Projects

09/15/2007

This project has two goals:

1) to discover methods that can efficiently obtain information about the effects of high school programs on eventual college success. Methods we are considering include obtaining transcripts from post-secondary institutions, surveying high school graduates, and obtaining information from the National Student Clearinghouse.

2) to explore how students who studied Contemporary Mathematics in Context (Core Plus) or the Integrated Mathematics Program (IMP) fare in post secondary institutions.

09/15/2007

This project improves science learning by students who are not achieving their potential in high quality inquiry-based programs. The project aims to achieve its goal by developing a computer program, My Science Tutor, which students will use immediately following classroom science investigations to reinforce and extend concepts embedded in the investigations. The program uses a lifelike animated character to engage students in guided learning activities and conversational tutorial dialogs that stimulate scientific reasoning.

09/01/2007

This conference, convened in May 2008, produced a conceptual framework, a research agenda, and an instructional unit for elementary mathematics methods classes. A total of 35 participants were invited to attend, and participating faculty members were asked to bring a graduate student. The conference was scheduled for 2.5 days supplemented with significant pre-conference and post-conference activities.

09/01/2007

This project aims to (1) investigate whether or not it is possible to successfully scale-up and adapt the Capacity Building Systems Model used in the Gadsden Mathematics Initiative and improve mathematics achievement for all students in a larger school district, and (2) replicate success in broadening the participation of underrepresented groups in entering STEM field by closing the achievement gap and raising the achievement level of underrepresented students in mathematics.

09/01/2007

This project aims to develop a software diagnostic tool for integrating diagnostic interviews, group administered assessments, and student data in real-time so that teachers can enter and view student status information. This project would concentrate on rational number learning in grades 3-8. The design is based on a model of learning trajectories developed from existing research studies.

09/01/2007

This project is designed to enhance an existing interdisciplinary high school science curriculum—Astrobiology in the Secondary Classroom (ASC)—in an innovative way and conduct research to determine the effectiveness of these materials in three different underrepresented student populations—African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americas—experiencing an achievement gap in STEM areas at five sites. Improvements will focus on program alignment and increased use of data sets made available by research scientists.

09/01/2007

This curriculum development and professional development program includes residential summer institutes with academic-year online communication for in-service teachers involved in professional development of their colleagues. During each summer institute, teachers will be introduced to sets of STEM Polar Connections Modules that will emphasize the process of scientific inquiry and will explore a variety of proven techniques for effective teaching, including inquiry-based teaching, cooperative learning, and methods for formative assessment of student learning.

09/01/2007

This project examines the nature of adaptive expertise in mathematics education, exploring relationships between this concept from cognitive psychology and effective middle school mathematics instruction. One goal of the project is to operationalize adaptive expertise in mathematics classroom using three dimensions: cognitive models of professional competence, instructional practices, and professional learning. Then, researchers seek to determine whether teachers who are more effective at raising student achievement are more or less adaptive.

09/01/2007

Using an experimental design, this project examines the effects of online professional development courses on high school biology teachers' content and pedagogical knowledge, and on their students' knowledge. The project is testing the impact of using digital resouces and is using hierarchal linear modeling techniques to analyze data. It will contribute to the knowledge base of what impacts student achievement by testing the efficacy of online professional development for science teachers.

09/01/2007

Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears, an online professional development magazine for elementary teachers, focuses on preparing teachers to teach science concepts in an already congested curriculum by integrating inquiry-based science with literacy teaching. Launched in March 2008, each thematic issue relates elementary science topics and concepts to the real-world context of the polar regions and includes standards-based science and content-rich literacy learning.

09/01/2007

This project seeks to advance knowledge in K-12 STEM education and assessment practices by building capacity for Assessment for Learning, improving assessments and teacher preparation courses, and providing models for pre-service teacher preparation through enhanced teaching modules. Three goals are: (1) faculty from three centers form a learning community, (2) recruit 5 STEM research scholars to conduct research on measurement and evaluation, and (3) expose pre-service teachers to assessment models in their coursework.

09/01/2007

This project is comparing and evaluating different models for the delivery of online professional development aimed at elementary science teachers. The focus is on asynchronous (anytime, anywhere) and minimally facilitated models, because these approaches hold promise for reaching large numbers of teachers in a cost-effective way. The research capitalizes on experiences with BCM's award-winning, high traffic website for educators, BioEd Online.

09/01/2007

This project uses media such as Science Bulletin Snapshots to engage students with current research and to foster scientific understanding and civic engagement. Through environmental case studies, students learn to develop hypotheses, analyze scientific data, and make conclusions. To address the objectives, the project will create inquiry-based case studies to situate several central ecological principles, as determined by national and state standards, into the context of environmental issues.

09/01/2007

The PuM project develops and conducts research on a learning continuum for seamless instruction in middle school physical science and high school physics. The ultimate goal is to use physics as the context to develop mathematics literacy, particularly with students from underrepresented populations and special needs students. The research component analyzes the effects of the curriculum on students' learning while simultaneously investigating teachers' pedagogical content knowledge in a variety of forms.

09/01/2007

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.

09/01/2007

This study explores the ways middle school mathematics teachers implement standards-based curriculum materials in urban schools. It takes the view that instructional materials are cultural tools and examines how teachers use these tools to plan and implement the curriculum in their classrooms. The study is using a mixed methods approach that combines surveys of teachers in 30 schools in the Newark Public Schools district and closer observations of teachers in selected case schools.

09/01/2007

This project employs sensing technologies to help transform students' physical actions during play into a set of symbolic (computer) representations in a physics simulation and to engage the children in a developmentally appropriate and powerful form of scientific modeling. The students are in grades K–1 at UCLA's elementary school, and the intervention is based on the existing content unit on Force and Motion.

09/01/2007

Researchers are developing a practice-based curriculum for the professional education of preservice and practicing secondary mathematics teachers that focuses on reasoning and proving; has narrative cases as a central component; and supports the development of knowledge of mathematics needed for teaching. This curriculum is comprised of eight constellations of activities that focus on key aspects of reasoning and proving such as identifying patterns; making conjectures; providing proofs; and providing non-proof arguments.

09/01/2007

This study is aimed at exploring the components and impact of a teacher professional development model on teacher performance and student achievement and motivation in STEM disciplines at schools serving large numbers of minority students. It also aims to research and evaluate the impact of teachers who provide students with school experiences that are geared toward fostering high academic achievement.

09/01/2007

In response to the critical need for scholars with deep content knowledge in chemistry and the specialized training to conduct CER, this capacity building project prepares scholars whose research marries expertise in instrument design with extensive literature on chemistry misconceptions, resulting in the development of concept inventories as reliable and valid measures of student learning for use by chemistry teachers (both high school and post-secondary) and chemistry education researchers.

09/01/2007

This project is creating five video-case modules for use in professional development of middle school mathematics teachers. The materials are designed to develop teachers' understanding of mathematics knowledge for teaching similarity. In total, 18-24 video cases will be produced, which, taken together, form the curriculum of a 45- to 60-hour professional development course.

09/01/2007

This project addresses two grand challenges—cutting-edge STEM content and K-12 science assessments. Using DNA Sequencing Analysis Program (DSAP), which will be modified, high school students and teachers will learn molecular biology and modern genetics by working with authentic genomic sequences, and submit their findings for review by scientists. The objective is to develop state-of-the-art Web-based tools and resources that will make it possible for high school students to conduct authentic research in bioinformatics.

09/01/2007

Mississippi State University is identifying characteristics of exemplary African American elementary science teachers and examining the role of mentoring on beginning elementary science teachers and their students.

09/01/2007

This project forms communities of practice among K-6 teachers using Web-based resources that allow audio and video connections in real time (http://justaskateacher.com) and conducts research that examines the impact of these communities of practice on school programs, teaching practices, and student achievement. We invite K-6 teachers and teacher educators to join us at http://justaskateacher.com.

09/01/2007

This project addresses middle school students’ learning of science through the improvement of their inquiry science skills. The main goal is to develop a rigorous, technology-based assessment system for standards-aligned assessment of inquiry skills in six physical science content areas (i.e., Properties of Matter; Elements, Compounds, and Mixtures; Motion of Objects; Forms of Energy; and Heat Energy). Assessments are aligned with the Massachusetts Curricular Framework and National Science Education Standards.

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