1. Dermot Donnelly
  2. http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/chemistry/facstaff/facpages/donnelly.html
  3. Assistant Professor of Chemical Education
  4. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  5. California State University Fresno
  1. David Andrews
  2. Professor Emeritus
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Jennifer Click
  2. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  3. California State University Fresno
  1. Ian Huh
  2. Instructional Support Technician
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Roger Key
  2. Instructional Support
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Sara Meadows
  2. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  3. Fresno State
  1. Frederick Nelson
  2. Associate Professor and Chair
  3. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  4. California State University Fresno
  1. Alvir Sangha
  2. Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science (EQUIPS)
  3. California State University Fresno
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 12, 2019 | 11:55 p.m.

    Hello everyone,

    Thank you for visiting/watching our video. Our NSF IUSE project, EQUIPS (Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduate Investigations in Physical Science), is investigating the impact of an integrated Chemistry/Physics inquiry laboratory program for K-8 pre-service teachers. In particular, we are investigating pre-service teachers' explanations of physical science phenomena, the types of scientific investigations they design, and the integration of laboratory course work into their future teaching. 

    We would love to hear your questions/constructive comments on our project so please share! Below are some questions we would love input on:

    For general public: What were your experiences of science at the elementary level? How can such experiences inform the EQUIPS project and its goals to support future K-8 teachers?

    For teachers: How has your undergraduate experience prepared you to teach Physical Science at the elementary level? How can such experiences inform our work with the EQUIPS project?

    For researchers: What are ways you are evaluating your teacher education programs? How do you sustain inquiry-based approaches with new instructors or instructors unfamiliar with inquiry-based approaches? How would such approaches be valuable to/align with the EQUIPS project?

    For laboratory support staff: How do you effectively support inquiry-based approaches in light of various equipment demands from students? How can such supports enhance the EQUIPS project?

    For administrators: How prevalent are inquiry-based approaches in schools? What are some approaches that have been effective in supporting inquiry-based approaches in classrooms?  How can these approaches guide the EQUIPS project?

  • Icon for: Daniel Capps

    Daniel Capps

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 06:56 a.m.

    Hi, really neat project. 

    Beyond “doing” the labs, what ways have (or might) you develop to support preservice teachers in potentially using a similar approach in their classrooms in the future? [e.g., it’s easy for a chemist to know of alternative materials on hand that one might use in an investigation, but this might be harder for a teacher.]

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
    Molly Stuhlsatz
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:02 p.m.

    Thank you for your comment Daniel.  Beyond modeling inquiry-based approaches with our students, we use a few different strategies to encourage similar approaches in future teaching.  Each laboratory write-up requires students to answer a prompt about how they can apply what they have learned in the laboratory to their future teaching.  Another prompt also requires connections to be made to the NGSS - SEPs, DCIs, and CCCs. Further, as part of the lecture component of the course, students complete an NGSS-aligned project where they visit an actual school towards the end of the semester to teach a science lesson.  We have plans to hopefully support more school visits throughout the semester rather than one single visit at the end of the semester.  We are finding that there is a large demand from local schools for NGSS science lessons. We are currently collecting data to determine how our strategies are being embedded in students' practice beyond the course.

  • Icon for: Patrick Moyle

    Patrick Moyle

    Professional Learning Specialist
    May 13, 2019 | 11:36 a.m.

    Hi CSUF! 

    I'm so happy to see that this work is being done in the Central Valley! I'm particularly proud that it is happening in courses I took at Fresno State while obtaining my Nat Sci Degree. Well done to Jennifer and Sara for pushing the envelope and here's a shout out to Dr. Anrews and Nelson. Exciting stuff.

    I'm wondering what things you're thinking of adjusting now that you're headed into next year? After tackling the question of integration in pre-service learning, I'm wondering what you're thinking of doing to emphasize the multidimensionality of the NGSS, specifically the cross-cutting concepts?

    Go dogs!

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
    David Andrews
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 12:22 p.m.

    Thank you Patrick!  Great to see you know most of our team and that you received your degree at Fresno State!

    Some of the things we are planning on adjusting is the professional development we provide for laboratory instructors.  Our current data is indicating that instructors are one of the major influences on student learning outcomes. We commonly have new instructors each semester with science degrees, but little to no teaching experience/pedagogy coursework. As such, their natural proclivities are to teach how they were taught which is often a verification approach (follow the steps). Such approaches go against what we are trying to achieve with the NGSS. Supporting such changes are complex and challenging, but with two years of curriculum development/refinement, we are making progress with lots of student exemplars to showcase for new instructors.  Such exemplars help new instructors better grasp what the intention of the laboratories are.

    As for cross-cutting concepts (CCCs), students are required to connect their experiments to CCCs for each laboratory write-up.  We have not went much further than that with CCCs, as it is quite a cramped course already with Physical Science.  We have placed more focus on the DCIs (through lecture) and SEPs (through laboratory). My ideal future outcome would be to have a second Physical Science course for students that would support greater focus on CCCs, but that is beyond the scope of our current work.

     
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    Patrick Moyle
  • Icon for: Patrick Moyle

    Patrick Moyle

    Professional Learning Specialist
    May 13, 2019 | 03:10 p.m.

    It's that the rub? Natural proclivities encourage reverting to old habits and learned pedagogy. We do quite a lot of work with training facilitators of science professional learning and have developed some tools to encourage high-quality facilitation. Before joining the Making Sense of SCIENCE project I had participated in several MSS Facilitation Academies. In each of these learning events, I was reminded of the Principles of MSS Facilitation. 

    1. Keep conversations Evidence-based

    2. Make thinking visible

    3. Don't stop at one

    4. Separate ideas from individuals

    5. Explore ideas with words, actions, images, and symbols.

     

    As a classroom teacher then, and a facilitator of adult learning now, these five principles have strengthened my ability to support group sense making.

     

    It sounds like you are using video "case studies" of facilitation to give future facilitators a sense of what it looks like when it works and when it isn't working. I'm wondering if you use any criteria or description of facilitation with them as well. I'm interested to know more about how new facilitators are supported in developing their skills. 

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Frederick Nelson

    Frederick Nelson

    Co-Presenter
    May 16, 2019 | 02:38 p.m.

    Hi Patrick,

    Yes, it's a long road to this constructivist approach to learning science. It requires some change in how our lab instructors view learning, not as a "right answer" but rather in terms of growth models.

    Hope things are going well for you!

  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 12:03 a.m.

    Thank you for these principles Patrick.  I have used many of these principles in practice and discussed them with instructors, but not communicated them directly in a more formal manner as you have laid them out here.  Have you found such communication valuable to instructors?  In what ways?  Do they revisit such a list?

    We meet with instructors at the beginning of the semester, weekly throughout the semester, and for a review/reflection session at the end of the semester.  We discuss both positives and challenges towards achieving our goals of guided-inquiry laboratories and integration of science content (Chemistry/Physics).  Such discussions can be challenging at times because there is such a fine balance between supporting students to take ownership versus students not always wanting to take such ownership/instructors feeling the need to provide answers to students. It comes back to bridging the gap between what they (instructors and students) have previously experienced and where we want them to go!

  • Icon for: Molly Stuhlsatz

    Molly Stuhlsatz

    Facilitator
    May 13, 2019 | 01:07 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing your project! It would be interesting to consider whether the way that you have set up the lab experiences will translate into elementary classrooms. Will you have any opportunities to follow the preservice teachers into their first year of teaching or beyond?

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2019 | 02:57 p.m.

    Important question Molly!  We are currently investigating how these practices translate into future coursework and into future teaching.  We are in the process of recruiting students as they go into their first year of teaching.  Beyond the first year of teaching is currently outside the scope of our research, but it is something we would be interested in following up on. 

     
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    Molly Stuhlsatz
  • Icon for: Jennifer Mendenhall

    Jennifer Mendenhall

    Sr. Communications Lead
    May 13, 2019 | 04:17 p.m.

    It's so refreshing to see this happening at the university level and it's exciting to see it's happening in our back yard. We're working with the University of Mississippi some this year and I'm curious to know if you know of other university-level programs that are working to build multidimensional learning into their pre-service preparations? 

    Thanks for sharing!

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 12:11 a.m.

    Thank you Jennifer!  I am interested in the exact same question you have asked so if you find out more please let me know.  A good place to look in the literature is the citing articles for this journal article by Roger Bybee.

  • Icon for: Nicole Wong

    Nicole Wong

    Researcher
    May 14, 2019 | 12:35 p.m.

    Hi Dermott and team,

    Wow, what an exciting project!  I would have loved to learn chemistry in this way during my undergraduate education.  I'd love to hear more about how you measured the quality of students' scientific explanations.  What was the context, what features of the explanations were you looking for, and what kinds of indicators did you use?  If you have any articles or instruments that you'd be willing to share, please let me know.  In the current Making Sense of SCIENCE project, we have been trying to assess 4th and 5th grade students' written explanations, which I'm sure poses different challenges, but I think there's a lot I could learn from your approach.

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Jennifer Click

    Jennifer Click

    Co-Presenter
    May 14, 2019 | 12:52 p.m.

    Hello there!

    We used Knowledge Integration Rubrics (KI) to measure participant understanding. The rubrics were typically 5-point scales ranging from a score of 0 (left blank or I don't know response) to a 5 (integrated scientific explanation). By using these rubrics, we were able to accurately measure growth even if participant responses were generally lacking in accuracy. For example, a participant may have had a non-normative scientific idea initially that grew into a partial normative or fully normative idea on the post-assessment. In other scales, such as multiple choice/matching/true-false, the nuances of understanding are not easily identified and while the participant may have learned, their test score doesn't reflect that. We found that true open-ended prompts gave genuine responses.  

    Here is a link for the KI framework and rubric: https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/9780203806524

    Your project is interesting! What challenges have you faced while viewing student responses? Are you using a rubric? 

    Thank you for your question and comments!

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 12:14 a.m.

    Hi Nicole. Thank you for your comment.  If you look beside the video, we have also provided an attachment of our 2019 AERA paper that discusses our items.  Let me know if we can clarify anything. We would also be interested in learning about any items you have developed if you can share.

  • Icon for: Courtney Arthur

    Courtney Arthur

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2019 | 01:56 p.m.

    I love the inquiry that guides this work! As a former elementary science teacher I know how engaging it is but also how dependent it is on school resources. I am curious as to whether there were/are strategies introduced for teachers to utilize in the cases of schools not having labs/lab equipment available? Were there some  challenges you saw because of this?

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 12:26 a.m.

    Great point Courtney. We have found our students to be incredibly creative in doing meaningful activities while keeping costs down.  As part of students laboratory experience, they search for different investigations online related to each week's topic. As part of this process, students find various activities beyond what they need for laboratory, but that they can use in their classrooms later.  We are going to explore equipment challenges more in the third year of the project to see how it takes shape in more classrooms.

    On a slight aside, I actively encourage my students in lecture to take advantage of websites such as gofundme in combination with social media, as the community are happy to help when they can see a direct impact of their donations to classroom resources and students learning science!

  • Icon for: Michelle Quirke

    Michelle Quirke

    Project Manager
    May 15, 2019 | 09:18 a.m.

    Excellent video and prompts to prep for viewing. From a general public viewpoint, science was very structured in elementary and usually led to pre-determined outcome to achieve success. This is different than what I find in science labs where resilience to face many failures is necessary and leaving your mind open to discover what isn't known is more valuable. 

     
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    Dermot Donnelly
  • Icon for: Dermot Donnelly

    Dermot Donnelly

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2019 | 12:36 a.m.

    Thank you for sharing Michelle.  Actually getting to guided-inquiry is particularly challenging.  One of the most difficult identity aspects not just for our students as future teachers, but instructors in general (myself included) is letting go of the "need to be the expert".  Obviously it is important to have a certain level of understanding, but the desire to be seen as an expert encourages streamlined/structured activities so that instructors cannot be moved outside their comfort zone with challenging student questions. Such circumstances are devoid of what actual laboratories are like as you have noted.  We need to be constantly mindful of balancing structure/student ownership in developing all our teaching activities.

  • May 17, 2019 | 02:52 p.m.

    Thanks Dermot and team for sharing your video. It's refreshing to see a teacher preparation program that willing to change how science is taught so that future teachers have a different vision of how they want to lead their own classrooms. Being a former Chemistry and Physics HS science teacher, I appreciate the way you've chosen to integrate the content. I also think the emphasis on having students design and conduct their own experiments is a big plus!

    I'm guessing you have also changed things up to support student-student collaboration and conversation. If so, can you say more about this?

    I think you might enjoy meeting one of our close colleagues, Brooke Whitworth at the University of Mississippi. She too has been working to revamp pre-service teacher preparation and currently has an NSF grant to learn more in this area. Let me know if you'd like to connect.

  • Icon for: Frederick Nelson

    Frederick Nelson

    Co-Presenter
    May 20, 2019 | 03:10 p.m.

    Thanks Kirsten for your comments.

    The insight you mention about student-student collaboration is one that has emerged in our data collection, from interviews with students. We hope to incorporate some explicit community-building and collaboration skill activities in future iterations of the project. Johnson & Johnson's 5 essential elements of cooperative learning would be a valuable set of perspectives to emphasize, and a place to start.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.