Professional Development

Teacher Professional Learning to Support Student Motivational Competencies During Science Instruction (Collaborative Research: Harris, Linnenbrink-Garcia, and Marchand)

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This collaborative project uses co-design as a strategy to develop a professional learning approach to help middle school teachers support students' motivation and engagement in the context of NGSS instruction. The project brings together motivation experts, science education researchers, and middle school science teachers. The poster outlines the project goals, introduces five motivation design principles, and describes four tools that were co-developed to support teachers' professional learning and practice for supporting student motivation.

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Sensing Science through Modeling: Developing Kindergarten Students' Understanding of Matter and Its Changes

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The Sensing Science through Modeling Matter: Kindergarten Students’ Development of Understanding of Matter and Its Changes project has developed and researched a technology-enriched curriculum to support learning about matter and its changes at the kindergarten level. Traditionally, particle-based worlds are introduced in upper elementary school when children already hold incorrect ideas that are difficult to change. Early learners have significant—and highly untapped—potential for understanding abstract concepts and reasoning in sophisticated ways.

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Strengthening STEM Teaching in Native American Serving Schools through Long-Term, Culturally Responsive Professional Development

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This is a 4-year, level II Exploratory study within the teaching strand of DRK12. The research explores the functioning and impact of a nationally-developed STEM professional development model within the Navajo Nation. Teacher participants represent the entire K-12 grade range and multiple content areas, and they all participate in an innovative STEM-content, culturally responsive, 8-month professional development fellowship. We explore the extent to which culturally responsive principles are evident in their self-authored curriculum units.

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BioGraph 2.0: Online Professional Development for High School Biology Teachers for Teaching and Learning About Complex Systems

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The purpose of this study has been to address the accessibility and efficacy of high quality professional development by modifying a successful in-person PD to be delivered on the edX platform. The PD course introduces BioGraph, a curriculum that uses computer-based simulations to teach biology concepts and complex systems ideas. The study has taken place over the last four years with teachers from across the globe, and in biology classrooms across the US and in India with teachers and students who are working with the BioGraph curriculum.

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Extending and Investigating the Impact of the High School Model-based Educational Resource (Collaborative Research: Passmore and Wilson)

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We are collaborating on a project to examine the efficacy of high school biology instructional materials that support teachers' understanding and practice of model-based reasoning as an approach to support students in developing an integrated, multidimensional understanding of science. This poster summarizes our efforts to develop assessment tasks that measure students' ability to use model-based reasoning to make sense of biological phenomena and describes our use of crowdsourced adults to pilot test the tasks.

Co-PI(s): Molly Stuhlsatz, BSCS Science Learning

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Building a Teacher Knowledge Base for the Implementation of High-Quality Instructional Resources through the Collaborative Investigation of Video Cases (Collaborative Research: Murray and Wilson)

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Analyzing Instruction in Mathematics using the TRU framework (AIM-TRU) is a research-practice partnership that is investigating the pressing problem of supporting teachers in increasing their capacity to implement high-quality instructional materials in the classroom with fidelity. Drawing upon the design-based research paradigm, the partnership has worked to co-design, investigate, and iteratively form the AIM-TRU Learning Cycle, which gives teachers the opportunity to understand the materials and how they are used in the classroom through a video-based professional learning cycle.

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Getting Unstuck: Designing and Evaluating Teacher Resources to Support Conceptual and Creative Fluency with Programming

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We are studying how an online professional learning experience for K-12 computer science teachers can be adapted for use in the classroom. Our goal is to increase teachers' conceptual and creative fluency with the Scratch programming environment. In collaboration with several teachers, we further refined our online professional learning experience for summer 2020. We have also been collaboratively developing and studying educative curriculum materials that promote both teacher and student learning and development.

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Preparing Next Generation Scientists Through Teacher and Extension Science Partnerships and Schoolyard Citizen Science Investigations in Elementary Schools

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Research shows a need for professional development (PD) that builds K-5 teachers' ability to incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) science practices into the classroom and supports their implementation of reform-minded science instruction. The Schoolyard SITES research study and PD program at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) partners elementary teachers with UNH Extension science volunteers to bring locally-relevant citizen science projects to elementary students and to increase teachers’ self-efficacy teaching science.

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Incorporating Professional Science Writing into High School STEM Research Projects

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Description: Reading, writing, revision and even publication are integral to progressing science. Yet, these skills are not emphasized in the typical high school STEM classroom. This project investigates the experiences and outcomes of secondary students who have participated in the peer-review and publication of their STEM research projects. Overall, students report increased understanding of the role of writing and publication within science, and they express higher levels of self-efficacy, confidence and identity in STEM.
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Improving the Implementation of Rigorous Instructional Materials in Middle-Grades Mathematics: Developing a System of Practical Measures and Routines (Collaborative Research: Ahn, Cobb, Jackson, and Smith)

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This project has developed practical measures, and associated routines and data representations, to support the implementation of instructional improvement strategies (e.g.,coaching) in middle-grades mathematics teaching. We will describe our classroom measures, which assess students' perspectives of key aspects of the classroom learning environment; the contributions they have made to our partner districts’ improvement efforts; and how we have attended to validity in the design and use of practical measures.

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