Disciplinary Content Knowledge

Student Ideas about the Small Particle Model of Matter

What ideas do students have about small particles of matter? The Two Cups of Liquid task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter. The first part of the task asks preservice teachers to articulate their own understanding about why two cups containing different volumes of liquid might have the same mass, while the second examines how elementary students might respond.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What ideas do students have about small particles of matter? The Two Cups of Liquid task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter.

Scientific Modeling and the Structure of Matter

What does it mean to help students develop a small particle model of matter? The Mystery Bubble task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter, particularly the idea of empty space between the particles. The task presents a phenomenon in which combining ethanol and water results in a mixture that occupies less space than the combined volume of each.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What does it mean to help students develop a small particle model of matter? The Mystery Bubble task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ ideas about the small particle model (SPM) for matter, particularly the idea of empty space between the particles.

Scientific Explanations of Changes in Matter

What is a scientific explanation and how can we support students in explaining changes in matter? The Fizzy Antacid task is intended to elicit and develop preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ scientific explanations of changes in matter. The first part of the task asks preservice teachers to develop their own explanations and engage in scientific argumentation, while considering how elementary students might explain the Fizzy Antacid phenomenon.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What is a scientific explanation and how can we support students in explaining changes in matter? The Fizzy Antacid task is intended to elicit and develop preservice teachers’ CKT related to students’ scientific explanations of changes in matter.

Investigating Conservation of Matter

What investigations can help students best understand conservation of matter? The Investigating Matter tasks are intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to the conservation of matter. The open-ended task asks preservice teachers to identify an investigation that would provide students with evidence to support this idea, while the multiple-choice version, Selecting Investigation of Matter, provides them several alternatives to consider.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What investigations can help students best understand conservation of matter? The Investigating Matter tasks are intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to the conservation of matter.

Instructional Goals and Big Ideas for Teaching about Materials

How can we align activities with instructional goals to support student understanding of matter and materials? The Building a Tower Task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT about descriptions and appropriate uses of materials based on their properties.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

How can we align activities with instructional goals to support student understanding of matter and materials? The Building a Tower Task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT about descriptions and appropriate uses of materials based on their properties.

Asking Questions about Matter

What kinds of questions should guide investigations of matter? The Questions to Investigate task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ CKT related to asking questions to frame investigations of changes in matter. The task presents a variety of student-posed questions for preservice teachers to evaluate in terms of their quality and appropriateness. The CKT tasks are intended as a complement to your existing instructional activities in order to elicit and probe preservice teachers’ CKT.

Author/Presenter: 
CKT Science Project Team
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

What kinds of questions should guide investigations of matter? The Questions to Investigate task is intended to elicit preservice teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (CKT) related to asking questions to frame investigations of changes in matter.

Developing Transmedia Engineering Curricula Using Cognitive Tools to Impact Learning and the Development of STEM Identity

This paper examines the use of Imaginative Education (IE) to create an NGSS-aligned middle school engineering curriculum that supports transfer and the development of STEM identity. In IE, cognitive tools—such as developmentally appropriate narratives, mysteries and fantasies—are used to design learning environments that both engage learners and help them organize knowledge productively. We have combined IE with transmedia storytelling to develop two multi-week engineering units and six shorter engineering lessons.

Author/Presenter: 
Glenn W. Ellis
Jeremiah Pina
Rebecca Mazur
Al Rudnitsky
Beth McGinnis-Cavanaugh
Isabel Huff
Sonia Ellis
Crystal M. Ford
Kate Lytton
Kaia Claire Cormier
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

This paper examines the use of Imaginative Education (IE) to create an NGSS-aligned middle school engineering curriculum that supports transfer and the development of STEM identity.

Resource(s): 

Disciplinary Literacy in STEM: A Functional Approach

This study explores disciplinary literacy instruction integrated within an elementary engineering unit in an urban classroom. A multidisciplinary team of university literacy and engineering educators and classroom teachers served as the research team for this case study. A social semiotic language theory (systemic functional linguistics) and a framework of mechanistic reasoning informed the instruction and analysis of classroom discourse and student writing.

Author/Presenter: 
Patricia Paugh
Kristen Wendell
Year: 
2021
Short Description: 

This study explores disciplinary literacy instruction integrated within an elementary engineering unit in an urban classroom.

On the Alignment of Teachers’ Mathematical Content Knowledge Assessments with the Common Core State Standards

Instruments designed to measure teachers’ knowledge for teaching mathematics have been widely used to evaluate the impact of professional development and to investigate the role of teachers’ knowledge in teaching and student learning. These instruments assess a mixture of content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. However, little attention has been given to the content alignment between such instruments and curricular standards, particularly in regard to how content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge items are distributed across mathematical topics.

Author/Presenter: 
Yasemin Copur-Gencturk
Erik Jacobson
Richard Rasiej
Year: 
2021
Short Description: 

This article provides content maps for two widely used teacher assessment instruments in the USA relative to the widely adopted Common Core State Standards. This common reference enables comparisons of content alignment both between the instruments and between parallel forms within each instrument.

Exploring Differences in Practicing Teachers’ Knowledge Use in a Dynamic and Static Proportional Task

Teachers’ knowledge of proportional reasoning is important, particularly in the middle grades in the USA. This exploratory study investigated 32 teachers’ use of knowledge resources in two mathematically similar tasks (one a paper and pencil task, the other a dynamic task) around proportional reasoning. The two tasks invoked different knowledge resources by the same teachers. Results suggest questions to the field around how we access or invoke teacher knowledge and the need to more purposefully explore the potential benefits of using a dynamic task to invoke knowledge resources.

Author/Presenter: 
Rachael Eriksen Brown
Chandra Hawley Orrill
Jinsook Park
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

This exploratory study investigated 32 teachers’ use of knowledge resources in two mathematically similar tasks (one a paper and pencil task, the other a dynamic task) around proportional reasoning.

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