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    Synopsis Science education is most effective when it provides authentic experiences that reflect professional practices and approaches that address issues relevant to students’ lives and communities. Such educational experiences are becoming increasingly interdisciplinary and can be enhanced using digital fabrication. Digital fabrication is the process of designing objects for the purpose of fabricating with machinery such as 3D-printers, laser cutters, and Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machines. Historically, these types of tools have been exceptionally costly and difficult to access; however, recent advancements in technological design have been accompanied by decreasing prices. In this review, we first establish the historical and theoretical foundations that support the use of digital fabrication as a pedagogical strategy to enhance learning. We specifically chose to focus attention on 3D-printing because this type of technology is becoming increasingly advanced, affordable, and widely available. We systematically reviewed the last 20 years of literature that characterized the use of 3D-printing in biological education, only finding a total of 13 articles that attempted to investigate the benefits for student learning. While the pedagogical value of student-driven creation is strongly supported by educational literature, it was challenging to make broad claims about student learning in relation to using or creating 3D-printed models in the context of biological education. Additional studies are needed to systematically investigate the impact of student-driven creation at the intersection of biology and engineering or computer science education. 
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  5. Abstract

    We examined the effects of teacher education on preservice secondary science and mathematics teacher readiness. The construct of teacher readiness consisted of three dimensions: (a) preservice teachers’ understanding of how to implement current standards, (b) their understanding of how to teach multilingual learners (MLs), and (c) their beliefs about their abilities and skills as educators. To determine teacher readiness, a subset of preservice teachers enrolled in six teacher education programs (TEPs) completed a pre‐ and post‐survey. We found that the undergraduate STEM teacher recruitment program was associated with developing preservice teachers’ understanding of standards‐based instruction but was not associated with the other two dimensions of teacher readiness. We also found that the post‐baccalaureate TEPs were effective in developing preservice teachers’ understanding of ML instruction, whereas the experimental baccalaureate program was not. Further, we found that teacher readiness did not predict participants’ performance assessment (edTPA) scores. Findings suggest that teacher educators and curriculum developers involved in undergraduate STEM teacher recruitment programs should better address language, literacy, and ML instruction. Both teacher recruitment and TEPs should consider ways to strengthen teacher efficacy. Finally, teacher educators should carefully consider how their coursework and field experiences help preservice teachers prepare for the edTPA.

     
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  6. Synospis More and more, we see that advances in life sciences are made because of Interdisciplinary collaborations. These collaborations are the future—they are necessary to solve the world’s most pressing problems and grand challenges. But are we preparing the next generation of scientists and the community for this future? At the University level, a number of initiatives and studies have suggested the need to reintegrate biology education and have made arguments that for students to build core competencies in biology, their education needs to be interdisciplinary. At the K-12 level, progress is being made to make learning interdisciplinary through the implementation of the Next-Generation Science Standards (NGSS). As NGSS is implemented, it will fundamentally change life sciences education at the K-12 level. However, when seeing the effect these initiatives and studies have had on the courses offered to students for their undergraduate biology degree, they still appear to be often siloed, with limited integration across disciplines. To make interdisciplinary biology education more successful, we need biologists, who for one reason or another have not been part of these conversations in the past and are more involved. We also need to increase communication and collaboration between biologists and educational researchers. 
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  7. Visual block-based programming environments (VBBPEs) such as Scratch and Alice are increasingly being used in introductory computer science lessons across elementary school grades. These environments, and the curricula that accompany them, are designed to be developmentally-appropriate and engaging for younger learners but may introduce challenges for future computer science educators. Using the final projects of 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students who completed an introductory curriculum using a VBBPE, this paper focuses on patterns that show success within the context of VBBPEs but could pose potential challenges for teachers of follow-up computer science instruction. This paper focuses on three specific strategies observed in learners' projects: (1) wait blocks being used to manage program execution, (2) the use of event-based programming strategies to produce parallel outcomes, and (3) the coupling of taught concepts to curricular presentation. For each of these outcomes, we present data on how the course materials supported them, what learners achieved while enacting them, and the implications the strategy poses for future educators. We then discuss possible design and pedagogical responses. The contribution of this work is that it identifies early computer science learning strategies, contextualizes them within developmentally-appropriate environments, and discusses their implications with respect to future pedagogy. This paper advances our understanding of the role of VBBPEs in introductory computing and their place within the larger K-12 computer science trajectory. 
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  8. Abstract

    We investigated beginning secondary science teachers’ understandings of the science and engineering practice of developing and using models. Our study was situated in a scholarship program that served two groups: undergraduate STEM majors interested in teaching, or potential teachers, and graduate students enrolled in a teacher education program to earn their credentials, or preservice teachers. The two groups completed intensive practicum experiences in STEM‐focused academies within two public high schools. We conducted a series of interviews with each participant and used grade‐level competencies outlined in theNext Generation Science Standardsto analyze their understanding of the practice of developing and using models. We found that potential and preservice teachers understood this practice in ways that both aligned and did not align with theNGSSand that their understandings varied across the two groups and the two practicum contexts. In our implications, we recommend that teacher educators recognize and build from the various ways potential and preservice teachers understand this complex practice to improve its implementation in science classrooms. Further, we recommend that a variety of practicum contexts may help beginning teachers develop a greater breadth of understanding about the practice of developing and using models.

     
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