Reading List: Recent DRK-12 Project Publications

Hold ctrl to select multiple terms within a list. Click here to view a list of all DRK-12 research and products.

Improving Prekindergarten and Elementary Science Teaching: A Synthesis of Recent DRK-12 Program Investment in This Field

This review synthesized insights from 25 NSF DRK-12 projects that studied prekindergarten (PreK) and elementary science teaching. This review covered 25 of the 27 projects funded between 2011 and 2015. We synthesized the empirical findings from interventions in four common areas: preservice PreK and elementary preparation programs, in-service teacher professional development, instructional materials for PreK and elementary teachers, and strategies for diverse learners. Many of these projects studied interventions in more than one of the common areas. Researchers found that DRK-12 projects showed promise in increasing preservice and in-service teachers’ self-efficacy and pedagogical content knowledge and students’ science content knowledge.

Author(s): Danielle Ferguson , Isabella Pinerua , Dean Gerdeman
Year: 2022

Beginning School-University Partnerships for Transformative Social Change in Science Education: Narratives From The Field

These narratives explore what it might entail to begin school–university partnerships towards the goal of transformative social changes through the voices of two women scholars of color. Using two school–university partnerships as focal cases, we unpack the complexity, tensions, and possibilities that arise through collaborations driven by the objective to promote new and more just forms of science learning within public schools. In this article, we use three key dimensions of participatory design research (namely, critical historicity, power, and relationality) as analytical lenses through which to reflect upon school–university partnerships that we are in the beginning stages of forming.

Author(s): Hosun Kang , María González-Howard
Year: 2022

Adapting Existing Curriculum for Equitable Learning Experiences

In this article, we—a team of science teachers and a university researcher—present the processes of adapting existing curricular resources to promote equitable learning experiences for diverse learners. Using a middle school ecology unit as an example, we illustrate what the modification process looks like in two key elements of designing NGSS-aligned science instruction: (a) making phenomena matter with the consideration of student identities and (b) leveraging students’ diverse ideas and questions to drive instruction.

Author(s): Nelly Tsai , Hosun Kang , Jasmine Chang , Karly Cassese
Year: 2022

Science Education and the Learning Sciences: A Coevolutionary Connection

In this chapter, we argue that the learning sciences and science education have coevolved, a co-evolution that began with the emergence of the learning sciences in the 1990s and that continues today.

Author(s): Nancy Butler Songer , Yael Kali
Year: 2022

Exploring the Viral Spread of Disease and Disinformation

The tasks described in this chapter are intended to build connections between these real-world dangers of viral spread and some relevant topics from the secondary mathematics curriculum. We also explore a link between mathematical reasoning and media literacy—the ability to discern the commercial, ideological, or political motivations of media and the recognition that receivers negotiate the meaning of messages (Aufderheide, 1993)—so that, just as we know to take safety precautions with regard to an airborne coronavirus, we can also help our students learn to take precautions against the spread of misinformation on social media.

Author(s): Samuel Otten , Julia Bemke , Jerred Webb
Year: 2022

We Strive: Initial Explorations of STEM Teachers' Successes and Challenges in Implementing Socioscientific Issues

This study explores two teachers participating in professional development workshops implementing SocioScientific Issues (SSI) into STEM classrooms. Two research questions were investigated: (a) To what extent did teachers implement SSI into their lesson plans and (b) In what ways did lessons change from the beginning of the workshop?

Author(s): Joseph Johnson , Augusto Macalalag , Becky Mathers-Lowery , Gabrielle Ialacci
Year: 2022

Theoretical Diversity and Inclusivity in Science and Environmental Education Research: A Way Forward

As distinct communities of practice (COP), science education research (SER) and environmental education research (EER) have both matured a great deal in recent decades, coming to include a greater diversity of theoretical perspectives, worldviews, and researcher and participant voices. In this paper, we present a view of theoretical inclusivity that promises a rich, robust research landscape for both EER and SER through the deliberate inclusion of non-Western theories.

Author(s): Roberta Howard Hunter , Gail Richmond
Year: 2022

Pedagogical Chemistry Sensemaking: A Novel Conceptual Framework to Facilitate Pedagogical Sensemaking in Model-based Lesson Planning

Researchers have typically identified and characterized teachers’ knowledge bases (e.g., pedagogical content knowledge and subject matter knowledge) in an effort to improve enacted instructional strategies. As shown by the Refined Consensus Model (RCM), understanding teacher learning, beliefs, and practices is predicated on the interconnections of such knowledge bases. However, lesson planning (defined as the transformation of subject matter knowledge to enacted pedagogical content knowledge) remains underexplored despite its central position in the RCM. We aim to address this gap by developing a conceptual framework known as Pedagogical Chemistry Sensemaking (PedChemSense).

Author(s): Meng-Yang M. Wu , Ellen J. Yezierski
Year: 2022

Exploring Adaptations of the VisChem Approach: Advancements and Anchors toward Particle-Level Explanations

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been imperative for informing many facets of the chemistry education research field, one of which includes the professional development (PD) of high school teachers. While many researchers and practitioners have responded to the NGSS’ calls for reform by attending to internal factors that influence the PD’s design, resources, and facilitation, there is less attention on extant factors that may negatively affect PD uptake and fidelity. Such factors encompass traditions of teaching chemistry or chemistry-related imprecisions within the NGSS themselves. If left unaddressed, these factors can act as anchors preventing advancements toward students’ particle-level explanations and their chemistry conceptual understanding. In this article, we investigate the uptake and fidelity of our own PD program known as the VisChem Institute.

Author(s): Meng-Yang Matthew Wu , Ellen J. Yezierski
Year: 2022

Dancing with Data: Embodying the Numerical and Humanistic Sides of Data

We explore the implementation of a co-designed data-dance unit in which middle school students created their own embodied metaphors to represent and communicate about graphs through dance. In analyzing dance artifacts and post-study interviews with the learners and teachers, we demonstrate how the creation of embodied metaphors in dance led to new ways of exploring the data as learners reflected on different perspectives on topics across numerical values, contexts, and implications.

Author(s): Kayla Desportes , Ralph Vacca , Marian Tes , Peter J. Woods , Camillia Matuk , Anna Amato , Megan Silander
Year: 2022

"I Happen to Be One of 47.8%": Social-Emotional and Data Reasoning in Middle School Students' Comics about Friendship

Effective data literacy instruction requires that learners move beyond understanding statistics to being able to humanize data through a contextual understanding of argumentation and reasoning in the real-world. In this paper, we explore the implementation of a co-designed data comic unit about adolescent friendships.

Author(s): Ralph Vacca , Kayla Desportes , Marian Tes , Megan Silander , Camillia Matuk , Anna Amato , Peter J. Woods
Year: 2022

Person Early College Sees Success with the Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global Program

Globally relevant, action-oriented learning, like Project-Based Inquiry (PBI) Global, is a powerful tool to increase classroom engagement and help students understand the world in which they live. Today, Person Early College for Innovation and Leadership (PECIL) is engaged in their fourth year of collaboration with the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation’s PBI Global team.

Author(s): Stephanie Policastro
Year: 2022

Training a New Generation of Problem Solvers: How Can Education Programs Develop the Problem-Solving Skills of Today's Schoolchildren and Tomorrow's STEM Workforce?

This article addresses the need and potential for students to develop problem-solving skills as part of STEM learning.

Author(s): Nancy Butler Songer
Year: 2022

Using Machine Learning to Predict Engineering Technology Students’ Success with Computer-Aided Design

Computer-aided design (CAD) programs are essential to engineering as they allow for better designs through low-cost iterations. While CAD programs are typically taught to undergraduate students as a job skill, such software can also help students learn engineering concepts. A current limitation of CAD programs (even those that are specifically designed for educational purposes) is that they are not capable of providing automated real-time help to students. To encourage CAD programs to build in assistance to students, we used data generated from students using a free, open-source CAD software called Aladdin to demonstrate how student data combined with machine learning techniques can predict how well a particular student will perform in a design task.

Author(s): Jasmine Singh , Viranga Perera , Alejandra J. Magana , Brittany Newell , Jin Wei-Kocsis , Ying Ying Seah , Greg J. Strimel , Charles Xie
Year: 2022

Revised Hurricane Module Now Available

Climate change, and the rise of the natural hazards that climate change brings, has been at the top of news feeds every week over the past year. Extreme events such as floods, droughts, and wildfires are expected to increase in the future. What does that mean for those of us living in the path of one of these hazards? Our GeoHazard project is exploring this question with middle and high school teachers and students across the country.

Author(s): Trudi Lord
Year: 2022

Models for Developing Explanations of Earth's Dynamic Plate System

This article describes a free online plate tectonics curriculum module (PT module), which offers a unique approach with two innovative tools that allow students to make connections between real-world data and plate tectonics models.

Author(s): Amy Pallant , Trudi Lord , Sarah Pryputniewicz , Scott McDonald
Year: 2022

A Web-based Tool for Participatory Science Learning in the Context of Human Psychology Research

We describe an online citizen science platform for human brain and behavior research that uses a participatory science learning approach to engage learners in the full spectrum of scientific inquiry.

Author(s): Camillia Matuk , Lucy Yetman-Michaelson , Suzanne Dikker
Year: 2022
Keywords: High, Curriculum, Science

“I Remember How to Do It”: Exploring Upper Elementary Students’ Collaborative Regulation While Pair Programming Using Epistemic Network Analysis

Students’ self-efficacy toward computing affect their participation in related tasks and courses. Self-efficacy is likely influenced by students’ initial experiences and exposure to computer science (CS) activities. Moreover, student interest in a subject likely informs their ability to effectively regulate their learning in that domain. One way to enhance interest in CS is through using collaborative pair programming. We wanted to explore upper elementary students’ self-efficacy for and conceptual understanding of CS as manifest in collaborative and regulated discourse during pair programming.

Author(s): Jessica Vandenberg , Collin Lynch , Kristy Elizabeth Boyer , Eric Wiebe
Year: 2022

It's Challenging but Doable: Lessons Learned from a Remote Collaborative Coding Camp for Elementary Students

This experience report describes lessons learned from a remote after-school camp with 24 elementary school students who participated in a series of individual and paired learning activities over three weeks. The report contributes to the understanding of remote CS learning practices, particularly for elementary school students, and we hope it will provoke methodological advancement in this important area.

Author(s): Yingbo Ma , Julianna Martinez Ruiz , Timothy D. Brow , Kiana-Alize Diaz , Adam M. Gaweda , Mehmet Celepkolu , Kristy Elizabeth Boyer , Collin F. Lynch , Eric Wiebe
Year: 2022

Digging into Data: Illustrating a Data Investigation Process

In this article, authors described the six-phase data investigation process for analyzing large-scale quantitative and categorical data.

Author(s): Hollylynne S. Lee , Gemma F. Mojica , Emily Thrasher
Year: 2022

Investigating Data Like a Data Scientist: Key Practices and Processes

As the discipline of statistics education broadens to data science education, there is a need to examine how practices in data science can inform work in K-12. We synthesize literature about statistics investigation processes, data science as a field and practices of data scientists. Further, we provide results from an ethnographic and interview study of the work of data scientists.

Author(s): Hollylynne Lee , Gemma Mojica , Emily Thrasher , Peter Baumgartner
Year: 2022

Representations of Practice Used in Mathematics Methods Courses

This preliminary study explored how many representations of standard videos, animations/comics, and 360 videos are being used in mathematics methods courses to teach future teachers. Drawing on knowledge from prior studies on standard videos, this study aimed to address the gaps in literature to encompass other representations that are being utilized and obtained.

Author(s): Christine K. Austin , Karl W. Kosko
Year: 2022

Using 360-degree Video to Explore Teachers' Professional Noticing

Professional noticing is an essential skill for teachers that is enacted by teachers via their embodied senses (sight, sound, etc.). To better understand the nature of teacher noticing, 44 preservice teachers (PSTs) viewed a 360 video of an elementary mathematics lesson while wearing virtual reality headsets. PSTs writings of what they noticed and recordings of where they turned their head while wearing the headsets during the recorded scenario were examined. Findings suggest that how PSTs positioned students and the teacher in their field of view interacted with whether and how such events were described in writing.

Author(s): Karl W. Kosko , Jennifer Heisler , Enrico Gandolfi
Year: 2022

ReLaTe-SA: An Effort to Understand Teachers’ Reasoning Language in Algebra

The ReLaTe-SA project investigates the research question: what language do teachers use to describe and explain routines in algebra classes? The goal of this article is to inform readers about some ways we have learned to describe the discourse that teachers use when solving linear equations.

Author(s): Mehmet Kirmizi
Year: 2022

Twin Skin of Raza Learners: Race, Language, and Mathematics

Through a composite counter-story from the perspective of fifth-grade Raza learners, the authors show how race and language play a role in the mathematics classroom.

Author(s): Stacy R. Jones , Carlos Nicolas Gomez Marchant
Year: 2022

Curriculum Materials Designed for the Next Generation Science Standards Show Promise

This report describes initial findings from a study of middle school science curriculum materials that were designed to promote learning as called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Author(s): Christopher J. Harris , Mingyu Feng , Robert Murphy , Daisy W. Rutstein
Year: 2022

Fourth-Grade Students' Sensemaking during Multi-step Problem Solving

The purpose of this study was to investigate fourth-grade students’ sensemaking of a word problem. Sensemaking occurs when students connect their understanding of situations with existing knowledge. We investigated students’ sensemaking through inductive task analysis of their strategies and solutions to a problem that involved determining the difference between two quantities and number of groups within the task.

Author(s): Gabriel Matney , Jonathan D.Bostic , Miranda Fox , Tiara Hicks , Toni May , Greg Stone
Year: 2022

Beyond Assessing Knowledge about Models and Modeling: Moving toward Expansive, Meaningful, and Equitable Modeling Practice

This article focused on expansive, meaningful, and equitable modeling practice.

Author(s): Christina V. Schwarz , Li Ke , Michelle Salgado , Eve Manz
Year: 2022
Keywords: Elementary, Science

No Science Fair? No Problem. Engaging Students in Science Communication through Peer Review and Publication in a Remote World

This article describes resources that are freely available to help teachers navigate the peer review and publication processes and guide their students through the successful completion of submission and publication of their research papers.

Author(s): Eddie Rodriguez , Michael Mazzola , Sarah C. Fankhauser
Year: 2022

Elementary Preservice Teachers’ Perceptions of Assessment Tasks that Measure Content Knowledge for Teaching about Matter

This study explores how 79 elementary preservice teachers perceive the relevance and importance of assessment task scenarios designed to elicit information about content knowledge for teaching (CKT) about matter and its interactions—a foundational topic for teaching physical science.

Author(s): Dante Cisterna , Allison K. Bookbinder , Jamie N. Mikeska , Heena R. Lakhani
Year: 2022

Rethinking Online Science Learning: Creating Virtual Research Experiences using Digitized Museum Specimens

This article focused on creating virtual research experiences using digitized museum specimens.

Author(s): Kirsten R. Butcher , Madlyn Larson , McKenna Lane , Mitchell J. Power
Year: 2022
Keywords: Middle, Science

Standards-Aligned Instructional Supports to Promote Computer Science Teachers' Pedagogical Content Knowledge

This position paper advocates supporting computer science (CS) teacher professional learning by supplementing existing curriculum-specific teacher professional development (PD) with standards-aligned PD that focuses on teachers' conceptual understanding of CS standards and ability to adapt instruction based on student understanding of concepts underlying the CS standards. We share concrete examples of how to design standards-aligned educative resources and instructionally supportive tools that promote teachers' understanding of CS standards and common student challenges and develop teachers' formative assessment literacy, all essential components of CS pedagogical content knowledge.

Author(s): Satabdi Basu , Daisy Rutstein , Carol Tate , Arif Rachmatullah , Hui Yang
Year: 2022

The Development and Assessment of Counting-based Cardinal Number Concepts

The give-n task is widely used in developmental psychology to indicate young children’s knowledge or use of the cardinality principle (CP): the last number word used in the counting process indicates the total number of items in a collection. Fuson (1988) distinguished between the CP, which she called the count-cardinal concept, and the cardinal-count concept, which she argued is a more advanced cardinality concept that underlies the counting-out process required by the give-n task with larger numbers. One aim of the present research was to evaluate Fuson’s disputed hypothesis that these two cardinality concepts are distinct and that the count-cardinal concept serves as a developmental prerequisite for constructing the cardinal-count concept. Consistent with Fuson’s hypothesis, the present study with twenty-four 3- and 4-year-olds revealed that success on a battery of tests assessing understanding of the count-cardinal concept was significantly and substantially better than that on the give-n task, which she presumed assessed the cardinal-count concept.

Author(s): Arthur J. Baroody , Menglung Lai
Year: 2022

Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Use of Students’ Incorrect Answers in Supporting Collective Argumentation

This study illustrates how two secondary mathematics teachers used students’ incorrect answers as they supported students’ engagement in collective argumentation.

Author(s): Yuling Zhuang , AnnaMarie Conner
Year: 2022

Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge in Mathematics and Science A Cross-Disciplinary Synthesis of Recent DRK-12 Projects

This review synthesized insights from 27 NSF-funded projects, totaling $62 million, that studied pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) in STEM education from prekindergarten (PreK) to Grade 12, split roughly equally across mathematics and science education. The projects primarily applied correlational/observational and longitudinal methods, often targeted teaching in the middle school grades, and used a wide variety of approaches to measure teachers’ PCK. The projects advanced substantive knowledge about PCK across four major lines of research, especially regarding the measurement and development of PCK.

Author(s): David Miller , Isabella Pinerua , Jonathan Margolin , Dean Gerdeman
Year: 2022

Modeling in Science Education: A Synthesis of Recent Discovery Research PreK-12 Projects

This review synthesizes findings from 18 NSF-funded projects, totaling nearly $22 million, that studied scientific modeling in science education from prekindergarten to Grade 12. The projects typically used descriptive designs to understand digital and nondigital modeling resources that help students explore scientific phenomena. Further, the projects provide initial evidence that resources supporting student modeling, such as modeling platforms and computer simulations, can promote science learning.

Author(s): Jonathan Margolin , Isabella Pinerua , Dean Gerdeman
Year: 2022

Mathematical and Scientific Argumentation in PreK-12: A Cross-Disciplinary Synthesis of Recent DRK-12 Projects

This review synthesizes insights from 23 NSF-funded projects, totaling $40 million, that studied mathematical and scientific argumentation in STEM education from prekindergarten (PreK) to Grade 12. The projects reported on both studies of argumentation interventions and naturalistic observations in “business-as-usual” settings. The projects advanced substantive knowledge about how to support student argumentation. In particular, the projects highlighted the importance of making an argument’s structure explicit and facilitating student-to-student discourse, especially with technological tools.

Author(s): Eben Witherspoon , David Miller , Isabella Pinerua , Dean Gerdeman
Year: 2022

Newcomer Emergent Bilingual Students’ Meaning-Making in Urban Biology Classrooms: A Communities of Practice Perspective

This study investigated how newcomer emergent bilinguals made meaning in two 9th-grade biology classrooms. Methods relevant to naturalistic inquiry were used to collect and analyze data. Findings indicate that newcomers bridged aspects of personal experiences with social competencies valued in classrooms through using heritage languages, engaging as brokers and collaborators, and attempting to realize goals of learning English and content simultaneously. Findings also show that misalignments between social competence and personal experience constrained meaning-making. This study illustrates a need for activities that reflect and expand newcomer resources and experiences, and for activities that can take shape through student participation.

Author(s): Mark B. Pacheco , Julie C. Brown
Year: 2022
Keywords: Biology, High, ELL