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Science and Mathematics Education

2016

Portland State University

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Full-Text Articles in Education

The Effectiveness Of Participation In A Project-Based Learning Project On At-Risk Student Self-Efficacy, Benjamin Aaron Weber Dec 2016

The Effectiveness Of Participation In A Project-Based Learning Project On At-Risk Student Self-Efficacy, Benjamin Aaron Weber

Dissertations and Theses

Project-based learning is a multifaceted approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges while working in small collaborative groups. Project-based learning is active and engaging and drives students to obtain a deeper knowledge of the subjects they're studying, and students develop confidence and self-direction as they move through both team-based and independent work. This project endeavored to assess the effect of participation in a project-based learning (PBL) activity of the Wind and Oar Boat School's curriculum on the self-efficacy of at-risk high school students. Twenty students participated in the program for both math and applied ...


Conventionalizing And Axiomatizing In A Community College Mathematics Bridge Course, Mark Alan Yannotta Aug 2016

Conventionalizing And Axiomatizing In A Community College Mathematics Bridge Course, Mark Alan Yannotta

Dissertations and Theses

This dissertation consists of three related papers. The first paper, Rethinking mathematics bridge courses--An inquiry model for community colleges, introduces the activities of conventionalizing and axiomatizing from a practitioner perspective. In the paper, I offer a curricular model that includes both inquiry and traditional instruction for two-year college students interested in mathematics. In particular, I provide both examples and rationales of tasks from the research-based Teaching Abstract Algebra for Understanding (TAAFU) curriculum, which anchors the inquiry-oriented version of the mathematics bridge course.

The second paper, the role of past experience in creating a shared representation system for a mathematical operation ...


Connecting To Nature, Community, And Self: A Conservation Corps Approach To Re-Engaging At-Risk Youth In Science Education, Sara Jo Linden Jun 2016

Connecting To Nature, Community, And Self: A Conservation Corps Approach To Re-Engaging At-Risk Youth In Science Education, Sara Jo Linden

Dissertations and Theses

The social and environmental challenges of the coming decades will require that individuals possess environmental literacy: the understanding of natural systems combined with a sense of care for the earth, and the confidence and competency to act on its behalf. At the same time, disengaged youth need education environments that foster belonging and promote affective outcomes. The youth conservation corps model provides a natural context for engaging academically at-risk youth in environmental science education, while fostering connection to nature and student self-efficacy in ways that are experiential, relevant, and relationship-based. The focus of this study was a conservation corps program ...


Development Of Middle School Teachers' Knowledge And Pedagogy Of Justification: Three Studies Linking Teacher Conceptions, Teacher Practice, And Student Learning, Carolyn Mccaffrey James Jun 2016

Development Of Middle School Teachers' Knowledge And Pedagogy Of Justification: Three Studies Linking Teacher Conceptions, Teacher Practice, And Student Learning, Carolyn Mccaffrey James

Dissertations and Theses

Justification and argumentation have been identified as important mathematical practices; however, little work has been done to understand the knowledge and pedagogy teachers need to support students in these ambitious practices. Data for this research was drawn from the Justification and Argumentation: Growing Understanding in Algebraic Reasoning (JAGUAR) project. JAGUAR was a multi-year research and professional development project in which 12 middle school math teachers and a group of researchers explored the knowledge and pedagogy needed to support student justifications. This dissertation consists of three case study analyses. The first paper describes the development of teacher conceptions of justification, including ...


Origin And Use Of Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Case Study Of Three Math Teachers And Their Students, Christopher Neal Wood May 2016

Origin And Use Of Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Case Study Of Three Math Teachers And Their Students, Christopher Neal Wood

Dissertations and Theses

Teachers must have specific knowledge of a subject and how to teach it to promote learning in their students (also known as pedagogical content knowledge). Research has shown that project-based curriculum can be an effective way for teachers to leverage this knowledge into deeper student understanding and application readiness, but observations about when and how this happens in the classroom have not been adequately documented. In this study we will explore teaching and learning in a middle-school boat-building curriculum focused on real-world application of math concepts. The boat-building program took place over one week, included seven students, and was taught ...


The Intermediate Value Theorem As A Starting Point For Inquiry-Oriented Advanced Calculus, Stephen Raymond Strand Ii May 2016

The Intermediate Value Theorem As A Starting Point For Inquiry-Oriented Advanced Calculus, Stephen Raymond Strand Ii

Dissertations and Theses

Making the transition from calculus to advanced calculus/real analysis can be challenging for undergraduate students. Part of this challenge lies in the shift in the focus of student activity, from a focus on algorithms and computational techniques to activities focused around definitions, theorems, and proofs. The goal of Realistic Mathematics Education (RME) is to support students in making this transition by building on and formalizing their informal knowledge. There are a growing number of projects in this vein at the undergraduate level, in the areas of abstract algebra (TAAFU: Larsen, 2013; Larsen & Lockwood, 2013), differential equations (IO-DE: Rasmussen & Kwon ...


Evaluating An Assessment Instrument For The Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan, Susan Mae Duncan May 2016

Evaluating An Assessment Instrument For The Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan, Susan Mae Duncan

Dissertations and Theses

This mixed methods study evaluated the validity, and reliability of an instrument designed to assess a middle school student's proficiency in systems thinking as described in the 2010 Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan. In Stage 1, a forum of middle school students, formal, and non-formal educators used the Delphi technique to reach consensus regarding which skills were important to include in a scoring guide for systems thinking. In Stage 2, the scoring guide was field tested by formal and non-formal educators using a sample of students' work. The two groups' scores were compared using Cohen's kappa to make inferences ...


Introducing Complex Systems Analysis In High School Mathematics Using System Dynamics Modeling: A Potential Game-Changer For Mathematics Instruction, Diana Marie Fisher May 2016

Introducing Complex Systems Analysis In High School Mathematics Using System Dynamics Modeling: A Potential Game-Changer For Mathematics Instruction, Diana Marie Fisher

Dissertations and Theses

Complex systems abound on this planet, in the composition of the human body, in ecosystems, in social interaction, in political decision-making, and more. Analytical methods allowing us to better understand how these systems operate and, consequently, to have a chance to intervene and change the undesirable behavior of some of the more pernicious systems have developed and continue to be enhanced via quickly changing technology. Some of these analytical methods are accessible by pre-college students, but have not been widely used at that level of education. Jay Forrester, the founder of one of the methodologies, System Dynamics (SD), used to ...


How Calculus Students At Successful Programs Talk About Their Instructors, Annie Bergman, Dana Kirin, Ben Wallek May 2016

How Calculus Students At Successful Programs Talk About Their Instructors, Annie Bergman, Dana Kirin, Ben Wallek

Student Research Symposium

Over the past decade, numerous reports point to the need for national efforts to increase the number of students pursuing and professionals with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields (see for example NSB, 2007; PCAST, 2012; Thomasian, 2011). According to the PCAST report (2012) increasing the retention rate of the students who enter college intending to major in a STEM field has the potential to significantly decrease the gap between the number of STEM degrees produced and the projected number of STEM degrees needed to sustain the United States position in the global market. While there are ...


Creating A Learning Continuum: A Critical Look At The Intersection Of Prior Knowledge, Outdoor Education, And Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas And Practices, Trisha Leigh Schlobohm Mar 2016

Creating A Learning Continuum: A Critical Look At The Intersection Of Prior Knowledge, Outdoor Education, And Next Generation Science Standards Disciplinary Core Ideas And Practices, Trisha Leigh Schlobohm

Dissertations and Theses

Outdoor School is a cherished educational tradition in the Portland, OR region. This program's success is attributed to its presumed ability to positively impact affective and cognitive student outcomes. Residential programs such as Outdoor School are considered to be an important supplement to the classroom model of learning because they offer an authentic, contextually rich learning environment. References to relevant literature support the idea that student gains in affective and cognitive domains occur as a result of the multi-sensory, enjoyable, hands-on nature of outdoor learning. The sample population for this study was 115 sixth graders from a demographically diverse ...


Learning Through Nature: A Study Of A Next Generation Science Standards Based Teacher Workshop That Blends Outdoor Learning Experiences With Formal Science, Ashley Fanning Mar 2016

Learning Through Nature: A Study Of A Next Generation Science Standards Based Teacher Workshop That Blends Outdoor Learning Experiences With Formal Science, Ashley Fanning

Dissertations and Theses

Many teachers lack the confidence and knowledge to transition their classroom science lessons to an outdoor setting. Very few teacher professional development (PD) programs focus on improving teachers' self-efficacy and pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) that is needed to enhance their science curriculum with outdoor lessons. This study examined an exception: The Connect2Science workshops, which provided elementary teachers the opportunity to experience nature-based science lessons. My research question for this study is: In what ways does a professional development workshop focused around the Next Generation Science Standards influence teachers': a) self-efficacy in teaching science outdoors and b) science pedagogical content knowledge ...


Tryon Trekkers: An Evaluation Of A Stem Based Afterschool Program For At-Risk Youth, Chessa Eckels Anderson Mar 2016

Tryon Trekkers: An Evaluation Of A Stem Based Afterschool Program For At-Risk Youth, Chessa Eckels Anderson

Dissertations and Theses

This study contributed to the body of research that supports a holistic model of afterschool learning through the design of an afterschool intervention that benefits elementary school students of low socioeconomic status. This qualitative study evaluated a science focused afterschool curriculum that was designed using principles from Risk and Resiliency Theory, academic motivation theories, science core ideas from the Next Generation Science Standards, and used environmental education philosophy. The research question of this study is: how does an outdoor and STEM based afterschool program impact at-risk students' self-efficacy, belonging and engagement and ability to apply conceptual knowledge of environmental science ...


Growing Stem Education On The Playground: A Case Study Of The Factors That Influence Teachers’ Use Of School Gardens, Megan Poole Mar 2016

Growing Stem Education On The Playground: A Case Study Of The Factors That Influence Teachers’ Use Of School Gardens, Megan Poole

Dissertations and Theses

School gardens can have a profound, positive influence on a student's academic achievement, social skills, and attitudinal orientation. Despite these clear benefits, the use of school gardens as an instructional medium is not as prevalent as would be expected. There are several types of obstacles that can prevent teachers from using school gardens, including facets of time, support, and knowledge-based challenges. This multiple case study employs a mixed methods design to uncover factors that influence primary school teachers' decisions to utilize a school garden in their STEM curriculum. The goals of this study were to determine the types of ...


An Investigation Into Intermediate Grades Teachers' Noticing Of The Mathematical Quality Of Instruction, Krista Lynn Strand Mar 2016

An Investigation Into Intermediate Grades Teachers' Noticing Of The Mathematical Quality Of Instruction, Krista Lynn Strand

Dissertations and Theses

The Mathematical Quality of Instruction (MQI) is an important feature of a classroom mathematics lesson. Before teachers can strengthen the MQI of their own lessons, however, teachers must first be able to notice MQI-related features of instruction. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate intermediate grades teachers’ MQI-related noticing as they go through a ten-week research-based MQI professional development (PD) program. Specifically, this dissertation is guided by two research questions: (1) How do individual teachers’ noticing of MQI-related features of instruction shift as they go through an MQI-focused professional development program? and (2) How do teachers approach the task ...


Star Academics: Do They Garner Increasing Returns?, James Jeffrey Kline Feb 2016

Star Academics: Do They Garner Increasing Returns?, James Jeffrey Kline

Dissertations and Theses

This study examines the criteria which help academics receive National Institute of Health funds (NIH). The study covers 3,092 NIH recipients and non-recipients in the same department or institute at twenty-four universities. The universities are drawn from those below the top twenty in terms of receipt of NIH funds. With regards to performance, non- recipients have lower performance than recipients. A key determinant of the receipt of NIH funds is individual performance, as measured by the number of articles published and average citations per article in the two years immediately prior to the grant application. Professors receive more NIH ...


Keeley Probes As A Tool For Uncovering Student Ideas: How Do Teachers Use Formative Assessment Probes To Plan And Adapt Instruction?, Kalin Tobler Jan 2016

Keeley Probes As A Tool For Uncovering Student Ideas: How Do Teachers Use Formative Assessment Probes To Plan And Adapt Instruction?, Kalin Tobler

Dissertations and Theses

Formative assessment probes, known as Keeley probes, are one tool teachers use to reveal students' scientific misconceptions, so that they can move them closer to conceptual understanding. The purpose of this research was to document how four elementary school teachers used formative assessment probes to plan and adapt instruction to improve student learning. Specifically:

  • How did teachers choose appropriate probes? What learning goals did teachers hope to address by using the probe??
  • What instructional sequences did teachers envision when planning to use a probe?
  • What did teachers notice when analyzing student data from a probe?
  • How did teachers use the ...


The Language Of Professional Development Leaders, Andrew Riffel, Kathleen Mary Melhuish, Eva Thanheiser Jan 2016

The Language Of Professional Development Leaders, Andrew Riffel, Kathleen Mary Melhuish, Eva Thanheiser

Mathematics and Statistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

Leaders in professional development (PD) initiatives (such as facilitators, principals, coaches) hold a great deal of power in their language, carrying the ability to manage meaning and frame experiences. Rather than working from interview data, this report addresses a gap in leadership research by examining the words used by leaders in their on-the-job interactions. We present an initial framework for capturing leadership language qualities at the macro level (framing the PD’s purpose) and micro level (rhetorical crafting in terms of metaphor usage, pronoun choice, and other language selections). Our data come from a larger project evaluating the efficacy of ...


Teacher Noticing Of Justification: Attending To The Complexity Of Mathematical Content And Practice, Kathleen Mary Melhuish, Eva Thanheiser, Jodi I. Fasteen, Julie Fredericks Jan 2016

Teacher Noticing Of Justification: Attending To The Complexity Of Mathematical Content And Practice, Kathleen Mary Melhuish, Eva Thanheiser, Jodi I. Fasteen, Julie Fredericks

Mathematics and Statistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

In this report, we will consider in-service elementary school teachers' noticing of the mathematical practice: justification. This study is part of a larger project evaluating the efficacy of a three year professional development built around attending to student thinking and promoting mathematical habits of justifying, generalizing and making sense. Noticing just¢cation is a complex task requiring attention to both the (1) mathematical content and strategies and (2) the nature of the argument provided by a student. We have found that teachers' struggle to attend to both aspects simultaneously and offer a framework for considering teacher noticing of mathematical practices.


Measuring Fidelity Of Implementation In A Large-Scale Professional Development Efficacy Study, Kathleen Mary Melhuish, Eva Thanheiser, Brenda Rosencrans Jan 2016

Measuring Fidelity Of Implementation In A Large-Scale Professional Development Efficacy Study, Kathleen Mary Melhuish, Eva Thanheiser, Brenda Rosencrans

Mathematics and Statistics Faculty Publications and Presentations

Fidelity of implementation is the essential link between professional development (PD) experiences and changes in outcomes. Yet, as a field we have few measures available to directly look at implementation. In this poster, we present our preliminary work measuring teachers’ implementation of a research-based PD.


Model Lessons For Math And Geography Activities, Karen Adams, Tyler Sexton, Shawnti Peachey Jan 2016

Model Lessons For Math And Geography Activities, Karen Adams, Tyler Sexton, Shawnti Peachey

Instructional Materials

Model Lessons for Math and Geography Activities to use with The Student Atlas of Oregon.