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2005

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Full-Text Articles in Science and Mathematics Education

Change Bell Ringing And Mathematics: A High School Student Excursion Into Graph Theory And Group Theory, Kristi Carlson Dec 2005

Change Bell Ringing And Mathematics: A High School Student Excursion Into Graph Theory And Group Theory, Kristi Carlson

Honors Theses

This unit was created as a way to introduce higher level mathematics concepts to advanced high school students. All five of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Process Standards are found in this unit. For most of the unit, students work within small groups


A Study Of How Precursor Key Concepts For Organic Chemistry Success Are Understood By General Chemistry Students, Patrick Gerard Meyer Dec 2005

A Study Of How Precursor Key Concepts For Organic Chemistry Success Are Understood By General Chemistry Students, Patrick Gerard Meyer

Dissertations

This study examines college student understanding of key concepts that will support future organic chemistry success as determined by university instructors. During four one-hour individual interviews the sixteen subjects attempted to solve general chemistry problems. A think-aloud protocol was used along with a whiteboard where the students could draw and illustrate their ideas. The protocols for the interviews were adapted from the Covalent Structure and Bonding two-tiered multiple choice diagnostic instrument (Peterson, Treagust, & Garnett, 1989) and augmented by the Geometry and Polarity of Moleculessingle-tiered multiple choice instrument (Furió & Calatayud, 1996). The interviews were videotaped, transcribed, and coded for analysis to determine the subjects' understanding of the key ideas. The subjects displayed many misconceptions that were summarized into nine assertions about studentconceptualization of chemistry. (1) Many students misunderstand the location and nature of intermolecular forces. (2) Some think electronegativity differences among atoms in a molecule are sufficient to make the molecule polar, regardless of spatial arrangement. (3) Most know that higher phase change temperatures imply stronger intermolecular attractions, but many do not understand the difference between covalent molecular and covalent network substances. (4) Many have difficulty deciding whether a molecule is polar or non-polar, often confusing bilateral symmetry with spatial symmetry in all three dimensions. (5) Many cannot reliably draw correct Lewis structures due to carelessness and overuse of flawed algorithms. (6) Many are confused by howelectrons can both repel one other and facilitate bonding between atoms via orbitals---this seems oxymoronic to them. (7) Many cannot explain why the atomsof certain elements do not follow the octet rule and some believe the octet rule alone can determine the shape of a molecule. (8) Most do know that electronegativity and polarity are not adequate to determine the shape of a molecule---but some apply the VSEPR theory in incorrect ways. (9) Students do not reason significantly differently when working with various representations of molecules such as ball-and-stick models, molecular formulas, and Lewis structures.

The study illuminated specific parts of the general chemistry curriculum that are particularly troublesome for students but necessary for their further achievement in chemistry. This information is important; it gives the discipline of chemistry education target areas to focus on for general chemistrypedagogical improvement efforts.


Beyond Constructivism: An Introduction To Critical Realism In Science Education, Clinton Douglas Jackson Dec 2005

Beyond Constructivism: An Introduction To Critical Realism In Science Education, Clinton Douglas Jackson

Theses Bachelor Honours

In the context of social and philosophical debates concerning the nature of science, this thesis provides an introductory investigation of the application of critical realism to science education. It moves beyond the current impasse within constructivist science education and, in particular, philosophical debates that fail to represent science education as a whole. The current dominance of anti-realist positions in science education is treated as problematic. This thesis explores selected current and potential uses of critical realism in an endeavour to move beyond the perceived inadequacies of constructivism as the current paradigm of science education. The approach used is one of ...


A Middle School Standards-Based Science Curriculum Handbook, Eleanor B. Hess Dec 2005

A Middle School Standards-Based Science Curriculum Handbook, Eleanor B. Hess

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

As teachers implement the National Science Education Standards (1996) many must change the instructional methods they have used throughout their careers. This handbook will assist teachers to be facilitators in inquiry-based classrooms. The nine units of this handbook have been implemented for three years in an eighth grade classroom and have been used and modified by three different teachers to meet their own needs. The units in this handbook were chosen by MSAD #3, Unity, Maine, to reflect the curriculum requirements of The State of Maine Learning Results (1997). Included in this handbook are physics units covering motion, forces, work ...


Building Understanding: Using Math Journals To Increase Learning In An Intermediate Classroom, Paul Lawrence Jonasse Aug 2005

Building Understanding: Using Math Journals To Increase Learning In An Intermediate Classroom, Paul Lawrence Jonasse

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

Purpose

As an elementary school teacher I have watched my students struggle with new mathematical concepts: word problems, fractions, and increasingly difficult types of division have totally baffled many of my students. For the first several months of the school year most of my students did very well in math class, but they struggled with increasing difficulty as the concepts became more abstract. I have struggled to figure out ways to help them better understand. This project has grown out of our struggles with teaching, learning, understanding, and the working together to improve them all.

I entered into this research ...


Formative Assessment: The Effect On Academic Achievement And Attitudes Toward Science, Susanne Casey Aug 2005

Formative Assessment: The Effect On Academic Achievement And Attitudes Toward Science, Susanne Casey

Theses and Dissertations

The purposes of this study were to (a) determine if the use of formative assessment in the science classroom improved academic achievement in a group of ninth grade honors level students; and (b) determine the effect of formative assessment on the attitudes these students have toward science. Data was collected from two control groups (N=24 and N=26) and the experimental, comparison group (N=28). Students were administered two Likert-type surveys, an attitude survey and a causal attribution survey. Each survey was given at the start of the experiment and again at the end of the experiment. Summative test ...


An Examination Of The Role Of Writing In Mathematics Instruction, Amy Jeppsen Jul 2005

An Examination Of The Role Of Writing In Mathematics Instruction, Amy Jeppsen

All Theses and Dissertations

This study uses qualitative methods to investigate the use of writing in a content course for elementary education majors in which writing was considered an important part of mathematical learning. The study differs from previous studies by investigating the role of writing in the everyday instructional activities, rather than investigating writing as a separate mathematical activity. An analysis of the instruction and class discussions that took place in this class reveals that components of writing that were addressed implicitly and explicitly in classroom instruction were developed simultaneously with conceptual understanding, suggesting a much stronger and more integral relationship between writing ...


Fraction Multiplication And Division Image Change In Pre-Service Elementary Teachers, Jennifer J. Cluff Jul 2005

Fraction Multiplication And Division Image Change In Pre-Service Elementary Teachers, Jennifer J. Cluff

All Theses and Dissertations

This study investigated three pre-service elementary teachers' understanding of fractions and fraction multiplication and division. The motivation for this study was lack of conceptual understanding of fractions and fraction multiplication and division. Pre-service elementary teachers were chosen because teachers are the conduit of information for their students. The subjects were followed through the fractions unit in a mathematics methods course for pre-service elementary teachers at Brigham Young University. Each subject volunteered to participate and were interviewed and videotaped throughout the study, and they also provided copies of all work done in the fractions unit in the course. The data is ...


Graphic Organizers Used As A Supplement To Science Textbooks Relating To Retention Of Scientific Facts In Fourth Graders, Bryana E. Zercie Jun 2005

Graphic Organizers Used As A Supplement To Science Textbooks Relating To Retention Of Scientific Facts In Fourth Graders, Bryana E. Zercie

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

This research attempted to answer the question, do graphic organizers used as a supplement to science textbooks increase student retention of scientific facts in fourth grade? The researcher collected data from 56 fourth grade students in an urban school to find out whether the use of graphic organizers after reading sections of the science textbook improved retention of scientific facts in fourth graders. The researcher used baseline science test assessments, reading levels of students, tests and quizzes after the use of graphic organizers, along with teacher and students surveys and interviews in this study. These pieces of data were studied ...


Teaching Literacy Strategies In Math, Terri L. Keenan Jun 2005

Teaching Literacy Strategies In Math, Terri L. Keenan

Education and Human Development Master's Theses

This study sought to determine the effectiveness of incorporating literacy strategies during math instruction. In distinct lessons, a class of sixteen students was given instruction in the strategies of using key words, visualization, and graphic organizers to solve word problems. The students rated the difficulty of the problems on a scale of "too easy", 'just right", and "too hard" both before and after the reading strategy lessons to assess if the use of the strategy changed their perception. The test-retest with equivalent forms method of estimating reliability was used to give a measure of stability and equivalence. A matched pair ...


Programmatic Assessment Of Nonformal Environmental Education Programs In Southern New Jersey, Teresa E. Andres May 2005

Programmatic Assessment Of Nonformal Environmental Education Programs In Southern New Jersey, Teresa E. Andres

Theses and Dissertations

Nonformal environmental education experiences can be useful tools for teachers when the programs are connected to state standards and national guidelines. This study examined how well field trip programs at nonformal environmental education centers in southern New Jersey met the New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards for environmental education and the North American Association for Environmental Education's Nonformal Environmental Education Programs Guidelines for Excellence. Fourteen centers from the six southernmost counties were sent questionnaires. Of the fourteen centers, eight responded to the questionnaire. The programs offered at these centers were then evaluated using a checklist for the state standards ...


Teachers' Perceptions And Curriculum Analysis For A Zoo Education Program, Ronald S. Berger May 2005

Teachers' Perceptions And Curriculum Analysis For A Zoo Education Program, Ronald S. Berger

Theses and Dissertations

Study intent investigated teachers' perceptions of a zoo education program and evaluated modules. Study explored program effectiveness by evaluating teachers' motivation to participate, students' engagement, presenter performance, program effectiveness, and teachers' met expectations. Study explored if program addressed New Jersey and Pennsylvania standards, North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE) guidelines, and a lesson plan format. Research investigated teachers' perceptions by questionnaire from strongly disagree to strongly agree. Teachers perceived presenters performed well, students engaged, and integrating curriculum the motivation to participate. Research to evaluate modules was subjective. Modules addressed Science and Social Studies for New Jersey, Science and Technology ...


Hands-On Activities To Be Implemented Within A Title I/Lap Math Program, Margaret Rae Hancock May 2005

Hands-On Activities To Be Implemented Within A Title I/Lap Math Program, Margaret Rae Hancock

All Graduate Projects

The project provides middle school math teachers who work with the lower quartile of the student population at the middle school level, a handbook of strategies, methods and activity ideas to implement into the classroom to enhance student learning. The handbook allows middle school math teachers the opportunity to explore alternative teaching practices. It contains student-centered activities, which will allow the lower quartile of the student population an opportunity to have a positive experience in math, as well as taking ownership of their learning. By connecting the students prior knowledge to situations in math that the students can make a ...


Meaningful Learning: Reconciling The Tensions Between Constructivist And Environmentally Sustainable Pedagogy, Nancy Van Kannel-Ray Apr 2005

Meaningful Learning: Reconciling The Tensions Between Constructivist And Environmentally Sustainable Pedagogy, Nancy Van Kannel-Ray

Dissertations

Critics of constructivism argue, in many ways correctly, that this approach to education is culturally and environmentally damaging because constructivism may not develop an understanding of the interdependence between the human community and the world in which people live. Advocates for environmentally sustainable pedagogy argue the importance of understanding patterns of thinking that allow communities to live sustainably. The purpose of this study is to resolve the tensions between the two pedagogical frameworks: constructivism and environmental sustainability.

The tensions are resolved in two ways. First, there are forms of constructivism that align in viable ways with the criteria critics argue ...


Understanding Photosynthesis And Plant Cellular Respiration As “Nested Systems”: The Characterization Of Pre-Service Teachers’ Conceptions, Mary H. Brown Apr 2005

Understanding Photosynthesis And Plant Cellular Respiration As “Nested Systems”: The Characterization Of Pre-Service Teachers’ Conceptions, Mary H. Brown

Dissertations

This dissertation project focused on pre-service elementary teachers' conceptions of the plant processes of photosynthesis and cellular respiration as being connected, occurring at multiple ecological levels, and working within "nested systems." Participants enrolled in a biology course designed for elementary education majors provided their views of the processes through a series of tasks with a peer, a semi-structured interview, and clarified both photosynthesisand plant cellular respiration directly following classroom instruction on the two topics. The instructor of the course was interviewed after a preliminary analysis of the participants' responses. Data were analyzed using the qualitative analysis computer program The Ethnograph ...


The Role Of Strategy Choice And Working Memory Capacity In Arithmetic Acquisition In Third Grade Primary School Children, Dijana Mirkovic Jan 2005

The Role Of Strategy Choice And Working Memory Capacity In Arithmetic Acquisition In Third Grade Primary School Children, Dijana Mirkovic

Theses : Honours

This review examines the question of what determines arithmetic ability in primary school children. It has been suggested that arithmetic ability is mediated by many factors such as developmental factors, exposure to arithmetic facts, selection and utilisation of various strategies when solving arithmetic problems, and individual differences in working memory capacity. Some theories suggest that factors such as the complexity of a problem affect the selection of strategies when solving simple arithmetic problems such as addition, whereas other theories propose that individual differences in working memory capacity play a prominent role in arithmetic ability. Research is discussed that provides support ...


Investigating The Effectiveness Of Implementing The Science Writing Heuristic On Student Performance In General Chemistry , Jason Ray Poock Jan 2005

Investigating The Effectiveness Of Implementing The Science Writing Heuristic On Student Performance In General Chemistry , Jason Ray Poock

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This research investigated the effectiveness at how the Science Writing Heuristic in the freshman chemistry laboratory for science and engineering majors at Iowa State University during the fall and spring semesters of the 2002--2003 academic year, was implemented. The Science Writing Heuristic (SWH) consists of two components, writing to learn strategies and conducting the laboratory session in a student-centered, guided-inquiry fashion. The writing component replaced the standard laboratory report with a series of questions that guided the students' critical thinking along the lines of scientific investigation. The writing process helped students construct knowledge. Also critical to the successful implementation of ...


Where Is The "Self" In Teacher Self-Assessment?: An Examination Of Teachers' Reflection And Assessment Practices In Relation To Their Teaching Practices , Andrea Jean Madsen Jan 2005

Where Is The "Self" In Teacher Self-Assessment?: An Examination Of Teachers' Reflection And Assessment Practices In Relation To Their Teaching Practices , Andrea Jean Madsen

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to identify the levels of explicit reflection-on-action and criteria with which teachers self-assess their teaching, and to compare these levels and criteria to classroom practices. These reflections and practices were then compared to the participants' preservice preparation to determine the extent to which strategies taught transferred to classroom practice. To investigate these issues, this study utilized classroom observations, interviews, and relevant documents from thirteen second-, third-, fourth-, or fifth-year teachers who had graduated from a traditional elementary teacher education program at a landgrant university in the Midwestern United States. Classroom observations were rated using ...


A Study Of The Practices Of Three Science Teacher Educators: The Rule, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," Ought Not Be The Message , Crystal Noelle Bruxvoort Jan 2005

A Study Of The Practices Of Three Science Teacher Educators: The Rule, "Do As I Say, Not As I Do," Ought Not Be The Message , Crystal Noelle Bruxvoort

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

This study explored the development of three science teacher educators as they interacted with preservice teachers while seeking to align their practices with what they were advocating in the elementary science methods courses that they taught. Practices that were advocated by the methods instructors were consistent with research-based teaching and goals of the science education community. The exploratory nature of this study warranted a qualitative research design using a grounded theory approach. Practices of the participants were observed during one aspect of the methods course---an oral defense---that served as the culminating evaluation of students' understanding. Evidence exists to support that ...


Examining The Use Of Computer Simulations To Promote Learning Of Electrochemistry Among College Students , Han-Chin Liu Jan 2005

Examining The Use Of Computer Simulations To Promote Learning Of Electrochemistry Among College Students , Han-Chin Liu

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

When computer simulations are popular in helping students understand chemistry in today's classrooms, it is important to realize how instructional use of computer simulations affects students' understanding of science. This dissertation centers around the impact of the use of computer simulations on college students' learning. Chapter 1 generally addresses the background and the significance of the research topics. Chapter 2 reviews the literature from research that studied the factors that affect the use of computer simulations in helping students learn science. Learners were found to understand science theories better with descriptions and explanations presented in both verbal and visual ...


Impact Of Available Interactivity Options On Student Learning And Discussions In Online Physics Courses , Deanna L. Snyder Poudel Jan 2005

Impact Of Available Interactivity Options On Student Learning And Discussions In Online Physics Courses , Deanna L. Snyder Poudel

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Community colleges are offering more online courses to meet the demands of the students they serve. To make these courses effective learning experiences, instructors are trying to utilize technologies and strategies to bring distance students into a virtual community where learning can best take place. This study examines the impact of adding a virtual class lecture/discussion and virtual office hours to two online physics courses offered through an urban community college. Two different courses were taught with two sections each. One section of each course added the virtual sessions for up to 4 hours per week. Effects studied include ...


The Iowa Chemistry Education Alliance, Icea: Process And Product , Kathleen Annette Burke Jan 2005

The Iowa Chemistry Education Alliance, Icea: Process And Product , Kathleen Annette Burke

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

The Iowa Chemistry Education Alliance, ICEA, supported by Department of Education Star Schools funding (R203F5000198), was both a Process and a Product.;The Process included: (a) Design and support of high school teacher training sessions that incorporated distance learning techniques, cooperative learning and guided inquiry strategies, and a constructivist, student-centered classroom focus; (b) Design and incorporation of eight supplemental learning modules, corresponding assessment rubrics, and supporting videotapes into the existing Iowa high school chemistry curriculum; (c) Adaptation of the learning modules throughout the course of the academic year while the units were being integrated into the existing curriculum; (d) Modification ...


Do Congressional Academic Earmarks At Public Research Institutions Encourage Research Productivity? , Matthew Lincoln Feldmann Jan 2005

Do Congressional Academic Earmarks At Public Research Institutions Encourage Research Productivity? , Matthew Lincoln Feldmann

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Academic earmarks identified by the U.S. Congress through attachments to funding bills have represented a sizeable and growing revenue stream to institutions of higher education, yet little has been determined about the impacts this funding has on these institutions or the products of these institutions. A study was defined to test the argument that academic earmarks provided support for institutions to build research and development (R&D) infrastructure necessary for competition with peers. The population of interest was all U.S. public research institutions, and the principal research question was whether academic earmarks provided these institutions with increased academic R&D infrastructure as indicated by changes in R&D expenditures between 1993 and 2002. Structural equation path analysis was used to test the relationships among institutional control variables, total academic earmarks received, change in R&D expenditures, and institutional peer rankings over ten years.;The study demonstrated evidence that the practice of congressional academic earmarking at public research institutions did not have an effect on change in R&D expenditures or an effect on peer rankings. Three ...


Problem-Based Learning In An On-Line Biotechnology Course , James Daniel Cheaney Jan 2005

Problem-Based Learning In An On-Line Biotechnology Course , James Daniel Cheaney

Retrospective Theses and Dissertations

Problem-based learning (PBL) is a pedagogical tool that uses a "real world" problem or situation as a context for learning. PBL encourages student development of critical thinking skills, a high professional competency, problem-solving ability, knowledge acquisition, the ability to work productively as a team member and make decisions in unfamiliar situations, and the acquisition of skills that support self-directed life-long learning, metacognition, and adaptation to change. However, little research has focused on the use of PBL in on-line "virtual" classes. We conducted two studies exploring the use of PBL in an on-line biotechnology course. In the first study, ethical, legal ...


Investigating The Effectiveness Of Professional Development On High School Physics Teachers' Conceptual Understanding Of Newtonian Mechanics, Instructional Practices, And The Conceptual Growth Of Their Students, Julia K. Moeller Jan 2005

Investigating The Effectiveness Of Professional Development On High School Physics Teachers' Conceptual Understanding Of Newtonian Mechanics, Instructional Practices, And The Conceptual Growth Of Their Students, Julia K. Moeller

Theses and Dissertations @ UNI

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a physics professional development program on secondary science teachers' conceptual knowledge of Newtonian mechanics, instructional practices and the conceptual growth of their students. The University of Northern Iowa Physics Institute enabled a group of twenty-one Iowa high school and middle school science teachers to complete the physics coursework required to obtain the State of lowa 7-12 Grade Physics Teaching endorsement. The Institute provided experiences to improve physics content knowledge and proficiency of constructivist methodologies for teaching high school physics.

Twelve Institute participants completed a two-year program during the 2002 ...


The Effects Of Discourse And Journal Writing On Students' Attitudes Towards Mathematics In A Fifth Grade Classroom: An Action Research Study, Anna Rose Jan 2005

The Effects Of Discourse And Journal Writing On Students' Attitudes Towards Mathematics In A Fifth Grade Classroom: An Action Research Study, Anna Rose

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to investigate how my use of discourse and journal writing affected students' attitudes and conceptions of mathematics in a 5th grade mathematics classroom. The nature of students' strengths and weaknesses with mathematics using discourse and journal writing were described. To show students' attitudes towards the two teaching methods transcription of teacher and student discourse on digital audio recordings, observational notes, journal writing, and pre and post attitude surveys were used. The research approach was qualitative and quantitative. The participants in this twelve-week study were twenty fifth grade students from a private school in central ...


The Effects Of Literature On Student Motivation And Connections In Mathematics, Arnita Washington Jan 2005

The Effects Of Literature On Student Motivation And Connections In Mathematics, Arnita Washington

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of literature use in the middle grades mathematics curriculum on student motivation and connections. This study involved collecting several types of data regarding students' attitudes, motivation, and their abilities to make real-world connections. Findings from pre and post attitude surveys indicated that literature use in the mathematics curriculum has no effect on students' attitudes towards mathematics. Furthermore, findings from journal entries, students' work, and interview responses indicate that although students find storybooks fun and interesting, their use does not seem to lead to increases in students' understanding of mathematics. However ...


Effects Of Integrating Writing Activities On Students' Attitudes And Achievement In Problem Solving: An Action Research Study, Kelly Culbert Jan 2005

Effects Of Integrating Writing Activities On Students' Attitudes And Achievement In Problem Solving: An Action Research Study, Kelly Culbert

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This action research study investigated my practice of using writing activities in the mathematics classroom. The study was conducted to determine the effect of integrating writing with mathematics on students' achievement in, and attitudes towards problem solving, and the relationship between students' attitudes and their achievement in problem solving. The study was conducted over a six-week period. Students participated in daily problem solving activities. Data were collected using a problem solving themed writing rubric for evaluating student journal responses, anecdotal records, and using a pre- and posttest problem solving attitude inventory. In this study, students demonstrated overall increased mathematical knowledge ...


An Action Research Study Involving Fifth-Grade Students Learning Fractions Through A Situative Perspective With Story Problems, Colleen Allen Jan 2005

An Action Research Study Involving Fifth-Grade Students Learning Fractions Through A Situative Perspective With Story Problems, Colleen Allen

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this action research study was to investigate the affects of teaching through a situative perspective with story problems on students' understanding of fraction concepts and operations in my fifth-grade mathematics classroom. Students participated in twelve weeks of instruction. Data was collected in the form of pre and post tests, audiotaped and videotaped recordings of instructional sessions, and student work samples. Data analysis revealed that my students constructed their own knowledge about various fraction concepts and operations because students engaged in discussions, after solving story problems, that developed, extended and restructured their knowledge. One example of this occurred ...


An Investigation Of High School Geometry Students Proving And Logical Thinking Abilities And The Impact Of Dynamic Geometry Software On Student Performance, Lalitha Subramanian Jan 2005

An Investigation Of High School Geometry Students Proving And Logical Thinking Abilities And The Impact Of Dynamic Geometry Software On Student Performance, Lalitha Subramanian

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) the role of a yearlong geometry course on high school geometry students' logical thinking and proof construction abilities, (b) the linkage between students' logical thinking and proof construction abilities, and (c) the impact of dynamic geometry software on students' performance. In addition, this study also ventured to determine if the type of geometry course had any impact on students' logical thinking and proof construction achievement. The sample for the study consisted of 1,325 high school geometry students enrolled in regular, honors, and mastery courses in four high schools from the ...