Ellen Yezierski

Professional Title
Associate Professor
About Me (Bio)
Research in the Yezierski Group focuses on improving conceptual understanding of chemistry and developing scientific thinking across a variety of grade levels (middle school, high school, and college) and learning environments (formal and informal). Through quasi-experimental and experimental studies which test the student and teacher effects of instructional interventions and teacher professional development framed around inquiry, the particulate nature of matter, and scientific reasoning, their work promotes science literacy and an appreciation of how chemistry content applies to the natural world.
Miami University

The project will establish a sustained community of practice for high school teachers skilled in the VisChem Approach and a group of new teaching and research scholars with expertise in building conceptual understanding through the effective use of visualization. The project will help students move from describing phenomena to explaining their causes from a molecular-level perspectives (e.g., carbon dioxide in climate change, DNA changes in genetically modified organisms).

Grand Valley State University (GVSU), Miami University

This project scales and further tests the Target Inquiry professional development model. The scale-up and further testing would involve adding physics, biology and geology at Grand Valley State University, and implementing the program at Miami University with chemistry teachers. The project is also producing a website of instructional materials for middle and secondary science.

Miami University, Grand Valley State University (GVSU)

This project scales and further tests the Target Inquiry professional development model. The model involves teachers in three core experiences: 1) a research experience for teachers, 2) materials adaptation, and 3) an action research project. The original program was implemented with high school chemistry teachers, and was shown to result in significant increases, with large effect sizes, in teachers' understanding of science inquiry and quality of instruction, and in science achievement of those teachers' students.

Grand Valley State University (GVSU)

This five-year research project has as its central aim the testing of the Target Inquiry (TI) model of teacher professional development with secondary school chemistry teachers. This model emphasizes the importance of the inquiry process in teaching and learning science by combining a research experience for teachers (RET) with curriculum adaptation and action research.