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Connecting young learners with the world of emerging science: A design-oriented case study

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Title: Connecting young learners with the world of emerging science: A design-oriented case study
Author(s): Buell, James; Stone, David; Naeger, Nicholas; Bruce, Bertram C.; Schatz, Bruce
Subject(s): Science Education entomology honey bees John Dewey
Abstract: Numerous models exist for bringing young learners into connection with the work of research scientists in school classrooms and other education-centric settings. However, educational outreach efforts conducted by leading-edge scientific research projects are seldom a focus of educational research. Both challenges and opportunities abound in attempts to bring young learners to an understanding and appreciation of the work of research science. This paper describes an effort by a leading-edge scientific research project in the area of insect behavioral genomics to make its ongoing research activities a source of educational opportunities for young learners. The BeeSpace Project was funded by the Biology Directorate of the National Science Foundation from 2004-2009 to investigate how behaviors of worker honey bees are related to expression of particular genes, and to develop computational resources to assist the genomic researchers in their work. One product of the project’s educational outreach was an eight-hour, video-based online curriculum dubbed “Electronic BeeSpace.” This paper investigates three questions with respect to the educational outreach instance that gave rise to the online curriculum. First, how did that instance come to be? Second, what were its features? Third, how did students learn from it? The circumstances of BeeSpace and its education component are unique, but the lessons to be drawn from them may be of more general interest. In this paper, we make use of a hybrid methodology we call “design-oriented case study,” a mix of qualitative case study (Stake, 1995; Yin, 2009) and educational design research (Kelly, Baek, Lesh, & Bannan-Ritland, 2008). We describe how BeeSpace educational outreach took shape over multiple design episodes, and we present design-based, observational, and interview-based evidence for how a small group of high school students learned from their involvement in one such episode, a weeklong series of workshops conducted in summer, 2008. We draw from the work of John Dewey to explore the nature of students’ learning from such workshops and to consider how design features of the workshop might connect with design principles for meaningful science learning.
Issue Date: 2011-04-12
Citation Info: Paper presented at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, April 8-12, New Orleans.
Genre: Conference Paper / Presentation
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/18813
Publication Status: unpublished
Peer Reviewed: is peer reviewed
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-04-11
 

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