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Flipping Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Mathematics Anxieties

by Anthony Dove & Emily Dove
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In preparing future elementary educators in mathematics, helping them overcome their anxieties of mathematics and teaching mathematics is paramount.  This study examined how different instructional practices (in-class lecture, flipped learning with teacher-created videos, flipped classroom with Khan Academy videos) compared in improving students’ mathematics anxiety and anxiety about teaching mathematics.  Results suggest that, while all three methods improved students’ anxieties related to mathematics, flipped learning with teacher-created videos significantly had the greatest decreases in mathematics anxiety and anxiety about teaching mathematics.  Survey responses and class interviews also suggested that flipped learning with teacher–created videos better aligned with course content and activities, thus helping students feel prepared and more confident before entering the classroom.

Examining Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Technology Self-Efficacy: Impact of Mobile Technology-Based Physics Curriculum

by Deepika Menon, Meera Chandrasekhar, Dorina Kosztin & Douglas Steinhoff
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While iPads and other mobile devices are gaining popularity in educational settings, challenges associated with teachers’ use of technology continue to hold true. Preparing preservice teachers within teacher preparation programs to gain experience learning and teaching science using mobile technologies is critical for them to develop positive beliefs and self-efficacy for future technology integration. The purpose of this study was to investigate changes in preservice elementary teachers’ technology self-efficacy during their participation in a specialized science content course that utilized a mobile technology-based physics curriculum, Exploring Physics. The Exploring Physics curriculum is available as a hybrid online-offline application running on multiple platforms (iOS, Android, PC/Mac). Participants included 34 preservice elementary teachers who participated in pre- and post-implementation of a technology self-efficacy survey. Data sources also included two focus-group and individual interviews with six participants, weekly classroom observations, and artifacts. Results showed significant positive changes in participants’ technology self-efficacy regarding the use of mobile technologies in science teaching. Factors that supported participants’ technology self-efficacy included: (a) firsthand experiences with iPads, (b) enhanced science content understandings, (c) high interactivity and engagement, and (c) instructor modeling the use of technology. Findings have implications for preservice teacher preparation for technology integration in science teaching.

Three Social Studies Teachers’ Design and Use of Inquiry Modules

by Emma Thacker & Adam Friedman
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The researchers used activity theory to examine how teachers planned and implemented inquiries in social studies classrooms given the recent publication of the College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework for Social Studies State Standards.  This phenomenology used semistructured interviews, relevant documents, and observations as data for the research questions (a) “How do participants design inquiry modules?” and (b) “How do participants teach these inquiries in K–12 classrooms?” Results indicated that designing and implementing social studies inquiries were challenging and worthwhile for the teachers; participants found accessing and using various sources to be a fruitful yet challenging inquiry tool, and appreciated the use of a template to aid in their design process, even while it perhaps limited taking informed action. Participants noted that support was necessary for their successful use of inquiry. This study provides insight into how social studies teachers bring inquiry into their social studies classrooms and points to ways in which teachers can be better supported in this endeavor.

A Design-Based Research Approach to Improving Professional Development and Teacher Knowledge: The Case of the Smithsonian Learning Lab

by Doron Zinger, Ashley Naranjo, Isabel Amador, Nicole Gilbertson & Mark Warschauer
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Incorporating technology in classrooms to promote student learning is an ongoing instructional challenge. Teacher professional development (PD) is a central component of teacher education to support student use of technology and can improve student learning, but PD has had mixed results. In this study, researchers investigated a PD program designed to prepare a cohort of middle school social studies teachers to teach with an online resource, the Smithsonian Learning Lab. They examined how an iterative, design-based approach used teacher feedback to develop learning opportunities in the PD. Using the technological, pedagogical, and content knowledge framework (TPACK), they found that through four iterations of 1-day PD workshops, PDs afforded teachers increasingly individualized and meaningful opportunities to learn. Teacher feedback emerged as a central component in the changes and development of the PD series. Through the course of the PD, teacher knowledge increased across five of seven TPACK domains.

Access Is Not Enough: A Collaborative Autoethnographic Study of Affordances and Challenges of Teacher Educators’ iPad Integration in Elementary Education Methods Courses

by Sheri Vasinda, Di Ann Ryter, Stephanie Hathcock & Qiuying Wang
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Research indicates that preservice teachers’ understandings of how to integrate technology into their classrooms are dependent upon experience in their university methods courses and in their field placements. These findings place a new responsibility on teacher educators for modeling effective integration of technology into methods courses. This study focused on teacher educators’ integration of technology using iPads to enhance teaching and learning in an elementary education teacher preparation program. Four faculty members documented their own technology integration journey through collaborative autoethnography identifying the affordances and challenges of 1:1 iPad integration into their science, social studies and literacy methods courses. The researchers discovered that access to technology alone is not sufficient for faculty members to integrate iPad use in their courses. High quality use of iPads and their applications require time for exploration, experimentation, and practice, as well as professional support and development adding another dimension to the work of teacher educators.

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