Most Recent Articles

The Effects of Robotics Professional Development on Science and Mathematics Teaching Performance and Student Achievement in Underserved Middle Schools

by Alex Fegely, Joseph Winslow, Cheng-Yuan Lee & Louis J. Rubbo
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This article reports findings from an exploratory study investigating the effects of robotics professional development sessions in underserved middle schools in the southeastern United States. Eleven middle-level science and mathematics teachers from a high-needs school district received year-long training in robotics technology and instructional integration. Teacher-participants were evaluated on their problem-solving abilities, critical thinking strategies, robotics knowledge, content knowledge, and instructional design through teaching observations and pre/post robotics teaching competency surveys. Student performance was measured by comparing student-participants’ mathematics score growth on a standardized test against nationally normed control group samples. Results from teacher-participants (N = 11) indicated that they significantly improved their robotics teaching competencies and demonstrated measurable gains in numerous teaching performance indicators. Results from student-participants (N = 291) revealed they experienced mathematics growth at a higher percentage than their control group counterparts at each grade level. Sixth graders improved at a year change rate higher than the control sample to match the national norm mean on the posttest. Seventh graders experienced a year change rate and posttest mean far exceeding the control group that approached the national norm. Eighth graders improved at a year change rate that exceeded the control group but was beneath the national norm.

Going the Distance: Using Flipgrid to Mediate Race Discussions Across Two Young Adult Literature Courses

by Shea Kerkhoff & Michelle Falter
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Through a thematic and critical discourse analysis framed by critical literacy and mediated contact communication theories, the authors examined the discursive moves preservice teachers made when engaging in discussions on racial injustice through Flipgrid. Analysis showed that preservice teachers used language in productive and critical ways: moving from neutral stances to critical stances, challenging peers by questioning to understand, and reflecting on cultural assumptions. Preservice teachers thought Flipgrid provided the right balance of proximity and distance in order to see the issues in new ways and collaborating across locations and universities provided needed alternative perspectives for all and solidarity for some.

Assessing STEM identities in Intergenerational Informal STEM Programming

by Laura Rodriguez, Todd Campbell, John C. Volin, David M. Moss, Chester Arnold & Laura Cisneros
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Our research analyzed two years of data from a 5-year NSF-funded informal STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) program. Our program aims to support development and maintenance of STEM identities in intergenerational teams learning geospatial technologies and conservation science to develop and implement community land-use projects. The conservation science and technology identity (CSTI) surveys were developed as a potential method to characterize and quantify a person’s STEM identity. The surveys examined five identity constructs for science and technology: competence, performance, external recognition, self-recognition, and ways of seeing and being. CSTI was administered before the workshop to evaluate the participants’ historical STEM identity, and after to determine the workshop’s impact on science and technology competences and ways of seeing and being. CSTI was also administered as a delayed-postsurvey after the year-long project was completed. This work is needed due to (a) the importance of the development and maintenance of STEM identity for persistence in engaging in science-related work, (b) the lack of reliable, quantitative measures supported by research on the constructs of identity, and (c) the need for development of empirical instruments to determine the impact of informal science learning programs on STEM identification.

Editorial: The Metaphor Is the Message: Limitations of the Media Literacy Metaphor for Social Studies

by Lance E. Mason, Daniel G. Krutka & Marie K. Heath
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In this editorial the authors drew upon metaphor studies to identify limitations of the literacy metaphor, which has become a master metaphor for competency in education, particularly through discussions of media literacy. It considers how the literacy metaphor ignores media forms within media literacy education. Building on the authors’ initial editorial as CITE—Social Studies Education editors and drawing on the work of media ecologists, the authors suggest different avenues for media and technology education that view media as environments.

Using Virtual Reality During Remote Learning to Change the Way Teachers Think About Geometry, Collaboration, and Technology

by Candace Walkington, Jamie Gravell & Wen Huang
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Extended reality experiences for mathematics teachers can allow them to understand both pedagogy and the mathematics itself in new ways. In this study, the authors explored a virtual reality simulation for learning about geometric shapes, where teachers could engage in joint, shared manipulation of holograms in three dimensions. The authors examined what teachers saw as the affordances and limitations of this activity, as well as how the activity transformed their understanding of extended reality, through three cases of groups of teachers. Important themes emerged related to engagement, tangibility, collaboration, and dynamicity of the virtual reality environment, as well as serious concerns relating to space, cost, and physical issues. Implications are discussed for training teachers and teacher educators to implement embodied approaches to mathematics instruction.

Can You Picture This? Preservice Teachers’ Drawings and Pedagogical Beliefs About Teaching With Technology

by Denise Lindstrom, Gwen Jones & Jeremy Price
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This study was conducted in the context of an introductory three-credit course in a master of arts and teacher certification program offered at a large land grant public university in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region. Researchers examined preservice teacher drawings of teaching with technology and their reflection on their drawings to identify their pedagogical beliefs. Unlike prior research that shows classroom technology is mainly used by the teacher, most of the drawings in this study depicted students using handheld technology, an indication of more student-centered teaching. However, analysis of preservice teacher descriptions of the drawings shows that change in preservice teacher depictions of teaching with technology is likely the result of more ubiquitous access to handheld technology in K-12 schools rather than a change in pedagogical beliefs. The researchers suggest that teacher educators should work to develop preservice teachers’ technological pedagogical content knowledge to facilitate technology integration to support constructivist teaching practices.

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