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Full-Text Articles in Science and Mathematics Education

Investigating The Potential For Unanticipated Consequences Of Teaching The Tentative Nature Of Science, William W. Cobern, Betty A.J, Adams, Brandy A.S. Pleasants, Andrew P. Bentley, Robert Kagumba Mar 2019

Investigating The Potential For Unanticipated Consequences Of Teaching The Tentative Nature Of Science, William W. Cobern, Betty A.J, Adams, Brandy A.S. Pleasants, Andrew P. Bentley, Robert Kagumba

Science Teaching and Learning

If you are reading information supportive of climate science, you may well read that climate science is “settled science.” If you are reading something from a climate science skeptic, you may well read that climate science is “just a theory.” Given that the science education community strongly supports teaching the tentative nature of scientific knowledge, one might think that the skeptic has a legitimate argument. Experts will quickly object that such a deduction is quite wrong, and we agree. Nevertheless, we can’t help but wonder to what extent teaching the tentative nature of scientific knowledge might undermine confidence in ...


High School Science Teachers’ Professional Development And Self-Efficacy In Using Technology Tools In The Classroom, Zahrah Hussain Aljuzayri Dec 2018

High School Science Teachers’ Professional Development And Self-Efficacy In Using Technology Tools In The Classroom, Zahrah Hussain Aljuzayri

Dissertations

Few studies have considered the relationship between professional development (PD) and self-efficacy with technology tool use, especially for high school science teachers. There is also a lack of research that considers relationships between teachers' demographic factors and teachers' self-efficacy, use of technology tools in the classroom, or their professional development. The goal of this quantitative study was to attempt to correlate science teacher self-efficacy, the PD science teachers have had for classroom technology, and how often they use that technology in the classroom. We also wanted to identify possible impacts of teachers' demographic factors on efficacy, use, and PD. Participants ...


When Interviewing: How Many Is Enough?, William W. Cobern Sep 2018

When Interviewing: How Many Is Enough?, William W. Cobern

Mallinson Institute Seminars

Researchers need to know what is an acceptable number for interview work How does one decide the acceptable number of people to interview? Or one might ask what is an acceptable N size for interview work?


Effects Of A Historical Story On Student Understanding Of Nos, Peng Dai Apr 2018

Effects Of A Historical Story On Student Understanding Of Nos, Peng Dai

Research and Creative Activities Poster Day

Science educators have identified that Nature of Science (NOS) is essential to improve students’ science literacy. Numerous empirical studies suggest that incorporating the history of science (HOS) into class by means of an explicit reflective approach is one way to promote students’ NOS conceptions. In view of these findings, we developed a unit using an interrupted story technique to depict the discovery of the structure of DNA featuring Rosalind Franklin’s neglected role to help students learn both science content and NOS. Our study design compares an experimental group (story used) with a control group (no story used). The SUSSI ...


Elementary/Middle School Pre-Service Teachers’ Understanding Of Variability And The Use Of Dynamical Statistical Software, Yaomingxin Lu Apr 2018

Elementary/Middle School Pre-Service Teachers’ Understanding Of Variability And The Use Of Dynamical Statistical Software, Yaomingxin Lu

Research and Creative Activities Poster Day

A primary purpose of the study was to examine the effects of using dynamical statistical software (DSS) on prospective teachers’ (PSTs) understanding of statistical concepts, especially variability. Data were collected from PSTs enrolled in a probability and statistics course designed for prospective K-8 teachers. After initial analysis of the data using coding and classification schemes, we found the need to develop a more targeted framework to analyze students’ different levels of understanding. The variability framework (Garfield & Ben-Zvi, 2005) and the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy were then used in combination to develop a revised framework in order to ...


Impacts Of Cohort Membership On Teacher Candidates In An Alternative Certification Program, Katherine Eaton Apr 2018

Impacts Of Cohort Membership On Teacher Candidates In An Alternative Certification Program, Katherine Eaton

Dissertations

Post baccalaureate teacher education programs are an effective way to increase the teaching pool with candidates who are content experts (Beijaard et al. 2004; Brantlinger, A., & Smith, B., 2013; Zeichner, K. M., & Schulte, A. K., 2001; Schultz, K., & Ravitch, S. M. 2013; Humphrey et al., 2008). Many of these programs utilize a cohort model design where students progress through the program together as a group (Maher, M. A. 2005; Jorissen, K. T., 2002; Ross et al., 2006; Mandzuk, D. et al., 2005). In his book, Deep Knowledge (2013), Larkin describes the complex nature of preparing candidates for teaching and calls on the need for research to consider how the nature of ...


A Model For Propagating Educational Innovations In Higher Stem Education: A Grounded Theory Study Of Successfully Propagated Innovations, Raina Khatri Apr 2018

A Model For Propagating Educational Innovations In Higher Stem Education: A Grounded Theory Study Of Successfully Propagated Innovations, Raina Khatri

Dissertations

A critical problem in undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education is the slow uptake of innovative teaching strategies and materials. Developments from the STEM education research community can be shown to improve learning and retention outcomes, but the majority of new teaching strategies go unused by instructors. This problem is increasingly acknowledged by funding agencies such as the National Science Foundation, which now calls for “transferability and propagation” to be addressed throughout a project’s lifetime in the request for proposals. However, few publications synthesize what is known about propagating innovations into usable, actionable recommendations for developers in ...


Redesigning High School Mathematics Curriculum To Enhance College Readiness, Alicia Sanfillippo Dec 2017

Redesigning High School Mathematics Curriculum To Enhance College Readiness, Alicia Sanfillippo

Honors Theses

As a peer tutor and academic coach at Western Michigan University since Fall 2014, I frequently assisted students with mathematics and science courses. Working closely with university students made me realize that many students lacked important skills that I would expect to have been developed prior to college. The skills that I realized students were lacking with respect to math literacy were pattern recognition, the ability to transfer skills, and comprehension and use of mathematical language. I set out to develop these skills as I prepared for an internship in an remedial Algebra II class at Kalamazoo Central High School ...


Cross-Curricular Writing In Mathematics For Comprehension, Kirsten Stowell Dec 2017

Cross-Curricular Writing In Mathematics For Comprehension, Kirsten Stowell

Honors Theses

Even though the idea of implementing writing in a mathematics classroom is far from new and the benefits from doing so are hardly nonexistent, this concept is often not found in modern secondary mathematics classrooms. Writing about mathematics allows students to organize and communicate their thinking, gain a better conceptual understanding of mathematical topics, develop a stronger sense of mathematical procedure, move beyond surface-level thinking, and place abstract ideas into context. Writing can also be used by teachers as a formative assessment to explicitly determine if students are struggling conceptually or procedurally in a mathematics classroom to then adjust instruction ...


Ldentifying And Characterizing Cognitive Factors Significant To Practicing And Learning Meteorology, Peggy M. Mcneal Dec 2017

Ldentifying And Characterizing Cognitive Factors Significant To Practicing And Learning Meteorology, Peggy M. Mcneal

Dissertations

To see the world as a meteorologist, one must understand and interpret atmospheric processes through representations depicted on two-dimensional weather charts and maps that encode large amounts of spatial and numerical data. This is a cognitively demanding and spatially challenging task, especially for students with burgeoning levels of meteorology knowledge, who lack the expertise of practiced meteorologists that read such charts and maps with ease. With little prior work informing meteorology and meteorology education through a cognitive science lens, this study surveys the literature and follows models of discipline-based education and cognitive science research to identify the discrete intelligence factors ...


Evaluating The Affective Impact Of A Place-Based Learning Course Project In The Geosciences, Nathan Charlton Dec 2017

Evaluating The Affective Impact Of A Place-Based Learning Course Project In The Geosciences, Nathan Charlton

Master's Theses

Coping with issues such as climate change and depletion of natural resources demands a scientifically literate public. For many students, the only exposure to earth science comes in a college-level general education geoscience course. One way to engender positive attitudes toward and interest in earth science among these students (the future public) is to connect learning to actual places to which students have a personal attachment.

This study seeks to evaluate the impact of a place-based learning project (MyPlace) currently in use in an introductory geosciences general education course at Western Michigan University. Students in the MyPlace project select a ...


Effects Of Historical Story Telling On Student Understanding Of Nos And Mendelian Genetics, Cody Tyler Williams Aug 2017

Effects Of Historical Story Telling On Student Understanding Of Nos And Mendelian Genetics, Cody Tyler Williams

Dissertations

Science education researchers have long advocated the central role of the nature of science (NOS) for our understanding of scientific literacy. NOS is often interpreted narrowly to refer to a host of epistemological claims associated with the process of science and the limitations of scientific knowledge. Despite its importance, practitioners and researchers alike acknowledge that students have difficulty learning NOS and that this in part reflects how difficult it is to teach. Many teachers are uncomfortable with taking time away from traditional science content instruction. One promising method for teaching NOS and science content involves an explicit and reflective approach ...


Relative Rates Of Success Of Students In Calculus I, Joshua Ayerdi Jun 2017

Relative Rates Of Success Of Students In Calculus I, Joshua Ayerdi

Honors Theses

Students that enroll in Math 1220, Calculus 1, can be categorized into two groups after completion of the course; those that are successful and able to proceed to the next course by earning a grade of “C” or better (pass) and those that are not successful and unable to proceed to the next course by earning below a “C” (fail). The Mathematics Association of America (MAA) has reported the national average of unsuccessful Calculus 1 students to be 25%. At the conclusion of the spring 2015 semester at Western Michigan University (WMU), the rate was approximately 40%. Institutional data was ...


Using Concept Maps To Monitor Knowledge Structure Changes In A Science Classroom, Leah J. Cook Jun 2017

Using Concept Maps To Monitor Knowledge Structure Changes In A Science Classroom, Leah J. Cook

Dissertations

The aim of this research is to determine what differences may exist in students’ structural knowledge while using a variety of concept mapping assessments. A concept map can be used as an assessment which connects concepts in a knowledge domain. A single assessment may not be powerful enough to establish how students’ new knowledge relates to prior knowledge. More research is needed to establish how various aspects of the concept mapping task influence the output of map creation by students. Using multiple concept maps and pre-instruction and postinstruction VNOS instruments during a 16-week semester, this study was designed to investigate ...


An Investigation Of Turkish Middle School Science Teachers’ Pedagogical Orientations Towards Direct And Inquiry Instructional Approaches, Selcuk Sahingoz Jun 2017

An Investigation Of Turkish Middle School Science Teachers’ Pedagogical Orientations Towards Direct And Inquiry Instructional Approaches, Selcuk Sahingoz

Dissertations

One of the most important goals of science education is preparing effective science teachers which includes the development of a science pedagogical orientation. Helping in-service science teachers improve their orientations toward science teaching begins with identifying their current orientations. While there are many aspects of an effective science teaching orientation, this study specifically focuses on effective pedagogy. The interest of this study is to clarify pedagogical orientations of middle school science teachers in Turkey toward the teaching of science conceptual knowledge. It focuses on what instructional preferences Turkish middle school science teachers have in theory and practice.

The purpose of ...


Effects Of A Historical Story On Student Understanding Of Nos And Mendelian Genetics, Cody T. Williams, David W. Rudge Apr 2017

Effects Of A Historical Story On Student Understanding Of Nos And Mendelian Genetics, Cody T. Williams, David W. Rudge

Faculty Research and Creative Activities Award (FRACAA) Recipients

Introduction:

  • The nature of science (NOS) is an important part of scientific literacy (AAAS, 2009; Matthews, 1994; Lederman et al., 2014).
  • History provides contextualized approach that allows for intertwining NOS and traditional science content (Clough, 2006).
  • Stories represent a potential avenue for progress in using history in NOS research.
  • Recent framework developed for historical stories in science education (Klassen, 2009).

Conclusions:

  • Preliminary results from this study indicate that student participants from the experimental group made significant gains in their understanding of the role of imagination and creativity in science.
  • Participants from the experimental group also outperformed the non-intervention group on ...


The Creation Of A Video Review Guide For The Free-Response Section Of The Advanced Placement Calculus Exam, Jeffrey Brown Dec 2016

The Creation Of A Video Review Guide For The Free-Response Section Of The Advanced Placement Calculus Exam, Jeffrey Brown

Honors Theses

The Creation of a Video Review Guide for the Free-Response Section of the Advanced Placement Calculus Exam follows the creation of a resource to help students prepare for the College Board’s Advanced Placement Calculus Exam. This project originated out of the authors personal experiences in preparing for this exam. The goal of the project was to create an accessible resource that reviews content, provides insights into the Advanced Placement exam, and creates successful habits in student responses. This paper, chronologically, details the development of the resource and a reflection on the final product and future uses.


Pedagogical Moves As Characteristics Of One Instructor’S Instrumental Orchestrations With Tinkerplots And The Ti-73 Explorer: A Case Study, James L. Kratky Dec 2016

Pedagogical Moves As Characteristics Of One Instructor’S Instrumental Orchestrations With Tinkerplots And The Ti-73 Explorer: A Case Study, James L. Kratky

Dissertations

Those supporting contemporary reform efforts for mathematics education in the United States have called for increased use of technologies to support student-centered learning of mathematical concepts and skills. There is a need for more research and professional development to support teachers in transitioning their instruction to better meet the goals of such reform efforts.

Instrumental approaches to conceptualizing technology use in mathematics education, arising out of the theoretical and empirical work in France and other European nations, show promise for use to frame studies on school mathematics in the United States. Instrumental genesis is used to describe the bidirectional and ...


Math Education Matters, October 2016, Western Michigan University Oct 2016

Math Education Matters, October 2016, Western Michigan University

Mathematics News

  • Mathematics Education at WMU
  • Fulbright Scholarship
  • Visiting Student
  • Curriculum Internship
  • Calculus Initiative
  • Research on Children’s Thinking
  • News from Graduates
  • New Elementary School Math Major
  • Upcoming Presentations


A Quantitative Analysis Of Whether Elementary Teachers’ Science Kit Usage And Beliefs Can Predict State Science Assessment Scores, Tony E. Rice Aug 2016

A Quantitative Analysis Of Whether Elementary Teachers’ Science Kit Usage And Beliefs Can Predict State Science Assessment Scores, Tony E. Rice

Dissertations

The purpose of this survey was to describe and analyze the perceptions of elementary school teachers’ in a Midwestern state concerning their use of a science kit program, including to what extent a school’s state science assessment scores can be predicated from the level of science kit usage.

Prior research indicates that elementary school teachers lack the confidence in teaching science primarily because of their weak undergraduate training in inquiry-based instruction and the lack of a strong science background. Authors such as Dickerson et al. (2006) and Riggs and Enochs (2006) argued that science kits and the materials included ...


Preservice Science Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge For Nature Of Science And Nature Of Scientific Inquiry: A Successful Case Study, Gunkut Mesci Jun 2016

Preservice Science Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge For Nature Of Science And Nature Of Scientific Inquiry: A Successful Case Study, Gunkut Mesci

Dissertations

The purpose of this dissertation project is to explore preservice science teachers’ development of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK) for targeted aspects of nature of science (NOS) and nature of scientific inquiry (NOSI). Through multiple data sources, it is examined how preservice science teachers’ understanding of NOS and NOSI have changed over the program, and manifests itself in their classroom practice. This is an exploratory multiple case study of participants’ experiences and developments during a teacher development program. Data is collected in the form of open-ended surveys, interviews, observations, lesson plans, video materials, and teaching documents. After all data is collected ...


Guided Educational Tourism As Informal Science Education: An Empirical Study, Joseph Martin Lane Jun 2016

Guided Educational Tourism As Informal Science Education: An Empirical Study, Joseph Martin Lane

Dissertations

The scientific research and education communities have long had the goal of advancing the publics’ understanding of science. Informal science education is a powerful mechanism for shaping human conduct, enhancing quality of life, and advancing the publics’ understandings and values regarding science. Guided educational tours (that present science content) provide visitors with unique opportunities to observe and discuss scientific phenomena in the field. Available empirical research related to learning science from guided educational tours is, at best, limited. Research leading to the development of effective guided educational tours that present and interpret scientific information is of interest to both non-profit ...


Females In Automotive Careers: Career Decision-Making Influences And Experiences During University Preparation And Beyond, Russell A. Leonard Jr. Jun 2016

Females In Automotive Careers: Career Decision-Making Influences And Experiences During University Preparation And Beyond, Russell A. Leonard Jr.

Dissertations

Today, women fill nearly 50% of the jobs in the U.S. economy (U.S. Dept. of Labor, 2014). While women are making progress in many careers once considered male only, they are still underrepresented in the male-dominated Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers, filling only 25% of available STEM jobs (Beede et al., 2011). The problem is not a lack of interest in STEM subjects, but a “leaky pipeline” that develops early in adolescence. By the eighth grade, half as many girls are interested in STEM careers as boys (National Science Foundation [NSF], 2007). Even after graduation from ...


Understanding College Students’ Exam Process In A General Chemistry Course, Angela Willson Jun 2016

Understanding College Students’ Exam Process In A General Chemistry Course, Angela Willson

Master's Theses

The main way most college chemistry courses assess what a student has learned is through a summative exam. After introductory science courses, such as general chemistry, many students cite poor teaching and disappointing grades in these courses as a reason for dropping out of STEM programs. There has been a lack of qualitative research on students’ experiences of the complete process of taking an exam from start to finish, or the exam process, which includes preparing for an exam, taking an exam, receiving feedback, and responding to feedback after the exam has been graded.

My goal in this exploratory study ...


The Impact Of A Story-Based Lesson On Student Learning And Attitudes, Janice Marie Fulford Apr 2016

The Impact Of A Story-Based Lesson On Student Learning And Attitudes, Janice Marie Fulford

Research and Creative Activities Poster Day

Recent work by Stephen Klassen draws attention to specific structural elements that are thought to give stories their explanatory power in the context of physics. In this poster we report results of a study based on Klassen’s pioneering work but in the context of evolution. A mixed-method research study was conducted over two semesters at a Midwest university to determine if a story developed from the history of research on industrial melanism over the course of a three day lesson would result in improved student understanding of the concept of natural selection.

The study involved a direct comparison of ...


Assessing The Impact Of Historical Story Telling On Student Learning Of Natural Selection, Janice Marie Fulford Apr 2016

Assessing The Impact Of Historical Story Telling On Student Learning Of Natural Selection, Janice Marie Fulford

Dissertations

Research suggests that because of its historical nature, the learning of evolutionary biology is problematic compared to that of other science disciplines. While explanations used in historical sciences often employ historical narratives, which are distinct from narratives in other contexts, such as stories, the two types of narratives have structural similarities that suggest the potential role of stories based in the history of science for the teaching of evolutionary biology. Stephen Klassen, a prominent science educator, has studied how stories from the history of physics can promote the learning of and attitudes towards science. Klassen’s pioneering work identifies structural ...


Math Education Matters, November 2015, Western Michigan University Nov 2015

Math Education Matters, November 2015, Western Michigan University

Mathematics News

  • Dr. Steve Ziebarth, Chair of the Mathematics Department
  • MOST Project Professional Development in Chicago
  • New Mathematics Education Faculty, Dr. Mariana Levin
  • Reflections on the ICUBiT Project
  • About WMU and our math education programs
  • Students win State and National awards
  • News from Recent Graduates
  • Upcoming Activities


Assessing High School Science Students’ Abilities To Use Cross Cutting Literacy Skills And Scientific Argumentative Writing Skills In A Mid-Western School District, Ellen M. Karel Aug 2015

Assessing High School Science Students’ Abilities To Use Cross Cutting Literacy Skills And Scientific Argumentative Writing Skills In A Mid-Western School District, Ellen M. Karel

Master's Theses

This study sought to determine to what extent a centrally focused initiative concentrated on how to teach students to not just write, but how to think, read, and speak about real world problems in a persuasive manner based on multiple sets of data related to science concepts, increased scientific argumentative writing proficiencies among high school students. A secondary area this study attempted to explore was the correlation between the implemented processes in the initiative and high school students’ scientific argumentative writing proficiencies. The study was conducted in a mid-western high school, population 1,088, with a select group of students ...


A Study Of Conceptual And Language Issues Surrounding Weight, Weightlessness, And Free Fall: Textbook Analysis, Instructional Design, And Assessment, Rex Taibu Jun 2015

A Study Of Conceptual And Language Issues Surrounding Weight, Weightlessness, And Free Fall: Textbook Analysis, Instructional Design, And Assessment, Rex Taibu

Dissertations

Science education is an interdisciplinary field that has developed from and continues to rely on research in the fields of cognitive science, philosophy, psychology, sociology and history. This clearly reflects that learning and teaching can be studied from multiple perspectives. Despite these wide ranging roots, contemporary science education by and large is not informed by the work of research on linguistics, and in particular, the role of language in mediating conceptual understanding. The term “weight” has multiple meanings in both science and everyday language, and this unfortunately creates inherent difficulties for teaching and learning. The present study addresses a need ...


Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Attitudes And Beliefs Toward Statistics: Developing An Initial Profile, Christina M. Zumbrun Jun 2015

Secondary Mathematics Teachers’ Attitudes And Beliefs Toward Statistics: Developing An Initial Profile, Christina M. Zumbrun

Dissertations

Over the last several decades, mathematics education researchers have given increased attention to students’ and teachers’ attitudes and beliefs toward mathematics and statistics, but no work has been done that examines practicing secondary mathematics teachers’ (SMTs’) attitudes and beliefs towards statistics in light of the GAISE framework and the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics (CCSSM). This study begins to address this gap in the research by creating the Teacher Attitude and Beliefs toward Statistics Survey (TABSS), a synthesis of items taken from the Survey of Attitudes Toward Statistics (Schau, 2003), the Statistics Course Attitude Scale and newly developed items ...