Matching Items (18)

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Beginning chemistry teachers use of the triplet relationship during their first three years in the classroom

Description

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has been described as the knowledge teachers' use in the process of designing and implementing lessons to a particular group of students. This includes the most

Pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) has been described as the knowledge teachers' use in the process of designing and implementing lessons to a particular group of students. This includes the most effective representations that make the content understandable to students, together with the preconceptions and misconceptions that students hold. For chemistry, students have been found to have difficulty with the discipline due to its reliance upon three levels of representation called the triplet: the macro, the submicro, and the symbolic. This study examines eight beginning chemistry teachers' depiction of the chemistry content through the triplet relationship and modifications as a result of considering students' understanding across the teacher's first three years in the classroom. The data collected included classroom observations, interviews, and artifacts for the purpose of triangulation. The analysis of the data revealed that beginning chemistry teachers utilized the abstract components, submicro and symbolic, primarily in the first year. However, the teachers began to engage more macro representations over time building a more developed instructional repertoire. Additionally, teachers' developed an awareness of and responded to their students' understanding of learning atomic structure during the second and third year teaching. The results of this study call for preservice and induction programs to help novice chemistry teachers build a beginning repertoire that focuses on the triplet relationship. In so doing, the teachers enter the classroom with a repertoire that allows them to address the needs of their students. Finally, the study suggests that the triplet relationship framework should be revisited to include an additional component that frames learning to account for socioscientific issues and historical contributions.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Student conceptions of the nature of science

Description

ABSTRACT Research has shown that students from elementary school to college have major misconceptions about the nature of science. While an appropriate understanding of the nature of science has been

ABSTRACT Research has shown that students from elementary school to college have major misconceptions about the nature of science. While an appropriate understanding of the nature of science has been an objective of science education for a century, researchers using a variety of instruments, continue to document students' inadequate conceptions of what science is and how it operates as an enterprise. Current research involves methods to improve student understanding of the nature of science. Students often misunderstand the creative, subjective, empirical, and tentative nature of science. They do not realize the relationship between laws and theories, nor do they understand that science does not follow a prescribed method. Many do not appreciate the influence culture, society, and politics; nor do they have an accurate understanding of the types of questions addressed by science. This study looks at student understanding of key nature of science (NOS) concepts in order to examine the impact of implementing activities intended to help students better understand the process of science and to see if discussion of key NOS concepts following those activities will result in greater gains in NOS understanding. One class received an "activities only" treatment, while the other participated in the same activities followed by explicit discussion of key NOS themes relating to the activity. The interventions were implemented for one school year in two high school anatomy and physiology courses composed of juniors and seniors. Student views of the nature of science were measured using the Views of the Nature of Science - Form C (VNOS-C). Students in both classes demonstrated significant gains in NOS understanding. However, contrary to current research, the addition of explicit discussion did not result in significantly greater gains in NOS understanding. This suggests that perhaps students in higher-level science classes can draw the correlations between NOS related activities and important aspects of "real" science. Or perhaps that a curriculum with a varied approach my expose students to more aspects of science thus improving their NOS understanding.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2010

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Fidelity of implementation of research experience for teachers in the classroom

Description

In this study, the Arizona State University Mathematics and Science Teaching Fellows 2010 program was analyzed qualitatively from start to finish to determine the impact of the research experience on

In this study, the Arizona State University Mathematics and Science Teaching Fellows 2010 program was analyzed qualitatively from start to finish to determine the impact of the research experience on teachers in the classroom. The sample for the study was the 2010 cohort of eight high school science teachers. Erickson's (1986) interpretive, participant observational fieldwork method was used to report data by means of detailed descriptions of the research experience and classroom implementation. Data was collected from teacher documents, interviews, and observations. The findings revealed various factors that were responsible for an ineffective implementation of the research experience in the classroom such as research experience, curriculum support, availability of resources, and school curriculum. Implications and recommendations for future programs are discussed in the study.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Using science writing heuristics to increase conceptual understanding of properties of matter and property changes with 8th grade students

Description

This teacher research study examined the effects of utilizing an intervention of Science Writing Heuristics (SWH) as a tool to increase learning during laboratory activities. Five of my eighth

This teacher research study examined the effects of utilizing an intervention of Science Writing Heuristics (SWH) as a tool to increase learning during laboratory activities. Five of my eighth grade general science classes participated in this study. Two classes utilized SWH during their laboratory activities (the treatment group) and three classes performed and wrote up their labs in the more traditional, teacher-directed approach (the control group). The assessment scores of the students in the treatment group were compared to the assessment scores of the students in the control group. The post-assessments were analyzed utilizing a t-test. I was teacher in this study and the teacher of all five classes. Data from 41 students were analyzed in this study. A pre-assessment, six laboratory activities, instruction, and a post-assessment occurred within three weeks. The assessments were generated by myself and I performed a t-test using a two-sample analysis, assuming unequal variances (n=16 for treatment group, n=25 for control group) to compare the post-assessments from each group. Results indicated that there was no significant difference between the post-assessment scores of the treatment group with the post-assessment scores of control group (p=0.25). However, the t-test results revealed that when the pre- and post-assessments were compared, there was a significant difference (p=<0.05 for treatment group, p=<0.05 for control group). Each group showed considerable cognitive improvement between pre-assessment (mean scores: 52%-treatment group and 53%-control group) and the post-assessment (mean scores: 72%-treatment group and 80%-control group). This suggests that the presentation of the curriculum lacked a clear distinction between the treatment group and the control group yet benefited most students. Due to circumstances described in the limitations, further research is warranted.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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The: impact of the social norms of education on beginning science teachers' understanding of NOS during their first three years in the classroom

Description

An understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) remains a fundamental goal of science education in the Unites States. A developed understanding of NOS provides a framework in which to

An understanding of the Nature of Science (NOS) remains a fundamental goal of science education in the Unites States. A developed understanding of NOS provides a framework in which to situate science knowledge. Secondary science teachers play a critical role in providing students with an introduction to understanding NOS. Unfortunately, due to the high turnover rates of secondary science teachers in the United States, this critical role is often filled by relatively novice teachers. These beginning secondary science teachers make instructional decisions regarding science that are drawn from their emerging knowledge base, including a tentative understanding of NOS. This tentative knowledge can be affected by environment and culture of the classroom, school, and district in which beginning teachers find themselves. When examining NOS among preservice and beginning teachers the background and demographics of the teachers are often ignored. These teachers are treated as a homogenous block in terms of their initial understanding of NOS. This oversight potentially ignores interactions that may happen over time as teachers cross the border from college students, preservice teachers, and scientists into the classroom environment. Through Symbolic Interactionism we can explain how teachers change in order to adapt to their new surroundings and how this adaptation may be detrimental to their understanding of NOS and ultimately to their practice. 63 teachers drawn from a larger National Science Foundation (NSF) funded study were interviewed about their understanding of NOS over three years. Several demographic factors including college major, preservice program, number of History and Philosophy of Science classes, and highest academic degree achieve were shown to have an affect on the understanding of NOS over time. In addition, over time, the teachers tended to 'converge' in their understanding of NOS regardless of preservice experiences or induction support. Both the affect of different demographics amongst teachers and the 'converging' aspect of their understanding of NOS provide much needed insight for teacher trainers, mentors, and researchers.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Understanding the role of academic language on conceptual understanding in an introductory materials science and engineering course

Description

Students may use the technical engineering terms without knowing what these words mean. This creates a language barrier in engineering that influences student learning. Previous research has been conducted to

Students may use the technical engineering terms without knowing what these words mean. This creates a language barrier in engineering that influences student learning. Previous research has been conducted to characterize the difference between colloquial and scientific language. Since this research had not yet been applied explicitly to engineering, conclusions from the area of science education were used instead. Various researchers outlined strategies for helping students acquire scientific language. However, few examined and quantified the relationship it had on student learning. A systemic functional linguistics framework was adopted for this dissertation which is a framework that has not previously been used in engineering education research. This study investigated how engineering language proficiency influenced conceptual understanding of introductory materials science and engineering concepts. To answer the research questions about engineering language proficiency, a convenience sample of forty-one undergraduate students in an introductory materials science and engineering course was used. All data collected was integrated with the course. Measures included the Materials Concept Inventory, a written engineering design task, and group observations. Both systemic functional linguistics and mental models frameworks were utilized to interpret data and guide analysis. A series of regression analyses were conducted to determine if engineering language proficiency predicts group engineering term use, if conceptual understanding predicts group engineering term use, and if conceptual understanding predicts engineering language proficiency. Engineering academic language proficiency was found to be strongly linked to conceptual understanding in the context of introductory materials engineering courses. As the semester progressed, this relationship became even stronger. The more engineering concepts students are expected to learn, the more important it is that they are proficient in engineering language. However, exposure to engineering terms did not influence engineering language proficiency. These results stress the importance of engineering language proficiency for learning, but warn that simply exposing students to engineering terms does not promote engineering language proficiency.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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A study on how the public uses the landscape to understand principles of geologic time while experiencing the Trail of Time interpretative exhibit In Grand Canyon National Park

Description

The spectacular geological panoramas of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) motivate the curiosity of visitors about geology. However, there is little research on how well these visitors understand the basic

The spectacular geological panoramas of Grand Canyon National Park (GCNP) motivate the curiosity of visitors about geology. However, there is little research on how well these visitors understand the basic geologic principles on display in the Canyon walls. The new Trail of Time (ToT) interpretative exhibit along the South Rim uses Grand Canyon vistas to teach these principles. Now being visited by thousands daily, the ToT is a uniquely valuable setting for research on informal learning of geologic time and other basic geologic concepts. At the ToT, visitors are not only asked to comprehend a linear timeline, but to associate it with the strata exposed in the walls of the Canyon. The research addressed two primary questions: (1) how do visitors of the National Park use elements of the geologic landscape of the Grand Canyon to explain fundamental principles of relative geologic time? and (2) how do visitors reconcile the relationship between the horizontal ToT timeline and the vertical encoding of time in the strata exposed in the Canyon walls? Semi-structured interviews tracked participants' understanding of the ToT exhibit and of basic principles of geologic time. Administering the verbal analysis method of Chi (1997) to the interview transcripts, the researcher identified emergent themes related to how the respondents utilized the landscape to answer interview questions. Results indicate that a majority of respondents are able to understand principles of relative geologic time by utilizing both the observed and inferred landscape of Grand Canyon. Results also show that by applying the same integrated approach to the landscape, a majority of respondents are able to reconcile stratigraphic time with the horizontal ToT timeline. To gain deeper insight into the cognitive skills activated to correctly understand geologic principles the researcher used Dodick and Orion's application of Montangero's (1996) diachronic thinking model to code responses into three schemes: (1) transformation, (2) temporal organization, and (3) interstage linkage. Results show that correct responses required activation of the temporal organization scheme or the more advanced interstage linkage scheme. Appropriate application of these results can help inform the development of future outdoor interpretive geoscience exhibits.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Differences that make a difference: a study In collaborative learning

Description

Collaborative learning is a common teaching strategy in classrooms across age groups and content areas. It is important to measure and understand the cognitive process involved during collaboration to improve

Collaborative learning is a common teaching strategy in classrooms across age groups and content areas. It is important to measure and understand the cognitive process involved during collaboration to improve teaching methods involving interactive activities. This research attempted to answer the question: why do students learn more in collaborative settings? Using three measurement tools, 142 participants from seven different biology courses at a community college and at a university were tested before and after collaborating about the biological process of natural selection. Three factors were analyzed to measure their effect on learning at the individual level and the group level. The three factors were: difference in prior knowledge, sex and religious beliefs. Gender and religious beliefs both had a significant effect on post-test scores.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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Interactive-constructive-active-passive: the relative effectiveness of differentiated activities on students' learning

Description

From the instructional perspective, the scope of "active learning" in the literature is very broad and includes all sorts of classroom activities that engage students with the learning experience. However,

From the instructional perspective, the scope of "active learning" in the literature is very broad and includes all sorts of classroom activities that engage students with the learning experience. However, classifying all classroom activities as a mode of "active learning" simply ignores the unique cognitive processes associated with the type of activity. The lack of an extensive framework and taxonomy regarding the relative effectiveness of these "active" activities makes it difficult to compare and contrast the value of conditions in different studies in terms of student learning. Recently, Chi (2009) proposed a framework of differentiated overt learning activities (DOLA) as active, constructive, and interactive based on their underlying cognitive principles and their effectiveness on students' learning outcomes. The motivating question behind this framework is whether some types of engagement affect learning outcomes more than the others. This work evaluated the effectiveness and applicability of the DOLA framework to learning activities for STEM classes. After classification of overt learning activities as being active, constructive or interactive, I then tested the ICAP hypothesis, which states that student learning is more effective in interactive activities than constructive activities, which are more effective than active activities, which are more effective than passive activities. I conducted two studies (Study 1 and Study 2) to determine how and to what degree differentiated activities affected students' learning outcomes. For both studies, I measured students' knowledge of materials science and engineering concepts. Results for Study 1 showed that students scored higher on all post-class quiz questions after participating in interactive and constructive activities than after the active activities. However, student scores on more difficult, inference questions suggested that interactive activities provided significantly deeper learning than either constructive or active activities. Results for Study 2 showed that students' learning, in terms of gain scores, increased systematically from passive to active to constructive to interactive, as predicted by ICAP. All the increases, from condition to condition, were significant. Verbal analysis of the students' dialogue in interactive condition indicated a strong correlation between the co-construction of knowledge and learning gains. When the statements and responses of each student build upon those of the other, both students benefit from the collaboration. Also, the linear combination of discourse moves was significantly related to the adjusted gain scores with a very high correlation coefficient. Specifically, the elaborate type discourse moves were positively correlated with learning outcomes; whereas the accept type moves were negatively correlated with learning outcomes. Analyses of authentic activities in a STEM classroom showed that they fit within the taxonomy of the DOLA framework. The results of the two studies provided evidence to support the predictions of the ICAP hypothesis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012

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What motivates science teachers to teach in urban settings: a mixed method approach

Description

The high rate of teacher turnover in the United States has prompted a number of studies into why teachers leave as well as why they stay. The present study aims

The high rate of teacher turnover in the United States has prompted a number of studies into why teachers leave as well as why they stay. The present study aims to add to that knowledge specifically regarding why teachers choose to stay at urban schools. Several reasons teachers in general choose to stay have been identified in previous studies including faith in their students, continuing hope and sense of responsibility, and love among others. The importance of such a study is the possibility of designing programs that reinforce teacher success through understanding the personal and professional reasons teachers choose to stay. Getting teachers to stay is important to the nation's goal of providing equity in science education to all children. Important to this research is an understanding of motivational theories. Already a challenge in the over-busy modern world, the ability to self-motivate and motivate others is of particular importance to teachers in urban schools as well as teachers struggling against restrictive budgets. Studies have shown teachers extrinsically motivated will need external rewards to encourage them while teachers who are intrinsically motivated will have their own internal reasons such as satisfaction in contributing to the future, self-actualization, or the joy of accomplishment. Some studies have suggested that teachers who decide to remain teaching tend to be intrinsic motivators. Unfortunately, the environment in most Western country educational systems presents a challenge to achieving these intrinsic goals. As a result, self-determination theory should play a significant role in shaping educational programs. The following study examined the perspectives of secondary school science teachers, specifically regarding why they opted to remain within the classroom in urban districts. It was conducted utilizing interviews and surveys of teachers working within urban school districts in Arizona and California. The sample consisted of 94 science teachers. More than half of the participants were White females and 36 percent of them had been teaching for more than 15 years. Participation in the study was based on self-selected volunteerism. Survey questions were based on self-determination theory and used Likert scale responses. Follow-up audiotaped interview requested information regarding identity and their social interaction within the urban settings. The survey responses were analyzed using SPSS for descriptive statistics, one-way ANOVA, and linear regression. The results of this study provide insight on what works to motivate science teachers to continue teaching in less than ideal school settings and with such high bureaucratic impediments as standardized testing and school rating systems. It demonstrates that science teachers do seem to be intrinsically motivated and suggests some areas in which this motivation can be fostered. Such results could help in the development of teacher support groups, professional development programs, or other programs designed to assist teachers struggling to deal with the specific problems and needs of inner city school students.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2012