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Engerer, Pamela J.Teacher Actions Secondary Science Students Reckon as Teacher-to-Student Classroom Respect
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2017, Secondary Education
Conducted over 5 weeks, this multiple case study involved seven secondary science students in an urban, STEM-focused high school. Observations, documents, and interviews were used to obtain feedback on teacher-to-student respect from the student point-of-view in answer to the question: What actions by teachers do students reckon as representations of teacher-to-student respect in the classroom? The purposes were: to understand a complex phenomenon, to add to the educational knowledge base, and to inform constituencies (Newman, Ridenour, Newman & DeMarco, 2003). Two themes, person-to-person respect and learner-to-learner respect, emerged along with seven categories of teacher actions of respect: Gives, Lets, Treats, Listens, Understands, Helps, and Answers. Students reckon as respect any teacher action that affectively or cognitively meets or exceeds students’ respect desires or respect expectations by encouraging or supporting students as persons or as learners. Two respect-reckoning questions and two meaning-making questions were representative of the types of questions students ask themselves; despite use of similar mechanisms, students reckon respect and make meaning variably. Interpreted via Goodman’s (2009) framework, person-to-person (interpersonal) respect serves as a gateway to learner-to-learner respect. Of the three categories of interpersonal respect (Gives, Lets, and Treats), Gives serves as a precursor to Lets and Treats. By respecting a student, a teacher earns that student’s respect. Though investigated via science, results are presented via art in a play: Between the Bells.

Committee:

Francis Broadway, Ph.D. (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Science Education; Secondary Education; Teaching

Keywords:

Aesthetic; Art; Chemistry; Conflict resolution; Critical incident; Democratic; Expectation; Experience; Interaction; Multiple case study; Public STEM high school; Respect; Science; Secondary education; Teacher-to-student respect; Transactional analysis

Schmitz, Joel R.Computational and Experimental Investigations Concerning Rare Gas and DPAL Lasers and a Relaxation Kinetics Investigation of the Br2 + 2NO = 2BrNO Equilibrium
Master of Science (MS), Wright State University, 2017, Chemistry
This research contains four different research projects, the first an educational project introducing hydrogen bromide and deuterium bromide (HBr/DBr) and carbon monoxide (CO) as viable options for infrared vibration-rotation spectroscopy at 0.125 cm-1 or 0.5 cm-1 resolution in the teaching laboratory. The second project involved determining the spectral shifts of lanthanide fibers for diode-pumped alkali laser (DPAL) applications. Spectral shifts of lanthanides were determined using UV-VIS-NIR absorbance spectroscopy and laser-induced fluorescence (LIF). The third project entailed computing Ar* atomic energy levels and the potential energy curves of Ar*+He laser systems arising from 3p54s1 and 3p54p1 Ar* electronic configurations using ab initio theory. The final project of this research determined rate coefficients and the equilibrium constant of the formation of nitrosyl bromide (BrNO) using relaxation kinetics. Integrated solution of the relaxation rate equation and third-order integrated rate law methodologies produced final values of kf = 1.50(6) x 10-5 torr-2s-1, kr = 5.8(8) x 10-5 torr-1s-1, and Keq = 0.26(3) torr-1, agreeing with literature within uncertainty.

Committee:

David Dolson, Ph.D. (Advisor); Rachel Aga, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Amit Sharma, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Paul Seybold, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Atmospheric Chemistry; Chemistry; Physical Chemistry; Science Education

Keywords:

vibration-rotation; infrared spectroscopy; hydrogen bromide; carbon monoxide; DPAL; lanthanide fibers; spectral shifts; UV-VIS; laser-induced fluorescence; rare gas lasers; Ar; ab initio; potential energy curve; nitrosyl bromide; relaxation kinetics

Dallacqua, Ashley Kaye“These books give me life”: Considering what happens when comics and graphic novels are welcomed into a middle school space
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2016, EDU Teaching and Learning
This year-long, ethnographic study documents the use of comics and graphic novels as academic literature across the curriculum in a suburban middle school. Because the use of this medium in classrooms is relatively new, it is a process that has not been extensively documented. While comics and graphic novels can provide a complex and valuable experience for readers, they can also be challenging to both students and teachers. In particular, this dissertation documents the tensions that surfaced as comics and graphic novels were integrated into a curriculum. This study is situated in a middle school entrenched in neoliberal ideologies, with focuses on high-stakes testing, a standardized curriculum, and individual, rather than collaborative work. Yet, the faculty in this middle school was also inviting nontraditional texts into classrooms, and operating in tension with a neoliberal agenda. By focusing on teaching and learning literacy practices with comics and graphic novels and talk about those practices, this study also addresses negative assumptions and hesitancies around such texts being used for academic purposes. Participants included seventh grade teachers and students engaged in working with and talking about comics. This research considers how comics and graphic novels were welcomed into this school, as well as impacts around time and space, and positioning. All of these themes point back to how comics and graphic novels were working within and against normative structures in this school. This study is positioned to consider conventional literacy practices and how teaching and learning with comics and graphic novels supports and disrupts those practices. Serving as an example and a starting point for bringing this dynamic medium into classrooms, this study fills a significant gap, supporting and challenging traditional literacies practices and analyzing potential for new ways of operating in a school.

Committee:

Caroline Clark, PhD (Advisor); Mollie Blackburn, PhD (Committee Member); Mindi Rhoades, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Language Arts; Literacy; Literature; Middle School Education; Science Education; Social Studies Education; Teaching

Keywords:

Literacy; comics; graphic novels; neoliberalism; teaching; middle school

Dixon, Carmen S.The Effects of "Girls in Science Day" on Middle School Girls' Attitudes and Interests in Science
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2015, Curriculum and Instruction (Education)
Because of the underrepresentation of women in STEM fields, many organizations are hosting days to promote middle school girls’ interest in science. The purpose of this dissertation examines one of these days, and is three-fold: Number one, to determine if the event “Girls in Science Day [GIS]” affected the interests and attitudes of the middle school girls who attend. Number two, to examine how GIS affected their interests and attitudes in science, and number three, to examine if there is a long time impact on the girls who attend GIS in middle school by interviewing them when they are older and determine if attending GIS made lasting impressions on their lives. It utilizes a mixed-methods approach by using a quantitative Likert-type scale to determine the first purpose mentioned, pre- and post- attendance interviews to examine purpose two, and longitudinal interviews of past participants to determine purpose three. These methods are then combined using meta-inference and results and implications are examined. Future research is then recommended to improve the status of women in science careers.

Committee:

Geist Eugene, PhD (Committee Chair); Machtmes Krisanna, PhD (Committee Member); Henning John , PhD (Committee Member); Weade Ginger, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Gender; Science Education

Keywords:

Girls; attitudes; interests; science camp; STEM careers

Hunter, Jeffrey C.Student Engagement in a Computer Rich Science Classroom
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Ohio University, 2015, Curriculum and Instruction Science Education (Education)
The purpose of this study was to examine the student lived experience when using computers in a rural science classroom. The overarching question the project sought to examine was: How do rural students relate to computers as a learning tool in comparison to a traditional science classroom? Participant data were collected using a pre-study survey, Experience Sampling during class and post-study interviews. Students want to use computers in their classrooms. Students shared that they overwhelmingly (75%) preferred a computer rich classroom to a traditional classroom (25%). Students reported a higher level of engagement in classes that use technology/computers (83%) versus those that do not use computers (17%). A computer rich classroom increased student control and motivation as reflected by a participant who shared; “by using computers I was more motivated to get the work done” (Maggie, April 25, 2014, survey). The researcher explored a rural school environment. Rural populations represent a large number of students and appear to be underrepresented in current research. The participants, tenth grade Biology students, were sampled in a traditional teacher led class without computers for one week followed by a week using computers daily. Data supported that there is a new gap that separates students, a device divide. This divide separates those who have access to devices that are robust enough to do high level class work from those who do not. Although cellular phones have reduced the number of students who cannot access the Internet, they may have created a false feeling that access to a computer is no longer necessary at home. As this study shows, although most students have Internet access, fewer have access to a device that enables them to complete rigorous class work at home. Participants received little or no training at school in proper, safe use of a computer and the Internet. It is clear that the majorities of students are self-taught or receive guidance from peers resulting in lower self-confidence or the development of misconceptions of their skill or ability.

Committee:

Krisanna Machtmes, PhD (Advisor); Ginger Weade, PhD (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Biology; Computer Science; Education; Science Education; Teacher Education; Teaching

Keywords:

student engagement with technology; rural; device divide; experience sampling; high school students; computer; student training with computers; cyber bullying;biology class; student view of text books; teacher view of student skills; student interviews

Minkin, Sarah M.Starting from Here: An Exploration of the Space for Sustainability Education in Elementary Science and Social Studies
Master of Science (MS), Ohio University, 2015, Environmental Studies (Voinovich)
Sustainability education (SE) is a pathway for creating a more socially, economically, and environmentally just and sustainable world. SE involves the incorporation of sustainability concepts into curricula using innovate teaching methods (i.e. place-based education, outdoor education, experiential education, nature-based education). This thesis explores the space for SE in Grade 5 science and social studies classrooms. Using the case study methodology, this study looked to practicing teachers for insights on how SE could be integrated into the public education system. This study investigated teachers’ understanding of sustainability and practice of SE by analyzing their perceptions of sustainability, examples of SE lessons, and their sources of knowledge about sustainability. The results indicated that teachers’ understanding of sustainability is largely focused on environmental aspects and that teachers’ practice of SE also has an environmental focus. This study evaluated the feasibility of teaching SE in the classroom by outlining the challenges and opportunities for SE presented by teachers. While there are some factors that limit teachers’ ability to teach SE (i.e. teachers’ limited knowledge about sustainability, lack of training in SE, and institutional demands), with guidance and support from education institutions and community partnerships current and future teachers can provide SE for their students.

Committee:

Nancy Manring, PhD (Advisor); Danielle Dani, PhD (Committee Member); Stephen Scanlan, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Education Philosophy; Educational Sociology; Elementary Education; Environmental Education; Science Education; Social Studies Education; Sustainability; Teacher Education; Teaching

Keywords:

sustainability; sustainability education; place-based education; education for sustainable development; elementary education; science education; social studies education; teachers; teacher education; community partnerships

Phillips, Melissa Catherine KoekaLightning and hurricane safety knowledge and the effects of education modes on elementary school children
PHD, Kent State University, 2016, College of Arts and Sciences / Department of Geography
Natural hazard education research has received minimal attention. Researchers in the area of natural hazards have focused primarily on database management and safety recommendations. Best practices for natural hazard education and their modes have been overlooked. Current research has postulated that natural hazard education may be more efficacious when delivered to school children since school children disseminate the information to family and friends. Research on the most effective method to educate school children or the general public on natural hazards has seen very little attention, except for a recent lightning safety survey, which illustrated the need for further research, especially regarding school children. This study surveyed school children’s safety knowledge in the state of Ohio on two types of natural hazards with variable exposure rates, hurricanes and lightning. Following the survey, three education modes were administered: video, workbook, and presentation. Post-mode and delayed post-mode surveys followed. The results answer numerous study questions regarding sources of hazard information in school children, the current knowledge of lightning and hurricane safety, the most effective mode for natural hazard education and retention, and lightning safety education of school children versus college students. School children receive the majority of their natural hazard safety information at school. The current knowledge of lightning and hurricane safety in school children is encouraging. Education modes affect the efficacy of lightning and hurricane safety knowledge learning and retention in school children. Presentation was the best mode for educating school children about lightning safety and lightning safety education retention. The best mode for hurricane safety education, learning retention, and best mode for natural hazards safety learning and retention was not determined. Gender disparities exist in current knowledge, which were seen at college age.

Committee:

Thomas Schmidlin, Ph.D. (Advisor); Scott Sheridan, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jacqueline Curtis, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Kathleen Sherman-Morris, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jocelyn Folk, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Geography; Meteorology; Physical Geography; Science Education

Keywords:

natural hazards; natural disasters, lightning, hurricane, natural disaster education, natural hazard education, lightning education, hurricane education, elementary school children education

Triplett-Stewart, Yolanda M.Intertextuality, Multiliteracies, and a Double-Edged Sword: Urban Adolescent African American Males’ Perceptions of Enabling Texts, Pedagogies, and Contexts
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2015, EDU Policy and Leadership
In this multi-case study, nine adolescent (high, medium, and lower academically performing) African American males at a single-gender urban middle school participated in semi-structured interviews using Photo Elicitation methods (Prosser, 2011) to reflect on their experiences with Enabling texts, activities, and contexts. Enabling Texts (Tatum, 2008) move beyond a solely cognitive focus—such as skill and strategy development—to include a social, cultural, political, spiritual, or economic focus. Considering a socio-cognitive perspective allowed for the exploration of both the cognitive and sociocultural dimensions of literacy, without limiting the analysis to one or the other. Data sources included: a) portfolio and school record artifacts, b) individual semi-structured interviews, and c) biographical survey data. Data collection and analysis were comprised of portfolio and school data completed during the 2010-2011 school year, as well as multiple and sequential interviews and survey data collected during the spring of 2013. Three African American males for each subgroup: high, medium and lower academically performing, were selected based on their availability to participate in the study, interest, and percentage point growth from previous year’s standardized testing data. Due to the study’s emphasis on gaining a deeper understanding of the student’s experience, this study integrates the theoretical perspectives of phenomenology with the more coherent and systematic, yet reflexive data analysis steps of Constructivist Grounded Theory (CGT): initial, focused, and axial coding (Charmaz, 2006). Overall, findings suggest urban adolescent African American males perceptions of contexts, texts, and pedagogies differed based on their achievement levels, however there were several similarities across all cases, which students found to be Enabling. By focusing on the students’ perception of their literacy experiences with various texts, pedagogies, and contexts, the author makes the similarities and differences between high, medium, and lower performing students more visible. Implications for key stakeholders (principals, teacher educators, educators, parents, and students) emphasize the importance of gaining a more nuanced understanding of the interplay between adolescents’ literacies and the experiences that shape them.

Committee:

Rick Voithofer (Advisor); Mollie Blackburn (Committee Member); James Moore (Committee Member)

Subjects:

African Americans; Education; Education Policy; Educational Technology; Gender; Gender Studies; Language Arts; Middle School Education; Science Education; Teacher Education; Teaching

Lark, Adam ChristopherImplementation of Scientific Community Laboratories and Their Effect on Student Conceptual Learning, Attitudes, and Understanding of Uncertainty
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Toledo, 2014, Physics
Scientific Community Laboratories, developed by The University of Maryland, have shown initial promise as laboratories meant to emulate the practice of doing physics. These laboratories have been re-created by incorporating their design elements with the University of Toledo course structure and resources. The laboratories have been titled the Scientific Learning Community (SLC) Laboratories. A comparative study between these SLC laboratories and the University of Toledo physics department’s traditional laboratories was executed during the fall 2012 semester on first semester calculus-based physics students. Three tests were executed as pre-test and post-tests to capture the change in students’ concept knowledge, attitudes, and understanding of uncertainty. The Force Concept Inventory (FCI) was used to evaluate students’ conceptual changes through the semester and average normalized gains were compared between both traditional and SLC laboratories. The Colorado Learning Attitudes about Science Survey for Experimental Physics (E-CLASS) was conducted to elucidate students’ change in attitudes through the course of each laboratory. Finally, interviews regarding data analysis and uncertainty were transcribed and coded to track changes in the way students understand uncertainty and data analysis in experimental physics after their participation in both laboratory type. Students in the SLC laboratories showed a notable an increase conceptual knowledge and attitudes when compared to traditional laboratories. SLC students’ understanding of uncertainty showed most improvement, diverging completely from students in the traditional laboratories, who declined throughout the semester.

Committee:

Lawrence Anderson-Huang (Committee Chair); Rebecca Schneider (Committee Member); Richard Irving (Committee Member); Song Cheng (Committee Member); Jon Bjorkman (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Educational Tests and Measurements; Physics; Science Education

Sieracki, Joseph RRELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN DIET, EXERCISE, AND LEARNING IN THE REGULAR SCIENCE CLASSROOM SETTING
Master of Education, Cleveland State University, 2014, College of Education and Human Services
The purpose of this study is to examine how diet and exercise relate to student achievement and learning in the regular classroom setting. Research questions include whether or not there is a positive correlation between the amount/type of exercise a student receives per week and learning, as well as relationships between their diet and learning in the classroom. Forty high school honors biology students were surveyed as to their dietary and exercise habits. This data was compared to their individual average test grades as a measure of learning.

Committee:

Karla Hamlen, Ph.D. (Committee Chair); Joshua Bagaka’s, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Jeremy Genovese, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Science Education

Keywords:

diet; exercise; learning; science classroom

Burrows, Andrea C.Secondary Teacher and University Partnerships: Does Being in a Partnership Create Teacher Partners?
EdD, University of Cincinnati, 2011, Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services: Curriculum and Instruction

The purpose of this research was to understand how individuals, specifically secondary teachers and graduate engineering students, developed a working relationship in a grant funded project. I investigated three interrelated research questions about partnerships including: 1) What is the meaning of partnership to each individual? 2) How do the individuals negotiate the work in their partnership? and 3) Do the individual conceptions of partnership change as a result of their interactions?

I used a qualitative descriptive case study methodology. I conducted nine interviews, four focus groups, 33 classroom field note observations, and collected emails. I detailed each of the three cases, and I conducted a cross case analysis of the three schools. I compared the similarities and differences between the cases in order to understand the partnership themes that defined a specific case and those that were generalized to several cases.

Using grounded theory, my overall findings showed that each case generated six themes. These themes included product, perspective, expectations, decision making, relationships, and habit. I explored all six themes in current literature, and five of the six themes were prevalent there. In my study, habit was the core phenomenon but was not as common in the literature. It was related to the socio-cognitive theory of knowledge construction and Bourdieu’s habitus. Additionally, it was connected to the concept of change in partnerships.

Committee:

Helen Meyer, PhD (Committee Chair); Jonathan M Breiner, PhD (Committee Member); Mary Brydon-Miller, PhD (Committee Member); Chester Laine, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Science Education

Keywords:

Partnership; Teacher; University; Graduate; Relationship; Grant

Lado, Longun MosesThe Attitudes of First Year Senior Secondary School Students toward Their Science Classes in the Sudan
Doctor of Education (EdD), Ohio University, 2011, Educational Administration (Education)

This study examined the influence of a set of relevant independent variables on students' decision to major in math or science disciplines, on the one hand, or arts or humanities disciplines, on the other. The independent variables of interest in the study were students' attitudes toward science, their gender, their socioeconomic status, their age, and the strength and direction of parents' and peers' influences on their academic decisions.

The study answered five research questions that concerned students' intention in math or science, the association between students' attitudes and their choice to major in math or science, the extent to which parents' and peers' perspectives influence students' choice of major, and the influence of a combination of relevant variables on students' choice of major.

The scholarly context for the study was literature relating to students' attitudes toward science and math, their likelihood of taking courses or majoring in science or math and various conditions influencing their attitudes and actions with respect to enrollment in science or math disciplines. This literature suggested that students' experiences, their gender, parents' and peers' influence, their socio-economic status, teachers' treatment of them, school curricula, school culture, and other variables may influence students' attitudes toward science and math and their decision regarding the study of these subjects.

The study used a questionnaire comprised of 28 items to elicit information from students. Based upon cluster sampling of secondary schools, the researcher surveyed 1000 students from 10 secondary schools and received 987 responses.

The researcher used SPSS to analyze students' responses. Descriptive statistics, logistic regression, and multiple regression analyses to provide findings that address the study's research questions.

The following are the major findings from the study:

The instrument used to measure students' attitudes toward science and mathematics was not highly reliable, perhaps contributing to an attenuation of the relationship between attitude toward science and mathematics and choice of a science or mathematics major (rather than an arts or humanities major).

Far more students than the researcher had anticipated provided responses indicating that they planned to major in a science or mathematics discipline rather than an arts or humanities discipline.

Students' attitudes towards math and science were more favorable than the researcher anticipated based on findings from previous related studies. This result suggests the possibility of social desirability bias in students' responses.

Three significant predicator variables contributed to a significant logistic regression equation in which choice of science or mathematics major was the dependent variable: gender (negative association), attitude toward science and math (positive association), and peer influence 1 (positive association). Gender was the strongest predictor.

Five significant predictor variables contributed to a significant multiple linear regression equation in which attitude toward science and mathematics was the dependent variable: peer influence 1 (positive association), parent influence 1 (positive association), parent influence 2 (positive association), books in home (positive association), and peer influence 2 (positive association).

The results reveal that among the targeted variables (gender, attitude, peer influence 1, peer influence 2, parent influence 1, parent influence 2, books in home, and age) only gender, peer influence 1, and attitude were significant predictors of students' major in math or science.

Committee:

Aimee A. Howley, PhD (Committee Chair); Danielle Dani, Phd (Committee Member); Larry Burgess, PhD (Committee Member); Bill Larson, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Science Education; Secondary Education

Keywords:

Attitudes; Science education; Secondary School Science; Science Classes; Gender; Age; Peer Influence; Parent Influence; Socioeconomic Influence; Theory of Reasoned Action; Descriptive Statistics; Inferential Statistics; Logistic Regression.

French, JudithSupport of marginalized students in science: An examination of successful lesbian individuals in science career paths
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2009, ED Teaching and Learning (Columbus campus)
The initiative to increase highly qualified college STEM graduates coupled with the phrase “science for all” pushed by standards-based reform has opened an avenue for science education research. How can we increase students’ interests in science careers? Specifically, do marginalized groups require differing instructional approaches to increase science interests? By closely examining individuals from marginalized groups that have been successful in following a science career path, we may understand how to further help these groups. Gloria Ladson-Billings’ work on culturally relevant teaching was utilized as a guide to help understand potential responses about science experiences in the classroom. This study specifically examined six lesbian individuals’ experiences with science while in high school and college. The information was collected via semi-structured, open-ended interviews and was analyzed for reoccurring themes. Most of the participants did not have access to lesbian science mentors/role models even though prior research has shown the importance of such. The participants also recommended identifying mentors/role models for potential future lesbians interested in science.

Committee:

Karen Irving, PhD (Advisor); Mollie Blackburn, PhD (Committee Member); David Haury, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Science Education; Teacher Education; Womens Studies

Keywords:

science Interests; lesbian; science careers; career choices; women in science

Burgoon, Jacob NoalThe Development of Elementary and Middle School Teacher Science Knowledge Instruments for the Evaluation of a Professional Development Program
Master of Science, University of Toledo, 2008, Biology (Cell-Molecular Biology)
Professional development programs are important in helping teachers to obtain the knowledge and skills that are necessary to overcome students lack of achievement in science. Effective measures of teachers science knowledge are essential for successfully evaluating the programs impact on teachers knowledge. This study explores the development of science knowledge instruments for elementary and middle school teachers participating in the second cohort of a professional development program called NWO-TEAMS (Teachers Enhancing Achievement in Mathematics and Science). The instruments that were used for cohort one of the program were found to be too easy and thus not able to assess the effectiveness of the program. New instruments were created to be more difficult by using Blooms taxonomy and increasing the effectiveness of the items distracters. The second year instruments included more items with effective distracters and more items that measured higher order cognitive abilities. As a result, the second year instruments were better able to separate teachers based on their science knowledge and every grade level in the second cohort demonstrated significant increases in science knowledge on the posttests. The development of the instruments in this study is presented as a model for the evaluation of professional development programs which seek to improve teachers science knowledge.

Committee:

Patricia Komuniecki, PhD (Advisor); Emilio Duran, PhD (Committee Member); Christine Fox, PhD (Committee Member); John Plenefisch, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Educational Evaluation; Science Education; Teacher Education

Keywords:

NWO-TEAMS; professional development; teacher science knowledge; science knowledge instruments; test development

Moore, Tonia L.Student-Directed Inquiry: Virtual vs. Physical
Master of Computing and Information Systems, Youngstown State University, 2012, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems
This paper investigates whether student-directed inquiry within a virtual setting is better than student-directed inquiry within a physical setting in terms of acquisition of knowledge regarding DNA, chromosomes, genotypes, phenotypes, punnett squares and alleles. In order to explore the research questions, a group of middle school students within the same science class at an inner-city middle school were recruited as participants, and divided into two groups, student-directed virtual inquiry (SDVI) and student-directed physical inquiry (SDPI) groups. The students in SDVI group learned the science topics, DNA, chromosomes, genotypes, phenotypes, punnett squares and alleles, within a virtual learning environment on genetics for middle school students called Rigglefish. The students in SDPI group received the instructions on the same topics within a physical setting, their regular classrooms by a live teacher. Students in both groups (SDPI and SDVI) were asked to complete a pre-test and a post-test that included the same multiple-choice questions. The comparison of the groups through an independent group t-test on the pre-test administered before the experiment showed that the two groups were at the same level in terms of knowledge of the learning objectives for this experiment. Post-test administered to assess the students' knowledge of the learning objectives after they went through the experiment in the two different settings (virtual learning environment vs. physical setting). A 2-tailed independent group T-test was run in order to compare the two groups on the dependent variable, their scores on the post-test. The statistical test results showed that the difference between the groups on the post-test scores was not statistically significant, which indicated that the setting, virtual versus physical, did not make any impact on how much students acquired the learning objectives, DNA, chromosomes, genotypes, phenotypes, punnett squares and alleles.

Committee:

Abiurrahman Arslanyilmaz, Ph.D. (Advisor); Yong Zhang, Ph.D. (Committee Member); Alina Lazar, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Educational Tests and Measurements; Genetics; Science Education

Keywords:

Middle School;multi-user virtual environment;scientific inquiry,self-efficacy

Jacobson, Theodora AnnHealth, Social, and Daily Living Skills: An Assessment of Adults with Down Syndrome
Master of Sciences, Case Western Reserve University, 2013, Genetic Counseling
This study assessed the health, social, and daily living skills of adults with DS (=20 years) using an online questionnaire for parents/primary caregivers. Participants provided information about the range of abilities of their adult with DS including education, employment, and daily living skills. Scores from scales representing communication, independence, and social activities were compared to the number of congenital and non-congenital health issues reported. Results showed that those with more health issues in the past or currently were significantly more likely to be less independent and social. However, only current health issues affected communication skills. More interestingly, there was no significant correlation between the number of congenital abnormalities and scores for independence/life skills as an adult. Lastly, comparing age groups showed significantly decreased abilities after 40-years-of age. Findings from this study contribute to a balanced description of DS and provide genetic counselors with more accurate information to offer to families.

Committee:

Anne Matthews (Committee Member); Leslie Cohen (Committee Chair); Anna Mitchell (Committee Member); Dawn Allain (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Health; Science Education

Keywords:

Down Syndrome; Adult; Health; Social; Daily Living Skills

Richardson, Anne E.Explainers' development of science-learner identities through participation in a community of practice
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2012, Antioch New England: Environmental Studies
The urgent environmental issues of today require science-literate adults to engage in business and political decisions to create solutions. Despite the need, few adults have the knowledge and skills of science literacy. This doctoral dissertation is an analytical case study examining the science-learner identity development of Exploratorium Field Trip Explainers. Located in San Francisco, CA, the Exploratorium is a museum of science, art, and human perception dedicated to nurturing curiosity and exploration. Data collected included semi-structured interviews with sixteen former Field Trip Explainers, participant observation of the current Field Trip Explainer Program, and review of relevant documentation. Data analysis employed constant comparative analysis, guided by the communities of practice theoretical framework (Wenger, 1998) and the National Research Council's (2009) Six Strands of Science Learning. Findings of this research indicate that Exploratorium Field Trip Explainers participate in a community of practice made up of a diverse group of people that values curiosity and openness to multiple ways of learning. Many participants entered the Field Trip Explainer Program with an understanding of science learning as a rigid process reserved for a select group of people; through participation in the Field Trip Explainer community of practice, participants developed an understanding of science learning as accessible and a part of everyday life. The findings of this case study have implications for research, theory, and practice in informal adult science learning, access of non-dominant groups to science learning, and adult workplace learning in communities of practice.

Committee:

Elizabeth McCann, PhD (Committee Chair); Tania Schusler, PhD (Committee Member); Joe Heimlich, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Adult Education; Education; Educational Theory; Environmental Education; Environmental Studies; Museum Studies; Museums; Science Education

Keywords:

Explainers; Science Museum Educators; Communities of Practice; Informal Learning; Science Literacy; Science Learning; Museums; Exploratorium; Adult Learning; Workplace Learning

Jacoby, Jill BethArt, Water, and Circles: In What Ways Do Study Circles Empower Artists to Become Community Leaders around Water Issues
Ph.D., Antioch University, 2009, Leadership and Change
This research explored the use of study circles as a means of engaging artists in dialogue with their peers about water related concerns. The question driving this research was, “In what ways do study circles empower artists to become community leaders around water issues?” Secondary questions focused on emerging environmental, water, and social justice themes as well as examples of increased water awareness and behavior change occurring as a result of individual participation in the study circles. Artists have a unique way of commanding attention and communicating about environmental concerns while functioning as catalysts for activism on a variety of social topics. Barndt (2004, 2006,2008) has written extensively about the nexus between community-based art, activism and action research, as well as identifying the important differences in participation and intent behind community-based art versus art as commodity. This research incorporated the use of study circles (also known as dialogue groups, dialogue circles, or talking circles) with artists to learn how study circles empower artists to become community leaders. Literature focusing on civic engagement and the arts has looked at the process of utilizing the arts to engage the public in dialogue about a social concern. This research differs in that it focused on how a dialogue process impacts artists. Seventeen artists participated in four study circle sessions that encouraged in-depth dialogue on water quality concerns. Lohan’s (2008) Water Consciousness: How we all Have to Change to Protect our Most Critical Resources was used as a study guide and to focus the dialogue sessions. The artists participated in one-on-one semi-structured interviews to help clarify the relationship between the study circles and their own water awareness as well as community building, collaboration, and/or leadership among the artists. A focus group was used to obtain feedback on the value of study circles for social change. Key findings from this research conclude that the study circles brought about new methods for problem identification and solving, individual behavior changes, a deeper understanding for others, and the dialogue provided a powerful catalyst for collaboration, leadership and relationship building. The electronic version of this dissertation is available in the open access OhioLink ETD Center, http://etd.ohiolink.edu/

Committee:

Jon Wergin, PhD (Committee Chair); Laurien Alexandre, PhD (Committee Member); Steve Chase, PhD (Committee Member); David Attyah, MFA (Other)

Subjects:

Adult Education; Ecology; Environmental Science; Fine Arts; Freshwater Ecology; Personal Relationships; Science Education; Social Research

Keywords:

action research; study circles; dialogue circles; popular education; water resources; activist art; social change; public art; environmental art; community-based art; collaborative leadership; environmental leadership; civic engagement

Huelskamp, Lisa MaryTHE IMPACT OF PROBLEM-BASED LEARNING WITH COMPUTER SIMULATION ON MIDDLE LEVEL EDUCATORS' INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES AND UNDERSTANDING OF THE NATURE OF MIDDLE LEVEL LEARNERS
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2009, ED Teaching and Learning (Columbus campus)

The need for effective teachers is growing while national and state standards are putting ever-increasing demands on teachers and raising expectations for student achievement. Low science and mathematics standardized test scores, particularly in the middle grades, reflect unprepared adolescents, perhaps because of ineffective teaching strategies which result in fewer students seeking STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) careers.

The researcher examined the use of problem-based learning, or PBL, with computer simulation, an example of which is the National Engineers Week Future City Competition. A model is to investigate the impact of PBL with computer simulation on a generalized use of inquiry-based instruction, use of technology in instruction, integration of science disciplines, and understanding of the nature of middle level learners. Following a review by a panel of experts and a field test, a questionnaire was given to all Ohio teachers who had enrolled and competed in the program on the state level during the 2008-2009 academic year, as well as those teachers competing at the national level.

In addition to demographics and background questions, the teachers were asked to self report on the impact of problem-based learning with computer simulation on frequency of inquiry-based teaching strategies and agreement on technology education,integration of science disciplines, and their understanding of their middle level students. Via sampling of the participants, 15 interviews were conducted after the questionnaire.

Significant areas were found regarding the teachers' Internet access at home and science agreement, number of technology college courses and inquiry frequency, technology professional development and both technology agreement and understanding of middle level learner agreement, past use of problem-based learning with computer simulation and inquiry frequency, gender and inquiry frequency, the teachers' Internet access in the classroom and technology agreement, and, finally, the amount of education and science agreement. High reliability and validity were demonstrated.

Conclusions were drawn to determine the impact on promising instructional practices with inservice teachers and teacher preparation programs, particularly those who teach STEM education. Findings support the proposed model and showed that experience with problem-based learning with computer simulation has a general positive effect on the teachers' instructional patters.

Committee:

David Haury, PhD (Advisor); Karen Zuga, PhD (Committee Member); Robert Hite, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Science Education

Keywords:

problem-based learning; inquiry; science education; technology education; educational technology; science discipline integration; STEM education; middle level learners; middle school; teacher education; preservice preparation; computer simulation; instruc

Lin, YuhfenFrom Students to Researchers: The Education of Physics Graduate Students
Doctor of Philosophy, The Ohio State University, 2008, Physics

Understanding how physics graduate students transition from students to researchers and teachers is important for multiple domains. In physics, an understanding of how physics students become researchers may help us to keep on training physicists who will further advance our understanding of physics. In physics education research, an understanding of how graduate students learn to teach will help us to train better physics teachers for the future. In cognitive science in the domain of expert/novice differences, researchers are interested in defining and understanding what expertise is. This work aims to provide some insight into some of the components of expertise that go into becoming a competent expert researcher in the domain of physics. This in turn may contribute to our general understanding of expertise across multiple domains.

In this dissertation, I study physics graduate students' approaches to learning, teaching, and research through semi-structured interviews. The collected data is interpreted and analyzed through a framework that focuses on students' epistemological beliefs and locus of authority. The data show that students' perception of the learning, teaching, or research environment influences their choice of approach. Physics graduate students learn "the language of physics" from the core courses, but don't learn many transferable research skills from taking courses. Constrained by the teaching environment, many graduate students are not motivated to teach as teaching assistants. Some graduate students have clearly become confident and able researchers, while others remain dependent on their advisers for even the simplest direction. The data also show that it is possible for a single graduate student to hold distinct beliefs about learning and teaching between classroom and research settings. It is possible for a well-motivated graduate student to take unfavorable approach toward learning when the environment does not support learning for deep understanding.

This dissertation attempts to distill out aspects of success in the graduate program and identify features of positive experiences that helped graduate students to transition from students to competent and confident researchers/teachers. The data suggest that having graduate students treated as legitimate participants is the vital element for them to build their confidence as researchers and teachers.

Committee:

Gordon Aubrecht, II (Advisor); Bruce Patton (Committee Member); Mohit Randeria (Committee Member); Alan Van Heuvelen (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Physics; Science Education

Keywords:

physics education research; epistemology; graduate students; graduate education; cognitive apprenticeship; legitimate peripheral participation

Alghamdi, AbdulmonemIMPACT OF JIGSAW ON THE ACHIEVEMENT AND ATTITUDES OF SAUDI ARABIAN MALE HIGH SCHOOL SCIENCE STUDENTS
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Akron, 2017, Secondary Education
The aim of the study is to investigate the impact of cooperative learning instruction, specifically by using the Jigsaw instructional strategy on science achievement and attitudes towards science among 11th grade students. Based upon previous research literature, it was hypothesized that significant differences existed on gains between general science achievement of experimental group and control group. The quasi-experimental design was chosen for this study. The study sample consisted of 50 students of 11th grade class who were equally distributed among experimental group and control group, matched on the basic of their annual examination at general science scores. The students’ achievement was measured through the implementation of 30-item achievement test used as a pretest, as well as a posttest and deferred (follow-up) test. The experiment group was taught through cooperative learning while control group was taught through the instructions of “traditional teaching”. The material was used such as lesson plans, worksheets and quizzes, designed to implement Jigsaw as a cooperative learning methodology. For the attitude scale towards science, a published 30-item Likert scale called Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA) has been translated to Arabic in order to determine the students' attitudes ranging between strongly agree to strongly disagree. The data were analyzed through repeated measure analysis and multivariate analysis of variance with a .05 selected level of significance. The results of this study showed that using Jigsaw as a cooperative learning strategy has improved the students' achievement for the benefit of the experimental group. However, there was no significant change on the students' attitudes towards science for both groups, where the scores of all the attitude subscales were at or near the neutral level.

Committee:

Francis Broadway (Advisor); Nidaa Makki (Committee Member); Xin Liang (Committee Member); Gary Holliday (Committee Member); Denise Stuart (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Science Education

Keywords:

Jigsaw, Achievement, Attitudes, Saudi Arabian High School Science Students

Wilkins, Julianne GKnowledge and Perception of College Students Toward Genetic Testing for Personalized Nutrition Care
MS, Kent State University, 2017, College and Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services / School of Health Sciences
Nutrigenomics is a rapidly developing field of study involving the relationship between genetics and nutrition. Multiple companies are now offering personalized dietary advice based on the results of genetic testing. College students, who are educated and more familiar with new technology may provide valuable information about perceptions toward nutrigenomic technology while it is still in its early stages of development. The purpose of this study was to examine the knowledge and perception of college students toward genetic testing for personalized nutrition. Participants in this study were college students from Kent State University who completed an online survey administered through Qualtrics. The survey assessed perception toward nutrigenomics along with basic genetics knowledge. Analysis of the data revealed a general lack of genetics knowledge among college students. In addition, only 25% of participants had ever heard or read about nutrigenomic testing. The overall perception toward these developments was more positive than negative. There were significant differences in genetics knowledge and perception of nutrigenomics among various class ranks and majors. In addition, findings indicate a significant relationship between participation in college level nutrition and/or genetics courses, higher genetics knowledge and more positive perceptions toward nutrigenomics. Individuals who scored higher on the genetics knowledge assessment also displayed a more positive perception toward nutrigenomics. More research is needed to understand how college students perceive nutrigenomics and what factors affect their attitude toward these scientific developments. Future studies with a valid and reliable questionnaire are needed to confirm the findings of this study.

Committee:

Eun-Jeong (Angie) Ha, PhD (Advisor); Natalie Caine-Bish, PhD, RD, LD (Committee Member); Nancy Burzminksi, PhD, RD, LD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Behavioral Sciences; Biochemistry; Biology; Education; Ethics; Food Science; Genetics; Health; Health Care; Health Education; Health Sciences; Medicine; Nutrition; Public Health Education; Science Education

Keywords:

Nutrigenomics; personalized nutrition; genetic testing; nutrigenetics; college students; genomics; knowledge of college students; perception of college students; perception of nutrigenomics; knowledge of nutrigenomics; gene test; nutrition; genes

Olive, Susan MThe Value of Science Fair and the Factors that Have Led to the Decline in Ohio Science Fair Competition
Doctor of Education (Educational Leadership), Youngstown State University, 2017, Department of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership
This study seeks to identify the reasons for the decline in science fair participation, ascertain educators’ views on the value of science fair as a curriculum tool to teach state science standards and assess the importance and relevance of science fair in today’s science curriculum. The Ohio Academy of Science (OAS) provided state data showing the downward trend with 4,886 students participating throughout the state in 2001 and falling to 2,669 in 2015. Both the state and OAS science standards are modeled after the Next Generation of Science Standards set forth by the National Resource Council. This inclusion of science fair in the science curriculum fulfills the requirements set forth in the current Ohio Learning Standards in Science comprising project-based learning and 21st Century Skills. With the current standards changing to reflect all objectives and pedagogy of a correctly modeled science fair, it was surprising to see a decline rather than an increase in science fair participation. A survey was constructed to find why science fair was on the decline and not being implemented, to determine if educators valued its worth, what they perceived necessary for a successful science fair, and if science fair satisfies the state standards. The salient findings of the District 15 survey mirrored those of the state and district in participation rates. The results also showed educators placing a high value on science fair along with identifying obstacles that impede its enactment. The leading obstacles are lack of time and finances, too much emphasis on testing, too many teaching duties, and unfamiliarity with its implementation. This study also offers a practical solution to the major concerns of educators regarding the implementation of science fair.

Committee:

Charles Vergon, J.D. (Committee Chair); Robert Beebe, Ph.D. (Committee Co-Chair); Felicia Armstrong, Ph.D. (Committee Member); M. Kathleen Cripe, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Science Education; Secondary Education; Teaching

Keywords:

science fair, project-based learning, science projects, scientific method, science process, individualized learning, inquiry, critical thinking, evidence based learning

Kovach, Alison AChallenges of Medical Laboratory Science and Medical Laboratory Technology Program Directors
Master of Health and Human Services, Youngstown State University, 2015, Department of Health Professions
Concerns facing the directors of NAACLS accredited Medical Laboratory Science (MLS) and Medical Laboratory Technology (MLT) programs were investigated. A survey of 26 questions was sent using SurveyMonkey® to program directors of 441 NAACLS accredited MLS and MLT programs throughout the United States. The survey included questions on recruitment, enrollment, retention, faculty, budget, clinical affiliation, research and scholarly activity. Demographic information related to the program type and location was also included. Data from 242 (54.8%) respondents revealed that enrollment has increased or remained the same in 212 (87.6%) of the programs. For both MLS and MLT programs with concerns about recruitment, these were most often related to lack of knowledge about the profession 77 (31.8%). Only 37(15.3%) of the programs had a designated recruiter and only 68 (28.1%) had a marketing plan. Concerns related to clinical placements were reported by 189 (78.1%) of the respondents. The program director was the only full time faculty member in 81 (33.5%) of the programs; 129 (53.3%) reported securing faculty is a concern. Chi-square analysis revealed program dependent concerns with recruitment, retention, budget, faculty, and clinical affiliation. Logistic regression analysis revealed program dependent concerns with recruitment, retention, budget, faculty, and clinical affiliation. Identification of these concerns is an important step for program directors to identify options and to create successful program strategies.

Committee:

Maria Delost, PhD (Committee Member); Teresa Nadder, PhD (Committee Member); Joseph Lyons, ScD (Committee Chair)

Subjects:

Education; Health Education; Science Education

Keywords:

MLS; MLT; Program Director concerns

Sander, Scott A.Exploring Preservice Science Teachers' Interpretations of Curricular Experiences While Learning to Teach in an Inquiry-Oriented Way: A Phenomenology
Doctor of Philosophy, Miami University, 2014, Educational Leadership
Despite ubiquitous calls for school reform, the traditional transmission model of education continues to dominate our nation’s science classrooms at all levels. How do these experiences impact those who enter formal teacher education programs and Methods courses that promote a more inquiry-oriented way of teaching science? The purpose of this foundational study was to explore the interpretations of five preservice science teachers’ (PSTs) curricular experiences in order to gain a greater understanding directly from the participants about learning to teach in an inquiry-oriented way. Phenomenology was selected as a flexible methodology that enabled access to the “lifeworld” that PSTs had constructed of their experiences within a science Methods course. The inquiry-based methods used within the course also provided the data that ultimately became the bulk of the stories presented in Chapter 4. The methods were selected for their ability to make the PSTs’ thinking visible. The use of “thinking routines” within the context of the Methods course supplied data from the PSTs as they were in the role of a student. The use of the virtual classroom TeachLivE™ supplied data from the PSTs as they were in the role of a teacher. The data generated by these unique methods helped to constitute the stories presented in Chapter 4. Instead of stories about the PSTs these are stories constructed from the data that represents the thinking of PSTs. The stories are presented as what PSTs see, believe, care about, and wonder with regards to learning to teach in an inquiry-oriented way. This data indicates that while PSTs have taken notice of the challenge to their existing ideas about teaching science there are still significant barriers that must be overcome to replace entrenched beliefs in order for them to implement inquiry-oriented practices in their future classrooms. As a beginning step in the inquiry process and aligned with constructivist theories of learning, thinking routines and TeachLivE™ have the potential to elicit the prior knowledge of PSTs regarding learning to teach. By providing a way to hear the voices of PSTs and make their thinking visible, I surface implications for science education and future research to shift the traditional discourse within classrooms.

Committee:

Thomas Poetter, PhD (Committee Chair); Lisa Weems, PhD (Committee Member); Ann MacKenzie, PhD (Committee Member); Nazan Bautista, PhD (Committee Member)

Subjects:

Education; Science Education; Teacher Education; Teaching

Keywords:

Science Education; Preservice Science Teacher Preparation; Inquiry; Constructivism; Phenomenology; Making Thinking Visible; TeachLivE

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