Matching Items (6)

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Broadening the participation of Native Americans in Earth science

Description

Climate change is not a thing of the future. Indigenous people are being affected by climate changes now. Native American Earth scientists could help Native communities deal with both climate

Climate change is not a thing of the future. Indigenous people are being affected by climate changes now. Native American Earth scientists could help Native communities deal with both climate change and environmental pollution issues, but are noticeably lacking in Earth Science degree programs. The Earth Sciences produce the lowest percentage of minority scientists when compared with other science and engineering fields. Twenty semi-structured interviews were gathered from American Indian/ Alaska Native Earth Scientists and program directors who work directly with Native students to broaden participation in the field. Data was analyzed using qualitative methods and constant comparison analysis. Barriers Native students faced in this field are discussed, as well as supports which go the furthest in assisting achievement of higher education goals. Program directors give insight into building pathways and programs to encourage Native student participation and success in Earth Science degree programs. Factors which impede obtaining a college degree include financial barriers, pressures from familial obligations, and health issues. Factors which impede the decision to study Earth Science include unfamiliarity with geoscience as a field of study and career choice, the uninviting nature of Earth Science as a profession, and curriculum that is irrelevant to the practical needs of Native communities or courses which are inaccessible geographically. Factors which impede progress that are embedded in Earth Science programs include educational preparation, academic information and counseling and the prevalence of a Western scientific perspective to the exclusion of all other perspectives. Intradepartmental relationships also pose barriers to the success of some students, particularly those who are non-traditional students (53%) or women (80%). Factors which support degree completion include financial assistance, mentors and mentoring, and research experiences. Earth scientists can begin broaden participation by engaging in community-inspired research, which stems from the needs of a community and is developed in collaboration with it. Designed to be useful in meeting the needs of the community, it should include using members of the community to help gather and analyze data. These community members could be students or potential students who might be persuaded to pursue an Earth Science degree.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Choice and participation of career by STEM professionals with sensory and orthopedic disabilities and the roles of assistive technologies

Description

This is a qualitative study about sources of self-efficacy and roles of assistive technologies (AT) associated with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) choice and participation of STEM professionals

This is a qualitative study about sources of self-efficacy and roles of assistive technologies (AT) associated with the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) choice and participation of STEM professionals and graduate students with sensory and orthopedic disabilities. People with disabilities are underrepresented in STEM, which can be traced back along the STEM pipeline to early undergraduate participation in STEM. Little research exists, however, about pathways and factors associated with successful STEM participation for people with disabilities at any point along their trajectories. Eighteen STEM professionals and graduate students with sensory and orthopedic disabilities were interviewed for this study. Sources of self-efficacy were sought from interview transcripts, as were emergent themes associated with the types, uses and roles of AT. Findings suggest that people with sensory and orthopedic disabilities weigh sources of self-efficacy differently from white males without disabilities in STEM and more like other underrepresented minorities in STEM. Social persuasions were most frequently reported and in far more detail than other sources, suggesting that this source may be most impactful in the development of self-efficacy beliefs for this group. Additionally, findings indicate that AT is critical to the successful participation of people with sensory and orthopedic disabilities in STEM at all points along their STEM pathways. Barriers center around issues of access to full engagement in mainstream STEM classrooms and out of school opportunities as well as the impact of ill-informed perceptions about the capabilities of people with disabilities held by parents, teachers and college faculty who can act as gatekeepers along STEM pathways. Gaps in disability specialists' knowledge about STEM-specific assistive technologies, especially at the college level, are also problematic. The prevalence of mainstream public school attendance reported by participants indicates that classroom teachers and disability-related educators have important roles in providing access to STEM mastery experiences as well as providing positive support and high expectations for students with disabilities. STEM and disability-based networks served to provide participants with role models, out of school STEM learning experiences and important long-term social connections in STEM communities.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Relationships among personal characteristics, self-efficacy, and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis of community college engineering students

Description

Conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy are two research topics that are well-established at universities, however very little has been investigated about these at the community college. A sample of thirty-seven students

Conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy are two research topics that are well-established at universities, however very little has been investigated about these at the community college. A sample of thirty-seven students enrolled in three introductory circuit analysis classes at a large southwestern community college was used to answer questions about conceptual knowledge and self-efficacy of community college engineering students. Measures included a demographic survey and a pre/post three-tiered concept inventory to evaluate student conceptual knowledge of basic DC circuit analysis and self-efficacy for circuit analysis. A group effect was present in the data, so descriptive statistics were used to investigate the relationships among students' personal and academic characteristics and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. The a priori attribute approach was used to qualitatively investigate misconceptions students have for circuit analysis. The results suggest that students who take more credit hours score higher on a test of conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis, however additional research is required to confirm this, due to the group effect. No new misconceptions were identified. In addition to these, one group of students received more time to practice using the concepts. Consequently, that group scored higher on the concept inventory, possibly indicating that students who have extra practice time may score higher on a test of conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. Correlation analysis was used to identify relationships among students' personal and academic characteristics and self-efficacy for circuit analysis, as well as to investigate the relationship between self-efficacy for circuit analysis and conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis. Subject's father's education level was found to be inversely correlated with self-efficacy for circuit analysis, and subject's age was found to be directly correlated with self-efficacy for circuit analysis. Finally, self-efficacy for circuit analysis was found to be positively correlated with conceptual knowledge of circuit analysis.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Determining persistence of community college students in introductory geology classes

Description

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) careers have been touted as critical to the success of our nation and also provide important opportunities for access and equity of underrepresented minorities

Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) careers have been touted as critical to the success of our nation and also provide important opportunities for access and equity of underrepresented minorities (URM's). Community colleges serve a diverse population and a large number of undergraduates currently enrolled in college, they are well situated to help address the increasing STEM workforce demands. Geoscience is a discipline that draws great interest, but has very low representation of URM's as majors. What factors influence a student's decision to major in the geosciences and are community college students different from research universities in what factors influence these decisions? Through a survey-design mixed with classroom observations, structural equation model was employed to predict a student's intent to persist in introductory geology based on student expectancy for success in their geology class, math self-concept, and interest in the content. A measure of classroom pedagogy was also used to determine if instructor played a role in predicting student intent to persist. The targeted population was introductory geology students participating in the Geoscience Affective Research NETwork (GARNET) project, a national sampling of students in enrolled in introductory geology courses. Results from SEM analysis indicated that interest was the primary predictor in a students intent to persist in the geosciences for both community college and research university students. In addition, self-efficacy appeared to be mediated by interest within these models. Classroom pedagogy impacted how much interest was needed to predict intent to persist, in which as classrooms became more student centered, less interest was required to predict intent to persist. Lastly, math self-concept did not predict student intent to persist in the geosciences, however, it did share variance with self-efficacy and control of learning beliefs, indicating it may play a moderating effect on student interest and self-efficacy. Implications of this work are that while community college students and research university students are different in demographics and content preparation, student-centered instruction continues to be the best way to support student's interest in the sciences. Future work includes examining how math self-concept may play a role in longitudinal persistence in the geosciences.

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Date Created
  • 2014

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Impact of STS (context-based type of teaching) in comparison with a textbook approach on attitudes and achievement in community college chemistry classrooms

Description

The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of a context-based teaching approach (STS) versus a more traditional textbook approach on the attitudes and achievement of community college

The purpose of this study was to analyze the impact of a context-based teaching approach (STS) versus a more traditional textbook approach on the attitudes and achievement of community college chemistry students. In studying attitudes toward chemistry within this study, I used a 30-item Likert scale in order to study the importance of chemistry in students' lives, the importance of chemistry, the difficulty of chemistry, interest in chemistry, and the usefulness of chemistry for their future career. Though the STS approach students had higher attitude post scores, there was no significant difference between the STS and textbook students' attitude post scores. It was noted that females had higher postattitude scores in the STS group, while males had higher postattitude scores in the textbook group. With regard to postachievement, I noted that males had higher scores in both groups. A correlation existed between postattitude and postachievement in the STS classroom. In summary, while an association between attitude and achievement was found in the STS classroom, teaching approach or sex was not found to influence attitudes, while sex was also not found to influence achievement. These results, overall, suggest that attitudes are not expected to change on the basis of either teaching approach or gender, and that techniques other than changing the teaching approach would need to be used in order to improve the attitudes of students. Qualitative analysis of an online discussion activity on Energy revealed that STS students were able to apply aspects of chemistry in decision making related to socioscientific issues. Additional analysis of interview and written responses provided insight regarding attitudes toward chemistry, with respect to topics of applicability of chemistry to life, difficulties with chemistry, teaching approach for chemistry, and the intent for enrolling in additional chemistry courses. In addition, the surveys of female students brought out subcategories with regard to emotional and professional characteristics of a good teacher, under the category of characteristics of teaching approach. With respect to the category of course experience, subcategories of useful knowledge to solve real-life problems and knowledge for future career were revealed. The differences between the control group females and STS group females with respect to these characteristics was striking and threw insight into how teacher behavior and teaching approach shape student attitudes to chemistry in case of female students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Miss [untitled]: learning to teach science to English language learners while navigating affordances and constraints : a longitudinal multiple case study

Description

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding

ABSTRACT Early career science teachers are often assigned to classrooms with high numbers of English language learners (ELL students). As these teachers learn to become effective practitioners, the circumstances surrounding them merit a thorough examination. This study examines the longitudinal changes in Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) and practices of six early career science teachers who taught in urban schools. The teachers participated in the Alternative Support for Induction Science Teachers (ASIST) program during their initial two years of teaching. Our research team followed the participants over a five-year period. This study focuses on data from Years 1, 3, and 5. The data collected included classroom observations and interviews. In addition, classroom artifacts were collected periodically for the purpose of triangulation. The analysis of the data revealed that with the support of the ASIST program, the teachers implemented inquiry lessons and utilized instructional materials that promoted academic language skills and science competencies among their ELL students. Conversely, standardized testing, teaching assignment, and school culture played a role in constraining the implementation of inquiry-based practices. The results of this study call for collaborative efforts among university science educators and school administrators to provide professional development opportunities and support for the implementation of inquiry and language practices among early career science teachers of ELL students.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2011