Pre-K

Children’s Measurement: A Longitudinal Study of Children’s Knowledge and Learning of Length, Area, and Volume

Quantitative reasoning and measurement competencies support the development of mathematical and scientific thinking in children in the early and middle grades and are fundamental to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. The sixteenth Journal for Research in Mathematics Education (JRME) monograph is a report on a four-year-long multisite longitudinal study that studied children’s thinking and learning about geometric measurement (i.e., length, area, and volume).

Author/Presenter: 
Jeffrey E. Barrett
Douglas H. Clements
Julie Sarama
Year: 
2017
Short Description: 

This monograph is a report on a four-year-long multisite longitudinal study that studied children’s thinking and learning about geometric measurement (i.e., length, area, and volume).

Evaluation of three interventions teaching area measurement as spatial structuring to young children

We evaluated the effects of three instructional interventions designed to support young children’s understanding of area measurement as a structuring process.

Author/Presenter: 
Douglas H. Clements
Julie Sarama
Jeffrey E. Barrett
Craig J. Cullen
Aaron Hudyma
Ron Dolgin
Amanda L. Cullen
Cheryl L. Eames
Year: 
2018
Short Description: 

In this article, authors evaluated the effects of three instructional interventions designed to support young children’s understanding of area measurement as a structuring process.

A Pleasure to Measure! Tasks for Teaching Measurement in the Elementary Grades

Measurement is paired with data as a fundamental domain of K–grade 5 mathematics in the Common Core State Standards, and it is one of five core content areas in NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics. This book presents lively activities that dovetail with standards and research-based stages of development to support students’ steady growth of understanding of measurement.

Author/Presenter: 
Jeffrey Barrett
Craig Cullen
Diana Behnke
David Klanderman
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2017
Short Description: 

A Pleasure to Measure will enable you to select activities quickly, easily, and confidently to target the content that your students are ready to learn. You’ll find everything that you need in the six E’s that the authors detail for each activity—Essentials, Engage, Explore, Expect, Extend, and Enrich.

Early Childhood Educators’ Self-Efficacy in Science, Math, and Literacy Instruction and Science Practice in the Classroom

Quality early science education is important for addressing the low science achievement, compared to international peers, of elementary students in the United States. Teachers’ beliefs about their skills in a content area, that is, their content self-efficacy is important because it has implications for teaching practice and child outcomes. However, little is known about how teachers’ self-efficacy for literacy, math and science compare and how domain-specific self-efficacy relates to teachers’ practice in the area of science.

Author/Presenter: 
Hope Gerde
Steven Pierce
Kyungsook Lee
Laurie Van Egeren
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2017
Short Description: 

Quality early science education is important for addressing the low science achievement, compared to international peers, of elementary students in the United States. Teachers’ beliefs about their skills in a content area, that is, their content self-efficacy is important because it has implications for teaching practice and child outcomes. However, little is known about how teachers’ self-efficacy for literacy, math and science compare and how domain-specific self-efficacy relates to teachers’ practice in the area of science. Analysis of survey and observation data from 67 Head Start classrooms across eight programs indicated that domain-specific self-efficacy was highest for literacy, significantly lower for science, and lowest for math. Classrooms varied, but in general, engaged in literacy far more than science, contained a modest amount of science materials, and their instructional support of science was low. Importantly, self-efficacy for science, but not literacy or math, related to teachers frequency of engaging children in science instruction. Teachers’ education and experience did not predict self-efficacy for science. Practice or Policy: To enhance the science opportunities provided in early childhood classrooms, pre-service and in-service education programs should provide teachers with content and practices for science rather than focusing exclusively on literacy.

Now more than ever, scientific literacy (i.e., systemizing methods, engaging in critical comparison, utilizing research to inform practice) has been recognized as vital for the 21st-century workforce (National Research Council, 2010 National Research Council. (2010). Exploring the intersection of science education and 21st century skills: A workshop summary. National Research Council. Washington, DC: National Academies Press). Strong science education is critical for developing these skills in the U.S. population. However, U.S. elementary children perform below several of their international peers in science achievement tests (National Center for Education Statistics [NCES], 2012). This is not surprising considering that the foundation for scientific understanding is shaky: Elementary teachers spend just 6% to 13% of their instructional time teaching science (NCES, 2012 National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The condition of education 2012. Retrieved from
http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2012/2012045.pdf), and preschool teachers devote even less time (4%–8% of instructional time) to promoting science experiences (Tu, 2006 Tu, T. (2006). Preschool science environment: What is available in a preschool classroom? Early Childhood Education Journal, 33, 245–251. doi:10.1007/s10643-005-0049-8). A primary factor, particularly among early childhood educators, is a lack of preparation for designing and implementing science education, which results in little confidence for teaching science (Greenfield et al., 2009 Greenfield, D. B., Jirout, J., Dominguez, X., Greenberg, A., Maier, M., & Fuccillo, J. (2009). Science in the preschool classroom: A programmatic research agenda to improve science readiness. Early Education & Development, 20, 238–264. doi:10.1080/10409280802595441; Hamlin & Wisneski, 2012 Hamlin, M., & Wisneski, D. B. (2012). Supporting the scientific thinking and inquiry of toddlers and preschoolers through play. Young Children, 67, 82–88). Of course, children are unlikely to develop necessary science knowledge and skills without effective science instruction and experiences (Gelman & Brenneman, 2012 Gelman, R., & Brenneman, K. (2012). Classrooms as learning labs. In N. Stein & S. Raudenbusch (Eds.), Developmental science goes to school (pp. 113–126). New York, NY: Routledge; Morris, Croker, Masnick, & Zimmerman, 2012 Morris, B. J., Croker, S., Masnick, A. M., & Zimmerman, C. (2012). The emergence of scientific reasoning. In H. Kloos, B. J. Morris, & J. L. Amaral (Eds.), Current topics in children’s learning and cognition (pp. 61–82). Rijeka, Croatia: InTech). Thus, one critical research aim fulfilled by the present study was to describe early childhood educator self-efficacy for science and identify how self-efficacy is related to the science opportunities provided in early childhood classrooms.

Family-school partnerships in a context of urgent engagement: Rethinking models, measurement, and meaningfulness

This commentary highlights key themes across the five chapters of this volume, as well as offers specific recommendations concerning future directions for inquiry on the issue of family–school connections. A case is made that in order to advance scientific knowledge of this issue and its application, dialogue is sorely needed that is multidisciplinary, engages mixed methods and emic traditions, and attends to how context shapes family–school connections.

Author/Presenter: 
Christine M. McWayne
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2015
Short Description: 

This commentary highlights key themes across the five chapters of this volume, as well as offers specific recommendations concerning future directions for inquiry on the issue of family–school connections.

Motivational pathways to STEM career choices: Using expectancy-value perspective to understand individual and gender differences in STEM fields

The United States has made a significant effort and investment in STEM education, yet the size and the composition of the STEM workforce continues to fail to meet demand. It is thus important to understand the barriers and factors that influence individual educational and career choices. In this article, we conduct a literature review of the current knowledge surrounding individual and gender differences in STEM educational and career choices, using expectancy–value theory as a guiding framework.

Author/Presenter: 
Ming-Te Wang
Jessica Degol
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2013
Short Description: 

In this article, we conduct a literature review of the current knowledge surrounding individual and gender differences in STEM educational and career choices, using expectancy–value theory as a guiding framework.

Gender Gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM): Current Knowledge, Implications for Practice, Policy, and Future Directions

Although the gender gap in math course-taking and performance has narrowed in recent decades, females continue to be underrepresented in math-intensive fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Career pathways encompass the ability to pursue a career as well as the motivation to employ that ability. Individual differences in cognitive capacity and motivation are also influenced by broader sociocultural factors.

Author/Presenter: 
Ming-Te Wang
Jessica L. Degol
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2016
Short Description: 

STEM starts early: Grounding science, technology, engineering, and math education in early childhood

Researchers and educators agree: Children demonstrate a clear readiness to engage in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning early in life. And, just as with language and literacy, STEM education should start early in order to maximize its benefits and effectiveness. So why is STEM not woven more seamlessly into early childhood education? What can we do – in the classroom, in homes, in museums, in research labs, and in the halls of legislating bodies – to ensure that all young children have access to high-quality STEM learning early in life?

Author/Presenter: 
Elisabeth McClure
Doug Clements
Lisa Guernsey
Susan Nall Bales
Jennifer Nichols
Nat Kendall-Taylor
Michael Levine
Lead Organization(s): 
Year: 
2017
Short Description: 

This report summarizes the latest research findings on the importance and impact of early STEM across the child's ecological systems, as well as the critical importance of framing communications about early STEM in an effective way. It also articulates six recommendations for practice, policy, and research that will promote dramatic improvement in early STEM education for all young children.

Next Generation STEM Learning for All-envisioning advances based on NSF supported research

 
On November 9, 2015, an NSF-supported STEM Forum was held, organized by STELAR (the ITEST resource network) and CADRE (the DR K-12 resource network). This report stems from the discussion at the forum. 
 
About the Report
How can research-based findings and advances help society to re-envision STEM learning and education?
 
Author/Presenter: 
Carrie Parker
Sarita Pillai
Jeremy Roschelle
Year: 
2016
Short Description: 

How can research-based findings and advances help society to re-envision STEM learning and education? This report captures key takeaways, strategies, and challenges identified during the November 2015 workshop, including: research-based advances for STEM learning; multiple stakeholder communities around STEM schools; social justice, equity, and excellence in STEM schools and communities; scale and sustainability

Constructing Assessment Tasks that Blend Disciplinary Core Ideas, Crosscutting Concepts, and Science Practices for Classroom Formative Applications

How do we measure knowledge in use? In this paper we describe how we use principles of evidence-centered design to develop classroom-based science assessments that integrate three dimensions of science proficiency—disciplinary core ideas, science practices, and crosscutting concepts. In our design process, we first elaborate on, or “unpack”, the assessable components of the three dimensions.

Author/Presenter: 
Christopher J. Harris
Joseph S. Krajcik
James W. Pellegrino
Kevin W. McElhaney
Year: 
2016
Short Description: 

How do we measure knowledge in use? In this paper we describe how we use principles of evidence-centered design to develop classroom-based science assessments that integrate three dimensions of science proficiency—disciplinary core ideas, science practices, and crosscutting concepts.

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