Explore over 300 DR K-12 projects that are transforming STEM education through their innovative research and development. 

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BSCS Science: An Inquiry Approach -- A Phase II Proposal

Pamela Van Scotter, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project is developing a three-year science program for grades 9, 10, and 11. This program presents the core concepts in physical science, life science, earth-space science, and inquiry as articulated in the National Science Education Standards. The program also engages students in integration across the disciplines in relevant, social contexts to address other standards, and provides high school students and teachers nationwide with a coherent alternative to the traditional sequence of biology, chemistry, and...

Center for the Study of Mathematics Curriculum

Barbara Reys, University of Missouri
This project will advance the research base and leadership capacity supporting K-12 mathematics curriculum design, analysis, implementation and evaluation. It will serve the K-12 educational community by focusing scholarly inquiry and professional development around the issues of mathematics curriculum, examining and characterizing their role and influence on both teaching and student learning. The Center will test strategies and produce new knowledge about the impact of curriculum materials on student and teacher learning.

Linking Middle & Early High School Science & Mathematics Assessment Items to Local, State & National Content Standards

George DeBoer, American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
This project is developing a bank of mathematics and science assessment items and related tools aligned with state and national content standards that will be available to test developers, curriculum developers, researchers, teachers, teacher educators, parents and students. Specific tools will include a bank of about 300 test items, assessment maps and the inclusion of materials that target students with English as a second language.

Science in Global Issues: An Integrated High School Science Course

Barbara Nagle, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
Project staff are developing a two-year integrated science course for grades 9–10. The Science and Global Issues course includes a complete year of new material, along with a major revision to the Science and Sustainability high school course. This two-year sequence will complete the SEPUP sequence for grades 6–10. When these courses are published, they will provide the equivalent of a year-long biology course and a semester each of chemistry and physics.

Industry-Education Partnership: A Model for the Teacher Professional Continuum

Sandra Harpole, Mississippi State University (MSU)
This is a project to develop a learning community model that spans the educational continuum. It connects teacher research participation experience (TRE) projects and science, technology, and mathematics (STM) industry and university scientists/professionals to research the factors that contribute to the success of such a model. It will mine both the Principal Investigator's and TRE projects, education and industry partnership immersion projects, and provide new education/workplace experiences for STM participants.

Engineering Inquiry-based Learning Modules for Technology Education

Julia Ross, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Project staff are developing modular instructional materials for students. The materials are designed to increase the awareness of and interest in career opportunities in engineering and technology. The modules use authentic, real-world engineering applications and hands-on experiences to build problem-solving skills and contribute to the technological literacy of secondary students. The modules specifically target the ITEA Content Standards for Technological Literacy and related benchmarks.

Videocases for Science Teaching Analysis (ViSTA)

Kathleen Roth, LessonLab, Inc.
This project develops video-case modules for use in pre-service teacher preparation programs. Modules target specific grade bands (K-3, 4-5, 6-8) and address standards-based content domains, to help future teachers deepen their content knowledge, pedagogic skills and ability to analyze student thinking. The cases illustrate reform classroom practices and more traditional instruction, include interviews with teachers and students, and incorporate a set of analytic tasks that promote users' critical observations of the cases.

Developing a Professional Learning Community Model for Secondary Precalculus Teachers: A Model for Teacher Professional Growth

Patrick Thompson, Arizona State University (ASU)
This project is producing a model for a Professional Learning Community (PLC) for pre-calculus teachers in secondary schools. It generates research knowledge from cycles of (1) defining, (2) studying and (3) refining the model and its components. The project leadership team are then be able to describe the support structure, group processes and tools needed to assist secondary pre-calculus teachers in providing high quality instruction for their students.

Curriculum Topic Study -- A Systematic Approach to Utilizing National Standards and Cognitive Research

Page Keeley, Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance (MMSA)
This project is developing a series of print and web resource guides in science and mathematics based on curriculum topic study (CTS), an approach developed and tested successfully. CTS is used to provide a systematic way of intellectually engaging K-12 mathematics and science teachers with national standards and cognitive research. It is used to engage teachers in thought and discussion about both content and appropriate ways of teaching that content.

Promoting Science Among English Language Learners (P-SELL) within a High-stakes Testing Policy Context

Okhee Lee, University of Miami (UM)
Project staff are examining and improving elementary school teachers’ knowledge, beliefs, and practices involving their teaching of science to English language learners (ELL) within the policy context of high-stakes testing and accountability in science. The four major research and development areas are (1) teachers’ initial knowledge, beliefs, and practices; (2) professional development intervention; (3) policy contexts; and (4) change over time in teachers and ELL students.

Video Interactions for Teaching and Learning (VITAL): A Learning Environment for Courses in Early Childhood Mathematics Education

Frank Moretti, Columbia University
This project enhances and expands video-based instruction to help prospective and practicing teachers analyze the development of children's mathematical thinking. It trains teachers to: (a) understand from a cognitive developmental psychology perspective how children learn and think about mathematics; (b) assess children's mathematical knowledge and plan instructional activities accordingly; (c) develop an evidence-based understanding of effective and developmentally appropriate teaching methods and curricula; and (d) develop a basic understanding of key mathematical concepts.

CENSNet: An Architecture for Authentic Web-based Science Inquiry in Middle and High School

William Sandoval, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
This project provides middle school students and teachers access to live scientific data from the Center for Embedded Networked Sensing, and curriculum modules built around sensor networks that target core life science content and inquiry standards. This Web-based architecture allows students from ethnically diverse urban schools, typically underserved by technological innovation, to explore the same data that scientists use, and develops and evaluates fading technological and pedagogical scaffolds for inquiry as students gain competence.

Communication in Science Inquiry Project (CISIP)

Michael Lang, Maricopa Community Colleges, Arizona State University (ASU)
CISIP is a professional development program that enables English and science teachers to help students to learn content and communicate scientifically. The CISIP program: Translates How Students Learn Science in the Classroom and Common Core State Standards for student success; targets learning within a classroom discourse community that focuses on argumentation; and takes a team of science and English teachers at schools from middle level through university who collaborate.

Connecting Science and Literacy Program: Professional Development Resources for Elementary Teachers

Karen Worth, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
This project is developing multi-media professional development resources that will enhance PreK-8 teachers' understanding of how to employ instructional strategies from the field of literacy in developing students' scientific understanding. Four modules are resources on specific uses of science literacy; four are case studies offering examples of best practices, including video components. The 9th module provides an introduction to the theoretical underpinnings and research studies that support linking science and literacy.

Problem-Based Learning Designed for Science and Mathematics Professional Development

Jan Eberhardt, Michigan State University (MSU)
This project aims to: (1) develop, implement and study the impact of a subject matter-focused, Problem-based Learning professional development model; and to (2) design ways of incorporating Problem-Based Learning (PBL) into key subject matter and teacher preparation courses taken by pre-service teachers, and study the impact on pre-service teachers' learning. This project is designed with and for teams of K-12 science and mathematics teachers from school districts of mid-Michigan.

ThEMaTe: Thought Experiments in Mathematics Teaching

Patricio Herbst, University of Michigan (UM)
This project seeks to understand the practical rationality that undergirds teachers’ actions as they meet subject-specific goals of the teaching of algebra and geometry. The study develops a collection of representations of teaching that showcase possible classroom episodes and allows practitioners to ponder alternatives in teaching. The representations are built on computer animations and other forms of sequential art that display action over time.

Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos (CEMELA)

Marta Civil, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC Chapel Hill)
The goal of the Center for the Mathematics Education of Latinos/as is to advance the field of mathematics education by: (A) Developing an integrated model that connects mathematics teaching and learning to the cultural, social, and linguistic contexts of Latino/as students and (B) Increasing the number of mathematics educators and teachers with this integrated knowledge to ultimately improve the mathematics education of Latinos/as, particularly those of low-income backgrounds. ...

Learning in Practice: New Possibilities for Teacher Professional Education in Science

Ann Rosebery, TERC, Inc.
This project promotes teacher "learning in practice" to bring out and build on the cognitive strengths of their students for science learning in the classroom. Understanding the broader contexts of their student’s lives will enable teachers to make teaching more effective and relevant for their students. Teachers and researchers collaborate to develop theories of action, document and disseminate practices that support teacher learning, and design a model for sustainable, school-wide improvement of science education.

Nurturing Mathematics Dreamkeepers

Patricia Marshall, North Carolina State University (NC State)
This study targets elementary schools with a documented achievement gap between White American and African American students and investigates: (a) the ways K-2 teachers draw upon their current knowledge (mathematical, cultural, pedagogical) to make sense of African American students' conceptions; (b) how teachers might advance their practice through understanding of the relationship between students' cultural experiences and mathematical conceptions; and (c) to what extent this advancement brings forth solid foundations in mathematics among all students.

Developing the Next Generation of Middle School Science Materials -- Investigating and Questioning Our World through Science and Technology (Collaborative Research: Krajcik)

Joseph Krajcik, University of Michigan (UM)
This project is developing a comprehensive science curriculum for grades 6-8. The materials are organized around driving questions that provide a context to motivate students as they use their knowledge and skills in scientific practices, and contain hands-on experiences, technology tools and reading materials that extend students' first-hand experiences of phenomena and support science literacy.

Developing the Next Generation of Middle School Science Materials--Investigating and Questioning Our World through Science and Technology (Collaborative Research: Reiser)

Brian Reiser, Northwestern University (NU)
This project will design a comprehensive science curriculum for grades 6-8, in which learning performances drive the design of activities and assessments in order to specify how students should be able to use the scientific ideas and skills outlined in standards. The materials contain hands-on experiences, technology tools and reading materials that extend students' first-hand experiences of phenomena and support science literacy.

The Professional Learning Community Model for Alternative Pathways in Teaching Science and Mathematics (PLC-MAP)

Bruce Herbert, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
This project will develop a Professional Learning Community (PLC) model for engaging science and education researchers from a university with science and mathematics faculty at community colleges to increase the number, quality and diversity of middle school and high school mathematics and science teachers; apply design-based research to assess the effectiveness and replicability of the PLC model; and disseminate replicable project and research findings.

NCLT: A Center to Develop Nanoscale Science and Engineering Educators with Leadership Capabilities

R.P.H Chang, Northwestern University (NU)
The Nanoscale Science and Engineering Education (NSEE) Center for Learning and Teaching (NCLT) would focus on the research and development of nano-science instructional resources for grades 7-16, related professional development opportunities for 7-12 teachers, and programs infused with nano-science content for education doctoral students.

Foundation Science: A Comprehensive High School Science Curriculum

Jacqueline Miller, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
This project is developing a comprehensive science curriculum for grades 9-11 and related professional development materials. The curriculum prepares students for high stakes testing, accommodates a new understanding about how students learn, updates teacher content and pedagogical knowledge and serves an increasingly diverse student population. The curriculum consists of eight one-semester modules -- two each in biology, chemistry, Earth science, and physics.

A Longitudinal Comparison of the Effects of the Connected Mathematics Program and Other Curricula on Middle School Students' Learning of Algebra

Jinfa Cai, University of Delaware (UD)
This project compares the effects on algebraic learning when using the Connected Math Program to the effects of using other (non-NSF supported) middle school mathematics curriculum materials at the middle school level. The algebra focus skills/concepts to be assessed are: conceptual understanding and problem solving; algebraic manipulative skills; solution strategies, representations and mathematical justifications.

Effective Use of Mathematical Instructional Materials

June Mark, Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC)
This project aims to identify and organize research that is most useful to K-12 mathematics curriculum decision makers and to develop improved mechanisms for them to make good use of such research. Products will include research reports and an annual seminar. The goal is to create an infrastructure designed to support K-12 mathematics leaders in their efforts to better use research to inform curricular decision-making processes.

Inquiry-based High School Biology Using Sea Urchin Fertilization and Development

David Epel, Stanford University
This project uses sea urchin embryos to provide a curriculum module for inquiry-based biology. The curriculum is provided via a new open access website. It addresses several of the National Science Content Standards and provides a range of activities suitable for all levels of high school biology. It will provide instructional support materials such as video demonstrations, animations, time lapse videos and image galleries relevant to each exercise, as well as professional development materials.

Addressing the Needs of the Nation's Physics Teachers through State-of-the-art Video Applications and Contemporary Pedagogy (Collaborative Research: Zollman)

Dean Zollman, Kansas State University (KSU)
This project extends the Physics Teaching Web Advisory (Pathway) to the full curriculum. Pathway's Synthetic Interviews and related video materials provide pre-service and out-of-field in-service teachers with much needed professional development and well-prepared teachers with new perspectives on teaching physics. Pathway combines state-of-the-art digital video library technology, developed pedagogical advances and materials contributed by master teachers. This dynamic digital library provides continuous assistance and expertise for teachers.

Addressing the Needs of the Nation's Physics Teachers through State-of-the-art Video Applications and Contemporary Pedagogical Theory (Collaborative Research: Stevens)

Scott Stevens, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)
This project builds upon the prototype Physics Teaching Web Advisory (Pathway), which was designed to demonstrate the ability to address issues related to the lack of preparation of many physics teachers, and to provide resources that can enliven even the most expert physics teachers' classrooms. Pathway combines state-of-the-art digital video library technology, pedagogical advances and materials contributed by master teachers.

Improving the Effectiveness of Teacher Diagnostic Skills and Tools

Stamatis Vokos, Seattle Pacific University (SPU)
In this project teachers are introduced to the \"Diagnoser\" software and diagnostic testing both in workshops and online environments. The project is categorizing facets of student thinking in three more content areas: Properties of Matter, Heat and Temperature, and the Particulate Nature of Matter for students in grades five to ten. The project is also developing a framework for using diagnostic classroom tools in the delivery of professional development.

Professional Development Threading Content, Pedagogy and Curriculum: A Study of Classroom Impact

Jonathan Singer, University of South Carolina (USC)
The project investigates the impact of a professional development program on middle school science teachers' ability to enact pedagogical strategies, learning technologies and materials that align with the current science and technology education standards. The project measures teacher's science content understanding, the nature of the teacher's perceptions of constructivist learning environments, observations of the teacher's pedagogical strategies and students' science content learning.

Project BEST: Better Education for Science Teachers

Janet Carlson, Biological Sciences Curriculum Study, Inc. (BSCS)
This project studies the influence of a professional development program on teachers' PCK and the related impact of PCK on student learning .The proposal team will design and deliver a professional development program for science teachers that is based on the use of curriculum materials, professional development, integrates efforts to improve secondary science teachers' content knowledge, pedagogical knowledge and skill, and helps them to apply this knowledge to the context of their own classroom.

Interactive Virtual Intelligent System for Scientific Inquiry in a Biology Learning Environment (Project INVISSIBLE)

Brian Butz, Temple University
This project is developing, testing, refining, and evaluate an intelligent, interactive, multimedia system. This intelligent tutoring system will provide high school biology students a virtual, hands-on, multimedia learning environment. It is designed to: 1) develop an innovative curricular approach for scientific literacy that is driven by national standards; 2) develop an intelligent tutoring system; 3) create an exportable Project Development Model; and 4) disseminate achievement of the above goals to science and educational communities.

Investigating the Needs of Elementary School Teachers of Mathematics at Different Points During Sustained Professional Development

Randolph Philipp, San Diego State University (SDSU)
This project seeks to map a trajectory for the evolution of elementary school mathematics teachers engaged in sustained professional development. The goal of the project is to identify and understand the evolution of elementary school mathematics teachers' changing perspectives and needs as they participate in professional development. Drawing from a pool of more than 500 teachers, the sample includes 120 elementary school mathematics teachers engaged in sustained professional development for different lengths of time.

Engineering is Elementary: Engineering and Technology Lessons for Children

Christine Cunningham, Museum of Science, Boston
This project is developing lessons to engage students in grades 1-5 in engineering activities integrated with their science lessons. The project addresses the need to develop a broad understanding of what engineers do and the uses and implications of the technologies they create. The goals of the project are to increase the technological literacy of the students and to increase elementary teacher’s understanding of technology and engineering, to enable them to teach these subjects.

Connecting Content and Pedagogical Education of Pre-service Teachers (CONCEPT)

Douglas Lapp, Central Michigan University
The primary goal of the project is to enhance secondary mathematics teacher education for pre-service teachers by developing, implementing and disseminating resources from a four-course curriculum that brings together the study of mathematics content and pedagogy. Three of the courses are problem-based technology enhanced (PBTE) courses in Algebra and Calculus, Geometry, and Probability and Statistics. A fourth course is a capstone course in Teaching and Learning Secondary School Mathematics.

What Influences Teachers' Modifications of Curriculum?

David Hammer, University of Maryland (UMD)
This project is based on the assumption that teachers often make modifications to curriculum; reordering, skipping or adding lessons, changing an "exploration" into a lecture, and so on. This project pursues three related questions: What types of modifications do teachers make (and why), which types of modifications best help students learn, and how do teachers' modifications change in response to professional development activities designed to help them become more attuned to students' thinking?

Teacher Learning of Technology-Enhanced Formative Assessment

William Gerace, University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC Greensboro)
This research study investigates the impact of the wireless environment on high school science resulting in a professional development model that will inform professional developers, administrators, policy-makers and teachers. The project uses in-depth case studies to examine context factors (e.g. technology implementation plans, school culture, extent and type of teacher professional development and teacher background) and critical interactions that may influence science instructional practice in wireless high school science classrooms.

Policy Research Initiatives in Science Education (PRISE) to Improve Teaching and Learning in High School Science

Carol Stuessy, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
This project will use a systems approach to link educational research with policy development to lead to the development of an articulated and coherent system of continuous professional career development that improves the quality of science teaching and makes significant contributions to reducing the current national shortage of qualified high school science teachers.

Exploring the Development of Beginning Secondary Science Teachers in Various Induction Programs

Julie Luft, Arizona State University (ASU)
This research study focuses on the impact of different teacher preparation and induction models, as well as on the quality and persistence of secondary science teachers. Combining the strengths of case-based research with a quasi-experimental design this study will follow 120 secondary science teachers for three years from four different and well characterized preservice - induction programs.

Development of K-8 Teachers' Knowledge and the Transition from University Student to Professional

John Madsen, University of Delaware (UD)
This study examines changes in preservice and inservice K-8 teachers' understandings of science and pedagogy across a reform-based Professional Development Continuum. It researches how teachers' knowledge develops across inquiry learning experiences and how undergraduate learning experiences and the contexts of classroom practice shape new teachers' understandings and practice. The study is expected to inform models of STEM teacher education that account for the interwoven intellectual and personal dimensions of the challenging transition to inquiry-based teaching.

Mentored and Online Development of Educational Leaders for Science (MODELS)

Marcia Linn, University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)
The project provides a detailed research plan to build on a university-based mentor model to design school-based approaches. It addresses two challenges of implementing professional development: a) transitioning professional development to schools and b)assessing its effects on teacher and student learning. It is common for curricula to be introduced to teachers through university-based professional development programs, but its transition to schools requires careful planning, monitoring and support from the university at the initial stages.

Investigating the Meaningfulness of Preservice Programs Across the Continuum of Teaching (IMPPACT) in Science Education

John Tillotson, Syracuse University (SU)
This project investigates the longitudinal impact of science teacher education programs on middle and secondary science teachers and their students across critical developmental stages of the teacher professional continuum. The research generates information on how individuals develop pedagogical and content knowledge in science throughout their preservice program and professional careers, and how their needs evolve. The study is identifying the linkages between science teachers' beliefs and practices and how they impact student achievement scores.

Learning to RECAST Students' Causal Assumptions in Science Through Interactive Multimedia Professional Development Tools

Tina Grotzer, Harvard University
This project produced and is testing a website with tools to help teachers identify when students’ science learning may be limited by how they construe the underlying causal structure of the concepts. It demonstrates students’ difficulties and a pedagogical approach to help them recast their explanations to align them with the causal structure in the scientifically accepted explanations. The site focuses on middle school with in-depth examples in density...

The Impact of Online Professional Development: An Experimental Study of Professional Development Modalities Linked to Curriculum

Daniel Edelson, University of Michigan (UM)
This project is designed to enhance understanding of how online professional development environments contribute to teach learning, changes in classroom practice and changes in student learning in comparison to face-to-face professional development. Using secondary school teachers learning to use a reformed-oriented environmental science curriculum, groups of teachers will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) traditional face-to-face workshop, (2)self-guided online professional development, or (3)online “short course” professional development guided by a facilitator.

The Advanced Mathematics for All Project

Phillip Uri Treisman, University of Texas, Austin
This project is creating a system of online and face-to-face support services to strengthen the teaching and learning of Algebra II. The resources will make use of technology, will differentiate support for teachers in various stages of their careers and will aim to serve teachers of under-achieving populations of students. Support will be provided for four critical aspects of a teacher's work: Instructional planning, instructional delivery, instructional outcomes assessment and professional capacity development.

Understanding Science - Improving Achievement of Middle School Students Through Content-rich Professional Development Grounded in Classroom Practice

Steven Schneider, WestEd
This project is producing two professional development modules for middle school science teachers, one on Force and Motion (emphasizing teaching English learners) and the second on Energy and Chemical Change (emphasizing the integration of literacy). Guides for staff developers will accompany the resources.

Research on the Effectiveness of the Observing for Evidence of Learning Professional Development Model for Improving Grades 6-8 Science Instruction

Leroy Hood, Institute for Systems Biology
This project is performing a randomized and controlled study of the effectiveness of the Observing for Evidence of Learning (OEL) professional development model in increasing student learning of standards-based science curriculum for grades 6-8. OEL will employ an adaptation of the successful Japanese Lesson Study program, a highly structured school-based professional development program. The program is based on a successfully implemented Local Systemic Change program (MASE) in Las Vegas, NV.

Project NEXUS: The Maryland Upper Elementary/Middle School Science Teacher Professional Continuum Model

J Randy McGinnis, University of Maryland (UMD)
This study examines a pre-service model for preparing minority students to teach upper elementary/middle level science. The treatment consists of (1) recruitment efforts by collaborating universities; (2) a pre-service science content course (3) internship in an after school program serving minority students; (4) field placements in minority-serving development schools; and (5) mentoring during the induction year.The website includes an innovative qualitative methodology using drawings as data and offers lesson plans and an action research guide...

Change Associated with Readiness, Education and Efficacy in Reform Science (CAREERS)

Betty Young, University of Rhode Island (URI)
This study brings together researchers from education, psychology and the sciences and scholar-practitioners to examine the factors that can be addressed in the preparation of both pre-service and in-service teachers to guide elementary children in exploratory and inquiry-based science lessons. The goal is to develop models that describe the interconnections among key constructs in order to reexamine the content of elementary science methods courses, mentoring for early career teachers, professional development opportunities and coaching.

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