Paper No. 88-5
Presentation Time: 9:00 AM
THE EFFECT OF A STUDENT-CENTERED ACADEMIC INTERVENTION ON TEACHER PRACTICE IN HIGH SCHOOL EARTH SCIENCE CLASSROOMS: A MIXED METHODS STUDY
Use of instructional strategies such as argumentation, critical evaluation, and evidence-based reasoning increase students’ science learning. Educational practices that centralize development of these skills are important as they foster scientific habits of mind and the reasoning processes important for a scientifically literate society. The Model-Evidence Link (MEL) diagram is an instructional scaffold that incorporates each of these components and provide an opportunity for students to critically evaluate alternative explanations and increase their ability to understand complex scientific concepts. MEL diagrams were developed for the following Earth science topics: fracking, climate change, wetlands, and Moon formation. These diagrams were used in four school sites located in Nevada and New Jersey, from 2013 to 2015. Analysis of quantitative data including formative assessment of student knowledge gains and critical evaluation show that use of MEL diagrams results in statistically significant gains in knowledge and scientific reasoning. A secondary area of interest arose centering on how implementation of this student-centered educational strategy influenced teacher practice. To address this question, we developed an interview protocol to solicit feedback about perceived impact of the intervention on students and themselves over the course of the intervention. Qualitative research methodology will be used to explore how implementation of this intervention led to formation of a professional learning community and how the professional development of the teacher-participants might parallel student academic outcomes.
Note: The material in this presentation is based upon work supported by the NSF under Grant No. DRL-131605. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the NSF’s views