- Year 2023
- NSF Noyce Award # 2049983
- First Name Stephen
- Last Name Farenga
- Institution Queens College, City of New York
- Role/Position PI
- Workshop Category Track 1: Scholarships and Stipends
- Workshop Disciplines Audience Chemistry, Geosciences, Life Sciences, Physics, STEM Education (general)
- Target Audience Co-PIs, Evaluators/Education Researchers, Noyce Master Teachers, Noyce Teaching Fellows, Other Faculty/Staff, Project PIs, Undergraduate and/or Graduate Noyce Scholars
- Topics Developing Teacher Leaders, Resources for Teachers, Supporting New Teachers/Induction
- Session Length 45 minutes minutes
- Additional Presenter(s)
What do beginning science educators think about Open AI and its use in the classroom? How must educators examine the role of assessment with the emergence of Open AI? What are the ethical concerns about AI use specifically regarding the originality of work as well as discrepancies in what constitutes thinking and the generation of knowledge?
Twenty-four secondary science teachers participated in this study. All of the participants were currently teaching in public schools in a large, metropolitan area. The four science disciplines (biology, chemistry, physics, and earth science) were represented as primary content taught by the individuals in both middle and high school settings. Additionally, three artificial intelligence chatbots were also used as participants as a point of comparison. The chatbots chosen to participate in the study were OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Google’s Bard, and Microsoft’s Bing. A focus group model was used to collect qualitative data. The first part of the study was an initial discussion with the participants. The researchers prompted ChatGPT to create several questions to be used during the discussion to elicit responses from the science teachers on their attitudes towards artificial intelligence. Participants also completed an attitudes survey which was created by ChatGPT. The creation of this survey required several rounds of prompts until the researchers agreed on the statements provided by the chatbot. The final prompt to create the survey was “Create a ten-question Likert-scale survey on attitudes towards AI in education.” Table 1 Focus Group Discussion Questions, Table 2 Attitudes towards AI in Education Likert Scale Questionnaire and Table 3 an Epistemic Cognition Questionnaire.
The purpose of this study was to gauge the attitudes towards artificial intelligence (AI) use in the science classroom by science teachers at the start of generative AI chatbot popularity. The lens of distributed cognition afforded an opportunity to gather thoughts, opinions, and perceptions from 24 secondary science educators as well as three AI chatbots. Science educators participated in an initial focus group discussion and both human and AI participants responded to an attitudes survey as well as an epistemic cognition questionnaire. In addition to participating in the study, AI – specifically OpenAI’s ChatGPT – was used to create two of the three survey instruments and served as an analysis tool for the qualitative results of this mixed-methods study. Results from the qualitative data suggest that secondary science educators are cautiously optimistic about the inclusion of AI in the classroom; however, there is a need for modification of teacher preparation to incorporate AI training. Additionally, there are some ethical concerns about AI use specifically regarding plagiarism as well as discrepancies in what constitutes thinking and the generation of knowledge. The quantitative data suggests that there is a statistically significant difference between AI and human attitudes towards AI in the classroom where AI appears to be biased towards more positive attitudes. This study serves as an artifact of knowledge about knowledge at the beginning of a technological revolution.