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Inquiry in Science & Engineering Learning & Teaching (I-SELT)

A CfAO Professional Development Program Workshop

May 8–12, 2009 — Ka'anapali, Maui, HI

For all PDP participants — four days of workshops for experiencing, reflecting on, and applying inquiry in activity design.

Travel Information

Required Readings

The following readings will prepare you for the various sessions. They are important for you to be able to participate fruitfully in the sessions (and free time during the workshop is better spent on the beach or in the water) so please make sure you do the assigned readings before the workshops. The articles are linked below and may be downloaded as needed. It may look like a lot of reading, but it's not as bad as it may look because many documents are only one page.

Some of the readings further down in the list assume you've already read earlier ones, so it's best to do them in sequence. The readings are required for all participants unless specifically noted. When you arrive at the workshop, you will also get a binder with copies of the readings for referral, so you don't have to bring paper copies -- but to save paper they will be printed 2-pages-per-side and double-sided.

A password is required to download the readings. All participants will get this in an email.

Chapter 2 from How People Learn: Bridging Research and Practice
This reading was required of all participants last year, as well as this year's Re-SELT participants, and so should be regarded as review. We include it because it provides a nice overview of the How People Learn framework. Although this reading introduces four learning "environments", we prefer the term "lenses" taken from other books in the series. This is because the four lenses give you different ways to look at a teaching and learning environment. So, by the "framework", we mean the 3 principles gleaned from research, and the 4 lenses. Chapter 1 of the book is included here for more context but is not required reading.
Relevant for: Day 1, "Revisiting the How People Learn Framework", and thereafter.

Teaching examples
This selection provides several interesting, innovative, and intentional practical teaching examples. Although they are elementary school examples, much can be learned from them that can be applied to higher education settings. We will think about these examples in the context of the How People Learn framework, and also in regard to assessment. Please note the prompts in yellow boxes as you read.
Relevant for: Day 1, "Revisiting the How People Learn Framework", and assessment session on Day 2 (returners only) and Day 4 (all participants).

"The Engineering of Technology Education" - G. Salinger, 2005, Journal of Technology Studies 31:2
The academic community is still nailing down how to design an engineering curriculum that mirrors how engineering is practiced by professionals.  This short reading takes a look at the issue by making reference to the Backward Design reading.  In this vein, the author focuses on goals for good engineering activities and notes that designing an activity (or larger curriculum) is an engineering problem in itself!
This reading is only required for returning participants, optional for 1st-year participants
Relevant for: Day 2, "Designing Engineering Activities" and thereafter

"ITEA technology standards summary" - from www.iteaconnect.org
The International Technology Education Association (ITEA) technology education standards, available at www.iteaconnect.org, are a useful broad overview of the necessary abilities of a technologically-literate person. This executive summary includes bullet points of the major ideas from each chapter and section of the standards. We think these tables are interesting, particularly some of the high-school level standards (which are things we continue to work on at the college level). We have highlighted what we think are the most interesting sections of these tables for you to look at.
This reading is only required for returning participants, optional for 1st-year participants
Relevant for: Day 2, "Designing Engineering Activities".

"Tools and strategies for discussions on equity and culture"
This short handout includes some easy-sounding but important tips for having conversations about diversity. We created this by grabbing bullet-points from Kris Gutierrez and Barbara Rogoff, 2003, "Cultural Ways of Learning: Individual Traits or Repertoires of Practice", Educational Researcher 32:19-25 and Julian Weissglass, 1990, "Constructivist Listening for Empowerment and Change", Educational Forum 54:351-370.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"The Threat of Stereotype" - J. Aronson, 2004, Educational Leadership, v62 n3 p14-19 Nov 2004
The concept of "stereotype threat" is important in psychology and is particularly relevant for diversity and equity issues in education. Joshua Aronson and Claude Steele are noted important contributors to this field. This reading is a nice introduction to the concept of stereotype threat, as well as some strategies for addressing it.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"What is stereotype threat" - from reducingstereotypethreat.org
The link goes to the first chapter of the web site reducingstereotypethreat.org, which is a more technical, in depth, overview of stereotype threat. The links in the article lead to the more detailed chapters, which you can read if you are interested but are not required.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"The Secret to Raising Smart Kids" - C. Dweck, 2007, Scientific American Mind, Dec. 2007
The previous article introduces stereotype threat and some strategies for combating it, including strategies discussed in this article. Carol Dweck is an important contributor to the field of "mindset" -- the psychology and effects of believing that one's abilities and skills are "fixed" or "malleable/improvable". This short piece discusses the two mindsets and their importance for learning and achievement.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Addressing Diversity and Equity" and thereafter

"The Science Process Skills" - M. Padilla, 1990, Research Matters - to the Science Teacher, No. 9004.
This short article introduces the concept of Science Process Skills. Along with the article by Chinn & Malhotra below, it serves as the reading for the session "Introduction to Process Skills" on Day 3. Like most work in this area, the context is K-12 education, and the skills mentioned are rather generic. Nevertheless, these serve as the basis for the more specialized skills used in research, and the real concrete skills used also depend on the content area.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Introduction to Process Skills" and thereafter

"Inquiry Processes" - excerpted from Chinn & Malhotra 2002, Science Education 86:175
Everyone knows about the idea of having certain goals for what facts students are supposed to learn in an activity, but that activities can also have the purpose of teaching students skills, like how to design an experiment, may be less familiar. This reading gives examples of such "process skills", and talks about how many activities in school (including "hands-on" experiments) do a poor job of teaching students to become proficient in the skills that are necessary to do science. The piece will be used in a discussion at the workshop where you will be asked to think about skills that you use in your work as a researcher.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Introduction to Process Skills" and thereafter

"What is Backward Design" - excerpted from Wiggins and McTighe, 1998, Understanding by Design.
This reading outlines the process of designing an activity as we want you to do it at the PDP.  First one decides the learning goals for the activity, then you decide what kinds of evidence would prove to you that those goals have been met, and finally you plan the instruction to meet those goals. it also talks about the act of prioritizing which goals are most important and encourages goals that aim at "enduring understanding".  The core of the reading, that we really want you to take to heart, is the fundamental principle described in the short section called "Are the Best Curricular Designs Backward?" starting on page 2. At the workshop we will review the content of this reading and give you some tools that will help you design your activity along these principles, but everyone needs to be familiar with the process.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Backward Design" and thereafter

"Four Strands of Scientific Proficiency" - excerpts from chapter 2 of Ready, Set, Science! and chapter 2 of Taking Science to School
The traditional way of categorizing goals for science teaching and learning was to divide them into understandings of science content and science process. In this categorization scheme, understandings about the nature and role of science, and attitudes about science also sometimes appear as types of goals. However, the thinking may be changing. We have noticed, and other thinkers in this field have noticed, that content and process are not so easily disentangled in practice. Also, attitudes about science and understandings of the nature of science itself are intimately related to students' understandings of practicing science. This selection discusses some of the shortcomings of the classical way of thinking and introduces a new framework for thinking about science learning goals. We are mostly concerned with the ideas about the various skills necessary to do science, and not with the specifics of the "4 strands" themselves, so don't feel you have to memorize what the strands are. Also, although this reading seems to focus on K-8 education, in fact the ideas seem applicable in higher education as well. (There are far more books like this for K-12 educators than for anyone else.) We have assembled this selection from the two new National Academies books Taking Science to School and Ready, Set, Science! which cover roughly the same intellectual ground in two different ways. If you are interested in seeing a concrete example of the "four strands" in action, follow the link to Ready, Set, Science! and read the "biodiversity in a city schoolyard" example that starts on page 22, and the analysis that follows.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Introduction to Process Skills", "Practicing Backward Design" and thereafter.

Design Template
We encourage the use of a "design template" as a tool for aiding the design process. By the time you have read about backward design, process skills, assessment, and so on, many ideas in the "template guide" will be familiar. The Template Guide gives you a feel for our philosophy of design.
Relevant for: Day 3, "Backwards Design" and thereafter.

"Assessment Primer"
This short handout covers some basic concepts and terminology in assessment. It is meant to bring us all up to speed quickly without having to do an introductory lecture. Please bring any questions you have about this. This reading is required for all participants, but returning participants read it for the April 4 "AIPC" workshop in Santa Cruz, so it should be review for them.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Assessment" for returning participants, and day 4, "Assessment in the PDP" for new participants.

"Assessment Excerpts"
These readings discuss assessment of inquiry in science. We will borrow the idea of a "base rubric" for assessing scientific explanations, that is then further specified on a per-activity basis for this year's PDP. Please be prepared and open with your questions or concerns on this. This reading is required for all participants, but returning participants read it for the April 4 "AIPC" workshop in Santa Cruz, so it should be review for them. Blurb.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Assessment" for returning participants, and day 4, "Assessment in the PDP" for new participants.

"Explanation Rubric", "Explanation Score Sheet", "Example Rubric "
These are some tools and examples to help you as you move toward building assessment into the inquiry activity you design through the PDP: a base-level rubric, a score sheet, and a filled-in rubric. We will talk more about how to design and use a rubric at ISELT.
Relevant for: Day 2, "Assessment" for returning participants, and day 4, "Assessment in the PDP" for new participants.

Last Modified: Apr 28, 2009 

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