Science

Invigorating Statistics Teacher Education Through Professional Online Learning (InSTEP)

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InSTEP is developing an online personalized professional learning platform to support teachers' growth in providing students learning opportunities in statistics and data science using key practices and processes with data. We are creating a scalable, accessible, and flexible approach aligned with research-based principles of effective professional learning. We use design principles for online teacher learning, and our materials are based on research on students' and teachers' learning in statistics and data science education.

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Three-Dimensional Teaching and Learning: Rebuilding and Researching an Online Middle School Curriculum

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Although several middle school science units are emerging with high ratings on an NGSS EQuIP review, few have been subjected to experimental or quasi-experimental study to examine their efficacy with teachers or students. We share the design specifications, development process, and research findings from a quasi-experimental test of a designed-for-NGSS middle school science unit. Treatment students outperformed comparison students on a test of three-dimensional learning (p = .019; d = .300).

Co-PI(s): Betty Stennett and Lindsey Mohan, BSCS Science Learning

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Aligning the Science Teacher Education Pathway: A Networked Improvement Community

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The A-STEP project fosters collaboration between university faculty and pathway partners to implement common set of tools (Next Gen ASET Toolkit) across a science teacher training and development pathway. Partnerships across steps function under shared goals and paradigm shifts for pedagogical reform along the teacher pathway. A-STEP promotes change across our Networked Improvement Community (NIC) and the local pathway partners working with each university, ultimately impacting the enactment of the NGSS in respective K-12 classrooms.

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Developing and Validating Assessments to Measure and Build Elementary Teachers' Content Knowledge for Teaching about Matter and Its Interactions within Teacher Education Settings (Collaborative Research: Mikeska)

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This project aims to develop and validate an online assessment instrument to measure preservice elementary teachers’ content knowledge for teaching (CKT) about matter, a critical area for preservice teacher learning. We also developed different resources for science teacher educators to support elementary preservice teachers' growth in CKT.

Co-PI(s): Katherine Castellano, Educational Testing Service (ETS)

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Design and Development of a K-12 STEM Observation Protocol (Collaborative Research: Dare, Ring-Whalen, and Roehrig)

Principal Investigator: 

The purpose of this project is the design and development of a K-12 classroom observation protocol for integrated STEM instruction (STEM-OP). Using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, the STEM-OP will be a valid and reliable instrument for use in a variety of educational contexts. The STEM-OP and associated training materials will be available for use by education stakeholders, (e.g., K-12 teachers and district administrators), through a publicly available online platform.

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Building Networks and Enhancing Diversity in the K-12 STEM Teaching Workforce

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The goal of this planning grant, which is based on the Cultural-Historical Activity Theory (CHAT). is to explicitly focus on broadening participation in the K-12 STEM teaching workforce, with the theory of action that diversifying the K-12 STEM teaching workforce would in the long term help more students see STEM as accessible to them and then be more likely to choose a STEM degree or career. This grant is also funded by NSF INCLUDES.

Co-PI(s): Helen Bond and Marilyn M Irving, Howard University; Hyunju Lee and Amy L D'Amico, Smithsonian Institution

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Building Middle School Students' Understanding of Heredity and Evolution

Principal Investigator: 

This Early-Stage Design and Development project is developing NGSS-friendly middle school curriculum units on Heredity and Evolution that build skills in constructing explanations and understanding of cause and effect and include embedded formative and summative assessment measures. We will conduct an in-depth study to elucidate how 3D learning contributes to students' conceptual understanding of heredity and evolution, and the supports middle school teachers need to enact 3D curricula and support their students.

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SPIRAL: Supporting Professional Inquiry and Re-Aligning Learning through a Structured e-Portfolio System

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The SPIRAL project seeks to develop and test a new model for vertical-team professional development, along with a set of electronic tools enabling collaboration among these teams to support instructional improvement aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). We seek to better understand how teachers use a custom-designed digital portfolio to better understand students' learning trajectories across K-8 science so as to shape their own instructional practice with relation to the spiraled NGSS.

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Transforming Scientific Practices to Promote Students Interest and Motivation in the Life Sciences: A Teacher Leadership Development Intervention

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How Do Teacher Leaders Transform Scientific Practices to Promote Students Interest and Motivation in STEM? Formal and informal K-12+ educators learn to employ strategies of community mapping, curricular mapping and place-based, culturally sustaining pedagogy to write, teach, and evaluate NGSS lessons that engage underrepresented students in mathematics, life, earth, and physical sciences. Two case studies highlight how educators apply these strategies to intersect three domains: experiential/place-based learning, culturally sustaining learning, and disciplinary learning .

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Teaching STEM with Robotics: Design, Development, and Testing of a Research-based Professional Development Program for Teachers

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To lower the barriers in STEM disciplines for students, using evidence-based research, we designed and conducted a professional development program that built middle school teachers' capacity to use hands-on robotics and engineering design as the curriculum focus. Through summer workshops, teachers learned to: build and program LEGO robots; create and implement standards-aligned robotics-based STEM lessons; and develop, practice, and examine optimal pedagogical approaches for STEM learning using robotics.
 

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