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Full-Text Articles in Education

Thinking Beyond The Fried Egg Model: How Accurately Do Students Perceive Cells In A Living Context?, Milissa Knox Dec 2015

Thinking Beyond The Fried Egg Model: How Accurately Do Students Perceive Cells In A Living Context?, Milissa Knox

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This exploratory study investigated three aspects of introductory undergraduate biology students’ understanding about cells. The study, which took place at the University of Maine with voluntary students in Basic Biology (“BIO100”) in the summer and fall of 2009, examined (1) students’ pre-course perceptions of cells as they exist in a living context and (2) gains in students’ perception and knowledge about cells after completing the one-semester course (BIO100). Results are based on lecture exam scores, pre-post surveys developed as a part of this thesis, and interviews with two groups of biology students. A total of 498 students participated in the ...


Investigating Teachers' Content Knowledge And Pedogogical Content Knowledge In A Middle School Physical Science Curriculum On Force And Motion, Daniel Patrick Laverty Dec 2015

Investigating Teachers' Content Knowledge And Pedogogical Content Knowledge In A Middle School Physical Science Curriculum On Force And Motion, Daniel Patrick Laverty

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Teaching is a profession that requires the incorporation of many types of knowledge in order to create effective instructional experiences that promote student learning. Teachers need to blend their knowledge of the content with the methods for delivering that content and an understanding of their students' thinking. With increasing concern in the United States over student achievement in science and mathematics, there is ongoing discussion about which elements of teacher knowledge most directly correlate with effective instruction. How do specific strands of teacher knowledge blend to influence student learning outcomes? This study explores the roles of teacher content knowledge (CK ...


Identifying Student Difficulties With Heat Engines, Entropy, And The Carnot Cycle, Trevor I. Smith, Warren M. Christensen, Donald B. Mountcastle, John R. Thompson Sep 2015

Identifying Student Difficulties With Heat Engines, Entropy, And The Carnot Cycle, Trevor I. Smith, Warren M. Christensen, Donald B. Mountcastle, John R. Thompson

Physics and Astronomy Faculty Scholarship

We report on several specific student difficulties regarding the second law of thermodynamics in the context of heat engines within upper-division undergraduate thermal physics courses. Data come from ungraded written surveys, graded homework assignments, and videotaped classroom observations of tutorial activities. Written data show that students in these courses do not clearly articulate the connection between the Carnot cycle and the second law after lecture instruction. This result is consistent both within and across student populations. Observation data provide evidence for myriad difficulties related to entropy and heat engines, including students’ struggles in reasoning about situations that are physically impossible ...


Student Understanding Of The Boltzmann Factor, Trevor I. Smith, Donald B. Mountcastle, John R. Thompson Sep 2015

Student Understanding Of The Boltzmann Factor, Trevor I. Smith, Donald B. Mountcastle, John R. Thompson

Physics and Astronomy Faculty Scholarship

We present results of our investigation into student understanding of the physical significance and utility of the Boltzmann factor in several simple models. We identify various justifications, both correct and incorrect, that students use when answering written questions that require application of the Boltzmann factor. Results from written data as well as teaching interviews suggest that many students can neither recognize situations in which the Boltzmann factor is applicable nor articulate the physical significance of the Boltzmann factor as an expression for multiplicity, a fundamental quantity of statistical mechanics. The specific student difficulties seen in the written data led us ...


Collaborative Research: Research And Curriculum Development In Thermal Physics, John R. Thompson, Warren M. Christensen, David E. Meltzer Aug 2015

Collaborative Research: Research And Curriculum Development In Thermal Physics, John R. Thompson, Warren M. Christensen, David E. Meltzer

University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports

This project is a continuation of an ongoing program of coordinated research and research-based curriculum development in thermal physics, primarily in the advanced-level undergraduate courses. Data are gathered using one-on-one student interviews, written pre- and post-test questions, and multiple-choice surveys. The research is then applied to the development of curricular materials intended to improve student understanding in a manner consistent with active-learning methods previously shown to be effective in physics instruction. Prior support has resulted in the development of several interview protocols, diagnostic questions, and survey questions. Project staff have identified several specific conceptual difficulties in thermal physics, and have ...


Nue: Nano Science And Laboratory Experience (Scale) At Umaine, Rosemary L. Smith, Scott D. Collins, Michael D. Mason Mar 2015

Nue: Nano Science And Laboratory Experience (Scale) At Umaine, Rosemary L. Smith, Scott D. Collins, Michael D. Mason

University of Maine Office of Research Administration: Grant Reports

This Nanotechnology Undergraduate Education (NUE) in Engineering program entitled, "NUE: Nano Science And Laboratory Experience (ScALE) at UMaine", at the University of Maine, under the direction of Dr. Rosemary L. Smith, aims to introduce the basic concepts, applications, and implications of nanoscale science and engineering to all first-year engineering students at the University of Maine (UMaine). The proposed approach is to add nanoscience and nanoscale engineering content to the required 'introduction to' engineering courses offered by each engineering department. This content will be designed, developed and delivered as a 'drop-in' module, in collaboration with the instructors for each department's ...