Conference

A Research Design Conference: How Can Digital Resources Increase Collaboration and Support Teachers Implementing Standards?

A two day workshop/colloquium will be hosted at Northwestern University and is focused on the use of video and online learning in support of the College and CAREER Readiness Standards.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1348695
Funding Period: 
Thu, 08/15/2013 to Thu, 07/31/2014
Full Description: 

The Teaching Channel is hosting two day workshop/colloquium at Northwestern University focused on the use of video and online learning in support of the College and CAREER Readiness Standards. The three research questions are: 1) How can these tools increase discussion, inquiry and reporting of teacher progress on the standards through data sharing and writing? (2) What research tools can be deployed to determine the efficacy of these tools and their potential for scale? and (3) How can video and on line professional development tools best support teachers in a time of increasing accountability and change?

The outcomes of the workshop include research briefs and a summary paper. These will be posted on the Teaching Channel resource cite.

Science as a Context for English Language Development: Exploring the Practical and Theoretical Implications for Teacher Professional Development

This is a 2-day conference that will examine current strategies, issues and future challenges related to teacher professional development regarding integrating inquiry-oriented science instruction and English Language Development (ELD) for K-5 students. The conference convenes 40 researchers and professional development practitioners who examine theory and practice in inquiry-based science instruction and ELD.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1316537
Funding Period: 
Sun, 09/01/2013 to Mon, 08/31/2015
Full Description: 

The Exploratorium's Institute for Inquiry (IFI) has planned a 2-day conference that will examine current strategies, issues and future challenges related to teacher professional development regarding integrating inquiry-oriented science instruction and English Language Development (ELD) for K-5 students. The conference convenes 40 researchers and professional development practitioners who examine theory and practice in inquiry-based science instruction and ELD, focusing on three overall objectives:

1. Learn how inquiry-oriented science instruction can provide a good context for learning English and science.

2. Address the conceptual challenges and perspectives that inquiry-oriented science instruction and ELD present.

3. Articulate the issues that the challenges of inquiry science and ELD present to professional development programs that support teachers in adapting their knowledge and classroom practice to an integrated science/ELD approach.

The conference keynote, delivered by Guadalupe Valdés, addresses the language demands and opportunities that are introduced in the science and engineering practices described in the National Research Council?s Framework for K-12 Science Education and the NGSS. (The framework is based on a recent article co-authored by Valdés.) Participants include practitioners and researchers in science education, teacher education, professional development, language acquisition, and bilingual education. The conference will combine presentations providing overviews of current research and practice, combined with the use of case studies and working sessions to arrive at overall recommendations for directions for future research, professional development and practice.

Key conference outcomes include:

- A set of research questions.

- A set of principles and guidelines for professional development related to ELD and science.

- Articles submitted to journals and professional publications by conference organizers and participants that will disseminate conference ideas, as well as conference presentations.

- Partnerships developed between practitioners and researchers.

- Case studies published on the IFI website.

- Continuing dialogue via blogs, webinars, and the IFI website.

Conference outcomes will be disseminated through research and professional development journals, conference presentations, and the IFI website.

Illuminating Learning by Splitting: A Learning Analytics Approach to Fraction Game Data Analysis

This project uses learning analytics and educational data mining methods to examine how elementary students learn in an online game designed to teach fractions using the splitting model. The project uses data to examine the following questions: 1) Is splitting an effective way to learn fractions?; 2) How do students learn by splitting?; 3) Are there common pathways students follow as they learn by splitting?; and 4) Are there optimal pathways for diverse learners?

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1338176
Funding Period: 
Mon, 07/01/2013 to Wed, 12/31/2014
Full Description: 

Mathematical literacy is a critical need in our increasingly technological society. Fractions have been identified as a key area of understanding, both for success in Algebra and for access to higher-level mathematics. The project uses learning analytics and educational data mining methods to examine how elementary students learn in Refraction, an online game designed to teach fractions using the splitting model. The project uses the data from a pre- and posttest of fraction understanding and log data from 3000 third-grade students' gameplay to examine the following questions:

1) Is splitting an effective way to learn fractions?

2) How do students learn by splitting?

3) Are there common pathways students follow as they learn by splitting?

4) Are there optimal pathways for diverse learners?

Splitting is a well-known theory of fraction learning and has significant expert buy in. However, few of the research questions above can be advanced past the field's present level of understanding with either current qualitative or quantitative methods. By using data mining methods such as cluster analysis, association rule mining, and predictive analysis, the project provides numerous insights about student learning through splitting, including: classification of learning profiles exhibited in unstructured learning environments, common mistakes and sense-making patterns, the value or cost of exploration in learning, and the best path through learning for different students (such as those who score low on a pre-test).

The project staff shares the methods and results through traditional and novel outlets for maximum impact on the field and on policy. In addition to conferences and journal publications, the principal investigator is working in several contexts in which this work is an exemplar of new ways the field can develop understanding of learning. In addition, many of these contexts have connections to efforts such as the Chief State School Officers' Shared Learning Collaborative, leading to a high probability that the findings and products can quickly impact large numbers of schools across the country.

Science Assessment Planning Among State Teams

This is a three-day conference designed to support the development and use of K-12 formative and summative assessments aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012).

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1316691
Funding Period: 
Thu, 08/15/2013 to Thu, 07/31/2014
Full Description: 

This is a three-day conference designed to support the development and use of K-12 formative and summative assessments aligned with the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012). The focal point of the conference is to build a shared understanding of the instructional and assessment shifts required by this framework, the types of student classroom and assessment work that yields evidence of student competence, and the key considerations in the development of engaging, responsive, and broadly accessible resources.

The conference hosts two integrated events: (1) an Invitational Research Symposium on Science Assessment with assessment and science education specilaists to analyze challenging constructs within the new science education framework from a measurement perspective; and (2) a State Collaboratives on Assessment and Student Standards working session with states' representatives to develop deep understanding of the most challenging and cutting-edge learning goals embedded in the framework. To achieve its purpose, Educational Testing Service joins efforts with the Council of Chief State School Officers, the Council of State Science Supervisors, and the Alliance for Excellent Education.

The conference outcomes are (1) a set of newly conceptualized science tasks (from state science specialists) aligned with the vision of the new science education framework for science proficiency; and (2) a set of templates, tools, and processes that state teams can use in their jurisdictions (a) to conduct capacity-building sessions, and (b) to ensure that resources address the hard-to-measure constructs articulated in the new science education framework.

Smarter Together Working Conference: Developing a Shared Curriculum of Complex Instruction for Elementary Mathematics Methods Courses

This working conference will help university professors who teach elementary mathematics methods courses learn to use Complex Instruction, a research-proven pedagogy for building mathematical content knowledge and supporting the learning of diverse students.

Award Number: 
1461833
Funding Period: 
Thu, 08/01/2013 to Fri, 07/31/2015
Full Description: 

This working conference will help university professors who teach elementary mathematics methods courses learn to use Complex Instruction, a research-proven pedagogy for building mathematical content knowledge and supporting the learning of diverse students. In Complex Instruction, educators design tasks that require multiple mathematical abilities to solve. For example, solving a particular task might require computational skills as well as the ability to visualize a 3-dimensional object and represent that object on paper. Through this mathematical complexity, the tasks demand that students engage deeply with mathematics and draw on each others' mathematical strengths. In addition, in Complex Instruction teachers use strategies that minimize status differences in the classroom that impact participation, ensuring that all students - regardless of their popularity, first-language, race, or income level - participate equitably. During the conference, 28 university instructors from across the country will design tasks to be used in mathematics methods courses for prospective elementary teachers. Mathematics educators from University of Georgia, University of Arizona, University of Michigan, and Michigan State University will work together to design and host the conference. The conference is expected to produce a cohort of mathematics educators knowledgeable about Complex Instruction, and who can then support colleagues at their home institutions in learning to use the pedagogy as well as promoting the use of Complex Instruction in mathematics classrooms in U.S. elementary schools.

After learning the essential elements of Complex Instruction, conference participants will design Complex Instruction curriculum modules to implement at their home institutions. Evaluation of the conference will include surveys and phone interviews with conference participants to assess their knowledge of and use of Complex Instruction. In addition, some participants will be selected for more extensive follow-up, including the collection of videos of Complex Instruction lessons in their courses and surveys of their students. Data will be analyzed to identify major themes related to the knowledge of the participants and their students, the supports and obstacles present in various contexts in relation to adopting a new pedagogy, and the impact of Complex Instruction on the methods courses.

All of the tasks and the activities designed during the conference will be available not only to the conference participants but also to anyone interested in Complex Instruction through the website, www.ci.org. In addition, by developing experts in Complex Instruction at more than a dozen universities across the country, the conference will play an important role in disseminating this relatively new, but effective, pedagogy. Evidence about the effectiveness of Complex Instruction suggests that large-scale incorporation of this practice into mathematics methods classrooms will increase the mathematics understandings of prospective elementary teachers and ultimately their students, particularly those in schools with significant numbers of marginalized students.

Formerly Award # 1316235

From Undergraduate STEM Major to Enacting the NGSS

The Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) model, recognized nationally as a hallmark teacher recruitment and preparation program, has run a national workshop annually for four years to disseminate and scale the program. This project expands the existing annual workshop to address changing needs of participants and to prepare eight additional faculty members to lead new regional workshops.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1317059
Funding Period: 
Thu, 08/01/2013 to Fri, 07/31/2015
Full Description: 

The Colorado Learning Assistant (LA) model, recognized nationally as a hallmark teacher recruitment and preparation program, has run a national workshop annually for four years to disseminate and scale the program. This project expands the existing annual workshop to address changing needs of participants and to prepare eight additional faculty members to lead new regional workshops. Workshop sessions integrate crosscutting concepts, scientific practices, and engineering design as articulated in the Framework for K-12 Science Education (NRC, 2012). Infusing the Frameworks into the workshop helps STEM faculty better understand their role in preparing future K-12 teachers to implement the new standards, by transforming their own undergraduate courses in ways that actively engage students in modeling, argumentation, making claims from evidence, and engineering design. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the American Physical Society's PhysTEC project, and University of Colorado-Boulder, provide resources for national workshops in 2013 and 2014 allowing 80 additional math, science, and engineering faculty from a range of institutions to directly experience the LA model and to learn ways to implement, adapt, grow, and sustain a program on their own campuses. Evaluation of the project focuses on long-term effects of workshop participation and contributes to efforts to strengthen networks within the international Learning Assistant Alliance. The launching of 10 - 12 new LA programs is anticipated, and many existing programs will expand into new STEM departments as a result of the national workshops.

Workshop participants are awarded travel grants and in return, provide data each year for two years so that long-term impacts of the workshop can be evaluated. Online surveys provide data about each institution's progress in setting up a program, departments in which the program runs, number of faculty involved, number of courses transformed, numbers of teachers recruited, and estimated number of students impacted. These data provide correlations between workshop attendance and new program development, and allow the computation of national cost per impacted student as well as the average cost per STEM teacher recruited. Anonymous data are made available to International Learning Assistant Alliance partners to promote collaborative research and materials development across sites.

The 2013 and 2014 national workshops train eight faculty members who have experience running LA programs to offer regional workshops for local university and community college faculty members. This provides even greater potential for teacher recruitment and preparation through the LA model and for data collection from diverse institutions. This two-year project has potential to support 320 math, science, and engineering faculty as they transform their undergraduate courses in ways consistent with the Frameworks, in turn affording tens of thousands of undergraduate students (and hundreds of future teachers) more and better opportunities to engage with each other and with STEM content through the use of scientific and engineering practices. STEM faculty who participate in what appears to be an easy to adopt process of course transformation through the LA model, become more aware of issues in educational diversity, equity, and access leading to fundamental transformations in the way education is done in a department and at an institution, ultimately leading to sustained policy changes and shared vision of equitable, quality education.

CAREER: Fraction Activities and Assessments for Conceptual Teaching (FAACT) for Students with Learning Disabilities

This project is documenting how students with learning disabilities (LD) access and advance their conceptual understanding of fractions.  Rather than focusing on the knowledge students do not have, this work is focused on uncovering students' informal knowledge that can bridge to fractions and how instruction can be used to promote conceptual change. 

 

Award Number: 
1708327
Funding Period: 
Tue, 07/01/2014 to Fri, 12/31/2021
Project Evaluator: 
Dr. Mary Little
Full Description: 

Dr. Hunt, a former middle school and elementary school mathematics in inclusive settings in a state-demonstration STEM school, works with students deemed to be at risk for mathematics difficulties or labeled as having disabilities. Hunt contends that research and pedagogical practice for children with disabilities should begin from a respect for children's ways of knowing and learning. Rather than focusing on whether students can or cannot develop conceptual understanding, research should attempt to uncover the complex understanding students DO have. She argues that teaching based in learning theory that positions children's learning as adaptation advances reasoning, sense-making, and co-construction of meaning.

The overall goal of this CAREER award project is to re-direct and re-conceptualized research and practice across mathematics education and special education to support students to build rich concepts in mathematics through student-based instructional interventions. FAACT accomplishes this goal by - toward (a) uncovering the understandings students with LD do have of fraction concepts, (b) documenting how cognitive and/or early mathematics skills might affect the processes and products of learning, and (c) understanding how growth of conceptual knowledge occurs in these students and how to nurture this growth through the learning process.

Through this award, Dr. Hunt is re-conceptualizing intensive intervention as children's knowing and learning in "Small Environments". This approach suggests a redirect of research and instructional practice in mathematics for an underserved population of students. The project has the potential to offer a transformative approach to mathematics instruction for students with LD, bringing together expertise on learning disabilities and mathematics education to address an area in which there is very little research. 

The main outcomes of the project include (1) a theory of knowing, learning, and teaching connected to students with LDs in the small environment of supplemental and intensive intervention, (2) a six stage research-based trajectory specific to the conceptual understandings of fractions evidenced by students with LD, and (3) an adaptive intervention program consisting of (a) a clinical interview educators can use to understand students’ initial fraction thinking, (b) an instructional trajectory [lesson planning framework, four task sets, and corresponding teacher moves to support student learning], and (c) an instructional decision making guide based on the instructional trajectory to aid teachers in designing student-centered instruction both in small groups and individualized formats.

This project was previously funded under award #1253254 and 1446250.

 


Project Videos

2019 STEM for All Video Showcase

Title: Fractional Reasoning: Students with Learning Disabilities

Presenter(s): Jessica Hunt, Andy Khounmeuang, Kristi Martin, Blain Patterson, & Juanita Silva


The U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI): Representing the U.S. Mathematics Community Abroad

This project provides support for the U.S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction, a primary means for ensuring U.S. participation in mathematics education at the international level. The project will facilitate interaction with mathematicians and mathematics educators from around the world as issues about instructional practices are addressed. The participation of representatives of USNC/MI on the international stage opens venues for collaborative research and opportunities to learn about successful practices from other countries.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1214813
Funding Period: 
Tue, 05/15/2012 to Wed, 04/30/2014
Full Description: 

This project provides support for the U. S. National Commission on Mathematics Instruction (USNC/MI), a primary means for ensuring U.S. participation in mathematics education at the international level. The project will facilitate periodic contact and interaction with mathematicians and mathematics educators from around the world as issues about instructional practices are addressed. The participation of representatives of USNC/MI on the international stage opens venues for collaborative research and opportunities to learn about successful practices from other countries. The USNC/MI regularly communicates with many professional organizations in mathematics education throughout the United States with reports and updates.

A major function of ICMI is to authorize studies on issues of current international concern in mathematics education, and the next topic to be addressed will be instruction related to number in the primary grades. Another thrust of the USNC/MI is to be represented at the International Congress in Mathematics Education that is scheduled every four years. The ICME-12 meeting will be held in July 2012 in Seoul, Korea and USNC/MI will be organizing several events and hosting a major exhibit throughout the week long meeting.

Crisis in K-16 STEM Education: A Regional Conference to Promote Local Solutions to a National Problem

This award is for the funding of a regional conference to study the future of STEM education, the impact of underrepresented and disadvantaged groups with regards to STEM, and STEM job growth and workforce development in a regional, as opposed to a national, context.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1212282
Funding Period: 
Wed, 02/01/2012 to Thu, 01/31/2013
Full Description: 

This award is for the funding of a regional conference to study the future of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, the educational advancement of learners from underrepresented and disadvantaged groups with regards to STEM, and STEM job growth and workforce development in a regional, as opposed to a national, context. The project brings together regional K-16 stakeholders (teachers, administrators, policy makers, community college and four-year college faculty) with STEM education experts to address the major challenges and opportunities in supporting outstanding local programs that prepare students for STEM college-level study and careers, with a special emphasis on preparing under-represented populations. It is designed to bring together researchers and educators from the lower to mid-Hudson River Valley region of New York to layout the contours of current K-16 STEM practice, particularly from the point of view of what efforts are not working, why they are not working, and how to make these efforts work. The project is a partnership with Rockland Community College and CEJJES Institute. Approximately 150 participants from area schools and colleges in New York are expected to attend, representing approximately 200,000 K-12 public schools and 100,000 college students in a region where STEM-related industries are a prominent and growing influence.

The overarching goal of the Conference is to promote regional strategies that will enable this generation of learners, especially those from under-represented groups, to take their place in 21st century STEM careers. It is suggested that such a gathering of individuals and groups concerned with STEM education, as proposed in this project, would address four key questions: (1) How are knowledge and skill requirements for college-level study and careers in STEM changing the preparation needed for K-16? What changes need to be made with respect to curriculum, teachers and teaching, laboratories and access to resources, and in-school and out-of-school learning to improve the regional STEM outcomes? What strategies and practices can be adopted to support and advance STEM education throughout the region? (2) What are effective strategies for advancing the academic success of under-represented groups in STEM and how can they be successfully implemented in this region? (3) How does changing context for STEM education impact the knowledge and pedagogical skill requirements needed for being an effective K-16 STEM educator? What pedagogical strategies are best suited for teaching 21st century STEM skills? How well are teachers' professional development needs being met? What are some strategies for ensuring that the region?s teachers have access to the STEM professional development they need? (4) What are some current models of regional school/community/college partnerships for strengthening the K-16 STEM pipeline? How do these models address regional needs in ways that school districts cannot respond on their own? What solutions would be a good fit for this region? What unique ways in which Community Colleges and other share educational resources, serve as a STEM resource for students in middle school through college? What are the implications of this strategy for other regions concerned about K-16 STEM education?

Regional strategies offer a viable and scalable model for addressing K-16 STEM, especially when they reinforce the availability of services and support that would go beyond the reach of individual school districts. As a result of conference activities, the project will create and maintain a conference website with video capture of key elements of the presentations, conference proceedings and information and materials collected. The website will also be available for shared resources, scholarly papers, and the facilitating of future dialogue.

Examining Formative Assessment Practices for English Language Learners in Science Classrooms (Collaborative Research: Li)

This is an exploratory study to identify critical aspects of effective science formative assessment (FA) practices for English Language Learners (ELLs), and the contextual factors influencing such practices. FA, in the context of the study, is viewed as a process contributing to the science learning of ELLs, as opposed to the administration of discrete sets of instruments to collect data from students. The study targets Spanish-speaking, elementary and middle school students.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1118951
Funding Period: 
Thu, 09/01/2011 to Sat, 08/31/2013
Project Evaluator: 
Advisory board members
Full Description: 

This is a two-year exploratory study to identify critical aspects of effective science formative assessment (FA) practices for English Language Learners (ELLs), and the contextual factors influencing such practices. Three institutions join efforts for this purpose: University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Colorado at Denver, and University of Washington. FA, in the context of the study, is viewed as a process contributing to the science learning of ELLs, as opposed to the administration of discrete sets of instruments to collect data from students. The study targets Spanish-speaking, elementary and middle school students. Findings from this study contribute to advance knowledge and understanding of FA as an inherent component of the science learning process in linguistically diverse classrooms, and to define a research agenda aimed at enhancing science teachers' ability to enact equitable and effective assessment practices for this student subpopulation.

Three research questions guide the work: (1) What FA practices are occurring in science classrooms that serve predominantly mainstream students and in those serving predominantly ELLs?; (2) How are teachers' FA practices for mainstream students different from or similar to those used with ELLs?; and (3) How do contextual factors and teachers' cultural and linguistic competencies influence FA practices? To address these questions, two conceptual frameworks are used--one for characterizing FA events; the other for examining FA events as a communication process. The study employs a mixed-methods research approach with emphasis on case studies. The sample size consists of three school districts in Colorado and Washington, 16 classrooms (8 elementary, 8 middle school), 16 teachers, and 96 ELLs. Classrooms are selected to represent a particular combination of four factors: (a) teacher ethnicity, (b) teacher formal academic preparation in teaching ELLs, (c) type of linguistic student background, and (d) grade level. Students are selected through a stratified random sample, identified by achievement level (i.e., low, medium, high), and linguistic background (i.e., mainstream, ELL). Data collection strategies to document the implementation of FA at the beginning, during, and at the end of a science unit include: (a) classroom observation protocols, (b) classroom video-recording, (c) video/artifact simulated recall, (d) assessment artifacts, (e) student interviews, (f) teacher questionnaires, (g) teacher interviews, (h) school principal interviews, and (i) school observations. Reliability and validity of most of the data-gathering instruments is determined through pilot studies. Data interpretation strategies include: (a) coding based on the two conceptual frameworks, (b) scoring rubrics to identify levels of effectiveness, and (c) narratives and profiles to describe FA patterns. Publications and the development of a website constitute the main dissemination strategies. A technical advisory board is responsible for formative and summative evaluation. Key evaluation questions are: (1) To what extent does the project enhance research on ELL FA practices through case studies?, and (2) How effectively do the project dissemination activities facilitate understanding of FA practices?

Major project outcomes include: (1) a description of the patterns of formal and informal FA practices for ELLs; (2) a comparison of the FA practices observed in classrooms that vary on the dimensions of teacher characteristics and linguistic diversity; and (3) an empirically and theoretically informed set of findings and strategies for supporting teachers to enact and enhance FA practices sensitive to cultural and linguistic diversity. Three main products are developed: (1) a monograph describing the FA practices observed across the different classrooms with concrete examples; (2) a description of possible professional development strategies to improve in-service FA practices for linguistically diverse students; and (3) a research-informed approach for analyzing FA practices. Besides filling the existing research gap on FA with ELLs, outcomes and products serve as a foundation for a future research agenda and a comprehensive project aimed at ensuring equitable science learning for all students, including ELLs.

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