GSA Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA - 2018

Paper No. 83-4
Presentation Time: 8:50 AM


FORD, Danielle, School of Education, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, MCGEARY, Susan, Geological Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716, GALLO-FOX, Jennifer, Human Development and Family Sciences, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716 and ACKERMAN, Cheryl M., Delaware Environmental Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, DE 19716

To redesign an introductory earth science course for preservice elementary teachers, and research its impact on student learning and attitudes, we are using a Design-Based Approach (DBA) (Brown, 1992; Collins, 1992; Design-Based Research Collective, 2003; Kelly et al., 2008; Shavelson et al., 2003). This research methodology, grounded in cognitive perspectives on learning in social contexts (Salomon, 1993), involves instructors and educational researchers working together across cycles of design and implementation (Borko, 2004; Penuel et al., 2011). Findings inform instructional design as well as learning theory and are seen as advantageous for lasting reform of educational practice (Brown, 1992; Cobb et al., 2003). Within DBA, initial program development typically occurs first in small experiments and then scales up in size for future iterations while providing potential for transfer to other contexts (Borko, 2004).

In our project, we identified a set of design principles for our earth science course that includes place-based, active-learning; alignment with the three dimensions of the Next Generation Science Standards; and the use of real-time data sources. We tested the effectiveness of this design using observations (COPUS, Smith et al., 2013), measures of content knowledge (Geoscience Concept Inventory, Libarkin et al., 2014), motivation (SMQ-II, Glynn et al., 2011) and self-efficacy for science teaching, (STEBI-B, Bleicher, 2004) and used the results to adjust the course curriculum. We discuss the benefits of DBA in supporting context-specific curriculum improvement and fostering interdisciplinary collaborations, as well as the challenges we face with the time and effort it takes to conduct this type of research and reconcile the design approach with traditional conceptions of reliability, validity, and transfer (Shipley et al., 2017).

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