Pre-Kindergarten

Validation of the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (VEAR-MI)

Principal Investigator: 

This poster describes the work of the Validation of the Equity and Access Rubrics for Mathematics Instruction (VEAR-MI) project, which aims to address the growing need to develop empirically grounded ways of assessing the extent to which the practices that are being outlined in research literature actually serve to support students who are currently underserved and underrepresented in mathematics.

Co-PI(s): Annie Garrison Wilhelm, Southern Methodist University; Temple Walkowiak, North Carolina State University

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

Principal Investigator: 

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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Integrating Science with Mathematics and Engineering: Linking Home and School Learning for All Young Learners

Principal Investigator: 

This study investigates the integration of early science with mathematics and engineering and involves co-designing resources with preschool teachers and families from historically underserved communities to provide preschool children equitable STEM learning experiences. The study also explores connections between home and school learning and involves designing resources to support multilingual learners, who represent a large (and growing) proportion of the population served in public preschool programs.

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Target Audience: 

Collaborative Math: Creating Sustainable Excellence in Mathematics for Head Start Programsse Middle School Settings

Principal Investigator: 

Professional development (PD) is more effective when it involves more than lead classroom teachers. Collaborative Math is a year-long professional development program designed to bring together preschool center leadership and all teaching staff for an in-depth study of early mathematics teaching and learning. We implemented the program in a total of 15 Head Start centers across two years. We found positive shifts in teacher confidence and knowledge as well as child math achievement.

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Target Audience: 

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

Principal Investigator: 

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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Development and Validation of a Mobile, Web-based Coaching Tool to Improve PreK Classroom Practices to Enhance Learning

Principal Investigator: 

For the last three years, we have been creating an app called CHALK (Coaching to Help Activate Learning for Kids) that guides instructional coaches to collect observation data in PreK classrooms, view instant results, engage in data-driven coaching conversations, co-create an action plan with the teacher, and track progress over time through continued observations and goal-setting.  CHALK focuses on specific classroom practices that are predictive of students' gains (Christopher & Farran, 2020).

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Target Audience: 

Bilingualtek: An Integrated Science-Language Approach for Latinx Preschoolers

This project seeks to foster the science achievement of Latinx preschoolers by confronting current barriers that impact their STEM education through an integrated science-language instructional approach for preschool classrooms. The project will use everyday science experiences to engage Latinx preschoolers in learning the practices of scientists, including the practices of obtaining information and using language to communicate scientific findings.

Award Number: 
2101169
Funding Period: 
Tue, 06/01/2021 to Sat, 05/31/2025
Full Description: 

Early childhood education currently faces challenges related to effective science instruction practices that meet the learning needs of culturally and linguistically diverse children, such as Latinx dual language learners (DLL). This project seeks to foster the science achievement of Latinx preschoolers by confronting current barriers that impact their STEM education through an integrated science-language instructional approach for preschool classrooms. The project will use everyday science experiences to engage Latinx preschoolers in learning the practices of scientists, including the practices of obtaining information and using language to communicate scientific findings. These aims will be accomplished by combining engaging science experiences delivered via e-books, and multimedia supports for science and dual-language learning. Consistent with the Next Generation of Science Standards (NGSS), the project offers a transformative model of early childhood science and language education that supports kindergarten readiness at a national level and addresses the vital need for educational resources that build on and enhance the strengths of underserved communities.

The long-term goal of this project is to foster the science achievement of Latinx preschoolers by addressing current challenges impacting their STEM education. These challenges include; limited early science education instruction for teachers, minimal incorporation of NGSS science principles in early science learning for preschoolers, and increasing numbers of Latinx DLLs entering preschools experiencing a shortage of bilingual early childhood teachers. The project addresses these challenges by leveraging recent research with preschool Latinx DLLs across several disciplines into a media-supported integrated science-language instructional approach. These instructional practices provide an NGSS-aligned model for preschool-age science education at the national level, support kindergarten readiness, and directly address the need for educational resources that build on the strengths that diverse children bring to their learning experience. Supporting monolingual teachers’ use of multimedia dual-language science materials will also address preschool teacher professional learning related to science instruction while promoting the participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM education at an early age. The science-language instructional practices will be developed by bringing together preschool teachers and Latinx families in an iterative co-design process to develop instructional content and supports to facilitate science and language learning by Latinx DLLs. The project will be implemented in 28 classrooms to examine its usability, feasibility, and preliminary efficacy, including child outcomes (science talk, science knowledge, and language skills) through a rigorous quasi-experimental field study. The treatment and control groups will each include 42 children and 14 teachers. The project will produce 1) an integrated science and language instructional approach and resource materials relevant to Latinx children’s living experiences, 2) proof of concept of the project’s feasibility; and 3) initial findings on the impact of the project on children’s science and language learning outcomes.

Mapping, Clarifying, and Communicating Key Ideas about Collaborative Learning

This project will synthesize research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). The science of CSCL achieved advances in the past decade, including producing a research handbook—however, practitioners do not have easy access to research journals, nor time to sift through the latest findings to guide their practice. Further, conventional forms of research synthesis, such as research handbooks or long synthesis papers, serve narrow audiences and are rarely read by practitioners.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
2101341
Funding Period: 
Tue, 06/01/2021 to Fri, 05/31/2024
Full Description: 

This project will synthesize research on computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL). Collaborative learning occurs often in preK-12 STEM teaching—yet most teachers are unaware of research findings on how to organize collaboration among students to increase learning. These research findings can support key STEM teaching practices such as argumentation, project-based learning, peer instruction, equitable participation, and inquiry-based learning. The science of CSCL achieved advances in the past decade, including producing a research handbook—however, practitioners do not have easy access to research journals, nor time to sift through the latest findings to guide their practice. Further, conventional forms of research synthesis, such as research handbooks or long synthesis papers, serve narrow audiences and are rarely read by practitioners. Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization that connects researchers, educators, and developers—with a team of external researcher and practitioner advisors and partner organizations—will investigate and develop a novel synthesis approach to provide educators and researchers with a novel form of synthesis organized around an interactive map of topics and subtopics. By working with national practitioner organizations, the project will achieve broad and deep dissemination.

To develop the synthesis, a multidisciplinary team of both researchers and educators will use a visual, interactive bibliometric approach to understand the research literature landscape. Key novel elements of the innovative synthesis approach are: (1) involving practitioners and researchers in each stage of the work—mapping, clarifying, and communicating; (2) using visual maps as a tool for organizing and navigating interconnected ideas; (3) involving both expert review and bibliometric techniques to identify topics and connections for the map; (4) using a qualitative process inspired by the Delphi method to iteratively develop a consensus map that both respects the scientific literature and addresses practitioners’ needs; (5) writing a short, concise primer for each topic within the map, to enable multiple entry points, accessibility, greater reader-navigability, and easier readability; and (6) during dissemination, involving multiple practitioner organizations and approaches for learning which dissemination channels and methods achieve broad and deep reach. The project will establish a new mode of synthesis that, if successful, could be applied to other high-interest topic areas, yielding additional research maps and concept primers to serve the needs of STEM researchers and practitioners. Finally, this process will also strengthen the large field of research that studies CSCL by increasing awareness of the gaps in knowledge between what researchers have established and what practitioners want to know.

Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education

Principal Investigator: 

The Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE) project is a deep collaboration between the Council of State Science Supervisors, the University of Washington, and the University of Colorado Boulder. ACESSE brings together educators and researchers to collaboratively research, develop, and promote strategies to make science education more coherent and equitable. Our work focuses on: sensing and guiding improvement, the co-design of professional learning resources, and leadership capacity development for equity.

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Discipline / Topic: 

Connecting Elementary Mathematics Teaching to Real-World Issues (Collaborative Research: Felton)

This project will engage students and teachers in rich, real-world math tasks; will support future teachers and mathematics educators in adapting, designing, and implementing similar tasks; and will provide a basis for further research on the most effective ways to design and implement real-world tasks in the mathematics classroom.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
2101456
Funding Period: 
Thu, 07/01/2021 to Sun, 06/30/2024
Full Description: 

There are long-standing calls to make mathematics more meaningful, relevant, and applicable both inside and outside of the K-12 classroom. In particular, there is a growing recognition that mathematics is a valuable tool for helping students understand important real-world issues that affect their lives and society. Further, mathematics can support students in becoming mathematically literate and engaged democratic citizens. Despite the increased interest in connecting mathematics to real-world issues in the classroom, many teachers feel unprepared to do so. This project will engage students and teachers in rich, real-world math tasks; will support future teachers and mathematics educators in adapting, designing, and implementing similar tasks; and will provide a basis for further research on the most effective ways to design and implement real-world tasks in the mathematics classroom.

The three goals of the Connecting Elementary Mathematics to the World project are: (1) To explore how mathematics teachers adapt, design, and enact tasks that connect mathematics to the real world. We will study the teaching practices of the project team as they engage in this work in two summer camps and in elementary classrooms at two sites. (2) To develop a collection of exemplar tasks and rich records of practice for each task. These records of practice will detail the mathematical and real-world learning goals, background knowledge needed for both goals, common student responses, and videos or vignettes of the task in progress. A team of six teachers at two sites will be recruited to collaborate with the team throughout the project. Teachers will provide input and feedback on the design of, appropriateness of, and relevance of the tasks and the support materials needed to implement the real-world tasks. Initial tasks will be field tested with elementary students and additional tasks will be developed for subsequent week-long summer camps and for teaching in elementary classrooms. (3) To research both the development and enactment of these tasks. We will develop a theoretical framework for creating and implementing real-world tasks that can inform future practice and research in this area. The research products of this project will result in (a) an understanding of effective teaching and design practices for connecting mathematics to real-world issues, (b) a theoretical framework of how these practices are interconnected, and (c) how these practices differ from practices when teaching typical school mathematics tasks.

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