Research in Science Education

Current Research: 2011 Summer Reading Suggestions

Welcome to the discussion thread for the article "Current Research: 2011 Summer Reading Suggestions." This article, which appeared in the Summer 2011 issue of Science Scope, included abstracts of selected research articles of interest to science educators. It was compiled by NSTA's Committee on Research in Science Education. The article can be downloaded for free at http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/?lid=hp. Links to the full articles are available at http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections.aspx?lid=ms. A moderated discussion of the research will begin on June 29. Please see the next post for additional details. Ken Roberts Managing Editor Science Scope

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts
300 Activity Points

For the third year in a row, NSTA has identified research articles from affiliate organizations that may be of interest to science teachers. These articles are from journals sponsored by the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST), the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), and the National Science Education Leadership Association (NSELA). All teachers (NSTA member or not!) can access the articles at http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/?lid=hp. Please consider joining the conversation about the articles by participating in the NSTA-sponsored discussion board that is moderated by NARST and NSTA Research Committee member Wendy Frazier (Associate Professor, George Mason University). The discussion board will open June 29th and continue to July 31st. So, read about, reflect upon and plan to refine your science teaching knowledge this summer! We hope to hear from you on the forum! Julie Luft, Past NSTA Director of Research; Kate Scantlebury, NSTA Director of Research; Wendy Frazier, Discussion Moderator

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts
300 Activity Points

Ken > great idea! Will the moderated discussion be located here or elsewhere on the NSTA website? Just want to be sure I know exactly where to show up at!

Tina Harris
Tina Harris
65560 Activity Points

Tina-- This is the spot. Moderators will join the discussion starting June 29.

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts
300 Activity Points

Hi Ken and Tina, I too am interested in this discussion about current research in science education compiled by NSTA’s Committee on Research in Science Education, the Association for Science Teacher Education, the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, and the National Science Education Leadership Association. Here is the pdf with links to articles. Arlene JL

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42070 Activity Points

Terrific idea! Since this is posted in Science Scope (middle school), is there a similiar moderated discussion forum on science education research for High School Science teachers? Looking at the list of article topics, I see that they really transcend grade levels, so high school teachers could certainly join in here too. Thanks! Dorothy Ginnett

Dorothy Ginnett
Dorothy Ginnett
27595 Activity Points

Hello! I will be checking in daily to this thread to see where our discussion of the articles take us! Please post your thoughts and discussion points about the articles here. Arlene, thanks for posting the pdf for our ease - super nice. Dorothy, I agree. Teachers of all levels are definitely welcome to the discussion here. Tina, hi!!! I made it to the spot, too! Ken, thanks for getting the thread set up and going -- the link took me right here to the spot to be! :) Looking forward to discussing the articles! The article by Anderson and Contino particularly resonates with me because I'm interested in web diagramming in the classroom.

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

Wendy, I'm glad to see the thread "up and running." I thought it was supposed to start last week and was a bit frustrated when there were no postings (regarding the articles). Since you mentioned the web-diagrams article, I read that one first. I was interested to see how the web-diagram, really a modified version of a concept map, was used in high school classes. I think the web-diagram would be much more thought-provoking for students than a concept map. It would invoke students to use higher order thinking skills, e.g., comparing, differentiating, evaluating, in the web diagram construction process. Requiring complete sentences as connectors would seem to further reinforce meaning and synthesis in the relationships. I think using the web diagramming strategy would work well as a small group activity where individuals are sharing, discussing and verbalizing connections to create the web diagram. Actually, I am thinking about using this in my pre-service elementary science methods course with my students. Their doing a web-diagramming activity will introduce my students to this strategy as well as having them focus on the process of actually constructing a web diagram. I'll be interested to find out my students assessment of the web-diagram as an instructional strategy also. High school students were used in the study in the article, what about using web diagramming with middle school or elementary children?

Kathy Sparrow
Kathy Sparrow
44753 Activity Points

Kathy, I'm so glad you read the article and posted about it. I think your idea that web diagramming can potentially benefit a variety of grade levels is "spot on!" This strategy blends so many quality teaching approaches together - I love it! Complete sentences, graphic organization of ideas, students' formation of recursive links, student choice, use of visual images, opportunity for group work and decision-making, and many more... I definitely think that the student-generated organization of the images is powerful - that is aligned with my own anecdotal teaching experiences, but do any of you think that using student-created graphics versus cut-out photographs would make a difference? I can see the benefits of using each type of image, but wonder if one type is better than the other. I now want to go back to some old essays that former students have written and see the number of recursive links I find in their writing! Wonder what I will find - worried! However, the fall semester can be a fresh start, and I'm going to be working in the fall with a mix of preservice teachers and inservice teachers with their elementary students -- I'm thinking that we all will write a pre-essay as a pre-assessment in the fall and use the number of recursive links in the essays as one of our data points for grouping folks into mixed-ability groups (the wee ones during the school day and the teachers after school). Hope you all are having a great day! Please feel free to comment on the Anderson and Contino article or another one that sparks your fancy! Bye!@ Wendy

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

I just read this article on web diagramming http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Anderson.pdf'' target="_blank">http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Anderson.pdf' target="_blank">http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Anderson.pdf "[i]As may be expected, the largest gain in mean network scores occurred for lesson 2, where the students used their web diagrams as a guide or scaffold to write their essays. The largest gains were for the students whose initial network scores were lowest suggesting that teachers need to be informed more fully about individual differences in applying teaching strategies such as web diagrams to meet individual differences and provide appropriate differentiated instruction. [/i]" I have a background in working with students who had many language skills based problems including writing organizational issues. From these statements it seems that students needed to practice using this technique and that the web diagrams became a useful tool for constructing their understanding through writing. As was mentioned in the positive comments was a good tool for visual learners Arlene JL

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42070 Activity Points

Came across this article in the Washington Post. Thought it mirrored our efforts at NSTA to make research more accessible. Basically, the article suggested that scientists be required to publish a technical and layman's version of their articles to help create a more informed public. What do you think? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/should-technical-science-journals-have-plain-language-translation/2011/06/22/AGhiY8fH_blog.html

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts
300 Activity Points

Arlene: I think those are good points you've highlighted and I agree with how you are interpreting the findings - the one that particularly sticks out for me personally is that the students need practice. That will be good for me to remember in the fall when I try this out. Arlene and anyone reading: Do you think this particular technique would be applicable to your students? How effective have you found writing to be as a means of supporting science learning among your particular students? Ken: I will be curious to see what others think about the blogpost you mentioned and hope folks will chime in about this!

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

Ken says, "...Came across this article in the Washington Post. Thought it mirrored our efforts at NSTA to make research more accessible. Basically, the article suggested that scientists be required to publish a technical and layman's version of their articles to help create a more informed public. What do you think? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/pos..._blog.html'' target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/pos..._blog.html' target="_blank">http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/pos..._blog.html" Hi Ken and Thread Participants, I read the article and my first thought was why would this be necessary when substantive research is usually picked up right away by the media and explained and reported by other scientists and experts being interviewed. Of course it is always better to have it explained by the originator of the research. (However, from my own experiences, some brilliant scientists [and instructors] have a hard time making things easier to understand.) Ken, are there any particular moderators that will be joining this discussion thread? I went to the URL that you posted earlier. It takes us to a list of articles from the current Science Scope. Is there a particular article from this summer issue that you wish us to hone in on and read? Thanks.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

Hi Carolyn I'm moderating the thread this summer. So far we've started discussing the Anderson and Contino article on web-diagramming. Give it a fresh read and take a look at the comments so far above. Please come back and share with us your thoughts about it. Wishing you a great morning! Wendy

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

Hi Carolyn-- Abstracts of The research articles that are up for discussion can be found at http://www.nsta.org/publications/article.aspx?id=Z349URi8cV6lufHqA6yRkpVRccQ4loRDJXWIuXfnYUA= This is the Current Research: 2011 Summer Reading Suggestions article found in the Summer issue of Science Scope. The article is a free download, so both members and nonmembers can join the discussion. Ken

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts
300 Activity Points

Ken said: Came across this article in the Washington Post. Thought it mirrored our efforts at NSTA to make research more accessible. Basically, the article suggested that scientists be required to publish a technical and layman's version of their articles to help create a more informed public. What do you think? http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/pos..._blog.html I read the article that you cited. I’ve often wondered about the same thing. Although I read journal articles, sometimes the reading is very arduous. I realize that scientists and university researchers tend to use the scientific/educationese jargon for their respective colleagues. However, people working in the field, e.g., teachers, need to be able to read research findings for themselves in order to be able to understand the information and actually put them to use. I agree that it would be a good idea to have a “lay person’s” version, in more detail than the abstract, written by the same author. It is important to have this version written by the original author(s) so that the same meaning or results or implications are consistent with the premise of the original article. However, I don’t know how realistic this would be in actual practice. I think using this discussion board as a venue for discussing and commenting on current research is a great way to help all of us better understand the research that has been cited in the Current Research Summer Reading List 2011 article in Science Scope. Kathy

Kathy Sparrow
Kathy Sparrow
44753 Activity Points

Thanks for the clarification, Ken and Wendy. I apologize for my confusion. I will read the right article now so that I can share, too.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

Washington Post: "[i]Some scientists might resist the onus of having to write a lay-person friendly version of their articles. However, I agree with Betts, it’s well past time they do so - even if the write-ups are short for more esoteric topics. What do you think? Should this be an element of Science 2.0 to help bridge the gap between science and the public?: [/i] I reads some of the comment section of this Washington Post article. Some point to a 'dumbing down' of science content if develop Science 2.0 I have a slightly different take on this. In this era of media science needs a [b]brand[/b]. Science research needs to be more in our everyday culture and a common occurrence in the media. Some interesting points from Pop Tech Science Fellows program: • 85% of scientists identify the public’s lack of scientific knowledge as a major problem for science itself.- Pew Center for The People and The Press (7.9.09) • The reasons for the science leadership gap are complex: few scientists receive formal communications, public engagement and leadership training; an ‘anti-popularizer’ bias in many academic departments discourages scientists from engaging the public; and most working scientists lack a network of relationships with the media and peers who can help them overcome obstacles, and who can support them in becoming public advocates for their fields. I have had the good fortune to be part of Pop Tech over the last decade. http://poptech.org/about Last year Pop Tech initiated Science Fellows http://poptech.org/sciencefellows [i] "Each year, PopTech selects a small number of high-potential, early- and mid-career scientists working in areas of critical importance to the nation and the planet, such as: energy, food, water, public health, climate change, conservation ecology, green chemistry, computing, education, oceans, and national security. Ideal candidates are scientists who have strong innate communications skills and an interest in public leadership but limited formal training. Fellows are given yearlong training and skills development led by a world-class faculty of experts in communications, media training, public engagement and leadership.[/i] [b] So to my thinking science research communication needs a media make over. [/b] Arlene JL

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton
Arlene Jurewicz Leighton
42070 Activity Points

Well, after teaching a science lesson today that just BOMBED, I decided to check out the Harris and Rooks article (http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Harris.pdf). In this article the authors use existing research to share about a model that could be used for thinking about classroom management during the science lesson I implemented today. Not to go into too many tedious details, but the hands-on, inquiry-based science lesson I had planned did NOT go as expected or as I’d hoped... There was no fire and there was no blood, however…. ? The authors’ model is interesting. First they explain that there’s a different type of management style needed – what they cite as “pervasive management” where power in the classroom is not too teacher-heavy and not too student-heavy either. In a pyramid form, they explain that there are various factors shaping the success of pervasive classroom management: [b]community, materials, students, tasks, and science ideas[/b]. I don’t think that necessarily one of these is given more weight than the other. Thinking back, I think what happened today is that I assumed the [b]community[/b] was stronger than it was – not having had too many class meetings yet, we are still developing an understanding of each other. The other weakness was in the story line of the [b]science ideas[/b] introduced in class via a logical progression of physical experiences and oral discussion. I got nervous and forgot a couple of my discussion questions (Why didn’t I write them all down!!!) so that hands-on experiences were not as logically tied to the student-driven discussion as I would have liked. This article was good for me to read right now because I was more focused on beating myself up rather than seeing how things could improve. Eh, tomorrow is another day…. ? I think this article could be useful to help us understand why lessons didn’t go well, but also when they go great. Have any of you had a chance to read this one by Harris and Rooks? What do you think? By the way, Arlene posted several posts above a pdf of the entire set of articles with links to each article – thanks, ARLENE! Please feel free to discuss any of the articles that we’ve discussed so far like the Anderson and Contino article, this Harris and Rooks article, or others that are on the list! Also, the discussion about the public face of research is intriguing. I hadn’t thought about the disconnect being an overall media public relations issue and this makes sense to me. I’m glad we have this space to link research and practice and hope more folks will chime in! Have a great day! Wendy

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

So we've got a few questions “on the table” about the set of articles and I hope you'll respond and discuss :) 1. Regarding the Anderson and Contino article, how could web diagramming be used in your classroom? http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Anderson.pdf 2. Regarding the Harris and Rooks article, how do the following aspects impact your own science classroom management: community, materials, students, tasks, and science ideas. http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Harris.pdf

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

After reading the article: http://www.nsta.org/middleschool/connections/201107Anderson.pdf I believe that I would need training myself in order to correctly implement this type of technique to my 6th grade students. I can see its value. However, it seems a little difficult for the abilities of my early middle schoolers. I work very hard teaching my students how to develop their own concept maps, which I have seen are valuable for students to learn as part of their "learning-how-to-learn" toolkit. This strategy is similar, but maybe more "meaty" in its depth of understanding the concept. I would like to see more examples of how to develop this type of strategy in a 6th grade classroom. This is a great topic. I intend to check into this one on a regular basis.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42665 Activity Points

Sue, I also would like to see more examples. I'm hoping that the article's authors will consider submitting an article to one of the nsta journals so we can see more examples and hear more about how it worked and get advice from them! I'm going to try it this fall with teachers and elem kids, but I'm thinking the teachers, the kids, and I are all going to need a lot of practice (and patience!). :) Have a great day!

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

I had a few thoughts as I read the “Web-Diagram” research. I am a huge fan of using [u]student-generated[/u] pictorial representations of learning and often used them in my classroom as I was teaching (both for math and science). The concept of “web-diagrams” seems to be a promising practice. One of the core lessons I learned was that students need instruction, discussion/sharing, and practice to construct an understanding of how to do this in a useful manner. I keyed in especially on the “issues and challenges” section as they were the same as I had encountered as I tried similar methods. Through a great instructional leader and professional community, I felt that my students were able to overcome some of these same “issues and challenges”. For example, the authors state that “[i]some students even explained how to make a web diagram and similarities and differences between the rocks to their peers. Unfortunately, those that already knew the material tended to hurry through the assignment and offered little help to their peers. They did not seem to gain much from the experience because they already had mastered the information and may have been among those students who already possessed a strong networking capacity” (p. 693). [/i] In my classroom, we ALWAYS [u]discussed and shared [/u](in a structured fashion) any pictorial drawings we did. Students were used to a “culture of quality” where revision was encouraged and expected. At the beginning of the year, students would typically share with just one other person. We often did a “fishbowl” of sorts where two students would share with one another while everyone else listened in to their conversation. We discussed and created a chart of what “good” sharing looks like (listening, restating, asking questions, staying on topic, etc.) and then students practiced and revised their work according to any new connections they made. I never met a student that couldn’t learn and make more/better connections, even though they may “already possess a strong networking capacity.” Many times, those that I would have put into the category of “less networking capability” were the ones who came up with deep, unique, and thoughtful connections. Later, we’d move to small groups (typically 4) and repeat the process, all along the way debriefing not just the content and connections and how/why they chose to represent them the way they did, but also debriefed and added to our list of how to discuss and share. So, by six weeks in (which may seem like a long time, but well worth it!), students could discuss like pros, with very little help. The class practically ran themselves, and I could spend time with those that struggled, or just throwing in higher-order questions that they then ran with. Their connections were richer and rarely did they need “reassurance from the teacher” (one of the issues mentioned) that was so prevalent at the beginning of the semester. Sorry so long....:)

Wendy Ruchti
Wendy Ruchti
23175 Activity Points

One other question for those of you in this forum...do you have students writing in complete sentences in their science writing? I never required this, except in certain circumstances (essay writing, usually), certainly not in their journals and diagrams as I found that for some students it seemed to block the flow of ideas. Anderson and Contino seem to take this as a given, stating that "The purpose of the web diagrams was to sue complete sentences in order to enhance the richness of the network linking capacity" (p. 694), that complete sentences=richer links. What do you think?

Wendy Ruchti
Wendy Ruchti
23175 Activity Points

Wendy-I so totally agree with you in the web diagramming. As a 6th grade teacher-it is such a challenge to guide my students into improving their ability to organize their thoughts. Graphic organizers seem to fit this age groups abilities, allowing a lot of ways to introduce and modify the strategy. I DO require my students to write in complete sentences. We nicknamed it...writing in "scientific format". This means that they must answer their questions by restating the question. I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the school year getting this skill integrated into their writing process for science. This skills is further more supported by the other members of my grade-level TEAM. The results of all of us following this guideline have shown significant growth in our 6th graders writing skills and it focuses them to answer the question being asked. I have found that they read quickly and don't always pay attention to the question being asked.

Sue Garcia
Sue Garcia
42665 Activity Points

I'm also a firm believer in the power of complete sentences :) I find that requiring complete sentences (within reason) makes it more likely that students will tie ideas together into more of a storyline, which I think web diagramming like this can really help. Totally loving hearing about your classrooms, Wendy and Sue. Tell us more! I'm getting excited for fall!!

Wendy Frazier
Wendy Frazier
80 Activity Points

Sue said, "...believe that I would need training myself in order to correctly implement this type of technique to my 6th grade students. I can see its value. However, it seems a little difficult for the abilities of my early middle schoolers."
I agree with others who have expressed a wish for more examples like the one in the article.
Sue, your comments made me think about how using concept maps uses so many more processing skills than just analyzing a graphic like a chart or foldaway diagram. Maybe we have to purposefully teach the visual literacy strategies like we do other literacy skills. There is an excellent article that I just reviewed about how to ask purposeful questions to help improve our students visual literacy skills. Maybe that's the "baby step" you are looking for to get your 6th graders to more complex structures where they have to create their own graphic in the form of a concept map. The name of the article I was referring to is: What Do You See?. It provides excellent strategies for how to ask purposeful questions in order to help students get the most out of their textbook graphics.
I am anxious to hear what others think about this.
Thanks,
Carolyn

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

Whoops - sorry. I had a duplicate entry.

Carolyn Mohr
Carolyn Mohr
80318 Activity Points

I got amazing facts from the post you friends posted . I all time search for such helpful articles . i bookmarked this page for future . Once i went in Free Skype chat room , online Chatting with chat rooms members about many scientific topics and they also helped me . But i got the idea more clearly here .



10 Activity Points

Thank you to all for the great posts! There is a wealth of useful info in this forum!

Steve Kirsche
Stephen Kirsche
8995 Activity Points

I'm having trouble finding the links to the 2014 Summer Reading Suggestions from Research Roundup in Science and Children. Help?

Joey Scott
Joey Lehnhard
390 Activity Points

The Summer reading suggestions have come out in the July issue for the past few years. Hold tight - they should be here soon! There are research based suggestion lists straight through last year available in the learning center from both Science and Children and the Journal for College Science Teaching. The outstanding trade book lists are also a good place to look for reading suggestions. There was a discussion last summer where teachers swapped ideas for books - I'm looking for that now :-) Happy Summer Reading!

Caryn Meirs
Caryn Meirs
26195 Activity Points

I will post links to some older discussions here - they are worth reading through for suggestions as well - especially since they include teacher reviews and how they used the book -

Summer Reading from Elementary Education Forum

Caryn Meirs
Caryn Meirs
26195 Activity Points

I will post links to some older discussions here - they are worth reading through for suggestions as well - especially since they include teacher reviews and how they used the book -

Summer Reading from Elementary Education Forum

Caryn Meirs
Caryn Meirs
26195 Activity Points

New Directions focuses on new developments by practitioners in the field of learning and teaching. There is a strong outreach theme in this issue with articles covering activities in chemistry and physics, and the effects on all parties involved. Assessment and feedback also feature heavily, with articles on screencasting, delivering audio feedback and designing multiple choice questions (MCQs.) Ever popular topics including undergraduate practical work, transition to university and mathematics support for chemists appear, along with articles on prior knowledge of undergraduates, use of learning outcomes and educational research projects for students. Great articles http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/documents/subjects/ps/new_direction_issue_7.pdf

Pamela Auburn
Pamela Auburn
68505 Activity Points

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