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Educational Methods

Portland State University

2013

Theses/Dissertations

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Articles 1 - 13 of 13

Full-Text Articles in Education

An Investigation Into Instructional Support For Data Analysis In High School Science Inquiry, Anika Rae Baker-Lawrence Dec 2013

An Investigation Into Instructional Support For Data Analysis In High School Science Inquiry, Anika Rae Baker-Lawrence

Dissertations and Theses

The implementation of scientific inquiry in the high school classroom has proven to be not only relevant and exploratory, but challenging and engaging as well. This style of curriculum design has been recognized as a primary means of achieving the goals and objectives set by the National Resource Council (NRC, 1996). While much research has shown that science inquiry helps students to gain understanding of content knowledge, little research has been conducted to assess gains in higher order thinking skills, specifically those related to data analysis (Anderson, 2002; Germann and Aram, 1996; Hofstein, Navon, Kipnis, and Mamlok-Naaman, 2005; Miner, Levy ...


How Does Student Understanding Of A Concept Change Throughout A Unit Of Instruction? Support Toward The Theory Of Learning Progressions, Brian Jay Dyer Dec 2013

How Does Student Understanding Of A Concept Change Throughout A Unit Of Instruction? Support Toward The Theory Of Learning Progressions, Brian Jay Dyer

Dissertations and Theses

This study documented the changes in understanding a class of eighth grade high school-level biology students experienced through a biology unit introducing genetics. Learning profiles for 55 students were created using concept maps and interviews as qualitative and quantitative instruments. The study provides additional support to the theory of learning progressions called for by experts in the field. The students' learning profiles were assessed to determine the alignment with a researcher-developed learning profile. The researcher-developed learning profile incorporated the learning progressions published in the Next Generation Science Standards, as well as current research in learning progressions for 5-10th grade students ...


Science Journals In The Garden: Developing The Skill Of Observation In Elementary Age Students, Karinsa Michelle Kelly Nov 2013

Science Journals In The Garden: Developing The Skill Of Observation In Elementary Age Students, Karinsa Michelle Kelly

Dissertations and Theses

The ability to make and record scientific observations is critical in order for students to engage in successful inquiry, and provides a sturdy foundation for children to develop higher order cognitive processes. Nevertheless, observation is taken for granted in the elementary classroom. This study explores how linking school garden experience with the use of science journals can support this skill. Students participated in a month-long unit in which they practiced their observation skills in the garden and recorded those observations in a science journal. Students' observational skills were assessed using pre- and post-assessments, student journals, and student interviews using three ...


Increasing Evidence Based Reasoning In An 8th Grade Classroom Through Explicit Instruction, Erol Chandler Sep 2013

Increasing Evidence Based Reasoning In An 8th Grade Classroom Through Explicit Instruction, Erol Chandler

Dissertations and Theses

This study investigates the effectiveness of an instructional strategy that uses students' prior understanding of informal evidence based reasoning (EBR) to build an understanding of scientific EBR. A pre and post instructional strategy survey revealed that students' understanding of EBR increased over the length of the study. Data collected from pre and post instructional discussions also showed increases in the amount of EBR students used.


Grouped To Achieve: Are There Benefits To Assigning Students To Heterogeneous Cooperative Learning Groups Based On Pre-Test Scores?, Arman Karl Werth Sep 2013

Grouped To Achieve: Are There Benefits To Assigning Students To Heterogeneous Cooperative Learning Groups Based On Pre-Test Scores?, Arman Karl Werth

Dissertations and Theses

Cooperative learning has been one of the most widely used instructional practices around the world since the early 1980's. Small learning groups have been in existence since the beginning of the human race. These groups have grown in their variance and complexity overtime. Classrooms are getting more diverse every year and instructors need a way to take advantage of this diversity to improve learning. The purpose of this study was to see if heterogeneous cooperative learning groups based on student achievement can be used as a differentiated instructional strategy to increase students' ability to demonstrate knowledge of science concepts ...


Impact Of Teachers' Planned Questions On Opportunities For Students To Reason Mathematically In Whole-Class Discussions Around Mathematical Problem-Solving Tasks, Sarah Elizabeth Enoch Aug 2013

Impact Of Teachers' Planned Questions On Opportunities For Students To Reason Mathematically In Whole-Class Discussions Around Mathematical Problem-Solving Tasks, Sarah Elizabeth Enoch

Dissertations and Theses

While professional developers have been encouraging teachers to plan for discourse around problem solving tasks as a way to orchestrate mathematically productive discourse (Stein, Engle, Smith, & Hughes, 2008; Stein, Smith, Henningsen, & Silver, 2009) no research has been conducted explicitly examining the relationship between the plans that teachers make for orchestrating discourse around problem solving tasks and the outcomes of implementation of those plans. This research study is intended to open the door to research on planning for discourse around problem solving tasks.

This research study analyzes how 12 middle school mathematics teachers participating in the Mathematics Problem Solving Model professional development research ...


Lighting The Fire: How Peer-Mentoring Helps Adult Learners Increase Their Interest In Stem Careers: A Case Study At The Community College Level, Patricia Marie Deturk Aug 2013

Lighting The Fire: How Peer-Mentoring Helps Adult Learners Increase Their Interest In Stem Careers: A Case Study At The Community College Level, Patricia Marie Deturk

Dissertations and Theses

In the U.S., about 7,000 high school students drop out each school day, representing a loss of talent and ability. Concurrently, there are a decreasing number of enrolled students taking science-related courses at the high school and college levels. Adults, who return to obtain their General Educational Development (GED) certification, are an untapped resource that could be steered toward STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers. In this case study, 15 GED students were shown a STEM video, and then peer mentored by 8 CLA (Clinical Laboratory Assistant) students, in a student-centered laboratory experience. Individual interviews of the ...


Learning To Adapt: Online Social Science Instruction In Higher Education, Patrick Steven Smith Jul 2013

Learning To Adapt: Online Social Science Instruction In Higher Education, Patrick Steven Smith

Dissertations and Theses

Online learning is a rapidly growing phenomenon in post-secondary education. Institutions of higher learning have embraced online learning for its perceived merits, but without the consideration of how instructors deal with this different learning medium. Little is known of the extent to which different disciplines are suited to the online medium; this is pertinent to disciplines that rely on spontaneous in-person discussion. Furthermore, as colleges continue to invest heavily in online learning, instructors who only possess face-to-face teaching experience may begin teaching online. This poses a pedagogical challenge for instructors who are unfamiliar with the medium. This qualitative, in-depth interview ...


An Investigation Into Teacher Support Of Science Explanation In High School Science Inquiry Units, Rebecca Sue Hoffenberg Jul 2013

An Investigation Into Teacher Support Of Science Explanation In High School Science Inquiry Units, Rebecca Sue Hoffenberg

Dissertations and Theses

The Framework for K-12 Science Education, the foundation for the Next Generation Science Standards, identifies scientific explanation as one of the eight practices "essential for learning science." In order to design professional development to help teachers implement these new standards, we need to assess students' current skill level in explanation construction, characterize current teacher practice surrounding it, and identify best practices for supporting students in explanation construction. This multiple-case study investigated teacher practice in eight high school science inquiry units in the Portland metro area and the scientific explanations the students produced in their work samples.

Teacher Instructional Portfolios (TIPs ...


The Use Of Music As A Pedagogical Tool In Higher Education Sociology Courses: Faculty Member Perspectives And Potential Barriers, Jerry C.L. Loveless Jun 2013

The Use Of Music As A Pedagogical Tool In Higher Education Sociology Courses: Faculty Member Perspectives And Potential Barriers, Jerry C.L. Loveless

Dissertations and Theses

Previous research has identified student engagement as an important antecedent to student learning in higher education. Although student engagement is viewed as important for learning, a significant number of college students still report frequently feeling bored in their courses. The use of music as a pedagogical tool is believed to be beneficial for promoting student engagement and student learning in higher education sociology courses, yet it has been suggested that sociology faculty members do not commonly incorporate the technique into their courses. The purpose of this comparative interview study is to explore higher education sociology faculty members' understandings of the ...


Seeing Crucibles: Legitimizing Spiritual Development In The Middle Grades Through Critical Historiography, Audrey Lingley Jun 2013

Seeing Crucibles: Legitimizing Spiritual Development In The Middle Grades Through Critical Historiography, Audrey Lingley

Dissertations and Theses

Advocates of middle grades reform in the United States argue that curriculum and instruction, as well as leadership, organization, and community relationships, should be informed by knowledge of the developmental characteristics of 10 to 15 year-olds within physical, social, emotional, psychological, cognitive, and moral domains. Noticeably absent from their conception of human development are spiritual developmental characteristics of young adolescents.

This interdisciplinary research was a critical constructivist (Kincheloe, 2008) inquiry of the following question: What is the educational relevance of spiritual development in middle grades education? To study this question, critical historiographical research methods (Villaverde, Kincheloe, & Helyar, 2006) were used to interrogate the academic discourses of three fields related to the research question: (a) the middle grades concept; (b) spirituality as a ...


A Case Study Of After-School Activities In One School That Is Making Progress In Closing The Achievement Gap, Susan Robin Shugerman May 2013

A Case Study Of After-School Activities In One School That Is Making Progress In Closing The Achievement Gap, Susan Robin Shugerman

Dissertations and Theses

Closing the achievement gap has been a national conversation for several decades and a priority for educators and researchers. By looking closely at one school which is showing exceptional success with closing the achievement gap for low income students and English language learners, this study seeks to understand how school personnel and parents view after-school activities and ways in which those activities may be impacting students who are making significant gains in spite of the achievement gap. After-school activities have been shown to bring many positive outcomes for students. That said, there is much that we do not yet know ...


Patterns In Nature Forming Patterns In Minds : An Evaluation Of An Introductory Physics Unit, Christopher Ryan Sheaffer Jan 2013

Patterns In Nature Forming Patterns In Minds : An Evaluation Of An Introductory Physics Unit, Christopher Ryan Sheaffer

Dissertations and Theses

Educators are increasingly focused on the process over the content. In science especially, teachers want students to understand the nature of science and investigation. The emergence of scientific inquiry and engineering design teaching methods have led to the development of new teaching and evaluation methods that concentrate on steps in a process rather than facts in a topic. Research supports the notion that an explicit focus on the scientific process can lead to student science knowledge gains. In response to new research and standards many teachers have been developing teaching methods that seem to work well in their classrooms, but ...