This project uses computer-based models of interacting organisms and their environments to support a learning progression leading to an appreciation of the theory of evolution and evidence that supports it. The project has created a research-based curriculum centered on progressively complex models that exhibit emergent behavior. The project will help improve the teaching of complex scientific topics and provide a reliable means of directly assessing students' conceptual understanding and inquiry skills.
SRI International developed a formative assessment intervention that integrates classroom network technologies and contingent curriculum activities to help middle school teachers adjust instruction to improve student learning of Earth science concepts. The intervention was tested as part of a quasi-experimental study within an urban school district in Colorado that includes ethnically and economically diverse student populations. Findings indicate significant student learning gains for students in implementation classes as compared to students in comparison classes.
Effective Science Teaching for English Language Learners (ESTELL): A Pre-Service Teacher Professional Development Research Project project is funded by the National Science Foundation DR-K-12 Discovery Research Program. The ESTELL project focuses on improving the science teaching and learning of K-6 linguistic minority students who are currently underserved in K-6 education through improving the pre-service education of elementary school teachers.
This project supports up to eight fellows per year to participate in the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellows Program. This program provides opportunities for teachers to work on educational issues and/or programs in a federal agency or congressional office. It promotes professional growth; fosters the exchange of ideas that are relevant to STEM education at the national and state levels through conferences, workshops, and presentations; provides opportunities for teachers' input; and awards outstanding teachers.
This project is developing a science teacher education model focused on the establishment of a diagnostic learning environment through formative assessment as a powerful instructional practice for promoting learning of all students (grades 5–12) on the topic of energy with the goal of increasing the understanding of the processes through which teachers develop the requisite knowledge, skills, and dispositions for effective deployment of a formative assessment instructional cycle.
This project is developing and conducting research on the Cohort Model for addressing the mathematics education of students that perform in the bottom quartile on state and district tests. The predicted outcome is that most students will remain in the cohort for all four years and that almost all of those who do will perform well enough on college entrance exams to be admitted and will test out of remedial mathematics courses.
This project examines the nature and process of collaborations between mathematicians and mathematics teacher educators engaged in the preparation of secondary mathematics teachers. KnoTSS participants are teams of mathematicians and educators who co-teach two courses (one mathematics course and one methods of teaching mathematics course) aimed at building integrated knowledge of content and pedagogy.
This exploratory project seeks to understand the role that a network of tablet computers may play in elementary and middle school math and science classrooms. The project uses classroom observations, student interviews, teacher interviews, and student artifacts to identify the advantages and disadvantages of these resources, to understand what challenges and benefits they offer to teachers, and to offer recommendations for future hardware, software, and curriculum development.
The SAVE Science project is creating an innovative system using immersive virtual environments for evaluating learning in science, consistent with research- and policy-based recommendations for science learning focused around the big ideas of science content and inquiry for middle school years. Motivation for this comes not only from best practices as outlined in the National Science Education Standards and AAAS' Project 2061, but also from the declining interest and confidence of today's student in science.
This project performs integrated research on emergent materials and phenomena in magnetoelectronics. The aim of the research activities is to advance understanding of the emergent materials and phenomena and to develop highly sophisticated experimental and theoretical tools required to study them. Project activities include an innovative education research program aimed at cognition of materials science concepts, K-12 outreach and visitation programs, undergraduate research programs, and graduate-education enhancement programs.
This project aims to determine whether curricula designed to support teacher and student learning have positive impacts on teacher knowledge, attitudes, and instructional practices; to what degree educative curricula help teachers with more and less experience teaching ELLs and how level of teaching experience relates to teacher knowledge, attitudes, and instructional practices; and the effects of the educative curricula in high implementation settings on ELLs knowledge and attitudes in science, and developing English proficiency.
The project addresses the relatively poor mathematics achievement of students who are not proficient in English. It includes research on how English language learners in beginning algebra classes solve math word problems with different text characteristics. The results of this research inform the development of technology-based resources to support ELLs’ ability to learn mathematics through instruction in English, including tutorials in math vocabulary, integrated glossaries, and interactive assistance with forming equations from word problem text.
This project investigates the potential of online role-playing games for scientific literacy through the iterative design and research of Saving Lake Wingra, an online role-playing game around a controversial development project in an urban area. Saving Lake Wingra positions players as ecologists, department of natural resources officials, or journalists investigating a rash of health problems at a local lake, and then creating and debating solutions.
This project is NSF's contribution to an interagency effort with NASA and NOAA to focus three symposia at the National Science Teachers Association annual meeting, not on particular agency efforts, but specifically on International Polar Year science through three themes: ice, life, and water and air. NSTA focuses on promoting innovation and excellence in science teaching and learning as well as the professional development of teachers to teach science.
This project augments an NCES data collection effort for the High School Longitudinal Study by including 150 additional schools in up to 10 selected states to create state representative samples of at least 40 schools in each state. The purpose of this augmentation is to provide support for additional schools to create state samples. NSF will also be involved in planning for future surveys of these students as they reach college age.
This project is writing and researching a book supporting grade 5-8 students in scientific explanations and arguments. The book provides written and video examples from a variety of contexts in terms of content and diversity of students. The book and accompanying facilitator materials also provide different teacher instructional strategies for supporting students. The research focuses on how the book and accompanying professional development impact teachers' beliefs, pedagogical content knowledge and classroom practice.
This project is an efficacy study of the Fostering Geometrical Thinking Toolkit (FGTT) previously developed with NSF support. FGTT is a 40-hour professional development intervention focusing on properties of geometric figures, geometric transformations, and measurement of length, area, and volume. The study addresses four research questions, three examining participating teachers and one examining the impact of teachers' professional development on ELL students.
The purpose of Project Delta is two-fold: (1) to extend an existing library of 17 interacting CD-ROM digital learning environments on numbers and operations by adding an algebra strand, and (2) to evaluate the impact of the new algebra materials on teacher development. Each of the digital environments features classroom sessions that allow for exploration of a mathematics topic, children learning over time, and teachers? instructional techniques.
A major scientific issue of our time is global warming and climate change. Many facets of human life are and will continue to be influenced by this. However, an adequate understanding of the problem requires an understanding of various domains of science. There has been little research done on effects of intervention on student learning of these topics. This project shows an improvement in student knowledge of climate change and related issues.
The Accessing Science Ideas (ASI) project is developing and researching content enhancements that support science learning of middle school students with executive function and related learning disabilities. The goal of ASI research is to measure the extent to which curricular units with content enhancements lead to increased student understanding of science concepts, improved reasoning, and greater confidence.
This project conducts a systematic and empirical (both quantitative and qualitative) longitudinal study of the factors that influence students' decisions at critical junctures in the educational pipeline. The goals are too (a) broaden participation in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields and (b) improve the recruitment, retention, and success of minority undergraduate men in STEM and STEM-related fields across colleges and universities in the United States.
This project is developing an 8th-grade assessment for proportional reasoning from a cognitive diagnosis model (CDM) framework. CDMs are psychometric models developed specifically for diagnosing the presence or absence of fine-grained skills or processes required in solving problems on a test. Assessments based on CDMs can provide information deemed more diagnostic and descriptive, and therefore, more relevant in applied instructional settings.
The purpose of this project is to create a research-based model of how students with learning disabilities (LDs) develop multiplicative reasoning via reform-oriented pedagogy; convert the model into a computer system that dynamically models every students’ evolving conceptions and recommends tasks to promote their advancement to higher level, standard-based multiplicative structures and operations; and study how this tool impacts student outcomes.
This project develops and researches the academic potential of a hybrid instructional model that infuses computer simulations, modeling, and educational gaming into middle school technology education programs. These prototypical materials use 3-D simulations and educational gaming to support students’ learning of STEM content and skills through developing solutions to design challenges.
The project draws upon intelligent tutoring and narrative-centered learning technologies to produce a suite of intelligent game-based learning environments for upper elementary school science students. The games explicitly model student knowledge and problem solving and dynamically customize feedback, advice, and explanation as appropriate. Unlike its predecessor, the platform is multi-user so it can support collaboration; offer dynamically generated feedback, advice, and explanation; and provide a pedagogical dashboard that generates student progress reports.