Curriculum Materials (curriculum + material)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Curriculum-Context Knowledge: Teacher Learning From Successive Enactments of a Standards-Based Mathematics Curriculum

ABSTRACT This study characterizes the teacher learning that stems from successive enactments of innovative curriculum materials. This study conceptualizes and documents the formation of curriculum-context knowledge (CCK) in three experienced users of a Standards-based mathematics curriculum. I define CCK as the knowledge of how a particular set of curriculum materials functions to engage students in a particular context. The notion of CCK provides insight into the development of curricular knowledge and how it relates to other forms of knowledge that are relevant to the practice of teaching, such as content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge. I used a combination of video-stimulated and semistructured interviews to examine the ways the teachers adapted the task representations in the units over time and what these adaptations signaled in terms of teacher learning. Each teacher made noticeable adaptations over the course of three or four enactments that demonstrated learning. Each of the teachers developed a greater understanding of the resources in the respective units as a result of repeated enactments, although there was some important variation between the teachers. The learning evidenced by the teachers in relation to the units demonstrated their intricate knowledge of the curriculum and the way it engaged their students. Furthermore, this learning informed their instructional practices and was intertwined with their discussion of content and how best to teach it. The results point to the larger need to account for the knowledge necessary to use Standards-based curricula and to relate the development and existence of well-elaborated knowledge components to evaluations of curricula. [source]

How academics use technology in teaching and learning: understanding the relationship between beliefs and practice

J. D. Bain
Abstract This paper reports on a detailed investigation into the beliefs and practices of teachers in 22 computer-assisted learning projects in Australia in the mid-1990s. Detailed interview data were obtained, supported by the project software and other curriculum materials. The interview transcripts and documentary material were collated and condensed into rich descriptions; these were then coded on a number of belief and practice dimensions. The resulting profiles were clustered into five belief,practice categories: thoughtful instructors, pre-emptive professionals, conversational constructivists, learning facilitators and situated knowledge negotiators. These complex, yet interpretable, patterns of relationships between beliefs and practices are useful in understanding teachers' reluctance to change their teaching, one instance of which is the relatively limited uptake of technology in higher education. [source]

Interior Design in K-12 Curricula: asking the Experts

Stephanie A. Clemons Ph.D.
ABSTRACT The purpose of this qualitative study was to assess how interior design content areas (subject matter) could be introduced and integrated into elementary and secondary (K-12) grade levels in support of national academic education standards. Although the minimum standards have been developed for entry level interior designers (Council for Interior Design Accreditation [CIDA] Standards, adopted 2002) and beyond (National Council for Interior Design Qualification [NCIDQ]), a gap exists in the interior design education continuum from "kindergarten to career." Between June 2001 to April 2002, in order to understand perceptions of experts in interior design and elementary and secondary education, focus group sessions and personal interviews were conducted with interior design educators and practitioners, K-12 teachers (elementary, junior high, and high school levels), national standards curriculum specialists (local and state levels), and school-to-career curriculum specialists. The goal of the study was to develop a framework that could guide the integration of interior design content into K-12 levels. This paper reports the findings from the focus groups and proposes a framework that could guide the national integration of interior design content into grades K-12, support national academic standards, and suggest possible channels of dissemination for developed interior design curriculum materials. [source]

The relative effects and equity of inquiry-based and commonplace science teaching on students' knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation

Christopher D. Wilson
Abstract We conducted a laboratory-based randomized control study to examine the effectiveness of inquiry-based instruction. We also disaggregated the data by student demographic variables to examine if inquiry can provide equitable opportunities to learn. Fifty-eight students aged 14,16 years old were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Both groups of students were taught toward the same learning goals by the same teacher, with one group being taught from inquiry-based materials organized around the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, and the other from materials organized around commonplace teaching strategies as defined by national teacher survey data. Students in the inquiry-based group reached significantly higher levels of achievement than students experiencing commonplace instruction. This effect was consistent across a range of learning goals (knowledge, reasoning, and argumentation) and time frames (immediately following the instruction and 4 weeks later). The commonplace science instruction resulted in a detectable achievement gap by race, whereas the inquiry-based materials instruction did not. We discuss the implications of these findings for the body of evidence on the effectiveness of teaching science as inquiry; the role of instructional models and curriculum materials in science teaching; addressing achievement gaps; and the competing demands of reform and accountability. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 47:276,301, 2010 [source]

Effects of experimenting with physical and virtual manipulatives on students' conceptual understanding in heat and temperature

Zacharias C. Zacharia
Abstract This study aimed to investigate the comparative value of experimenting with physical manipulatives (PM) in a sequential combination with virtual manipulatives (VM), with the use of PM preceding the use of VM, and of experimenting with PM alone, with respect to changes in students' conceptual understanding in the domain of heat and temperature. A pre,post-comparison study design was used which involved 62 undergraduate students that attended an introductory course in physics. The participants were randomly assigned to one experimental and one control group. Both groups used the same inquiry-oriented curriculum materials. Participants in the control group used PM to conduct the experiments, whereas, participants in the experimental group used first PM and then VM. VM differed from PM in that it could provide the possibility of faster manipulation, whereas, it retained any other features and interactions of the study's subject domain identical to the PM condition. Conceptual tests were administered to assess students' understanding before, during, and after the study's treatments. Results indicated that experimenting with the combination of PM and VM enhanced students' conceptual understanding more than experimenting with PM alone. The use of VM was identified as the cause of this differentiation. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 45: 1021,1035, 2008 [source]

The nature of middle school learners' science content understandings with the use of on-line resources

Joseph L. Hoffman
Early research on using the World Wide Web indicated that middle school students did not explore much and used Web tools naively. In response to these challenges, an on-line research engine, Artemis, was designed to provide a permanent workspace and allow students access to preselective on-line resources. This study investigated the depth and accuracy of sixth-grade students' content understandings as well as their use of search and assess strategies when they used on-line resources via Artemis. Eight student pairs from two science classes experienced support from teachers and used scaffolded curriculum materials while completing four on-line inquiry units during 9 months. Multiple sources of data were collected, including video recordings of students' computer activities and conversations, students' artifacts and on-line postings, classroom and lab video recordings, and interview transcripts. Analyses of data showed that students constructed meaningful understandings through on-line inquiry, although the accuracy and depth of their understandings varied. The findings suggest that students might develop accurate and in-depth understandings if they use search and assess strategies appropriately, if resources are thoughtfully chosen, and if support from the learning environment is extensively provided. This research lends evidence to questions regarding the value of students engaging in on-line inquiry. 2003 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 40: 323,346, 2003 [source]

Integrating Formal and Functional Approaches to Language Teaching in French Immersion: An Experimental Study

Elaine M. Day
This experimental study was designed to evaluate the effect on French language proficiency of an integrated formal, analytic and functional, communicative approach (experiential) to second-language teaching in the immersion classroom. The impetus for the study arises from previous research indicating that immersion children show persistent weaknesses in their grammatical skills despite the fluent, functional proficiency they achieve in their second language. The experimental materials, which were custom-designed for our study, highlight form-function relations, promote noticing, encourage metalin-guistic awareness, and provide opportunities for language practice and thus relate to some of the theoretical issues that Rod Ellis (this volume) has indicated are important in SLA in the 90s. This classroom-based study on the conditional is one of a series of studies undertaken in Canadian French immersion to investigate the effectiveness of form-focused instruction in classrooms (see Swain, 2000). The results of our study, which was conducted in grade 7 early immersion, showed that the Experimental group performed significantly higher in writing than the Control group, in both the post- and the follow-up testing. Although this was not found for speaking, an examination of the individual class data revealed greater and more consistent growth in speaking for the Experimental than for the Control classes, suggesting that they benefited somewhat from the experi- mental treatment in this domain as well. Although Ellis (this volume) notes that research on form-focused instruc- tion in the 90s has tended to split pedagogy from theory, the immersion research in this area does not seem t o reflect this shift. In a recent article, Swain (2000) reviews the French Immersion (FI) studies and summarizes their re- sults as follows: "Overall, the set of experiments conducted in FI classes suggest that there is value in focusing on language form through the use of pre-planned curriculum materials in the context of content-based language learn- ing" (Swain, 2000, p. 205). Her reference to curriculum materials and to the specific context of content-based lan- guage learning should signal to the reader the orientation t o pedagogical considerations that characterize this research. As Ellis notes, hybrid research using both experimental and qualitative methods is becoming more common in SLA. Recently, the experimental materials in our study were implemented in a grade 8 immersion classroom, and the children's collaborative language activity was observed by a researcher working from a sociocultural theoretical per- spective (Spielman-Davidson, 2000). The uptake of our research by a researcher working in another paradigm introduces another kind of hybridity that we hope will also shed further light on questions in form-focused instruction and lead to appropriate changes in pedagogy and in the design of immersion curricula. [source]