Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Program

Education (also CAGS)

First Advisor

Allan Feldman

Second Advisor

John Clement

Third Advisor

Stephen Schneider

Subject Categories

Education

Abstract

This study reports middle school astronomy classes that implemented photographs and classroom response systems (CRSs) in a discussion-oriented pedagogy with a curriculum unit for the topics of day-night and cause of seasons. In the new pedagogy, a teacher presented conceptual questions with photographs, her 6th grade students responded using the CRSs, and the teacher facilitated classroom discussion based on the student responses. I collected various data: classroom observation with field-note taking and videotaping, student pre- and post-conception tests, student attitude survey and classroom short surveys, and teacher interviews. Classroom video recordings and teacher interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed with the grounded theory approach. This approach was used to analyze the open responses of the student attitude survey as well. Pre- and post- conception tests consisted of open-ended questions and they were scored based upon rubrics. Numerical data were analyzed with descriptive statistics and simple t-tests. In this study, I answered three research questions: 1) student-teacher discourses and interaction patterns while learning and teaching with the photographs and CRSs in the new pedagogy; 2) 6th grade students’ misconceptions about the concepts of day-night and cause of seasons, and their knowledge gains after they had the intervention; and 3) the students’ and the teacher’s attitude toward the new curriculum and the new pedagogy. Finally, I discuss the student-teacher interaction model and three important teacher-questionings in this pedagogy; levels of misconceptions; and the pedagogical roles of the photographs and CRSs.

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