Middle School

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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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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Mathematical Learning via Architectural Design and Modeling Using E-Rebuild

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This poster presentation will introduce the current study findings governing the design and implementation of E-Rebuild, a 3D architecture and math game that aims to promote versatile representation and epistemic practice of mathematics for students in grades 6th-8th. Utilizing the real-time, evidence-centered in-game learning assessment and a game-level editor, E-Rebuild enables not only problem-based mathematical thinking and learning, but also adaptive learner support during gameplay and participatory design of game-based math problems.

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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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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

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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

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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

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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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