Workshop

Expanding and Sustaining Understanding Evolution

This project will (1) identify the characteristics and needs of college-level target learners and their instructors with respect to evolution, (2) articulate the components for expanding the Understanding Evolution (UE) site to include an Undergraduate Lounge in which students and instructors will be able to access a variety of evolution resources, (3) develop a strategic plan for increasing awareness of UE, and (4) develop a strategic plan for maintenance and continued growth of the site.

Award Number: 
0841757
Funding Period: 
Wed, 10/15/2008 to Thu, 09/30/2010
Full Description: 

The University of California Museum of Paleontology (UCMP) will bring together an experienced group of evolution educators in order to inform the development and maintenance of an effective resource for improving evolution education at the college level. This effort falls under the umbrella of UCMP's highly successful Understanding Evolution (UE) project (http://evolution.berkeley.edu), which currently receives over one million page requests per month during the school year. UE was originally designed around the needs of the K-12 education community; however, increasingly, the site is being used by the undergraduate education community. UCMP intends to embark on an effort to enhance the utility of the UE site for that population, increase awareness of the site at the college level, and secure the project's future so that it can continue to serve K-16 teachers and students. To inform and guide these efforts, UCMP proposes to establish and convene a UE Advisory Board, which will be charged with helping to: (1) identify the characteristics and needs of college-level target learners and their instructors with respect to evolution, (2) articulate the recommended components for expanding the UE site to include an Undergraduate Lounge in which students and their instructors will be able to access a variety of resources for increasing understanding of evolution, (3) develop a strategic plan for increasing awareness of UE within the undergraduate education community, and (4) develop a strategic plan for maintenance and continued growth of the UE site.

Southeast Regional Technical Assistance and Information Follow-up Workshop for Minority-serving Institutions To Broaden Participation in NSF DRL Programs

This project will conduct a 2.5 day regional technical assistance and information conference/workshop for Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to broaden their participation in programs of NSF's Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL). The goal is to have participants develop research or program ideas and to become more skillful in the preparation and development of competitive proposals.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1043144
Funding Period: 
Wed, 09/15/2010 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Full Description: 

Spelman College will conduct a 2.5 day regional technical assistance and information conference/workshop for Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) to broaden their participation in programs of NSF's Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL). Spelman College will invite faculty and administrators at accredited MSIs who have not submitted proposals and/or have been unsuccessful in DRL proposal competition to participate in the workshop/conference. The participants will be 50 two-person institutional teams, each consisting of a faculty member from an education specialty relevant to DRL programmatic activities and a faculty member in a science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) field supported by NSF. The goal is to have participants develop research or program ideas and to become more skillful in the preparation and development of competitive proposals.

The conference/workshop will take place on the campus of Spelman College, a Historically Black College. A variety of techncial assistance sessions will be used during the workshop to facilitate information sharing and dialogue, including discussion of DRL programs, discussion on proposal development and proposal submission requirements, small group presentations and discussion sessions, and large group hands-on review and evaluation of a proposal feedback session. The major goal of the conference/workshop is not only to increase the numbers of DRL-targeted proposals submitted by faculty from MSIs but the numbers of competitive proposals resulting in awards. The conference/workshop also proposes to enhance awareness of DRL program activities and requirements by providing awareness opportunities for MSI faculty to increase their understanding of DRL programs that foster the integration of research and learning. By exposing MSI faculty to pertinent information and intense mentoring, more independent researchers will have strong proposal development skills.

Confronting the Challenges of Climate Literacy (Collaborative Research: McNeal)

This project is developing inquiry-based, lab-focused, online Climate Change EarthLabs modules as a context for ongoing research into how high school students grasp change over time in the Earth System on multiple time scales. This project examines the challenges to high-school students' understanding of Earth's complex systems, operating over various temporal and spatial scales, and by developing research-based insights into effective educational tools and approaches that support learning about climate change and Earth Systems Science.

Award Number: 
1443024
Funding Period: 
Wed, 09/15/2010 to Sat, 10/31/2015
Full Description: 

This project is developing three inquiry-based, lab-focused, online Climate Change EarthLabs modules as a context for ongoing research into how high school students grasp change over time in the Earth System on multiple time scales. Climate literacy has emerged as an important domain of education. Yet it presents real challenges in cognition, perception, and pedagogy, especially in understanding Earth as a dynamic system operating at local to global spatial scales over multiple time scales. This research project confronts these issues by examining the challenges to high-school students' understanding of Earth's complex systems, operating over various temporal and spatial scales, and by developing research-based insights into effective educational tools and approaches that support learning about climate change and Earth Systems Science. The project is a collaborative effort among science educators at TERC, Mississippi State University, and The University of Texas at Austin.

The project uses a backward-design methodology to identify an integrated set of science learning goals and research questions to inform module development. Development and review of draft materials will be followed by a pilot implementation and then two rounds of teacher professional development, classroom implementation, and research in Texas and Mississippi. Research findings from the multiple rounds of implementation will allow an iterative process for refining the modules, the professional development materials, and the research program.

This project focuses on the design, development, and testing of innovative climate change curriculum materials and teacher professional development for Earth Systems science instruction. The materials will be tested in states with teachers in need of Earth Systems Science training and with significant numbers of low income and minority students who are likely to be hard hit by impending climate change. The research will shed light on the challenges of education for climate literacy.

Formerly Award # 1019703.

Cyber-Enabled Learning: Digital Natives in Integrated Scientific Inquiry Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Wang)

This project investigated the professional development needed to make teachers comfortable teaching with multi-user simulations and communications that students use every day. The enactment with OpenSim (an open source, modular, expandable platform used to create simulated 3D spaces with customizable terrain, weather and physics) also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the level of planning and preparation that go into fashioning modules with all selected cyber-enabled cognitive tools framed by constructivism, such as GoogleEarth and Biologica.

Award Number: 
1020091
Funding Period: 
Wed, 09/01/2010 to Wed, 08/31/2011
Project Evaluator: 
HRI
Full Description: 

There is an increasing gap between the assumptions governing the use of cyber-enabled resources in schools and the realities of their use by students in out of school settings. The potential of information and communications technologies (ICT) as cognitive tools for engaging students in scientific inquiry and enhancing teacher learning is explored. A comprehensive professional development program of over 240 hours, along with follow-up is used to determine how teachers can be supported to use ICT tools effectively in classroom instruction to create meaningful learning experiences for students, reducing the gap between formal and informal learning and improve student learning outcomes. In the first year, six teachers from school districts - two in Utah and one in New York - are educated to become teacher leaders and advisors. Then three cohorts of 30 teachers matched by characteristics are provided professional development and field test units over two years in a delayed-treatment design. Biologists from Utah State University and New York College of Technology develop four modules that meet the science standards for both states - the first being changes in the environment. Teachers are guided to develop additional modules. The key technological resource to be used in the project is the Opensimulator 3D application Server (OpenSim), an open source, modular, expandable platform used to create simulated 3D spaces with customizable terrain, weather and physics. 

The research methodology includes the use of the classroom observations using RTOP and Technology Use in Science Instruction (TUSI), selected interviews of teachers and students and validated assessments of student learning. Evaluation, by an external evaluator, assesses the quality of the professional development and the quality of the cyber-enabled learning resources, as well as reviews the research design and implementation. An Advisory Board will monitor the project. 

The project is to determine the professional development needed to make teachers comfortable teaching with multi-user simulations and communications that students use everyday. The enactment with OpenSim also provides an opportunity to demonstrate the level of planning and preparation that go into fashioning modules with all selected cyber-enabled cognitive tools framed by constructivism, such as GoogleEarth and Biologica.

ScratchEd: Working with Teachers to Develop Design-Based Approaches to the Cultivation of Computational Thinking

This project is designing, developing, and studying an innovative model for professional development (PD) of teachers who use the Scratch computer programming environment to help their students learn computational thinking. The fundamental hypothesis of the project is that engagement in workshops and on-line activities of the ScratchEd professional development community will enhance teacher knowledge about computational thinking, their practice of design-based instruction, and their students' learning of key computational thinking concepts and habits of mind.

Project Email: 
Award Number: 
1019396
Funding Period: 
Sun, 08/15/2010 to Wed, 07/31/2013
Project Evaluator: 
Education Development Center
Full Description: 

The ScratchEd project, led by faculty at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and professionals at the Education Development Center, is designing, developing, and studying an innovative model for professional development (PD) of teachers who use the Scratch computer programming environment to help their students learn computational thinking. The fundamental hypothesis of the project is that engagement in workshops and on-line activities of the ScratchEd professional development community will enhance teacher knowledge about computational thinking, their practice of design-based instruction, and their students' learning of key computational thinking concepts and habits of mind.

The effectiveness of the ScratchEd project is being evaluated by research addressing four specific questions: (1) What are the levels of teacher participation in the various ScratchEd PD offerings and what do teachers think of these experiences? (2) Do teachers who participate in ScratchEd PD activities change their use of Scratch in classroom instruction to create design-based learning opportunities? (3) Do the students of teachers who participate in the ScratchEd PD activities show evidence of developing an understanding of computational thinking concepts and processes? (4) When the research instruments developed for the evaluation are made available for teachers in the Scratch community to use for self-evaluation, how do teachers make use of them? Because both computational thinking and design-based instruction are complex activities, the project research is using a combination of survey, interview, and artifact analysis methods to answer the questions.

The ScratchEd professional development and research work will provide important insight into the challenge of helping teachers create productive learning environments for development of computational thinking. Those efforts will also yield a set of evaluation tools that can be integrated into the ScratchEd resources and used by others to study development of computational thinking and design-based instruction.

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Evaluating the Developing Mathematical Ideas Professional Development Program: Researching its Impact on Teaching and Student Learning

This is a 3.5-year efficacy study of the Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) elementary math teacher professional development (PD) program. DMI is a well-known, commercially available PD program with substantial prior evidence showing its impact on elementary teachers' mathematical and pedagogical knowledge. However, no studies have yet linked DMI directly with changes in teachers' classroom practice, or with improved student outcomes in math. This study aims to remedy this gap.

Project Email: 
Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1019769
Funding Period: 
Wed, 09/01/2010 to Fri, 08/31/2012
Project Evaluator: 
Bill Nave
Full Description: 

This is a 3.5-year efficacy study of the Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) elementary math teacher professional development (PD) program. DMI was developed by staff from Education Development Center (EDC), SummerMath for Teachers, and TERC, the STEM research and development institution responsible for this research. DMI is a well-known, commercially available PD program with substantial prior evidence showing its impact on elementary teachers' mathematical and pedagogical knowledge. However, no studies have yet linked DMI directly with changes in teachers' classroom practice, or with improved student outcomes in math. This study aims to remedy this gap.

The research questions for the study are:

1) Does participation in the Developing Mathematical Ideas (DMI) professional development program lead to increases in reform-oriented teaching?

2) Does participation in DMI lead to increases in students' mathematics learning and achievement, especially in their ability to explain their thinking and justify their answers?

3) What is the process by which a reform-oriented professional development program can influence teaching practice and, thus, student learning? Through what mechanisms does DMI have impact, and with what kinds of support do we see the desired changes on our outcome measures when the larger professional development context is examined?

The dependent variables for this study include a) teachers' pedagogical and mathematics knowledge for teaching; b) the nature of their classroom practice; and c) student learning/ achievement in mathematics.

The study uses experimental and quasi-experimental methods, working with about 195 elementary grades teachers and their students in Boston, Springfield, Leominster, Fitchburg, and other Massachusetts public schools. Volunteer teachers are randomly assigned either to PD with DMI in the first year of the efficacy study, or to a control group that will wait until the second year of the study to receive DMI PD. Both groups of teachers will be followed through two academic years. Analyses use OLS regression, hierarchical modeling, and structural equation modeling, as appropriate, to compare the two groups and to track changes over time. In this way, the project explores several aspects of a conceptual framework hypothesizing relationships among PD, teacher mathematical and pedagogical knowledge, classroom teaching practice, and student outcomes. There are multiple measures of each construct, including video-analysis of teacher practice, and a new video-based measure of teacher knowledge.

The study tests the impact of DMI in a range of districts (large urban, small urban, suburban) serving an ethnically and economically diverse mix of students. It provides much needed, rigorous evidence testing the efficacy of this reform-oriented professional development program. It also directly explores the commonplace theory that teachers' understanding of content and student thinking and their encouragement of rich mathematical discourse for student sense-making lead to improvement on measures of mathematics achievement. Findings from the study are disseminated to both research and practitioner communities. The project provides professional development in mathematics to about 195 teachers to improve their ability to teach important concepts. If the evidence for efficacy is positive, then even larger-scale use of this PD program is likely.

Differentiated Professional Development: Building Mathematics Knowledge for Teaching Struggling Learners

This project is creating and studying a blended professional development model (face-to-face and online) for mathematics teachers and special educators (grades 4-7) with an emphasis on teaching struggling math students in the areas of fractions, decimals, and positive/negative numbers (Common Core State Standards). The model's innovative design differentiates professional learning to address teachers' wide range of prior knowledge, experiences, and interests.

Award Number: 
1020163
Funding Period: 
Wed, 09/01/2010 to Wed, 08/31/2011
Project Evaluator: 
Teresa Duncan
Full Description: 

This project under the direction of the Education Development Center is creating and studying a  professional development model for middle school mathematics teachers with an emphasis on teaching struggling math students in the areas of fractions and rational numbers. There are three components to the PD for teachers: online modules, professional learning communities, and face-to-face workshops. There are four online modules 1) Fraction sense: concepts, addition, and subtraction, 2) Fraction multiplication and division; 3) Decimal and percent operations; and 4) Positive/Negative including concepts and operations. Each module is one week long. There are common sessions and special emphasis ones depending on the needs of the teacher. The project addresses three research questions: 1) To what extent do participating teachers show changes in their knowledge of rational numbers and integers, pedagogical knowledge of and beliefs about instructional practices for struggling students and abilities to use diagnostic approaches to identify and address student difficulties?; 2) To what extent do students of participating teachers increase their mathematical understanding and skill?; and 3) To what extent do students of participating teachers show positive changes in their attitudes toward learning mathematics?

In the first year of work on the professional development program, fifty-five teachers will test the initial components of the differentiated modules. In years two and three an additional 160 teachers will participate in the professional development and research to test efficacy of the professional development model. In addition to this testing, twelve teachers will be selected for intensive case studies. Teacher content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and attitudes will be assessed by various well-validated instruments, and changes in their classroom practice will be assessed by classroom observations. Effects of the teacher professional development on student learning will be evaluated by analysis of data from state assessments and by performance on selected items from NAEP and other standardized tests.

This project will result in a tested innovative model for professional development of mathematics teachers to help them with the critical challenge of assisting students who struggle in learning the core concepts and skills of rational numbers and integers. Deliverables will include the on-line modules, materials for workshop and professional learning community work, new research instruments, and research reports.

Workshop on Assessment of 21st Century Skills

This project will hold a two-day workshop on assessing 21st century skills building on two previous workshops. The previous workshops expressed the need for assessments that can measure the attainment of 21st century skills. This workshop is to describe research on assessment of 21st century skills to inform policies and practices.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0956223
Funding Period: 
Fri, 01/15/2010 to Sat, 12/31/2011
Full Description: 

The National Research Council's (NRC) Board on Testing and Assessment proposes a two-day workshop on assessing 21st century skills building on two previous workshops. The first workshop explored employer demand for employees who possess these broad transferable skills, which were defined as adaptability, complex communication, non-routine problem solving, self-management/self-development and systems thinking. The second workshop considered the intersection between science education reform goals and the 21st century skills, examined models of high quality science instruction that may develop the skills and discussed teacher readiness to integrate the skills in instruction. Both workshops expressed the need for assessments that can measure the attainment of 21st century skills. This workshop is to describe research on assessment of 21st century skills to inform policies and practices. The workshop is lead by an expert in assessment and convenes an expert committee of educational measurement specialists, cognitive psychologists and experts in job analysis and employment testing along with practitioners in schools. The committee investigates the types of assessments available and associated technical reports and designs the workshop to review them. Knowledgeable experts are commissioned to write papers and speak at the workshop. An individual author writes a summary report to be disseminated by the NRC. In the second year the NRC reconvenes the leadership of all three workshops to identify the next steps to provide research-based guidance to educational leaders seeking to infuse 21st century skills into instruction.

U.S. National Commission for Mathematics Instruction -- A Conference Grant

This project will include activities such as workshops, conferences and symposia designed to further develop the field of mathematics instruction both nationally and internationally. Specifically, the grant will support (1) a workshop on Chinese and U.S. teacher preparation; (2) a workshop on international comparative assessments in mathematics; and (3) a workshop on challenges in non-university Tertiary Mathematics Education.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0638656
Funding Period: 
Thu, 03/15/2007 to Mon, 02/28/2011
Full Description: 

The U.S. National Commission for Mathematics Instruction (USNC-MI) of the National Academy of Sciences requests a conference grant to support the Commission on cooperative research and educational activities across international boundaries. The activities include workshops, conferences and symposia designed to further develop the field of mathematics instruction both nationally and internationally. Specifically, the grant will support (1) a workshop on Chinese and U.S. teacher preparation; (2) a workshop on international comparative assessments in mathematics; and (3) a workshop on challenges in non-university Tertiary Mathematics Education.

Southeast Regional Technical Assistance and Information Workshop for Minority-serving Institutions To Broadening Participation in the National Science Foundation's Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)

This project will conduct a 1.5 day regional technical assistance and information conference/workshop for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to broaden their participation in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and informal Settings (DRL) programs. The workshop will consist of faculty institutional teams and will develop their research or program ideas and to become more skillful in the preparation and development of competitive proposals.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0948165
Funding Period: 
Tue, 09/15/2009 to Tue, 08/31/2010
Full Description: 

This is a request from Spelman College to conduct a 1.5 day regional technical assistance and information conference/workshop for Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) to broaden their participation in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and informal Settings (DRL) programs. Spelman College will invite accredited minority-serving institutions (MSIs) to participate in the workshop/conference who have not submitted proposals and/or have been unsuccessful in DRL proposal competition. The workshop will consist of approximately fifty 2-person faculty institutional teams consisting of a faculty member from an education specialty relevant to DRL programmatic activities, and a faculty member in a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) field supported by the National Science Foundation in order to develop their research or program ideas and to become more skillful in the preparation and development of competitive proposals.

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