2061 Connections
An electronic newsletter for the science education community

September 2004

CCMS Knowledge Sharing Institute Focuses on Research

The second Knowledge Sharing Institute (KSI) of the Center for Curriculum Materials in Science (CCMS) took place July 11–14 at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. The institute brought together over sixty participants: researchers from CCMS partners Project 2061, Michigan State University , Northwestern University , and the University of Michigan and early career researchers from outside the Center with expertise in science curriculum materials. The theme of the meeting was how best to advance research on the development, analysis, and use of science curriculum materials.

Each morning, small working groups targeted specific research questions and discussed research methods and designs likely to be most effective in advancing our understanding of these questions. For example, groups compared what can be learned from large- and small-scale research studies and from combining insights from complementary case studies. Research design questions focused on research topics like the following:

  • How can curriculum materials take account of students’ prior epistemologies and conceptions and build upon them successfully?
  • How do teachers interpret and use curriculum materials and how do patterns of use relate to teacher and student learning outcomes?
  • How can curriculum materials be adaptable to build on the diverse cultural experiences of students?

In the afternoons, small groups gathered for “greenhouse” sessions designed to foster new collaboration. These sessions were primarily proposed and organized by CCMS graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and focused on their areas of mutual interest. The participants in all sessions produced posters for a group poster session each evening.

More information on the KSI presentations will be posted on the CCMS Web site over the coming weeks.

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