pedagogical strategies associated with NOS and the scientific practices. Such challenges create impediments to effective implementation of rich, epistemically focused science instruction. This study describes an effort to support teachers learning about coordinating NOS and the scientific practices through an established argumentation instructional model. The research focuses on changes in participating teachers’ thinking with respect to NOS and teaching through argumentation. The multiple case studies developed from analyzing several data sources provide insight into how science teachers make connections between these two major topics. The results point towards some initial relationships between NOS and PCK for argumentation, as well as potential contextual influences.
With the arrival of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) the time to re-evaluate laboratories and activities in the classroom is here. In order for educators to understand how their students are understanding and deriving meaning from the big ideas they are studying in class. Undergraduate education on the other hand is remaining very traditional in how laboratory prepares students for future research and industrial career fields, however it s none the less important to understand how professor and undergraduate student thoughts are impacting the operation of laboratory procedures and the allowances for creative and meaning student endeavors. This presentation will outline the development of a laboratory perception survey for teachers and students, as well as the analysis and ideas that emerge from the survey responses. The surveys were written has five open-ended, free response questions in order to gather what students and educators believed to be the purpose of laboratory, the positive and negative aspects of laboratory, and what they would implement to change laboratory. Surveys were coded and the author discussed emergent themes with several colleagues to ascertain the validity of the codes. The themes as well as how they compare between the students and teachers between and across different education levels (secondary compared to secondary, secondary compared to undergraduate, etc.) will be discussed in detail along with the implications they have for science educators.
This presentation is for science teacher educators who are looking for ways to bridge the gap between theory and practice in a science methods course. Although most teacher education programs include multiple field experiences over the length of the program, this practice has been criticized for not sufficiently preparing teacher candidates to cope with full time teaching (Scott, Gentry, & Phillips, 2014). There is often a disconnect that occurs between what students are taught in their courses and the opportunities to enact these practices in their school placements (Kennedy, 1999; Zeichner, 2010).
One potential method of bridging the gap between theory and practice could be through the process of lesson study. Originating in Japan, lesson study is a type of teacher professional development that has been credited for the steady improvement of Japanese instruction (Fernandez & Yoshida, 2004; Stigler & Hiebert, 1999) and has gained popularity in the U.S. (Kriewaldt, 2012; Lewis, Perry, & Murta, 2006). In lesson study, three to six teachers work collaboratively to design, teach, observe, analyze, and revise a single lesson called a research lesson (Cerbin & Kopp, 2006; Lewis & Hurd, 2011). One team member teaches this lesson to a class of students, while the other participants of the group record notes about the teacher’s behaviors, students’ behaviors, and interactions in the classroom. Afterwards, the team meets again to discuss and improve upon the research lesson. The lesson study group is usually supported by a specialist in either content or pedagogy (Lewis & Hurd, 2011).
This syllabus-sharing session will provide a brief overview of the theoretical framework of lesson study, the logistics involved with incorporating lesson study into a science methods course, the activities that were utilized to scaffold teacher-candidate participation in lesson study, the benefits and challenges of utilizing lesson study as a course component, and the teacher-candidate perceptions of lesson study as an instructional strategy in a science methods course.
This paper addresses the professional learning experiences of two middle grades science teachers who had their first authentic research experience in data science in a Research Experience for Teachers program and developed increased data science knowledge and stronger computational thinking skills that they used in designing multi-dimensional science lessons. The research questions that we investigated during this study include: 1) How did middle grades teachers’ participation in a Research Experience for Teachers site change their beliefs and knowledge about computational thinking? and 2) How did these teacher participants change the thinking of graduate students and computer scientist PI about teaching and learning? We developed our RET program using Blanchard and Sampson’s (2017) Theory of Action for RETs, which supports simultaneous authentic research experience and support for improved inquiry-based instruction. The teacher participants came into the program valuing student-teacher relationships and holding a sophisticated conception of computational thinking as a cognitive skill needed by everyone and used across science and engineering, not merely using computers to solve problems. However, the teachers were unsure of how to incorporate compuational thinking into their practice due to limitations in content knowledge and lack of experience in reseach and design processes. After the RET, the teachers felt much more confident and designed multi-dimensional curriculm materials that were chosen for presentation at a national middle grades education conference. The graduate students and computer science faculty who worked with the teachers in the RET were surprised at the teachers’ resourcefulness in learning new content and their persistence in problem solving.
Proceedings Abstract (2000 characters):
There is a high need for well qualified teachers across all STEM content areas, and this need is especially pronounced when it comes to secondary physics. Our study seeks to better understand the reasons why individuals choose to pursue physics teaching. This study takes place at a primary undergraduate institution in the northeastern United States, uses a modified version Watt and Richardson’s (2007) Factors Influencing Teacher Choice (FIT-Choice) model as an analytical frame to describe why individuals choose to teach physics using a mixed methods concurrent triangulation approach (Creswell & Plano-Clark, 2017). Qualitative data sources include transcribed interviews (both with physics/secondary education majors as well as with physics faculty), providing multiple perspectives on students’ choice to pursue teaching. Quantitative data sources used include a survey based on Watt and Richardson’s FIT-Choice instrument administered to all physics undergraduates at our institution (those enrolled in a physics/secondary education dual major and not). Our findings revealed several clear trends including: prior teaching and learning experiences were critical in helping an individual choose to become a teacher; future teachers reported a clear love for the subject (physics); specific skills and expertise are needed to effectively teach secondary physics; and that physics teaching is a mechanism for enhancing social equity. There was some discussion of teaching as a “fallback career,” but this was relatively small compared to other trends. Implications for this work could include creating tools to aid in recruiting a larger pool of highly qualified secondary physics teachers.
There is an abundance of literature advocating academic and social/emotional benefits to play and in particular block play in the younger grades. In this study, four second-grade (7-8 year olds) teachers added free block play as one of the rotation stations. Data were collected by video recording the children’s block play, taking still photos of the children’s work, discussing their work with children, interviewing the classroom teachers, and taking field notes. After several weeks, small plastic animals were made available as well. The classroom data collection terminated with an engineering challenge, to build the tallest building with the fewest blocks. The data revealed many opportunities for academic connections to several academic areas including mathematics, engineering, and life science. A need was identified for professional development for teachers to understand and effectively implement playful science learning. A pedagogic model of play was developed to support teachers planning and implementation for academic learning and social/emotional growth and development. Highlights of the data and the pedagogic playful learning model will be presented with examples of teaching strategies to promote science learning from play.
Science fiction conventions allow individuals who enjoy interacting with diverse science fiction mediums, such as literature, TV, and movies, to engage with a community that exists between the worlds of science fiction and science fact. Some science fiction conventions include science “track” themes that allow scientists to share their expertise and research on scientific findings and applications of science in connection to science fiction with science fiction enthusiasts. This study documented the demographics of science fiction attendees’ (n = 242) at a science fiction convention in the southern United States and explored attendees beliefs about science, appropriateness of venue for learning, and how often attendees attended non-fiction offerings at this convention. The demographic breakdown of attendees who answered the survey as follows: 53% female and 43% male, 71% identified as Caucasian , and majority held at least an Associate’s degrees (75%) . The majority of respondents were between the ages of 26-55. Results indicate that attendees had strong views on the relevance of science in their lives and that all believe that science fiction conventions are good places to learn about science. Despite the ability of science fiction conventions to draw crowds in the tens of thousands over the course of a week, there is almost no scholarly literature examining popular culture conventions in an educational context. Understanding who is attending non-fiction tracks at science fiction conventions and providing insight into how relevant science is to their lives can have far reaching implications for science communication, science education, and the community at large.
This study draws upon the frameworks of culturally responsive science instruction (CRSI) and culturally responsive teaching. We aimed to provide evidence that beginning secondary science teachers will exhibit greater culturally responsive instruction after completing an induction course focused on culturally responsive teaching.
The advantages of CRSI include increased science interest, positive science identities, and improved scientific literacy for ethnically and racially diverse students. Unfortunately, US science teachers often have little-to-no formal education on culturally responsive teaching. Furthermore, induction programs have shown qualitative improvements in science teachers’ inclusive practices, as well as their attitudes toward ethnically and racially diverse students. However, longitudinal examinations to this end are scarce. Our study focused on providing evidence for the latter.
From 2015 to 2019, three cohorts of beginning secondary science teachers enrolled in a 3-course post-baccalaureate induction program offered at a large research university in the Midwestern US. In the summer semester after the first year of coursework, teachers met in person in a four-week course on culturally responsive science teaching. Each of 20 teachers’ classroom instruction were evaluated the year before the course and the year after the course. Results showed significant increases in instruction related to family collaboration, curriculum providing diverse perspectives on content, and sociopolitical consciousness. There was a significant decrease in scaffolding and student choice in classroom activities after the course.
With increasing diversity amongst our global economy, there is a growing demand to better prepare students for this change. Science teachers cannot be naïve to the diverse cultures coming into their classroom if they plan to be an effective teacher. By enhancing CRSI, we believe science teachers can improve the quality of instruction as well as positively contribute to science achievement and persistence for students of color.
In this presentation, we will share final results from a three-year study with preservice secondary science teachers (PST) and their use of learning theories (LT) in the classroom. Three years of data have been included in our analysis. Using observations and student artifacts, we explored the ways in which various LT influenced the practices of preservice secondary science teachers during their spring internship. A typological approach defined by Hatch (2002) was used to analyze the data. Constructivism and Behaviorism had a greater impact on the PST than other theories over all the years. Explanations of the causes of the occurrence of such will be discussed. We will also discuss what changes were being made to the methods course in the third year to encourage more LT usage in that year’s PSTs. We will present our syllabi from the original methods course and the revised methods course, as well as discuss suggestions for improvement in preservice secondary science teachers’ use of learning theory to influence their classroom practices.
When teaching even in very large groups, there is a need to reach all students and engage them in the content. A major unaddressed challenge is how specifically to design and implement instructional strategies that engender active learning particularly in large group settings. Active learning may include student engagement through discussions, active movement, online interactions and more. (Bernstein, 2018; Cavanagh et al., 2016; Michael, 2006 & Wilke, 2003). For several years I have supported large group instruction in a college physiology class with various forms of active learning, that is utilizing activities that are purported to support content understanding and retention for groups even as large as 475 students in an auditorium style lecture hall.
Our research in active learning is designed to discover student’s perceptions in order to improve learning and retention of material. We chose three modalities of active learning from Berstein (2018) to assign to a unit: kinesthetic and movement, discussion, and problem based. I, as the instructor of the course, used various activities during each unit for the chosen modality. Students answered content questions after each activity and at the end of each unit took an exam with questions based on content from the activities. Students responded to a semester end survey and commentary evaluation on how their learning was impacted. We compared this to past semester data where active learning was not enacted.
Through the anonymous evaluations, we found that students were overwhelmingly positive toward participating in the active learning environment and found these activities to be both enjoyable and educational. In survey responses students believe active learning improved their knowledge retention and confidence in understanding the content.
The presentation is designed both for teachers and methods instructors who might use these strategies to enliven any large group instructional setting from high school to college and learn that active learning can be an important component for all levels of education.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate a science and literacy instructional model aimed at helping fifth grade English learners and economically disadvantaged students with science achievement as measured on high-stakes standardized science achievement tests. The science and literacy model included elements noted by previous research to be effective for addressing the needs of diverse learners in science (e.g., professional development and attention to language development in context). The science and literacy instruction model promoted purposeful planning and a research-based innovative vocabulary instructional strategy (interactive word walls) designed to help English learners and economically disadvantaged students simultaneously learn the academic language and content of science. Difference-in proportions tests were used to determine if fifth grade students at two elementary school campuses showed positive achievement gains on a high-skates state science test. This study found statistically significant results with medium to large effect sizes at both campuses. The implications of this particular study include an affirmation that combining purposeful language and science content teaching is generally good for English learners and economically disadvantaged students’ science achievement. In addition, the findings point to the importance of professional development practices which provide teachers with training and tools for how to integrate language in the science classroom easily and effectively, a challenge repeatedly noted by previous researchers in the field (Adamson et al., 2013; Maerten-Rivera et al., 2016; Santau et al., 2010). Our results indicate that, overall, implementing the science and literacy instructional model was beneficial to the fifth grade students at both schools. Findings contribute to much needed research and practice in the area of effective models to assist teachers, English learners, and economically disadvantaged students in an era of high-stakes testing.
This convergent parallel mixed-methods study investigated the extent to which and ways teachers incorporated technology into their teaching, with specific attention to engineering-focused lessons. The study included all 128 novice teachers of grades 4-12 (58 in grades 4-6, 70 in grades 7-12) drawn from the control group of a larger randomized control trial. For each participant, data included twenty-one days of lesson plans and three videotaped lessons. Preliminary results indicate that 79% of grades 4-6 (elementary) and 80% of grades 7-12 (secondary) teachers used technology, elementary teachers used a greater diversity of educational technologies than secondary teachers. In elementary classrooms, technologies were used most often to facilitate student-driven research and to visualize phenomena. Twenty-four percent of elementary teachers and 8.6% of secondary teachers incorporated engineering projects into science instruction. Within engineering lessons, 50% of elementary and 50% of secondary participants used technology to support student-driven research and to show movie clips. However, probeware, simulations, communication software, and computer-aided design/sketch tools were rarely used during engineering lessons. Grades 4-12 novice teachers’ technology-enhanced instruction followed a slight progression in complexity, student-centeredness, and science domain specificity during non-engineering lessons. A progression to engineering domain-specific technologies was not evident. These results indicate a need to support teachers’ meaningful technology use within engineering projects and a need to help teachers of higher grades include more engineering in instruction.
Mathematical problem solving remains a central component of science teaching and learning and is paramount to secondary physics education programs. Yet, secondary students continue to find many aspects of physics problem solving difficult, especially when coupled with complex mathematical analysis (Koswara, Muslim, & Sanjaya, 2019; Byun, 2014; Çalışkan, 2010; Carson, 2007; Kim & Lee, 2006; Lorenzo, 2005; Angell, Guttersrud, Henriksen, & Isnes, 2004; Krulik & Rudnick, 1996). Additionally, secondary physics education programs are often hierarchically levelled into versions of physics courses offering diverse mathematical underpinnings and rates of course progressions. This post-course research design examines how secondary physics learners enrolled in Advanced Placement, Honors, and College Preparatory courses compare in terms of attitudes towards mathematical problem solving strategies, mathematical computation, complex equation manipulation, and applicability of physics to participants lives. The Attitudes about Problem Solving Survey (APSS) (Cummings, Lockwood, & Marx, 2003) was administered (n=123) upper-class secondary participants across three levels of physics courses. Statistical results suggests participants’ engagement and attitudes towards mathematical physics problem solving shifts across course levels. Participants enrolled in higher-level physics courses indicate broader approaches and attitudes towards mathematical physics problem solving as compared to participants enrolled in lower-level physics courses. These results play important roles in preparing pre-service and in-service physics teachers about pedagogical approaches and instructional practices across hierarchical course levels within secondary physics education programs.
Assessment is an integral part of science teaching and learning (Graham, 2005), and it is critical that science teacher education programs facilitate the development of pre-service science teachers’ assessment literacy. To address the challenge of developing pre-service science teachers’ assessment literacy, we purposely designed our methods course to address the four assessment components of the science assessment literacy framework developed by Abell & Siegel (2011): 1) knowledge of assessment purposes; 2) knowledge of what to assess; 3) knowledge of assessment strategies; and 4) knowledge of assessment interpretation and action-taking. In this study, we examined the assessment literacy of five pre-service science teachers using qualitative methodology to determine how embedded assessment instruction in the methods course influenced the development of their science assessment literacy. Our findings suggest that our science methods course did facilitate the development of assessment literacy; however, there were still areas of weakness that needed developing further. Our pre-service science teachers needed more opportunities to develop their knowledge of assessing three-dimensional science learning, assessing for the purpose of assessment as learning, and modifying instructional plans based on assessment interpretation. Although the methods instructor demonstrated assessment literacy throughout the course to "practice what we preach," other pedagogies should be implemented to support assessment learning. Based on our findings, we suggest pedagogies for methods instructors to implement to facilitate the development of pre-service science teachers’ assessment literacy.
Existing literature supports the use of learning experiences beyond the walls of the classroom for elementary students. The schoolyard as a place for learning offers students opportunities to engage in authentic scientific phenomena within the 3-dimensions of the NGSS. However, most programs that prepare elementary teachers do not actively support the development of schoolyard pedagogy. A framework for schoolyard pedagogy development suggests that intense pedagogical experiences, opportunities and frequent access, and continuous support overlap to support teachers’ use of the schoolyard as an intentional learning environment. Intense pedagogical experiences include moments in a teacher’s career where the possibilities of teaching outdoors are realized. These may include immersive experiences as learners, intentional professional development, or reflections of field- or inservice-experience. Intense pedagogical experiences related to schoolyard pedagogy influence teachers’ dispositions towards nature and teaching and learning outdoors, encourage a vision of students as engaged with their environments, and develop understandings of students needs related to learning outdoors. To further develop schoolyard pedagogy, preservice teachers need to begin to consider existing opportunities and access to areas beyond the classroom walls for teaching. Ongoing support takes the form of intensive professional development, curricular support in the form of embedded lessons that make use of the schoolyard and surrounding environment, administrative support that encourages schoolyard-based teaching through professional development, and community support through an educational culture that is committed to encouraging learning in and about students’ place. In this roundtable, we will describe the schoolyard pedagogy framework of development through the lens of our methods courses, which have been designed to showcase how to the schoolyard as a venue for learning science for elementary preservice teachers (PSTs).
Research shows potential benefits of science education in special education (SPED) contexts. Learning promotes science inquiry practices for students with special needs. And, science provides these population of learners opportunities to engage in authentic activities that may help them become functional individuals. However, students with special needs are often left behind in science education, and research largely ignores this population. In particular, very limited research examines the intersection between nature of science (NOS) and SPED. Research shows the potential benefits of NOS instruction in SPED because of the unique observations made by students with special needs that can be a powerful tool to learn NOS. To address this gap, the study investigated 18 preservice SPED teachers’ conceptions of NOS, how they plan and teach NOS in their practice teaching in a combined science and social studies methods course. The study used conceptual change framework to guide NOS interventions and to help the participants confront their initial ideas and made sense of discrepant information. The data sources included pre and post Views of Nature of Science (VNOS-C) survey, reflections, interviews, lesson plans and implementation of lessons during class time. To reduce bias, a researcher not affiliated with the class conducted post-course interviews. Throughout the course, participants were provided explicit-reflective NOS instruction with inquiry context. Overall, most participants improved their NOS conceptions, pre to post course. With no requirement to include NOS, majority planned and implemented NOS lessons. Some participants saw NOS as aligned with valuing different perspectives of students in SPED instruction. Participants also recognized the perceptual differences of deaf students as assets for doing science. This study provides initial empirical evidence to support the importance of preservice SPED teachers learning about NOS and how to teach it.
This design-based research project investigated the context and impact of a three-year practice-based professional development project introducing science teachers to pedagogical shifts required for full implementation and synergy among disciplinary literacy components of Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core State Standards- Literacy. Participants included 42 middle school science teachers from 12 primarily urban districts in a small northeastern state. Researchers utilized a theoretical framework that explains both fundamental and derived elements of disciplinary literacy in science to guide all aspects of the study. In summer institutes, the interdisciplinary university project team immersed teachers in experiencing innovative, standards-based, three-dimensional earth and space science curricular units with embedded disciplinary literacy strategies. Teachers then adapted the units and implemented with students. Researchers used a convergent parallel mixed methods design to examine quantitative and qualitative data in the form of classroom observations to determine fidelity of implementation of disciplinary literacy practices in Year 1 and 2, self-report of frequency of practices on the Science Literacy Survey pre and post project, and focus group responses at the end of Year 2 and 3. Analyses revealed that the success of the intervention was related to teachers’ perceptions of immediate need for reformed practice, feasibility and usability of the units, seamless integration of the literacy practices within science instruction, direct and explicit instruction of literacy practices within the units, and opportunity for teachers to share and reflect over the course of the three years. Implications and future research directions are also discussed.
This exploratory session will introduce participants to innovative uses of case-based pedagogies in science teacher preparation with the recognition that learning to teach science is a complex and uncertain endeavor. A central premise of the session is that case-based pedagogy can facilitate dialogue around dilemmas of practice grounded in personal experience, reflection, and respect for multiple perspectives. During this session, participants will engage in discussion around the use of case-based pedagogies, effective case writing strategies and formats, as well as brainstorm and share potential case dilemmas situated in personal experience. Participants will be invited to contribute cases, or responses to cases to a new casebook under development for use in science teacher preparation.
This study used the Lesson Study (LS) approach as an overarching method to develop preservice teacher understanding and skills of Problem-Based Enhanced Language Learning (PBELL). This model combines Problem-Based Learning (PBL), language-based theories of learning, and methods of working with students developing abilities in the language of instruction.
PBELL requires effective experiences for preservice teacher (PST) implementation. Past efforts included a PBL module (Rillero & Camposeco, 2018), an experience that models the implementation (Rillero, Thibault, Merritt, & Jimenez-Silva, 2018), and lesson plan development with instructor feedback and implementation (Rillero, Koerner, Jimenez-Silva, Merritt, & Farr, 2017). To these components, LS was added as a dominant framework for elementary PST development. Our implemented version has the following major steps: (a) PST group plans PBELL experience and writes lesson plan, (b) lesson plan shared with instructor for feedback, (c) group members implement lesson and make observations, (d) group discusses implementation, (e) group modifies lesson plan, (f) group implements with different students and makes observations, and (g) group discusses implementation and writes final report.
This study involved two elementary science teaching methods classes. It used a retrospective survey and interviews to determine PSTs’ perspectives on the methods to prepare them for PBELL and on understanding and using PBELL. Results suggest PSTs developed (a) an understanding of PBELL and (b) self-efficacy for implementation. The most valuable components to achieve this are listed in order as follows:(a) the modeled PBELL experience, (b) the LS stage of the first teaching of the lesson, (c) the LS stage discussion and revision after implementation, and (d) the initial LS state of group planning. PSTs benefited from three aspects of the LS process: designing and implementing, collaboration, and reflection on their teaching. Most of PSTs indicated that they would like to use PBELL in their future classrooms.
This roundtable presentation will summarize technology initiatives across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education during the past 30 years to present perspectives on the role of technology in science education. The most prominent perspectives describe technology as the following: 1) vocational education, industrial arts, and/or the product of engineering, 2) educational and/or instructional technology, and 3) the tools and/or practices used by practitioners of science, mathematics, and/or engineering. Implications for science education researchers and practitioners will be discussed.
The purpose of this study is to deepen our understanding of what supports students’ efforts to connect ideas together in science class. In the era of NGSS, much attention has been placed on designing coherent learning experiences for students. However, a more important skill for teachers to develop may be to recognize, and then cultivate, students’ efforts work through inconsistencies and forge connections between ideas. In this presentation, we show video examples of students noticing inconsistencies, suggesting relationships between ideas, and identifying gaps in explanations, and discuss what features of the lesson supported those efforts. Implications for pre- and in-service teacher training in the era of NGSS are discussed.
This study investigates how high school students generate persuasive and convincing arguments through a series of evidence represented in concrete forms on a computer simulation when justifying their claims for the behavior of gases represented on their drawings.
This qualitative study investigates preservice elementary teachers’ use of reflective practice on field experiences by investigating integration, depth, and complexity of ideas found within preservice teachers’ written science autobiographies and reflections. The study was conducted at two large public universities: (1) located in the Mid-Atlantic region in the United States (U.S.) and (2) at a public university in Canada. Data sources included participants’ (N=55) written science autobiographies describing prior science experiences and reflection papers on their teaching in an elementary classroom. Data were analyzed using open and axial coding to generate themes from the data. A coding scheme was established that consisted of a four-level scale (level 1, the lowest and level 4, the highest); each level suggests an increase in depth and complexity of beliefs about science teaching. In their autobiographies, preservice teachers reflected on their prior K-12 and college science learning experiences, and how those experiences impacted their beliefs about science and science teaching. Preservice teachers also wrote about events where they participated in learning science in informal ways, and their science role models, which influenced their personal science teacher beliefs. The written reflection papers allowed preservice teachers to critically analyze their successes and challenges with lesson implementation, and suggestions for their future teaching. Results showed that preservice teachers’ reflections were in-depth and complex at the end of the semester suggesting connections to future science teaching. Our findings highlight the importance of reflective practice in teacher preparation courses. Engaging in reflective practice on positive field experiences can allow preservice teachers to reflect at higher levels of depth and complexity. Findings have implications for preservice teacher education programs.
This workshop program, Space Sciences Hands-on Activities & Practices (S2HAP) for Middle School Classrooms using NASA Education Resources, aims to expand the use of NASA’s education programs and resources to effectively assist middle school students in meeting the space-sciences standards recommended in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The S2HAP workshop is a practice-based and apprenticeship training program for middle school science teachers’ implementation of space-science lessons using NASA education resources. The S2HAP workshop program has two phases: (1) a 3-day summer workshop to learn and practice S2HAP units, and (2) implementing the S2HAP units in the classrooms with assistance from STEM success coaches. Then the students of the participant teachers will also be engaged in the S2HAP lessons over 3 – 4 weeks during the following school year. The students will complete the measures of space-sciences knowledge and interests before and after the S2HAP units taught. Four STEM success coaches will assist the teachers during the summer workshop and for the lesson implementation during the following school year.
A Space Sciences Content Knowledge Questionnaire, a student Survey for Self-efficacy and Interests in Space-Sciences, and a teacher Survey for Confidence in Teaching Space Science will serve as the primary data source for evaluating the project outcomes while their artifacts and semi-structured interviews will be used as secondary data sources. The middle school students participating in the program will complete a Likert-scale space-sciences interest survey, Self-efficacy and Interests in Space-Sciences. The main goal of the workshop is to improve middle school teachers’ content knowledge and instructional skills in teaching space-sciences concepts. Then, this will ultimately improve their students’ interests and achievements in space sciences. This workshop will demonstrate a PD model that shows the effective use of NASA education resources by engaging teachers in utilizing hands-on activities for their teaching space-sciences lessons.
As online learning opportunities increase, research is needed to continually assess the impact of these learning environments in student engagement and understanding. In this study, a STEM Education graduate program, consisting entirely of eight-week, asynchronous online courses, is the focus of evaluation. The overarching goal of the program is to offer an opportunity for practicing teachers to develop greater understanding of theoretical perspectives, instructional interventions, assessment innovations and ongoing research questions related to STEM education in a practical manner. Two underlying concerns related to this overarching goal are how to increase meaningful engagement among students in the asynchronous online environment and how to help students come to understand and implement a perspective of integrated STEM as an epistemic tool. In this presentation, an overview of the development and implementation, including a description of the current courses offered in the program will be provided. This overview will be related to the theoretical perspectives that underpin the program. Results of ongoing evaluation of student experiences and student outcomes will also be presented. Ideally, this discussion will facilitate productive discussion surrounding both the development of online learning environments and different conceptions of STEM education and STEM learning.
Although STEM is at the forefront of many educational initiatives, little is known about various professionals perceptions of STEM and STEM education. This mixed-methods study surveyed 164 preservice teachers, inservice teachers, administrators, informal educators, and STEM professionals. Quantitative and qualitative questions on the survey elicited participants’ perceptions and understandings of STEM, STEM education, STEM support, and STEM careers. Quantitative analysis revealed a significant effect of profession on understandings of STEM, importance of STEM, perceptions of STEM education, support for STEM, and perceptions of STEM career opportunities. Qualitative analysis provided richer descriptions of differences in perceptions among professions. This study suggests that science teacher educators need to ensure preservice teachers have understandings of STEM and STEM careers, K-16 educators need to emphasize the urgency of STEM now and not only in the future, and administrators and policymakers need to align visions of STEM with curriculum and pacing guides so teachers feel supported in their STEM endeavors.
This proposal examines the process of developing an innovative elementary science methods course model, that includes implementation, results, and lessons learned. The model is the result of an innovative collaboration between science education and literacy faculty. It provides concrete steps and procedures for teaching literacy and science in tandem, in ways that support Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) requirements, and do not interfere with the development of science knowledge. Results from the innovative collaboration show positive impact of the model on preservice teachers’ (PSTs’) knowledge about instructional strategies to support elementary students’ science learning. Lessons learned carry implications for implementing a collaborative approach to preparing elementary PSTs to teach science.
The use of a two year induction model supports our Noyce Scholars in their first years of teaching. New teachers leave at high rates within the first five years of teaching. Ingersoll (2007), supported by Linda Darling-Hammond et al. (2016), identified several contributing factors including low salaries, lack of support from school administrations, student discipline problems, and the lack of teacher input into school decision making. This paper investigates the impact of the XXX Phase I and II Noyce induction model on teacher retention to learn whether the model used is able to overcome the contributing factors identified by Ingersoll. The following questions guided this investigation: (1) What rates of participation in induction sessions occurred for Noyce Scholars now novice teachers? (2) How does participation in induction sessions impact retention of novice teachers? (3) What components of the induction model supported retention of the novice teachers? (4) What factors has the induction model not been able to help the novice teachers overcome? Our induction model engages the Scholars in two protocols, a problem-solving and success protocol, that provide opportunities to collaborate and support one another. Multiple methods, both quantitative and an inductive qualitative approach, were used to answer the research questions. Eight cohorts (n= 71) of middle and high school novice teachers from one Mid-Atlantic University Noyce Grant are the subjects of this study. The two-year model has been very successful with at least 83% of the completing scholars attending at least one session. There are a variety of reasons for not attending including family obligations in the evening and living to far from the site to attend. Qualitative analysis of interview transcripts and session videotape indicate that the program provides needed support: personal-emotional, pedagogical, task/problem-focused, and critical/reflective, consistency, and community building. Initial findings indicate that this model has helped to retain our novice teachers.
Research emphasizes that content knowledge alone is insufficient for effective science teaching. Science teachers also need to know how to use their understanding of the subject matter to engage successfully in critical teaching practices such as interpreting students’ ideas, constructing explanations, and selecting and modifying resources for instruction. Although there have been numerous efforts to design specialized content courses for teachers and science curricula for teaching science teachers, efforts to understand the impacts of these efforts on science teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (CKT) have lagged, mainly due to the lack of valid and reliable measures to assess how well they can apply their understanding of the science content in the work they do with students, curriculum, and instruction. Current assessment tools measure science teachers’ subject matter knowledge, rather than the more specialized, practice-based aspects of CKT required to engage in the work of teaching science. Those assessments that have been designed to measure the practice-based aspects of science teachers’ CKT tend to involve teachers in tasks that require substantial time to administer and score, which makes it difficult to use these instruments on a large-scale to examine the nature and development of science teachers’ practice-based CKT. Large-scale instruments that target the practice-based aspects of science teachers’ CKT are needed to move research in science education forward. The purpose of this presentation is to share one such effort towards this goal. During the last year, our project work has focused on developing a CKT instrument designed to assess pre-service elementary teachers’ CKT in one topic area – matter and its interactions. In this presentation, we plan to share the ‘Work of Teaching Science’ framework we used to guide our assessment development efforts and example CKT matter tasks aligned to this framework, as well as discuss the key components of the assessment development process we used to construct this summative instrument.
Public schools have long strived to meet the needs of their students. However, high-poverty, urban schools, often face a myriad of challenges such as chronic shortages of experienced educators and lack of financial resources. (Geier, Blumenfeld, Marx, Krajcik, Fishman, Soloway, & Clay-Chambers, 2008; Lynch, 2000; Tobin, Roth, & Zimmerman, 2001), which makes the development of an identity project all the more challenging. Moreover, the time spent learning science in the elementary grades is much less than reading and mathematics. According to the 2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education (Banilower, Smith, Weiss, Malzahn, Campbell, & Weis, 2013), which sampled 7,752 science and mathematics teachers in schools across the United States, students in K-3 self-contained classrooms spent an average of only 19 minutes each day on science while spending an average of 89 minutes per day on reading and 54 minutes on mathematics. The pattern in grades 4–6 is similar, with 83 minutes per day devoted to reading, 61 minutes to mathematics, and 24 minutes to science In this presentation, I describe how two teachers worked in resistance to national trends by using the work of a comprehensive STEM education initiative to transform teaching and learning of STEM in their classroom.
There appears to be consensus that the use of video in science teacher education can support the pedagogical development of science teachers. However, in a comprehensive review Gaudin and Chaliès (2015) identified critical questions about video use that remain unanswered and that need to be explored through future research in teacher education, including “How can teaching teachers to identify and interpret relevant classroom events on video clips improve their capacity to perform the same activities in the classroom?” (p. 57). This presentation synthesizes the findings of a collaborative of science teacher educators from nine teacher preparation programs working to answer this question.
This collaborative was initially established to design and develop best practices for using the NBPTS ATLAS video library to support science teacher preparation. Our efforts to address this need led to the development of the ASSET [A(TLAS)-Supported Science Emphasis Tool] Video Analysis Framework.. The ASSET VAF focuses on a key skill set that needs to be developed in science teachers: the capacity to analyze and articulate pedagogical practice. This presentation details how the ASSET VAF, as well as other pedagogical tools developed by the collaborative, can support science teacher educators’ effective implementation of video analysis within and across a variety of contexts.
This work advances the current research base by detailing the practice that emerges when different science teacher education programs engage with common video analysis tools: the ASSET VAF and the ATLAS video library. These variations of practice contribute to the practical application of video analysis in science teacher education by highlighting commonalities of practice as well as areas where teacher educators might adapt general principles to their unique contexts. In addition, the ASSET VAF contributes to the theoretical understanding of video analysis in teacher education by expanding the frameworks of other scholars to take into account other dimensions of professional growth.
The implementation of NGSS has resounding effects with the critical shifts in curriculum, pedagogy, and learning environment. With the addition of a transition from a discipline-specific chemistry course to an integrated chemistry and Earth science course, the early stages of system-wide implementation can induce an array of enthusiasm, skepticism, and confusion. By examining teachers’ and students’ perspectives from their shared experiences with a novel curriculum’s implementation, identification of perceived synergies (e.g., integrated topics and metrics of success) and tensions (e.g., local connections in curriculum and teacher approaches toward instruction) between teachers and learners can be utilized to further refine strategic actions in supporting implementation and teacher professional learning leading to sustainable reform in curriculum and instruction.
We present research that documents beginning elementary teachers’ science planning and enactment of instruction and discourse focusing on two teachers during their first year of teaching. We conducted semi-structured interviews and analyzed video recorded observations using EQUIP (Marshall, Smart, & Horton, 2010). Preservice and novice teachers’ limited understandings of classroom structures and children’s learning processes challenge their abilities to plan and implementation of effective science instruction that builds on students’ prior knowledge, addresses their potential alternative conceptions, and anticipates student responses to instruction (NRC, 2005; Zembal-Saul, Blumefeld, & Krajcik, 2000). Novice teachers frequently view planning for instruction as preparing for what the teacher and students will be doing rather than focusing on student learning (Feiman-Nemser, 2012). Traditionally, many pre-service teachers and teacher preparation programs have focused on knowledge transfer and organizational skills rather than student thinking and effective discourse (Gillies & Boyle, 2010; Luna & Sherin, 2017). Classroom discourse is a complex interplay of words, beliefs, social contexts, and student and teacher attitudes and identities (Gee, 2001; Smart & Marshall, 2013). First year teachers must negotiate a multitude of factors as they transition from students to professionals. It is important that teacher educators prepare elementary teachers with effective inquiry-based teaching practices for helping young children’s engagement in rich science experiences. This study’s examination of two beginning teachers presents a lens into instructional decisions and enactment of science lessons in teachers’ first year of teaching and explores factors that influence teachers’ instructional decisions and planning for student engagement. This examination can help teacher educators support teachers during preparation and provide induction support as beginning teachers continue to develop their science instruction and classroom discourse.
The NGSS calls for a focus on the three dimensions of learning and preservice teachers must be supported in developing an understanding of how to implement these in their classrooms. However, for many preservice teachers targeted support for science teaching does not extend beyond the science methods course. One means to support this learning beyond the science methods course is through targeted instructional coaching partnerships focused specifically on teaching science. Unfortunately, there is little research examining these types of partnerships with preservice science teachers, and this study seeks to expand on this gap by exploring the science coaching conversations that were held with four preservice elementary teachers. These coaching sessions involved pre- and post-conferences around science lessons that the preservice teachers taught in their student teaching placements. Findings from this study indicate that the instructional coaching partnership allowed the preservice elementary science teachers to discuss the science content that was the focus of their lessons, dispelling their own misconceptions, while spending significant portions of the time focused on how best to engage their students in meaningful activities that would support the students’ conceptions of the science content. The coaching partnership also provided the PSTs the space to reflect on science teaching, both on their own teaching as well as the teaching they saw in their classrooms by their cooperating teachers. This presentation will also provide a rich description of the coaching model used with the preservice teachers.
In Indonesia, issues related to the national curriculum reform are crucial since the national curriculum has a substantial role in guiding the implementation of the formal education system across the country. The present study identified that a lack of support in mediating changes of science teacher beliefs as intended by the new curriculum (Curriculum 2013/C13) could be a fundamental problem resulting in ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the implementation of the curriculum reform in Indonesia. Mixed method research had been conducted to investigate the existing pattern of science teacher beliefs and to gain a deeper understanding of how teacher beliefs influence the teaching practices under the implementation of C13. The results show inconsistency between the quantitative result (total BARSTL score and sub-score) showing an average indicative of highly reformed beliefs and the qualitative result identifying superficial and barely matched beliefs with beliefs for implementing C13. Nonetheless, the discussion in this study revealed that such inconsistency might indicate the process of belief change and a realization of teachers' autonomy. Furthermore, this study provides some implications for understanding the changing process of science teacher beliefs as well as offering some suggestions for the teacher learning programs and narrowing the gap between the national curriculum as education policy and its functions as a tool for teaching practices.
Climate change is an increasingly pervasive global topic but how much of this discussion has accurately translated into improving students’ conceptions? 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 examines students’ conceptual changes over 8 years (middle school to high school) in a particular region of the US. These results are then compared to published student conceptions in the Northeastern US, UK and Australia. For this study, 109 14-15 yr old students from the Appalachian region of the US, were surveyed in 2011 and compared with 224 students in 2018, after the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The study utilized the survey instrument developed by Boon (2009) which provided the conceptions of similarly aged students in the UK and Australia. The US students’ understandings were analyzed and compared with the published Boon results along with more recent research by Bodzin et al. (2014) with similarly aged students in the NE US. Although sampled much earlier (in 1991 and 2001), UK and Australian students scored significantly higher on the climate change questionnaire. Additionally, US students were inconsistent in their knowledge of global impacts and connections between phenomena. After adoption of the NGSS, US students still did not recognize the benefits of the greenhouse effect, could not accurately identify greenhouse gases, and persistently expressed misconceptions regarding the ozone layer and the greenhouse effect. Less that 75% of students in all three countries recognized the impact of using alternative energy to impact greenhouse gases (47% in US, 73% in AU, and 77% in UK). The relatively low performance by US students should not be surprising since climate change has been missing from their school curriculum and is not well understood by most educators
Climate change (a.k.a. global warming) is one of the most important topics of the 21st century. Yet the content ideas are rarely, if ever, included in elementary curricula (see NGSS standards for example). This makes it difficult for students to develop sophisticated understandings over time (Dawson, 2015; Khalid, 2003). As with other critical topics, young children are often dismissed as unable or “not ready” to engage in serious ideas about their world. As a science educator, one of my main responsibilities is teaching science methods courses to elementary preservice teachers (PSTs). Our program has a stated commitment to inquiry and culturally relevant pedagogy where both theoretical and practical perspectives about inquiry and CRP are included in the program’s courses. PSTs are expected to grapple with issues including: white supremacy, critical issues in science and student-centered instruction. While these ideas can seem daunting in an elementary methods course, I argue that it is possible, and necessary, to find ways to incorporate them at appropriate levels in the teaching of elementary science. As a way to simultaneously include both student-centered inquiry and critical issues in science, the topic of climate change was used as the focus for a science methods course during the spring 2018 semester. This study used PST work and PST written science units to assess the efficacy of this instructional approach and to develop recommendations for future semesters.
Research tells us we tend to teach as we have been taught; and experience tells us most college math and science courses are taught in a lecture format (Olson & Riordan, 2012). We must expose college instructors to a variety of teaching and assessment methodologies (e.g., Ambrose et al., 2010; Freeman et al., 2014).
In response to this need for improved STEM teaching at the university level, Redesigning Education For Learning through Evidence and Collaborative Teaching (REFLECT) was designed. REFLECT is an innovative method of teacher change based on faculty peer observation that leads to reflective teaching. The purpose of this paper is to report on the experiences of the faculty involved in the first year of the REFLECT project resulted in a change in their instructional practices, impacted their views on peer observation, and altered their beliefs about instruction and assessment. Eleven STEM faculty attended an intensive four-day summer workshop where they were presented with background on, examples of, and rationale for employing EBIPs and asked to engage in hands-on development of student-centered practices that they will later implement. Additionally, participants left the workshop with a peer observation team in place with whom they will exchange classroom observations in the upcoming academic year. Data for this particular research study included a participant application form and three sets of interviews (preworkshop, postworkshop, post semester). Post workshop, all participants engaged in some form of active learning. All faculty said they would continue with those additions/improvements/changes the next time they taught that class with a few continuing with changes in upcoming semester classes. All felt the peer observations were positive and “less intimidating” than originally anticipated. For most, a major advantage of being involved in REFLECT was being part of a community with a common mindset.
Many elementary teachers have had limited coursework in life, earth, and physical sciences (Appleton, 2003; Trygstad, Smith, Banilower, & Nelson, 2013)—three of the disciplinary core ideas outlined in current science education reform documents (AAAS, 1993; NRC, 2012). Consequently, they often lack the science content knowledge and pedagogical skills necessary for teaching basic science concepts to students (Trygstad et al., 2013) which results in an avoidance of teaching science (Appleton, 2003).
Furthermore, researchers have found that regardless of instruction and geographic location, there are basic science misconceptions that are consistently held among people across the globe (AAAS, 1993). Naïve conceptions concerned with the topic of matter are particularly common (Barker, 2004; Osborne & Cosgrove, 1983; Stavy, 1990; Stavy & Tirosh, 1995).
Regardless of the nature of commonly held beliefs, it is well documented that prior beliefs are resistant to change and that there is stability of misconceptions despite traditional methods of fact-based corrective teaching (Driver, Leach, & Millar, 1996). Coordination of opportunities for becoming cognizant of existing beliefs coupled with experiences that challenge those beliefs appear to be essential to activating conceptual change (Driver, 1983). Two key elements of effective teaching that have been found to be promising in aiding in the progression from more naïve to more scientifically sound conceptions include exposure to discrepant events and allowance of time for personal reflection (Driver, 1985; Driver et al., 1996).
The benefits of further research into this topic are two-fold: 1) increased conceptual understanding of teachers will minimize naïve understandings that are often relayed from teacher to student, and 2) the use of formative assessment in combination with reflective journaling may be an effective tool for amplifying content understanding of teachers and students by facilitating effective opportunities for conceptual change.
Because elementary science is not a priority in many schools (Horizon Research, 2013; Tate, 2001), the literature on exemplary elementary teachers, particularly African American teachers, who teach science is scarce. Using a CRT methodology (Solorzano & Yosso, 2002), this study examines the lived experiences of exemplary African American elementary teachers who teach science. The following questions are guiding this study:
The significance of this study is to provide voice and insight into Black elementary science teachers working in urban environments who serve predominately Black students. Specifically, this research contributes to the literature on the experiences of successful African American science teachers and their instrucional and pedagogical practices. This study also helps us to consider race as focal to their experiences as science teachers.
To address a regional demand for elementary teachers, a mid-sized Midwestern university created a new undergraduate licensure program for para-educators, who are already working full-time in schools. Although fieldwork experiences and mentoring occur in the schools where they work, the para-educator pre-service teachers complete all college coursework via online classes (i.e. Blackboard) with course readings, writings, videos, discussion board, home activities, and videoconference class sessions. This includes an inquiry-based science methods course, typically taught over 8 weeks in the summer, emphasizing the 5E Learning Cycle Model (Bybee, 2002; Contant, Bass, Tweed, & Carin, 2018) and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013). As part of an ongoing study, pre-/post-test measures were collected from the participating pre-service teachers (N = 55), including the STEBI-B (Enochs & Riggs, 1990) to analyze self-efficacy beliefs about teaching science. Preliminary results will include pre- and post-test STEBI-B scores for both subscales (Science Teaching Outcome Expectancy, STOE; and Personal Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs, PSTEB). Discussion will feature findings, implications, and limitations. Specifically, the context of online methods courses will be addressed, including comparisons to previous studies and other methods, and reflection toward ongoing improvement in research and instruction.
This study investigated how a revised science methods course aligned with both the edTPA and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013), specifically the science and engineering practices, impacted preservice teachers’ edTPA performance. Characteristics of edTPA portfolios, both scores and evidence of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) (Shulman, 1986) from a teacher cohort (N = 6) which took a revised edTPA/NGSS-aligned science education methods course were analyzed and compared to edTPA portfolios from the previous three cohorts of science education PSTs (N = 33). PCK levels were determined by the PCK Map approach (Park & Chen, 2012). The NGSS-cohort scored higher on every edTPA task average (0.39, 0.56, and 0.81 points respectively), as well as higher on 14 of the 15 rubrics than their predecessors. While previous cohorts had only three rubrics with an average score of Level 3, the edTPA’s “ready to teach” standard, or higher, the NGSS-cohort met or exceeded the Level 3 performance standard on all 15 rubrics. In addition to gains in edTPA scores, both the total PCK connections and the number of PCK Episodes were higher for NGSS-cohort. Evidence of the preservice teachers' knowledge of student understanding, knowledge of instructional strategies and representations, and knowledge of assessments were more frequent in edTPA portfolios from the NGSS-cohort than had been observed in the previous cohorts’ edTPA portfolios. The NGSS-cohort universally perceived the methods course had been beneficial in preparing them for the edTPA. The findings of this study provide valuable information about how scaffolding preservice teachers' understanding and implementation of NGSS practices has the potential to increase candidates edTPA performance in addition to promoting inquiry-based teaching methods. Directions for future research are discussed.
There has been considerable interest in tools that support teachers in enacting high-quality science instruction in recent years. While existing tools support important aspects of the work of teaching, we are not aware of tools that support teachers in working through science concepts, thereby improving their subject matter knowledge (SMK), in preparation for instruction. In order to examine the extent to which a new tool, called a concept model, pushes teachers to think deeply about science topics we examine eight completed concept models on two different topics (conservation of energy and phase change). Teachers who complete a concept model are asked to create a model explaining a focal topic. Findings indicated that the way that teachers represented their knowledge in the concept model was influenced by the phenomenon that was provided. These phenomena readily elicited some aspects of the topic and did not elicit other aspects of the topic. Those who design tools for teachers should carefully select phenomena that will elicit a broad range of teachers’ knowledge of the focal topic. Additionally, prompts could be included to probe teachers’ knowledge of aspects not readily elicited by the phenomenon.
This mixed methods exploratory study examined how the development of physical science educative curriculum materials designed specifically for preservice elementary teachers impacted attitudes and interests in science. One cohort of students (n = 80) were placed in treatment (n = 40) and control (n = 40) sections of a physical science course at a higher education institution in the southern United States. Faculty members in the treatment course utilized specially designed educative curriculum materials for the course. Data sources included the PETAS-S, interviews with students, observations, and artifacts. Data were analyzed using a-priori codes and following Teddlie and Tashakkori’s (2009) protocol for integration. Findings begin to examine the design principles of educative curriculum materials for use in the higher education classroom to improve preservice elementary teachers’ attitudes and interests toward science. We begin to suggest design principles for future ECM development.
In order to support teachers’ professional learning and the effective implementation of the visions for science teaching and learning outlined in the Framework and NGSS, it is necessarily important to understand how PD influences teacher’s implementation of curriculum and the impact of that implementation on student learning. This research took place in the context of a PD project aimed at supporting teachers in engaging students in the core epistemic commitments of the NGSS, within the context of a model-based learning (MBL) focused unit with a specific focus on water sustainability issues. Secondary school teachers experienced an MBL unit focused on water and sustainability during PD and subsequently implemented the unit in their classrooms. We collected data from one Biology teacher and 74 of her 10thgrade students. An explanatory sequential mixed method research design was usedto examine students’ learning outcomes and to better understand the student and teacher learning outcomes in connection to their experiences. The result of analyses indicated students’ model scores and the number of concepts in their models significantly improved when comparing initial and final models. Students’ abilities to engage in explaining phenomena were also significantly improved with more coherent and sophisticated explanations. In addition, the following patterns were identified related to ways in which students struggled engaging in the practice of modeling: (1) attempted to directly represent their observation, (2) experienced difficulties in representing their ideas, and (3) struggled to express complex patterns or mechanisms with pictures or symbols. These patterns as well as student and teacher reports of their experiences related to the PD and curriculum implementation will be further explicated as part of this presentation.
We conducted an exploratory study of preservice teachers’ use of questions to frame investigations in their science lessons. Results are summarized in ten different question types that vary in their grain size (specific to an activity or broad enough to frame a unit) as well as their appropriateness to different stages of planning and conducting investigations (i.e., some questions were posed at the beginning of the lesson as questions to investigate while others reflected questions asked after the investigation to interpret outcomes).
Overall, we found few questions reflected explanatory-type questions that could be used to drive an investigations or that reflect the scientific practice of asking questions. Focus questions used by preservice teachers did not model or explicitly address what makes a ‘good’ scientific question to investigate. Many of the questions posed by preservice teachers reflect an orientation towards ‘learning about’ a topic (recalling factual knowledge) as opposed to ‘figuring out’ a phenomena to build new knowledge. We argue that this can contribute to the problem of students focusing on ‘final form science’ or ‘data as answers’ identified by McNeill and Berland (2017).
The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore the influence of caring for students on the importance high school science teachers place on the inclusion of student voice. I facilitated individual action research projects with science teachers, and they were able to discuss individual action research plans and share ideas with colleagues. The teachers were provided with a hierarchy of student voice and examples of each level of the hierarchy in order to guide and design their action research. Collected data included transcripts from action research group meetings, classroom observations, teacher journals, and interviews with teachers. A combination of direct interpretation and thematic coding was used to analyze the data. Direct interpretation involved writing narratives based on what I saw and interpreting events as I experienced them. Data were then analyzed using coding processes in order to establish patterns in the data. Findings indicated that teachers who cared for their students were more willing to incorporate their students’ voices into the high school science classroom at a higher level of the hierarchy. In addition, teachers successfully used action research as a way to overcome obstacles they encountered and increase student voice in their classrooms.
The purpose of the study is to understand secondary science teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs and implementation of inquiry to provide information for improvement of science education in a Midwestern U.S. state. An explanatory mixed methods design (Creswell, 2015) was selected to capture both a broad perspective as well as thick descriptions of particular cases. The participants teachers (N=39) were selected from secondary schools in Northeast Ohio, and the online survey software Qualtrics was used to collect data. A non-probability sampling method was used in this study. The Teaching Science as Inquiry questionnaire and interviews were used to collect data. Data analysis results showed that science teachers have the lowest confidence level in helping students to engage in scientifically oriented questions, and the most confident level in constructing explanations using evidence. Teachers’ backgrounds and school environment shaped their implementation of and self-efficacy about teaching science through inquiry.
Attending to grading, often at the expense of learning science, is common in schools K-16. Science teacher educators need to convince undergraduate preservice teachers to focus more on learning and less on grades. Experiencing this shift in emphasis could enable future teachers to pass this new emphasis to their future students.
There are two educational movements in which grades have been eliminated in order to shift emphasis to learning: The slow education movement expanding globally since its origin in England in 2012, and a no-grades movement in education K-16 to help educators reimagine how they assess learning. Both movements are consistent with principles and practices in the Next Generation Science Standards (Lead States, 2013). The movements encourage constructivist conceptual change and transformative learning inspiring students to focus on intrinsic motivation and self-assessment in order to become autonomous learners willing and able to conduct scientific inquiry.
The emergent qualitative evaluation to be presented is of an STS course in an Honors College in which STEM students were guaranteed an A grade from the beginning of the semester. (The same STS course is required of secondary teacher education students in the College of Education.) Most of the students were outstandingly productive. An ethical issue emerged for the professor regarding two student outliers. The resolution will be discussed.
Students indicated they appreciated not having the pressure of a grade. It freed them to explore their own ideas in depth and take intellectual risks. They increased their self-efficacy and broadened their creative thinking as the semester progressed. Their curiosity, intrinsic motivation, and wanting to do a good job drove their work. This quote typified students’ responses to answer the question, Will they learn? “…I believe this method taught me more.”
Since the American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (AACTE) recommended in 2010 that teacher preparation become more clinically based, increased attention has been focused on the field experience aspects of teacher preparation (eg. Kain, Hays, & Wunderlick, 2012; Wasburn-Moses, Kopp, & Hettersimer, 2012). Multiple, high quality clinical experiences have been identified as best practice for teacher preparation (Ball & Forzani, 2009; Darling-Hammond, 2006). However, many authors have noted the difficulties in providing meaningful practicum experiences (Heck & Bacharach, 2015; Kain et al., 2012; National Research Council, 2010). The National Research Council (2010) and Wasburn-Moses et al. (2012) have identified the need for research to explore the impacts of clinical experience on pre-service teachers. A situated cognition theoretical framework was utilized.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the impacts of field experience opportunities on the development of pre-service science and mathematics teachers. Data for this study included course-based assignments (written reflections and log sheets) and field notes from secondary classroom observations. Participation in research was solicited after the completion of each course. Data includes some participants who took multiple courses which allows a longitudinal analysis of their development as science and math teachers. Preliminary results will be discussed along with techniques for evaluating clinical experience.
There is a growing need to prepare students for a work force with skills in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and in particular computer science (CSTA), 2016; National Research Council, 2012). The Federal Government’s five-year strategic plan for STEM education outlines a commitment to equity and diversity, the need for transdisciplinary learning in which students develop mathematics literacy in meaningful and applied contexts, and the need to advance computational thinking as a critical skill (National Science and Technology Council (U.S.), 2018).
The rapid changes in our societal and work environments in response to the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) are indicators of the growing need to prepare students for a workforce with skills in STEM and in particular computer science (National Science and Technology Council (U.S.), 2018; Schwab & Davis, 2018; World Economic Forum, 2016). Emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, the internet of things, and autonomous vehicles, together with how humans interact with these technologies are “blurring the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres” (Schwab & Davis, 2018). Preparing students for the 4IR should incorporate developing the human potential to partner with machines rather than compete with them, adapting to lifelong learning models, facilitating student inquiry, and encouraging collaboration and creativity with the use of makerspaces (Marr, 2019).
Computational Thinking (CT) can be defined as the “mental activity in formulating a problem to admit a computational solution. The solution can be carried out by a human or machine, or more generally, by combinations of humans and machines.” (Wing, 2011, p. 20). CT is characterized by problem solving, modeling, data mining, networking, algorithmic reasoning, programming, designing solutions, communicating thoughts in a creative, organized way, and debugging (CSTA, 2016; Sneider, Stephenson, Schafer, & Flick, 2014).
The NSF Noyce STEM INSPIRES (Infusing Social Programs in Residential Education Scholars) was funded to 1)increase STEM content knowledge in 7-12 preservice teachers, 2)increase self efficacy in teaching 7-12 STEM content and 3)incorporate a community-engaged teacher preparation program model at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi. The purpose is to address disappointing declines in the critical mass of college students enrolled in and completion of STEM programs (Reñdon & Kanagala, 2017), particularly those that want to become STEM teachers. This trend has resulted in a dearth of skilled teachers within all STEM fields as the number of STEM teachers continues to dwindle. It is noteworthy that in science, the number of students entering the 7-12 Life and Physical Science program at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi (TAMUCC) has dropped over 87% from 2010-2018. This decrease reflects national data as fewer teacher candidates enter STEM fields. There is a recognized need for research-informed instructional approaches and strategies for increased STEM engagement to promote self-efficacy among teachers of grades 6-12 students, according to researched educator preparation program feedback. In addition to increasing self-efficacy in the STEM INSPIRES program, a social justice piece will be incorporated given children’s lived experience in the social, political and cultural landscape moving beyond the school classroom and/or the university classroom. By reaching out to the key community members and not only including them in the educational experience of teacher candidates will help their students become an integral and specific part of that education. This capacity building proposal will result in a community engaged-teacher preparation model that can be adopted and replicated through region-wide resources, shared expertise, and challenge projects for grades 6-12 science and mathematics students. Data collected will help STEM INSPIRES to address these issues through its operational goals and objectives by using community-engaged teacher preparation.
It is sometimes difficult to find quality placements that meet the needs of university faculty when preparing pre-service teachers in elementary science. Because of the increased demands for devotion of more time spent explicitly teaching reading and math, science has lost its place in many elementary classrooms. Likewise, elementary teachers often cite a lack of content knowledge, leaving them with feelings that they are ill-equipped to teach science (Lunn, 2002). This leaves pre-service teachers with little opportunity to teach effective elementary science lessons. This can adversely affect the science identities of the elementary children under their charge. Thus, this presentation will focus on the STEM School Immersion Model. All pre-service teachers enrolled in an elementary science methods course were placed at the same local elementary school during the semester before their internships. Pre-service spent Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays placed in an elementary classroom from 7:45-3:15. They also spent the final full two weeks of the semester in this placement. The science methods course faculty secured a space in the elementary school for teaching the course. University faculty also offered after school professional development for teachers and undergraduates who were placed with those teachers to participatecollaboratively. Professional development centered upon STEM instruction and curriculum integration. Teachers and their assigned pre-service teachers developed STEM lessons with the support of university faculty, and pre- service teachers were evaluated as they taught the lessons. Weekly take-home science lessons were also created by pre-service teachers and sent home with children in their assigned placements for completion with family members. These take-home packets were simple inquiry-based investigations. Pre-service teachers, in-service teachers, administrators, university faculty, and community stakeholders hosted a family STEM night in order to more completely involve the families and communities in STEM learning.
We focus on the results of a multi-year study of science learning within a first-grade multimodal unit on carnivorous plant structure and function. We will describe the impact of explicit instruction on the use of drawing as a mode of communication in science. There was a change in student learning as a result of the inclusion of drawing instruction and an additional modeling activity. Results show that in Year 2, students included more labels in their drawings, as well as more carnivorous plant structures and functions in their writings. We believe that the labels served as a scaffold for the writing task for the emerging writers.
This proposal investigated a group of prospective secondary science teachers’ noticing as they participated in a school-based practicum that involved observing and assisting teaching. Through a qualitative analysis with two different approaches, their noticing and changes in the ways of noticing were documented across one semester. Findings suggest that prospective teachers’ development of noticing is idiosyncratic, unrelated to specific classrooms or teachers with whom they are placed. In addition, their development of noticing skills is not a one directional or quick process.
In Indonesia, issues related to the national curriculum reform are crucial since the national curriculum has a substantial role in guiding the implementation of the formal education system across the country. The present study identified that a lack of support in mediating changes of science teacher beliefs as intended by the new curriculum (Curriculum 2013/C13) could be a fundamental problem resulting in ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the implementation of the curriculum reform in Indonesia. Mixed method research had been conducted to investigate the existing pattern of science teacher beliefs and to gain a deeper understanding of how teacher beliefs influence the teaching practices under the implementation of C13. The results show inconsistency between the quantitative result (total BARSTL score and sub-score) showing an average indicative of highly reformed beliefs and the qualitative result identifying superficial and barely matched beliefs with beliefs for implementing C13. Nonetheless, the discussion in this study revealed that such inconsistency might indicate the process of belief change and a realization of teachers' autonomy. Furthermore, this study provides some implications for understanding the changing process of science teacher beliefs as well as offering some suggestions for the teacher learning programs and narrowing the gap between the national curriculum as education policy and its functions as a tool for teaching practices.
Basing on observation made during natural (environmental) sciences lessons for elementary classes and careful study of the principles, requirements and standards of these lessons, we have conducted a self-assessment survey on complex capacity for the health and natural science lessons among parents, students and teachers, who exercise such capacities, thereby identified the subject of the study. Teachers jointly prepared their lesson program according to a guideline on reflecting ESD (education for sustainable development) concepts in natural science lesson recommended by us, thereby established a VCD database using the video records made during the experimental lessons. Appropriate analysis was conducted per each lesson in accordance with 7 criteria (including motivation, content, methods, materials, term, communication and evaluation) and 20 indicators. We have studied the opportunity for elementary education teachers to obtain education for sustainable development while they cooperate with each other and study together, and accordingly made an expert evaluation on this proves and took into consideration the experimental results.
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) highlight the importance of science practices and expect teachers to incorporate these practices into their pedagogy. University programs have implemented different forms of student research experiences to enhance scientific understanding of teachers. Previous research has described the positive learning outcomes of these research experience programs, both for in-service and pre-service teachers. However, few studies have described how pre-service teachers develop skills and practices during research experiences. In addition, few studies have focused on how research community culture may impact outcomes. Using the theoretical framework of communities of practice, this presentation outlines an ethnographic case study within a research experience program for pre-service teachers. Observational and interview data from the science education research setting was coded using a priori codes from the NGSS scientific practices, cultural norms, and communities of practice literature. In addition, other notable themes revealed through open coding will be described. This presentation will describe the research setting and emergent themes found in a priori codes and through open-coding.
Across the United States, approximately 44% of public school teachers will leave teaching within their first five years of employment (e.g., Owens, 2015). In the STEM fields, this turnover is significant. In New York, for example, 52% of science teachers leave the teaching profession after five years (Miller, 2013). And, in highly diverse settings that have a significant number of students in poverty, mathematics and science teacher turnover is more pronounced (e.g., Henry, Fortner, & Bastian, 2012; Ingersoll & May, 2012).
Many researchers have suggested how to stall this exodus, which includes better preparing teachers for the schools in which they will work. For those of us in teacher education it is important to understand how to better prepare teachers so they will persist and thrive in the schools in which they will work (National Research Council, 2010). This poster shares how one university studied the preparation of their science teachers in order to understand if they were well-prepared and potentially able to persist and thrive in schools.
The process of data collection was guided by four questions: What is our production of teachers over time? How do principals who hire our graduates perceive their preparedness? How do current and past graduates of our program perceive their preparedness? How do our courses align with national recommendations pertaining to science teachers? The collected data were analyzed and shared with the group involved in the examination of the science teacher preparation program.
From this self-study, we determined that enough teachers are not being produced. Addressing the shortage of potential teachers will require new forms of recruitment. Principals and former students also reported shortcomings in the program. While few in number, these shortcomings involved the teachers’ abilities to create productive learning environments and to support the learning of all students. Finally, more could be done in the program to collaborate with STEM faculty.
Although engagement in immersive argument-based learning environments has been demonstrated to be beneficial for students, these environments are quite complex. An array of student actions, teacher actions, student beliefs and teacher beliefs intersect in dynamic ways that may or may not encourage the hoped-for aspects of the science learning environment. In many cases, student actions and beliefs that instructors seek to base this type of learning environment on are ones that have not been encouraged or developed by students in previous science learning experiences. The context for this presentation is a high school physics course in a parochial school that aims to provide students an immersive, argument-based experience. Necessary for the development of this type of learning environment, among other characteristics, is student understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS). The focus of this presentation is an experience the students in this physics class engage in at the beginning of the course to explicitly encounter comparisons between the NOS, theology, and worldviews as a way to set the stage for future classroom learning. A description of the experience will be provided, including the theoretical perspectives the experience is built upon. Examples of student work will be discussed, as well as the results of an analysis of the student products. In particular, results indicating the degree to which students perceive similarities and differences between the NOS, theological perspectives, and their own worldviews will be highlighted. Implications for the development of similar learning environments will also be provided.
Science education is in the midst of reform, shifting away from teaching science in isolation, toward integrated approaches to teaching science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). However, as integrated STEM is a recent reform, teachers need to develop as integrated STEM practitioners through engagement with professional learning related to STEM curriculum. This study explored STEM Pedagogical Design Capacity (PDC). PDC is premised on teaching as a design activity and is defined as a teachers’ ability to recognize and use curricular and personal resources to craft instruction. Analysis of three teacher design teams engaged in development of integrated STEM curriculum suggests teachers draw on resources from the curriculum, from their classroom experiences, and from each other to grow their understanding of STEM curriculum and hone their STEM PDC. Findings support and build upon previous research on PDC and inform our understanding of how teachers’ decisions to offload, adapt, and improvise curriculum materials aid instruction. Based on the findings, we introduce the Collaborative Design Capacity for Enactment (cDCE) Framework, a revised organizational system for describing PDC development. The Framework introduces three categories of Collaborative Resources and provides a useful lens for gaining insights into the factors that contribute to STEM PDC.
Making is an iterative process of designing, building, tinkering, and problem solving resulting in the creation of personally meaningful artifacts. As an educational tool, making provides a way to learn, apply, and display knowledge. The use of making as an approach to science education has been recognized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as having the potential to broaden participation in science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (STEM) while also fostering innovation and increasing student retention (National Science Foundation, 2017). However, for making to be successful in education, teachers need support in learning to foster the agency of their students, promote active participation, and leverage the cultural resources of the classroom (Bevan, 2017). Thus, more must be done to prepare future STEM classroom teachers to implement maker practices. This study looks at porfolio artifacts produced by 12 preservice and induction secondary STEM teachers engaged in long-term maker professional development and micro-credentialing. The study explores participant motivations for engaging in making and provides insight into how participant maker philosophies were enacted in the secondary classroom. Attendees of this session can expect to learn about making as an educational framework. The presentation will also provide a model for integrating making into STEM teacher preparation and share lessons learned. This session should be of significance to anyone interested in maker education and its integration with STEM in school settings.
Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) is described as an amalgamation of subject-matter, pedagogical, and context knowledge and is a form of specialized knowledge unique to a teacher (Magnusson, Krajick, and Borko, 1999; Shulman, 1987). This study builds on the notion that content knowledge is an integrated domain with both pedagogical and contextual knowledge for the specialized knowledge of teaching (i.e., PCK) (Abell, 2007; Gess-Newsome, 2015). Therefore, science content courses can offer an opportunity for developing preservice teacher’s beginning PCK with respect to the interactions between content knowledge and various components of PCK; especially curricular knowledge, which relies heavily on an understanding of content.
This study examines how two curricular knowledge focused tasks embedded within a science content course, can assist with developing preservice teachers’ knowledge of the science content, their self-efficacy for teaching elementary science, and their perception of their ability to effectively enact curriculum (i.e., their curricular role identity). The study involves 56 elementary PSTs over one semester who are completing a physical science course as part of their program requirements. Results indicate an increase in curricular role identity and self-efficacy over the course of the semester. Separating PSTs into categories based upon their measures in these three constructs (content knowledge, curricular role identity, and science teaching self-efficacy) afforded an examination into the development of how these three constructs evolved concurrently. Findings also suggest there may be a preferred order in which PSTs should complete these two curricular tasks. Implications regarding how to structure curricular tasks into content courses and the importance of this experience for developing teachers’ curricular knowledge, an integral component of PCK, are discussed.
This presentation shares details of a semester long after-school program in a Western state serving 80+ students and 4 teachers. This NSF funded program focused on aviation and aerospace as the real-world connection to STEM applications. The project team was interested in finding out if the aforementioned interventions led to an increase in students’ computational thinking (CT), motivation, and persistence in STEM/STEM-related career pathways. Specifically, the team engaged 4th and 5th graders in computer modeling (i.e., Tinkercad and Scupltris) and 6th through 8th graders in flight simulation using Microsoft Flight Simulator X and drones to promote project-based learning with the goal of increasing their STEM content knowledge using an interdisciplinary approach. We describe the after-school program details including overall organization, goals, and teacher training. The activities are described with goals, objectives, and lesson plans. The student outcomes are shared with survey results and observational data. The project team presents results specific to the after-school program, project activities, and student surveys from the aviation grounded after-school program. Significant increases are shown for the upper elementary and early middle school students’ (n=79) in computer programming (p=.000), problem solving (p=.003), and science efficacy (p=.022).
Education researchers who work toward culturally relevant pedagogy (CRP) have described the need for teachers and researchers to give voice to students’, teachers’, and families’ funds of knowledge as a way to connect teachers and learners to their communities, and to value all learners (Moll, Amanti, Neff, & Gonzalez, 1992). One way that schools can connect to the knowledge and beauty of a community is through place-based learning. The research describes a project to illustrate the journey of the teachers, students, and researchers as they attempted to re-connect with a struggling school’s environmental mission using a strength-based approach. The goals of this research are to inform conversations about the value of place-based integrated environmental education in elementary schools, and to use portraiture as a research methodology to empower stakeholders (teachers, staff, administrators, graduate student, community) to participate in describing and presenting the “voice” of the school. The portrait constructed intermeshes the perspectives of one researcher (university faculty member) who has an “outsider” lens to the school and local culture, and a graduate student who holds an “insider” lens, as they work with teachers and students to tell the story of the school year. One finding from the construction of the stories was the importance of connection (and several meanings of that term) when working with teachers and communities, as well as the need for having someone on the “inside” if one seeks to provide encouragement for lasting change.
Religion occasionally surfaces in college science classes for particular science topics. Previous literature has identified college science learners’ experiences learning about evolution when they feel science-religion conflicts. Furthermore, science education literature has begun to explore some of the ways college biology faculty address or ignore science-religion issues in their courses. Yet, science-religion issues are not confined to biology alone. This study explores college science faculty’s experiences with teaching about science-religion distinctions in their college science classrooms. An open-ended survey was sent to a Midwestern university’s science-teaching faculty across all science disciplines, and 34 faculty responded. Constant comparative analysis was used to generate themes regarding both the topics for which science-religion issues most frequently emerge as well as the faculty’s approaches for teaching about science-religion distinctions. The results indicate that science-religion issues arise for many biological topics, certainly including evolution but also cell biology, environmental science, and ethics. Science-religion issues also arise for non-biological science including astronomy, the age of the Earth, radiometric dating, and biochemistry. College science faculty approached science-religion issues in a variety of ways including no instruction, NOS instruction, highlighting areas of compatibility, and instruction about non-literal interpretations of theological texts. Implications for science educators and science teacher educators are provided.
The development of scientific knowledge is a complex process that involves the identification of misconceptions and the restructuring of prior knowledge to undergo conceptual change (Vosniadou & Ioannides, 1998). However, this process is a gradual one that often results in the generation of partially developed synthetic models of a concept before moving to an accurate scientific understanding (Vosniadou & Brewer, 1994). This study looked at the conceptual understandings of elementary preservice teachers (PSTs) about the cause of lunar phases and how those conceptions changed during a six-week unit in a science methods course. The research examined the results of pre- and post-tests, along with multiple formative assessments throughout the unit, to identify how the PSTs’ conceptual understanding developed over time. The results showed a varied improvement in conceptual understanding among PSTs. The level of understanding depended on each PST’s ability to grasp certain key concepts and tie those concepts to their overall understanding of the cause of lunar phases. Failure to do so resulted in synthetic conceptual models.
The purpose of this study is to examine two preservice teachers’ development of science teacher identity in light of formal K-12 school science and informal experiences, and college science methods course and field experiences. Data were collected from the two research sites, at a large mid-Atlantic public university in the United States (U.S.) and a Canadian University, also located in the mid-Atlantic region over one year. We utilized a case-study design and a theoretical framework of “Learning to Teach” to guide this investigation. Data collection sources included individual written science autobiography and an open-ended questionnaire for demographic information at the beginning of the science methods course. Additional data sources included (1) three individual written reflections after each teaching in the field, (2) teaching observations and researcher’s field-notes, (3) artifacts such as lesson plans, (4) and one semi-structured interview at the time when participants were at the end of the final semester of their program. Data analysis was ongoing, and we used memoing throughout this year-long study, as well as open and axial coding to generate themes. Findings indicate while K-12 and life experiences are essential sources towards the development of teacher identity, new and fresh experiences gained during the preservice teacher preparation courses provides the knowledge and skills collectively contributing towards “Learning to Teach,” which can bring lasting effects on the development of identity. We found that while positive images and impressions from the successful implementation of the science lessons in the field are promising towards identity development, whether or not identity continues to build and strengthen depends on how an individual embraces their science teacher identity. Implications for preservice teacher preparation are discussed.
Many teacher preparation programs include field experiences for preservice science teachers. The purpose of these experiences is to expose those wishing to teach to the complexity and unpredictability of the classrooms in which they will be expected to practice. The application of virtual reality (VR) has received considerable research and popular attention. Since the early millennium there has been increasing attention placed on modes of instruction that can supply greater realism and immersion. The perceived immersion allows researchers to begin to address the need and affordance of immersive experiences afforded by VR in preservice science teacher instruction. More recent improvement in VR digital content has allowed the creation of virtual environments that are nearly indistinguishable from reality. During construction of understanding in preservice science teacher education, the focus of VR is on the learner’s control of the learning processes and VR must be designed in such a way as to complement real-life experience and make use of authentic tasks. The purpose of this study is to investigate, compare, and characterize interactive VR based preservice science teacher clinical teaching environments with those of real-life teaching environments. Fifty-four, right-handed college aged students, 41 females and 13 males, were randomly assigned to either clinical field condition or VR conditions. Results suggest that the main effect of the condition VR versus real-life is not statistically significant in terms of the retrospective engagement survey, psychological measures, and composite neuroimaging. The use of VR, in terms of the realism of the environment for the preservice science teachers allows them to learn from modeled real-life situations for transfer of theory into practice. This transfer of theory into practice can provide preservice science teachers with a means to engage with classroom interaction in a soft-failure environment.
Research on content-related teacher emotions is emerging as a critical area of study given that positive and negative emotions are relevant for teachers’ well-being, the functioning of the classroom, and the quality of teaching. Anecdotal evidence from elementary pre-service teachers shows that they tend to be nervous about teaching science. Research suggests that strong emotions in connection with science teaching can be predictors of the quality of instruction as well as student performance. However, scales for science teaching are lacking. In the present research, we developed the Science Teacher Emotions Scales (Sci-TES) to measure three emotions considered most relevant in the context of science teaching: enjoyment, anger, and anxiety. The survey was piloted during the Spring 2019 semester with elementary pre-service teachers (n=110) enrolled in Elementary Science Methods course sections taught by the lead author. Preliminary data has been promising. The scales show good reliabilities and confirmatory factor analysis supports the internal validity of the three-factor model (enjoyment, anger, and anxiety). External validity is supported by meaningful relations with pre-service teachers’ self-efficacy. Additional research needs to be performed with a larger sized and diverse sample in partnership with other elementary teacher preparation programs.?
This research analyzed data from the first two years of a five-year NSF-funded informal STEM program, Conservation Training Partnerships (CTP). CTP aims to support the development and maintenance of disciplinary STEM identities in intergenerational teams focused on learning geospatial technologies and conservation science to develop and implement community land use projects. The conservation science and technology identity (CSTI) survey instruments were developed as part of this study as a potential method to characterize and quantify a person’s STEM identity. The surveys incorporated five identity constructs: competence, performance, external recognition, self-recognition and ways of seeing and being in both science and technology. CSTI was administered before participation in a workshop on geospatial technologies and conservation science to evaluate the historical STEM identity of participants, and after to determine the impact of the workshop on science and technology competences and ways of seeing and being. The survey was also administered in a delayed-post form to determine the impact on STEM identification after the year-long project was completed. This work is needed due to: (1) the importance of the development and maintenance of a STEM identity for persistence in engaging in science-related work, (2) the lack of reliable, quantitative measures supported by research on the constructs of identity and (3) the need for development of empirical instruments to determine the impact of informal science learning programs on STEM identification. Those attending this program will gain insight into the ongoing development of this promising survey for characterizing a person’s identification with science and technology and its implementation in the context of an intergenerational informal STEM program.
An exploratory study was undertaken to probe K-6 prospective teachers’ conceptual understanding of average speed. This understanding was explored through written responses to questions that required prospective teachers to define, identify associated concepts, and describe how they plan to teach and explain average speed to their future students. Content and thematic analysis was carried out on the data and framed by three theoretical lenses: the scientifically accepted explanation of the concept of average speed, the research on misconceptions, and pedagogical content knowledge. Analysis revealed that prospective teachers, regardless of their accurate and/or inaccurate definitions of average speed, did not represent the concept of average speed using its relevant signs, and symbols, did not distinguish the concept of average speed from other related and/or unrelated concepts, did not utilize and relate the concept of average speed in a multimodal fashion, and did not integrate the concept of average speed with related concepts into a framework to articulate the relationships between average speed and related concepts. Implications include the need for a developmental model to seek prospective teachers’ conceptual understanding of average speed from the standpoint of average speed as a complex property concept with its associated conceptual structures, and as a concept transformed for instruction. Additionally, there is a need to provide knowledge-based theory and practice to enable teachers to identify their own and their students’ conceptual understandings of a particular concept, like average speed.
Preparing teachers to understand and resist the pressures from high-stakes testing is a timely and critical undertaking for teacher education. This study examines the impact of a certification test through the eyes of preservice teachers, university administrators, and teacher educators. Key findings were: 1) ethical considerations of the assessment; 2) failing the needs of preservice teachers, and 3) resistance and coping mechanisms. We will discuss practical considerations for supporting science teachers to negotiate the pressures associated with standardized testing.
The purpose of this mixed-methods research was to investigate changes in preservice teachers’ science teacher beliefs within the context of a science methods course. Supported by the theoretical underpinnings of teacher beliefs and drawings as a tool to investigate teacher beliefs, this research utilized quantitative (Draw-a-Science-Teacher-Test-Checklist as a pre and post measure) and qualitative (written science autobiographies and reflections) data collection techniques. A total of 55 preservice elementary teachers participated from two public universities located in the United States and Canada. The statistical results from the analysis of pre and post-
The premise of integrated STEM education is a complicated one due to the many interpretations of both integrated and STEM. As a result, this project’s goal is to navigate the multiple meanings of these terms and the impact their definitions have on the field as a whole, and then create a practical framework oriented towards educating preservice teachers. This presentation outlines the development and outcomes associated with an integration-focused STEM elective course for preservice teachers. In the new course, preservice teachers were introduced to theoretical structures of STEM and integrated education, participated in common foundational content experiences, and then asked to develop integrated units for their field placements. The participants were interviewed about their experiences of learning about, planning for, and implementing integrated STEM lessons in their student teaching field experiences at multiple points in their semester. Results include a discussion of the impacts of the course on their development and a new framework designed to structure preservice teacher education towards the many meanings of integrated STEM.
This study is an ethnographically-informed qualitative study that aimed to explore how identity categories, particularly gender, played a role in the opportunities for learning made available to students. Thus, the authors explored how the norms and conventions of the Advanced Placement (AP) Biology classrooms were negotiated by students and teachers at the level of immediate interactions. Accounts of interactions in the science classrooms were collected through field observations and semi-structured interviews. Operating under the framework of actor-network theory, the purpose of this study was to describe the conditions under which the capacity of gender was actualized in high school science classrooms. Furthermore, enacting the methodological assumptions of new empirical inquiry by St.Pierre (2015) and actor-network theory as a method, the iterative process of datacollection and analysis involved describing the interactions, reading and re-reading the descriptions, and describing the interactions some more. The results showed that non-human entities such as objects and things mattered in the actualization of gender in the science classroom. In the session, authors will also share how the classroom teachers addressed these gender norms to create a more equitable learning environment for their students.
Access to advanced-level science courses can be difficult for those students who start in a tracked system. Tracking is an educational practice where students are assigned to different classes based on ability level. African American and Hispanic students are most at risk since most minority students are found in the lower level track (Burris, 2014; Mehan, 2015; Oakes, 2005). This investigation used an action research approach to determine how explicitly taught elements of scientific argumentation could influence student mastery of argument skills and influence instructional practices by a professional learning community (PLC). A mixed methods study collected qualitative and quantitative data using an action research approach. Through cycles of action research, a professional learning community of high school science and English teachers collected data from academically challenged high school students. The professional learning community made claims from the evidence collected and justified through their own reasoning how to improve and modify instructional practices relating to scientific argumentation. The findings from the practical action research study revealed how the process of action research influenced instructional practices, and improved student written and verbal understanding of elements of argument. The results of this study added to science education research related to scientific argumentation in the science classroom.
The purpose of this presentation is to elucidate different ways the teacher-as-learner framework supports and explains how elementary preservice science teachers construct new knowledge about engineering design-based science teaching. In this study, preservice teachers are immersed in an engineering design-based science course, resulting in teachers’ positive shifts in what engineering entails and how to teach science using design. Data were gathered across two semesters via interviews, lesson plans, and reflective narratives and later analyzed using open coding and document analysis. Findings indicated that teachers gained new conceptual and pedagogical knowledge of engineering and engineering design-based teaching as well as exhibited positive shifts in their attitudes about design. Results from lesson plans indicated that teachers’ instructional objectives placed emphasis on engaging students in the practices of defining an engineering problem and developing models (prototypes). PSTs’ lesson plans also indicated the following elements of ambitious engineering design-based science teaching: 1) eliciting students' ideas; 2) situating students' ideas within the context of the design problem; and 3) encouraging students to share and reflect on their solutions and results. Connecting findings of teachers’ engagement in the course and practice teaching, with the teacher as learner framework, was found useful when examining preservice teachers’ knowledge construction during their applications of design thinking as both learners and teachers.
This study investigated middle and high school teachers’ range of project-based learning (PBL) enactments nine months after a professional development program that engaged teachers in PBL with ultrasound technology. Case studies of three teachers’ enactments of their PBL units are presented with a focus on how their beliefs influenced their instructional choices and student learning opportunities. Teachers units were video recorded and analyzed using the Electronic Quality of Inquiry protocol instrument. Teachers also engaged in three semi-structured interviews over the study period to investigate their beliefs and their instructional choices. Through the EQUIP instrument analysis, the teachers’ quality of inquiry scores are compared with opportunities during the lessons to engage students in higher level cognitive thinking. Teachers instructional choices varied based on the teacher’s purpose for the units, their beliefs about student abilities, and their beliefs about how science should be presented. This study can provide valuable information for professional development providers on how to support teachers in enacting difficult instructional strategies such as project-based learning. This study also presents an innovative use of ultrasound technology with k-12 classrooms.
A 16-day professional development (PD) introduced 22+ K-12 teachers to methods of integrating computer science (CS) concepts into their existing curricula. This work looks at the impact of this PD on STEM teachers' CS self-efficacy, perceptions, and in-class utilization. There is an open need for K-12 students in the United States to become literate in computer science (CS), yet, a majority of in-service and pre-service K-12 teachers lack the fundamental skills and self-efficacy to adequately and effectively teach CS. The likelihood of standalone CS classes and teachers (especially in K8) coupled with a need to introduce CS to all motivates CS concepts and practices to be delivered through integrated, authentic experiences and instruction. The authors of this study address a challenge that today’s K-12 teachers face in implementing CS concepts into existing curricula by creating a PD that included: (1) integrating CS into current instruction; (2) explicitly defining real-world CS examples; and (3) showcasing core CS concepts for content knowledge gains. The central research question of interest evolved to become: “How do K-12 STEM teachers view their CS skill set before and after the PD, and do their perceptions align with what they know and how they plan to use CS in their classrooms?”
We describe our 6-course, 18-credit post-baccalaureate certificate (PBC) program for pre-kindergarten through grade six teachers (PreK-6) in Integrated Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (iSTEM) Instructional Leadership. The program was designed eight years ago in response to a statewide effort, funded through Race-to-the-Top and disseminated by the state department of education, to promote elementary STEM education. Program completion leads to a state endorsement in elementary STEM instructional leadership. We graduated our pilot cohort of teachers in 2015 (7 teachers) and a second cohort in 2019 (9 teachers).
“iSTEM” refers to education that not only addresses each of the S, T, E and M subjects, but also emphasizes meaningful connections among them. We utilize a model of STEM integration that emphasizes the development of pedagogical content knowledge in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics, respectively, and connects each area to other STEM subjects in meaningful and purposeful ways. Beyond this integrated approach, key aspects of program design include: make-up of the program team; a deliberate course sequence; decrease in structure (and increase in more open-ended, student-centered learning approaches) over time in the program; and movement in the program from growth as an iSTEM teacher towards growth as iSTEM teacher leader.
We will share results from our final program evaluations, and the outcomes of our graduates. Overall, we have strong evidence of the high quality of the program. However, the program also has challenges and areas for improvement. We aim create a rigorous program that is also reasonable for working teachers. Our program would be strengthened by adding computational thinking activities or coursework. We strive to find the most ideal combination of face-to-face and online instruction throughout the program. Most significantly, we have experienced major challenges with regard to recruitment. We conclude by sharing our thoughts about the causes of this problem and possible paths forward and welcoming audience feedback.
The “Fire and Ice” classroom explores the concepts of heat and temperature through biology, chemistry, engineering, history, physics, and physiology. It is a pedagogic field laboratory. One can visit any of the 27 class days in 10-minute increments to explore how students and instructor work together to construct understanding. The record will support viewers curious about inquiry-based instruction, instructors looking for activities, professional developers looking for examples of authentic classrooms for students to observe and critique, and researchers interested in student discourse or behavior. “Fire and Ice” attempts to make thinking visible for all participants. One can listen as students in focus groups respond to the inquiry environment, as graduate teaching residents describe their evolution across the semester, and as the instructor anticipates and debriefs each class. The design process for the course is documented. In addition to the video record, all course materials are accessible at the UNH Scholars Repository, including class agendas, student task instructions, and student work products. This session will share information about the structure, organization, and accessibility of the “Fire and Ice” course and will engage participants in generating questions about and in exploring pathways through the materials. Unlike typical classroom visits, where only surface behaviors are apparent, “Fire and Ice” pulls back the curtain to reveal design, motivation, and response.
The aim of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a semester long course for teaching the nature of science (NOS) on inservice physics teachers’ (IPTs) NOS understanding. In our previous study using a qualitative method, called meta-synthesis, competencies for teaching NOS to teachers had been extracted. Based on these competencies, a curriculum for a semester long NOS course was written. We used embedded experimental mixed method to investigate the results of implementation of the curriculum in IPTs understanding of NOS and their ability to integrate NOS into their lesson plans. The quantitative component of the mixed method was quasi-experimental with pre-post test, while qualitative part was phenomenology. The sample was 17 IPTs’ in a university in Iran. VNOS-D+ used as both pre and post-test to investigate participants’ understanding of NOS. Answers were analyzed using a researcher made NOS rubric. In the qualitative part, participants’ lesson plans analyzed with phenomenology lens in three different timelines: before instruction, in the middle of instruction, and at the end. Analyzing lesson plans showed improvement both in quality and quantity of NOS ideas. Interpreting the results of both qualitative and quantitative part of this study indicated that after implementing this curriculum, IPTs’ understanding of some NOS aspects (e.g., empirical, distinction between observation and inference, and distinction between scientific theory and law) increased to informed level and also their understandings of the role of these NOS elements in physics teaching increased to mixed level. But, majority of IPTs’ understandings of tentativeness, creativity, and objectivity stayed in the mixed level and also their understandings of the role of these NOS elements in physics teaching remained on naive level. The final result of this study indicated the competency-based NOS course was successful in developing NOS understanding of participants and also in their focus on NOS elements in physics teaching.
Developing a proper view of the nature of science (NOS) among teachers, and as a result amongst students, has been the goal of science education for decades. However, research shows knowledge of NOS may not be reflected in the teachers’ classroom practice. Research suggests different reasons, which play a role in teachers’ unwillingness to communicate NOS in their classroom. Providing pre-service teachers (PSTs) with the opportunity in which they can communicate aspects of NOS can facilitate this process. So, in the current proposal, we introduce TeachLive, which can simulate real classrooms for preservice teachers and challenge their understanding of NOS. We wrote a NOS-based classroom scenario in which five avatars challenged our PSTs’ knowledge of NOS and their ability to communicate it in the classroom. Participants were Latinx PSTs, which previously attended our 15 hours workshop about NOS and developed an understanding of NOS. The simulation was successful in engaging PSTs and providing them with an opportunity to use their knowledge of NOS in a real world situation. The result also shows a direct relationship between the knowledge of NOS and classroom practice.
This presentation is based on a recently published work (Authors, 2019). The purpose of that study was to describe how US secondary science preservice teachers, or those preparing to teach middle and high school science, at one university, perceive engineering and teaching engineering within an epistemological framework of required domain components pre- and post-instruction (intervention) as well as over three cohort years. Their perceptions reveal relevant prior beliefs helpful for designing instruction to address an external need to prepare secondary science teachers to teach disciplinary content ideas, cross-cutting concepts, and science and engineering practices to meet the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Questionnaires administered pre- and post-instruction (intervention), and over three years, asked participants to decide whether various scenarios qualified as engineering and then to provide reasoning. Intervention instruction included whole-class discussions of engineering design practices. The responses to the questionnaire were analyzed for thematic content. The results indicate that the secondary science preservice teachers (n = 43) have a novice understanding of engineering and teaching engineering. They gain an emerging understanding during the secondary science methods courses, consistent in all three years with expanding perspectives from narrow discipline views. As their perceptions are refined, however, there are risks of oversimplification, which may lead to forming misconceptions. The recommendations for designing instruction such as secondary science methods courses and early career professional development include creating opportunities for preservice and early career teachers to explore and challenge their perceptions of engineering design practices integrated within science and engineering practices.
This exploratory session will first outline the research landscape supporting practice-based teacher education (PBTE), then provide science teacher educators an interactive engagement in specific, implementable pedagogical strategies that increase pre-service teachers’ enactment of effective core practices in science education. Given the call from organizations such as the National Council for the Accreditation of Teachers to more significantly integrate clinical practice into teacher education programs, and the recent adoption of rigorous science standards by many states, practice-based teacher education (PBTE) has emerged as a useful framework in teacher education. Our session seeks to provide an overview of the research landscape supporting PBTE as well as introduce frameworks that help situate key pieces of literature. The majority of our session will feature “round-robin” style interactions with key practice-based pedagogies such as instructional rounds and coached peer rehearsals. An in-depth description of each pedagogy will be provided and significant time will be devoted to participant small-group discussion and questions. The session will also include opportunities to envision how specific pedagogies can be implemented within the context of the participants’ science education course sequence. Additionally, participants will receive one-page implementation guides (“pedagogy briefs”) that provide a synopsis of each pedagogy, cases of pedagogies in use, and strategies and tips for successful implementation in science teacher preparation. This interactive session structure will introduce participants to a complementary set of strategies they can implement in their own science education courses and across their teacher preparation programs.
A National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership led by Tuskegee University has developed a course module entitled: “Ins and Outs of Digestion for Middle School Students via 5-E Model” designed to meet the following 7th grade Life Science Content standard:
“Construct models and representations of organ systems (e.g., circulatory, digestive, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, nervous) to demonstrate how multiple interacting organs and systems work together to accomplish specific functions”.
Our module provides an opportunity to create models of the digestive system and determine the correct placement of various organs of this system. Students use their models to compare mechanical and chemical digestion. They use the model to explain why foods spend various amounts of time in a particular organ. Students also design an experiment to determine the effects of introducing new foods to a baby’s diet. To solidify students’ understanding and mastery of concepts, the module comes with a word search puzzle and a bingo game emphasizing vocabulary words related to the digestive track.
In this experiential session, participants will wear their "student hats" and will experience hands-on learning of the critically important concepts of mechanical and chemical digestion using the innovative resources contained in the module. We will use hands-on, inquiry-based activities and models to explore and explain the “key ideas” behind mechanical and chemical digestion. The novelty of the module lies in the use of student created models of the digestive system using readily available materials to transform a boring traditional classroom in an interactive session that makes the learning of a difficult core science concept exciting and fun. The module will be facilitated during the experiential session using the 5-E inquiry framework. We will also share the module’s effectiveness in the classroom by describing data on student learning outcomes.
Inquiry teaching in science education has been widely advocated for decades. It is a critical learning objective in many science teacher preparation programs. Despite its importance, it is not effectively implemented in science classrooms. One of the reasons is the lack of reliable and valid instruments that provide practical definition, concrete guideline, and objective assessment for the practice of inquiry teaching. To fill this gap, we designed a 3E rubric based on the 5E learning model as one specific form of inquiry teaching to measure preservice teachers’ practice at different phases of a science lesson. In this study, we thoroughly introduced the 3E rubric and its use. Through drawing on 76 elementary pre-service science teachers’ teaching videos, we analyzed its reliability and validity with the tools of Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, Fleiss’ kappa, and Pearson correlation. According to the results, the 3E rubric is a reliable and valid tool to assess pre-service teachers’ practical knowledge of inquiry teaching. The contributions of this rubric to the teaching and research in science teacher preparation are discussed and future research directions are proposed.
This ongoing study focuses on the efforts of the university mentor supervisor to embed enhanced awareness for social equity identity and promote activism for social justice with secondary science preservice teacher interns (PSTs) enrolled in a Masters of Arts in Teaching program. This study attempts to unearth what impact a supervisor can have in effectively implementing an agenda for making culturally responsive and sustainable approaches a core strategy within a secondary science curriculum as it relates to preservice teacher interns in their final internship field placements.
The purpose of this research is to take a deep dive into the journeys’ of urban STEM teachers, their decisions to become teachers, and why they persisted. The research question driving this study is: What can the narratives of experienced urban STEM teachers tell us about teacher persistence? Teacher attrition or the more general term, teacher turnover includes teacher mobility, which separates teachers who move from one school to another (movers) and teachers who leave teaching completely (leavers) (Achinstein, Ogawa, & Sexton, 2010). The flipside of attrition is retention. These teachers stay in teaching beyond what is seen as the critical time period of the first five years when attrition is highest (Ingersoll & Smith, 2004; Donaldson, 2014). This five year time falls within what Super (1984) identified as the career establishment phase. Based on Super’s model, a five year retention period would suggest teachers leaving within the first five years have not successfully established themselves in the profession by enculturating into the professional community and establishing future professional growth goals. The teachers in our study have all transitioned through the establishment phase and persisted into the maintenance stage of their careers. Teacher persistence is not simply who makes it, this static definition does not encompass the full quality of what it means to be persistent. Wheatley (2002) ,saw persistence as a disposition that teachers have that allows them to overcome factors that push others out of the career. In our research, we focus on teachers who have established themselves as teaching professionals and have persisted in teaching in a STEM subject in an urban setting. This makes them a uniquely qualified cohort of teachers to share their stories of this process. We use a narrative inquiry approach to understand each teacher’s story leading them to stay in teaching in an urban setting. Prompted narrative interviews give each teacher the freedom to share the events of importance to them.
In this session we describe a study exploring K-12 public school teachers’ approaches to teaching evolution, views of evolution and creation, and knowledge of past legal cases. The present study expands on Moore’s (2004) survey by attaining more information about teachers, surveying teachers from 42 states, including all K-12 teachers of science, and including “I don’t know” as an option on the original survey developed by Moore. A 32-question survey was completed by 208 teachers. Findings include a detailed portrait of teachers’ understanding of evolution laws, views of evolution and religion, approaches to teaching evolution, and time devoted to teaching evolution. The results indicate those who avoid evolution or advocate for alternatives to evolution are generally less understanding of evolution laws. Teachers who devote more time to evolution have a significantly greater understanding of evolution laws. The presentation will include resources that science teacher educators can use to help prepare K-12 public school teachers to teach evolution in a manner consistent with the law (Author, 2013a; 2017) including an upcoming book on the topic.
Within a slightly modified themed-paper set and syllabus share formats, this interactive session highlights doctoral students’ initial work as science teacher educator-researchers. Four qualitative research papers of varying topics highlight methods of qualitative research design and discussion of findings. The first three research papers were completed as pilot studies in an Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in Science Education course for doctoral students. This doctoral level qualitative course is taught early in their doctoral preparation program (beginning of the second year) to provide opportunities for conducting pilot studies that will support them as they progress in their program of study toward certification to dissertation proposal to dissertation study. In addition, the fourth qualitative research paper shares findings from a master’s level course, Practicing Qualitative Research Methods: An Introduction, taught online. This introductory course was taken by master’s students across varying programs during a short, intensive summer session that lasted three weeks. For many, it was their first course in learning about research as they prepare for their thesis projects. After the four papers are presented, a panel discussion on qualitative research approaches in science teacher education will be discussed. The organizer will present an outline of the two courses and activities used in developing and supporting emerging academic researchers. Faculty may use these models, practical tips, and strategies to support master’s and doctoral students as academic researchers and to facilitate the development of emergent researchers at their institutions. Overall, the session offers a new format and approach to the conference in an interactive session where doctoral students present their work and a seasoned science teacher educator shares her syllabus with faculty. There must be deliberate attention to graduate student preparation as researchers through collaboration, mentoring, and advisement which begin with providing an engaging curriculum.
Our project introduced elementary classroom teachers (Grades 3, 4, 5) to the use of inquiry-based science instruction to promote students’ communication of science understanding. The initial focus of the project was to support teachers working with linguistically diverse learners by developing science lessons that included active, hands-on explorations that highlighted the work of scientists. Over two years, the researchers co-constructed, modeled and co-taught science lessons with participating teachers. Science notebooks were utilized by students during instruction. This presentation focuses on one unit from the project and includes the analyses of fourth-grade students’ written explanations in a science unit on magnetism. The purpose of the study was to gain insight into the connections between students’ science conceptual understanding and written communication skills. Data included science notebooks collected from 16 fourth-grade students in two classrooms; our analysis focuses notebooks produced by four linguistically diverse students. Using formative assessment tools and tools from systemic functional linguistics (SFL), we determined the genres used in the science notebooks, the adequacy of students’ explanations and the lexicogrammatical resources applied. We also sought to determine students’ level of comprehension of science concepts. Findings revealed that most students were successful in making and supporting claims with evidence, but often struggled to represent their scientific reasoning in writing. This study reinforces the need to model scientific reasoning orally and in writing, and demonstrates the importance of provides an example of how SFL can enrich our assessment of student writing and thinking.
While theoretical inquiry has posited the importance of the development of social and moral compassions that include elements such as moral and ethical sensitivity, perspective-taking and empathetic concerns, research into the practice of delivering, over an academic year, an SSI-focused science content course is limited. Understanding more about the epistemological beliefs and reasoning of students engaged in aspects of socioscientific reasoning (SSR) is necessary and recognized to building a more robust theoretical framework to guide science teacher education. The challenge of this work was threefold: 1) to examine how science teacher education may benefit from exploring how students epistemological reasoning related elements of social and moral compassion are revealed prior to, and after an academic year engaged in an SSI content rich course; 2) to develop and put forth a standardized rubric for the field that assesses three socioscientific domains, Moral and Ethical Sensitivity, Perspective Taking and Empathetic Concerns, that serve as collective indicators of Social Moral Compassion; and 3) examine the challenges faced by their teacher in establishing a sociocultural norm that engages students in these type of issues. A mixed methods pre – post design was used with data collection occurring at the beginning and end of an academic year using two high school anatomy and physiology classes immersed in an SSI-oriented course and two traditional A&P classes used as a comparison group. Quantitatively, only moral and ethical sensitivity were found to be significant. However, limitations to quantitative approaches could be observed when qualitative comparisons detected nuanced gains in all three elements trending toward epistemological sophistication. A standardized rubric was generated for assessing gains in all three domains of social and moral compassion. Post course interviews with the teacher highlighted several important points that contain both methodological and pedagogical explanations with implications important to science teacher education.
This study investigates pre-service teachers understanding of the Engage phase of the 5E inquiry model. Engage phase of the 5E inquiry model plays a crucial role in the pre-diagnostic assessment and spurring the students' critical thinking. This is a qualitative research study with a participant sample of 55 pre-service teachers (PSTs) enrolled in a science methods course. We used PSTs 5E inquiry-based lesson plans and peer teaching sessions as data sources. We designed rubrics to evaluate and code the inquiry-based field teaching lesson plans, peer teaching lesson plans, and the peer teaching sessions. We used the constant comparative method to extract the findings. The results indicated that 74% of the PSTs planned an engage phase that related to the objective of the lesson, and 56% of the PSTs planned an engage phase that ended up in a successful lesson as a whole. However, only 15% of the PSTs were successful in asking good questions in the engage phase, and only 24% of the PSTs were successful in engaging the students through videos. This study posits that videos shown in the classroom need to serve the purpose and questions asked in the engage phase play an important role in educating student minds.
St. Joseph’s College of Maine (SJC) was awarded a $102,997 grant from the National Science Foundation. The Capacity Building Project for the Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program enabled high-needs schools in Maine to "grow their own" science teachers by recruiting and training students from these schools and having them potentially return to that school as a teacher. Project objectives included development of 1) new ways to increase student awareness of science teaching careers; 2) smoother pathways to enter the science and secondary education programs at Saint Joseph's College (SJC); and 3) connections between SJC and high-needs Local Education Agencies (LEAs) to enable recruitment of potential teachers, placement of apprentice teachers, and support of new teachers in those schools. The project developed partnerships between SJC and high-needs LEAs Biddeford, Bonny Eagle, Caribou, Fort Kent, Gray-New Gloucester, Lewiston, Westbrook, and Windham high schools. Southern Maine Community College (SMCC) and Central Maine Community College (CMCC) will serve as community college partners. Innovative features of the project included the piloting of a no-cost, college credit-bearing, online Introduction to Education course, a series of career exploration workshops, and a study on the real and perceived barriers to entering science teaching among community college students.
National science reform portrays science and engineering together a set of collective core ideas (DCIs), practices (SEPs), and cross-cutting concepts (CCCs) that make up what is called three-dimensional, or 3D learning. Representing a drastic difference in the way science is taught relative to inquiry-based approaches, this framework requires teachers adopt and adapt engineering design to teach science. As a result, university science teacher preparation programs must modify or redesign their core undergraduate science courses for preservice teachers to align with 3D learning. This means teacher educators working to develop and implement new curricular units that address DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs for both science and engineering.
To help teacher educators meet these new objectives, this poster presentation aims to outline the process a group of university science instructors took to develop a matrix that shows the relationship between 3D learning and engineering design tasks the science faculty implemented within their respective science content courses. We then show how the instrument is used by a biology content course instructor to profile an engineering design-based science learning experience about composting and its alignment with 3D learning.
Results revealed that the instrument served as a mechanism for faculty to assess and reflect on their design tasks. It was useful in aligning design tasks with 3D learning, compare tasks across courses, and scaffold their conversations around a shared, standards-based language. Implications are discussed for science teacher educators and curriculum developers.
This HHMI-funded Inclusive Excellence professional development program presentation focuses on two overarching goals: 1) reform science laboratory courses to incorporate authentic research experiences via course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), and 2) provide professional development for postsecondary science faculty to promote effective inclusive teaching practices. This poster presentation can help to inform and guide postsecondary science faculty who are interested in developing course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs), as well as creating a curriculum and support system that allows both traditional and non-traditional students, especially under-represented ethnic minority students, to participate in multiple authentic research projects and provide assistance in continuing research at the university and beyond graduation. This poster presentation can further help to inform and guide science education professional developers about innovative year-round inclusive professional development that is designed to help postsecondary science faculty develop CUREs, their science education approaches, and their inclusive pedagogical techniques.
This study used mixed methods to understand preservice science teachers’ perception of completing an e-book and the value of e-books for increasing digital literacy (DL) and technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge (TPACK). Undergraduates enrolled NS 100 Science for Elementary Education created an e-book to review course content and to prepare for Praxis. To understand the role of e-books in developing DL and TPACK, undergraduates were asked to complete a survey at the beginning and end of the course. A focus group was conducted to better understand participant experience and to develop a preliminary coding scheme for preservice teacher e-books and reflections. Results from this study suggest positive experiences with educational technology are indicative of a greater perceived value and intent to use technology. As such there is a great need for teacher preparation programs to provide opportunities for preservice teachers to experiment with educational technology.
A new vision for science education was articulated in A Framework for K-12 Science Education, with the integration of scientific and engineering practices, crosscutting concepts, and disciplinary core ideas. Because of this three-dimensional target, reform-aligned science teaching significantly departs from many current teachers’ classroom practices. We contend that it is important to model three-dimensional learning teachers will need to facilitate in their classrooms. We embed a parallel process in our sustained professional development (PD) model, with two primary intentions. First, we know that teachers need space and relevant experiences to build their understanding over time, especially with complex systems. Second, we need to equip teachers with concrete tools to address this major reform and re-envision what the reform requires of their teaching. This parallelism between teacher PD experience and classroom instruction runs throughout our workshops and provides meaningful opportunity to (a) consider how best instructional practice for students might inform teacher PD, (b) equip teachers to facilitate learning for their students with personal experience and empathy, and (c) embrace an iterative, flexible structure that can inform meaningful learning for students and teachers.
The purpose of the current study was to determine the impacts of a multiple day engineering-focused professional development program on elementary teachers’ perceptions of the work of engineers and their use of mathematics and science. Data was collected in the form of drawings of engineers at multiple time points throughout the professional development program as well as an open-ended exit survey at the end of the program. Participants’ drawings were scored in the following areas: use of mathematics, use of science, work of an engineer, and gender. Freidman’s test revealed that the only significant change between measures was in the area of gender, with participants’ drawings becoming more gender inclusive as the professional development program progressed. Analysis of exit survey responses indicated that participants had limited understanding of the complex relationships between engineering, science, and mathematics.
With the growing adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards across the United States, elementary teachers are being called upon to incorporate engineering into their science instruction, which has created a need for ways to help elementary teachers better understand what engineering is and how to accurately communicate it to students. The present study examines the effects of a teacher education and professional development project in which elementary student teachers and their cooperating teachers were teamed with engineering graduate students to incorporate engineering into grades 3–5 classrooms. By working alongside experts in engineering for a 16-week semester, the project aimed to help participating elementary teachers better understand what engineering is and what engineers do. To assess teachers’ conceptions of engineering, we administered the Draw-An-Engineer Test as pretest and posttest. An important contribution of the present study is our development of a novel approach to analyzing responses from that instrument that is appropriate for adult populations and that also addresses multiple known shortcomings of drawing tasks.
We found that from pretest to posttest, teachers’ responses became clearer with respect to the processes that engineers use in their work, and they became more likely to represent flowchart models of “the engineering design process.” The way that teachers portrayed the processes of engineering on the posttest, however, differed substantially from the portrayals produced by the engineers; the engineers in the study were therefore not simply conveying their own understanding of engineering to the teachers. Rather, the teachers in our study constructed their own understanding of engineering work that deviated in certain ways from the views of the engineers.
The use of robotics is emerging as an effective strategy for bridging technology to engineering design in early childhood classrooms. Robots are a tangible manifestation of computer coding, which is usually only done on a computer. Robots allow young students to engage in developmentally appropriate play activities, while at the same time actively participate in solving problems through engineering design. This presentation will present the results of data gathered to assess early childhood perceptions of engineers before and after an engineering challenge using robotics to build cookie jar alarms. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of participating in the engineering design process using robotics on students’ perceptions of engineers.
Providing quality experiences for preservice teachers continues to challenge teacher education programs (Fraser & Watson, 2014; Grossman, 2010). As indicated by Darling-Hammond & Baratz-Snowden (2007) and Grossman (2010), the quality of a teacher education program exists in clarity of goals, modeling of good practices, frequent opportunities for practice, multiple opportunities for practice, graduated responsibility, and structured opportunities. While most teacher education programs meet these requirements, preservice teachers in science education programs often lack in quality of experience with informal science education (Jung & Tonso, 2006). This research included exploring science efficacy and evaluation of an experiential learning experience at a local children’s museum. Pre-service teachers explored energy curriculum content, created meaningful inquiry-based activities in energy education and presented inquiry lessons to 34 third grade classes during field trips to the children’s museum. Analysis of observations, reflections, and focus group transcripts found engagement in the experiential learning opportunity in informal science education positively impacted teaching strategies and the value of informal science learning.
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.
We explored how 38 veteran mathematics and science teachers in four low-income middle schools reflected upon their abilities to reconfigure their pedagogical approaches from traditional, didactic teaching to include open-ended engineering design tasks in their instruction. Through a researcher-directed community-based partnership and professional learning, we supported teachers to perform at least three engineering design tasks in their classrooms over one year, using low-cost or recyclable materials. We analyzed how they described their learning and implementation of engineering design tasks. We used Yoon, Evans, and Strobel’s (2014) pre-post Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy (TESS) scale to holistically analyze teachers’ self-efficacy to teach engineering. Then, we used qualitative methods to descriptively code how teachers reflected upon their experiences following each implementation and how they described their development of knowledge and perceptions of success through focus groups. While teachers’ self-efficacy to teach engineering grew according to the survey, their learning and successes were operationalized through four main areas according to descriptive themes in the qualitative data. These themes included learning how to introduce the design process and integrate science and mathematical concepts, increasing student engagement through encouraging perseverance and an acceptance of ‘design failures’, and developing an inclusive and collaborative culture in their classrooms. Their sources of learning and perceptions of success arose from directly modeling their learning during professional development, developing their relationships with students and connecting their worldviews to societal problems, and experiencing the effects of continued encouragement of students to redesign and use trial and error. This study puts forth strategies for teachers and researchers to confidently scaffold engineering as a mindset with students in schools with limited structural and economic support.
Cooperating teachers play a key role in mentoring preservice teachers. Yet, the literature contains little about how cooperating teachers learn to mentor. In this case study, we followed two first-time secondary biology cooperating teachers on their journey through the student teaching semester. Our research questions were: What are the experiences of first-time cooperating teachers? How is the role of cooperating teacher learned? What do first-time cooperating teachers feel that they need to be successful in their role as teacher educators?
Through frequent semi-structured interviews, these first-time cooperating teachers shared the challenges and triumphs of their experience. In the beginning, they expressed doubts about their readiness to be mentors and their qualification to participate in the formation of new colleagues. As they moved throughout the semester, first-time cooperating teachers’ concerns ranged from managing transitions to balancing evaluation and support for their student teacher. In the end, first-time cooperating teachers’ ideas about what the job of being a cooperating teacher meant changed considerably.
The role of a cooperating teacher is profoundly different from that of classroom teacher and as teacher educators, we have a responsibility to prepare teachers for this role on which we, and our students, depend. Our presentation will share the data from these interviews and the steps that we are taking to address the concerns raised so that first-time cooperating teachers can effectively enact their role in the clinical placement experience.
Socioscientific issues (SSI) have been found to improve scientific literacy skills among K – 12 students. Elementary teachers and preservice teachers (PSTs), however, are reluctant to implement SSI during science instruction due to a lack of confidence with content knowledge concerning SSI, as well as their pedagogical abilities to facilitate SSI. There is an existing body of research focused on helping PSTs overcome these concerns through microteaching, adapting existing curricula, and experiencing SSI through methods courses. While it has been identified that formal preparation is required for PSTs to feel confident in their abilities to facilitate SSI, little has been done to prepare elementary PSTs to facilitate SSI through field based experiences. Potential PSTs concerns regarding science instruction with SSI is currently speculative since existing empirical evidence has been collected outside the context of actual classroom practice. In this study, we examine elementary PSTs experiences as they facilitated SSI in the classroom. This allowed us to gain a better understanding of the perceived challenges they encounter while facilitating SSI. Community of practice (CoP) meetings were facilitated to provide the formal training necessary to prepare these elementary PSTs to facilitate SSI. Recordings of the CoP meetings, lesson plans, observations, and interviews served as data sources collected at various times throughout the semester-long study. Analysis revealed potential multiple obstacles identified by the elementary PSTs as impacting their ability to successfully facilitate SSI. Among these were allocated science instruction time, student behaviors, and ability to connect an activity with science content and SSI.
We employed an embedded mixed-methods multi-case study design to investigate prospective teachers’ abilities to formulate scientific explanations and support children with this scientific practice after participating in a physics course for educators. Participants included ten prospective teachers who were a part of an intervention group in physics for educators where they received explicit, scaffolded instruction on how to construct scientific explanations using the Claim, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) framework. Seven additional prospective teachers were a part of a comparison group and did not receive instruction on how to construct explanations in science. All participants were female, juniors, and completing their second field experience within a first through fifth grade classroom. A pre/post scientific explanation assessment was collected from each prospective teacher in the physics for educators’ course and science methods course to explore any changes in their ability to formulate a scientific explanation. In addition, one lesson plan, video of science instruction, post-teaching semi-structured interview, and written reflection were collected from each participant in the science methods course to examine the participants abilities to support children with evidence-based explanations. Our findings show the intervention prospective teachers’ abilities to formulate a scientific explanation decreased from the end of physics for educators to the beginning of the science methods but rebounded by the end of science methods. The intervention prospective teachers outperformed the comparison group with formulating scientific explanations on both the post physics and post science methods assessment, but statistical significance was only achieved on the post physics assessment. Lastly, there was a statistically significant difference in the intervention prospective teachers’ abilities to engage children in scientifically oriented questions, giving priority to evidence, and formulating evidence-based explanations.
There is growing consensus among science education scholars about argumentation as a means to improve student understanding of subject matter and critical thinking skills. However, there are very few empirical studies that have evaluated specific talk moves and patterns and their impact on student learning. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between teachers’ use of dialogic feedback as an instructional practice for promoting evidence-based argumentation in science class and students’ outcomes on a critical thinking exam. Furthermore, we analyzed the different types of dialogic feedback and if any codes correlated with student achievement on a modified version of the Illinois Critical Thinking Test.
This presentation will focus on the examination of the teaching of evolution in the public education system of the Islamic Republic of Iran and aims to unravel inaccurate presumptions that are seeded in the Western views of Iran as a religious authoritarian state with dilapidated ideals and perspectives. Through examination of existing literature and previous reviews and analyses of Iran’s science textbooks and nationally mandated curriculum content, this presentation will attempt to shed light on: (a) the views of nature of science projected in the science education standards, (b) the depiction and description of the evolutionary emergence of life and concepts such as evolution, natural section, mutation, and adaptation in the K-12 science content, (c) the history of evolution education in Iran, and (d) possible factors that have contributed to Iran’s relatively in-depth and accurate attention to evolution education when compared to neighboring countries in the region. The presenters aim to convey the modern perspective of the Iranian education system with respect to the teaching of concepts, such as evolution, which are often classified as controversial and in opposition to religious ideologies. There are areas pertaining to evolution education in Iran that remain unexplored and suitable for future research. Further inquiry is necessary into understanding the implementation of the Iranian evolution curriculum and the students, teachers, and general public’s beliefs and attitude with respect to evolution. This presentation is based on a book chapter the presenters co-authored in book titled “Evolution Education around the Globe” published in 2018 by Springer.
Over the past thirty years, a wealth of research occurred studying the nature and extent of student misconceptions of scientific phenomena. This research spans early childhood (Sackes, Flevares,& Trundle, 2010) to college level (Treagust, 1998; Zoller, 1990). Further bodies of research explore preservice teacher misconceptions of science conceptions as related to shifts based on professional development (Heller, Daehler, Wong, Shinohara, & Miratrix, 2012) or look at teacher understandings of student misconceptions (Gomez-Zweip, 2008). Across all these bodies of work focused on unpacking scientific misconceptions, a paucity of work exists triangulating teacher misconceptions as they impact classroom instruction.
This paper seeks to explicate some of the misconceptions held by elementary teachers and explore the ways those misconceptions make their way into classroom instruction. Using an exploratory cross case analytic approach, we investigate the down-stream effects on student science learning opportunities of teacher misconceptions. All the teachers interviewed and observed were noted to have gaps in their scientific knowledge for content they taught. We found that while teachers use the words inquiry, investigate, and explore, they typically intended actions more closely described as google, write notes, and answer her direct question. FIndings indicate that misconceptions held by teachers often make their way into classroom instruction and that a lack of teacher content understanding leads to different instructional practices.
This paper updates a research in progress roundtable from 2018 on the development, implementation, and evaluation of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) module that provided preservice teachers instruction on STEAM education and an example of a quality STEAM project at the early childhood level that utilized 360 degree videos and 3D modeling. The STEAM module was created using inquiry and project-based learning, both best practices in math and science education, as well as the design process, to support best practice in engineering, technology, and art. Preservice teachers conceptualizations of STEAM education were measured before and after completing the module alongside reflective journals. Findings include preservices teachers conceptualizations moving toward integration and away from silos as well as a decrease in intimidation around the idea of teaching STEAM.
The purpose of this instrumental case study was to understand elementary teachers’ planning of STEAM curriculum during a two-year professional development program. This research was guided by the following question: What were the STEAM planning practices of teachers and how did they develop or change during a professional development experience? Analysis of 25 teachers’ planning documents indicated change in the following areas: 1) tighter alignment to fewer standards, 2) more meaningful integration and broader definitions of arts and technology, and 3) increased use of formative assessment but persistent difficulties in summatively assessing the multiple disciplines of STEAM. The growth in teachers’ STEAM instruction from the beginning to the end of this two-year professional development was important in building our understanding of what constitutes sound design of STEAM inquiries.
In this session, we will preview several chapters of an upcoming book in which we examine how larger societal forces such as religion, media, and politics have shaped Brazil’s educational landscape and impacted the teaching and learning of evolution within an increasingly polarized discourse in recent years. To this end, a number of educational scholars and practitioners, many of whom based in Brazil, will provide up-close and in-depth accounts of classroom-based evolution instruction, teacher preparation programs, current educational policies, and commonly used school curricula. Book editors and chapter authors will also present information on Brazilian teachers’ attitudes toward and understanding of teaching evolutionary theory, Brazilian students’ attitudes toward and understanding of evolution, emergent (mis)conceptions of evolution as well as international comparisons of evolution acceptance and understanding in Brazil versus other countries. Together, we will paint a detailed and revealing picture of Brazil as a country that is currently experiencing an upsurge in creationist ideologies, a highly dynamic state of affairs that is creating complex challenges for science classrooms and teachers across the nation. We will describe a nation navigating the complexity of multiple spheres of thought about evolution and its role in the K-12 and postsecondary curriculum. In this session, we will synthesize the main themes and highlight the implications (both theoretical and practical) for science teacher education in the US and globally.
Historical Background and the Brazilian Educational Context
Alandeom W. Oliveira, State University of New York at Albany
Kristin L. Cook, Bellarmine University
Brazilian High School Biology Teacher’s Perception on Evolution and its Teaching
Heslley Machado Silva, Centro Universitario de Formiga
Creationists or Evolutionists? High School Students’ Conceptions on the Origin and Evolution of Life
Pedro Teixeira, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro
Darwin’s Discussion on the Origin of Fish Electric Organs: A Pedagogical Intervention in the Youth and Adult Education
Maria Elice de Brzezinski Prestes, University of São Paulo
What is the Role of Sound Evidence in Evolution Education? A Research Program Following Students’ Narratives in Brazil and Elsewhere
Nelio Bizzo, University of São Paulo
The Perils of the Evolution-as-progress Metaphor: Challenging Ideals of Naturalness, Normalcy and Adequacy in Brazilian and Canadian Science Education
Giuliano Reis, University of Ottawa
The Framework for K-12 Science Education posits “the most pressing challenge facing U.S. education is to provide all students with a fair opportunity to learn” (NRC, 2012,p 281). The Framework calls for equitable science instruction for ALL students, yet reports that most schools lack the support and resources to teach science regularly. Even where science is taught regularly, there are challenges for many, including our most rapidly growing group of students, English Learners (ELs) and multilingual learners (MLLs).
The authors of English Learners in STEM Subjects (NASEM, 2018) state, “ELs develop science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) knowledge and language proficiency when they are engaged in meaningful interaction in the classroom and participate in kinds of activities in which STEM experts and professional regularly engage” (p 55). Yet, ELs continue to be pulled out of rich classroom learning situations to memorize vocabulary, and language proficiency continues to be seen by many as a prerequisite to science instruction. Science education needs a new approach to language integration. Language development standards that embed language development in interactive inquiry-based activities fit well with changes science education. MLLs thrive when engaged firsthand in phenomenon-based investigations requiring both sense-making and the discussion of ideas that drives language development.
This session engages educators with resources jointly developed by NSTA and WIDA, showing how WIDA’s new Language Practices align to both the Bybee 5E model and the Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning (CER) model and fit well with existing science practice.
Science education reform documents and new standards require teachers to teach science differently, which is further compounded by changes in language development standards for the most rapidly growing group of students in K-12 schools. Science educators must be apprised of the changes to better train the next generation of science teachers.
The causes for climate change are many, however, arguments also center on the fact that population must occur to further avoid habitat and species loss. This presentation will address the issue of population control arguments as related to climate change issues, the onus on women’s bodies in lieu of gender-relations, and how we re-shape/re-inscribe this in k-12 educational spaces (MacGregor, 2010). It will also critically examine how to move beyond the immediate solutions, as discussed in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, to examine the social contexts in which discussion of population control occurs. This presentation will argue change, especially in high fertility countries, can occur when comprehensive sex education and climate change education are taught as cross disciplinary curriculum models to create an actionable model for future population issues.
Immersive VR is a learning technology that is emerging in schools and colleges. Immersive VR technology uses VR headsets to generate realistic images and sounds and hand-held controllers that together simulate a user's physical presence in a virtual environment. In a VR environment, instructors can combine authentic imagery, content, data, animations, video, and/or narration to help students understand complex science concepts and develop important skills that may be difficult or impossible to teach through other methods. This Exploratory Session (1) presents the design, development, and implementation of an immersive VR game and an immersive virtual field trip for secondary students to learn about locations with environmental importance in their watershed; (2) presents and discusses the adoption of available immersive VR science learning materials for use with science teachers and their students; and (3) discusses implementation considerations when using immersive VR for science teaching and learning.
Laboratory schools are not new. The first US lab school was opened at the University of Chicago in 1894. The purpose of the first lab school was to develop theories of child development and education (Wilcox-Herzog & McLaren, 2012). Providing preservice teachers with early field experiences leads to a better understanding of the significance of learning contexts and classroom diversity, as well as the demands of the teaching profession (Yarmus & Begum, 2013). Early field experiences can influence preservice teacher beliefs about teaching. One challenge of early field experiences is the need for additional placement sites when sites may already limited. Even when placements are available, finding science classrooms that engage in inquiry are scarce. There is often a disconnect between what teacher candidates are taught in their pedagogy courses and their opportunities to learn to enact these practices in their clinical placements (Bullough, Young, Erickson, Birrell, Clark, Egan, Berrie, Hales & Smith, 2002; Bullough, Kauchak, Crow, Hobbs & Stokes, 1997; Francis, 2017; Kleinsasser, 2000; Zeichner, 2010; Zeichner & Bier, 2012). Finding placements where preservice teachers can implement inquiry-based pedagogies is essential if they are to be implemented after graduation. Direct instruction remains common the primary strategy in most schools. Studies have shown that teachers showed dramatic increases in the amount of teacher-centered, fact-driven instruction in subjects included in state mandated tests (Au, 2007; Gerwin and Visone, 2006). This is especially problematic during the spring semesters since many schools focus on test preparation. Creating laboratory schools can provide additional placement sites for preservice teachers to observe and practice inquiry-based instructional as taught in the methods courses. Because the university oversees the schools, the teaching methodologies implemented can be implemented. In some states, lab schools can be eligible for state funding. Three case studies are exaximined including rural, urban and suburban lab schools.
The presention will share how we were able to provide middle grades math, science, special education teachers and media & instructional technology specialist at our University's lab school with up to 35 hours of robotics professional development program to support the integration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) learning into their classrooms. We will share results of the project in providing basic professional knowledge and skills on robotics for middle grades teachers.
The literature indicates that preservice teachers (PSTs) have naive conceptions of Nature of Science (NOS), regardless of teacher preparation programs across different countries. To date, most of the studies have addressed PSTs’ views of NOS in the formal classroom setting, with little research in the informal learning environments which can bridge learning gaps. The purpose of this preliminary study is to determine how exposure to an informal setting fosters PSTs’ thinking about NOS. PSTs (n = 27) enrolled in a science content course participated in an on-campus, guided tour through a meteorite gallery. Afterwards, PSTs were asked to write a reflection on their experience and were not explicitly asked to write about NOS to observe what elements of NOS they would describe on their own. The reflections were qualitatively coded by the co-instructors for tenets of NOS using McComas (2008) and NGSS as a framework. The results showed that four tenets of NOS emerged: science depends upon empirical evidence, science has shared habits of thinking, science is durable but tentative, and science is influenced by society. PSTs drew upon a variety of examples, such as describing how scientists can differentiate meteorites based on their composition, observe different patterns on meteorites based upon how they traveled to earth, and theories about how meteorites changed over time. Limitations to this study were not explicitly connecting NOS to the informal learning experience and using a qualitative approach with one course. Future research may benefit from investigating the contributions of informal learning environments to PST’s understandings of NOS.
We formed a partnership between an institution of higher education and an informal educational institution in which preservice teachers deliver educational programming focusing on Chesapeake Bay water quality and human impact to students from local schools. Teaching Environmental Awareness in Baltimore (TEAB) is to designed to engage students (both preservice and K-12) in environmental issue investigations relevant to the local community to promote deep, critical thinking. From a civic and socio-scientific viewpoint, our project has these aims:
(1) To focus on urban youth who may have limited personal experiences with nature and/or have a limited understanding of local natural resources,
(2) To assist preservice teachers in becoming confident, competent environmental educators through practical, hands-on professional development,
(3) To enact a place-based environmental curriculum that meets both the instructional guidelines of local school districts and State content standards
The data presented here focuses on the effect of the project on preservice teachers. In particular, we wanted to answer the following questions:
Can integrating non-formal educational field experiences that focus on local environmental issues into teacher preparation programs promote better preservice teacher content and pedagogical knowledge?
Can integrating non-formal educational field experiences that focus on local environmental issues into teacher preparation programs promote more positive attitudes towards teaching environmental education, and perhaps toward the environment itself?