Middle School

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)

Principal Investigator:

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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Developing Teacher Noticing in Engineering in an Online Professional Development Program

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The Teacher Engineering Education Program is designed to support teacher learning in engineering education in an 18-month online asynchronous program. In this project, we collected data from two cohorts of elementary teachers (N=26) including multiple interviews throughout the program, teachers’ video recordings of their classroom teaching, and their coursework in the four required courses. This poster summarizes our central findings on teacher learning in the program, looking at teachers’ noticing and pedagogical sensemaking in engineering.

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CAREER: Proof in Secondary Classrooms: Decomposing a Central Mathematical Practice

Principal Investigator:

The goal of the design and development study, Proof in Secondary Classrooms (PISC), is to develop an innovative intervention to support the teaching and learning of mathematical proof in secondary geometry. PISC made use of features of lesson study and continuous improvement. Findings featured in the poster involve quantitative assessment results from pre-tests and post-tests administered over three years. Overall, the PISC curriculum had a statistically significant, positive impact on students' end-of-year results.

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CAREER: Investigating Changes in Students' Prior Mathematical Reasoning: An Exploration of Backward Transfer Effects in School Algebra

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The main issue our project addresses is how students' reasoning about mathematics concepts that are not new to them (e.g., linear functions) changes when learning about a new concept (e.g., quadratic functions), and we call this phenomenon backward transfer. We specifically focus on mathematics, but believe our backward transfer research is highly relevant within and across STEM content domains more broadly.

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CAREER: Cultivating Teachers' Epistemic Empathy to Promote Responsive Teaching

Principal Investigator:
This project aims to study and cultivate science and mathematics teachers' "epistemic empathy" the capacity for tuning into and valuing someone's cognitive and emotional experience in the process of constructing, communicating, and critiquing knowledge. The project's goals are to examine how such epistemic can be cultivated in teacher education, how it may function to promote responsive teaching, and how it may shape learners' engagement in the classroom.
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CAREER: Bridging the Digital Accessibility Gap in STEM Using Multisensory Haptic Platforms

Principal Investigator:
This project investigates haptic (touch) technologies, like touchscreens, to create multimodal, STEM graphics and simulations that can be felt, heard, and seen. Working closely with individuals with disabilities, particularly students with visual impairments and blindness, and their teachers, we create multimodal, STEM learning experiences that elevate the sense of touch digitally, with a specific focus on moving beyond meeting access requirements to imagining multisensory, educational experiences for everyone.
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Building Environmental and Educational Technology Competence and Leadership Among Educators: An Exploration in Virtual Reality Professional Development

Principal Investigator:

This exploratory project supports the professional development of secondary STEM teachers by providing multiyear training around three specific areas: (1) environmental sciences themed content; (2) technology integration in the classroom, and (3) classroom-based action research within action research communities. Using virtual reality to focus on wetlands and their connection to flooding brings locally relevant STEM concepts in a real-world context that is relatable to minoritized teachers and students living in these areas.

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Supporting Teachers in Responsive Instruction for Developing Expertise in Science (Collaborative Research: Linn)

Principal Investigator:

STRIDES supports teachers to customize the curriculum to address diverse students' evolving ideas and achieve the multi-dimensional proficiency called for by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). STRIDES catalyzes a new approach to teachers' curriculum customization. STRIDES will improve the evidence teachers have to make customization decisions by collaborating with the Educational Testing Service (ETS) to advance natural language processing (NLP) methods.

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SimSnap: Orchestrating Collaborative Learning in Biology through Reconfigurable Simulations (Collective Research: Puntambekar and Tissenbaum)

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SimSnap enables students to investigate how different environmental and genetic factors affect the health of a variety of plants and vegetables, by allowing them to seamlessly move between individual and collaborative work with peers by snapping their tablets together (by placing them next to each other) to create a single shared simulation that spans all their devices. Students then leverage these inquiry activities to support their design and building of a real community garden.

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Science Coordinators Advancing a Framework for Outstanding Leadership Development

Principal Investigator:

Science Coordinators Advancing a Framework For Outstanding Leadership Development (SCAFFOLD) develops and studies a PD program for District Science Coordinators (DSCs) in one Southeastern state. DSCs can have partial or full responsibility for supporting science teachers in their districts, but little is known about their training and impact on teachers. The goal is to determine the impact of DSCs on teachers and if they are in need of PD to enhance their work with teachers.

Co-PI(s): Brooke A. Whitworth, Clemson University

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