Disciplinary Content Knowledge

Online Teacher Professional Learning: An Approach to Foster Personalized Pathways

Teachers tend to be lifelong learners, motivated to pursue professional learning that is meaningful to their particular needs. In 2013, Marrongelle et. al., noted “it is incumbent on the field to capitalize on emerging technologies in the design and delivery of effective professional development.” (p. 208). While the past decade has seen an increase in development of opportunities for personalized learning for mathematics teachers online (e.g., Silverman & Hoyos, 2018), more work is needed to provide additional research-based opportunities.

Author/Presenter

Hollylynne S. Lee

Emily P. Thrasher

Matt Grossman

Gemma F. Mojica

Bruce Graham

Adrian Kuhlman

Year
2022
Short Description

The InSTEP professional learning platform aims to support grades 6-12 teachers’ professional learning in teaching statistics and data science through a personalized online learning platform. While statistics and data analysis are included in standards for both mathematics and science, there are also many states across the country envisioning high school course pathways that include a heavier emphasis on statistics and even stand alone courses on data science. In this brief research report, we aim to share how we have designed supports for teachers to personalize their professional learning and results from a collective case study of 37 participants engaged in a field test of the platform in Fall 2022.

Engagement in the InSTEP Professional Learning Platform: Developing Expertise to Teach Data and Statistics

In this study, 82 middle and high school teachers engaged with the InSTEP online professional
learning platform to develop their expertise in teaching data science and statistics. We
investigated teachers’ engagement within the platform, aspects of the platform that were most
and least effective in building teachers’ expertise, and the extent to which teachers’ self-efficacy
changed. Using mixed methods, we collected, analyzed and integrated multiple data sources.

Author/Presenter

Gemma F. Mojica

Emily Thrasher

Adrian Kuhlman

Bruce Graham

Hollylynne S. Lee

Michelle Pace

Year
2023
Short Description

In this study, 82 middle and high school teachers engaged with the InSTEP online professional
learning platform to develop their expertise in teaching data science and statistics. We
investigated teachers’ engagement within the platform, aspects of the platform that were most
and least effective in building teachers’ expertise, and the extent to which teachers’ self-efficacy
changed.

Elementary Science Teacher Educators Learning Together: Catalyzing Change With Educative Curriculum Materials and Vignette Writing

In this article, we describe a professional learning community (PLC) for science teacher educators that supported changes in pedagogy through educative curriculum materials and vignette writing. The PLC was convened as part of a grant-supported project to build preservice elementary teachers’ content knowledge for matter using educative curriculum materials. PLC members collaborated with one another over an academic year to learn about and discuss implementing curricular materials in their respective science teacher education courses.

Author/Presenter

Sumreen Asim

Jeni Davis

Melanie Kinskey

Heather Lavender

Jaclyn Murray

Amanda Obery

Carrie-Anne Sherwood

Sarah Voss

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2023
Short Description

In this article, we describe a professional learning community (PLC) for science teacher educators that supported changes in pedagogy through educative curriculum materials and vignette writing.

Technology-Mediated Lesson Study: A Step-by-Step Guide

Purpose
The authors are developing a model for rural science teacher professional development, building teacher expertise and collaboration and creating high-quality science lessons: technology-mediated lesson study (TMLS).

Author/Presenter

Michelle Hudson

Heather Leary

Max Longhurst

Joshua Stowers

Tracy Poulsen

Clara Smith

Rebecca L. Sansom

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2024
Short Description

The authors are developing a model for rural science teacher professional development, building teacher expertise and collaboration and creating high-quality science lessons: technology-mediated lesson study (TMLS).

Investigating Teachers’ Understanding Through Topic Modeling: A Promising Approach to Studying Teachers’ Knowledge

Examining teachers’ knowledge on a large scale involves addressing substantial measurement and logistical issues; thus, existing teacher knowledge assessments have mainly consisted of selected-response items because of their ease of scoring. Although open-ended responses could capture a more complex understanding of and provide further insights into teachers’ thinking, scoring these responses is expensive and time consuming, which limits their use in large-scale studies.

Author/Presenter

Yasemin Copur-Gencturk

Hye-Jeong Choi

Alan Cohen

Year
2022
Short Description

Examining teachers’ knowledge on a large scale involves addressing substantial measurement and logistical issues; thus, existing teacher knowledge assessments have mainly consisted of selected-response items because of their ease of scoring. Although open-ended responses could capture a more complex understanding of and provide further insights into teachers’ thinking, scoring these responses is expensive and time consuming, which limits their use in large-scale studies. In this study, we investigated whether a novel statistical approach, topic modeling, could be used to score teachers’ open-ended responses and if so, whether these scores would capture nuances of teachers’ understanding.

Examining Elementary Science Teachers' Responses to Assessments Tasks Designed to Measure Their Content Knowledge for Teaching About Matter and its Interactions

Despite the importance of developing elementary science teachers' content knowledge for teaching (CKT), there are limited assessments that have been designed to measure the full breadth of their CKT at scale. Our overall research project addressed this gap by developing an online assessment to measure elementary preservice teachers' CKT about matter and its interactions. This study, which was part of our larger project, reports on findings from one component of the item development process examining the construct validity of 118 different CKT about matter assessment items.

Author/Presenter

Jamie N. Mikeska

Dante Cisterna

Heena Lakhani

Allison K. Bookbinder

David L. Myers

Luronne Vaval

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2022
Short Description

Despite the importance of developing elementary science teachers' content knowledge for teaching (CKT), there are limited assessments that have been designed to measure the full breadth of their CKT at scale. Our overall research project addressed this gap by developing an online assessment to measure elementary preservice teachers' CKT about matter and its interactions. This study, which was part of our larger project, reports on findings from one component of the item development process examining the construct validity of 118 different CKT about matter assessment items.

Professional Development for STEM Integration Analyzing Bioinformatics Teaching by Examining Teachers' Qualities of Adaptive Expertise

Real-world science exploration, where STEM fields are integrated to address societal issues, stands in contrast to the compartmentalized courses offered in high school. This reality calls into question the utility of high school science teaching and learning for preparing a STEM-literate citizenry and for fulfilling workforce needs.

Author/Presenter

Susan A. Yoon

Jooeun Shim

Katherine Miller

Amanda M. Cottone

Noora Fatima Noushad

Jae-Un Yoo

Michael V. Gonzalez

Ryan Urbanowicz

Blanca E. Himes

Lead Organization(s)
Year
2022
Short Description

Bioinformatics—a rapidly developing discipline that integrates mathematical and computational techniques with biological knowledge for applications in medicine, the environment, and other important aspects of life—is an example of an emerging field that illustrates the need for a greater focus on STEM integration in K12 education. Studies on teaching bioinformatics in high school reveal difficulties that arise from a lack of curricular resources and teacher knowledge to effectively integrate disciplinary content. In this study, we investigated challenges teachers experienced in teaching a problem-based bioinformatics unit after participating in professional development (PD) activities that were carefully constructed using research-based effective PD characteristics.

Instructional Pathways to Considering Social Dimensions Within Socioscientific Issues

The Socioscientific Issues Teaching and Learning (SSI-TL) framework is a guide for developing an instructional approach to learning experiences focused on socioscientific issues (SSI). Despite the potential benefits of SSI learning, teachers often struggle to implement this approach in their classrooms (Sadler et al., 2006; Saunders & Rennie, 2013), and one of the most prominent reasons for this struggle is science teacher concerns and hesitation associated with incorporating social dimensions of the issues into their instruction (Friedrichsen et al., 2021).

Author/Presenter

Rebecca Rawson Lesnefsky

Troy Sadler

Li Ke

Pat Friedrichsen

Year
2023
Short Description

The Socioscientific Issues Teaching and Learning (SSI-TL) framework is a guide for developing an instructional approach to learning experiences focused on socioscientific issues (SSI). Despite the potential benefits of SSI learning, teachers often struggle to implement this approach in their classrooms, and one of the most prominent reasons for this struggle is science teacher concerns and hesitation associated with incorporating social dimensions of the issues into their instruction. The purpose of this article is to provide science teacher educators with tools to help teachers better manage the integration of the social dimensions of SSI in issues-based teaching.

Instructional Pathways to Considering Social Dimensions Within Socioscientific Issues

The Socioscientific Issues Teaching and Learning (SSI-TL) framework is a guide for developing an instructional approach to learning experiences focused on socioscientific issues (SSI). Despite the potential benefits of SSI learning, teachers often struggle to implement this approach in their classrooms (Sadler et al., 2006; Saunders & Rennie, 2013), and one of the most prominent reasons for this struggle is science teacher concerns and hesitation associated with incorporating social dimensions of the issues into their instruction (Friedrichsen et al., 2021).

Author/Presenter

Rebecca Rawson Lesnefsky

Troy Sadler

Li Ke

Pat Friedrichsen

Year
2023
Short Description

The Socioscientific Issues Teaching and Learning (SSI-TL) framework is a guide for developing an instructional approach to learning experiences focused on socioscientific issues (SSI). Despite the potential benefits of SSI learning, teachers often struggle to implement this approach in their classrooms, and one of the most prominent reasons for this struggle is science teacher concerns and hesitation associated with incorporating social dimensions of the issues into their instruction. The purpose of this article is to provide science teacher educators with tools to help teachers better manage the integration of the social dimensions of SSI in issues-based teaching.

Validating the Use of Student-Level Instruments to Examine Preservice Teachers' Mathematical Problem Solving

Problem solving is a central focus of mathematics teaching and learning. If teachers are expected to support students' problem-solving development, then it reasons that teachers should also be able to solve problems aligned to grade level content standards. The purpose of this validation study is twofold: (1) to present evidence supporting the use of the Problem Solving Measures Grades 3–5 with preservice teachers (PSTs), and (2) to examine PSTs' abilities to solve problems aligned to grades 3–5 academic content standards.

Author/Presenter

Timothy D. Folger

Maria Stewart

Jonathan Bostic

Toni A. May

Year
2022
Short Description

Problem solving is a central focus of mathematics teaching and learning. If teachers are expected to support students' problem-solving development, then it reasons that teachers should also be able to solve problems aligned to grade level content standards. The purpose of this validation study is twofold: (1) to present evidence supporting the use of the Problem Solving Measures Grades 3–5 with preservice teachers (PSTs), and (2) to examine PSTs' abilities to solve problems aligned to grades 3–5 academic content standards.