This project is developing and testing digital versions of science materials for middle school and high school. Project partners are creating guidelines for universally designed materials; building an open-source authoring tool (Inquiry Science System,ISS) that enables transformation of science curricula into digitally supported versions incorporating UDL features; using the ISS to produce exemplars of units from tested instructional materials, and evaluating the benefits of these exemplars for students with and without learning disabilities.
A collaboration among educators, engineers, and mathematicians in three universities, this project is creating, implementing, and evaluating a one-year curriculum for teaching a non-calculus, fourth-year high school mathematics course and accompanied assessment instruments. The curriculum will draw on decision-making tools that include but go well beyond linear programming, to enhance student mathematical competence (particularly solving multi-step problems), improve students' attitudes toward mathematics, and promote states' adoption of the curriculum (initially NC and MI).
SPRINTT uses an innovative, live, online training format to train hundreds of teachers in how to teach life, Earth, and physical science content in a polar context. Polar scientists directly inform the content and participate in the training. SPRINTT provides teachers with existing and adapted, high-quality, standards-based curriculum materials and collaborates with science and education partners to simplify research data and create a user-friendly interface from which students perform their own authentic polar research projects.
This project is developing and testing comprehensive science curricula for the middle school and high school. Project partners are creating heuristics for universally designed materials; building an open source UDL Inquiry Science System (ISS) that enables science curricula to be transformed into digitally supported versions incorporating UDL features; and using the ISS to produce exemplars of units from tested instructional materials and evaluate the benefits of these exemplars for students with and without learning disabilities.
CAST, the University of Michigan, and EDC are collaborating to create heuristics for universally designed middle and high school science materials; to build an open-source UDL Inquiry Science System (ISS) that enables science curricula to be transformed into digitally supported versions that incorporate UDL features, to use the ISS to produce four UDL exemplars from tested instructional materials, and to evaluate the benefits of these exemplars for grades-5–12 students with and without learning disabilities.
This project develops resources to facilitate the involvement of college and university physics departments in the professional development of K-12 teachers of physics and physical science. Research investigates how students and teachers learn content and reasoning skills for applying concepts to real world situations; how teachers can learn content in a way that helps them promote student learning; and how teachers can learn to assess student understanding in a way that promotes student learning.
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.
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.
EDC is developing a high school capstone course in linear algebra. Student resources contain a core semester that develops two- and three-dimensional geometry using vectors and that treats matrix algebra and its applications to geometry; a semester of material that completes a typical undergraduate course (exploring bases, determinants and eigentheory); and 5 stand-alone modules that develop applications of this core to mathematics, engineering, science, and other STEM fields.
This project is developing, piloting, and implementing online professional development in support of inquiry, focusing on facilitation of student research. The goal is to determine what types of Web-based experiences and resources most effectively support middle school teachers in overcoming the substantial hurdles inherent in enabling students to design and conduct their own scientific experiments. The project creates and tests a series of Web-based professional development experiences for 7th and 8th grade teachers.
This project has pioneered simulation-based assessments of model-based science learning and inquiry practices for middle school physical and life science systems. The assessment suites include curriculum-embedded, formative assessments that provide immediate, individualized feedback and graduated coaching with supporting reflection activities as well as summative end-of-unit benchmark assessments. The project has documented the instructional benefits, feasibility, utility, and technical quality of the assessments with over 7,000 students and 80 teachers in four states.
The Coaching Cycle project is creating an online course for K–8 mathematics instructional coaches. The project targets coaches in rural areas and small schools who do not have access to regular district-wide professional development. It provides training in the skills needed for effective instructional coaching in mathematics by using artifacts collected by practicing coaches to engage course participants in the practice of coaching skills.
This project’s researchers are determining individual teacher effect estimates and investigating their stability across models. This study also investigates the instructional practices of a subsample of 30 highly effective and 30 less effective sixth-grade mathematics teachers using videotaped classroom lessons, which are coded and analyzed by researchers who are blind to the value-added effectiveness of the teachers.
This project is assessing the potential value and feasibility of developing and implementing content standards for K-12 engineering education. The project is reviewing existing efforts to define what students should know; identifying elements of existing standards for related content areas that could link to engineering; considering how purposes for engineering education might affect content and implementation of standards; and suggesting changes to policies, programs, and practices necessary to develop and implement engineering standards.
This project is conducting an empirical analysis of NAEP assessment items in science to determine whether evidence supports the hypothesis that standardized tests capture only a limited amount of student knowledge because of their cultural background. The investigator will create a model of test design more likely to extract student knowledge from students of varied cultures by expanding items’ content. The study will examine the experience of American Indian groups, Alaska Natives, and Pacific Islanders.
The study includes two and a half years of preparation and support for all the mathematics instructional leaders (ILs) within a large urban school district with a substantial minority student enrollment. These ILs will implement the Problem-Solving Cycle model with the mathematics teachers in their schools. Researchers will analyze the preparation and support that ILs need, the quality of their implementation, and the impact of the PD process on ILs, teachers, and students.
This grant explores the timely issue of how to conduct a feasibility study on the question of whether youths who participate in after-school IT-oriented science-engagement programs are more likely to eventually choose a STEM-related career. This project examines programs such as Information Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) along with other similar programs to determine innovative approaches to conducting such a long-term study so that it is methodologically sound and as economical as possible.
The goal of these two linked conferences was to build more effective connections between research and practice. Specifically, the conferences brought together researchers, practitioners. and policy makers around improving students' mathematics proficiency by ensuring that researchers were investigating the most urgent problems of practice and that practitioners were connected to the research in ways that makes the knowledge useful to instruction.
The goal of this conference was to bring together classroom teachers, mathematics educators, mathematicians, and community college faculty to consider critical questions about content and pedagogy in the mathematics education of K-8 teachers. These discussions were grounded by co-teaching actual professional development sessions, through observing each other teaching, and through debriefing teaching sessions based on observations and videotape. The participants developed an emerging set of principles and approaches to professional development for K-8 teachers.
The project makes use of technology to create timely, valid, and actionable reports to teachers by analyzing assessments and logs of student actions generated in the course of using computer-based curriculum materials. The reports allow teachers to make data-based decisions about alternative teaching strategies. The technology supports student collaborations and the assignment of different learning activities to groups, an essential function needed for universal design for learning (UDL).
This project creates materials for grades 5-8 that address and assess STEM concepts through a robotics curriculum. The curriculum addresses STEM standards through such documents as the NCTM Focal Points and the Atlas of Science Literacy. Students can use the TekBot robotics platform in three problem-based ways: building, moving, and programming. The intent is to scale up to a cyber-infrastructure that supports the national distribution and implementation of the curriculum.
This project engages children in classrooms across the country in an authentic investigation of Devonian fossils. Goals include supporting children in the use of evidence in constructing explanations of natural phenomena, and motivating culturally and linguistically diverse groups of children to engage in learning science. Deliverables include development and testing of an interactive website where children learn how to identify the fossils they find and add their own data to an emerging database.
This project supports five graduate students with backgrounds in the natural and learning sciences as they achieve masters-level expertise in a science discipline and pursue coursework and complete dissertations in science education research. The program prepares them to 1) collaborate with educational and developmental psychologists and discipline-based science education researchers, and 2) to develop and teach courses that break down the traditional barriers between science teaching methods courses and science content courses for teachers.
This project’s overarching goal is to evaluate the assessment components embedded within two NSF-supported mathematics curricula: Everyday Mathematics and Math Trailblazers. The investigators will apply a comprehensive validity perspective that integrates a variety of empirical evidence regarding the cognitive, psychometric, and instructional affordances of multiple assessments embedded in these curricula as part of their overall instructional design.
UNCG and NCSU are developing instructional resources for grades-2–5 students that infuse cutting-edge content from the emerging field of biomusic into standards-based elementary science and music curricula. The approach uses the musical sounds of nature to help students learn concepts in biology, physical science, and anthropology. Curriculum is undergoing beta-testing across North Carolina in diverse school settings.