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Learning Environment

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  • Date: 03/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Literature Review
    This review of literature summarizes findings from current research on the development of empathy in childhood, and implications for developing zoo and aquarium programs that can strengthen children's sense of empathy. Key practices include: intentional framing of conversations about animals, modeling empathy - and providing opportunities for ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    This paper investigates how intentionally designed features of an out-of-school time program, Studio STEM, influenced middle school youths’ engagement in their learning. The authors took a connected learning approach, using new media to support peer interaction and engagement with an engineering design challenge in an open and flexible learning ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    In order to reframe how learning is organized in traditionally male-dominated areas of STEM education, the authors show how collaborative girl-boy pairs engaged with an “e-textiles” making activity. E-textiles are circuit activities combining needles, fabric, and conductive thread, challenging traditional gender practices related to both sewing ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    What do images communicate about humans’ place in nature? Medin and Bang posit that the artifacts used to communicate science—including words, photographs, and illustrations—commonly reflect the cultural orientations of their creators. The authors argue that Native Americans traditionally see themselves as part of nature and focus on ecological ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    For over a decade, science educators have lamented the ways in which testing in reading and mathematics has reduced time for science instruction. Blank used 20 years of national teacher and student data to understand how time allocated to science instruction combines with student demographics to shape test scores. The study found a small but ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    The new standards posit that “scientific argumentation,” in which students use data to argue from evidence, is a key practice for student science learning. However, a mismatch in expectations about the purpose of classroom discussions can inhibit productive forms of argumentation. Berland and Hammer compare forms of class discussions to identify ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    Researchers examined how conducting an authentic science investigation in a bilingual classroom and weaving in discussions about the nature and culture of science affected students. They found that this process supported students’ growth in understanding of the scientific enterprise and made the culture of science more approachable. ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    Formal readings and lectures are effective at delivering explanations, but the information they impart can be so densely packed and de-contextualized that students may not make full sense of the content. Arena and Schwartz found that video games have the potential to unlock the expository content delivered by lectures, textbooks, and diagrams. ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    Current science education policy advocates for engaging students in scientific practices of inquiry as the best way for students to learn science. McConney et al.’s analysis of PISA data unexpectedly found a negative correlation between frequency of inquiry-based instruction and high levels of student scientific literacy. The analysis confirmed a ... »
  • Date: 01/01/2015
    Resource Category!: Research Brief
    The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) make important strides to address equity in science education. However, lessons from past reform efforts should encourage us to pause to ask if they do enough. Rodriguez provides a three-pronged critique of the K–12 Framework and NGSS and suggests steps to make issues of equity more central moving ... »

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