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.
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.
Researchers are studying whether middle school instruction about ecosystem science can be made more engaging and effective by combining immersion experiences in virtual ecosystems with immersion experiences in real ecosystems infused with virtual resources. Project personnel are developing a set of learning resources for deployment by mobile broadband devices that provide students with virtual access to information and simulations while working in the field.
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 addresses biology teachers and students at the high school level, responding to the exponential increases occurring in biology knowledge today and the need for students to understand the experimental basis behind biology concepts. The project studies the feasibility of engaging students in an environment where they can learn firsthand how science knowledge develops in the fields of bioinformatics and DNA science by performing collaborative, simulated experiments to solve open-ended problems.
This project uses sea urchin embryos to provide a curriculum module for inquiry-based biology. The curriculum is provided via a new open access website. It addresses several of the National Science Content Standards and provides a range of activities suitable for all levels of high school biology. It will provide instructional support materials such as video demonstrations, animations, time lapse videos and image galleries relevant to each exercise, as well as professional development materials.
This project is developing, testing, refining, and evaluate an intelligent, interactive, multimedia system. This intelligent tutoring system will provide high school biology students a virtual, hands-on, multimedia learning environment. It is designed to: 1) develop an innovative curricular approach for scientific literacy that is driven by national standards; 2) develop an intelligent tutoring system; 3) create an exportable Project Development Model; and 4) disseminate achievement of the above goals to science and educational communities.
This project develops ecosystems-focused instructional materials that use sensor data and technology to help second and third graders become more proficient at data modeling and scientific argumentation. The goals are to provide elementary teachers with a research-based curriculum that engages students in exploring and visualizing environmental data and using the data to construct scientific arguments, and to contribute to the cognitive development literature on children's ideas about and abilities for scientific argumentation.
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 is developing and testing a website, software application, and supplemental instructional materials that use publicly accessible genomics data to foster scientific inquiry among high schools students. Outcomes for students and teachers include developing knowledge, skills, and understandings related to genetic inheritance; data investigation and analysis; the process of scientific inquiry; and collaboration.
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.
The Lynch School of Education and the Urban Ecology Institute at Boston College are partnering with the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST) to develop, test, evaluate and disseminate a year-long set of urban ecology course materials for use in high school-level capstone science courses. The standards-based materials emphasize locally-relevant field studies and incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning and Educative Curriculum.