Post-secondary Faculty

Undergraduate Science Course Reform Serving Pre-service Teachers: Evaluation of a Faculty Professional Development Model

This project focuses on critical needs in the preparation and long-term development of pre-service, undergraduate, K-6 teachers of science. The project investigates the impact on these students of undergraduate, standards-based, reform entry level science courses developed by faculty based on their participation in the NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics processional development program to identify: short-term impacts on undergraduate students and long-term effects on graduated teachers; characteristics of reform courses and characteristics of effective development efforts.

Project Email: 
Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0554594
Funding Period: 
Tue, 08/01/2006 to Sun, 07/31/2011
Full Description: 

The Undergraduate Science Course Reform Serving Pre-service Teachers: Evaluation of a Faculty Professional Development Model project is informally known as the National Study of Education in Undergraduate Science (NSEUS). This 5-year project focuses on critical needs in the preparation and long-term development of pre-service, undergraduate, K-6 teachers of science. The goal is to investigate the impact on these students of undergraduate, standards-based, reform entry-level science courses developed by faculty in the NASA Opportunities for Visionary Academics (NOVA) professional development model. Twenty reform and 20 comparison undergraduate science courses from a national population of 101 diverse institutions participating in NOVA, stratified by institutional type, were be selected and compared in a professional development impact design model. Data is being collected in extended on-site visits using multiple quantitative and qualitative instruments and analyzed using comparative and relational studies at multiple points in the impact design model. Criteria for success of the project will be determined by conclusions drawn from the research questions; including evidence and effect sizes of short-term impacts on undergraduate students and long-term effects on graduated in-service teachers in their own classroom science teaching; identification of characteristics of undergraduate reformed courses that produce significant impacts; identification of characteristics of effective faculty, and effective dissemination.

Project Publications and Presentations:

Lardy, Corrine; Mason, Cheryl; Mojgan, Matloob-Haghanikar; Sunal, Cynthia Szymanski; Sunal, Dennis Wayne; Sundberg, Cheryl & Zollman, Dean (2009). How Are We Reforming Teaching in Undergraduate Science Courses? Journal of College Science Teaching, v. 39 (2), 12-14.  

CEIN: Predictive Toxicology Assessment and Safe Implementation of Nanotechnology in the Environment

This project establishes a Center to conduct research and education on the interactions of nanomaterials with living systems and with the abiotic environment. The research combines high throughput screening assays with computational and physiological modeling to predict impacts at higher levels of biological organization. It will unite the fields of engineering, chemistry, physics, materials science, cell biology, ecology, toxicology, computer modeling, and risk assessment to establish the foundations of a new scientific discipline: environmental nanotoxicology.

Award Number: 
0830117
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/01/2008 to Sat, 08/31/2013

Capacity Building Conference Series: Supporting an Emerging Community of Science Education Researchers

This project covers participants' costs to attend a national conference series focusing upon supporting incipient science education research projects. A primary objective is to provide a venue in which researchers can describe their lines of inquiry and to then receive guidance and input about refining those ambitions. The other primary objective is to promote an innovative conference design in which a structured presentation format serves as an incubator for scholarly work.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0711264
Funding Period: 
Wed, 08/01/2007 to Sat, 07/31/2010

The African Diaspora: Developing Black Scholars in Science Education for the 21st Century in the United States

This project convenes a conference to develop a cadre of African American science education faculty to research issues surrounding the teaching and learning of science. This cadre of faculty will develop a research agenda, submit grant proposals for funding, and submit manuscripts for publication. The overall goal of this project is to improve K-12 teaching and learning by faculty development of the research scholarship of African American science educators in the United States.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0840039
Funding Period: 
Mon, 09/15/2008 to Tue, 08/31/2010

CAESL2008: International Conference on Assessment for Learning in Mathematics and Science

The primary purpose of this international conference was for participants in the US to exchange views and discuss the latest research findings on (primary) science assessment. The conference focused on research around building assessment systems that help teachers diagnose student learning in the classroom but also link meaningfully to large-scale accountability systems (in districts or national levels). The project resulted in a report, proceedings, journal publications.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0711579
Funding Period: 
Sat, 09/01/2007 to Mon, 08/31/2009

Workshop on Materials Science and Materials Engineering Education - Educating the Enablers of Tomorrow's Technologies

This project provides support for a two-day workshop that would bring about 60 participants together to discuss the issues, challenges and opportunities in "Materials Education" and devise strategies for synergizing all stakeholders involved for further progress. Discussions will be focused on 4 topics: (1) Educating the public about the relevance of materials research; (2) Materials education for K-12 students and teachers; (3) Revolutionizing undergraduate education toward flexible curriculum; (4) Materials education for graduate students.

Award Number: 
0826749
Funding Period: 
Tue, 07/15/2008 to Mon, 08/31/2009

Identifying Critical Characteristics of Effective Feedback Practices in Science and Mathematics Education

This project will define and synthesize effective feedback strategies that can be linked to specific features of daily classroom assessment practices. It will develop a framework, including a conceptual strand (will conceptualize feedback practice considering intrinsic and contextual dimensions) and a methodological strand (used to describe and evaluate the feedback studies and findings to be synthesized). The framework will provide a shared language within and across multiple forms of research in various disciplines.

Award Number: 
0822373
Funding Period: 
Thu, 01/01/2009 to Fri, 12/31/2010
Project Evaluator: 
Advisory board members
Full Description: 

 

Considering the Future of K-12 STEM Curricula and Instructional Materials: Stimulating and Supporting New Developments

This project provides visionary leadership to the education community by (a) identifying and analyzing the needs and opportunities for future STEM curriculum development and (b) recommending policy positions and actions by funding agencies and STEM educators regarding the development and implementation of STEM school curricula.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0958058
Funding Period: 
Tue, 09/15/2009 to Wed, 08/31/2011
Full Description: 

The rapid growth in features and use of educational media (from e-books to applets) makes it possible to envision dramatic changes in the kinds of instructional materials provided to students of the future. It is certainly conceivable that a totally interactive, continually up-datable e-book (linked to numerous external sources of data, images, and research tools) might be a more inviting and effective learning resource than the conventional printed tomes that students currently tote from class to class and home and back.  It is also conceivable that a science, technology, or mathematics classroom that engages students in regular communication with teachers, students, scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and data from around the world could be more engaging and effective than one bound by the walls of conventional classrooms.  Old boundaries may become less relevant, even as new knowledge generated by the learning sciences open the paths for personalized learning.  Effective use of such new instructional resources will require rethinking the ways that education is delivered and managed. Most important, those new ideas and their embodiments in experimental instructional resources must be developed and carefully tested before it makes sense to implement broad transformation of STEM learning both in and out of schools.

 

In addition to the challenges and opportunities inherent in existing and emerging technologies for learning and working in STEM fields, our STEM learning system faces the additional challenge of providing enhanced STEM education to a very diverse population of students.  Traditional conceptions of education offered sophisticated science and mathematics coursework for future scientists, engineers, and mathematicians and very modest content for all other students.  But meaningful participation in contemporary life requires strong grounding in relevant STEM disciplines for all students. Vigorous discussion about this issue is taking place in the 21st Century Skills, Quantitative Literacy, Computational Thinking, and Career and Technical Education arenas.

 

The demands for broad STEM education of all students are accompanied by an expectation that today’s learning institutions will provide this enhanced STEM education to students from very diverse cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds.  These demands are a significant challenge for developers of curricula and instructional materials. New instructional designs must be developed in ways that broaden access and increase opportunities to learn for all students.  They must also connect with and take advantage of the interests and extracurricular experiences of students growing up as cyber-savvy digital natives.

 

Careful development and effective dissemination of innovative STEM instructional resources and experiences require a kind of sustained effort and support that is quite different from the typical 3 – 5 year time frames of standard research projects.  Comprehensive curriculum products take longer to create, test, disseminate, and implement.  Materials that make innovative use of contemporary technologies need almost continuous revision to assure that they remain au courant.  Furthermore, effective dissemination of any innovative instructional resource requires building community and business models that can overcome the adoption barriers of schools and districts and insure continual improvement of the materials, or move around them.   So support for major instructional design and development projects needs to reflect a special kind of funding commitment. 

 

All of these concerns raise four fundamental questions:  

 

  • What kinds of instructional resource research and development work should be encouraged and sponsored in order to assure that educational experiences and practices reflects the best of current knowledge about the STEM disciplines, STEM learning, and STEM teaching?
  • What advances in the practice of curriculum and instructional design research, development, and evaluation will be required to assure that investments in that work produce dependable and useful results?
  • How can funding agencies and professional organizations best stimulate, respond to, and develop the community of STEM educators to assure that important innovative curriculum and instructional material development and research work is conducted in a timely manner?
  • What kinds of projects can both develop new instructional design ideas and materials and successfully facilitate implementation of those innovations so that students will be well prepared for the demands and opportunities of future study, work, and personal life?

 

To address these important questions, a series of workshops is being convened to identify and analyze the needs and opportunities for innovative work and to recommend policy positions or actions by funding agencies and STEM educators. The goal is to identify strategies, directions and recommendations about the future of STEM instructional materials and their development.

The Future of High School Mathematics

This conference showcases and analyzes progressive ideas about curriculum, teaching, assessment, and technology in high school and early college mathematics. The conference brings together leaders of state and local school system mathematics programs, mathematicians, curriculum developers, educational researchers, and education policy makers for in-depth discussion of the challenges and opportunities for innovation in high school mathematics.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0808817
Funding Period: 
Tue, 07/01/2008 to Fri, 12/31/2010

Helping Teachers Become Cultural Relevant Teachers: Developing New Tools for a New Generation

This project involves holding a conference, Helping Teachers Become Culturally Relevant Teachers: Developing New Tools for a New Generation, where the goals are to bring together the very best researchers/practitioners in this field to present a clear theoretical underpinning of Culturally Relevant Teaching (CRT), present the most recent rigorous research to support the theory, and show clearly how CRT theory translates directly into classroom action.

Lead Organization(s): 
Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0929816
Funding Period: 
Tue, 09/01/2009 to Tue, 08/31/2010

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