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					Fostering Science Learning
Through Inquiry Based,
Student-Centered Pedagogy and
Learning Communities
  Progress Report on a Cycle II DHE
Improving Teacher Quality Grant Project
    Michael Ottinger, Martin Johnson, John Rushin,
                David Ashley, Y Wacek
       Missouri Western State College (University)
                      Jay Meyers
              Saint Joseph School District
            Introduction

Description of MDHE Grants
MWSC Project Design
Teacher Demographics
Summer Workshop Projects
Follow-up Seminars
Thoughts on On-going Project
MDHE Improving Teacher
Quality Grants
 Approximately $1.2 Million Dollars of Federal Funds
  Annually from “No Child Left Behind” Act.
 Project’s Long Term Goals:
   – Increases in the number of students at high need schools
     completing the high school core curriculum
   – Increases in Science MAP scores and ACT sub-scores of middle
     and high school students at high need schools.
   – Increases in the content knowledge and pedagogy skills of
     practicing teachers at high need schools.
   – Increases in the number of students taking rigorous science
     courses at high need schools, and
   – Better prepared newly-certified teachers (through changes in
     collegiate-level undergraduate science curriculum based on best
     practices from these funded professional development projects.
   (Cycle II - DHE Improving Teacher Quality Grants RFP, page 3)
Cycle II – Objectives

    Increase teachers’ knowledge and understanding of key concepts
     in at least one of the three targeted science content areas:
        a) Matter and Energy;
        b) Force, Motion, and Mechanical Energy; and/or
        c) Living Systems
    Improve teachers’ knowledge/understanding of hands-on, inquiry-
     centered science that incorporates best practices in instructional
     technology
    Improve student achievement in the three targeted science content
     areas
    Have a measurable impact on science education at the
     partnerships’ higher education institutions.

    (Cycle II - DHE Improving Teacher Quality Grants RFP, page 7)
MWSC Project Design

MWSC Chemistry Department partnership
 with St Joseph School District
  – Developed long-term relationship to increase
    use of inquiry-methods in the classroom.
  – Applied for Grant based on RFP guidelines
  – Change in MDHE Directors  Change in RFP
     Change in eligible partners  No Central
    High School (SJSD)
  – Chemistry Department Withdrew
MWSC Project Design II

 Grant Resubmitted by LAS Dean, Biology
 and CSMP Departments.
Similar to Chemistry Department proposal,
 but focused on regional high-need school
 districts (as newly defined).
     Fostering Science Objectives

 Improve teacher participants’ ability to use the learning cycle approach to
    increase student learning of the Missouri Show-Me objectives
   Improve teacher participants’ ability to establish themselves as facilitators
    within “student learning communities” at their respective schools.
   Improve teacher participants’ knowledge and understanding of inquiry-
    centered teaching methods in middle and high school biology, physical
    science and physics.
   Improve student achievement on MAP in the areas of “life systems”,
    “matter and energy” and “force, motion , and mechanical energy.”
   Create a “learning community of teacher participants to share ideas and
    methods.
   Have all teacher participants become part of a larger learning community
    by participating in the Junior Division of the Missouri Academy of
    Science (JD-MAS) and the Mid-America Regional Science & Engineering
    Fair (MARSEF)
Project Activities

10-day Summer Short Course (July 12-21)
3 Saturday Follow-up Workshops During
 School Year (September, December, and
 May)
Participation in JD-MAS and MARSEF in
 March
Teacher Recruitment

 All High-need schools (as defined in the revised
  RFP) in NW Missouri were invited to participate
 Incentives
   –   $1000 stipend to teachers
   –   Two hours graduate credit from NWMSU
   –   Data Acquisition Equipment
   –   Meals during workshop.
 15 Teachers Participated from 8 schools
Demographics of Participating
Schools
 High Need Schools                 % Prof/Adv    #students
   – Carrollton R-VII                   4.41%           68.2
   – King City R-I                      4.13%           30.3
   – North Andrew R-VI                  2.31%           26.0
   – North Nodaway R-VI                 2.63%           22.8
   – Benton High School (SJSD)          6.65% *         630.8*
   – Lafayette High School (SJSD)       6.65% *         630.8*
 Private School
   – St Joseph Christian School        N/A              N/A
 Other Participating Schools
   – Central High School (SJSD)        6.65%            630.8*
 STATE AVERAGES:                      6.60%
                                          *=SJSD district averages
Demographics of Participants

Middle School Science     - 3 teachers
Primarily HS Biology      - 3 teachers
Primarily HS Chem/Physics - 2 teachers
All HS Science Courses    - 7 teachers
Summer Short Course – Day 1

 Getting to Know You –
   – Each participant presented a demo
      representing their teaching style
 Pre-Workshop Surveys
   – Concepts Quiz
   – Attitude Survey
   – Evaluator Questionnaires
   Summer Short Course- Day 1

Presentations-
  – The Learning Cycle
      by Dr. John Rushin



  – Inquiry-Based Instruction I
      by Dr. Y Wacek




  – Learning Communities
      by Dr. Martin Johnson
Summer Short Course – Day 2

 Introduction to Vernier Data Acquisition Equipment (LABPRO)
    – Vernier Rep. John Schutter
Summer Short Course – Day 3
 Using Discrepant Events to Teach Inquiry-based Science
  by Bill Brent




                              Scotch Tape     Electric
    The Cat’s Meow            Electroscope    Potential
                                              Hovercraft




RGB Shadows          Picture in Space
Summer Short Course – Day 3

Presentation – Inquiry Based Instruction II
     “Volcanic Cakes”
Summer Short Course - Days 4-5

 Life Sciences Activities
Summer Short Course – Day 5

Motion:
  – Motion Detector
     • Position, Velocity, Acceleration
     • Free-Fall
  – Force Probe
     • Atwood Machine
Summer Short Course – Day 6

Physics in the Park
  – Rotational Motion
  – Periodic Motion
  – Cooling
Summer Short Course – Day 6

Electricity & Magnetism
  – Series & Parallel Christmas
  – DC Motor
  – Magnetic Slinky
Summer Short Course – Day 7

Project Preparation Day
  – Each Group was assigned to prepare 3-hour
    presentation on an investigative project that
    they would use in their class.
  – Presentation could be 3 one-hour projects, 2
    ninety-minute projects, or 1 three-hour project,
    based on their school schedule.
  – Equipment used should be available in their
    classroom, including the Vernier Equipment
Summer Short Course- Days 8-10

 Presentation of Projects
   – Optics: Building a Telescope, observing sun spots
   – Thermodynamics: Designing and Building a Solar
     Oven
   – Anatomy: Sidewalk Chalk Drawings of Heart/
     Circulatory System
   – Sound waves: Recording & Fourier Analysis of
     Various Noisemakers
   – Zoology: Pythons, Boas, and Tarantulas in the
     classroom
Summer Short Course – Day 10

Post-Short Course Surveys
Goal Setting and Discussion
Fall Callback – September 25

 Discussion of Inquiry-based methods
 employed in classrooms & Plans
Troubleshooting of Equipment Problems
MARSEF / JD-MAS Q&A Session with
 successful teachers
  – Rules & Forms
  – Encouraging students to participate
Winter Callback Nov & Dec

 Scheduling Conflicts so two sessions were held.
 Participants presented projects that had been done
  (or were going to be done).
 Participant groups completed the projects and
  rated presenter on used of Learning Cycle
 Group discussions on how to better utilize
  learning cycle.
Spring Callback- March 4

MARSEF
 – 5 participants had 61 students entered in
   MARSEF (3 participants for first time)
 – Several teachers brought students to view
   MARSEF – preparation for next year.
 – Junior High teachers had students participating
   in Jr. High Science Fair.
Summer Callback – May

To be held –
  – Preparation of booklet of projects participants
    created from workshop
  – Discussion of lessons learned this year
  – Exit Surveys
Summary of Project to Date

Pros
  – Teachers created strong Learning Community,
    especially among the rural school districts
  – Equipment & instruction acted as a seed for
    districts to acquire additional equipment for
    science classrooms.
Cons
  – Scheduling conflicts.

				
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