Matching Items (8)

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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 grade general science classes participated in this study. Two

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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Students' understanding of weathering and erosion

Description

Conceptual change has been a large part of science education research for several decades due to the fact that it allows teachers to think about what students' preconceptions are and how to change these to the correct scientific conceptions. To

Conceptual change has been a large part of science education research for several decades due to the fact that it allows teachers to think about what students' preconceptions are and how to change these to the correct scientific conceptions. To have students change their preconceptions teachers need to allow students to confront what they think they know in the presence of the phenomena. Students then collect and analyze evidence pertaining to the phenomena. The goal in the end is for students to reorganize their concepts and change or correct their preconceptions, so that they hold more accurate scientific conceptions. The purpose of this study was to investigate how students' conceptions of the Earth's surface, specifically weathering and erosion, change using the conceptual change framework to guide the instructional decisions. The subjects of the study were a class of 25 seventh grade students. This class received a three-week unit on weathering and erosion that was structured using the conceptual change framework set by Posner, Strike, Hewson, and Gertzog (1982). This framework starts by looking at students' misconceptions, then uses scientific data that students collect to confront their misconceptions. The changes in students' conceptions were measured by a pre concept sketch and post concept sketch. The results of this study showed that the conceptual change framework can modify students' preconceptions of weathering and erosion to correct scientific conceptions. There was statistical significant difference between students' pre concept sketches and post concept sketches scores. After examining the concept sketches, differences were found in how students' concepts had changed from pre to post concept sketch. Further research needs to be done with conceptual change and the geosciences to see if conceptual change is an effective method to use to teach students about the geosciences.

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Created

Date Created
2011

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Explicit teaching of the nature of science: a study of the impact of two variations of explicit instruction on student learning

Description

The nature of science (NOS) is included in the National Science Education Standards and is described as a critical component in the development of scientifically literate students. Despite the significance of NOS in science education reform, research shows that many

The nature of science (NOS) is included in the National Science Education Standards and is described as a critical component in the development of scientifically literate students. Despite the significance of NOS in science education reform, research shows that many students continue to possess naïve views of NOS. Explicit and reflective discussion as an instructional approach is relatively new in the field of research in NOS. When compared to other approaches, explicit instruction has been identified as more effective in promoting informed views of NOS, but gaps in student understanding still exist. The purpose of this study was to deepen the understanding of student learning of NOS through the investigation of two variations of explicit instruction. The subjects of the study were two seventh grade classes taught by the same classroom teacher. One class received explicit instruction of NOS within a plate tectonics unit and the second class received explicit instruction of NOS within a plate tectonics unit plus supporting activities focused on specific aspects of NOS. The instruction time for both classes was equalized and took place over a three week time period. The intention of this study was to see if the additional NOS activities helped students build a deeper understanding of NOS, or if a deep understanding could be formed solely through explicit and reflective discussion within content instruction. The results of the study showed that both classes progressed in their understanding of NOS. When the results of the two groups were compared, the group with the additional activities showed statistically significant gains on two of the four aspects of NOS assessed. These results suggest that the activities may have been valuable in promoting informed views, but more research is needed in this area.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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The "",field_main_title:"history and nature of science" in the era of standards-based reform

Description

The goal of science education in the United States is promoting scientific literacy for all students. The goal necessitates understanding the nature of science-what science is as a body of knowledge, explanatory tool, and human enterprise. The history of science

The goal of science education in the United States is promoting scientific literacy for all students. The goal necessitates understanding the nature of science-what science is as a body of knowledge, explanatory tool, and human enterprise. The history of science is one of the most long-standing pedagogical methods of getting at the nature of science. But scientific literacy also encompasses education in scientific inquiry, and in the relationships among science, technology, and society (STS), as well as fact and theory-based subject-matter content. Since the beginning of the standards-based reform movement (circa 1983) many attempts have been made to codify the components of scientific literacy. National level voluntary standards have lead to state standards. Under No Child Left Behind, those state standards have become integral parts of the educational system. Standards are political in nature, yet play the role of intended curriculum. I examine one thread of scientific literacy, the history and nature of science, from its beginnings in science education through the political perturbations of the last thirty years. This examination of "the history and nature of science" through the history of standards-based reform sheds light on our changing conception of scientific literacy.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2011

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Beginning teachers' production of pedagogical content knowledge: a cultural historical perspective

Description

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that end, the importance of supporting and developing beginning teachers is

Few would argue that teacher effectiveness is a key lever in education reform and improving the overall quality of public education, especially in poor and working class communities. To that end, the importance of supporting and developing beginning teachers is of utmost importance in education, thus requiring deep understandings of the process of learning to teach. Yet, most conceptions of teacher learning struggle to capture the social, cultural, and historical context of teacher learning, particularly in understanding how learning and the production of knowledge is situated, active, and complex. One example of this limitation comes from the field of research on pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) and its importance in developing effective beginning teachers. This study characterizes beginning teachers' production of PCK within a cultural historical activity theory (CHAT) framework. This study finds that the teachers produce PCK mostly based on their own individual experiences and reflections, receiving little assistance from the structures intended to provide them with support. The self-produced PCK is uneven, underdeveloped, and relies on teachers to use their sense of agency and identity to navigate dissonant and unbalanced activity systems. Over time, PCK production remains uneven and underdeveloped, while the individual teachers find it more and more difficult to bring balance to their activity systems, ultimately resulting in their exit from the activity system of teaching in their district and school.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2012

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Turkana children's sociocultural practices of pastoralist lifestyles and science curriculum and instruction in Kenyan early childhood education

Description

This dissertation discusses the findings of an ethnographic exploratory study of Turkana nomadic pastoralist children's sociocultural practices of their everyday lifestyles and science curriculum and instruction in Kenyan early childhood curriculum. The study uses the findings from Turkana elders to

This dissertation discusses the findings of an ethnographic exploratory study of Turkana nomadic pastoralist children's sociocultural practices of their everyday lifestyles and science curriculum and instruction in Kenyan early childhood curriculum. The study uses the findings from Turkana elders to challenge the dominant society in Kenya that draws from Western education ideology to unfairly criticize Turkana traditional nomadic cultural practices as resistant to modern education. Yet Turkana people have to rely on the cultural knowledge of their environment for survival. In addition, the community lives in abject poverty caused by the harsh desert environment which has contributed to parents' struggle to support their children's education. Cultural knowledge of Turkana people has received support in research demonstrating the role cultural lifestyles such as nomadic pastoralism play as important survival strategy that enable people to adapt to the harsh desert environment to ensure the survival of their livestock critical for their food security. The study documented ways in which the Kenya national education curriculum, reflecting Western assumptions about education, often alienates and marginalises nomadic children, in its failure to capture their cultural Indigenous knowledge epistemologies. The research investigated the relationships between Turkana children's sociocultural practices of pastoralist lifestyles and the national science curriculum taught in local preschools and first grade science classrooms in Kenya and the extent to which Turkana children's everyday life cultural practices inform science instruction in early childhood grades. Multiple ethnographic methods such as participant and naturalistic observation, focus group interviews, analysis of documents, archival materials, and cultural artifacts were used to explore classrooms instruction and Indigenous sociocultural practices of the Turkana nomads. The findings from the elders' narratives indicated that there was a general congruence in thematic content of science between Turkana Indigenous knowledge and the national science curriculum. However, Turkana children traditionally learned independently by observation and hands-on with continuous scaffolding from parents and peers. The study recommends a science curriculum that is compatible with the Indigenous knowledge epistemologies and instructional strategies that are sensitive to the worldview of nomadic children.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2010

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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 an objective of science education for a century, researchers using

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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Agent

Created

Date Created
2010

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Nature or nurture?: a characterization of the knowledge and practices of in- and out-of-field beginning secondary physics teachers

Description

Previous studies have shown that adequate content knowledge is a necessary, but not sufficient, requirement for affective teaching. While legislation requests teachers to be "highly qualified" in a subject area, such as physics, many teachers are frequently asked to teach

Previous studies have shown that adequate content knowledge is a necessary, but not sufficient, requirement for affective teaching. While legislation requests teachers to be "highly qualified" in a subject area, such as physics, many teachers are frequently asked to teach in an area when they are not certified through a teaching license to do so. This study uses mixed methods to examine the knowledge of beginning physics teachers. Through semi-structured interviews, classroom observations, and concept maps, the pedagogical content knowledge, subject matter knowledge, and practices of three groups of beginning secondary physics teachers were explored. Data were analyzed qualitatively using cases and quantitatively using descriptive statistics and t-tests, the results of which were combined during the interpretation phase of the research process. The study indicated that, over the first two years of teaching, the in-field group of teachers showed stronger physics content knowledge, a consideration for student difficulties with physics topics, and a positive shift in pedagogical content knowledge impacted by working with students, as compared to the rest of the teachers in the study. This research has implications in the development of secondary physics teachers and in the field of physics education research. Specifically, this research has implications in the physics content support for beginning secondary science teachers, the novice/expert research in physics education research, and the pedagogical preparation of undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty in physics.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2010