Research Component

Studies have shown the effectiveness of combining professional development with standards-based curricula (Weiss, Montgomery, Ridgway, & Bond 1998). Although time is needed to affect change in teaching practices, professional development that provides experiences with standards-based curricula can be effective. In addition, recent studies have identified a positive relationship between the use of standards-based teaching practices and improved student learning (Cohen & Hill, 1998; Kahle, Meece, & Scantlebury, 1999; Klein, Hamilton, McCaffrey, Stecher, Robyn, & Burroughs, 1999). This project will investigate a combination of these two areas; a study of the impact the summer professional development Institutes has on teaching practices and the impact the change in teaching practices has on student learning. The impact on student learning will then inform the summer professional development Institutes. In effect, the research will investigate a triangle impact between professional development, teaching practices and student learning. In fact, as outlined in the Assessment section, our main focus will be on student learning and how this is impacted by the other two legs of this triangle.

This will be a longitudinal study that will span the five years of the project. Data will be collected from all the participants prior to the summer Institutes that will determine current teaching practices. Two teachers from each of the three, annual Institutes will be chosen to continue the study through the academic year. Case study methodology will be employed for the data collection and analyses. This will make a total of six case studies per year.

Baseline data for the case study participants will be collected on their teaching practices from the previous year. These data will include examples of the case study participants teaching practices such as lesson plans, assignments, laboratory activities, projects, and related activities. The teachers participating in the case studies will be interviewed and observed during the summer Institutes and in the classroom during the academic year. Samples (i.e. lesson plans, journal writings, and/or special projects) of their summer work and their academic year work will be collected. Analyzes of the data will be compared to the baseline data to determine if there is a change in teaching practices.

For the teachers participating in the case studies, baseline data of previous student learning will be collected. For example, samples of student assessment (i.e. tests, journal writings, laboratory reports), student projects (i.e. science fair projects), and student assignments (i.e. homework) will be collected. During the academic year, samples of student data will be collected to determine student learning. If there is a change in teaching practices, analyzes of student learning will be compared to the teacher data to determine the impact of change in teaching practices on student learning. The student learning will inform the project directors of areas that will need to be emphasized or de-emphasized in the following summer Institutes.

The research project will be coordinated by Dr. Susan Ross and will serve as a project for a post-doctoral student and/or graduate student. Data collection will be completed by Dr. Ross and by graduate students trained in qualitative methodology at the various sites. Analyzes will be completed by Dr. Ross employing case study methodology and using constant comparative analysis techniques.

he Macrogalleria, Macrolab stuff
  • add references you found (by yourself??) that helped support or explain what you found/observed/concluded
  • use Macromolecules format for references
  • Attach prelab quiz and anything else needed at the end

    Take a look at a couple of lab reports from previous years: Here's one. Here's another.

    Your lab grade will be determined mostly by your lab report: do it right! (Check the Grading Policy to find out how these reports will be scored.) But you can only do it right if you prepare, pay attention, work safely and efficiently, and cooperate: we will be grading these things also:

    Big Brother is watching!

    Writing is the only way the rest of us know who you are and what you can do. You must write well to succeed in your profession!

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