Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction - Teacher Education

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Master of Arts in Literacy Instruction Michigan State University
Science Education > Science Research
Research Opportunities

The Graduate Program in Science Education offers a wide variety of research opportunities. Many of these opportunities are projects funded by the National Science Foundation. The projects offer scholars the opportunity to hone their research skills while gaining valuable experience collaborating with faculty. The research projects around science education at Michigan State University are provided by College of Education, College of Natural Science, and Division of Science & Mathematics Education. Please click on the links below to explore the current research projects.

Research Projects

Environmental Literacy

The Environmental Literacy research projects aims to develop learning progressions leading toward environmental science literacy for students from upper elementary school through college. The project is supported in part by two grants from the National Science Foundation: Learning Progression on Carbon-Transforming Processes in Socio-Ecological Systems (NSF 0815993) and Targeted Partnership: Culturally relevant ecology, learning progressions and environmental literacy (NSF 0832173). The purpose of the project is to integrate Environmental Science Literacy into contemporary K-12 curriculum. For more information, please contact Dr. Charles Anderson - andya@msu.edu.


BioKIDS: Kids’ Inquiry of Diverse Species

BioKIDS: Kids' Inquiry of Diverse Species is an NSF-funded research project that addresses both inquiry and life science content standards through exploration of local biodiversity, collection of animal species, and the investigation of individual animals and how animals interact with one another. The project has developed a learning progression that guides curricular, assessment and professional development. Through carefully sequenced curricular activities students will gain a clearer understanding of how organisms meet their basic needs and the role the environment plays in supporting a variety of organisms. In this curriculum, students use CyberTracker, an animal-tracking program that runs on hand-held computers (PDAs), to log animal sightings in their schoolyard. Students then analyze the data for class and team experiments. Another salient feature of the curriculum is the Critter Catalog, an on-line animal species database developed by the BioKIDS team. Students use this as the main resource when they write species accounts (conduct research on individual animals). For more information, please contact Dr. Amelia Gotwals – gotwals@msu.edu.


CAREER: Tracing Children's Developing Understanding of Heredity

CAREER is a NSF funded research project which investigates upper-elementary and middle school students understandings of key concepts regarding heredity within and across grades using a Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE). This study uses a cross-sectional and longitudinal comparison design to investigate upper-elementary and middle school students’ cumulative learning around a big idea in science such as, heredity, across time. For more information, please contact Dr. Michelle Williams – mwilliam@msu.edu


The Modeling Designs for Learning Science (MoDeLS)

MoDeLS project is funded by the National Science Foundation's Instructional Materials Development program. It is a research project which seeks to develop a theoretically-grounded and empirically-supported learning progression for late elementary and early middle school students with regard to their modeling practices and metamodeling knowledge. For more information, please contact Dr. Christina Schwarz – cschwarz@msu.edu.


Video-Based Professional Development to Support Beginning Physics Teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge

The purpose of this project is to improve beginning physics teachers’ use of content knowledge in both planned and on-the-fly instructional decision-making. Video and other artifacts from experienced teachers’ classrooms are being used to create a professional development program for beginning teachers. This work is funded through a research fellowship from the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation. For more information, please contact Dr. Alicia Alonzo – alonzo@msu.edu.


GET city

The College of Education partners with GET City, a Lansing, MI based year-round program. The GET city program helps local young people to investigate science and engineering of energy sustainability using advanced Information Technologies. For more information, please contact Dr. Angela Calabrese Barton – acb@msu.edu.


Urban Girls Practices Project

The Urban Girls Practices Project is a project developed with GET City, a Lansing, MI based year-round program. The GET city program helps local young people to investigate science and engineering of energy sustainability using advanced Information Technologies. For more information, please contact Dr. Angela Calabrese Barton – acb@msu.edu.


Promoting Rigorous Outcomes in Mathematics and Science Education (PROM/SE)

PROM/SE is a comprehensive research and development effort to improve mathematics and science teaching and learning in grades K-12, based on assessment of students and teachers, improvement of standards and frameworks, and capacity building with teachers and administrators. For more information, please contact Dr. Gail Richmond – gailr@msu.edu.


Problem-Based Learning designed for Science and Mathematics Professional Development

This is a multi-million dollar research project funded by the National Science.The goals of this five-year project are to develop, implement and study the impact of a subject matter-focused, Problem-Based Learning professional development model; and to design ways of incorporating Problem-Based Learning (PBL) into key subject matter and teacher preparation courses taken by pre-service teachers, and study the impact on pre-service teachers' learning. For more information, please contact Dr. Jan Eberhardt – eberhar3@msu.edu.


Center for Research on College Science Teaching and Learning (CRCSTL)

Michigan State University’s Center for Research on College Science Teaching and Learning (CRCSTL) promotes MSU science faculty’s involvement in research on instructional design, implementation and assessment of student learning outcomes in college science. The goal of this research is to establish national and internationally recognized leadership in research on college students’ learning of science. For more information, please contact Dr. Charles Anderson - andya@msu.edu.


Kellogg Biological Station K-12 Partnership (KBS K-12 Partnernship)

The KBS K-12 Partnership is a joint effort among KBS scientists, MSU College of Education faculty, and science teachers and administrators in 11 rural school districts in southwest Michigan. The partnership provides teachers in-depth exposure to research topics in environmental science and training to teach inquiry-based science at the elementary and secondary levels. For more information, please contact Dr. Charles Anderson – andya@msu.edu.


The Center for Curriculum Materials in Science (CCMS)

The Center for Curriculum Materials in Science (CCMS) is a National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded Center for Learning and Teaching (CLT) that focuses on critical research and development issues related to improving curriculum materials for K-12 science. The Center has the goal of fostering a new generation of leadership with specific expertise in the analysis, development, evaluation, and implementation of curriculum materials. The center involves partners from American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Project 2061, Michigan State University (MSU), Northwestern University (NWU), University of Michigan (UM), and Chicago, Detroit, and Lansing public schools. For more information, please contact Dr. Christina Schwarz – cschwarz@msu.edu.

 
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