Middle

Creating Inclusive PreK–12 STEM Learning Environments

Brief CoverBroadening participation in PreK–12 STEM provides ALL students with STEM learning experiences that can prepare them for civic life and the workforce.

Author/Presenter: 
Malcom Butler
Cory Buxton
Odis Johnson Jr.
Leanne Ketterlin-Geller
Catherine McCulloch
Natalie Nielsen
Arthur Powell
Year: 
2018
Short Description: 

This brief offers insights from National Science Foundation-supported research for education leaders and policymakers who are broadening participation in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM). Many of these insights confirm knowledge that has been reported in research literature; however, some offer a different perspective on familiar challenges.

Teachers’ Abilities to Make Sense of Variable Parts Reasoning

The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers understand one specific aspect of proportional reasoning. We were interested in understanding the extent to which practicing teachers were able to make sense of reasoning that involved the fixed number of variable-sized parts perspective. We used two items, drawn from a larger dataset, that encouraged teachers to reason about proportional situations using a variable parts perspective.

Author/Presenter: 
Chandra Hawley Orrill
John E. Millett
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

The purpose of this study was to investigate how teachers understand one specific aspect of proportional reasoning - the extent to which practicing teachers were able to make sense of reasoning that involved the fixed number of variable-sized parts perspective.

The Price of Nice: How Good Intentions Maintain Educational Inequity

Being nice is difficult to critique. Niceness is almost always portrayed and felt as a positive quality. In schools, nice teachers are popular among students, parents, and administrators. And yet Niceness, as a distinct set of practices and discourses, is not actually good for individuals, institutions, or communities because of the way it maintains and reinforces educational inequity.

Author/Presenter: 
Angelina E. Castagno, Editor
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2019
Short Description: 

In The Price of Nice, an interdisciplinary group of scholars explores Niceness in educational spaces from elementary schools through higher education to highlight how this seemingly benign quality reinforces structural inequalities.

The Anthropology of Educational Policy: Ethnographic Inquiries into Policy as Sociocultural Practice

Author/Presenter: 
Angelina E. Castagno
Teresa McCarty
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2018
Short Description: 

This book provides a single "go to" source on the disciplinary history, theoretical framework, methodology, and empirical applications of the anthropology of education policy across a range of education topics, policy debates, and settings.

Making Critical Thinking Visible for Student Analysis and Reflection: Using Structured Documentation to Enhance Effective Reasoning and Communication

Butcher, K. R., Runburg-Larson, M., & Lane, M. (2019). Making critical thinking visible for student analysis and reflection: Using structured documentation to enhance effective reasoning and communication. Science Scope, 42(8), 44-53.

Author/Presenter: 
Kirsten R. Butcher
Madlyn Larson
McKenna Lane
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2019
Short Description: 

This Science Scope article discusses how to foster critical-thinking skills in middle school science.

The Joys of Teaching Ecology in K–12 and Informal Settings

Esposito, R. M. M, Harris, C., Berkowitz, A. R., & Pregnal, M. (2019). The joys of teaching ecology in K-12 and informal settings. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17(9), 538-539. https://doi.org/10.1002/fee.2122

Author/Presenter: 
Rhea M  M Esposito
Cornelia Harris
Alan R Berkowitz
Maribel Pregnall
Year: 
2019
Short Description: 

This article describes opportunities for primary and secondary ecology education in formal and informal settings.

Designing in Context: Reaching Beyond Usability in Learning Analytics Dashboard Design

Researchers and developers of learning analytics (LA) systems are increasingly adopting human-centred design (HCD) approaches, with growing need to understand how to apply design practice in different educational settings. In this paper, we present a design narrative of our experience developing dashboards to support middle school mathematics teachers’ pedagogical practices, in a multi-university, multi-school district, improvement science initiative in the United States.

Author/Presenter: 
June Ahn
Fabio Campos
Maria Hays
Daniela Digiacomo
Year: 
2019
Short Description: 

In this paper, authors present a design narrative of our experience developing dashboards to support middle school mathematics teachers’ pedagogical practices, in a multi-university, multi-school district, improvement science initiative in the United States.

Webinar Resources: Strengthening Educators’ Practices for Engaging and Empowering Students with Disabilities and Difficulties as Mathematics Learners

Author/Presenter: 
Amy Brodesky
Jessica Hunt
Karen Mutch-Jones
Judy Storeygard
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

Amy Brodesky, Jessica Hunt, Karen Mutch-Jones and Judy Storeygard shared key components, successes, and challenges of asset-based PD in mathematics. The webinar focused on the pressing question: What are ways to support educators in providing high-quality, inclusive instruction that empowers students with disabilities/difficulties as mathematics thinkers and doers?

“Approximate” Multiplicative Relationships between Quantitative Unknowns

Three 18-session design experiments were conducted, each with 6–9 7th and 8th grade students, to investigate relationships between students’ rational number knowledge and algebraic reasoning. Students were to represent in drawings and equations two multiplicatively related unknown heights (e.g., one was 5 times another). Twelve of the 22 participating students operated with the second multiplicative concept, which meant they viewed known quantities as units of units, or two-levels-of-units structures, but not as three-levels-of-units structures.

Author/Presenter: 
Amy J. Hackenberg
Robin Jones
Ayfer Eker
Mark Creager
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2017
Short Description: 

Three 18-session design experiments were conducted, each with 6–9 7th and 8th grade students, to investigate relationships between students’ rational number knowledge and algebraic reasoning. Implications for teaching are explored in this article.

Tiering Instruction for Middle School Students

Differentiating instruction (DI) is a pedagogical approach to managing classroom diversity in which teachers proactively adapt curricula, teaching methods, and products of learning to address individual students' needs in an effort to maximize learning for all (Tomlinson, 2005). DI is rooted in formative assessment, positions teachers and students together as learners, and involves providing choices and different pathways for students. Although teachers can differentiate for many characteristics of students, we differentiate for students' diverse ways of thinking.

Author/Presenter: 
Amy J. Hackenberg
Robin Jones
Rebecca Borowski
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2020
Short Description: 

In this article, we describe an example of differentiating instruction (DI) involving middle school students from a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation.

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