Action Research in STEM Classrooms

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# Action Research in STEM Classrooms - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Wake Innovative Noyce Scholars (WINS) Leah McCoy, PI Samantha Freiberg, Scholar Anna Hester, Scholar Joseph Hester, Scholar. Action Research in STEM Classrooms. Action Research Process. Identify a topic (question) in the classroom Seek information (related studies)

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Presentation Transcript
Wake Innovative Noyce Scholars (WINS)

Leah McCoy, PI

Samantha Freiberg, Scholar

Anna Hester, Scholar

Joseph Hester, Scholar

### Action Researchin STEM Classrooms

Action Research Process
• Identify a topic (question) in the classroom
• Seek information (related studies)
• Apply a possible solution (treatment/analysis)
• Reflect on the results and next steps (conclusions and implications)
Graphing Calculators

Research Question

How does the use of graphing calculators support conceptual understanding in mathematics?

Graphing Calculators
• Ellington, A. J. (2006).
• Graphing calculators can improve overall achievement and attitude toward mathematics
• Milou, E. (1999).
• Teachers think that students should solve problems algebraically first, and then use calculators to support solutions
• Quesada, A. R., & Maxwell, M. E. (1994).
• Students think that calculators help improve conceptual understanding
Graphing Calculators
• Participants
• Procedures
• Cubics Unit
• Measures
• Student work (pre-test & post-test)
• Focus group interview
• Analysis
Graphing Calculators
• Results
• Student work
• Focus group interview

“…it depends on the way they taught you. Sometimes it’s simpler by hand or sometimes the calculator helps more…”

• Conclusions
• Implications
Self-relevant Future Goals

Research Question

How does having students identify self-relevant future goals and form related sub-goals affect their perception of relevance, task instrumentality, and achievement in a math class?

Self-relevant Future Goals

Miller and Brickman (2004)

Proposed a new model focusing on personal, future goals

Personal Future Goal->Formation of Subgoal->View Task as Related ;> Increased Motivation

Kadlec, Friedman, and Public Agenda (2007)

Most students don’t think math is relevant

76% of students attributed others’ failures in math/science to perceiving the topics as irrelevant

Motivation is difficult

Self-relevant Future Goals

Treatment

• Students …
• Identified their personal, future goals,
• Created sub-goals
• Reflected

Measures and Analysis

• 1) Surveys
• 2) Focus groups
• 3) Student work
Self-relevant Future Goals

Results

• Common Goals
• Common themes
• 1) Students had not identified sub-goals previously
• 2) Motivation increased
• 3) Recommended the activity
• 4) Perception of relevance
• Achievement

Conclusion

• The results suggest the treatment was effective in increasing students’ motivation and in many cases, their achievement.
Science Identity

Research Question

To what extent does the incorporation of humanistic, research-based science stories impact biology students’ identity in science?

Science Identity

Related Studies

• Making science accessible (Kozoll & Osborne, 2004).
• Context is important for meaning and relevance (Rudolph and Stewart, 1998).
• “Way of knowing” vs. fact memorization (Lederman, 1998).
• NOS and socially acceptable roles and experiences (Shanahan, 2009).
Science Identity

Treatment & Analysis

• 2 classes of Honors biology, mostly comprised of 9th grade students
• Discussion-based, research-focused lectures:
• Collaboration/Competition – Discovering the structure of DNA
• Tentativeness – “Lock-and-key” vs. “Induced fit” enzyme activity models
• Innovation/Creativity – Famous experiments in cell biology
• Used Likert and free response surveys, open-ended interviews and observations.
Science Identity
• Results & Conclusions
• T-tests showed no significant differences in opinions before and after the intervention.
• More nuanced understandings of NOS.
• Naïve misconceptions about the relevance of science.
• Identity formation requires exposure to both formal and informal applications of science.
Other studies this year
• What is the impact of a scientific module-formatted unit on student attitudes towards science?
• How does incorporating students’ creative expression through the arts affect engagement and motivation in mathematics?
Other studies this year
• How does writing “Math Tweets” several times each week to summarize the material affect students’ engagement and understanding?
• Does problem-based learning lead to the creation of female scientific identity, increased learning and performance?
Other studies this year
• Does peer-teaching with group presentations improve the learning and understanding of new physics material?
• What is the impact of reflective journal writing on student engagement in a high school biology class?