Our team had such a great time working with Georgia teachers this past week to share the MEL/baMEL resources with educators.
It is always exciting to hear how teachers envision their students using the MEL activities in their own classrooms.
Our very own SLRG team member Dr. Donna Governor published new book “Staging Family Science Nights” now available on the NSTA science store. The book serves as an accessible handbook designed for helping you to create an informal learning environment that will generate enthusiasm and enjoyment of science among the entire family. The book’s first section—“Producing the Event”—devotes eight chapters to planning, recruiting volunteers (including students), setting up, last-minute troubleshooting, and injecting pizazz. The four chapters in the second section—“On the Stage”—offer guidance and templates for activities at the novice, intermediate, and advanced levels. Activities include “Balancing Bugs,” “Bubble Olympics,” and “Creating Color Slime.”
In the article “Toward a more coherent model of science education than the crosscutting concept of the next generation science standards: The affordances of styles of reasoning” Osborne et al., (2017) are trying to investigate and offer a new framework to help guide teachers, curriculum designers, and assessment developers. The model contains 6 styles of scientific reasoning (i.e., mathematical deduction, experimental exploration, hypothetical modeling, categorization and classification, probabilistic thinking, and evolutionary reasoning) and is compared to 7 crosscutting concepts introduced by the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The authors challenge the NGSS point of view of science as a singular construct, and instead discuss how different fields of science have different ontological and epistemic frameworks, and also require different methodologies for investigation. The authors’ framework is designed on the basis of a plurality of science wherein the aim is to enhance NGSS crosscutting concepts by integrating styles of scientific reasoning. Each style of reasoning illuminates a common form of reasoning and epistemology used in specific scientific disciplines. Consequently, the authors suggest consideration of styles of reasoning in considering any future revision of NGSS because this model is coherent with micro and meta-understanding of science educators.
-Busra Uslu and Archie Dobaria
Congratulations to Jess McLaughlin on her poster on the use of citizen science as a way to support inclusive education in college level geoscience classes at the 130th annual Geological Society of America meeting this November. While the poster was not related to work with SLRG, we wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the disciplinary diversity of our group!
In her article “Are We Making Students Argue Too Much?”, Kate Ehrenfeld Gardoqui describes the moment she realized that simply teaching students to find evidence to support a claim was not effectively preparing them to be objective evaluators of information. To avoid confirmation bias (described in this article as “finding evidence to support a pre-formed opinion”), she suggests looking deeply at issues by gathering data, reading journal articles, conducting interviews, and making observations. We agree with Gardoqui that only finding evidence to confirm one’s existing beliefs is insufficient and problematic. We would add to her suggestions the practice of critical evaluation. By looking at the pros and cons of one’s position as well as the pros and cons of an alternative position, students are forced to remove themselves from the shackles of their confirmation bias, facilitating more objective and productive evaluation and argument. It’s not how much we argue; it’s how we form our arguments.
– Reed Kendall
AAPT has announced that Janelle M. Bailey, Assistant Professor, College of Education, Temple University, will receive the association’s 2019 Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT). She has provided leadership and service to the association for many years, culminating in being President in 2016. This award is presented to members in recognition of their exceptional contributions to the association at the national, sectional, or local level.
In learning that she was selected for the Homer L. Dodge Citation for Distinguished Service to AAPT, Bailey had the following to say:
“It has been a great pleasure to work with AAPT and its members for nearly two decades. AAPT has become my professional ‘home’, with acquaintances quickly evolving to trusted colleagues and dear friends. Our members have a deep passion for physics education that is unparalleled in other professional societies. Being recognized with this award is a true honor, and I am grateful to my nominators, the Awards Committee, and AAPT membership for my selection.”
We are pleased to announce SLRG senior PhD student Shondricka Burrell has been selected to participate in NYU’s Steinhardt’s Faculty First-Look program. This is a prestigious program involving talented, underrepresented scholars in the Academy and providing them guidance into what it takes to prepare for future faculty careers. Scholars will have unique mentoring and networking opportunities directly with NYU deans, faculty, and post docs. The newly selected Faculty-First Look cohort will:
• Learn best practices to prepare for the faculty recruitment, application, interview, and selection process;
• Learn best practices for how to use digital/social media platforms to increase scholarly visibility in the job market and beyond;
• Receive access to continuous faculty development opportunities.
Prior to being selected as a Faculty-First Look Scholar, Shondricka has previously been recognized for her research, receiving the Richard C. Anderson Graduate Student Research Award from the National Consortium for Instruction and Cognition, and a graduate student research grant from the Geological Society of America. Shondricka has also been named a Jhumki Basu Scholar by the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) and is a Community for Advancing Discovery Research in Education (CADRE) fellow.
Please check out Shondricka’s full profile as a 2018-19 Faculty-First-Look Scholar: https://steinhardt.nyu.edu/faculty_affairs/facultyfirstlook2018scholars