Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Marshall, Petrosino, and Martin (2010)- Preservice Teachers’ Conceptions and Enactments of Project-Based Instruction

Abstract We present results of an investigation of preservice secondary mathematics and science teachers’ conceptions of project-based instruction (PBI) and their enactments of PBI in apprentice (student) teaching. We evaluated their thinking and implementations within a composite framework based on the work of education researchers. We analyzed survey responses, both qualitatively and statistically, from three cohorts of preservice teachers both before and after apprentice teaching. In addition we interviewed and observed a subset of these future teachers. We found that in general the preservice teachers held superficial views of PBI, as compared to the researcher framework. Participants reported time and curriculum restrictions as major barriers; however, teachers for whom enactment of PBI was presented as an explicit goal, and who were given support toward that end, were more likely to enact authentic implementations, regardless of previous reservations about PBI. Without this additional scaffolding, even teachers with high affinity for PBI were unlikely to implement it authentically.

Keywords Project based instruction Preservice teachers Teacher preparation Project based learning

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Meeting 26- May 5: Last Day of Class

Class to day was largely a lab day and an opportunity for the student groups to work on their projects. Dr. Petrosino spoke about the final examination day which is scheduled for Monday, May 17th from 2-5pm in SZB 316. Dr. Petrosino spoke about the importance of being "present" during the presentations and being an active audience in order to provide feedback and advice to the groups presenting. In a sense, there are 2 responsibilities--- one of course is in making a good presentation. Another is in being an active audience member. Both will be important for May 17th. Groups worked productively and very engaged throughout the lab period.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Dr. Stacy Klein-Gardner to visit University of Texas at Austin- Talk May 7

Dr. Klein-Gardner will visit UT's campus this week as the final speaker in the UTeach Project Based Instruction Lecture Series organize by Drs. Jill Marshall and Anthony Petrosino. The lecture series has brought nationally prominent scholars from around the country to speak to students, faculty and staff about issues relating to project based instruction in K-16 settings. Previous speakers have been Dr. David Hammer (University of Maryland), Dr. Ann Rivet (Columbia University), and Dr. Allan Collins (Northwestern University). Dr. Klein-Gardner is Associate Professor of the Practice of Biomedical Engineering and has worked extensively on technology learning environments in high content areas for teachers. Her research centers on designing and evaluating biomedical engineering modules for use in K-12 and college levels. Developing safe, hands-on, inexpensive ways to teach medical imaging.


The National Science Education Standards are explicit in their call for science teachers to create a learning environment that fosters scientific inquiry of authentic questions. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics states that "students must learn mathematics with understanding, actively building new knowledge from experience and prior knowledge."

These strategies are not supported by having students simply memorize rigid scientific facts in a teacher-centered classroom. Teacher must make use of problem-based instruction, such as is found in the Legacy Cycle, to make use of interdisciplinary studies, based in real world contexts. The Legacy Cycle is a research-based structure for designing instructional materials that has been effectively implemented through the Vanderbilt Bioengineering Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) and the Vanderbilt Instruction in Biomedical Engineering for Secondary Science (VIBES) programs. Use of the VIBES curriculum has shown an increase over traditional classroom instruction in student mastery of basic content as well as an increased ability to transfer knowledge to new areas. The Legacy-cycle based instructional materials developed by RET participants have been shown to increase student motivation over traditional classroom instruction. Additionally, teachers report that their students become more independent thinkers and learners while taking more ownership and responsibility for their own learning.

Ph.D. Biomedical Engineering, 1996,
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN.

M.S. Biomedical Engineering, 1993,
Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA.

B.S.E. Biomedical and Electrical Engineering, 1991,
Duke University, Durham, NC.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Meeting 25- May 3: Web Design and Manor Teacher Feedback

Today, Master Teacher Ms. Ekberg guided the students through the process of building the team's web pages. This is an important organizational activity to bring some uniformity to the project units the teams are in the process of designing. While most of our UTeach students are fairly well equipped with technology skills- this process still requires a non-trivial amount of instructional intervention.

Additionally, Ms. Ekberg also reviewed with the students in class the survey responses from the Manor New Tech High School teachers (site of our field paced experiences a month or so ago).