Classroom Practice

Infusing Engineering into Secondary-level Classes

Day: 
Fri

Participants learn about approaches to infusing or integrating engineering concepts into secondary-level science classrooms and engage in an analysis of two projects’ products and outcomes.

Date/Time: 
9:15 am - 10:45 am
Session Materials: 

The session will feature the experiences, outcomes, and materials from two engineering-oriented DR K-12 projects. The two projects, INFUSE and INSPIRES, use different approaches to teacher professional development with the goal of preparing science teachers to infuse or integrate engineering into their classrooms. They have both developed a unique set of materials designed to impact science and technology outcomes (working on a combination of curriculum development, professional development, and research). These include an engineering concept inventory, an innovation configuration map designed to assess a range of curriculum elements and pedagogical practices, engineering infused lessons, and preliminary research outcomes. In this session, participants will compare and contrast the two approaches, examine the products and outcomes, and engage in an analysis and critique of each component.

Scientific Modeling across the K–12 Continuum: Alignment between Theoretical Foundations and Classroom Interventions

Day: 
Thu

Explore methods and challenges associated with supporting and evaluating scientific modeling in K–12 classrooms in this structured poster session.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

In this interactive panel symposium, presenters will draw from a set of active DR K-12 projects to explore a diverse array of resources, models, and tools (RMTs) designed to operationalize varying perspectives on scientific modeling in elementary, middle, and secondary classrooms across disciplinary domains. The goals of the session are to 1) explore and highlight alignment between conceptual perspectives on scientific modeling and RMTs being used in these projects and 2) engage in discussion - with active participant involvement - about how these examples contribute to a broader, shared understanding of scientific modeling that can advance systemic efforts to communicate about and support scientific modeling in K-12 classrooms. 

Following a framing of the overarching challenge and core questions (e.g., What is scientific modeling? What are key questions and issues in theorizing and fostering scientific modeling?), projects will provide brief overviews of their work. A moderator will then facilitate a panel discussion on the key questions and issues introduced at the beginning of the session, followed by a whole-group, facilitated reflective discussion. Finally, through significant audience feedback, the panel will highlight themes and critical next steps in efforts to communicate and foster scientific modeling.

Preparing Teachers to Support Rich Disciplinary Discussions in Their Classrooms

Day: 
Thu

Learn about pre- or in-service teacher education activities designed to support teacher facilitation of student disciplinary discussions through enactments that illustrate teacher education activities.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

Often the most we know about our colleagues’ on-the-ground support of teachers is what we read in the methods sections of research articles, or what has been reified many times over in their published teacher learning materials. We rarely get to see, much less experience, one another’s approaches to supporting teachers. This session will open up the black-box of our work with teachers for discussion and scrutiny.

This session aims to 1) make visible the best-practices in teacher education/professional development activities designed to support teacher facilitation of student disciplinary discussions; and 2) provide an opportunity for panelists and participants to examine tacit assumptions about what teachers know – and need to know – regarding facilitating K-12 student discussions in math and science. The cross-disciplinary panel (i.e., two projects in science and one in math will be participating) allows us to compare mathematics and science discussions, and to use those comparisons to uncover models of teacher learning.

To begin, each research team will facilitate a 10-15 minute enactment of an illustrative professional development or teacher education activity, in which the audience will participate as teacher learners. This participation will support a subsequent discussion of the theoretical underpinnings guiding the design work of each project. The session will conclude with discussion of the challenges facing each project and brainstorming possible solutions.

Longitudinal Studies of Teacher Development in Elementary Mathematics and Science

Day: 
Thu

Learn about the work and findings of two longitudinal studies examining the development of knowledge, beliefs, and instructional practices among pre-service and early-career elementary teachers in mathematics and science.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

Over the past five years, research teams at Western Washington University and North Carolina State University have each conducted longitudinal studies to examine elementary teacher development in mathematics and science. Specifically, they have investigated the development of pre-service/novice teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and instructional practices during teacher preparation and into their initial years of teaching. 

During this session, participants will learn about and discuss each project’s research design, methodologies, key findings, and elements of teacher preparation that seem to be particularly instrumental in development. Participants will also learn about project-developed data collection instruments and frameworks for analyses. Together, presenters and participants will engage in broader discussion about approaches to preparing elementary mathematics and science teachers, as well as strategies for evaluating the impacts of teacher preparation, examining questions such as:

  • How do we best support the development of elementary teachers in mathematics and science during the pre-service years?
  • What are effective strategies for evaluating the impact of teacher preparation programs? 
  • As a field of teacher education, how do we leverage findings from these and other evaluation studies to impact the decisions of policymakers?

Issues in Integrating NGSS Standards and Literacy/Language Arts in Grades K–5 Science

Day: 
Thu

Join in a discussion and give feedback on the work of a project integrating science and literacy/language arts, and issues associated with designing and implementing integrated science in K–5 schools.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

The vision of meaningful learning in science from NGSS and the National Research Council’s A Framework for K-12 Science Education requires reform efforts that address 1) curricular issues (what is being taught); and 2) pedagogical practices (what teaching will look like with emphasis on both the practices of science and engineering and the integration of the Common Core State Standards – English Language Arts). This session will highlight integrated instructional activities at the elementary level that are being implemented in one DR K-12 project and being developed and piloted in another, newly funded project. Similarities and differences across the two models will be highlighted along with issues associated with classroom implementation of the three components of NGSS and the integration of literacy.

First, participants will engage in identifying persistent curricular problems in the implementation of K-5 science. Then, by examining representative project-developed curriculum modules, they will discuss how and to what degree the modules illustrate NGSS and literacy standards while maintaining conceptual coherence, advancing both student learning and classroom instruction, and enabling schools to meet current accountability mandates. Results from one of the projects will provide the basis for a discussion about how the NGSS and literacy can be logically combined and feasible to implement in authentic classroom settings. Finally, presenters and participants will discuss ways in which the two integrated instructional models might serve as optional alternatives for school districts while still accomplishing the broad-based national goals.

Improving Student Learning and Teacher Practice in Mathematics: A Focus on Formative Assessment

Day: 
Thu

Join a discussion with panelists from several projects about project model designs, initial findings, and implementation challenges associated with formative assessment in mathematics.

Date/Time: 
2:15 pm - 3:45 pm
Session Materials: 

In this session, four projects will share their work on formative assessment and mathematics learning trajectories, and participants will discuss the implications for formative assessment practices in mathematics.

The session begins by focusing on an analysis of survey responses from mathematics educators who work with teachers. Respondents indicated that they 1) viewed formative assessment as important; 2) employed different instructional frameworks in their work with teachers; but 3) did not regularly highlight formative assessment in relation to these frameworks. Based on these findings, presenters have worked with experts on various instructional frameworks to sharpen the focus on formative assessment.

Next, the Improving Formative Assessment to Support Teaching (iFAST) Algebra project will describe their work developing instructional resources to support teachers in meeting the challenges set by CCSS-M for students’ learning. This includes developing learning trajectories for algebra that inform their work with middle school teachers to enhance their use of formative assessment.

The Ongoing Assessment Project (OGAP) combines formative assessment techniques with learning trajectories into tools, resources, and sustained professional development for elementary teachers. They will share impacts on teacher knowledge and student outcomes and describe how teachers are enacting OGAP in their classrooms, with a focus on school conditions that contribute to within- and across-school variation in implementation.

Finally, the Completing and Validating Learning Trajectories 6-8 project will discuss a hierarchical digital learning map organized around big ideas in mathematics with underlying learning trajectories to help teachers and students navigate the CCSS-M. It features a diagnostic assessment system, digitally scored to provide feedback on trajectory progress in real time.

After these overviews, presenters and participants will discuss the implications of this work for the field.

Culturally Responsive Education

Day: 
Thu

Review themes related to culturally responsive STEM instruction, and generate ideas for advancing research and practice in this area.

Date/Time: 
11:15 am - 12:00 pm
Facilitators: 
Session Materials: 

Problematizing and Assessing Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Ways of Thinking

Day: 
Thu

Engage with presenters as they discuss assessment and rubrics designed to measure secondary teachers’ mathematical habits of mind.

Date/Time: 
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Session Materials: 

Work in secondary mathematics education takes many approaches to content, pedagogy, professional development and assessment. This session aims to illuminate the richness of hte content of secondary mathematics and the field of secondary mathematics education by sharing two such approaches and reflecting on the differences and commonalities between the two.   

In this session, Kevin Moore and Jason Silverman will address the question, “How do we work with teachers in ways that are sensitive to their ways of thinking, yet support shifts in their ways of thinking that influence their practice?” and share the following:

  • Research on teachers’ ways of thinking for function, variables, and rate of change including how these ways of thinking influence their use of mathematical representations;
  • Tasks and products that have been used to identify these ways of thinking and then support teachers in professional growth; and  
  • Implications of their work for professional development and teacher change.

Sarah Sword will address the question, “What are the mathematical habits of mind (MHoM) that secondary teachers use, how do they use them, and how can we measure them?” and share:

  • MHoM definitions and relationships to Mathematical Practices;
  • Tasks and rubrics from a paper-pencil assessment measuring how teachers use MHoM when they do mathematics for themselves; and
  • Data from field tests and examples of uses by other projects.

Panelists will then share thoughts on what the perspectives have in common and what distinguishes them, followed by general discussion and Q&A.

Perspectives on Solution Diversity and Divergent Thinking in K–12 Engineering Design Learning Experiences

Day: 
Thu

Consider multiple approaches to valuing, supporting, and studying the diversity of students’ solutions to design problems through poster presentations and small-group discussion.

Date/Time: 
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Session Materials: 

“Solution diversity” has been proposed as one key characteristic that distinguishes engineering design from other disciplinary pursuits. Engineering designers recognize that for any design problem, there will be multiple acceptable solutions, and informed designers have been found to strive for “idea fluency” through divergent thinking techniques that assist them in exploring the design space (Crismond & Adams, 2012). In a K-12 classroom, when students in one classroom employ not only a range of problem-solving approaches, but also generate a diverse set of task outcomes, teachers may find new challenges and opportunities for learning and assessment.

This session aims to shed light on the following questions: In what ways do researchers, teacher collaborators, or students value a diverse set of solutions to design problems, and how do these values influence assessment, teacher professional development, and the design of instructional strategies and scaffolds?

To begin, researchers from six DR K-12 projects will offer brief poster presentations that represent their their initial answers. Participants will then join small- and large-group discussions around these questions. Finally, the session discussant (Christian Schunn) will share his reflections on the conversations and facilitate a final Q&A session.

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