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Full-Text Articles in Education

How Students Communicate Knowledge: Written Versus Drawn Responses To Formative Assessment Questions In An Introductory Undergraduate Marine Science Course, Christina Siddons Aug 2020

How Students Communicate Knowledge: Written Versus Drawn Responses To Formative Assessment Questions In An Introductory Undergraduate Marine Science Course, Christina Siddons

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Undergraduate science education suffers from a lack of concrete instructional strategies that address real-world postgraduate skills such as visual literacy and science communication. Research within marine science education especially lags behind other, more well-researched fields such as physics or mathematics education, both of which have extensive literature addressing specific instructional strategies that instructors can implement in the classroom. Undergraduate marine science programs overlap with content areas from chemistry, physics, and biology, and provide a rich opportunity for examining how to include more authentic educational experiences in an undergraduate classroom. However, the types of assessments that are typically employed tend to ...


Language, Identity, And Citizenship: Politics Of Education In Madawaska, 1842-1920, Elisa E A Sance Aug 2020

Language, Identity, And Citizenship: Politics Of Education In Madawaska, 1842-1920, Elisa E A Sance

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The establishment of the international border between Maine and New Brunswick in 1842 through the signature of the Webster-Ashburton treaty divided the Francophone population of the Madawaska region along the Saint John River. As a result, each half became administered by an Anglophone government. The linguistic and cultural differences between the Madawaska French and the Anglo-Saxon Protestant ruling majority in both the state and the province complicated the establishment of new public institutions. The language of both administrations as well as the language of public education was English; a language that very few people among the Madawaska French spoke or ...


Investigating Maine Secondary Science Teachers Conceptualization Of Scientific Argumentation, Erin Doran Aug 2020

Investigating Maine Secondary Science Teachers Conceptualization Of Scientific Argumentation, Erin Doran

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) aims to reform science education for grades K-12 with a central focus on students becoming doers of science as opposed to just being knowers of facts. This historical shift in standards across the United States asks for teaching science content paired with eight Science and Engineering Practices. One of the eight Science and Engineering Practices is Engaging in Argument from Evidence, which is using empirical evidence and scientific reasoning to make sense of scientific phenomena.This study examined how the practice of Engaging in Argument from Evidence is conceptualized by Maine secondary science teachers ...


The Impact Of Elementary Mathematics Coaches On Elementary Teachers' Attitudes Towards Teaching Mathematics, Samuel R. Ward Aug 2020

The Impact Of Elementary Mathematics Coaches On Elementary Teachers' Attitudes Towards Teaching Mathematics, Samuel R. Ward

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study compares levels of mathematics anxiety and teacher efficacy between inservice and preservice elementary teachers. Prior research has indicated that mathematics anxiety is a common trait among elementary teachers. Mathematics anxiety has also been found to have a negative impact on preservice elementary teachers’ efficacy towards teaching mathematics. To address this challenge, some states have begun hiring elementary mathematics coaches to support elementary teachers. Besides focusing on mathematics anxiety and teacher efficacy, this study also investigated the impacts of elementary mathematics coaches on inservice elementary teachers.

A total of 174 inservice teachers and 51 preservice teachers completed a survey ...


Work At The Boundary: A Research-Practice Partnership To Integrate Computer Science Into Middle School Science, Amelia R. Callahan Aug 2020

Work At The Boundary: A Research-Practice Partnership To Integrate Computer Science Into Middle School Science, Amelia R. Callahan

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The Maine Center for Research in STEM Education (RiSE Center) is currently developing a partnership between university education researchers, computer science faculty, and middle school science teachers throughout the state. The goal of this partnership is to develop a set of lessons that integrate computer science concepts and practices into existing science curricular materials. This STEM+C partnership brings together individuals who have a wide range of experience and comfort with computer science and teaching middle school. This study focuses on the partnership’s early stages through its initial summer collaborations. We designed and administered interviews prior to the module ...


First-Year Computer Science Students: Pathways And Perceptions In Introductory Computer Science Courses, Christina A. Leblanc May 2020

First-Year Computer Science Students: Pathways And Perceptions In Introductory Computer Science Courses, Christina A. Leblanc

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study examined student perceptions and experiences of an introductory Computer Science course at the University of Maine; COS 125: Introduction to Problem Solving Using Computer Programs. It also explored the pathways that students pursue after taking COS 125, depending on their success in the course, and their motivation to persist. Through characterizing student populations and their performance in their first semester in the Computer Science program, they can be placed into one of three categories that explain their path; a “continuer” (passed COS 125 and decided to stay in the major), a “persister” (did not pass COS 125 and ...


Understanding Latina Undergraduate Engineering Student Persistence, Yarissa I. Ortiz-Vidal May 2020

Understanding Latina Undergraduate Engineering Student Persistence, Yarissa I. Ortiz-Vidal

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In summary, this study focused on understanding the persistence of 20 Latina undergraduate engineering students enrolled at two public four-year Hispanic Serving Institutions. Key findings in this study showed that in order to contribute to their own persistence in engineering majors these Latina students activated their community cultural wealth: (a) not only to resist different forms of oppression, but also to thrive and excel in academic settings, (b) to take control of difficult and challenging experiences, (c) to take/receive knowledge from others, but also to give/share their knowledge (cyclical tendencies of CCW), (d) as well as revealing that ...


Investigating The Intersections Of Interpersonal Violence: Identifying Risk And Protective Factors For Hazing, Kayla E. Goodwin May 2020

Investigating The Intersections Of Interpersonal Violence: Identifying Risk And Protective Factors For Hazing, Kayla E. Goodwin

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Building on the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s initiative to investigate the links between multiple forms of violence, this study used a “review-of-reviews” qualitative approach, a form of meta-analysis, to illuminate the intersections of sexual violence and hazing. Data were analyzed to uncover the risk and protective factors for hazing. These findings were then compared to the risk and protective factors for sexual violence to investigate any intersections, broadening the research about the intersecting forms of interpersonal violence. Eleven risk factors for hazing were identified, four of which intersect with previously identified risk factors for ...


Bridging The Gap: Including Cultural Science In Post-Secondary Education To Enhance Learning Within Sciences For Native And Non-Native Students, Tish Carr Dec 2019

Bridging The Gap: Including Cultural Science In Post-Secondary Education To Enhance Learning Within Sciences For Native And Non-Native Students, Tish Carr

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Until seven years ago, there were few mechanisms in place within theWabanaki communities to keep Native students connected from middle school through college if an interest was sparked in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. On average, less than 50 percent of Native Students graduate from high school. The past six years, the Wabanaki Youth in Science program (WaYS) has become a "bridge" for students to learn more at the secondary level about STEM fields. The next phase in the academic journey to aid student learning is to develop a model educational program that will increase Native youth ...


The Importance Of Administrative Supports In Retaining Special Educators: A Comparison Of Administrator And Teacher Perceptions, Mary Ellen Seymour Dec 2019

The Importance Of Administrative Supports In Retaining Special Educators: A Comparison Of Administrator And Teacher Perceptions, Mary Ellen Seymour

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study compared the perceptions of special education administrators (SEAs) and special education teachers (SETs) regarding the importance of administrative supports in retaining SETs, and also explored SETs’ levels of satisfaction with current supports and factors that correlated with satisfaction. Survey methods were used to identify and compare the perceptions of the importance of 23 administrative supports to the retention of SETs by 39 Maine SEAs and 122 Maine SETs. Using a framework developed by House (1981), administrative support items were assigned to one of four categories of support: emotional, instrumental, informational, or appraisal. The results of the study indicated ...


Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Use Of Spatial Diagrams: Investigations Of Unbounded Shearing On Solid Figures, Camden G. Bock Dec 2019

Pre-Service Elementary Teachers' Use Of Spatial Diagrams: Investigations Of Unbounded Shearing On Solid Figures, Camden G. Bock

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Mithala and Balacheff (2019) describe three difficulties with two-dimensional representations of three-dimensional geometrical objects: “it is no longer possible to confuse the representation with the object itself,” visually observed relationships can be misleading, and analysis of the representation requires the use of lower-dimensional theoretical properties. Despite these difficulties, students are routinely expected to learn about three-dimensional figures through interacting with two-dimensional inscriptions. Three-dimensional alternatives include diagrams realized through various spatial inscriptions (e.g., Dimmel & Bock, 2019; Gecu-Parmaksiz & Delialioglu, 2019; Lai, McMahan, Kitagawa & Connolly, 2016; Ng and Sinclair, 2018). Such diagrams are three-dimensional in the sense that they occupy real (e.g., 3D pen drawings) or rendered ...


Examining The Relationship Between A Universal Screening Measure And A State Reading Assessment, Karen G. Smith Aug 2019

Examining The Relationship Between A Universal Screening Measure And A State Reading Assessment, Karen G. Smith

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Many adolescents struggle with reading comprehension, despite an emphasis on reading instruction over recent decades. Evidence suggests that informational text is particularly challenging for students. To implement assessments within a multi-tiered framework, schools must have psychometrically adequate tools. Universal screening data can be useful when identifying at-risk students in need of intervention.

Using data of 473 students in Grades 6 through 8 from two Western Maine middle schools, this study examined the relationship between the Northwest Evaluation Association’s Measures of Academic Progress in Reading (NWEA MAP-R) and Maine’s eMPowerME English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA/L) test by Measured ...


"There Isn't Anything That Guy Can't Teach About Cars": How Nontraditional Female Career And Technical Education Students Perceive Instructor Effectiveness, Christopher J. Healy May 2019

"There Isn't Anything That Guy Can't Teach About Cars": How Nontraditional Female Career And Technical Education Students Perceive Instructor Effectiveness, Christopher J. Healy

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study explored how female Career and Technical Education (CTE) students who enter predominantly male-attended programs perceive instructor effectiveness. Although previous research has shed light on structural and social barriers faced by females wanting to enter these programs (Whitehead, 2013), new information suggests that CTE instructors engaged in prolonged professional development focused on improving instructional skills can support beneficial learning outcomes for their students (NRCCTE, 2013). It has also been suggested that improved knowledge of instructional approaches can increase nontraditional female students’ successful completion of their CTE programs (NRCCTE, 2013). Consequently, I sought to better understand three factors associated with ...


An Exploration Of Technology Leadership In Three Maine Public School Districts, David L. Fournier May 2019

An Exploration Of Technology Leadership In Three Maine Public School Districts, David L. Fournier

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The promise of technology for positively influencing student outcomes is being hampered by a lack of understanding of who is leading technology in public schools and differing beliefs of technology use among technology leaders. The purpose of this qualitative multi-case study was to describe and understand the nature of technology leadership in three Maine public school districts. Research questions explored the roles, responsibilities, values, and beliefs of the technology leaders and examined how technology leaders mobilized stakeholders in using technology to positively influence student outcomes. Fifteen participants were interviewed from across three case sites. Data analysis was guided by the ...


Assessing Quantitative Reasoning In A Ninth Grade Science Class Using Interdisciplinary Data Story Assignments, Bryn W. Keenhold May 2019

Assessing Quantitative Reasoning In A Ninth Grade Science Class Using Interdisciplinary Data Story Assignments, Bryn W. Keenhold

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In a data-driven world, it is necessary that students graduate from high school quantitatively literate, with the ability to interpret quantities within a context to make informed decisions for their lives. A critical component of science learning is developing the ability to make sense of data, critically evaluate it, and effectively communicate scientific ideas. The purpose of this study is two-fold: 1) to investigate how 9th grade students in an Earth Science class use quantitative reasoning (QR) skills when constructing evidence-based scientific explanations during Data Story assignments and 2) to provide teachers with supports to incorporate Data Stories into their ...


An Economic Analysis Of Student Loan Default, Arianna Castonguay May 2019

An Economic Analysis Of Student Loan Default, Arianna Castonguay

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Cumulative student loan debt in the United States has now surpassed $1.5 trillion. Moreover, since the turn of the century, cohort default rates of these loans have steadily risen across all types of institutions. The latest data from the U.S. Department of Education shows 10.8 percent of borrowers who entered repayment in fiscal year 2015 have defaulted within three years. In turn, the first chapter of this paper summarizes student loan policies as well as trends in debt and default. Furthermore, it highlights the consequences of high student debt and default for individual borrowers and the economy ...


The High School To First-Year College Instructional Transition: An Investigation Of The Predictions And Perceptions Of Stem Students, Emma Toth May 2019

The High School To First-Year College Instructional Transition: An Investigation Of The Predictions And Perceptions Of Stem Students, Emma Toth

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Recent national reports have cited ongoing issues in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Fewer than half of first-year undergraduate students who start in STEM fields graduate with a STEM degree six years later. Most of this attrition occurs between the first and second year of college, and students often cite instructional practices used in introductory college courses as a prominent reason for leaving. Furthermore, students from backgrounds that are underrepresented in STEM fields, including first-generation college students, leave STEM majors at higher rates than their classmates. Recent data show that the instructional practices used in introductory college ...


Learning Science: Physical And Life Sciences In Curricula Across U.S. Schools Of Nursing, Valerie C. Sauda May 2019

Learning Science: Physical And Life Sciences In Curricula Across U.S. Schools Of Nursing, Valerie C. Sauda

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Nursing educators are being challenged to provide curriculum that meets the changing healthcare environment and demand for creative, innovative nurses to assist in transforming healthcare into the future (Benner, Sutphen, Leonard, & Day, 2010; Institute Of Medicine, 2011). The liberal education provided within a baccalaureate of science in nursing (BSN) degree program provides a diversity of courses within the curriculum, including courses in the natural, physical, mathematical, and social sciences (American Association of Colleges of Nursing [AACN], 2008). Although nursing programs have included science courses in curriculum since the early 1900s (Nutting & Dock, 1907), there is lack of nursing educational research as to ...


Shocks To The System: The Micropolitics Of Communities In Economic Shock When Determining The Outcome Of Local Education, Kathy Jeanne Harris-Smedberg May 2019

Shocks To The System: The Micropolitics Of Communities In Economic Shock When Determining The Outcome Of Local Education, Kathy Jeanne Harris-Smedberg

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

It is estimated that the United States lost almost eight million manufacturing jobs in total from its peak in 1979 to 2010, which not only resulted in job loss, but wage depression and higher welfare spending in the US (Dubner, 2017, DeSilver, 2017). These losses were exacerbated in small rural mill towns where up to 70% of a town’s revenues, at some point, had depended on the exiting industry. Too often, affected workers, if they did find work, were reallocated to jobs with dramatic wage reductions, leaving communities with substantially reduced funding revenues and rising welfare, disability, public service ...


Using Question Variations To Access Alternate Student Thinking About The Same Physical Situations, Jeffrey Mathis Hawkins May 2019

Using Question Variations To Access Alternate Student Thinking About The Same Physical Situations, Jeffrey Mathis Hawkins

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Assessing students’ understanding of physics is a critical element for improving physics education. This dissertation presents and demonstrates a method to better assess student understanding of physics by varying the types of questions asked of students. The method presented herein, which is based on the Specific Difficulties and Resources frameworks, involves modifying the task students are asked to complete when analyzing the physics of a particular physical situation. Creating question variations that ask students to address a particular correct or incorrect outcome of the physical situation, eliminate an incorrect outcome, or justify a correct outcome provided to them can provide ...


Designing A Comprehensive School-Wide Program In Character Development And Leadership For High School Students, Mark C. Reilly May 2019

Designing A Comprehensive School-Wide Program In Character Development And Leadership For High School Students, Mark C. Reilly

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

All independent college preparatory schools maintain that they teach their students leadership and provide opportunities for character development. In addition, most colleges and universities are looking for students who possess strong character and leadership skills. With few exceptions, the leadership and character development programs of most independent schools do nothing more than provide students with opportunities to lead their peers through election to student government, the appointment of captains on sports teams, or through the leadership of non-athletic extra curricular activities such as clubs, yearbook, drama productions, or Model U.N. Typically these opportunities are supported and enhanced by surrounding ...


Teachers' Professional Knowledge And Formative Assessment Practices: An Empirical Study From Middle School Earth Science Instruction In The Context Of An Educational Improved Community, Laura Millay Dec 2018

Teachers' Professional Knowledge And Formative Assessment Practices: An Empirical Study From Middle School Earth Science Instruction In The Context Of An Educational Improved Community, Laura Millay

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

While there is widespread agreement that effective formative assessment supports student learning in science, the knowledge teachers need in order assess learning remains sparsely studied. In 1999, Magnusson, Krajcik, and Borko (MKB) proposed that Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK, Shulman 1986, 1987) is a distinct knowledge domain that synthesizes three base domains that include science subject matter, pedagogy, and context. The MKB model identified Assessment Knowledge as one of five components of PCK. Since 1999, several studies have used the MKB framework, but have left Assessment Knowledge underdefined. In 2012, Avargil, Herscovitz, and Dori proposed a revision based on empirical study ...


Teacher Judgment Accuracy In The Domain Of Spelling, April Spencer Dec 2018

Teacher Judgment Accuracy In The Domain Of Spelling, April Spencer

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This study investigated first and second grade teachers’ understanding of their students’ skill in spelling words of varying difficulty. Specifically, teachers judged their students’ item- by-item performance on a twelve-item spelling test adapted from a commercially available developmental spelling inventory. Results showed that teachers’ judgments were accurate 77% of the time, a figure similar to accuracy levels reported in previous teacher judgment research in the area of literacy. The study also included an error analysis task that was designed to assess teachers’ knowledge of developmental spelling. Results revealed a significant relationship (r = .42) between teacher judgment accuracy and performance on ...


A Granular Account Of Student's Understanding Reasoning Within An Everyday And Scientific Contexts, Grace M. Gonnella Aug 2018

A Granular Account Of Student's Understanding Reasoning Within An Everyday And Scientific Contexts, Grace M. Gonnella

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Teachers and educational researchers in the Maine Physical Sciences Partnership (Maine PSP) at the University of Maine identified making quality scientific arguments as a struggle for students. Not only is argumentation hard, but reasoning is the hardest component of an argument. Many frameworks have been developed to target teaching about argumentation but do not address how to teach one component of an argument in isolation. Educational practitioners encourage using everyday context to learn about arguments in the scientific context, but there is limited support in what is the best method. The first purpose of this research was to understand a ...


Understanding Student Development Of Science Literacy Skills In An Undergraduate Environmental Science Course, Molly Picillo Aug 2018

Understanding Student Development Of Science Literacy Skills In An Undergraduate Environmental Science Course, Molly Picillo

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Educators are expected to instill a variety of skills in their students that are necessary to be competent citizens of society. One such set of skills, science literacy skills, broadly encompass the ability of an individual to evaluate reliability of data and information and critically analyze and interpret them (Gormally Brickman, Hallar, & Armstrong, 2009). These skills are utilized in everyday decision-making and given their pertinence, there is a need for citizens to be scientifically literate. Thus, educators need tools and assessments to help students develop these skills and analyze their science literacy. The aim of this study was to develop science literacy interventions that could be easily incorporated into college curricula, providing instructors with exemplars of classroom interventions with the intent to improve students’ science literacy skills. Therefore, the broad research question for this investigation was: How do science literacy interventions impact student proficiency in science literacy skills in college general education courses? I measured effectiveness of the interventions using the Test of Science Literacy Skills (TOSLS, Gormally Brickman, & Lutz, 2012) pre- and post-survey scores, as well as student feedback from pre- and post-survey, follow-up interviews. The TOSLS surveys were given as part of a participation grade to students in a general education undergraduate college course (n = 148). A subset of students volunteered to be interviewed regarding specific questions from the TOSLS survey, after both the pre-survey (n = 12) and the post-survey (n = 5), to further investigate student understanding and interpretation. Interventions were designed by modifying previous assignments from earlier years’ offerings of the class and were conducted both during class and outside of class as homework extensions. These interventions were created by evaluating scores and interviews on the TOSLS survey deployed as a pilot study in a previous semester of the undergraduate course. Based on these pilot data, four survey questions encompassing different science literacy skills of particular difficulty were targeted for intervention. The interventions were: (1) An interactive clicker-based lesson involving graph selection methods; (2) Data summits involving graph interpretation and source evaluation; and (3) A role-play after which students discussed sources of bias.

Although the results indicated no statistically significant changes in the average scores between the pre-survey and post-survey (t test, p = 0.82, α = 0.05), interviewed students recalled ...


A Multiple Case Study Of Secondary School Teachers' Understanding Of Learning Relationships In Virtual Schools: Implications For Teacher Identity, Linda M. Fuller May 2018

A Multiple Case Study Of Secondary School Teachers' Understanding Of Learning Relationships In Virtual Schools: Implications For Teacher Identity, Linda M. Fuller

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

There is now a strong presence of virtual schools in the United States serving K-12 students, along with increased opportunities for brick-and-mortar students to take virtual courses (Ash, 2011; Luo, Hibbard, Franklin, & Moore, 2017). Research into the human impact of virtual education is not keeping pace (Gulosino & Miron, 2017; Rice et al., 2014). This study focused on the experiences and insights of virtual teachers in terms of their relationships with learners as well as on potential changes in their sense of professional identity as they moved from one setting to the other. During a series of three individual, semi-structured interviews, five teachers described their teaching first as brick-and-mortar high school teachers and then as teachers in virtual ...


Teacher Performance Evaluation And Professional Growth In The Era Of "Educator Effectiveness" In Maine, Jonathan E. Doty May 2018

Teacher Performance Evaluation And Professional Growth In The Era Of "Educator Effectiveness" In Maine, Jonathan E. Doty

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Maine is one of many states that undertook reform to teacher supervision and evaluation in the wake of public attention (e.g., Waiting for Superman) and federal pressure (e.g., NCLB Flexibility Waivers). The Maine Legislature passed An Act to Ensure Effective Teaching and School Leadership (2012), shifting from local discretion to greater state influence on the functions of formative supervision and summative evaluation. As school districts created systems to meet the state’s mandates, they combined growth and employment functions and navigated persistent challenges described in the literature on evaluation and supervision.

The purpose of this study was to ...


Examining The Relationship Between The Use Of Simulation In Nursing Education Andsafety With Medication Adminstration In The Clinical Setting, Deborah A. Eremita May 2018

Examining The Relationship Between The Use Of Simulation In Nursing Education Andsafety With Medication Adminstration In The Clinical Setting, Deborah A. Eremita

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

EXAMINING THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE USE OF SIMULATION IN

NURSING EDUCATION AND SAFETY WITH

MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION

IN THE CLINICAL SETTING

Deborah A. Eremita

Thesis Advisors: Dr. Ann Sossong and Dr. Patricia Poirier

An Abstract of the Dissertation Presented

in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the

Degree Interdisciplinary Doctor of Philosophy

In Nursing and Education

May 2018

Medication errors represent a significant threat to patient safety. Administration of medications is a primary role of nursing practice and a critical component of nursing education curricula. Safe medication is a challenging process to teach nursing students. Simulation may provide students with a ...


Investigating Student Understanding Of Vector Calculus In Upper-Division Electricity And Magnetism: Construction And Determination Of Differential Element In Non-Cartesian Coordinate Systems, Benjamin Schermerhorn May 2018

Investigating Student Understanding Of Vector Calculus In Upper-Division Electricity And Magnetism: Construction And Determination Of Differential Element In Non-Cartesian Coordinate Systems, Benjamin Schermerhorn

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Differential length, area, and volume elements appear ubiquitously over the course of upper-division electricity and magnetism (E&M), used to sum the effects of or determine expressions for electric or magnetic fields. Given the plethora of tasks with spherical and cylindrical symmetry, non-Cartesian coordinates are commonly used, which include scaling factors as coefficients for the differential terms to account for the curvature of space. Furthermore, the application to vector fields means differential lengths and areas are vector quantities. So far, little of the education research in E&M has explored student understanding and construction of the non-Cartesian differential elements used in applications of vector calculus. This study contributes to the research base on the learning and teaching of these quantities.

Following course observations of junior-level E&M, targeted investigations were conducted to categorize student understanding of the properties of these differentials as they are constructed in a coordinate system without a physics context and as they are determined within common physics tasks. In general, students did not have a strong understanding of the geometry of non-Cartesian coordinate systems. However, students who were able to construct differential area and volume elements as a product of differential lengths within a given coordinate system were more successful when applying vector calculus. The results of this study were used to develop preliminary instructional resources to aid in the teaching of this material.

Lastly, this dissertation presents a theoretical model developed within the context of this study to describe students’ construction and interpretation of equations. The model joins existing theoretical frameworks: symbolic forms, used to describe students’ representational understanding of the structure of the constructed equation; and conceptual blending, which has been used to describe the ways in which students combine mathematics and physics knowledge when problem solving. In addition to providing a coherent picture for how the students in this study connect contextual information to symbolic representations, this model is broadly applicable as an analytical lens and allows for a detailed reinterpretation of similar analyses using these frameworks.


Looking At Innovation Dialogically: Teaching Communication And (Social) Change In The Innovation Engineering Program At The University Of Maine, Mark J. Congdon Jr. May 2018

Looking At Innovation Dialogically: Teaching Communication And (Social) Change In The Innovation Engineering Program At The University Of Maine, Mark J. Congdon Jr.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Higher education institutions face two concurrent demands: preparing students for the job-market, while also developing informed and engaged citizens (Frey & Palmer, 2014; Gould, 2003). How universities reconcile these demands varies. The Innovation Engineering program (IE) at the University of Maine strives to both, “change the world by enabling innovation” (concern for social issues) and educate entrepreneurs (students) whose innovations reach markets quicker and at a decreased risk (capitalist orientation) (Hall, 2013; Kelly, 2014). The program uses a systems approach to innovation by teaching tools and methods for creating, communicating, and commercializing meaningfully unique ideas. Processes and contexts are important parts of a ...