This project is developing a set of instructional materials that engages students and teachers in the science of coupled natural human (CNH) systems. Teacher guides, a website and multimedia resources accompany the four student modules (which focus on an urban watershed, an urban/agricultural system, Amazonia and a polar system).
This project is developing research-based science units for 3rd-4th grades in life, earth and physical science. The Seeds/Roots series is an integrated science-literacy instructional program based on a successful NSF-funded proof-of-concept initiative. It builds on revision of units in the Great Explorations in Math and Science Program; but updates and employs a new, multi-modal "Do it, talk it, read it, write it" learning model, with literacy used in the service of science inquiry.
This project is developing a learning progression in scientific inquiry about the nature of matter. The effort will result in a research-guided system of curriculum, assessment and professional development focusing on the transition from a macroscopic to a microscopic understanding of matter that occurs in upper elementary and middle school. The project has a close collaboration with scientists and urban schools.
Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) programs have been designed to give teachers authentic scientific inquiry experience, but their results have remained largely unexamined. This research focuses on analyzing RET programs through description of their essential features, their efficacy in fostering teachers’ understanding and enactment of inquiry, their interaction with the personal characteristics of participating teachers, and the influence of teaching through inquiry on student learning in science.
This project will provide an empirically-supported learning progression for a key scientific practice, scientific modeling. The specific instructional materials created as part of the project can serve as a model other developers can use to design materials supporting scientific modeling and other practices. The model for educative curriculum materials as a form of teacher support can be adapted to support teacher learning about modeling or other scientific practices in other curriculum materials.
This project is developing technology-rich science curriculum exemplars for grades 3-6 based on Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. The project is testing the effectiveness of the approach and providing an exemplar that can inspire additional content and further development. A set of professional development materials to support teacher implementation of UDL science curriculum in the classroom is planned. Probes are used for lab investigations and computational models are used for experimentation in virtual environments.
This project is creating age-appropriate physical science curriculum that uses balls rolling on student-constructed ramps for children age 3-8 years. Students are expected to develop practical understanding of the movement of objects along ramps and pathways that leads to knowledge about concepts of forces and motion. They will improve their ability to engage in scientific inquiry and solve engineering problems related to ramp structures, and develop positive attitudes about science and themselves as science learners.
The project is testing a learning progression for modeling that spans the elementary and middle grades. Modeling instruction will be organized around concepts in life sciences that cumulate to a strong conceptual understanding of micro and macro evolution. The work takes place in two districts with underserved children. A curriculum strand is being created, assessments developed and a longitudinal research study conducted. The project also includes an extensive professional development model and accompanying dissemination strategy.
This project is testing the effectiveness of the 'Learning Assistant Model' for recruiting, preparing, and retaining STEM K-12 teachers by developing a suite of survey instruments that can be used by researchers interested in testing the effectiveness of teacher preparation programs, course transformations, or conceptual or pedagogical knowledge. It focuses on teacher certification programs,K-12 contexts and students' experiences in STEM departments and the role of STEM research faculty in preparing future teachers.
This project is developing five web-based modules for middle school science that engage students in student-directed inquiry and provide teachers with professional development in facilitating this inquiry. These modules immerse students in virtual environments for learning (VELs) where they take on the role of scientists engaged in a complex task. The virtual settings presented in the VELs support students in designing and carrying out their own investigations.
This project identifies pivotal experiences of career science teachers that have promoted their advancement along the teacher professional continuum. The goal of the project is to develop an instrument that informs researchers about professional development opportunities that successful, empowered science teachers recall as having impacted their teaching and their overall sense of professionalism. The project is using a methodology in which teachers draw behavior over time graphs while telling their stories of empowerment.
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.
This project will study the impact and effect of the use of induction for first year middle grades mathematics teachers in three districts in Tennessee and Kentucky, including rural and urban settings. The purpose of this project is to study the links of components of induction to improved instruction and student achievement.
The project team is developing, implementing and evaluating a prototype for an integrated assessment system in elementary teacher education in mathematics. The project is documenting both the development of the student teachers in the practice of teaching mathematics to students from diverse backgrounds and of cooperating teachers and field instructors as they learn to analyze the practice of the student teachers and provide feedback.
This project will conduct a professional development series to improve the content knowledge of science teachers. "Across the Sciences," a ten-unit series requiring approximately 145 hours to complete, will better qualify 9th and 10th grade science teachers to teach multidisciplinary science courses. Teachers prepared in one science discipline will benefit from opportunities to increase and deepen their interdisciplinary science content knowledge and their understanding of student needs associated with learning science.
This project is designed to assist K-3 teachers in teaching life and physical science for conceptual understanding. It integrates videos, stills and voice-over into one multimedia web-based tool. The program provides teachers with experiences in understanding details related to the \"how\" of high quality science teaching. The professional development activities illuminate what happens in planning and in arranging science classrooms to promote student learning.
This project tests whether mentoring middle school science and math teachers by University Ph.D. STEM faculty has a positive effect on the teachers' understanding of science, their teaching ability and the learning outcomes of their students. The goal of this research study is to strengthen the theoretical underpinning of best practices in middle grades math and science teaching and to enhance the knowledge base for teacher recruitment, preparation, induction and retention.
This project develops images, extended examples, and principles that illustrate how the articulation, representation and justification of general claims about operations evolve in the elementary grades and how this work supports the transition from arithmetic to algebra in the middle grades. An online course uses the Sourcebook as a text to engage teachers in considering the underlying pedagogical and mathematical aspects of the work and implementing these ideas in their instruction.
This project results in a training manual, web-based resources, and training opportunities in field-based ecology for high school teachers. The project is designed to increase teacher content knowledge in ecological concepts, improve their higher level thinking skills, and interest more Hispanic students in ecology. To support the latter objective the project's materials are translated into Spanish.
This project assists teachers in analyzing their own science inquiry skills as well as those of their students via the development of an inquiry skill analyzer (iSA); and to assist teachers in selecting, designing, developing, implementing and evaluating technology-supported learning activities to develop science inquiry skills, especially in identified weak areas through the development of an inquiry activity portal (iAP).
This project will produce, publish and disseminate a strong mathematics content curriculum for in-service secondary mathematics teachers and prepare a group of specialized teacher-leaders to deliver this curriculum across the country. Important components of this project are that expert teachers will ensure that the mathematics is relevant to the professional lives of secondary teachers and mathematicians will be core members of the development and review team.
This research is examining science and mathematics teacher learning in the context of an alternative certification program employing two different models of field-based preparation. The project will inform the research community about science and mathematics teacher learning and will aid in the design and implementation of alternative certification programs and field-based internships in science and mathematics teacher preparation, as well as potentially impact policymaking concerning teacher certification.
MIST is a five-year study of four large, urban districts implementing ambitious mathematics reform initiatives in the middle grades. The study uses a mixed-methods research design to investigate how changes in the school and district settings in which mathematics teachers work influence their instructional practices, students' learning opportunities, and student achievement.
This project is producing prototype professional development materials to enhance the capacity of middle school teachers to increase students' science knowledge and argumentation skills. The project is also investigating the level of teacher implementation of the professional development materials and documenting the development of scientific argumentation skills of the students. Research data on cognitive strategy, instructional procedures, cooperative discussion, writing protocols and the effectiveness of the professional development support material will be collected.