Now showing items 1-20 of 41

    • Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Reflective Insights from Teaching Mathematics during an Authentic Early Practicum Experience

      Rule, Audrey C.; Arthur, Scott C.; Dunham, Eric; Miller, Ryan; Stoker, Jonn; Thibado, Nichole (2007-06)
      This content analysis examined 1,710 statements made in post-lesson reflections of elementary education preservice teachers (N=120) after their first and second unassisted lessons during an early practicum experience that accompanied a mathematics methods course. The activities constituted authentic learning experiences in which preservice teachers planned and executed two appropriate mathematics lessons featuring hands-on materials and open-ended problem solving for elementary students. Predominant reflection themes focused on elementary student motivation, student learning, improvement of lessons, student skill levels, student behaviors and feelings. The authentic learning format allowed preservice teachers to develop professionally, taking responsibility for their own learning with the support of their mathematics methods instructor, host teacher, and peers. Reflections showed that preservice teachers had become aware of the complexity of teaching, analyzing problems from many viewpoints.
    • Action Research: Authentic Learning Transforms Student and Teacher Success

      Elliot, Cynthia (2007-06)
      An overview from a longitudinal ethnographic study illustrates the transformative nature that action research played in the lives of the teachers and the children they taught to read and write. Teacher vignettes from action research reports provide trend data that describe the transformative nature of action research as job-embedded professional development and the impact derived from this form of learning. The data document how teachers were empowered to produce unprecedented gains in student achievement, through the context of learning in their own classrooms, by greater depth of content knowledge, and by new insights into results-based instructional practices. Teacher engagement with action research resulted in authentic learning that transformed teaching and improved student achievement.
    • Promoting Self-directed Learning in Three Online Health Promotion and Wellness Courses

      Brouse, Corey (2007-06)
      This study assessed undergraduate students’ perceptions concerning the extent to which participating in online courses may have facilitated self-directed learning. This qualitative study involved a convenience sample of 36 students from three online, undergraduate level health promotion and wellness classes at the State University of New York at Oswego. Students were surveyed and responses were grouped according to each class. Findings suggest that students were able to self-select and self-direct certain assignments, presentation topics, and readings. Considering different viewpoints, involving the students in the Socratic Method, allowing ample time for assignments and self-reflection, and making assignments enjoyable were also beneficial. Considerable work is needed to effectively define best practices for promoting self-directed learning in distance education classes. This study supports the importance of considering students’ opinions in creating assignments and designing online courses to enhance self-directed learning.
    • Issues-Centered Projects for Classrooms in the United States and Mexico Borderlands

      Cashman, Timothy G. (2007-06)
      This study explicates the collaborative efforts of university preservice educators from a social studies methods course and middle school students from a local public magnet school in a project entitled the Borderlands Issue Project. Pre-service teachers and middle school students co-planned, co-designed, and co-presented issues-centered projects that examined local issues on the United States and Mexico border. The goals of the issues-centered projects were to develop well-reasoned responses based on disciplined inquiry, on thoughtful, in-depth study, and to move beyond relativistic notions of truth. Teams of university and middle school students co-presented their projects during the local school site’s Parent Night. Examples of learning outcomes of the Borderlands Issues Project are the following: how university faculty and school site administrators and faculty worked together to overcome logistical concerns for Parent Night project presentations, how participants learned to co-plan, co-design, and co-teach an issue with others, how middle school students exceeded performance expectations of pre-service educators, and how participants learned from collaboratively researching and presenting on complex issues. Participants presented on topics such as the local history of the KKK, indigenous American struggles in the Borderlands region, non-Mexican immigration and its impact locally, and the environmental and community impact of pollution from a copper smelter.
    • Promoting Authentic Learning through a Peaceful and Positive Perspective

      Gatlin, Linda; Edwards, Rita (2007-06)
      This editorial discusses positivism, constructivism, and authentic learning from both the psychological and educational fields in an effort to understand the relationship between the internal and external events experienced by individuals as they strive to create their own reality and explore real-life issues and situations. Positive psychologists believe individuals should focus on the construction of a positive perspective through authentic learning experiences where the learner can bring meaning, understanding, and potential positive and peaceful actions/resolutions to real-life situations and events.
    • The influence of learning theories on the teaching and learning of algebra

      Hallagan, Jean E.; Carlson, Lynn F.; Finnegan, Brenna; Nylen, David; Sochia, Sam (2006-08)
      This paper reviews the influence of learning theories from cognitive science and constructivism on the teaching and learning of algebra. Through an artifact analysis, we document the changing nature of algebraic instruction. Four articles were randomly selected from each of the last three decades of the twentieth century, along with three from 2000-2005 to total fifteen articles analyzed All the articles analyzed had classroom teachers as an intended audience. The analysis showed that as the dominant learning theory shifted from cognitive science to constructivism, the use of authentic learning activities increased and reflected the influence of both rational and social constructivist learning theories.
    • Professional behavior assessment: Building and measuring professionalism in preservice teachers

      Stoddard, Kim; Braun, Bonnie; Dukes III, Lyman; Koorland, Mark A.; Hewitt, Margaret (2006-08)
      Influenced by national accreditation mandates, teacher preparation programs are beginning to examine more carefully the assessment and instruction of preservice teachers’ professional behaviors and dispositions. We conducted a pilot evaluation to examine the outcomes of specialized instruction regarding professional behavior for preservice teachers in special education. The evaluation employed field setting supervisor ratings for each of eight preservice teachers. Field supervisor assessments occurred at six points during the semester. Four students were assigned to a special section of a normally required seminar in which we explicitly taught characteristics of basic professional behavior. Four other students were assigned to a typical seminar associated with the field experience offering didactic instruction alone about professional behavior. During specialized instruction students read, discussed, and authored their own hypothetical case studies about preservice students, and they rated the cases using both a faculty developed Professional Behavior Assessment (PBA) instrument and rubrics. Field supervisor ratings using the same PBA instrument did not clearly support one training approach over the other. Preservice teachers, however, reported that the discussion and rating of case studies provided a much clearer understanding of professional behavior. The challenges of performing reliable evaluation of growth in teacher professional behavior are discussed.
    • Authentic interactive presentations in a graduate education research class

      Ayotte, Alison; Duncan, Beth; Fasulo, Jennifer; Hahn, Carri; Hudson, Shae; Hunt, Taylor; Irizarry, Natasha; Masucci, Samantha; Perry, Austin; Schlegel, Timothy; et al. (2006-08)
      A content analysis of nineteen interactive final presentations by graduate students in an education research class highlights effective models for others wanting to implement authentic learning activities as culminating class presentations. These presentations were categorized into the following six themes of cognitive involvement: simulation, case analysis, inference making, evaluation of ideas, self-evaluation/reflection, and creative thinking. Also analyzed were 1,088 audience comments about the presentations. Simulations were recognized as the most effective format, although other presentation modes also were found engaging. Most enjoyed were game-like presentations and those involving creative synthesis. Presentations based on self-evaluation and reflection were most frequently identified as accessing prior knowledge. Suggestions for improvement of the presentations reflected audience enthusiasm by calling for more details of the proposed research, handouts of information about the topic, more examples, and an extension of the presentation time. Participants also requested more audience participation in some presentations and time to share ideas generated and prior related experiences.
    • Authentic learning in educational leadership: Aspiring principals helping schools analyze student data

      Griswold, Philip A. (2006-08)
      A graduate course required for principal certification was restructured to illustrate authentic learning in partnership with local school principals. In this data driven decision-making course, students, principals, and the professor collaborated on problem-based learning tasks. At the end of the course, the aspiring principals identified school instructional needs, accessed and analyzed district student data, and made decisions that were reported to the participating schools. The graduate students valued the experiential nature of the school-university partnership. They learned the difficulty of defining a feasible evaluation question and accessing appropriate data. These aspiring principals mastered the basics of two data analysis software tools. They became confident in using data and were convinced that more effective decisions can be made when clearly defined questions are answered based upon appropriate data. All graduate students admitted to initial trepidation with the unconventional ambiguity they dealt with, but overcame it with patience and practice to achieve an understanding of authentic learning.
    • The components of authentic learning

      Rule, Audrey C. (2006-08)
      This editorial reports the results of a qualitative analysis of a selection of recent journal articles addressing authentic learning in different contexts, identifying overarching themes to guide teachers and potential authors of future articles for this journal. The four recognized themes are; real-world problems that engage learners in the work of professionals; inquiry activities that practice thinking skills and metacognition; discourse among a community of learners; and student empowerment through choice. Examples of authentic learning in articles from this issue are also discussed.
    • The art of teaching and teaching with art : using avant-garde art to foster active learning in the classroom

      Mack, Chris J. (2005-11)
      Avant-garde art and literature drawn from Dada artists and authors were used to foster authentic learning in a History course. Students read assigned texts to situate the artists and their work in a historical context. They then engaged in a semiotic analysis of dress, viewed and analyzed Dada painting and sculpture, participated in the creation and reading of Dada poems, and considered the question: What is art? As a result, students actively engaged with the ways avant-garde artists challenged traditional ways of knowing and looking at the world and had an opportunity to consider how they can reflect upon, and change, their own views of themselves and their places in the world.
    • Discovering science teaching and learning in a hands-on museum

      Bischoff, Paul J.; Read, Albert J. (2005-11)
      This paper describes a partnership between the professors of elementary science education and the college’s hands-on science museum director. The goals of this partnership are to provide authentic ways of learning and teaching science for pre-service elementary majors at a state university, and to create opportunities for students and their families to develop understandings of science concepts in a community setting. Since 1996, approximately 1000 elementary majors have prepared and reflected on a tabletop science activity presented to Saturday visitors to the museum. Using observations and reflections, this partnership confirms a high level of satisfaction in teaching and learning science for both the pre-service teachers and students with their families in the community museum.
    • The effect of perceived qualities of curriculum materials on mathematical performance

      Rule, Audrey C.; Sobierajski, Mickey Jo; Schell, Robert E. (2005-11)
      A qualitative and quantitative study of the effects of perceived beauty, motivation, distractibility, and legibility upon the mathematical performance of preservice teachers (N=76; 66F, 10M) and fourth graders (N=67; 36F, 31M) using boards made of four materials that varied widely in these characteristics was conducted. Each board had nine numbers arranged in a three by three grid and an additional target number at the top. Students formed equations with three numbers in a row that resulted in the target number. Significant differences in mathematical performance across materials were found with participants writing more equations for boards that were perceived as high in beauty and motivation (a construct called "Enticement") and high in legibility but low in distraction (another construct called "Focus"). Children judged beauty mostly on color and texture, whereas adults included neatness and artistic appeal.
    • Preschoolers dive in for authentic learning of marine science

      Chase, Lesley; Chetney, Allison; Faulkner, Lindsey; Schwartz, Sara; Smithers, Bridget; Rubas, Stephanie; Rule, Audrey C. (2005-11)
      Preservice teachers created integrated activities for preschoolers that simulated skills used by marine biologists. Each activity addressed marine biology content appropriate for young children; incorporated a foundational mathematics skill such as matching, one-to-one correspondence, counting, sorting, and forming a series; and practiced fine motor skills through use of spoons, tweezers, tongs, or pincer-grip with fingers. Materials and reactions of preschoolers are described along with preservice teacher reflections on their authentic learning of teaching young children.
    • "Bee" an entomologist!

      Barnhardt, D.J.; Howard, Heather; Kahn, Valerie; Kempf, Tara; Leo, Jessica; Rule, Audrey C. (2005-11)
      Literacy activities including hand and kinesthetic rhymes, a craft to construct an insect of body parts from recycled plastic lids, and six easily constructed sets of materials that allow preschoolers to emulate the skills of entomologists are described and related to a complete insect unit. The constructed sets of materials also provide practice in foundational mathematics skills (matching, one-to-one correspondence, counting, sorting, forming a series, and repeating a pattern) and fine motor skills using implements such as tongs.