- Year 2016
- NSF Noyce Award # 1240010
- First Name Nicola
- Last Name Edwards
- Discipline Mathematics
Nirmaljit Rathee, Delaware State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Sabrina McGary, Delaware State University, email@example.com;
Cherese Winstead, Delaware State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Tomasz Smolinski; Delaware State University, email@example.com
Nicola Edwards, Delaware State University, firstname.lastname@example.org;
Nirmaljit Rathee, Delaware State University, email@example.com
Teaching as research helps teachers improve their teaching practices based on the act of reflection and the use of data driven decision. Many of our Noyce Scholars have minimal experiences with teaching. They often view teaching in very traditional forms that include extensive lecturing and practice. This is evident when Scholars submit lesson plans with minimal cognitive demand. The purpose of this new initiative is for scholars to explore, debate, practice and reflect on best teaching practices for their discipline. Noyce Scholars benefit from the teaching as research model because it exposes them to alternative teaching practices that encourages the learner to develop their own accurate reasoning skills, rather than solely relying on the reasoning of the teacher.
The goal of the Teaching as research initiative is to: 1) expose Noyce Scholars to alternative teaching practices that encourage students to become critical thinkers, and 2) to help Scholars create tasks that improve the quality and level of the cognitive demand for student engagement.
Noyce Scholars engaged in the initial stages by exploring the research on teaching and presenting their findings to their peers. More advanced stages include testing the recommended teaching practices in a real classroom, collecting data on the effectiveness of the practices, and reflecting on and revising that practice.
There are two Noyce Scholar tracks: Discussion and Research. The Discussion track is for novice Scholars, and the Research track is for experienced scholars. Each month, Noyce scholars in the Research Group were assigned one topic of interest. They were tasked with finding peer review research articles or teaching articles that address the topic and correspond to their field of study. Then, they submitted a 2-3 page summary of the article and description of an activity that aligned with the topic that could be directly used in the classroom. Final, during the Noyce Saturday Roundtables, they briefly presented their findings and activities, they collaborated on creating a presentation to give an overview of their findings and present a classroom activity to the Noyce Scholars in the Discussion Group.
Initial outcomes are positive. Research group Noyce Scholars are more cognizant of some of the key components necessary for an effective lesson. Research scholars are tasked with evaluating the lesson plans of Discussion scholars. The initial feedback demonstrates Research Noyce Scholars are aware of the kinds of thinking necessary to be an effective teacher. At the next level, Research Noyce Scholars will implement the teaching as research phase in an actual k-12 classroom. This phase will make use of data driven decisions for effective teaching practices and activities.
The broader impact of this initiative is to create highly qualified teachers that are extensively knowledgeable in both content and pedagogy. As a result, our graduates will then train the next generations of mathematicians, scientists, and science-savvy citizens to be critical thinkers and content knowledgeable as well.