Forming Arguments

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

Dr. Janelle Bailey Wins Distinguished Service Award

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.”

New SLRG article in The Science Teacher

Congratulations to Jess McLaughlin, lead author on an article that will be published in The Science Teacher, November 2018 edition.  

The article features a problem-based learning activity to promote students’ spatial reasoning about Earth’s subsurface. You can access the article by going to our publications page or by clicking hereThe Science Teacher is a practitioner journal for high school teachers published by the National Science Teacher’s Association.

Shondricka Selected to be NYU First-Look Scholar

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:

New publication on MEL project

SLRG members Doug Lombardi, Janelle Bailey, Elliot Bickel, and Shondricka Burrell have just published an article in Contemporary Educational Psychology related to Year 3 of the MEL project. It is available free through August 18 here.

SLRG members presented at FEW-NEXUS 2018

FEW-NEXUS 2018 Poster Session

Doug Lombardi and Shondricka Burrell were able to represent SLRG at the 2018 Food-Energy-Water Nexus. The conference entitled, Innovating Teaching and Learning in the Food-Energy-Water-Nexus: Toward a National Collaborative for Food, Energy, & Water Systems Education (NC-FEW), was designed to foster collaboration amongst scientists, science education researchers, educators, and social scientists towards instructional design and educational research around FEW-related issues.

Doug presented a poster featuring the wetlands MEL and the freshwater resources baMEL. Poster title: Facilitating Students’ Critique, Evaluation, and Argument about Freshwater Resources

Lombardi 2018 FEW-NEXUS Poster

Shondricka presented a poster focused on water quality. Poster title: Use of a Water-Quality Themed, Place-based, Transformative Learning Experience to Support Student Interest Development, Self-efficacy, and Knowledge Construction

Burrell 2018 FEW-NEXUS Poster

SLRG at Food-Energy-Water Nexus 2018

SLRG members Doug and Shondricka will present research at the upcoming Food-Energy-Water Nexus scheduled for May 22-23rd in DC.

Doug’s poster will feature the freshwater MEL and baMEL and is entitled: Facilitating Students’ Critique, Evaluation, and Argument about Freshwater Resources

Shondricka’s poster will feature water quality and is entitled: Use of a Water-Quality Themed, Place-based, Transformative Learning Experience to Support Student Interest Development, Self-efficacy, and Knowledge Construction


SLRG at NARST 2018


SLRG team members Janelle, Shondricka, Tim and Doug, along with Amity (advised by Janelle) and Noelle (advised by Doug) presented research at NARST 2018. Their project titles are listed below.

Elementary Student Perception of their Teacher’s Self-Efficacy, Interest, and Enjoyment in Science and Science Teaching.                                             Poster: Noelle A. Luccioni and Doug Lombardi, Sandra K. Abell Institute 2017 Poster Symposium

Development of Professional Noticing Skills in Preservice Science Teachers Poster: Amity Gann, Graduate Student Research Symposium

Alignment of Students’ Discussion with Their Written Scientific Explanations Poster: Timothy Klavon, Graduate Student Research Symposium

Towards a Geoscience Pedagogy: A Socio-cognitive Model                     Poster: Shondricka Burrell, Graduate Student Research Symposium

Graduate Student Research Symposium Development of a Model Describing Scientific Thinking in Earth Science Students                                                 Poster: Shondricka Burrell, Doug Lombardi, Elliot S. Bickel, Janelle M. Bailey, Strand: Science Learning, Understanding and Conceptual Change


Promotion and Tenure

Dr. Doug Lombardi recently received word that he has been granted a promotion to Associate Professor, with tenure, effective July 1, 2018. Congratulations Doug!

Awards from AERA and NCIC!

Doug Lombardi received the 2018 Early Career Award from AERA Division C Learning and Instruction. The award was announced on April 15 at the Division C Business Meeting.

Tim Klavon received an Honorable Mention for the 2018 Richard C. Anderson Graduate Student Research Award at NCIC, awarded on April 14. Tim’s paper was written with co-authors Janelle Bailey (SLRG) and Shannon Willoughby (Montana State University).

Congratulations Doug and Tim!