Symposium: How do middle grades teachers recognize proportional relationships?
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) 2013 Research Presession
Tuesday, April 16th 2013
- Chandra Orrill*, Kaput Center, UMass Dartmouth, "Is this a proportion? How teachers make sense of proportional situations"
We draw from two studies in which we interviewed inservice middle school teachers about proportional relationships as part of assessment development. Across several tasks, we noted that the teachers often acted as though any situation with three values given could be solved with the proportion a/b = c/d, even when those situations were linear (but not proportional) or inverse proportional. We also found that some teachers used a labeling perspective when looking at an equation such as 4C = 8P for modeling '4 calzones for every 8 people'. They accepted the equation because they interpreted the letters as labels rather than as variables. Finally, when faced with proportional reasoning problems that were non-calculational, some teachers relied on additive rather than multiplicative reasoning. This was true with teachers who had rejected additive reasoning in tasks that did require calculations. We explain how these issues informed our understanding of teachers' reasoning about proportions and our design of tasks for assessing that reasoning.
- Chandra Orrill* & James Burke*, Kaput Center, UMass Dartmouth, "Fine-grained analysis of teachers' knowledge in visual multiplicative situations"
Using both fixed and dynamic representations of area situations, we explored how in-service middle grades teachers reasoned about proportional situations. In particular, we consider how teachers drew on different pieces of mathematical knowledge to reason about scaling situations in one and two dimensions. We found two major themes. First, area situations posed a language challenge because teachers did not know when to attend to a single length (e.g., height) or the area. Thus, a figure that they labeled "doubled" was one with four times the original area. The second main result is that these teachers confused those situations in which reasoning about length and those situations in which reasoning about area is appropriate. The presentation will highlight our analysis and hypotheses about these issues.
Interactive Paper Session: Investigating experiences that inform university instructors' specialized knowledge for teaching protein synthesis
NARST 2013: National Association for Research in Science Teaching Annual International Conference
Rio Grande, Puerto Rico
Tuesday, April 9th 2013
- Stephen B. Witzig*, Kaput Center, UMass Dartmouth
- Mark J. Volkmann*, University of Missouri
The purpose of this study was to investigate the experiences that informed three university instructors' specialized knowledge for teaching protein synthesis. We investigated the differences in the experiences and developed in-depth case profiles for each instructor. The primary sources of data for the study were stimulated recall interviews following observations of an entire unit on protein synthesis. These data sources were supported by background interviews to determine their academic and PD history as well as interviews focused on their lesson plans and orientations towards teaching. The results of the analysis revealed three assertions that emerged from all three case profiles. The assertions are: (1) University science faculty change their instruction in their classes based on the specificity of their view of student difficulty, (2) University science faculty members learn science content through coursework and learn how to teach the science content through interactions with other teachers, and (3) How university science faculty members learn through their experience influences the integration of specialized teacher knowledge. The findings of this study led to the development of a model to explain how learning through experience transforms specialized teacher knowledge. These findings have implications for graduate student training and faculty PD.
Interactive Session: Cyber-enabled learning in Unity: Scientific inquiry and gaming supported by assessment
2013 National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) National Convention
San Antonio, Texas
Monday, March 11th 2013
- Todd Campbell*, Kaput Center, UMass Dartmouth
- Gayle Dowdle*, Fort Herriman Middle School, UT
- Jana Barrow*, Woods Cross High School, UT
- Paul G. Wolf*, Utah State University
- Max Longhurst*, Utah State University
- Brett E. Shelton*, Utah State University
- Aaron M. Duffy*, Utah State University
- Angela Stewart*, Centennial Junior High School, UT
This session engaged participants in scientific investigations and gaming with embedded pedagogical assessments connected to game tracking within virtual 3D spaces in browser compatible platforms. The investigations take place in a platform created as a customizable simulation for investigating changes in populations. The 3D gaming space builds from the idea that aliens have kidnapped the player and are studying humans for their problem solving skills and their understanding of physical and chemical properties. The player is informed that if they successfully navigate the necessary mechanisms to escape the room and correctly respond to a series of questions related to what they have accomplished, they can proceed to the next experiment room. Once the player escapes, they are transported to an "interrogation room" where they engage in dialogue with their captures to virtually discuss the science underlying the mechanisms that assisted their escape.
Keynote: Creativity in Schools: Putting the Child back at the Center of the Classroom
Westport Public School Professional Development Day
PK-8 and Technology
Tuesday, February 12th 2013
- Stephen Hegedus*, Kaput Center, UMass Dartmouth
(8:30am - 9:15 am) CANCELLED
- Download Presentation: (PDF)
Copyright Notice: All original content on the Kaput Center web site, including the web design, graphics and user interface, is the intellectual property of the University of Massachusetts. You may view, copy, print, use and, in some instances, download content contained on the web site, but solely for your own personal, non-commercial use and provided that: (1) no text, graphics or other content available from this web site is modified in any way; and (2) no graphics available from the web site are used, copied or distributed separate from accompanying text. Requests for permission for use of content for any other purpose should be directed to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Third party content included on this web site is in the public domain, or is used in accordance with the fair use doctrine, or used by permission. In all such cases, attribution of third party content is made. Requests for permission for uses of third party content should be directed to the copyright holder.