Preservice Teachers

Integrating Engineering and Literacy

This project is developing and testing curriculum materials and a professional development model designed to explore the potential for introducing engineering concepts in grades 3 - 5 through design challenges based on stories in popular children's literature. The research team hypothesizes that professional development for elementary teachers using an interdisciplinary method for combining literature with engineering design challenges will increase the implementation of engineering in 3-5 classrooms and have positive impacts on students.

Lead Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
1020243
Funding Period: 
Wed, 09/01/2010 to Wed, 05/31/2017
Full Description: 

The Integrating Engineering and Literacy (IEL) project is developing and testing curriculum materials and a professional development model designed to explore the potential for introducing engineering concepts in grades 3 - 5 through design challenges based on stories in popular children's literature. The project research and development team at Tufts University is working with pre-service teachers to design and test the curriculum modules for students and the teacher professional development model. Then the program is tested and refined in work with 100 in-service teachers and their students in a diverse set of Massachusetts schools. The research team hypothesizes that professional development for elementary teachers using an interdisciplinary method for combining literature with engineering design challenges will increase the implementation of engineering in 3-5 classrooms and have positive impacts on students. The driving questions behind this proposed research are: (1) How do teachers' engineering (and STEM) content knowledge, pedagogical content knowledge, and perceptions or attitudes toward engineering influence their classroom teaching of engineering through literacy? (2) Do teachers create their own personal conceptions of the engineering design process, and what do these conceptions look like? (3) What engineering/reading thinking skills are students developing by participating in engineering activities integrated into their reading and writing work? The curriculum materials and teacher professional development model are being produced by a design research strategy that uses cycles of develop/test/refine work. The effects of the program are being evaluated by a variety of measures of student and teacher learning and practice. The project will contribute materials and research findings to the ultimate goal of understanding how to provide elementary school students with meaningful opportunities to learn engineering and develop valuable problem solving and thinking skills.

Achievements and Challenges of Modeling-based Instruction (ACMI) in Science Education: from 1980 to 2009

This project will synthesize existing literature on modeling-based instruction (MBI) in K-12 science education over the last three decades. It will rigorously code and examine the literature to conceptualize the landscape of the theoretical frameworks of MBI approaches, identify the effective design features of modeling-based learning environments with an emphasis on technology-enhanced ones, and identify the most effective MBI practices that are associated with successful student learning through a meta-analysis.

Award Number: 
1019866
Funding Period: 
Thu, 07/15/2010 to Sat, 06/30/2012
Full Description: 

The University of Georgia will carry out a two-year Synthesis Project that aims to provide a comprehensive review of the research and practices for modeling-based instruction (MBI) in K-12 science education. The project will synthesize existing literature on MBI in K-12 science education over the last three decades. It will rigorously code and examine the literature to conceptualize the landscape of the theoretical frameworks of MBI approaches, identify the effective design features of modeling-based learning environments with an emphasis on technology-enhanced ones, and identify the most effective MBI practices that are associated with successful student learning through a meta-analysis.

The project will build a systematic and analytic framework to conceptualize MBI, recommend best design strategies of technology-based modeling environments, evaluate MBI teacher professional development strategies associated with improved student learning, and propose appropriate assessment strategies created to evaluate and inform MBI. In addition to the comprehensive analysis of the theory and design of MBI, a meta-analysis will study the four components of student learning: theory, design, implementation, and assessment. Based on qualified quantitative studies, an examination of the four components will be made to evaluate how different empirical studies have established their effectiveness, examine the correlations among key components, and chart the impact of associated factors on student learning.

Blogs: Enhancing links in a professional learning community of science and mathematics teachers

Author(s): 
Loving, C. C.
Schroeder, C.
Kang, R.
Shimek, C.
Herbert, B.
Publication Type: 
Journal
Year: 
2007
In press?: 
In Press
Resource Format: 

Loving, C. C., Schroeder, C., Kang, R., Shimek, C., & Herbert, B. (2007). Blogs: Enhancing links in a professional learning community of science and mathematics teachers. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education [Online serial], 7(3). Available: http://www.citejournal.org/vol7/iss3/maintoc.cfm.

Exploring teacher knowledge and technology use in creating the inquiry classroom: Implications for novice science teacher professional development

Discipline / Topic: 

Kim, H., Miller, H. R., Herbert, B. E., Loving, C., & Pedersen, S. (2009). Exploring teacher knowledge and technology use in creating the inquiry classroom: Implications for novice science teacher professional development. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Charleston, SC.

Evolution of collaboration and mentoring using social network tools within a professional-development community for novice science teachers.

Discipline / Topic: 

Kim, H., Miller, H. R., Herbert, B. E., Loving, C., & Pedersen, S. (2009). Evolution of collaboration and mentoring using social network tools within a professional-development community for novice science teachers. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE), Charleston, SC.

The influence of high-stakes testing on science instruction: Beliefs of teachers

Discipline / Topic: 

Singleton, J., Kim, H., Loving, C. (2009). The influence of high-stakes testing on science instruction: Beliefs of teachers. Proceedings of the Southwest Educational Research Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio.

Promoting inquiry among science and mathematics teachers: Measuring success in a five-level professional learning community

Discipline / Topic: 

Loving, C. C., Kang, R., Arslanyilmaz, A., Shimek, C., Herbert, B., & Pedersen, S. 2008. Promoting inquiry among science and mathematics teachers: Measuring success in a five-level professional learning community. American Educational Research Association (AERA) Annual Meeting, New York, March 25–27 2008.

Novice ACP science and mathematics teachers’ levels of success with inquiry: A multi-case study of the effects of professional development

Discipline / Topic: 

Loving, C. C., Kang, R., Arslanyilmaz, A., Shimek, C., Herbert, B., & Pedersen, S. 2007. Novice ACP science and mathematics teachers’ levels of success with inquiry:  A multi-case study of the effects of professional development. Annual meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, New Orleans. April 2007.

Target Audience: 

CAREER: Teaching and Learning Social Science Inquiry and Spatial Reasoning with GIS

This research project aims to explore and understand how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to promote and teach spatial thinking and social science inquiry skills. It addresses the research question: What are effective teaching practices using GIS to teach spatial thinking and social science inquiry in middle-school and undergraduate classrooms? This program will study the effectiveness of teaching practices for social science instruction with GIS in urban public schools for specific learning objectives.

Partner Organization(s): 
Award Number: 
0953448
Funding Period: 
Thu, 04/01/2010 to Thu, 03/31/2011
Full Description: 

This research project aims to explore and understand how geographic information systems (GIS) can be used to promote and teach spatial thinking and social science inquiry skills. It addresses the research question: What are effective teaching practices using GIS to teach spatial thinking and social science inquiry in middle-school and undergraduate classrooms? This program will study the effectiveness of teaching practices for social science instruction with GIS in urban public schools for specific learning objectives.

The research plans to develop an empirically-grounded framework for studying the ways teaching practices with GIS interact with four other foci of research: (1) learning objectives for inquiry skills and spatial reasoning, articulated across grade levels; (2) learning processes with GIS; (3) GIS curriculum designs; and (4) the design of GIS tools for learning environments. The project plans to use the GIS tools within a culturally relevant curriculum unit for diverse students of African American and Latino backgrounds.

A range of research methods will be used to study teaching and learning, focused on a common topic: American Migrations of African American and Latino populations over time, using GIS-mapped census data. Research will be conducted in three phases: (1) design experiments iteratively developing a theoretical framework, curriculum, and instructional strategies; (2) case studies of effective instruction at two levels; and (3) curriculum evaluations. Findings on effective teaching and learning in middle school classrooms, with undergraduate college students, and pre-service elementary teachers via GIS based-curriculum, will be presented.

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