A bibliography of CCMS research is now available in our Research section.
• KSI 2006: Our annual invitation-only Knowledge Sharing Institute (KSI), which fosters information exchange within the Center and with others involved in the development, selection, adaptation, and use of curriculum materials, was held July 9–12 at CCMS partner University of Michigan. KSI 2005 explored the theme "Sharing Tools and Frameworks for Science Curriculum Materials Research and Development." Building on last year’s institute, KSI 2006 consisted of working sessions organized around CCMS research strands, small group discussions on emerging topics (“greenhouse” sessions), featured research presentations, and poster sessions.
The six research strands (made up of 2–4 sessions each) were as follows: (1) Diversity (understanding how science curriculum materials can support student diversity), (2) Teacher & Curriculum (understanding how teachers use and learn from science curriculum materials), (3) Student Learning (understanding how students learn from science curriculum materials, both within and across grades), (4) Literacy (understanding how attention to language literacy in curriculum design and implementation can improve the effectiveness of science curriculum materials), (5) Assessment (understanding how to design assessments to effectively assess science learning goals), and (6) Scientific Practices (understanding how to support scientific practices in classrooms, including scientific investigation, argumentation, explanation, and modeling).
Greenhouse sessions included topics such as Energy, Video Management & Analysis, Science Education Policy, Plate Tectonics Phenemona, Research Design, and a session on the AAAS Project 2061 science concept map, Habits of Mind.
• AWARDS RECEIVED by CCMS Postdocs and Early Career Research Associates:
Leema Kuhn, a doctoral fellow at Northwestern University, won the award for the best conference paper of 2005 from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST). The paper, "Students Constructing and Defending Evidence-based Explanations" by Kuhn and Brian J. Reiser, focused on her research conducted in Chicago classrooms on middle school students' argumentation. This work is part of IQWST (Investigating and Questioning Our World Through Science and Technology), an NSF-funded curriculum development project which is exploring how to support middle school students in scientific practices.
The NARST Outstanding Paper Award is given annually for the paper presented at the Annual Meeting of NARST that is judged to have the greatest significance and potential in the field of science education.
CCMS Early Career Research Associate Iris Tabak, a Northwestern University alumna (PhD99) in Learning Sciences, won the 2006 Jan Hawkins Award of the American Education Research Association (AERA). Tabak, an assistant professor in the education department at Ben Gurion University of the Negev in Israel, researches cognitive and sociocultural theory, and she also draws on this theory to design advanced tools for learning.
The Jan Hawkins Award is presented for “early career contributions to humanistic research and scholarship in learning technologies,” according to AERA.
Katherine McNeill, Julia Plummer, and Christopher Harris (all from the University of Michigan) and Virginia Pitts (Northwestern University) defended their dissertations in 2006. Their titles are as follows:
McNeill: Supporting Students’ Construction of Scientific Explanation Through Curricular Scaffolds and Teacher Instructional Practices
Plummer: Elementary Students Learning About the Apparent Motions of Celestial Objects
Harris: Investigating Teaching Practices and Student Learning During the Enactment of an Inquiry-Based Chemistry Unit
Pitts: Do Students Buy In? A Study of Student Goal and Role Adoption by Students in Project-Based Curricula
New on the Web or in Print
• CCMS contributions to newly published books:
Bluenfeld, P., Kempler, T., & Krajcik, J. (2006). Motivation and cognitive engagement in learning environments. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 475–488). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
DeBoer, G. E. (2006). History of the science standards movement in the United States. In D. W. Sunal & E. L. Wright (Series Eds.), Research in science education: Vol. 2. The impact of state and national standards on K–12 science teaching (pp. 7–49). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
Edelson, D., & Reiser, B. (2006). Making authentic practices accessible to learners: Design challenges and strategies. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 335–354). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Fishman, B., & Davis, E. (2006). Teacher learning research and the learning sciences. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 535–550). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Krajcik, J., & Blumenfeld, P. (2006). Project-based learning. In R. K. Sawyer (Ed.), Cambridge handbook of the learning sciences (pp. 317-334). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Stern, L. & Roseman, J. E. (2006). Improving the alignment of curriculum and assessment to national science standards. In D. W. Sunal & E. L. Wright (Series Eds.), Research in science education: Vol. 2. The impact of state and national standards on K–12 science teaching (pp. 301–324). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.
• CCMS journal publications:
Davis, E. A. (2006). Preservice elementary teachers’ critique of instructional materials for science. Science Education, 90(2), 3–14.
McNeill, K. L., Lizotte, D. J., Krajcik, J., & Marx, R. W. (2006). Supporting students' construction of scientific explanations by fading scaffolds in instructional materials. The Journal of the Learning Sciences, 15(2), 153–191.
A bibliography of CCMS research is now available in our Research section.
Barry Fishman (University of Michigan) and Danny Edelson (Northwestern) received an NSF-funded Teacher Professional Continuum (TPC) program grant, "The Impact of Online Professional Development: An Experimental Study of Professional Development Modalities Linked to Curriculum," using Investigations in Environmental Science as the focus. Click here to see the abstract.
This five-year research project is designed to enhance understanding of how online professional development environments contribute to teach learning, changes in classroom practice and changes in student learning in comparison to face-to-face professional development. Using secondary school teachers' learning to use a reform-oriented environmental science curriculum (Looking at the Environment - LATE), groups of teachers will be randomly assigned to one of three conditions. These are: (1) a traditional face-to-face workshop, (2) self-guided online professional development, or (3) online professional development guided by a facilitator and structured as a "short course." The content of the professional development is held constant over the three conditions and the online aspect is based on previous research and development activities (Knowledge Networks On the Web - KNOW). Various measures are used to assess impact including: (1) teacher backgrounds and beliefs surveys, (2) written tests of teacher concept knowledge, (3) post-professional development interviews, (4) classroom observations of teachers enacting the curriculum and (5) student learning measures based on the curriculum materials.