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Science and Mathematics Education Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Science and Mathematics Education

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 ...


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 ...


Contrast Dependent Knowledge Development In Contrast Supported Scientific Observation, Maura B. Foley Aug 2017

Contrast Dependent Knowledge Development In Contrast Supported Scientific Observation, Maura B. Foley

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Knowledge of contrasts between phenomena can influence how people think and reason about them, so learning contrasts is important in school science. Building knowledge through a process of construction is a common framework through which school science is taught. However, telling phenomena apart through differentiation also plays an important role in learning and may be underused as a teaching framework. An effective way to learn contrasts is to use them to perceptually differentiate similar-looking phenomena presented side-by-side. However, little is known about the persistence/usefulness of knowledge generated during perceptual differentiation over short periods of time and its usage in ...